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Living by Principle

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    Amusements

    There are persons with a diseased imagination to whom religion is a tyrant, ruling them as with a rod of iron. Such are constantly mourning over their depravity, and groaning over supposed evil. Love does not exist in their hearts; a frown is ever upon their countenances. They are chilled with the innocent laugh from the youth or from any one. They consider all recreation or amusement a sin, and think that the mind must be constantly wrought up to just such a stern, severe pitch. This is one extreme. Others think that the mind must be ever on the stretch to invent new amusements and diversions in order to gain health. They learn to depend on excitement, and are uneasy without it. Such are not true Christians. They go to the other extreme. The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of happiness, the height and depth, the length and breadth, of which are immeasurable. It is Christ in us a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It is a continual well-spring from which the Christian can drink at will, and never exhaust the fountain.—Testimonies for the Church 1:565.PH048 13.1

    1 Chronicles 16:10, 27, 31: Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.... Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.... Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.PH048 13.2

    They can find that amusement which springs from principle, and which will yield them true happiness, and their time will not be spent in trifling or in selfish indulgence.—Testimonies for the Church 3:223.PH048 13.3

    Psalm 118:15: The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.PH048 14.1

    We cannot innocently indulge in any amusement that will unfit us for the more faithful discharge of ordinary life duties.—Testimonies for the Church 2:587.PH048 14.2

    James 1:22, 26: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.... If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.PH048 14.3

    Many gatherings have been presented to me. I have seen the gaiety, the display in dress, the personal adornment. All want to be thought brilliant, and give themselves up to hilarity, foolish jesting, cheap, coarse flattery, and uproarious laughter. The eyes sparkle, the cheek is flushed, conscience sleeps. With eating and drinking and merry-making they do their best to forget God. The scene of pleasure is their paradise. And Heaven is looking on, seeing and hearing all....PH048 14.4

    The once earnest Christian who enters into these sports is on the down-grade. He has left the region pervaded by the vital atmosphere of heaven, and has plunged into an atmosphere of mist and fog. It may be some humble believer is induced to join in these sports. But if he maintains his connection with Christ, he cannot in heart participate in the exciting scene....PH048 14.5

    Young men and young women who have tried to be Bible Christians are persuaded to join the party, and they are drawn into the ring. They did not prayerfully consult the divine standard, to learn what Christ had said in regard to the fruit to be borne on the Christian tree. They do not discern that these entertainment are really Satan's banquet, prepared to keep souls from accepting the call to the marriage supper of the Lamb; they prevent them from receiving the white robe of character which is the righteousness of Christ. They become confused as to what it is right for them as Christians to do. They do not want to be thought singular, and naturally incline to follow the example of others. Thus they come under the influence of those who have never had the divine touch on heart or mind.PH048 14.6

    In these exciting gatherings, carried away by the glamour and passion of human influence, youth that have been carefully instructed to obey the law of God are led to form attachments for those whose education has been a mistake, and whose religious experience has been a fraud. They sell themselves to life-long bondage. As long as they live, they must be hampered by their union with a cheap, superficial character, one who lives for display, but who has not the precious inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 29 (1896).PH048 15.1

    The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing, and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 58 (1896).PH048 15.2

    Job 1:4: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.PH048 15.3

    Like Israel of old, the pleasure lovers eat and drink, and rise up to play. There is mirth and carousing, hilarity and glee. In all this the youth follow the example of the authors of books that are placed in their hands for study. The greatest evil of it all is the permanent effect these things have upon the character.PH048 15.4

    Those who take the lead in these things bring upon the cause a stain not easily effaced. They wound their own souls, and will carry the scars through their lifetime.—Special Testimonies on Education, 211.PH048 16.1

    Exodus 32:6: And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.PH048 16.2

    We are not to imitate the churches by instituting bazaars and various God-forbidden expedients to bring in a little means. We see no direction in the word for fancy fairs, concerts, and other objectionable practises for raising funds to advance His work. The curse of God is upon all this kind of work. It is polluting and degrading the work of God, defiling his holy temple.—Unpublished Testtimony.PH048 16.3

    John 2:14-16: Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.PH048 16.4

    If you truly belong to Christ, you will have opportunities for witnessing for him. You will be invited to attend places of amusement, and then it will be that you will have an opportunity to testify for your Lord. If you are true to Christ then, you will not try to frame excuses for your non-attendance, but will plainly and modestly declare that you are a child of God, and your principles would not allow you to be in a place, even for one occasion, where you could not invite the presence of your Lord.—The Youth's Instructor, May 4, 1893.PH048 16.5

