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01 Toleration, Liberty, and Personal Freedom

Eugene Prewitt


Eugene Prewitt

Director, The Institute of East Asia Training (IEAT)



  • June 24, 2021
    9:30 AM
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In you are about to enjoy a presentation recorded at the 2021 michigan conference camp meeting held at cedar lake michigan. We pray that the Lord will bless you as you listen to Our father and heaven. I'm asking that you'll bless us here as we talk about what is right and true. I asked for that gift and for your spirit in the name of jesus, a man. So in malaysia, introduce myself briefly. My name is Eugene pruitt. I grew up in alaska. And my parents had that moving bug were removed a lot. Partly that was because my dad was a smoker, and my mom loved to teach church school. And I and those 2, that's not a good combination that, that and so it resulted in lots of moving around for us. And that final move was to alaska because it wasn't final. But in this story, it is because my mom thought and alaska they'd be so desperate for Teachers, they surely wouldn't care about my dad smoking. That's what she thought. So she applied, but my dad decided to go ahead and apply for a job and, and computer I T work that with his field. So he was, had been working in flint just before that. He sent up his resume. My mom didn't get a job, my dad got a very good one. So we moved to alaska and that is where god trained me and raised me and where I became a real christian. I grew up as an adventist, my family goes back here in Michigan, a long ways to alvin mar 7 generations ago, a bare trapper and you know trap the bear, shoot the bare skin, the bear cell, the skin, leave the got that kind of. That's what he did for a living. And he became the head elder in that 1st head, elder of the eden vill 7th day adventist church. He didn't need to bear, so it's okay. Right. And someday i might tell you a bit about him not to day and talking about me when I was just about 17, i got an idea that I don't want to have regrets a 1000000 years from now. I don't want to look back at my short life on earth and, and wish I had done something else. Like your many of you are at the age where you can actually look back already and wonder what you should have been doing. And I, I decided as a young man to try to do what I wish I had done a 1000000 years from now. Welcome. You can come in where just, I'm just introducing myself so you can come 5 minutes from now, you know when it miss anything. So because of that, I did not really get what you would call a formal education. And if you only like listening to people that have advanced degrees, you still have a few seconds to walk out because I don't have even an associates. Nothing like that. If you're wonder, like what are my qualities for speaking, that is one of them. What did happen to me as I found that academically, reading and studying science and math and history was very easy. And selling books was very difficult. But at the end of the week when I thought about where did I accomplish the most good, was at calculus in chemistry, or was it selling a few books? I concluded that the same that it was hardest for me happened to be the most useful thing. I was doing during the week that was it. Okay, so much out of me. 988 and 89. When that happened. So I decided to continue in that canvas in business. And it was that canvassing business that kept me busy until j. U. I C started and this is the lungs introduction i've ever given for myself. It's mostly to let people come. And in 2002, we had the 1st g Y, C meeting. Did any of you attend the out in California? Was there anyone here? Now one. So interesting, maybe it's because you're all old and that might be it, cuz that why st stands for use, you know, and the g Y C signs youth. And it was speaking there at the 1st g, Y, C. That kind of launched me as a one of those traveling speakers and it's something that has bothered me since then. So that's been 19 years. I began to wonder why is it that so many of the traveling speakers are americans? You know, we're only like 5 percent of the world's population. Why? Why is it that the americans are the ones that are been flown around to teach and preach? And I'll tell you what I concluded just for your own edification. I think it's because we have the writings of ellen white and our native language. I think it's because in this country, many people have read them and studied them. And that that has produced a class of quality people of power that would not exist to people. We're not reading them. And in many countries, you don't have many of the writings and even I was in bangladesh, 2 weeks ago and bangladesh, i met a number of young, zealous adventists who don't have any burden to ever read anything by own white. They don't have anything by her and it doesn't bother them. And I was just thinking, if only they had had the resources that we've had in this country, maybe we'd have powerful bangladesh, the people that can be traveling around goodbye impression the said that this is on recording. So anyway, can be seen and educational work. Those are the things i've been doing forever. And 6 years ago I moved to malaysia. That's where my wife and I live even now. And malaysia, west, malaysia. We are about one and 5000 people or 7th day adventist, i think here in Michigan it's probably about one and 150. I think in the Philippines, maybe about 190, maybe in Jamaica, about one in 15, maybe in beliefs about one, an 8. So, so I moved to malaysia because of this. I thought I should be in a place where the people I talked to in a day to day basis. Don't have many chances to know the truth. So one day they're in malaysia, i was walking along when I saw a troop of monkeys that were jumping through the forest, they're jumping through