Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 212

Chapter 23—Effect of Discussions

December 10, 1871, I was shown the dangers of Brother K. His influence upon the cause of God is not what it should be or what it might be. He seems to be in blindness as to the result of his course; he does not discern what kind of wake he leaves behind him. He does not labor in a manner that God can accept. I saw that he was in as great peril as was Moses Hull before he left the truth. He trusted in himself. He thought he was of so great value to the cause of truth that the cause could not spare him. Brother K has felt very much the same. He relies too much on his own strength and wisdom. If he could see his weakness as God sees it he would never flatter himself or feel in the least to triumph. And unless he makes God his dependence and strength he will make shipwreck of faith as surely as did Moses Hull. 3T 212.1

He does not in his labors draw strength from God. He depends upon an excitement to arouse his ambition. In laboring with a few, where there is no special excitement to stimulate, he loses his courage. When the labor goes hard and he is not borne up by this special excitement, he does not then cling the firmer to God and become more earnest to press through the darkness and gain the victory. Brother K, you frequently become childish, weak, and inefficient at the very time when you should be strongest. This should evidence to you that your zeal and animation are not always from the right source. 3T 212.2

I was shown that here is the danger of young ministers who engage in discussion. They turn their minds to the study of the word to gather the sharp things, and they become sarcastic and, in their efforts to meet an opponent, too frequently leave God out of the question. The excitement of debate lessens their interest in meetings where this special excitement does not exist. Those who engage in debates are not the most successful laborers and the best adapted to build up the cause. By some, discussion is coveted, and they prefer this kind of labor above any other. They do not study the Bible with humility of 3T 212.3

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