Manuscript Releases, vol. 10 [Nos. 771-850]


MR No. 779—Religious Use of Buildings Once Used for Corrupt Purposes

I have been asked the question, Is it right for our people to purchase the hall in which Elder [S. N.] Haskell has been holding meetings in New York, seeing that this hall was once used for wicked purposes? 10MR 14.1

I reply, Were I at liberty to express my mind in regard to many of the fine houses in our cities, I could tell you much that would astonish you. And most revolting disclosures could be made regarding some who attend our meetings. But we do not say to our ministers, “Why do you spend your time on such a wicked audience?” What said Christ when accused of eating with publicans and sinners?—“I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 10MR 14.2

This world is our field of missionary toil, but how few among Seventh-day Adventists have realized this! The condition of our large cities is represented by the condition of the world before the flood, when “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God-dishonoring sins are practiced by people living in lordly houses, but some of these very people under the preaching of the last testing message will be convicted and converted. From His inexhaustible store of grace God can endow all who come to Him. Looking upon humanity, fallen and degraded, He declares that the Holy Spirit shall be poured out upon all flesh. Many who have never heard the truth shall feel the conviction of the Spirit as they listen to the message of startling importance. 10MR 14.3

If the hall mentioned is in a position favorable for our work, and if God sees fit to open the way for us to purchase this hall, and it is changed from a place where God is dishonored to a place where He is honored—taken away from those who have corrupted it, and placed in the hands of a people who are striving for sanctification and holiness—will not a victory be gained for the Lord? 10MR 15.1

Look at this matter in a rational light, and you will see that the building is innocent of any crime. The disgrace has been brought on it by men who have perverted their God-given powers. The building itself has done nothing wrong. The behavior of wicked men has given it a bad name. Not the building, but the men who have dishonored their Creator by a wrong use of it, should be stigmatized. They have perverted their powers by the use of strong drink—a curse that has made thousands of buildings a hell on earth.—Manuscript 127, 1901, 2-4. ( Untitled Manuscript, December 23, 1901.) 10MR 15.2

White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

March 17, 1980.