the canopy. You know, when monkeys jump in the canopy, they tend to break a lot of branches. Any place where there's a lot of monkeys in the jungle, there's a lot of branches on the ground. And what happens is when a monkey jumps from here to here, he doesn't jump from here to here. He jumps from here to here. Popular listening like from a high point to a low point. And so he has some vertical velocity and he ends up the branches break. The reason that doesn't hurt monkeys is they never aim for the lowest branch. So when the branch breaks, they just put out their hands and they catch the next branch in the way down. If they were in South america, they might put out their hands, feet, and tail. But in malaysia, the monkeys don't have useful tales. They don't have the tails where they can hold on to signs. That's, that saw more of a south american sign than an asian sign. Anyway, so saw here was one of these monkeys, and as he jumped over the road, I was on the branch, he landed on broke and he put out his hands to catch the next one. But some one had cut the branches along the road to make room for a train or something. So there was nothing and he fell all the way to the ground. I thought I was going to see on monkey die. But the monkey, not only did he not die, but he didn't even stop to brush himself off. He didn't even shake and just sit there. He landed and ran to a tree and climbed up very quickly. You know why? We have dogs on our mountain and dogs love to eat monkeys, but dogs can't climb trees. So the dogs are just waiting for a monkey on the ground. And so the monkey can't afford to stay there any extra 2nd ti house to get up there quickly. And I thought about that monkey a lot twice solomon says that the righteous man falls 7 times and rises again. But so wicked fall into mischief. What does he say at solomon says that the difference between a righteous man and a wicked man? It's not that one falls in one doesn't. That's not the difference. The difference between a good man, an evil man, is that when the good man falls, he gets up. That is when he repents, when he sins, he repents. I've heard of churches where there are people who haven't talked together for like 5 years sitting opposite sides of the church. I don't expect either of them to go to heaven without repentance. Like, how long should it be between the time when you make a mistake and the time when you make it right? I think you should remember the monkey. When you do wrong, you're vulnerable. It's easy for the double to discourage you when you make a mistake. It's easy for the job or the lead you to a 2nd mistake when you've made a 1st mistake. The devil wait to see you on the ground and then he runs. He's after you. You and I can't afford to wait any time between when we do wrong and when we make it right. Right. This is not related to religious liberty. It's just to give you a chance to com and I think you've com. And so I'll tell you one story related to religious liberty, and then we'll launch into our bible study there in malaysia, maybe 7 years ago. There was a young lady named priscilla. I use real names. What I'm talking to you in case you're wondering because if I use a fake name, how am I ever going to remember what name I used? So priscilla is a rubber tapper, that means that she takes a sharp knife and she scores a rubber tree. And then it bleeds, latex, and you collect the latex, and sell it. It's really hard work, and it doesn't pay well. Well, if you're in indonesia or cambodia, it pays pretty well, but malaysia isn't as poor as some of that. Some of the countries in asia. So in malaysia you need to earn about the equivalent of $500.00 us dollars a month to be doing. Okay. And we're in cambodia if you earn $100.00 us dollars, you'd be doing just fine. And it's hard to earn $500.00 a month. Tapping rubber trees. That doesn't pay very well at all, but that's what priscilla was doing. And at night time she studied hard and in high school, she did so well that she won a full scholarship to study medicine. I'm looking to see if any of you, our doctors, if I look at your faces and this one right here, a full scholarship to study. Madison, your dentist was guy behind you that kind of pointed to you and priscilla wasn't the only one happy about this. It was her whole family because here in America, if you get good money, you know it's just you, your wife and Children. But in asia, if you get good money, it's the whole community that benefits from this. Everyone expects some sort of support from this situation. So her family was so happy in malaysia, a doctor in private practice can even earn 60 or $70000.00 a year. You know, like 10 to 12 times with a rubber tapper earns, which is really good for the whole family. So priscilla went after school. Oh, she did good her 1st year of studying and that's when she attended a Y C. That's something kind of like the home grown g Y C A Y type meetings we have in this country. Similar to that, it's just a malaysian version. She attended it and it changed her life. She began to have devotions. She began to really think about why she was an admin as she began to read ellen white's writings. Oh, what a change. And a few months later, she came to her end of the year exams, scholarships and malaysia are different than american scholarships. Like even here, you might have to keep your grades up to keep your scholarship. Writing that true and many scholarships you got to keep them up. But in malaysia you've got to keep them up. But if you lose your scholarship, you lose at retroactively you're going to be billed for the school in you've already done at a very high pressure on the students. Priscilla got up to the point to take her final exam, and it was on sabbath. In America we have religious liberty, you know, and you can like call around and talk to your senator and, and if he's