Larger font
Smaller font

General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font



    (An Address before the Council, Feb. 12.)GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.5

    I AM greatly embarrassed in attempting to present this topic to-day, for two different reasons. First, because it is extremely difficult in the time of one sitting, to present in any adequate way the principles upon which true education rests; and secondly, because I know that after all it is so much easier to present these principles in theory than it is to carry them out in actual practice, but we will do the best we can in the time allotted to bring before you some of the principles upon which this matter should rest, and to present some of the reasons why we need educational institutions, and some of the points of difference that should exist between them and other schools. This subject of education is in no way separate from the general principles that control our other work as a whole, and it is entirely impossible to have a right view of our educational work, and at the same time separate that line of work from the general work of the spread of this message; and one of the first things to which I will ask your attention is to some principles which show how this subject is connected with the other subjects that we have been considering in our evening studies, and how the school question is one phase of this question of separation from the world and coming out of Babylon. The idea of the enemy of God, from the very first, is to turn away from God and the things of God and the kingdom of God, and to put some other plan than God’s plan in our life work. There is only one life for a Christian to live, and in all that he does, and in all that he says, his purpose should be to meet the mind of God, and to be in harmony with God’s thought and God’s plan for him.GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.6

    Now in the different ages of the world the enemy adapts his idea to the situation; when he could lead men into the grossest kind of idolatry, he did that, and so men fell down and worshiped before images and before idols of wood and of stone. But it is not necessary for them actually to bow down in order for idolatry to exist. At the present time idolatry assumes a different form from what it did in pagan times. I will read two or three extracts from the Spirit of prophecy. The first one is from “Testimony 31,” page 188:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.7

    The very spirit of heathen idolatry is rife to-day, though under the influence of science and education it has assumed a more refined and attractive form. Every day adds sorrowful evidence that faith in the sure word of prophecy is fast decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and Satanic witchery are captivating the minds of men. All who do not earnestly search the Scriptures, and submit every desire and purpose of life to that unerring test, all who do not seek God in prayer for a knowledge of his will, will surely wander from the right path, and fall under the deception of Satan.GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.8

    And from “Great Controversy,” Vol. 4, page 583:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.9

    In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Law-giver. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone. By misrepresenting the attributes of God, Satan leads men to conceive of him in a false character. With many, a philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the living God, as he is revealed in his Word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshiped by but few. Thousands deify nature, while they deny the God of nature. Though in a different form idolatry exists in the Christian world to day as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The God of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists, — the god of polished fashionable circles, of many Colleges and universities, even of some of the theological institutions, — is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.GCB February 15, 1895, page 154.10

    The special message that is brought to us at this time is to come out from the world and be separate, and certainly this forbids idolatry and all forms of idolatry. God calls upon us to distinguish between the true God and the false gods, between the worship of the true God and the false gods in whatever name, to be entirely separate from idolatry. But how does this come into the school question? and how does this effect the training of the mind? Let me read an extract from “Christian Education,” page 84.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.1

    The work of God in the earth is of immeasurable importance, and it is Satan’s special object to crowd it out of sight and mind, that he may make his specious devices effectual in the destruction of those for whom Christ died. It is his purpose to cause the discoveries of men to be exalted above the wisdom of God. When the mind is engrossed with the conceptions and theories of men, to the exclusion of the wisdom of God, it is stamped with idolatry.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.2

    Idolatry is putting something in the place of God and centering the mind and thought upon something else than God, but when the mind is thus deprived of its thought of God, that is, when the thought of man takes the place of the thought of God, the effect upon the mind is just the same as when one falls down and worship idols of wood and of stone. The effect upon the character is just the same as in the outward and more gross forms of idolatry.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.3

    But what is the present situation with reference to this question of education? You know that it is the studied plan to shut out from the general system of public education that which would in any way teach God. How is it with private institutions, academies, colleges, universities? Do not they teach of God? But many have such false conceptions of the true character of God, and present God to the world in such a false light that their God is but little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia; and the effect upon the mind in studying about God from that standpoint, and in taking in such an idea of God as that, is practically the same as the worship of the sun. It is a species of idolatry.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.4

    I read last night from Neander’s history how the early Christians treated the forms of religion prevalent at that day. They were determined to avoid even the appearance of having anything in common with the pagan religion. I stated that I had recently received a testimony that would bear upon the same point, and I will now read two or three extracts.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.5

    In this country [Australia], Satan has in a most striking manner enthroned himself to control the leading men of the government and the nation. The education which they have received from childhood is erroneous. Many things are regarded as essential which have a most injurious effect upon the people. The many holidays have had a baleful influence upon the minds of the youth; their effect is demoralizing to the government, and they are entirely contrary to the will of God. They have a tendency to encourage an artificial excitement, a desire for amusement. The people are led to squander precious time which should be employed in useful labor to sustain their families honestly and keep clear of debt. The passion for amusements and the squandering of money in horse-racing, in betting, and various similar lines, is increasing the poverty of the country, and deepening the misery that is the sure result of this kind of education. Never can the proper education be given to the youth in this country or in any other country unless they are separated a wide distance from the cities. The customs and practices in the cities unfit the mind of the youth for the entrance of the truth.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.6

