Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1


Chapter 89—Surmisings About Battle Creek

In 1865 I saw that some have felt at liberty, through envious feelings, to speak lightly of the church at Battle Creek. Some look suspiciously on all that is going on there and seem to exult if they can get hold of anything to take advantage of to the discredit of Battle Creek. God is displeased with such a spirit and course of action. From what source do our churches abroad obtain their light and knowledge of the truth? It has been from the means which God has ordained, which center at Battle Creek. Who have the burdens of the cause? It is those who are zealously laboring at Battle Creek. Burdens and heavy trials necessarily come upon those who stand in the forefront of the hottest battle, and perplexities and wearing thought are attendant upon all who engage in making highly important decisions in connection with the work of God. Our brethren abroad, who are relieved from all this, should feel thankful and praise God that they are thus favored and should be the last to be jealous, envious, and faultfinding, occupying a position, “Report, and we will report it.” 1T 526.1

The church at Battle Creek have borne the burdens of the Conferences, which have been a severe tax upon nearly all. In consequence of the extra labor many have brought upon themselves debility which has lasted for many months. They have borne the burden cheerfully, but have felt saddened and disheartened by the heartless indifference of some and the cruel jealousy of others after they returned to the several churches whence they came. Remarks are thoughtlessly made—by some designedly, by others carelessly—concerning the burden bearers there and concerning those who stand at the head of the work. God has marked all these speeches and the jealousy and envy which prompted them; a faithful record is kept. Many thank God for the truth and then turn around and question and find fault with the very means which Heaven has ordained to make them what they are or what they ought to be. How much more pleasing to God it would be for them to act the part of Aaron and Hur and help hold up the hands of those who are bearing the great and heavy burdens of the work in connection with the cause of God. Murmurers and complainers should remain at home, where they will be out of the way of temptation, where they cannot find food for their jealousies, evil surmisings, and faultfindings, for the presence of such is only a burden to the meetings; they are clouds without water. 1T 526.2

Those who feel at liberty to find fault with and censure those whom God has chosen to act an important part in this last great work would better seek to be converted and to obtain the mind of Christ. Let them remember the children of Israel who were so ready to find fault with Moses, whom God had ordained to lead His people to Canaan, and to murmur against even God Himself. All these murmurers fell in the wilderness. It is easy to rebel, easy to give battle before considering matters rationally, calmly, and settling whether there is anything to war against. The children of Israel are an example to us upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1T 527.1

It is easier for many to question and find fault in regard to matters at Battle Creek than to tell what should be done. Some would even venture to take this responsibility, but they would soon find themselves deficient in experience and would run the work into the ground. If these talkers and faultfinders would themselves become burden bearers and pray for the laborers, they would be blessed themselves and would bless others with their godly example, with their holy influence and lives. It is easier for many to talk than to pray; such lack spirituality and holiness, and their influence is an injury to the cause of God. Instead of feeling that the work at Battle Creek is their work, and that they have an interest in its prosperity, they stand aside more as spectators, to question and find fault. Those who do this are the very ones who lack experience in this work and who have suffered but little for the truth's sake. 1T 527.2