republican, it might work out for you. And maybe I don't know. I live in Tennessee, so I don't know anything about other other senators. But in malaysia, there is no such thing as religious liberty, and no one was going to change the date of that exam. And when she told her family, the family realize priscilla could lose the dream of being a doctor. The community relies, she could lose. There's a lot riding on this exam, and they didn't say to her be strong. Welcome back. That they didn't say to her, be strong. They said, take the exam and repent. Just take it, it, be done with that. And you know, because that that's too much like you think about for you for yourself. If you're conscientious, if by doing the right saying you're going to lose $50.00 for an hour, you can afford to lose $50.00. You'll take the loss and do the right side. But if it's going to be $2000000.00 for one hour of compromise, i think even some of you would begin to feel something kind of internally, like maybe an hour isn't so long. Maybe an hour isn't such a big deal. Maybe an hour, you know. Like, that's just too much. I'll just tell you the good news. Priscilla was faithful to king jesus. She didn't take the exam. She didn't lose her scholarship. She did have to drop out of school. She was billed for that 1st year and had no way to pay it. It isn't always true that when you do the right sign, things work out. It isn't always true that when you go the right direction, everything works out nice and rosy. Like we don't do our children, a good service. If we tell them that following jesus is easy, it isn't so and it's not going to be. So it's going to be harder But priscilla did come to study at the school the i'd started there in malaysia show. This is how I got to know her. She became my student. And you know, she did very well at school just as she did well and secular studies for medicine. She did very well in bible studies for evangelism, it takes the same kind of brain power and she did exceedingly well. And now she is the director of our secondary and primary school and saba. And since the time that she started, they are about $25.00 students have come there to that we intended to train admin. It's used to make the mission minded, but 25 of our 30 students. There are non adventist. 20 of them are moslems, and they're all becoming admin. As missionaries, they're all becoming adventist missionaries with the moos lunde's. Initially, some of the parents got quite angry that their children were praying in the name of jesus. That bothered them. But we've had, when the pandemic started those muslim parents in our area. They are illegal aliens in malaysia. They don't have permission to work. So they have to work for very low wages, long hours. When the pandemic started, they lost their jobs. And of course, as immigrants were no status, they have no welfare. And suddenly they have no way to pay for their children's food or their own food. And I asked priscilla, actually she asked me and I, I okayed it if they could start feeding those families. And people here in America supported us and we were able to do it. And 2 of those parents now had become christians and one wife who became a christian, the mother of some of our students. Her husband still opposed it, but he became so ill he cannot even function. Another husband that opposed his wife was becoming part of us. He went after another woman and left his wife. So we really haven't had any that we haven't been highly persecuted over this. I'm not sure it's going to stay that way. It could be that we could, the priscilla herself could die. That could be that we could lose some serious resources or have real problems there at that school. And if it happens to morrow that I get to know that there's been a little mass occurred there, and many of them are dead. I'm sure there'd be people maybe even in this audience who would say to me, it was all a mistake. You shouldn't have been doing it. And I would just say to them, have you read the book of acts? God hasn't offered us safety. He's offered us a reward when we die faithful. What he said to us as be faithful unto death and then you receive the crown of life. So I am not of the opinion that my students have to guard their life as the most precious thing. What they need to guard is the interest of people, souls Right now there is, there are many missionaries in the world that when things become very dangerous and difficult, they pull out, they come back for safety. I don't like that idea. It doesn't look to me like the right thing to pull out when the people you're trying to reach are having a hard time and are facing death and destruction. That doesn't look right. You're saying, why are you here? I can't get a Visa, malaysia. So every 90 days I have to leave. And one of those 90 day trips, i was in South africa for 10 days speaking. And while I was there was march last year, the world went crazy. And malaysia locked its doors against people on visitor visas, which is what I'm on there whenever i'm there. So it lockets doors to me and then south africa locked it's doors and I couldn't get out. So we spent march april, may and June and south africa last year. Thank God. Because we're some of what you'd call poor people. Thank God that it worked out and someone took care of us the entire time in that place. Yes, a man. So my seminars to day and tomorrow on religious liberty are going to be going over to if you will, 2 aspects that are both relevant. One more today in America and one more relevant later in America. One of those aspects is the liberty that the government should give us, you know, that the government should not impede what we're doing. Someone asked me yesterday if I really thought that it was government overreach, to close churches during the pandemic. You understand that question? That's a religious liberty