"How much she hath glorified herself, and
lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her:" Rev.
The subject most hated:
Retreats & Defeats:
Camps and Retreats: a Brief History of Tragic Change:
The Curse of Meroz:
Pulling the plug on the Holy Spirit and Angelic Protection:
Christian VS Worldly:
In the home:
The Snare of Pleasure
Shall the Angel
Record, "A Day Lost?"
No one is going to float to heaven on beds of self-Indulgence:
you don't conquer it entirely You will be LOST!
There is one subject more than any other in
Adventism that brings the most vicious attacks on anyone addressing
it. I have never seen it fail that when material dealing with it is
sent out, published, or placed on the internet, the most angry and
offended letters start pouring in. People seem to foam at the mouth
every time this area is touched. Rationalization and
Self-Justification pour forth in elegant or un-elegant torrents of
indignant words and if in person, angry, glaring looks.
No other subject will get you branded as a
Pharisee, unloving, antisocial and so on, than to speak the
God-given truth on this subject. There are certain principles
clearly established in the Bible, and especially spelt out vividly
in the Spirit of Prophecy principles that leave no doubt at all
where God stands regarding these things. These are among the main
reasons why so many in the denomination try every way possible to
reject, gainsay, denounce, and deride the Testimonies of the Spirit.
From the first sounding of the prophetic voice among Adventists
there has been in reply the orchestra of scorched cats screaming out
as certain raw nerves were hit by the Sword of the Spirit.
Why do people go to such amazing lengths to try
and rid themselves of the reproving voice of the Spirit of Prophecy?
The reasons are loud and clear for any who wish to remove their
blinders and see them. In Mrs. Whites days there were many who
upheld the testimonies heartily Until she was given a
personal message for them! Then, suddenly the luster was gone and
there were a thousand criticisms and rationalizations as to why
Ellen White was unreliable.
We don't get testimonies in the mail-box with our
name on them any more, but any who read or hear them often get the
uncomfortable jab from the Holy Spirit right in the sorest spot of
our personal self-esteem. The result is the same: dozens and dozens
of dozens of reasons and excuses why the testimonies are to be
ignored. The main area I had noticed people reacting against was
appetite; and it is indeed a big area. But when you combine the
counsels regarding appetite and indulgence with the clear counsels
regarding amusement, sports, games and entertainment, I confidently
believe that 99 94/100 % of people out there denouncing,
vilifying and/or excusing away (making of none effect) the Spirit of
Prophecy have problems in their lives regarding these very areas.
Many who do address the subject modify and smooth
it over. It is hard for any person or ministry that depends on
free-will donations for support to really speak solidly regarding
Adventism's cherished idols. I guess all of us need more of the
spirit of the ancient prophets, to speak the TRUTH whether men will
hear or not and look to God not man for support. I have a deep
burden to try and sound a wake-up call. I hope that someone or maybe
even two, will turn around, cast away the garbage and find True
Fulfillment in the Lord, fulfillment that doesn't just wait for
heaven. For those who place ALL on the altar, heaven begins now for
those that refuse to surrender ALL, heaven will never happen!
never can prove
delights of His Love
on the altar we lay;
favor He shows, and the Joy He bestows
them who WILL Trust and Obey!"
We have the example of Jesus and the disciples in
Mark 6:31: "And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a
desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and
going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." Oh how many these
days use this example to justify all kinds of amusement,
entertainment, indulgence and just plain goofing off.
Let us just take a closer look at what was going
on that day with Jesus and His disciples. Read the verse carefully
and you see a picture of faithful workers nearing exhaustion as they
sought to meet the needs of the multitudes starving for the Living
Word. They had just received word of the tragic death of John the
Baptist and questions and concerns were certainly on their minds.
Jesus needed to be able to have them in quiet surroundings, away
from the crowds and the ever-present spies of the Sanhedrin so He
could address their concerns, answer their questions and using the
Holy Scriptures--fortify their faith.
