By various authors. 

[Editorial Foreword.—Coming spontaneously from the floor at the St. Louis Council, and pre­sented to the council by one of the delegates, the "Repudiation of Charges and Declaration of Faith" following hereafter was received with hearty accord by the three hundred min­isters assembled from the twenty-six States comprising the area served by this first council, and was passed unanimously. It seemed very fitting that this large company of ministers, composed primarily of evangelists and pastors, should take the first opportunity afforded such a representative ministerial group, meeting in nonlegislative assembly, to express themselves formally upon the question that is explained in the statement itself.

This St. Louis Council pronouncement was presented to the large Committee on Resolu­tions at the Philadelphia Council, and was brought by them before the council proper with the full approval of that committee. It was there passed with hearty acclaim by the more than two hundred fifty delegates, likewise in unanimous vote. Though not on the council agenda, it was so evidently the desire of these evangelists and pastors to go on record at this first opportune moment, that this action, delib­erately and solemnly passed by approval of ap­proximately six hundred of North America's leading ministers, along with the other voted actions of these two councils that pertain to ministerial life and labor, is herewith placed in the Ministry, chosen as the medium of record.

The Pacific Coast Council, to embrace the re­maining North American territory, will not convene until later, so the reports of these two councils are being made available at this time. And the expressed desire of these coun­cils—that the page of the Ministry bearing this action be held in type, and that this single page, as, here appears, be made available in sheet form to workers who wish it for distribution where disruptive influences have been working—has likewise been carried out. These may be obtained through your conference office.—L. E. F.]

Believing that the time has come when,  as the teaching and evangelistic and pas­toral ministry of forty-one States and five Canadian provinces in the North American Di­vision, we should no longer, without positive and pointed protest, allow the slurs and false accusations to continue to be circulated against us, stigmatizing us as hypocrites and impos­tors, suggesting doubts as to our good faith, and charging us with having only mercenary motives in our ministry;

We hereby record ourselves, in the St. Louis and Philadelphia Councils of Evangelists as­sembled, as convinced that the false theology of E. S. Ballenger in his publication, The Gather­ing Call, is unworthy of serious consideration; yet we do take cognizance of his false accusa­tions against the Adventist ministry, which we as a body of men represent, and denounce these accusations and insinuations as wholly without basis in fact.

When Mr. Ballenger continually reiterates the charge that the Seventh-day Adventist min­istry, any section of that ministry, or any appreciable or significant group of that min­istry, has sympathized with or accepted the unscriptural theories he sets forth in the Gathering Call and are concealing these alleged beliefs because they fear they would be cut off from the denominational pay roll, that they continue to teach the doctrines held by this people only because they are afraid to come out in the open, and that they would openly teach the theories of the Gathering Call were they not a part of a denominational organiza­tion which, he alleges, deprives men of freedom of opinion and freedom of teaching;

We declare that E. S. Ballenger is thereby publishing that for which there is absolutely no basis in truth.

We believe ourselves to be in a better posi­tion to know what the Seventh-day Adventist ministry really believes than does the editor of the Gathering Call, for we are that ministry. Our faith and confidence in the foundational truths which constitute the recognized teaching of Seventh-day Adventists as set forth in our official actions, denominational literature, and our own sermons,—including the basic sanctu­ary question, the investigative judgment, the priesthood of our Lord, and the divine origin of the writings of the Spirit of prophecy,—have not been changed, weakened, modified, destroyed, nor abandoned, but rather have been strengthened and confirmed. We have preached these things; we continue to preach these things; and we purpose always to preach these things because we profoundly believe them. We do not preach them in order to retain our employment, or from a sense of fear, but be­cause we are fully convinced and altogether satisfied that these Scriptural teachings which Seventh-day Adventists are proclaiming con­stitute a vital part of the "everlasting gospel" of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and are "present truth" for this "time of the end."

We recommend, That this statement be in­cluded in the report of the Councils on Evangelism to appear in the Ministry, and that a supply of the page carrying the statement be made available for use where needed.

Request for Future Councils

Whereas, These Councils on Evangelism have without question been the most help­ful meetings we have ever had the privilege of attending, in leading us as ministers into a deeper spiritual experience, a fuller consecra­tion, a wider vision and knowledge, a greater burden for the perishing multitudes, and im­proved plans for conducting our evangelistic efforts; therefore,

Resolved, That we express our most sincere thanks to the General Conference for arrang­ing for these councils, and that we gladly pledge ourselves, under God, to make this meet­ing count for the most in larger soul-winning achievement; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Conference Com­mittee be asked to arrange for similar councils at appropriate intervals.

Committee on Radio

In view of the increasingly important place and possibilities of radio in evangelism and other gospel work,

We request the General Conference Minority Committee to appoint a representative com­mittee, with W. H. Branson as chairman, whose work will be:

1. To prepare a manual on the use of the radio, containing instruction as to how to secure time on the radio, both free and paid; how to prepare a radio program; and contain­ing a few suggestive radio sermonettes; how to advertise over the radio, etc.