question, that one right there. And so that's the 1st issue. Should the government, what should we do about government overreach, about persecution, if you will. What is our parts as advantage to we just coast and hope for the best? That's what many administer started to do in the 18 eighty's and they were rebuked for that significantly for just kind of coasting and hoping for the best. But there is another aspect that seems to have come to the for the 1st in the election. And now in the pandemic, and that is the kind of liberty we give to each other to sink into practice. It looks like right now there's lots of anger and hatred, bitterness growing. At the very time when the bible says that because a nick re shall a bow and the love of many shall grow cold. You know the next words she that endures unto the and the same shall be saved. Those verses aren't separate there together. The idea is you live in an age when satan is trying to reduce affection. And God is trying to build up affection. Satan is trying to reduce love satanist, try and this is what I say that I said trying to reduce love that's I meant to say and God is working to build up love. And it's just a very bad time for us to show ourselves angry at each other. It's a poor time up for the kind of bitterness that I've seen so much in this last year. If your church has been split over the issue of masks, your church is not a converted church. If, if we are going to be so easily overcome and a time when our love should be maintained, there's something really wrong internally with us. So that's the 2nd aspect. What is liberty? We give to each other the liberty to think for ourselves. What about the liberty to children? And this becomes a real hard question. A lot of you are parents, but I think a lot of you have grandchildren now. But this is america, you're raising your grandchildren now. So the question is, when your 14 year old doesn't want to go to church anymore, do you make him such a religious liberty issue? And we want to understand it because handling these things right? leads to power in our work and handling them. Ron leads to disasters in our work. Maybe one more story before the bible. So you seem to listen to stories so well. I was teaching a washer, tie hills college, you know that law school directly south of here I think And I remember in the cafeteria, 3 people walked in and it looked like a mother, a father, and a teenage boy. And I got up to go grief on because you know, they looked confused like they didn't know what they were doing and that was time is the beginning, the school year when people show up new students and the father and introduced the family to me. The boy's name was koran koran, chancy, he lives in france now. And the father very quickly said to me, my boy, here has a problem with music. You need to take his i pad from him. By the way koran was coming to come to the college, not the Academy at the college level program. He was 18 and I felt so bad for koran because I man that age. What he really craves is approval from his dad. And his dad just shamed him in front of a stranger and that's about the worst saying, I just really felt bad for the boy. And it probably made me not as kind of the fathers i should have been and I said the dad not with not with enough gentleness. I said, sir, we don't have a rule against college students having i pads. If you want to take it that's between you and your son, we are not going to take it from him. And the dad became angry at me quite predictably. And he and his wife left in a huff and they left koran. The next day I took that young man koran on a long walk into the mountains behind the school. And I shared with him that it was apparent to me that his parents had brought him to this school to fix him. Because he had problems with music and with the video games and some with substance use edge. And he just, frankly wasn't religious. And his parents were of that super religious type, you know, super strong type. And so I said to kron is the students that are here in the college. Their parents didn't send them. They chose to come here themselves. They came here because they wanted what we have here, spiritual opportunities to grow. I said, koran the rules here are just too difficult for someone who's forced to be here. We have like a bad time, like a curfew, and we don't allow certain types amused to be played out loud in the dorm. And we don't allow movies to be played in the dorm or on campus. We don't allow smoking or drinking or carousing, or had that we have all kinds of rules here. That would just be to you a constant source of irritation. If you're forced to be here, but if you chose to be here knowing those rules because you wanted the benefit the school has. I think if you chose it for yourself, those plans would all be small things. They wouldn't be so hard for you to deal with. You could just, you know, because you chose them when you choose something, you can take it. When you, when you choose to let something ivy and you, that's no problem. So I just watch the study of the needle. That's very, very, you know, that's, you know, you understand, right? It's different when you choose it for yourself. So I said koran, i'd like you to stay here for one week and look around, open your eyes and just see what you see if they end up effort. If at the end of the week, you decide that you want to stay, then stay because you want to stay. If at the end of the week you want to leave, i'll help you go somewhere and your parents can't stop, it. Will find a place for you to go. Koran stayed for the week and he chose for himself. And to day his missionary in france. That's religious liberty. That is the father and I have different ideas about how the values become part of people's character. One of them works and one of them doesn't work. If you have the right