Manuscript Releases, vol. 9 [Nos. 664-770]


MR No. 770—Expensive Theatrical Evangelistic Displays

Gospel meetings can be conducted in such a way as to consume much money from the Lord's treasury in an effort to make a display.... 9MR 387.1

Those who make use of devices that are theatrical in nature, to hold the attention of the people, lose the realization of the presence of Christ. Those who use so much time in preparing for their meetings, depending to a large extent on outward appearance to impress the people, give Jesus no opportunity to work on hearts. They mingle the common with the sacred.... 9MR 387.2

Let Elder [E. E.] Franke begin to lay a different foundation for his work, not depending so much on outward display and expensive preparation to call the people out to hear the truth. Brother Franke, thus yourself and your family are brought in, and God is left out. The creature is put before the Creator. The appetite of the people for a theatrical style of preaching may be satisfied, but the effects made have not saving results. Outward display, expensive arrangements, do not give the people the education in gospel missionary work that the Lord desires them to receive. These things work against the truth, hindering instead of advancing it; for the truth is mingled with common, worldly methods. God's money is not to be expended in this way.... 9MR 387.3

The object of all we do, whether we eat, or drink, or whatever we do, is to be the glory of God. The health and strength that He has given us is to be carefully guarded. We are never to plan our work in a way that calls for a prodigal outlay of means or for an undue taxation of the mental and physical powers. The worker who plans his work in this way does great harm to himself. He worries, and his mind is worn out by his anxiety to make everything appear to what he supposes to be the best effect, for he gets nervous if he cannot obtain all the means he needs to carry out his plans to his satisfaction. While a worker follows such methods, he cannot be guided by the Holy Spirit. He is working in a worldly way to satisfy a worldly appetite. He forgets that true success is dependent on the One who has said, “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). The things that should have taken the first and highest control of the mind are lost sight of in the effort to make a striking impression. The common fire, not the sacred fire of God's kindling, is used. 9MR 387.4

In our effort to proclaim the truth, God's glory is ever to be kept in view. We are to worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness. We are to appear before Him cleansed and purified, so that He can teach us the meaning of the words, “We are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).... 9MR 388.1

The work in Greater New York is to be carried on in a way that will properly represent the sacredness and holiness of the truth of God. Vegetarian restaurants, treatment rooms, cooking schools, are to be established. The people are to be taught how to prepare wholesome food. They are to be shown the need of discarding tea, coffee, and flesh-meat. There are to be suitably furnished rooms, where people can be received and given religious instruction. These things are necessary for the advancement of the work. The work is not to be carried on in such a self-sacrificing way that an unfavorable impression will be made on the minds of the people, because of its meager showing. All that is done is to bear favorable witness to the Author of truth. The worship of God in the beauty of holiness demands a dignity and nicety that is in harmony with the sacredness and importance of the truth.—Letter 49, 1902, pp. 4, 5, 8, 10-12. (To S. N. Haskell and wife, February 5, 1902.) 9MR 388.2

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

March 3, 1980.