2. To study additional uses of the radio for the promulgation of our denominational in­terests.

3. To consider the possibility of making rec­ords by the new German process, which would cover various phases of our message, and which could be used by our church elders and pastors over many of the smaller radio stations of America.

4. To consider preparation of such records for use just prior to the next Harvest Ingather­ing campaign, for the dissemination of informa­tion over radio stations everywhere concern­ing our foreign mission work, and the fact that our campaign representatives will soon call upon the people for help.

5. To prepare sample mission talks and ser­monettes, which could be used by our ministers and church elders over local radio stations prior to the Ingathering campaign, together with such other points as ought to be given consideration.

Minority Committee Provision

"W. H. Branson spoke of the successful use being made of the radio by some of our evangel­ists, and of the possibilities in a more extended use of that means of proclaiming the truths which we as a denomination believe. It was suggested that in the new method of electrical transcription there is afforded an inexpensive means of radio broadcasting. The suggestion was also made that a larger number of evan­gelists and ministers might be induced to use the radio if they had access to instruction and information concerning its use, and something to guide them in the way of sample talks and sermons. It was

"Voted, That a committee be appointed to give study to the question of how to promote the use of the radio by our evangelists and ministers; to investigate the possibilities of the electrical transcription method of broad­casting; and to prepare a manual and some sample talks for the benefit of workers who may desire to use the radio in their work.

"Committee appointed: W. H. Branson, chairman, S. A. Ruskjer, H. M. S. Richards, W. A. Westworth, J. E. Shultz, C. B. Haynes, H. A. Vandeman, A. J. Meiklejohn, A. E. Hoist, R. L. Benton, H. A. Lukens, R. S. Fries, W. H. Williams, the North Pacific Union to appoint two members, and the Pacific Union to appoint two others."—General Conference Minutes, p. 1516, Jan. 10, 1935.

Ideals in Sacred Music

Believing that sacred music constitutes an  important part in our worship of God, and in all public soul-winning endeavor; and,

Realizing that the time has come for this part of our evangelistic program to be greatly developed and elevated to the place God in­tended it should occupy in the closing work of giving the everlasting gospel to the world; and,

Sensing that certain tendencies which are seen in the musical programs of some of our evangelistic efforts and church services are not in harmony with, and should be eliminated from, the solemn work in which we are en­gaged; therefore,

We, as a group of evangelists, express our convictions and determinations regarding the use of music in our evangelistic and church services as follows:

1. We believe definite steps should be taken by the denomination to elevate and make more prominent the special calling of the singing evangelist by encouraging young, consecrated men of ability to make the singing evangelist's work their life work, training themselves to be real soul winners, gaining a knowledge of the Bible with a view to working side by side with the evangelistic preacher; and in addition to conducting the musical program of the effort in a spiritual way, to be able to assist in personal evangelism, Bible work, and in advertising and managing the effort under the direction of the evangelist in charge.

2. We will eliminate from all our services music of a secular, light, operatic, or definitely worldly nature, believing that such music de­tracts from the spirit of true worship, and is irreverent and dishonoring to God. It is not intended, however, by the foregoing to infer that we should eliminate oratorios, sacred sheet music, or other classical music of a truly sacred nature. However, we believe that, generally speaking, the gospel songs simply rendered are the best type of music for evangelistic efforts.

2. As evangelists in charge of efforts we will help the singing evangelist to plan a dignified song service, eliminating whistling, shouting, running about over the platform by the song leader, or other trifling and undignified actions, and, as a rule, not invite worldly singers and musicians to take part in our evangelistic meetings.

3. We believe strong encouragement should be given to those of our faith who have real ability as composers of gospel songs directly on the message, believing that in these days of the final triumph of God's work, the Holy Spirit will inspire the production of such music as will best fit the troublous times through which we pass and the unique work we are called to do.

Simplicity in Sabbath Services

Believing that the form of Sabbath service  which has obtained from the early days of our movement, largely because of its sim­plicity and freedom from ritual, has contrib­uted much to the successful development of our church life, and believing that simple forms of service are in keeping with both the spirit and the purpose of God's church on earth,

We hereby express our conviction that rit­ualistic practices and formalism should be ex­cluded from our services, such as the chanting of prayers, together with the use of secular music, and the simplicity of spiritual worship in our churches thus be preserved.

We further express the conviction that our Sabbath services should never be conducted in a disorderly manner, but that proper respect for the sacredness of worship and due rever­ence in the presence of God be manifested and preserved, both on the Sabbath and on all other occasions of worship and service.