idea of limits in liberty, then you can have more success and reaching individuals with your own values. If you don't understand limits and liberty, you end up being very oppressive and people can even feel oppressed even to know you. I won't ask you if anyone feels oppressed to know you. But if you can identify with karen's parents, that I hope you'll think about the story they left the church by the way, the parents they left the church. And it's not too surprising to me. I think that we live in an age when love has a lot to do with what you believe about truth because it works like this. God is working to build up the love and when we have it, it's an honor to him for us to believe the truth. But when the love goes away, our life is a dishonor to him. And then what he does is he works. He opens the door for satan. The brain to us deceptions in the bible is represented very strangely in jeremiah. 51 god is presented. There is having as babylon been a golden cup full of wine in the lord's hand. What is it? It's babbling. It's a golden cup of wine who how's it? It's the Lord. It's the same way a secretary loans to where it says for this reason his sons then strong delusion that they might believe a lie that they all might be damned who had not pleasure. Or now forgot what it said, but somewhere there it said, because they did not love the truth as well. It says there, let's look at it because I flooded up floating it and you ought to see it at least 2nd us alone in chapter 2. Second. Thus alone in chapter 2, This chapter, by the way, is the one place in the bible that speaks about satan impersonating christ. You know, the idea that we got from, from ellen white, this is where it is in scripture right here, 2nd, thoughts alone in chapter 2. I'm going slow, but I'm almost there. Starting in verse 9. The comment of the lawless one is according to the working of satan, with all power signs and line wonders. Those miracle is mentioned in this chapter. Are mentioned repeatedly in the bible as a sign of the last day, events that his miracles are what satan is going to use to push people to intolerance. In the future, miracles are going to lead them to give honor to the beast. Religion 13 says he brings down fire. That's the miracle. The whole world wonders, that's the result. And then the whole world is oppressed with the religious laws. That's the persecution. If you follow the logical i just sad, the miracles are the catalyst that produces the religious intolerance ition later. So anyway, here you see the miracles, verse 10. And we saw unrighteousness of deception among those who perish because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason, god will send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie that they all might be condemned. Who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. All right, well I had those thoughts, but it just was not in the right order. So there it is. God sends them strong delusion. But if you read the passage carefully, we just read it. Who is really deceiving them and how you doing it? miracles that god is permitting. That because it's no honor to him to have unloving people in the church. No honor to him to have hard hearts here. So those miracles are coming. Turn your bible to 2nd corinthians, chapter 3. Second corinthians chapter 3, and we're going to look, you know, the most famous verses 1st 18, right? I'm just helping you remember that you'll know how to find the less famous verse. We're looking at verse 17 2nd corinthians chapter 3 and verse 17. Now the Lord is the spirit. And where the spirit of the Lord is there is what does it say? liberty. Let me talk to you a bit about liberty, about the spirit of the Lord and libertine. Maybe I even have you talk to me, but if you do talk, i'll repeat what you say, just because I'm being recorded in China and in malaysia, frequently ad vanessa end up losing conscientiousness because they are required to work on sabbath In China, it's not always possible that you can get a job that would have sabbath off. And in malaysia, if you're a refugee and malaysia has hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of them from me and mar, if you're in malaysia as a refugee, and most of the adverse in West malaysia are refugees, then your jobs are illegal jobs, and your employers are not at all likely to give you the sabbath off. So what do you say to a man who has 5 children and his children are hungry and the only job he can get is to work on sabbath. What if he says to you? I don't have any option. I have to do it. I'm forced to do it. Why hope ya see in the verse for 17. As that no one can ever force you to do wrong. That pressure is not force. Satan has permission to pressure you. He does not have permission to force you. He can threaten you with a lions down and you can even throw you in. He can threaten you with fiery furnace, and he can even throw you in. But he cannot force you. If you understand that liberty is an internal quality of being a christian, then you will never use force as an excuse In our church plant in arkansas, before I moved to malaysia, was planting a church in a dark city there in arkansas. And one of the men who began attending our church, his attendance was spotty because he sometimes worked on sabbath. When the mill required it, the mill would require him to come work and I, his English was poor and our spanish was poor. And so for us to communicate to him this idea of Be, be faithful unto death after we would meet with him, we always had the still in life. We didn't quite get it crossed. I don't know if you can understand that the trying to a serious idea and the language is preventing the deepest part of communication. This man, ah, we took to law and it was almost 2 years that we kept talking to him and trying to change things before we finally had a meeting to