    The proper view of education takes in the whole being with reference to what he is, and what God intends he shall be, and has to do with him as a complete being, morally, mentally, and physically.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.7

    The customs and practices in the cities unfit the minds of the youth for the entrance of the truth. The liquor drinking, the smoking and gambling, the horse-racing, the theater-going, the great importance placed upon holidays, all is a species of idolatry, a sacrifice upon idol altars.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.8

    Perhaps you have heard it suggested that it would be a strange thing not to pay any attention to Thanksgiving, and thus be so different from other people. It would be a curious thing not to pay any attention to Christmas, and so attract attention to yourself as being so odd, so peculiar.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.9

    The early Christians would not admit one into communion or into good standing, who only kept away from the gladiatorial shows, the very worst forms of the theater, and other various amusements; they also expect him not to attend the other forms of amusements. That is, they did not expect him to have any thing in common with the worldly ideas and worldly plans. The principle is the same now.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.10

    If people conscientiously attend to their lawful business upon the holidays, they are regarded as mean-spirited and unpatriotic. The Lord cannot be served in this way. Those who multiply the days for pleasure and amusement are really giving patronage to liquor-sellers, and are taking from the poor the very means that should purchase food and clothing for their children, the very means that, used economically, would soon provide a dwelling-place for their families. These evils we can only touch upon. These holidays, with all their train of evils, result in twenty-fold more misery than good. In a large degree the observance of these days is really compulsory.GCB February 15, 1895, page 155.11

    Did you ever feel the compulsory power?GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.1

    Even persons who have been really converted find it difficult to break away from these customs and practices.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.2

    Does it indicate as to whether they should break away or not?GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.3

    Should schools be located in the cities or within a few miles from them, it would be most difficult to counteract the influence of the former education which students have received in regard to those holidays and the practices connected with them, such as horse-racing, betting, and the offering of prizes. The very atmosphere of these cities is full of poisonous malaria. The freedom of the individual is not respected; a man’s time is not regarded as really his own; he is expected to do as others do. Should our school be located in one of these cities, or within a few miles of it, there would be a counter influence working constantly in active exercise, to be met and overcome. The devotion to amusements and the observance of so many holidays give a large business to the courts, to officers and judges, and increase the poverty and squalor, which need no increasing. All this is a false education.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.4

    Here is one more extract bearing upon this same idea.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.5

    The youth in this country require more earnest spiritual labor than in any other country we have yet visited. Temptations are strong and numerous; the many holidays and the habits of idleness are most unfavorable for the young. Satan makes the idle man a partaker and co-worker in his schemes, and the Lord Jesus does not abide in the heart by faith. The children and youth are not educated to realize that their influence is a power for good or for evil. It should ever be kept before them how much they can accomplish; they should be encouraged to reach the highest standard of rectitude. But from their youth up they have been educated to the popular idea that the appointed holidays must be treated with respect and must be observed. From the light that the Lord has given me, these holidays have no more influence for good than would the worship of heathen deities; for it is really nothing less. These days are Satan’s special harvest seasons.”GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.6

    “Come out of her, my people.” The school work is one part of the general work, and plans for our schools should be entirely different from those of the world in order to get out of Babylon. That is, we are to be wholly separate from the world and worldly customs. The ideas ground into the minds of the young people year after year actually mold their character, and give a training to their very being that you cannot change by a sermon or by a revival season. It puts a certain crystallization upon their character that does not change in the appeal of an hour; and when one has been trained year after year on the wrong basis, and the mind has been built out of wrong material and erected upon a wrong foundation, an injury has been done to the life which cannot be remedied. It is just as it is with reference to sin. God may, and does forgive sin, but the scars that sin has made upon the soul remain.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.7

    There is a certain physical basis of character which must be regarded. Habits of mind become fixed just the same as habits of body, and when habits of mind become fixed, that means character. Now if we allow our young people to be molded year in and year out by Satanic influences, we need not expect that under a sudden effort they will be changed over and molded throughout according to God’s pattern.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.8

    Men’s ideas and men’s standard of truth have taken the place of the word of God, and so the minds of our young people are built upon men’s theories, upon men’s conceptions, and the wisdom of God is systematically shut out. What is the effect? — It is to stamp the whole rising generation, the general public mind, with the stamp of idolatry.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.9

    Now what does God call upon his people to do at this time? and what should be the basis of our school work? Let me read just a word from “Christian Education” again. “The Lord himself has signified that schools should be established among us in order that true knowledge may be obtained.” “The knowledge of God is the essential education, and this knowledge every true worker will make it his constant study to obtain.”GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.10

    Our school was established not merely to teach the sciences, but for the purpose of giving instruction in the great principles of God’s word, and in the practical duties of everyday life.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.11

    There is a word in the recent Testimony upon this same line:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.12

