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Battlefield of Singapore on Our Headquarter

Adventists Struggle.
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  H. A. ROBERTS A HYMN OF TRUST God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is bur refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. . . . Psalm 46 . . . THE ADVENT AB BAT H REVIEW ND HERALD GENERAL CHURCH PAPER OF THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS DEDICATEIVt0 THE PROCLAMATION OF THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL Ifni ni bin 57 AMA PARK WASHINGTON, D. C., U. S. A. ECEMBER 28, 1944  ã EDITORI Lã T HE apostle Paul was on his way to Rome. He had appealed to the decision of Caesar, and, accom- panied by other prisoners, with a guard of soldiers, was journeying by boat to the Roman capital. A terrible storm arose; the ship was tempest tossed. For fourteen days it had been driven about by the wind, the sailors not knowing their location. Time and again it seemed that all was lost ; hope had well-nigh fled from every heart. Finally so severe a crisis was reached that even the experienced sailors quailed before it. They prepared to let down the boats that they might escape, leaving the prisoners in the sinking vessel ; but by the words of the apostle they were prevented from taking this step. To the centurion he said, Ex- cept these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Only by co-operation and united ef- Abide in the Ship fort could they hope to weather the storm and reach the shore at last. Acting on Paul's counsel, the soldiers cut the ropes holding the boats, thus preventing the seamen from making their escape. Inspired by the apostle's faith and fortitude, through their united efforts and the blessing of God, all finally escaped to land from their perilous situation. On life's tempestuous sea it is neces- sary for us, would we reach the shore at last, to abide in the ship. Satan is seeking to engulf us; the waves of evil sweep in from every quarter. Our sky is so overcast that it seems at times that no star of hope pierces the gloom. In darkness and almost in despair we wage battle with the principles of evil, but let us not cast away our confidence nor forsake the work and truth of God. Unlike the ship on which the apostle Paul and his companions sailed, the old ship Zion will safely make the harbor at last. Her pilot and captain is the Lord Jesus Christ; He knows every dangerous reef and hidden shoal. At times shipwreck may seem to threaten ; it may seem that the work of God will go to pieces, and we be left stranded and shipwrecked; but an unseen Intel-ligence is keeping watch over the des- tinies of God's children. Not one humble, trusting soul will be lost. Let us be brave, courageous, and hopeful; soon we shall be sheltered within the harbor of eternal rest. Let us remain in the ship, be true to God and to His work, exemplify in our lives the prin-ciples of His blessed gospel, and trust Him to lead us safely through to the end of the journey. We shall find that we have not labored in vain, nor trusted in vain. In the fullness of our joy every hope will be realized. F. M. W. The Sacredness of Church Membership I S it possible that the sacredness of church membership is not appreci- ated as it should be? It often ap- pears so. Too many members are lost to the church merely because they do not keep in active contact with the church where their membership is re-corded. As church boards go over the list of names on the church books each year, they find those whom they are unable to trace and from whom they have not heard for many months and even years. What should be done with such de- linquent members? They have not done any great sin, perhaps, for which they should be disfellowshiped. They have not lost faith in the principles which they have professed to believe. They have simply neglected to keep the line of fellowship open, but for this they must be put on the list of missing members. If they are missing too long, then they must be pronounced dead to the church and their names taken off the records. It is with no feeling of gratitude that a church must do this. It is al- ways a painful process to take off names and always a joyful one to add them. The rule of the church regard- ing missing members as found in the Church Manual and reiterated at the recent Fall Council, reads as follows: It is a serious thing for a church member to regard the obligations of church membership so lightly that he can absent himself for indefinite peri- ods and make no report of his faith and hope to the church. After an ab- sence of two years, such a member may be dropped from the rolls of the church by a vote of the church, pro- vided the church officers can certify that they have faithfully endeavored to locate and encourage the absent member, but without success. Seeking Out Missing Members Two duties are implied in this regu- lation of the church : One is the duty of the member to maintain active con- tact with the church where his mem-bership is held. The other is the duty of the church board to endeavor to lo- cate the member and learn of his Christian experience before the church takes any action. A church board is not justified in going through the church record and recommending to the church the disfellowshiping of all those who have not been heard from for two years. It may be difficult for church leaders in small country churches to know how they can reach a