disfellowshipped him. And we met together and we disfellowshipped him for breaking the sabbath. And immediately after we disfellowshipped him, he began attending It's not really strange, it's more normal. It's more normal that people need. They need us to have a love for them that the, that is not sentimental and empty, right? That they don't need the sentimental emptiness. They need real care and concern and conscientiousness. If you would ask flavio, because that's his name. If you'd asked floss you, why are you working on sabbath? I have to they're not given me sabbaths off But what the bible says to him and to you is quit your job. Your children. The bible not only says that he's never seen the wicked, i mean the righteous forsaken. It says something more than that, nor the children. What are you begging? bread, right? Never seen the children begging bread. That is faithfulness is not going to make you into a derelict father. Your children might be poor. They might be very poor in malaysia, one of my 1st students as a boy named joseph joseph amos. Joseph was born to a prostitute in thailand and she found that babies have a high sale value and she sold him the day he was born. It was a pre arranged sale, like like it was known ahead of time that she was going to do that. And so it's some good extra income for her. And he was purchased by h. A chinese malaysian couple that didn't have any, any of their own children. So they bought this tie boy, and they raised him. You technically, it wasn't very much like an adoption. It was a purchase, but anyway, so he grew up and joseph grew up in a home that was really wealthy. The father was in the off shore, illegal gambling business and that's lucrative. And so joseph had his own motor bike when his friends didn't have one, yet he had his own car when, when his friends would never get one in their entire life. And he had his own apartment, when his friends were living 8 people in a one bedroom house. Joseph always had money. And consequently he had friends. You know how that works right. The money was the reason because his tie and he doesn't know tie. And he knows chinese and chinese don't like tie. So the combination of his late race and language would make him an outcast, but it done it because he has. Yeah. So that's that's, that's what did it for him. But his dad was always gone. What do you think just from what you know of Human nature, which was a little boy want more? plenty of money and plenty of toys. But dad not around or live with a dirt floor and a bamboo shack and get rained on some times and have data around all the time. What do you think which would a boy like better? he'd like the dirt floor and if you had the money, right, like what joseph really needed was dad. But what he really had was money and what happened to joseph is quite related to that. He ended up experimenting with homosexuality in an identified as gay and spent his time in gay bars as a buddhist. There wasn't really any the buddhism doesn't necessarily approve of homosexuality, but it's, it's very, yeah, there's no stigma to it. So his parents didn't mind. And by the time he was 19, he was diagnosed h I V positive Which should have stopped his sexual experiences. But he told me plainly did not and but it did make him kinda desperate and fearful. And while he was desperate and fearful of christians invited him to church, he went to church and he accepted jesus. He never heard of christianity before. And he who has gone to church every sunday, any man an advent, his friend that was friend, invited him to church too. And you can go to both because there's no competition. You know, there are different days. And he loved the oddness faith because he was learning tightens. And so he became a, something adventist and he came to be one of my students there in malaysia. Joseph did, and he failed all his classes Because his English is terrible. And my chinese is even worse than his English And we just could not communicate. But if you would meet a stranger in church in our church plant in malaysia, there's a good chance joseph invited them I remember of going into the health Center there. And joseph coming over him, bringing over to guests and telling me his broken english that they want bible studies. And he wanted me to give them bible studies. I only had to look at their face to realize they didn't want bible studies. They just liked joseph and didn't know how to tell him. Know What I told people is that if joseph dies of aids in his twenties, he will have one more people to jesus than some people who live to their seventy's eighty's or ninety's, you know, practicing the help message. Because he's putting his whole heart in So what have I said to you this morning? I've use up almost all period and only shown you to versus what I'm saying to you is that there is a liberty that god gives us that cannot be taken away either by the government or by our parents, or by our acquaintances, or by our church. No one can make me into a slave. No one can take away my liberty. Even if you put me in jail, i have liberty. Even if you disfellowshipped me from my faithfulness, i have liberty. You cannot deprive me of liberty because we're the spirit of the Lord is there is that's what it says. The next vs, the famous one. But we all with open face beholden as an A glass. The glory of the Lord are changed to the same image. Even from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. What is the idea? The idea is that the spirit gives us a freedom to make our way to heaven. The spirit gives us a freedom to be prepared for heaven and character. The spirit fills us and gives us freedom to become loving persons in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. We can shine as lights in the world, even in a dungeon. The spirit can give us liberty. And as we talk about religious