You will also notice that Jesus said rest
awhile, He did not say; "you need to have your appetites indulged,
you need entertainment and to throw off all restraint in silly games
and foolish behavior for a while. You need to joke and indulge in
trivial talk to take your mind off religion for a while." No indeed
not! Instead they were actually going to be receiving serious
spiritual guidance so as to return to their labors for the people
with renewed spiritual vigor. They were not to be dissipated by
indulgences that would unfit them for their labor and open a dozen
doors of temptation whereby Satan could march into their lives.
Jesus said to come into a desert place; that is a
place out in nature, away from man-made distractions, also away from
luxury and indulgence. They would sit on the grass of a
mountainside, listen to the wind in the trees, sleep under the stars
and their surroundings would turn their thoughts to natures God. He
did not take them to a resort where rich food, physical comforts and
luxurious surroundings would detract from the spiritual and distract
from the simplicity of true godliness.
Adventist Entertainment Syndrome:
There is a sad phenomenon in Adventism that is
highly developed in our day. We have ministries that are well
supported by the pockets of Adventists and all they really are
accomplishing in the world, is the entertainment of Adventists. Find
a way to entertain Adventists and give them programs to watch and
meetings and retreats to attend and you will have the support
money rolling in. You can even preach a little, just make sure you
don't start presenting the straight Word of God with authority.
You can also entertain Adventists and get lots of
support if you think up some new ideas on prophecy and call it new
light. No matter how clearly your ideas may be denounced by the
Spirit of Prophecy, you are bound to have a good support group and
roll in the money but remember, if you run out of weird new things
to send out every month, or if you put forward just plain, solid
Bible, Spirit of Prophecy concepts, that's not entertaining enough,
and you'll soon have to work for your living.
Even when community service or work-bees occur,
they have to be followed up by a pizza party or some such
indulgence. If the poor are helped, the people or youth doing the
helping must have a big bash afterwards as a reward. Indeed, as
Jesus said of the Pharisees, "they have their reward", heaven will
never reward them.
My heart has been heavy when I have heard of
groups of ministers taking their families, at church expense, to
worldly theme parks and it wasn't so they could hand out books!
Recently I heard of Adventists hurrying to the local theme park to
get a special deal on a seasons pass. What do the books of heaven
show as to how Gods means are being used by professed Adventists
Camps and Campouts: a brief history of tragic changes:
Any one of us who has any spiritual eyesight at
all, and has walked this old earth for half a century or more, has
seen a lot of changes come in. Sad to say, nearly all of them have
eroded away the spiritual values of a people who were once known as
the People of the Book. In fact even a twenty-year-old today, if
they have any spiritual eyesight can see things sliding further and
further in the world-ward direction as the momentum is accelerating.
I want to take you back for a quick look at what camps can be and
As most of you know, many regional conferences
own camps or resorts where retreats and other gatherings are
held. It is not a bad idea for a wilderness area to be owned by our
people and a simple camp established without a lot of expense.
I will describe what such camps used to be like.
Picture a remote forested area at the side of a small lake. There
was a roped off beach, a wooden dock with a row-boat and a couple
canoes at the waters edge. The main assembly building, that was
also where the meals were cooked and served, was a plain barn-like
structure with windows. Plain wooden benches and tables provided the
The boys and girls bunkhouses were a long way
apart, with the boys being the furthest from camp. At Junior and
youth camps, counselors shared the bunkhouses. Washroom facilities
were outhouses and a central hand pump to acquire a bucket or wash
dish of water to freshen up hands and face in the morning. Bathing
was only when we went in swimming.
There was a smaller building, again just plain
wood with benches and tables in it, where crafts were taught and
done. Basketry, painting plaster plaques, leather work and sometimes
copper tooling were a few of the crafts available. All activities
were supervised in kindly but sensible ways. No horseplay or
silliness entered in to spoil the activities.
