Love Under Fire


Fanaticism Appears

About this time, fanaticism began to appear. Some who claimed to be believers showed a bigoted zeal. Their fanatical ideas gained no sympathy from the great majority of Adventists, yet they brought disgrace on the cause of truth. LF 164.2

Satan was losing his servants, and in order give the cause of God a bad reputation, he worked to deceive some who called themselves believers and drive them to extremes. Then his followers stood ready to take hold of every error, every strange or questionable act, and hold it up in the most exaggerated light to portray Adventists as a disgrace. The more people he could crowd in to profess faith in the Second Advent while his power controlled their hearts, the more advantage he would gain. LF 164.3

Satan is “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). His spirit inspires his followers to watch for defects in the Lord's people and hold them up to notice, while not mentioning their good deeds. LF 164.4

In all the history of the church no reformation has moved forward without meeting serious obstacles. Wherever Paul raised up a church, some who claimed to receive the faith brought in heresies. Luther also experienced distress from fanatical persons who claimed that God had spoken directly through them, who put their own ideas above Scripture. Many were deceived by the new teachers and joined Satan in tearing down what God had led Luther to build up. The Wesleys saw Satan's work in pushing unbalanced, unsanctified people into fanaticism. LF 164.5

William Miller had no sympathy with fanaticism. “The devil,” said Miller, “has great power over the minds of some today.” “I have often gotten more evidence of genuine devotion to God from an animated eye, a wet cheek, and a choked response, than from all the noise in Christendom.”1 LF 164.6

In the Reformation its enemies blamed the evils of fanaticism on the ones who were working most earnestly against it. Those who opposed the Advent movement followed a similar course. Not content with exaggerating the errors of fanatics, they spread reports that had not a shred of truth. Their peace was disturbed by the proclamation that Christ was almost here. They feared it might be true, yet hoped it was not. This was the secret of their warfare against Adventists. LF 165.1

The preaching of the first angel's message tended directly to hold fanaticism back. Those who participated in these solemn movements were in harmony. Their hearts were filled with love for one another and for Jesus, whom they expected soon to see. The one faith, the one blessed hope, proved to be a shield against Satan's assaults. LF 165.2