liberty this afternoon and tomorrow I, I'm really hoping by this lecture to settle the idea that you're not a beggar for liberty. You're not a beggar in the sense that you must have liberty. We're requesting people to give us liberty for their own benefit. We asked the state to give us liberty for the states benefit. That's because the state needs to give us liberty that we asked the state to do it. How to say this another way. Martin luther was threatened with death. He said to threaten a crushed madame is like starting a man by bringing him his horse and print a saddle on it. He said christians are masters of death. We. Jesus has conquered death. We have liberty. So when our own 80 jones was before congress, you know, when the, when blair was making a Sunday law in the 18 eighty's, i think you remember that that happened a 120 some years ago? Nope. 113 years ago. Anyway, when, when that was going on, an 80 jones was there, making his presentations, a compromise was offered to the jews, the 70 baptists. In the 7th day adventist, the compromise said that will make an exemption for these 3 groups and they can keep saturday in place of sunday with the sunday law. And you know the something baptist he was good with that. That sound like that's fair enough. So we'll have a lot a Sunday law though say most you'll keep sunday, but something about to something I miss jews, they keep saturday, the jews they were okay with that, you know fine. As long as, as long as we're accepted. 80 jones objected strongly. He's sad that is not what we're looking for at all. He said, even if the whole law was a Saturday law, we would oppose it with the same energy as we do as a Sunday law. He said, we're opposing that on the principle that when you get between god and the people you make yourself an idol. When you tell me how to worship god, you're putting myself where no man should be. We oppose this on the principle that the government should not be involved in religion. So someone, at least 3 of you here are probably those perfectionist types who actually read that the title of this lecture was something about islam and like your 100. So what's happening? So let me get to that before it's too late. Is la mac from motors are claiming that mohammed invented religious liberty. I found a whole site about it were in their morning. You know, you might not know this, but in islam mohammed gets the kind of attention and adoration that jesus should get but doesn't get in christianity. That is an islam mohammed is the perfect man. He is the perfect statesman. He is the perfect husband. He is the perfect father, he's the perfect citizen and islam his life is the ideal life, and we copy his life. We follow his life. We crave stories about his life. We teach our children stories about his life that everyone wants to know about him. He is the dream. You know that about him that he's the ideal. He's held up that way. This is why they're such anger and as long when people draw cartoons about him or make fun of him. So what is it that mohammed did where they can say she invented religious liberty? I'll tell you it's what I call religious toleration. What's the difference between toleration and liberty? toleration is a legal position that says legally, we will put up with you liberty. It says that you have the right to do what you do. Do you see any difference in the principle of those 2? In tolerate sion, there can be an end to toleration. There are conditions to toleration. If you don't behave properly, that would be the end of toleration. But in liberty, there is a right and it's in alien, a bowl, according to the founders of our great nation. 00 room there. Anyway, toleration is exactly what was offered to 80 jones in the example I just gave you. It was toleration saying you can have saturday. We can have sunday. In 1526. It was toleration that was offered to the princes in germany. Charles, the 5th, had lost a series of disastrous skirmishes. He was been weakened and threatened from a distance. He didn't have time to fool with the german princes any longer. And he thought he was really coming a long ways, negotiation table. He made his declaration in 1526 and said, you can have protestantism, it wasn't called that. He said, you can have lutheranism, if you will. In your places. Here are the limits. You can practice and use the bible in your own language in your own house. In church, you can choose your own pastors, you can go to your own churches, you don't need to come to ours. You don't need to support the math. You can have it all, but you cannot make any more converts. You cannot expand into settled catholic areas. You cannot preach to catholic people. And this will be our truce. You not? The prince said. What they said is where we get the word protestant from. They came together and made that famous protest, and they said we would rather die than accept this toleration. They said what to say the gospel has made its last conquest that jesus has saved his last saw. No. They'd rather lose their land to lose their life lose every thing than except that charles couldn't believe it. How could they? Because, but they were saying is religious liberty. What he was saying is religious toleration. Go back just to chapters, know 4 chapters before that in that same good book. The great controversy is about religious liberty. Start to end at books about religious liberty. Go back 4 chapters and you'll have the story of john huss, hudson jerome. I won't tell you the whole story. We'll just skip over that the shameful position of jerome, and then how he came back to God at the last. We'll skip over all that. We'll skip over the faithfulness of hoss. Now he's been burned at the stake. Now we're coming in the same shafter what happens next. Are the great wars between the european powers and little bohemia. You're that little bohemia and