There were three assembly areas; each one
brings back sweet memories as I recall them. First was the main
assembly, just back from the beach, where we stood in a circle
around the flag for morning worship. We were expected to be there on
time and properly attired. Our personal grooming was inspected and
later on, the orderliness of our bunk area. A song was sung and
prayer offered then we marched into the dinning room for breakfast.
Second was the campfire area. Down the beach
about half-way between the girls bunkhouse and the boys, was a
cleared area with a fire-pit in the center. Around this were logs
placed in a circle to sit on. Towards sunset we assembled there and
sang songs and courses as we lit and watched the fire. No food was
served here as we were not encouraged to eat between meals, but
worthwhile stories of nature and missions were read or told and then
prayers offered and we headed off to our bunks for the night. Never
were foolish, untrue jokes or stories used at campfire in those
The third area was a sacred place. It was only
used for Sabbath-school, church and sacred meetings. Back from the
camp road was a slightly cleared area in the forest. Plain benches
of boards were the pews, and a wooden pulpit fitted well into the
atmosphere. The sky and the branches of the tall trees were the only
roof and the whisper of the breeze rustling the leaves was our
background music. How lovely it was to lift our voices in songs of
praise and listen to the sacred Word of God in this peaceful natural
Activities were planned, scheduled and
supervised, and all had a worthwhile purpose to them. Through the
week, swimming, boating, crafts, and assemblies kept all happy and
busy getting fresh air and exercise while learning practical skills.
Work duties were shared, girls taking turns with doing dining hall
and kitchen duties and boys with cleaning, firewood and laying the
evening campfire. As a special treat a group were sometimes taken to
another lake where we had campfire and then slept out under the
stars. I do not recall there ever being any purposeless games,
untrue stories, or silly behavior at these camps and yet we all were
On Sabbath, there was never any swimming, crafts
or boating. Food had been prepared on Friday and there was no
cooking done or needless kitchen work. Sabbath school and church
took the morning while there were usually nature walks in the
afternoon. Counselors who were naturalists would teach us many
useful bits of knowledge about birds, animals, plants and trees.
Now jump ahead with me a decade and visit another
weekend retreat. At this one a resort building was rented for the
purpose. This was adult and family camp so the activities werent
quite as scheduled or supervised, but still there was certain
propriety. Work was shared and some activities scheduled. Sabbath
was quiet and properly observed with a real spiritual feast at
church and Sabbath school.
There were many changes even then. Most
activities were now indoors and no outdoor assemblies held. Games
such as shuffleboard, ping pong, pool and ball were indulged in and
no nature study or nature hikes were held. Sports, team games and
purposeless pastimes were now very much present.
Evening assembly was indoors and although there
were some worthwhile stories and Christian hymns and choruses, there
were also meaningless and worldly ditties as well as foolish jokes
and stories for the sake of a laugh. Fiction and even ghost stories
were also told.
During the days, young girls assembled in some of
the young boys rooms, where popular hit parade songs were played.
Standards of conduct had vastly deteriorated.
Now come with me into today's Adventist world.
The simple old nature camp owned by the conference where I grew up
has long since been sold. A resort-type place has taken its place.
Lawns are manicured and nature, although still present, is
definitely kept at bay. All meetings and assemblies are indoors.
Outdoors there is swimming and boating and these may occur on
Sabbath as well as any other time.
There is a crew who are paid to do the work of
the camp and keep it in order, but they do not have an easy time.
Many Adventist youth and even adults attending retreats here seem
to delight in a hierarchy of badness, trying to out-do one another
with foolish and destructive behavior. The maintenance crew has to
deal with broken equipment, smashed doors, walls, and even holes
smashed in the ceilings!
Noise and hilarity rule the scene. Now nearly all
the stories consist of foolish jokes, triviality and meaningless
chatter is par for the course. Popular music is played over the
sound systems, even songs with vile and degrading words are heard
and some even indulge in worldly dancing. The games are mostly
purposeless time-wasters where nothing useful is learned or
accomplished. The spiritual talks consist of people trying to push
concepts that anyone who is remotely acquainted with Bible doctrine
and Spirit of Prophecy would immediately recognize as false and
misleading; concepts that support and advocate the very hilarity and
nonsense taking place at that retreat.
