ARE WE BETTER THAN OUR TYPES?
Long has the attention of the world been called to the principles of religious liberty, enunciated by the Author of Christianity, and incorporated in the articles of our Federal Government, and in turn became a part of the American Constitution, but a new day seems to have dawned, and one is led to inquire whether we shall maintain these beautiful principles of liberty, given us as a heritage from the pioneers of the Advent message, or shall we, like the Jews of old, reject any message God may choose to send to us, and persecute those who dare to accept it?
We have just finished reading an article, published in one of the official organs of our church (S.D.A.), which, to say the least, contains some of the most vitriolic utterances we have seen in many a day. The free use of undignified expressions, seems to be justified by the writer of them because there is a group of men and women, residing in his territory who have followed the fundamental teachings of the S.D.A. church by making personal investigation of The Shepherd’s Rod message, and now this Elder insinuates that the “State Institutions” should house such people, and goes on to denounce them as “erratic” and “vultures or buzzards” and “hypocritical,” manifesting his hatred for those of his own brethren, who dare to think for themselves.
No wonder Sr. White told us long ago that we are repeating the history of ancient Israel, and that we have done even “worse than they.” “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, p. 129
Speaking of the “great sin” of our types, the Spirit of Prophecy says, ìThe great sin of the Jews was that of neglecting and rejecting present opportunities. As Jesus views the state of His professed followers today, He sees base ingratitude, hollow formalism, hypocritical insincerity, Pharisaical pride and apostasy.” – “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 72.
As these words of rebuke are against the ministry, it clearly shows the worst form of apostasy will arise within the church and that not from among the laity but through the leadership.
That we, as a people, have lost our moorings is further shown by the following words: ìWe have wandered away from the old landmarks.” Again: “The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader,and is steadily retreating toward Egypt.” – “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, pp. 137, 217.
It is bad enough to be found guilty of backsliding and apostasy, but how much worse it is when the church in her “sad deception” turns against those who refuse to sanction the sins of modern Israel and seek to deny them the God-given liberty vouchsafed by the founding fathers of our government and espoused by the pioneers of this “Great Second Advent movement.”
Is it not high time to “cry aloud, and spare not”?
May God help us, who profess to be carrying a reformatory message to God’s church, to ever keep these beautiful principles of religious liberty in our hearts and not repeat the mistakes of the Jews, the Romans, and of our own brethren of today, and show by precept and example that we not only teach, but practice the Golden Rule.
Symbolic Code, Vol. 1, No. 13, pp. 8, 9 (July 1935)