they brought those great armies against them. And that great. Are there any checks here that can say the name properly? Just for copious. Anyway, there's no checks here, then I won't get in trouble. That great general, he ended up the fighting to defend his little nation, and God gave him a miraculous victory over the much larger forces. One of those generals was blind and still had a tremendous victory. And after one of those great victories after the european powers were so slaughtered and, and robbed of their wealth because they left it on the battlefield. The european powers came in sad to the bohemians. Let's make a treaty And what they offered them was the same sign that charles the 5th offered a 100 years later. But there weren't any princes there. They said you can have married pastors. You can have the bible in your bohemian language, will allow it inside bohemia. You must understand that the ultimate right to interpret, the bible will be the priests. The catholic priests will have the ultimate right to interpret the bible. And after decades of fighting the fight weary people said that's good enough, But I am telling you is that it is not good enough. And it didn't work out for bohemia. Because when the devil gives you toleration, it's only to wear you down. And what he did as he ended up leading to bickering in between them, bickering and fighting and ashley per copious was assassinated. You know, their general that I mentioned to you a few minutes ago, not by the europeans. It was by the, in fighting In great controversy. Pages 42 and 43 there. I have my students in malaysia write an essay on those 2 pages. Because those 2 pages describe how the christian church fell into the catholic church. You know the apostasy, how it happened. And well, it says there is that it happened partly by a desire for evangelism. Great controversy. Page 42 and 43. If you're not taking it, those 2 page $45.00 is the one that says let there be difference and even war. Now, instead of accepting a treacherous piece, this is just before that $42.43 because we're vangelis on what happened as the pagan said, were coming along, ways towards you. Now you should come some distance toward us And the church fell for that. But the faithful people want to go for it and it led to a division among the faithful that division among the faithful. That's what satan as aiming for. And if you will read that book, great controversy and open your eyes. You'll see that satan is about the same business today that he's been about since a long time ago. He's working right now inside the adventist church to so division. He's working to lead to use evangelism as an excuse for compromise. He's doing everything in those 2 pages, what really amounts to his working, what it says there is that there are always been 2 classes inside christianity. Those that, that accept the doctrines but avoid the poor, plain practical teachings. And those that try to imitate the self denying life of jesus. You always have these classes inside the christian church. You have them probably in your congregation. What are those 2 classes? One class, they're the ones who are trying to become modified by the book. They're seeking to be just like this. They want to have the life of jesus and her own life. They're trying to practice. That's one class. What's the other class? These are the ones that accept every things theoretical. But they don't want to change their practice. Mean, just scan your ears for a minute before I say the next thing. Okay, I'll say it. I was looking for earrings It's interesting that in advent, when you're given a proxy series to a group of people, that what you say about the 2nd coming or about the state of the dad. However interesting those are, those aren't the things you really fight over. It's jewelry, tobacco entice That's. It's the plain tragical teachings, the ones that modify the way you live. That's always been the same. That one class doesn't like the plane, practical teachings. Sort of summarize everything and close. What I've told you is that priscilla did the right sign. When she took the test, she had a liberty that was inside of her. That couldn't be taken away from her. That daniel did the right side when he went to the lion's den, she had a liberty inside of him that couldn't be taken away from him. You can have a fight of you liberty that can't be taken away from you. But the devil will try. He'll try to compromise to come your way and ask you to come his way. He'll try to give you a toleration and asked you to accept it is christianity and islam countries of the world. You know, there are christians in iran, are christians and iraq. There are christians in egypt, christianity in the parts of the world that are islamic, has for millennia agreed to not do evangelism among the muslims. They've accepted toleration. The accepted it so long that it feels to them like liberty. But it never has been liberty. Are we begging for? Are we begging for liberty? No, we ask the government to give us liberty because the governments and trouble, if they don't, we ask our parents to give us liberty. Our parents are in trouble. If they don't, we ask our churches to give us liberty eggs. Our churches are in trouble if they don't, because god as the avenger of those that take away liberty. That's not because we're begging that we ask for liberty. We have that already. Let's pray. Our father in heaven, i asked shall bless us as we studied this afternoon to morrow about the principles and the trues of religious liberty. I ask you to do that by your spirit and in the name of jesus, a man. To listen to more of these presentations, you may visit the audio archives at M. I. S. D. A dot org slash audio 2021 or search for michigan conference camp meeting wherever you get your podcast.


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