Even if one wanted to, it would be impossible to
indulge in deep heart searching and seeking renewal of spiritual
strength in such surroundings. One of the main reasons this would be
impossible is that the Holy Spirit will not attend gatherings where
boisterous mirth and hilarity is the order of the day. We are told
that these gatherings are carnivals for Satan and his angels.
Now comes the climax of the event--a movie
provided by the Pastor for the edification of the faithful on
Saturday night. And what is this item? Is it a worthwhile nature
documentary? Is it a presentation and appeal for the needs of
mission fields? Or perhaps at least a Bible story or inspiring
biography? Remember there are many children present here and their
whole lives can be easily influenced for good or bad from what is
seen at such a gathering.
So what was it? A fictional occult fantasy that
no Christian should ever set before his eyes! Something exalting
spiritualistic ideas and that has not one word of truth in the whole
thing. Children that watched it have complained later about how
scared they felt and how they were now plagued with terrifying
dreams from the sights and sounds of this devils delight.
I would like to sound a clear warning here to
anyone responsible for presenting entertainment at a gathering such
as this, and yes, those who are responsible for what is seen and
heard in their own families. God is not amused when fiction,
fantasy, foolishness or any other type of worldly entertainment is
flashed before the eyes of children and youth. Leaders and Pastors
that do this will someday wish that they were never born.
Jesus said clearly: "But whoso shall offend one
of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him
that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were
drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of
offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that
man by whom the offence cometh!" Matthew 18:6,7.
This is one of the strongest denunciations in the
Bible and it came from the lips of our loving Savior! Only in the
third angels message do we see again such a dire warning. What is
being warned against here? It is causing any child or vulnerable
person to become deceived, confused, discouraged or to lose their
faith by something we do or say to them. This spiritualistic movie
will have long term effects. The devil had a field day at this event
and his angels were pressing the ideas and concepts of this
spiritualist garbage into the minds of all, young and old who
Not one person present was immune to these
effects and for some this exposure may well lead into more of the
occult and spiritualistic until they are hopelessly entangled in
witchcraft and spiritualism. Souls may be lost with the result being
traced to the source, seeing this movie at the church gathering.
Whether he knows it or not, whether he would acknowledge it or not,
this pastor now has the blood of souls on his garments and the curse
of God hanging over his head. Without full and true repentance,
confession and forsaking of such sin and seeking in every way to
counteract the influence turned loose by what he did, he is a lost
man. Am I judging? Yes indeed I am--and I am using the very words of
Jesus to do it!
The Curse of
Why, Oh Why, did not someone speak up and protest
this wicked entertainment presentation? Why, Oh Why, did not at
least some parents hasten their children away from this satanic
spectacle? Why did all sit there, as one who attended described the
situation, Like a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching
car? Sat there transfixed and watching this garbage; allowing their
children's minds to be darkened and sullied by it, paralyzed as it
We have an interesting case in the Bible, a name
of a group of people that only occurs once in the entire cannon of
scripture: Meroz. Even the Hebrew word only appears once and yet the
Spirit of Prophecy has a lot to say about this text, it appears in
52 references on the E.G. White CD-ROM. Here is the sentence
"Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD,
curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to
the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty."
Meroz it seems, was a place where lived a group
of people in the time of the ancient Judges of Israel. At a time of
crisis they did absolutely nothing. What their excuse was for this,
we do not know, but they complacently just did not get involved.
There are many ways the Spirit of Prophecy uses
this text, here are a few: to warn that those who have not been
faithful in their homes and communities to honor the Lord will be
lost in the Day of Judgment. To awaken those who have complacently
listened to the needs of missions and done nothing to help, those
who have known of the needs for medical missionary workers and have
had no interest to help, and so on.