    Daniel 3:12, 16, 17: There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.... Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered, and said unto the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.PH048 17.1

    Many declare that it is certainly no harm to go to a concert, and neglect the prayer-meeting, or absent yourself from meetings where God's servants are to declare to you a message from heaven. It is safe for you to be just where Christ has said he would be. Those who appreciate the words of Christ will not turn aside from the prayer-meeting, or from the meeting where the Lord's messenger has been sent to tell you concerning things of eternal interest. Jesus has said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Can you afford to choose your pleasure and miss the blessing? It is these indulgences that have a telling influence not only on your own life and character, but on the life and character of your associates.—The Youth's Instructor, March 30, 1893.PH048 17.2

    Galatians 6:7: Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.PH048 17.3

    They would resist temptation to indulge self, and would show that they do not enjoy the frivolous pleasure of the world more than the privilege of meeting with Christ in the social meeting. They would have a decided influence upon others, and lead them to follow their example. Actions speak louder than words, and those who are lovers of pleasure do not appreciate the rich blessings of being in the assembly of the people of God. They do not appreciate the privilege of influencing their associates to go with them, hoping that their hearts will be touched by the Spirit of the Lord. Who goes with them into these worldly gatherings? Jesus is not there to bless those assembled.PH048 17.4

    But Satan will bring to the mind many things to crowd out matters of eternal interest. It is his opportunity to confuse the right by mixing it up with the wrong. Through attendance at worldly gatherings a taste is created for exciting amusements, and moral power is weakened. Those who love pleasure may keep up a form of godliness, but they have no vital connection with God. Their faith is dead, their zeal has departed. They feel no burden to speak a word in season to souls who are out of Christ, and to urge them to give their hearts to the Lord.—The Youth's Instructor, March 30, 1893.PH048 18.1

    Proverbs 21:15, 17: It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.... He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.PH048 18.2

    When our weakness becomes strength in the strength of Christ, we shall not be craving for amusement. These holidays that are considered so indispensable will not be used simply for the gratification of self, but will be turned into occasions in which you can bless and enlighten souls.—Signs of the Times, June 6, 1892.PH048 18.3

    Proverbs 4:18: But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.PH048 19.1

    Gatherings for social intercourse may be made in the highest degree profitable and instructive when those who meet together have the love of God glowing in their hearts, when they meet to exchange thoughts in regard to the word of God, or to consider methods for advancing his work and doing good to their fellow men. When nothing is said or done to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, but it is regarded as a welcome guest, then God is honored, and those who meet together will be refreshed and strengthened.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 25 (1896).PH048 19.2

    Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.PH048 19.3

    Their amusement will be in contemplating their treasure—the holy city, the earth made new, their eternal home. And while they dwell upon those things which are lofty, pure, and holy, heaven will be brought near, and they will feel the power of the Holy Spirit, and this will tend to wean them more and more from the world, and cause their consolation and chief joy to be in the things of heaven, their sweet home.—Early Writings, 27, Supplement.PH048 19.4

    Hebrews 11:13-16: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.PH048 19.5

    While we shun the false and artificial, discarding horse-racing, card-playing, lotteries, prize-fights, liquor-drinking, and tobacco-using, we must supply sources of pleasure that are pure and noble and elevating.—Special Testimonies on Education, 96 .PH048 19.6

    Proverbs 23:20, 21, 23: Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh; for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.... Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.PH048 20.1

    Those who receive the Holy Spirit will feel the chilling atmosphere that surrounds the souls of those by whom these great and solemn realities are unappreciated and spoken against. They feel they are in the council of the ungodly, of men who stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 33 (1896).PH048 20.2

    John 10:4, 5: And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.PH048 20.3

    The Pharisee who invited Christ to his house on this occasion was a ruler in Israel, a member of the Sanhedrin, a man of influence. Jesus had not accepted his invitation for the purpose of satisfying his appetite, or to furnish himself with an hour of amusement; but he had accepted it for the purpose of representing the character of God. Christians may safely accept invitations to dinners where promiscuous company should gather, if they will but follow the example of Christ, and act from the same motives as did our Saviour.—Signs of the Times, February 6, 1896.PH048 20.4

    I entreat the students in our schools to be sober minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations.—Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 55 (1896).PH048 20.5

    Revelation 14:4: These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.PH048 20.6

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