Prejudice Broken Down

Bible Readings and Visitation Prepare for the Effort—The work is to commence quietly without noise or trumpeting. It is to commence by giving Bible readings and thus educating the people. This plan will be far more efficient than starting in with sermons.—Letter 89a, 1895. Ev 445.1

Opposition Avoided by Personal Work—In God's service obstacles must be met and difficulties encountered. Events belong to God; and His servants must meet with difficulties and opposition; for they are His chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of sure progress, advancement, and success. But I entreat the servants of the Lord Jesus to remember that there is a work which may be done quietly, without arousing that strong opposition which closes hearts to the truth.—Letter 95, 1896. Ev 445.2

Visitation Determines Wisdom of Public Effort—I tell you in the name of the Lord that with your present force of workers, you are not prepared to engage in work in a hard place where the prejudice is strong. If half of the time usually spent in making public effort were devoted to house-to-house teaching, till the people had become acquainted with the religious sincerity of the workers and with the reasons of their faith, it would be much better. After this work has been done, it could be decided whether a more expensive effort would be advisable. Ev 445.3

Public efforts have been made which have accomplished good. Some have responded and received the truth, but, oh, how few these have been. The Lord desires that the truth shall come close to the people, and this work can only be accomplished by personal labor.—Letter 95, 1896. Ev 445.4

Tact Required to Break Down Prejudice—Nathanael was praying to know whether this was indeed the Christ of whom Moses and the prophets had spoken. While he continued to pray, one of those who had been brought to Christ, Philip by name, called to him and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Notice how quickly prejudice arises. Nathanael says, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip knew the strong prejudice that existed in the minds of many against Nazareth, and he did not try to argue with him, for fear of raising his combativeness, but simply said, “Come and see.” Ev 446.1

Here is a lesson for all our ministers, colporteurs, and missionary workers. When you meet those, who, like Nathanael, are prejudiced against the truth, do not urge your peculiar views too strongly. Talk with them at first of subjects upon which you can agree. Bow with them in prayer, and in humble faith present your petitions at the throne of grace. Both you and they will be brought into a closer connection with heaven, prejudice will be weakened, and it will be easier to reach the heart.—Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 149 (1886). Ev 446.2