Here is an example:
"Obedience is required; and unless you obey you
will stand on worse than neutral ground. Unless you are favored
with the blessing of God you have His curse. He requires you to
be willing and obedient, and says that you shall eat the good of the
land. A bitter curse is pronounced on those who come not to the help
of the Lord. "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye
bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help
of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." Satan
and his angels are in the field to oppose every advance step that God's people take, therefore the help of everyone is required."
This should alarm us for our souls if we still
have enough spiritual life left to even feel alarm. Notice there
that if we do not have Gods blessing, we have His curse! There
is no middle ground. We do not have to commit some heinous
revolting crime to have God's curse--all we have to do is
complacently refuse to live out the light we have received.
Here is another quote:
"As an illustration of the failure on your part
to come up to the work of God, as was your privilege, I was referred
to these words: "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse
ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the
help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
Judges 5:23. What had Meroz done? Nothing. And this was their sin.
They came not up to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
Satan wants to destroy all traces of true
Sabbath-keeping remnant from the earth. He is present at every
gathering and when our people give him an inch, he boils over us and
takes a mile of advantage over our souls. And we, like Meroz of old,
sit quietly and do nothing--WHY?
Ill tell you why that even conscientious
persons, who knew this thing was wrong, did not do anything to
oppose it--it was because long before that program, Satan had taken
over the minds of those present. The battle had already been
fought--and lost in the so-called little choices. (Oh, its just
in fun, I don't want to seem stuffy and anti-social. Sure it is a
bit silly, but we cant be serious all the time.) Compromises,
excusing and rationalizing, triviality and vanity had taken the
field and all had sold out to it. You say, How dare you say all?"
Because if they hadn't--the faithful would have quickly sized up the
situation, protested, and left the grounds long before the movie was
known about or shown.
Meroz does not want to be the one who speaks out
and bears the flack from the pleasure lovers. Does the fact that
others are doing it excuse us to sit paralyzed?
"Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord,
curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to
the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
My sister, excuse not your defects because others are wrong.
In the day of God you will not dare to plead as an excuse for
your neglect to form a character for heaven, that others did not
manifest devotion and spirituality. The same lack which you
discovered in others was in yourself. And the fact that others
were sinners makes your sins nonetheless grievous." 2T 395.
Knowing compromise, in even seemingly little
things, allows Satan to immediately throw his blinders over our
spiritual eyes; the Holy Spirit has to back off and we are
hypnotized and led on until like the deer in the headlights we can
only stand paralyzed waiting the crash. And dear readers, Satan
never applies the brakes! When he has our spiritual sensitivities
blunted, he smashes right into us with seduction and temptation from
which many never recover.
"In the future (now present) Satan's
superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a
pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with
garments of light, will be presented to God's people. Thus Satan
will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing
influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized." Mar 59.
If even one person would have protested that
night, even one parent spoken up and hurried their children away
from the scene, others would have followed! At least for some the
spell might have been broken, but Satan had laid his plans well; his
deer was ripe for the killing.
Pulling the plug on the Holy Spirit and Angelic Protection:
"My message to you is: No longer consent to
listen without protest to the perversion of truth. I
have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of
receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation
pillars of the faith." 1SM 196.
"I was shown the necessity of those who believe
that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from
those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young
nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus
encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to
the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The
influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us
from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty
wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is
displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being
obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where
error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He
will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over
us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be
darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and
the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness. I saw
that we have no time to throw away in listening to fables." EW 124
The above were written to warn those who were
attending religious meeting where false doctrines were presented--how
much worse then is it to be present where nothing of any religious
value and yes, even the very entertainment of hell is presented? Can
we hope to maintain our souls in a condition of purity and readiness
for heaven in such surroundings?