missing member when no one else in the church has a knowledge of the whereabouts of such a member. If this is the case, before the church takes action it should get in touch with the conference office and seek the needed information. In one instance, strange to say, cer-tain members of a small church were disfellowshiped because they had not been heard from for a long period, when they were in fact at the time working faithfully in one of our insti- tutions. While it may have been well known in certain quarters where these people were, yet the local church may not have had any knowledge as to how they might locate them. And it is even possible in our growing work that the local conference officials might have no knowledge that certain people are employed at some institutions in our work. As the membership of the church grows and large city and insti- tutional churches are developed, it will become easier for a member to be lost. Thus the largest responsibility in regard to continued church member-ship rests upon the member himself. He can offer no excuse for loss of mem- bership status if he does not keep in touch with his local church. No mat- ter how well known he may think his affairs and his location may be, there is always a possibility of an uninten-tional mistake being made if he does not preserve some active contact with his church. An Active Membership Perhaps too many feel that once a member always a member. This may be the situation in some churches, but 2 T LI IC rt xff _  DECEMBER28 1944 it is not so in the Seventh-day Advent- ist Church. Church membership is a matter which has to do with active be- lief. The church is a body of people who hold the same faith and seek to perform a common task which they believe has been committed to them by God. When one no longer believes in the truths held by the church or is not an active member in the church, then he ceases in fact to be a church member in spirit whether or not his name is upon the record book. It would be out of keeping with the sacred privilege of church fellowship to keep the names of such indifferent and faithless members upon the church rolls. Christ, in His instruction to His dis-ciples, made it possible for the church to keep its records clean. The church should strive toward perfection. It should seek to keep its records as nearly like the records in heaven as possible. However, with the finite in- sight of man, those appointed to care for the church and keep it pure cannot possibly know the true standing of all the members of the church before God. When it is clearly evident that a mem- ber has no regard for either the truths of the church or the commandments of God, then it is the duty of the church to act and sever his membership after it is seen that the member is unrepent- ant. Perhaps some feel that a minor thing such as not reporting one's whereabouts to the church should not be a sufficient cause for losing one's membership ; yet in substance the in- difference thus shown reveals a lack that testifies against him. One who regards church membership thus lightly needs to be given instruction as to its sacredness and the duty of keeping active contact with the church. A Sacred Privilege To be a member of the body of Christ is a sacred privilege that must not be compared with any other rela- tionship in life. One must never be indifferent to it. The fellowship of church members should be a close one. The activities of the church should be kept in mind. Attendance at Sabbath school, Sabbath worship, and prayer meeting should be considered not only a duty, as it is, but also a privilege. Close contact should be kept with church officers. All members of the church should be free to ask counsel of the church pastor, the elders, deacons, and deaconesses. Requests for visits in the home should be made. Though these officers are often overburdened, they are always only too happy to an- swer requests for help. They should be kept informed as to the status of each member. When members are to be away from the church for an extended period of time, church officers should be informed as to the whereabouts of the member. If one is to be resident in another place where there is a church, the membership should be transferred. If, on the other hand, the stay is to be indefinite, or for other reasons one does not wish to have his membership transferred, then it is the duty of the member to keep the church fully informed as to his spiritual ex- perience. In the early days of the work, when churches were small and the organiza- tion simple, the quarterly service was the time for reading off the church list. If the member was present, he would stand and witness to his faith. If the member was to be absent, he would write a letter to the church, stating his continued faith in the mes- sage. If a member was not thus con-tacted, church officers immediately sought out the missing one, or endeav-ored to locate him. Keeping the Church Informed It would be a fine thing if this pro- cedure could be continued to a certain extent. If a member is to be absent from his church for some months, it would be well for him to write a letter at least once a quarter to some officer of his church, telling of his faith and hope in the Lord. Another way for the member to keep contact is to send back to his church at regular periods his tithe and general offerings. This at least would be some evidence of his faith in the truth and would keep the officers informed as