Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 57—Organization

August 3, 1861, I was shown that some have feared that our churches would become Babylon if they should organize; but those in central New York have been perfect Babylon, confusion. And now unless the churches are so organized that they can carry out and enforce order, they have nothing to hope for in the future; they must scatter into fragments. Previous teachings have nourished the elements of disunion. A spirit has been cherished to watch and accuse, rather than to build up. If ministers of God would unitedly take their position, and maintain it with decision, there would be a uniting influence among the flock of God. Separating bars would be broken to fragments. Hearts would flow together and unite like drops of water. Then there would be a power and strength in the ranks of Sabbathkeepers far exceeding anything we have yet witnessed. 1T 270.3

The hearts of God's servants are made sad as they journey from church to church, by meeting the opposing influence of other ministering brethren. There are those who have stood ready to oppose every advance step that God's people have taken. The hearts of those who have dared to venture out are saddened and distressed by the lack of union of action on the part of their fellow laborers. We are living in a solemn time. Satan and evil angels are working with mighty power, with the world on their side to help them. And professed Sabbathkeepers who claim to believe solemn, important truth unite their forces with the combined influence of the powers of darkness to distract and tear down that which God designs to build up. The influence of such is recorded as of those who retard the advancement of reform among God's people. 1T 271.1

The agitation of the subject of organization has revealed a great lack of moral courage on the part of the ministers proclaiming present truth. Some who were convinced that organization was right have failed to stand up boldly and advocate it. They let some few understand that they favored it. Was this all that God required of them? No; He was displeased with their cowardly silence and lack of action. They feared blame and opposition. They watched the brethren generally to see how their pulse beat, before standing manfully for what they believed to be right. The people waited for the voice of their favorite ministers, and because they could hear no response in its favor from them, decided that organization was wrong. 1T 271.2

Thus the influence of some of the ministers was against organization, while they professed to be in favor of it. They were afraid of losing their influence. But someone must move out and bear responsibility, and venture his influence; and as the one who has done this has become inured to censure and blame, he is suffered to bear it. His fellow laborers, who should stand by his side and take their share of the burden, are looking on to see how he succeeds in fighting the battle alone. But God marks his distress, his anguish, his tears, his discouragement and despair, while his mind is taxed almost beyond endurance; and when ready to sink, God lifts him up and points him to the rest for the weary, the reward for the faithful; and again he puts his shoulder under the heavy burden. I saw that all will be rewarded as their works shall be. Those who shun responsibility will meet with loss in the end. The time for ministers to stand together is when the battle goes hard. 1T 271.3