"There is a distinction between recreation and
amusement. Recreation, when true to its name, re-creation, tends
to strengthen and build up. Calling us aside from our ordinary
cares and occupations, it affords refreshment for mind and body and
thus enables us to return with new vigor to the earnest work of
life. Amusement, on the other hand, is sought for the sake of
pleasure and is often carried to excess; it absorbs the
energies that are required for useful work and thus proves a
hindrance to life's true success. Between the associations of the
followers of Christ for Christian recreation and worldly gatherings
for pleasure and amusement will exist a marked contrast. Instead of
prayer and the mentioning of Christ and sacred things will be
heard from the lips of worldlings the silly laugh and the trifling
conversation. Their idea is to have a general high time. Their
amusements commence in folly and end in vanity. There is great
need of temperance in amusements, as in every other pursuit. And
the character of these amusements should be carefully and thoroughly
considered." AH 512
Notice that the silly laugh and trifling
conversation and having a high time, is the mark of worldlings!
Yes, even when it is found in Adventist schools, churches or camp
meetings, it is the mark of worldliness. True Christians can not
indulge in this behavior. Notice this example:
"In April, 1900, a holiday was appointed at the
Avondale school for Christian workers. The program for the day
provided for a meeting in the chapel in the morning, at which I and
others addressed the students, calling their attention to what God
had wrought in the building up of this school, and to their
privilege and opportunities as students. After the meeting, the
remainder of the day was spent by the students in various games and
sports, some of which were frivolous, rude, and grotesque.
"I was shown that in the amusements carried on at
the school that afternoon the enemy gained a victory, and
teachers were weighed in the balances and found wanting. I was
greatly distressed and burdened to think that those standing in
responsible positions should open the door and, as it were,
invite the enemy in; for this they did in permitting the
exhibitions that took place. The students were encouraged in a
course the effects of which were not easily effaced. There is
no end to the path of vain amusements, and every step taken
in it is a step in a path which Christ has not traveled. Had their
eyes been anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, they would have
realized that they could not permit the exhibition that took place
that afternoon, without dishonoring God." CT 349.
What did God think of these proceedings?
"This instruction presented (at the morning
meeting) before the students duties of the highest order; and to
efface by the amusements afterward entered into, the good
impressions made, was virtually saying, "We want not Thy way, O
God; we want our own way; we want to follow our own wisdom." CT
"In the night season I was a witness to the
performance that was carried on on the school grounds. The
students who engaged in the grotesque mimicry that was seen, acted out the mind of the enemy, some in a very unbecoming
manner. A view of things was presented before me in which the
students were playing games of tennis and cricket. Then I was
given instruction regarding the character of these amusements.
They were presented to me as a species of idolatry, like the
idols of the nations.
"There were more than visible spectators on the
ground. Satan and his angels were there, making impressions on human
minds. Angels of God, who minister to those who shall be
heirs of salvation, were also present, not to approve, but to
disapprove. They were ashamed that such an exhibition should be
given by the professed children of God. The forces of the enemy
gained a decided victory, and God was dishonored. He who gave
His life to refine, ennoble, and sanctify human beings was grieved
at the performance." CT 350.
"Hearing a voice, I turned to see who spoke to
me. Then with dignity and solemnity One said, "Is this the
celebration for the anniversary of the opening of the school? Is
this the gratitude offering you present to God for the blessings He
has given you? The world could render as acceptable an offering on
this memorial occasion. The teachers are making the same mistake
that has been made over and over again. They should learn wisdom
from the experiences of the past. The careless, godless world can
offer an abundance of such offerings as these, in a much more
Turning to the teachers, He said, "You have
made a mistake the effects of which it will be hard to efface.
The Lord God of Israel is not glorified in the school. If at this
time the Lord should permit your life to end, many would be lost,
eternally separated from God and the righteous." CT 351.
Notice in this quote the word One capitalized;
that means it was Jesus Himself who was speaking! So many when
excusing gatherings of indulgence and vain amusement will say, "Oh,
but Jesus wants us to be happy and have fun", but here it is clear
that He wants nothing of this sort of indulgence in the lives of His
In the home:
We live in an age when foolishness and vanity is
everywhere and worldly entertainment surrounds us like a swamp.