to his whereabouts. It is the duty of the member to pay tithe to the local church where he keeps his 5 ,, mbership. The local church apprediates this not only because all financial and soul-winning goals are reckoned on the active mem- bership list but more particularly be-cause the church can thus keep track of its members and be somewhat in- formed as to their Christian experi- ence. What we wish to emphasize in these remarks is that it is the duty of the member to be active in his church relationship, to keep in touch with his church officers, and not wait for them to contact him. While the officers have their own responsibilities, they cannot completely fulfill them unless they have the active co-operation of the mem- bers. It is far easier for the lone member to keep the church informed as to his status than it is for the church to seek this information from all its members. It is the duty of the member to take the initiative in these matters. When a member understands the sacred privilege that is his, he will remember to do this. . L. When the Spirit of Prophecy Cried, Behold the Cities HAT call was especially ringing in our ears forty years ago. The moving of the General Conference headquarters to Washington in 1903 was thought of by all our watchful people as a move to bring our work closer to the populous eastern parts of North America. No sooner had the move been made, and the new head- quarters' institutional interests set under way—publishing work, school, and sanitarium—than the calls of the Spirit of prophecy pressed in, urging determined efforts for preaching the message in the cities. Behold the cities, and their need of the gospel —Testimonies, Vol. IX, p. 97. It was not merely the eastern sea- board that - was in mind. He bids us enter the cities of the East, and of the South, and of the West, and of the North. —Id., p. 99. Our work has a ii n VA PRATH HFRAI 1 been late in getting into the great cen- ters. I remember that when S. N. Haskell, one of . the pioneers, led a party over to England, to open work in London, they spent the Sabbath in New York City before sailing. It was in 1887. We did not know of a Sev- enth-day Adventist in the city. A brother from Brooklyn piloted the party to an upstairs room in a Brook- lyn warehouse, where a group of half a dozen met. And when the party reached London, there was but one member in that great city, faithful Mrs. Marsh, whose children and grand- children we have seen in the work in Europe and America and New Zealand. Not until 1893 did we rejoice over the first two members in Berlin, the great- est city on the Continent. By 1903, when this move to Wash- ington took place—when the call Be- hold the cities came with renewed force—there had been a good entry into the cities. In 1903 we were re- joicing over three groups in New York City. But now the call came for de-termined efforts for city evangeliza- tion. The calls pressed upon the presi-dent of the General Conference, A. G. Daniells, to do something stronger about it. He had his hands full of work for all the world field that was opening up. But he met union and local conference leaders and counseled advances all about. However, there was no end to those insistent messages by the Spirit of prophecy. A note of warning about them, and almost of censure that some-thing more was not being done, was re- ceived. Elder Daniells was nearly at his wit's end. Still the messages came. There was a matter of importance 3  about the world advance that he wanted to counsel with Mrs. White about while he was attending meetings on the Pacific Coast. He asked for an interview. No, she could not give him an appointment then. This city work pressed so greatly upon her heart and mind she could give attention only to that. Then came a very plain message. The next thing to be done on the part of the president of the General Con- ference was to take his Bible, go into the city work himself, and preach from the platform. No one before had read that into those messages. But that was the next step. And Elder Daniells did it. He dropped the things of the general work that seemed pressing enough and went out for a time into city evangelistic work. One might say, But what appre- ciable effect on the whole problem could one man's help achieve ? However, as he went out in obedience to counsel, there was an effect, beyond what any one person could do. The whole mat- ter of the cities came into the center of the spotlight, as it were, by this call for the president to drop the general work and lend a hand with the city evangelists. It is of no use to try to analyze it. But it was obedience to the Spirit's call., It was a spark that kindled a flame that rose higher and higher, and that continued to burn brighter after the elder had returned to his work in regular General Confer- ence affairs. It worked. And at once the pressure of the mes- sages upon him ceased, though the appeals for -the cities gave no confer- ence man any rest. This great need is kept before me night and day, she told the 1909 General Conference. (Bulletin, p. 98 ; Life Sketches, p. 418.) At that General Conference session in Washington, Mrs. White called the delegates from the European fields to- gether and pressed the situation and needs upon them most earnestly. She had had representations of falling buildings and scenes of destruction by war with people scattered from the cities in grief and terror. And she had seen honest hearts waiting for the message