Baptismal Instruction and Certificate

Believing that, as evangelists, it is in­cumbent upon us to do thorough work in fully instructing and establishing our converts in all the essentials of the everlasting gospel that will make them thoroughgoing Seventh-day Adventists; therefore,

We Suggest:

1. That the General Conference Committee give favorable consideration to selecting an evangelist of experience to prepare a small book, to cost not more than 25 cents a copy, which will give instruction on such subjects as "How to Keep the Sabbath," "Tithing;"' "Health Reform," "Dress Reform," "The Spirit of Prophecy," "The Meaning of Baptism," and "How to Maintain a Christian Experience," with the purpose in view of placing this book in the hands of all converts before baptism, and of using it as a textbook in baptismal classes.

2. That the chairman of this meeting [W. H. Branson] with two evangelists from this [Phil­adelphia] council and two from the St. Louis Council be authorized to prepare and make available a uniform baptismal certificate, and to pass upon the converts' instruction book.

3. That J. L. Shuler and J. W. MacNeil be the members of the committee representing this council.

Expense of Evangelistic Efforts

Whereas, The amount of money needed for publicity must necessarily vary accord­ing to the size of the city, and as to whether the effort is a large central one or a smaller sectional one, and according to the experience and ability of the evangelist; therefore,

We recommend, 1. That before an evangelis­tic effort is launched, and before any contracts s.re _signed for use_oLlialLs, for newspaper space, 

b. The urging of our church members to in­vite their neighbors personally, by letter, and by telephone.

4. That we seek to conduct our series of meetings in such a way that a heavy outlay of expense will not be needed beyond the first or second week; and we suggest, further, that this be done—

a. By delivering the first lecture in such an interesting way as to constrain the people to continue their attendance.

b. By endeavoring on the first night to get the audience to bring their friends with them for the next meeting and the succeeding lec­tures.

c.That subjects of such an attractive nature be listed for the first week as will tend to in­sure a good attendance from the beginning.

Guiding Principles in Advertising

We recommend, 1. That all methods of advertising be in keeping with the im­portance and- sacredness of the message we represent, and that they be characterized by such simplicity and dignity as will commend them to all classes of people.
 
2. That we refrain from using subject titles which are coarse, crude, sensational, or undig­nified, and which would cheapen the solemn message we are commissioned to proclaim.

3. That, while recognizing the need of at­tractive and interest-arousing titles for our sermons, we refrain from using as titles ques­tions with which the Bible does not deal, or which we ourselves cannot answer.

4. That, in connection with the forthcoming special issues of the Ministry on "Evangelistic Methods," the editor of the Ministry and four other persons compile a list of attractive and drawing titles covering the various leading subjects of our message; and that the evan­gelists here assembled be asked to furnish titles that may be used by others.

5. That we urge our evangelists and other ministers to refrain from making claims, or using titles to which they have no academic right, such as reverend, bishop, doctor, or pro­fessor.

6. That dignity characterize the appearance of all announcements used, as pertains to cuts, cartoons, printing and paper stock, and that so far as possible such announcements be delivered personally to the people.

Certificate of Consecration

Whereas, It frequently occurs in our re­vival services that children whom we re­gard as too young for baptism and the full responsibility of church membership present themselves; and,

Whereas. Our only present alternatives are either to baptize or to counsel them to wait; and,

Whereas, The indefinite postponement of baptism to such frequently results in their dis­couragement and loss to the church; therefore,

We respectfully request, That the forthcom­ing Fall Council study the advisability of adopting a Certificate of Consecration to pre­sent publicly to such young children in an effort to bind them to the church until they have reached an age appropriate for baptism.

Decision Cards

We respectfully asl the General Con­ference Committee to arrange for the pub­lication of a series of three decision cards, to be made available at the lowest possible cost.

Change of Calendar

Whereas, The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, at a meeting re­cently held in Dayton, Ohio, reported that the three branches of the Christian church—Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Greek Ortho­dox—have given consent to a change in the calendar which would destroy the continuity of the week,

We, some five hundred Protestant ministers of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, representing forty-one States and five Canadian provinces in North America. assembled in convention at St. Louis, December 17-23, 1934, and at Philadelphia, January 1-7, 1935, hereby place ourselves on record as being opposed to the adoption of any form of calendar which would destroy the continuity of the week, and cause the Sabbath of the Bible to lose its identity, and further hope that the League of Nations will recognize that Protestants are not a unit in favoring such a change.

Passed, Jan. 5, 1935.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By various authors. 

April 1935

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Those Memorable Round-Table Hours

An Editorial Epitome and Tabulation

The Designated Work of the Spirit

Second Study on the Holy Spirit

Topic No. 1--The Meeting Place

Introductory Presentation by H.M.S. Richards

Topic No. 2—Securing an Attendance

Introductory Presentation By J.L. Shuler

Editorial Keynotes

Our Supreme Need--Part III

The Reformation and the End of Papal Supremacy

The Correlation of Prophecy and Fulfillment

Reaction from the Council

On the resolution regarding the shifting of certain responsibilities to lay shoulders.

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up

Recent issues

See All