Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Needs of the Church in Christiania

And now there was need in Christiania to use the “shears” again. She had been writing to believers there ever since her previous visit and she identified two reasons why the church was in a demoralized condition: “A neglect to keep the Sabbath properly, and a tolerating of meddlers. There are talkers here,” she wrote, “whose tongues are set on fire of hell” (Manuscript 57, 1886). EGWE 201.5

Mrs. Oyen had written to Ellen White in April expressing her despair over the condition of things. “I sometimes think some of the members of this church have no hearts, and only enjoy themselves when finding fault and abusing someone.”—Mrs. A. B. Oyen letter, April 11, 1886. In early May, Elder Oyen reported that he had received a testimony from Ellen White and read it to the church. Some of the people responded favorably to the testimony. Mr. L. Hansen, the building contractor who had been breaking the Sabbath, admitted that he had been in error, and resolved to do better in the future. But there were others, Elder Oyen reported, who remained silent and offended. EGWE 201.6

The man who had promoted the idea that photographs were a violation of the second commandment refused to accept Ellen White's testimony. Immediately after the meeting where it was read, he called a few of the dissatisfied church members to his house. Oyen did not know what the meeting was about, but wrote, “Their principal burden heretofore has seemed to be to criticize and find fault with just about everything that is done in the church” (A. B. Oyen letter, May 2, 1886). EGWE 202.1

Mrs. White had met such unhappy situations before in America, even at the headquarters church in Battle Creek. And it called forth a strong testimony! (See Testimonies for the Church 1:526-528). The most devastating observations about the awful evils of unjust criticism appeared in her book Education in 1903: EGWE 202.2

“We think with horror of the cannibal who feasts on the still warm and trembling flesh of his victim; but are the results of even this practice more terrible than are the agony and ruin caused by misrepresenting motive, blackening reputation, dissecting character?”—Page 235. EGWE 202.3