    The schools established by those who teach and practice the truth for this time should be so conducted as to bring fresh and new incentives into all kinds of practical labor. There will be much to try the educators, but a great and noble object has been gained when students shall see that love for God is to be revealed, not only in devotion of heart and mind and soul, but in the apt, wise appropriation of their strength. Their temptations will be far less; from them by precept and example light will radiate amid the erroneous theories and fashionable customs of the world. Their influence will tend to correct the false idea that ignorance of these practical things is the mark of a gentleman.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.13

    God’s idea for a man is that he should be developed as a whole and that every faculty of his being should be brought into use, and that every faculty should be developed equally, and that the physical, mental, and moral should all be well balanced. But the popular idea has gained ground, that there is a certain class in the world whose duty it is to do the thinking for the people, and another class to do the drudgery. Those who have developed the mind, whose duty it is to do the thinking for the world, think that they are above the others, and they regard it as degrading to do manual work; and this idea has taken hold of our own minds more than we are willing to confess. It is just as honorable, at the proper time, with the proper clothing on, to dig in the dirt as to dig into books. When one is going into dirty work, he uses bad taste to dress as though he were going into the pulpit. There is nothing dishonorable about dressing properly for proper work, but there is something out of place to be dressed in the garden the same as though one were in the pulpit.GCB February 15, 1895, page 156.14

    It is impossible to give the mind the development that God intended that it should have, apart from the development of the body. A human being is not made in three pieces, and you cannot take one piece and develop that without the other two. The three are one, and if you develop one part of the man and neglect the other, he is not evenly balanced and therefore is not a perfect being. The mind can do its best work only when the body has been developed equally well. But the ordinary plans of education in vogue at the present day take the mental apart from the physical and spiritual, and they result in making man almost a mental monstrosity.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.1

    God has an ideal in his mind for each one, and every human being should make the very best use of the powers and opportunities that are granted to him to attain to this ideal. Now A may be approved of God in doing a certain amount, and B right beside him may go beyond him, and yet not be approved of God in reaching God’s ideal concerning him, because he is not measured by A’s capabilities, but he is measured by what he might be with the opportunities that he has and the powers that God has given him. When training is given in that way, there is no such thing as selfishness; there is no such thing as triumphing over another.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.2

    In view of these principles, I will state briefly what I believe our schools should be for our young people, and on what basis they should be. First, by way of contrast, I should say that schools among Seventh-day Adventists, having in view an entirely different purpose, should not be patterned after any other schools on the face of the earth. It is of no use to hold up an aim before a person, and then put him through a course of training that will make it impossible for him to reach that goal. Now I should lay down as the first principle in planning the work to be done in our schools, that the first place should be given to those studies that will bear most directly upon the work of the Third Angel’s Message. What does that mean in a practical way? It means that the Bible as the word of God shall be first, and as the foundation of every other study. I would have every one in the school study it, and recite it every day. I would have for the teacher of the Bible one who knew the Bible and who knew God; one who knew science, one who knew history, one who knew literature, and who knew the whole curriculum of studies; and I would have him the best educated man in the whole teaching force. The Testimonies say that there is nothing like the Bible for the cultivation of the intellect. But students say, We do not get the development of intellect from the study of the Bible that you said we would, and we must study something else; we must have mathematics to train the intellect. Then they think that in order to have a good education, they must pursue all the studies that are found in these various schools first, and then, if there is any time left, crowd in the Bible. But this order ought to be reversed.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.3

    I would go into science just as deeply as possible, but always with the word of God as a guide; never getting away from that. Knowledge of God is expressed in the flower and tree as on the printed page, only in another way. But he is as surely expressed in the flower and the tree and in the plants and the things of his creation as he is on the printed page. I would put the printed page first, and from that I would study the works of his creation; and there are principles laid down in his word that will keep us from going astray in the study of his creation.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.4

    As showing the wrong theories of education that prevail at the present time, let me read this extract:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.5

    Cities and even country towns are becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah, and like the world in the days of Noah. The training of the youth in those days was after the same order as children are being educated and trained in this age, to love excitement, to glory in themselves, to follow the imagination of their own evil hearts. Now, as then, depravity, cruelty, violence, and crime are the results.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.6

    It is utterly impossible that one should be properly trained, properly developed, or use his powers to the best advantage, apart from God. It is impossible for him to reach the highest measure apart from God. I will read, in closing, a word from “Testimony” 32, page 85:—GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.7

    Here the duties of parents are clearly set forth. The word of God is to be their daily monitor. It gives such instruction that parents need not err in regard to the education of their children, but it admits of no indifference or negligence. The law of God is to be kept before the minds of the children as the great moral standard. When they rise up, and when they sit down, when they go out, and when they come in, this law is to be taught them as the great rule of life, and its principles are to be interwoven in all their experience. They are to be taught to be honest, truthful, temperate, economical, and industrious, and to love God with the whole heart. This is bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.GCB February 15, 1895, page 157.8

    Larger font
    Smaller font