in the cities. All through the large cities God has honest souls who are interested in what is truth. —Testimonies, Vol. IX, p. 98. The human agent of the gift passed away in 1915. But regardless of what any of us may say in explanation or what may be said by any unbeliever to depreciate the work of that gift, those messages borne to the brethren and believers under the pressure laid upon the agent in the gift, started a sub- stantial work that still bears fruit in the city centers of all the continents. The living God used that gift. Why did not Mrs. White settle down easily in her old age and let the responsible brethren do the appealing and the urg- ing? She could not settle down and be comfortable. This was the burden laid upon her by the gift that she had accepted as a girl, in 1844. She told that General Conference delegation, in 1909, the last session she ever at- tended: Before leaving home I promised the Lord that if He would spare my life, and enable me to come to this Con- ference, I would deliver the message DECEMBER 28, 1944 He had repeatedly given me in behalf of the cities, in which thousands upon thousands are perishing without a knowledge of the truth. As I have borne this message to the people, the blessing of God has rested on me richly. And now, my brethren, I ap- peal to you in the name of the Lord to do your best, and to plan for the ad-vancement of the work in God's ap- pointed way. —Life Sketches, p. 424. The brethren accepted the burden. One sees them working away at it to this day in every union and local con- ference. We see the results in the re- ports of baptisms in city efforts, in the _ pictures of great audiences appearing in our papers and in newspapers, and in churches erected in the great cen- ters, and we see it in the numerous rented halls secured as meeting places. The last statististical report shows Greater New York now with fifty-six churches. Some of these are outside the city, in fringes of country that naturally go with that conference. As we look to the wrecked cities of Europe and their inhabitants scattered hither and yon, we thank God for these years of more vigorous public evangelism, and for the hearers that had the blessed hope planted in their hearts to hold them in times like these. The last time I was in Europe, our meeting places in Greater Berlin, if I remem-ber correctly, were about twenty-six in number. Yes, we have seen the results of the Lord's counsels and workings in a special way in the city work in these forty years, and we should continue to give heed to them. . A. S The Historical Background of Seventh-day Adventism—Part 42 The Last Days of Millerism F OR years the river of Millerism * ad flowed on in ever-increasing volume. It was no meandering stream, listlessly spreading over flat country for lack of sharply defined banks. There was a sense of urgency, of hastening toward a destination, that gave velocity and a sharply defined course to the river. Though there were eddies and swirls and cross cur- rents and even marshy spots along the banks, these were mere incidentals. The main course and character of the stream were evident to all. Now the river of Millerism expected to be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity on October 22—Millerite charts marked out no land beyond that point. nstead, the erstwhile fast- moving stream poured out over an arid, uncharted waste. The scorching sun of disappointment beat down, and the burning winds of ridicule swept in from every side. The river sud- denly lost its velocity. There was no momentum to cut a clearly marked channel in this new, parched land. Sun and wind quickly began to play havoc with this directionless body of water, now spread thinly over a wide area. While a central stream of what had once been an impressive river was more or less well defined, there were many lesser streams, which often ended in miniature dead seas, where stagnation and evaporation soon did their work. Indeed, no small part of the once large river, when evaporated under the scorching sun of disappoint- ment, was finally returned to the sources from whence it came, the other rivers in the religious world. Speaking Literally To turn to literal language, the Millerite movement was not consti- tuted to meet the conditions that con- fronted it after 1844. Miller had con- sistently held before the movement the ideal of an interchurch awakening on the doctrine of the soon coming of Christ. The various advent confer- ences repeatedly declared that Miller-ism did not seek to create another de-nomination nor disturb the church re- lationship of anyone. And even the cry to come out of the churches, which was finally sounded, did not have as its purpose creating a new church, but simply lifting men out of a hostile at- mosphere in anticipation of the imme- diate advent of Christ. Why should the leaders build a close-knit organi- zation They expected the perfect order and organization of heaven to shape their affairs in the immediate future, It is therefore no occasion for sur= prise, nor any indictment of Millerism, Published by the Seventh-day Adventists. Printed every Thursday by the Review and Herald Publishing Association, at Takoma Park, Wash-ington 12. D. C., U. S. A. Entered as second-class matter August 14, 1908, at the post office at Washington. D. C., under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1879. Vol. 121, No. 52. One year, $3.
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