Manuscript Releases, vol. 6 [Nos. 347-418]
MR No. 367—Competitive Sports in Adventist Schools
Among the youth the passion for football games and other kindred selfish gratifications have been misleading in their influence. Watchfulness and prayer and daily consecration to God have not been maintained. Converse, communion with God, is life to the soul. The light has been beclouded, and it was well pleasing to Satan to have the impression go forth that notwithstanding the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in behalf of our institutions of learning, and the office of publication and the church, they fell back to be overcome by temptation. Satan and evil workers cast reflection upon God, and His name has been dishonored.... 6MR 127.1
The instructors ought to have had wisdom to follow the indications of the Holy Spirit, and go on from grace to grace, leading the youth to make the most of the light and grace given. They should have taught the youth that the Holy Spirit, which was imparted in great measure, was to help them to use their time and ability to do the very highest service for the Master, showing forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. But instead of this, many went more eagerly in pursuit of pleasure. There were witnesses upon the pleasure-grounds, heavenly intelligences that made the records in the book of God of transactions that many will not care to meet in the day when every work shall be manifest. Not only were heavenly messengers present, but the synagogue of Satan were on the ground to exult that his ingenious methods had in a great measure thwarted the purpose for which God gave the Holy Spirit. God desired to carry the youth forward and upward that they might understand by experience the words of the inspired apostle, “We are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” Of how many who exhibited their qualifications in the games could this be said? ... 6MR 127.2
Use your God-entrusted capital of means to arm and equip men to enlist in the army of the Lord as soldiers of Jesus Christ. Teach them that it is not the indulgence of every whim which youth may suggest that will facilitate their growth in Christian experience. Selfish gratification is the snare and curse of our youth. Their abilities are misapplied. Through erroneous ideas parents, friends, and guardians—whose money supports them in the school—seek to gratify their desires in order, as they suppose, to make them happy. This very course of action is blocking their way; it encourages selfish indulgence; it prevents them from entering the narrow, heavenward path. O that the Lord may anoint the blind eyes, that they may see! 6MR 128.1
It is not impressed upon the minds of the young that self-denial, cross-bearing for Christ's sake, is to be a part of their religious experience. They think it all right for them to be sustained and educated, and to spend money to gratify their desires for selfish indulgence. There is danger that these poor souls will never understand what it means to follow Christ in self-denial and bearing the cross and to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. They will be like a reed in the wind. Let the youth consider that they are deciding their own destiny for eternity by the characters they form in this life.... 6MR 128.2
The heavenly intelligences are waiting to cooperate with the human agent in reshaping his character according to the divine model. Will the human agent do his God-given work, or will he bend all his efforts toward shaping the character after the worldly pattern? See 1 Corinthians 1:3-8—Letter 47, 1893, pp. 3, 5-9. (To W. W. Prescott, October 25, 1893.) 6MR 128.3
Released April 16, 1974.