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Need to understand clearly EGW's statement, "There will shouting, with drums, music, and dancing....".

Why is this quote from EGW, relating to an incident in an Indiana Adventist campmeeting, "There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit", so often used to denounce the use of any drumming or contemporary music in worship service? From what I've read in a few sources, including the below link to Wikipedia on the matter, this quote is taken out of context, and is actually condemning not the use of drums themselves, or a particular worship style, but rather a worship practice by those in what is called the "Holy Flesh" movement.

From what I read in EGWs full statements on this incident, and as I read about the Holy Flesh Movement's practices, drums were simply one of many instruments used to support a Pentecostal-like emotional frenzy, brought on by an erroneous belief system that led people to seek a "spiritual" experience that resulted in a "bedlam of noise" and irriational thought processes. The experience EGW writes about, then, could've and undoubtedly would've happened whether there were drums present in the Indiana meeting or not. // Can I have some intelligent, unbiased feedback on this? Please? My mind is boggled that anyone would use the above quote to support the denunciation of drums and contemporary music in worship service!


Here's the description of a Holy Flesh movement worship service, as described in Wikipedia:

"The Holy Flesh theory alleged that those who follow the Saviour must have their fallen natures perfected by passing through a “Garden of Gethsemane” experience... Eyewitness accounts report that in their services the fanatics worked up a high pitch of excitement by use of musical instruments such as organs, flutes, fiddles, tambourines, horns, and even a big bass drum. They sought a physical demonstration and shouted and prayed and sang until someone in the congregation would fall, prostrate and unconscious, from his seat. One or two men, walking up and down the aisle for the purpose, would drag the fallen person up on the rostrum. Then about a dozen individuals would gather around the prostrate body, some singing, some shouting, and some praying, all at the same time. When the subject revived, he was counted among those who had passed through the Gethsemane experience, had obtained holy flesh, and had translation faith. Thereafter, it was asserted, he could not sin and would never die."


Here is the rest of EGW's statement on this matter, the context, from Wikipedia:

In January 1900, Ellen White received a vision about it while in Australia. S. N. Haskell (1833–1922) and A. J. Breed were sent to the campmeeting at Muncie to meet this "fanaticism". At the 1901 General Conference Session, Ellen White criticized the Holy Flesh teachings as "error" on April 17 stating:

"It is impossible to estimate too largely the work that the Lord will accomplish through His proposed vessels carrying out His mind and purpose. The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place Just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit."[7]

"The Holy Spirit never reveals Itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.[8]

"When the camp meeting is ended, the good which ought to have been done and which might have been done by the presentation of sacred truth is not accomplished. Those participating in the supposed revival receive Impressions, which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.[9]

"No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God...

I will not go into all the painful history; it is too much. But last January the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the campmeetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the third angel's message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence.[10]

"The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a confusion of noise and multitude of sounds as passed before me last January. Satan works amid the din and confusion of such music, which, properly conducted, would be a praise and glory to God. He makes its effect like the poison sting of the serpent.[11]

"Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction has been given in order that all may understand. But the Itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them. "


I AM CONCERNED about such false Holy Spirituality arising in our church, as I am legalism, and arguing amongst each other about non-issues and hurting feelings of very good Christian brothers and sisters for reasons that are, really, not even reasons at all. SO, somebody please... knowing that we have so little time left to spread the 3 Angels' Message... clarify this matter, once and for all of us. Thank-you, in advance.

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Drums play a large role in the incident the EGW saw in vision... and she stated that more of this will happen in the end of time.  We are seeing it in many churches, just as prophesied.  Drums, especially cymbals, are not bad of themselves, but it is how they are used.  And 99% of the time they are used the wrong way.  It encourages our unholy flesh nature to come out.  PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO by Ivor Myers... it addresses these things very well...  Hopefully this will resolve things.


Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I listened to this speaker with rapt attention until he got to the definition of a "snare". Initially, he defined a "snare" from the dictionary and described how he and friends would use a type of snare to catch birds in his home country of Jamaica. All of sudden, he adds that a "snare" is also a trap set (which I suspect he meant as a play on words, there being a snare drum in a trap set), and then a screen pops up saying that the seat upon which a trap set drummer sits is called a "throne" and that Satan has always wanted to sit upon God's throne. At this point I had to stop the video because I realized this very otherwise gifted speaker is simply doing what I see so many people do in their arguments against having any drums (or contemporary music, for that matter) in church services- he's making unreasonable leaps in logic from a premise to a conclusion- in this case, there's no apparent logic between the definition of a snare being a device to catch birds and a snare drum, simply because it's called a "snare" drum, to be used to ensare otherwise genuine and devoted Christians into a trap set by Satan. Also, just because somebody, at some point in time, decided, for whatever reason, to call the seat a drummer sits on a "throne", there is no logical reason to perceive the seat a drummer sits on as a device or symbol to draw people into a Satan-like desire for self-exaltation- it's JUST a seat to sit one's butt on, so that person can use his or her feet to play the bass drums, which are part of the trap set. // I DO appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question, and am willing, if you honestly think this speaker has something significantly more logical, more scholarly or sensible to say than what he's already said, to listen to rest of his videos (it appears there might be at least 11, the first two being about 10 minutes each). But, if not, then watching any more of these videos is not a good use of my time, not general time or that devoted to learning more about God and His will for me. // Just so you know, I have listened to, watched, and read hours upon hours of debate on this subject, over the past 10 years since I became an Adventist; and I keep waiting for someone to show clearly from Scripture that ALL drumming and contemporary music in church is unacceptable to God (I've no doubt the way drums were used in Indiana in the incident EGW addresses, was evil). Actually, at this time, I'm quite convinced that God is pleased with drums and contemporary music used to worship Him, when it's done with truly worshipful hearts and when hearts and minds are truly drawn to Him- which DOES happen, despite what some Adventists would prefer to believe. // I'm not sure what to say beyond this, at this time, except that I am not sure how this video will even answer my specific question, "Why do people use the EGW quote I described as meaning she was speaking against the use of drums at all, or any particular worship style, in church service, rather than, what seems obvious to me, she was actually referring to the "bedlam of noise" and Pentecostal-like mindlessness exhibited in the worship services in Indiana associated with the Holy Flesh movement. It seems to me she was prophesying that this same type of Pentecostal-like worship is the matter of concern for our days, and that only. So, will this specific question be answered by this speaker, further on in his lecture? If so, I'll, as I said, check it out further; otherwise, as much as I appreciate your attempt to answer my question, I think I'll wait for further replies. // Hmm.. another thought pops into my head as I prepare to get on with this Sabbath day... my brother-in-Christ, if I seem a bit exasperated, I am, but it's NOT with you. It's with the concern that though I take Ellen White very seriously when she said Satan will attempt to use music as a "snare" in the remnant church, in the last days, I also see a grave problem in our church of legalism and phariseeism (people trying to force others into behavior that is a very narrowed version of the boundaries God Himself sets on our behavior). That, to me, is just as dangerous, damaging, and Satanic as broadening those boundaries, and makes the worship of God, just as the Pharisees made of the Sabbath, a burden rather than a blessing. The worst part about that is there are people who turn away from Jesus because they know no more of Him and His character than what they see so poorly reflected in His church- and the forbidding of a behavior by one group of people over another, or simply the intolerance of one group of people over another regarding a particulary behanior, without clear Biblical support to do so, is a VERY bad, even contorted, reflection of the character of Jesus. Wouldn't you agree?


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