Parents tend to be so busy with work and social events that
children are often left to themselves. It is so easy for parents to
allow children to pass their time with videos, video games, and TV
as this keeps them away from the parent who can then follow his or
her own selfish pursuits.
Whether we like it or not, we are responsible
and answerable to God for the example and training we give or
fail to give our children. No occupations or social concerns can
erase that responsibility. Notice what Ellen White said about
priorities when visitors came into her home:
"I began to teach my children about the love of
Jesus when they were mere babes. I could not leave the work of
training my children to the hands of servants. They were my first
considerations. When visitors came, I told them that they must
excuse me until I had set my children their little task, or
provided some suitable amusement for them. It is the duty of
every parent to do as did Abraham; for he did not betray his
sacred trust. If you allow your children to grow up in rebellion
against your authority, they will be receiving a training that will
cause them to rebel against the authority of God." RH, March
It takes planning and effort on the part of
parents, teachers and church leaders to provide occupation for the
youth and children that will have a sanctifying influence on their
lives. Activities that promote Bible knowledge, nature appreciation
and practical skills may take a little more planning and
preparation, but will pay off greatly in character building. True
happiness comes only with doing something worthy of a Christian,
hilarity and foolishness is the devils cheap counterfeit.
"Parents had much better burn the idle tales of the day,
and the novels as they come into their houses. It would be a mercy
to their children. Encourage the reading of these story-books, and
it is like enchantment. It bewilders and poisons the mind. I
saw that unless parents awake to the eternal interest of their
children, they will surely be lost through their neglect." Letter
252, 1906. (How much greater is the effect of movies than books?)
Snare of Pleasure Seeking:
Everywhere in Adventism today we see examples of
luxury and self-indulgence. Simplicity of diet and surroundings
seems truly a lost art. Adventist activities are nearly all based
upon some form of entertainment. Fifty years ago, most school-aged
Adventist children knew their Bibles often better than many
ministers do today. Soft living, worldly holidays, entertainment,
feasting and partying have taken a terrible toll on Adventism.
Just before Israel was to enter Canaan, Balaam
was asked by Balak to curse Israel. He was unable to do it, but he
later told Balak how to get Israel to curse themselves! Yes, as they
responded to invitations to join in the holidays, the spirit of
feasting, partying and frolic along with the sensual heavy-beat
music and the pageantry and gaiety took Israel's mind far away from
serving God, and led to the loss of thousands of souls--right on the
very border of the Promised Land.
Do you think that most of those who fell into
gross idolatry and sensuality at this time really planned to do it
that way? No, they just excused and rationalized on the little
things until like a deer in the headlights, they were set up for
Satan to destroy them. Those people lost their souls, friends; they
lost eternity for the sake of brief worldly pleasures.
Shall the Angel Record, "A Day Lost?"
"After a day of pleasure seeking is ended, where
is the satisfaction to the pleasure seeker? As Christian workers,
whom have they helped to a better, higher, and purer life? What
would they see if they should look over the record the angel wrote?
A day lost! To their own souls a day lost, a day lost in the service
of Christ, because no good was accomplished. They may have other
days but never that day which was idled away in cheap, foolish talk,
of girls with boys, and boys with girls. Never will these same
opportunities offer themselves again. They had better been doing the
hardest kind of labor on that holiday. They did not make the right
use of their holiday, and it passed into eternity to confront them
in the judgment as a day misspent." AH 473.
"The young generally conduct themselves as though
the precious hours of probation, while mercy lingers, were one grand
holiday and they were placed in this world merely for their own
amusement, to be gratified with a continued round of excitement.
Satan has been making special efforts to lead them to find happiness
in worldly amusements and to justify themselves by endeavoring to
show that these amusements are harmless, innocent, and even
important for health. He [Satan] presents the path of holiness
as difficult, while the paths of worldly pleasure are strewn with
flowers. In false and flattering colors he arrays the world with
its pleasures before the youth. But the pleasures of earth will
soon come to an end, and that which is sown must also be reaped.
