Summary of Spirit of Prophecy readings on the false application of church authority.
I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis. 17MR 306.3
We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, Unify, unify. But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth. RH, April 19, 1906 par. 23
Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses, Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. GC 203.4
The men who have been connected with the greatest interests upon this earth have tainted and corrupted the work of God. The instrumentalities which he designs shall be used in advancing his cause, have been used to forward unlawful schemes, which are indirect opposition to the work which God has specified as his and which he cannot vindicate. God has been forsaken by the men who have voiced decisions regarding his work, which has thereby become entangled. Men have seemed determined to place the mould and superscription of their human wisdom upon the work of God. They refused to be worked by the Holy Spirit, and brought in their own wisdom and devising. The result of this has been seen in various ways. The sacred character of the cause of God is no longer realized at the center of the work. The voice from Battle Creek, which has been regarded as authority in counselling how the work should be done, is no longer the voice of God; but it is the voice of–whom? Whence does it come, and where is its vital power? This state of things is maintained by men who should have been disconnected from the work long ago. These men do not scruple to quote the word of God as their authority, but the god who is leading them is a false god. 1888 1582.2
O, my very soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God, are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this work as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,–that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle. 1888 1745.3
God calls for consecrated workers who will be true to Him–humble men who see the need of evangelistic work and do not draw back but do each day’s work faithfully, relying upon God for help and strength in every emergency. The message is to be taken up by those who love and fear God. Lay not your burden upon any conference. Go forth, and, as evangelists, in a humble way present a “Thus saith the Scriptures.”–Letter 43, 1905. Ev 24.3