He is in every sense of the word a deceiver, a skillful charmer. He has many finely woven nets, which appear innocent, but which
are skillfully prepared to entangle the young and unwary." AH 523.
No one is going to float to heaven on beds of self-Indulgence:
How is it with you? Worldly holidays are getting
bigger and crazier every year and Adventists are neck and neck with
worldlings in the indulgence of them. Think of the means wasted by
Gods people on entertainment and selfish gratification. Adventists
have been given a job to do by God; the task that we are to do is to
warn a world of their approaching doom and the need to seek to be
right with God while mercy still lingers.
All time and means used by Gods professed people
in luxury, indulgence and entertainment will have to be accounted
for in the judgment. How must Jesus look upon our selfish provision
for the indulgence of appetite, to please our guests, or to gratify
our own inclination! It is a snare to us to aim at making a display
or to allow our children, under our control, to do so. When the
judgment shall sit, and the books are opened, the losing side will
be presented to your view--the good that you might have done with
the funds that were used for wholly selfish purposes.
For the price of one candy bar a missionary book
could be purchased to bring light to a soul in darkness; for the
cost of one party for self indulgence a whole case of books could be
bought and shipped to people who are hungering for the privilege of
having the light which we leave gathering dust on our library
don't conquer it entirely--You will be LOST!
Vanity, foolishness and frolic are in no way part
of Adventism's rightful heritage; no part of any true Christian
heritage. Gatherings for entertainment, feasting and gaiety have
always been part of the heathen scene. Angels of God are not found
there except to record the condemnation of those who indulge in
Where is the missionary spirit that Adventism was
once famous for? Is it as extinct as the do-do bird? Does anyone
these days encourage children to deny their self indulgences for the
sake of sacrificing to help spread the light of truth? It costs
something to be a true Christian, dear readers. Nothing less than a
total surrender, a complete sacrifice of self will ever lead one to
stand with the redeemed on the Sea of Glass.
And what about speaking up and protesting
wrongful activities in our gatherings? Meroz was cursed--because they
did nothing. They might have been nice people, they may not have
been found doing great wrong. But their decision at that crisis was
already made a long time before. Indifference to Gods requirements,
unconcern about Gods honor, slothfulness and carelessness in Gods
service had left them paralyzed and inactive when action was
A true story comes to us from the interesting
country of Rumania. There had grown up in a village a nice little
Adventist congregation, the members of which had come out of the
Orthodox Catholic church. The priests and Bishop were determined to
crush out this heresy and gaining the support of the local
authorities, they ordered all the Adventists to attend a meeting
held in the Orthodox Church.
All the Adventists were there and the Bishop
railed on them for a long time. He cursed them as only such men can
curse. He brow-beat them until influenced by their past upbringing,
he had them trembling before him.
He ordered them all to line up and they obeyed;
he ordered them to their knees and they obeyed. Then he ordered them
to repent, confess their heresy and plead to return to the Orthodox
Church. They were about to do this when a woman, small in stature
but big in faith rushed over to them and shouted, "These men are not
God! Are you going to pray to a Bishop? Get up on your feet!"
Like an electric shock the words hit the
trembling Adventists and the spell was broken. They jumped to their
feet and ignoring the angry Bishop, returned to their seats. The
Bishop was at a loss to know what to do but the mob shouted that
they would kill the woman and all the Adventist believers. It seemed
that the blood of martyrs was once again to flow, when the
officials, who had been asked by the priests to serve their
purposes, flew to the assistance of the woman and the believers,
escorting them safely to their homes. The Bishop was warned by the
officials never to molest the Adventists again.
Friends, God cant fight for Meroz, but if we
have the courage of that little woman to speak up for God against
wrong, He will honor and bless us. We need to avoid situations where
God is not being served and honored and if we, through no compromise
on our part, find ourselves where wrong seems to be taking over, we
must come to the help of the Lord! What if we even had to shed our
blood for standing for righteousness--how much better that would be
than the shameful curse of Meroz! PGT