Experimental religion

     Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                  E x p E R m e N T i a l    r e l i g i o n               ( 4  RELATED  PHRASES )                           

           The phrase  'Experimental religion'  appears  36  times in the writings of Ellen G. White                          page not on original site                                          Related Phrase:    Necessity of experimental religion  ( 7 )  - -  experimental religion is what is needed  ( 4 )

The necessity of experimental religion must be urged upon those who accept the theory of the truth. Ministers must keep their own souls in the love of God and then impress upon the people the necessity of an individual consecration, a personal conversion. All must obtain a living experience for themselves; they must have Christ enshrined in the heart, his Spirit controlling the affections, or their profession of faith is of no value, and their condition will be even worse than if they had never heard the truth.  {5T 619.1}


  A man may hear and acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing of personal piety and true experimental religion. He may explain the way of salvation to others, and yet himself be a castaway. The truth is holy and powerful, and searches the intents and purposes of the heart. The importance and authority of the truth in the great plan of salvation originated in the divine Author, and are not rendered void or worthless because the instruments employed in their administration are unholy or unfaithful. { Ev 682.1} 


  For the fifty years preceding 1792, little attention was given to the work of foreign missions. No new societies were formed, and there were but few churches that made any effort for the spread of Christianity in heathen lands. But toward the close of the eighteenth century a great change took place. Men became dissatisfied with the results of rationalism and realized the necessity of divine revelation and experimental religion. From this time the work of foreign missions attained an unprecedented growth. (See Appendix.) { GC 287.3}  Read entire Chapter 15
The wide circulation of the Bible in the early part of the nineteenth century, and the great light thus shed upon the world, was not followed by a corresponding advance in knowledge of revealed truth, or in experimental religion. Satan could not, as in former ages, keep God’s word from the people; it had been placed within the reach of all; but in order still to accomplish his object, he led many to value it but lightly. Men neglected to search the Scriptures, and thus they continued to accept false interpretations, and to cherish doctrines which had no foundation in the Bible. { GC 298.1}   Read entire chapter 16
Experimental religion must be urged upon those who embrace the theory of the truth. Ministers must not neglect to keep their own souls in the love of the truth and of God, and then impress upon the people the necessity of an individual consecration, a personal conversion, and a living experience to be obtained for themselves; or the profession of faith is of no value. It is, indeed, worse than if they had never embraced the truth, for they are as salt without the savor.  {12MR 284.1}
  The young want just what they have not; namely, religion. Nothing can take the place of this. Profession alone is nothing. Names are registered upon the church-books upon earth, but not in the book of life. I saw that there is not one in twenty of the youth who knows what experimental religion is. They serve themselves, and yet profess to be servants of Christ; but unless the spell which is upon them be broken, they will soon realize that the portion of the transgressor is theirs. As for self-denial or sacrifice for the truth’s sake, they have found an easier way above it all. As for the earnest pleading with tears and strong cries to God for His pardoning grace, and for strength from Him to resist the temptations of Satan, they have found it unnecessary to be so earnest and zealous; they can get along well without it. Christ, the King of glory, went often alone to the mountains and desert places to pour out His soul’s request to His Father; but sinful man, in whom is no strength, thinks he can live without so much prayer.—Testimonies for the Church 1:503-505. { MYP 383.3} 


Just as long as God has a church, he will have those who will cry aloud and spare not, who will be his instruments to reprove selfishness and sins, and will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear. I saw that individuals would rise up against the plain testimonies. It does not suit their natural feelings. They would choose to have smooth things spoken unto them, and have peace cried in their ears. I view the church in a more dangerous condition than they ever have been. Experimental religion is known but by a few. The shaking must soon take place to purify the church. { 2SG 284.1 } 
  Young Sabbathkeepers are given to pleasure seeking. I saw that there is not one in twenty who knows what experimental religion is. They are constantly grasping after something to satisfy their desire for change, for amusement; and unless they are undeceived and their sensibilities aroused so that they can say from the heart, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,” they are not worthy of Him and will come short of everlasting life. The young, generally, are in a terrible deception, and yet they profess godliness. Their unconsecrated lives are a reproach to the Christian name; their example is a snare to others. They hinder the sinner, for in nearly every respect they are no better than unbelievers. They have the word of God, but its warnings, admonitions, reproofs, and corrections are unheeded, as are also the encouragements and promises to the obedient and faithful. God’s promises are all on condition of humble obedience. One pattern only is given to the young, but how do their lives compare with the life of Christ? I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting. { 1T 496.1} 


  Those who visit ----- carry away the impression made by you and other of the youth who do not enjoy experimental religion, that there is no reality in religion. Pride is strengthened in them; love of show, love of lightness and of pleasure are increased, and sacred things are not discerned. They receive the impression that they have been too conscientious, too particular. For if those who live right at the center of the great work are influenced so little by the solemn truths so often presented, why should they be so particular? Why should they be afraid of enjoying themselves, when this seemed to be the aim of those who were of longer experience in-----? { 2T 175.2} 
  Jesus loves you both and will save you if you will be saved in His own appointed way. You may have experimental religion if you really hunger and thirst for it. Go to God in faith and humility, and ask, and you will receive; but remember that the disciple is not above his Master nor the servant greater than his Lord. You need to cherish that humility and humbleness of mind which dwelt in Christ. { 2T 431.1} 


  You need to cultivate love and affection for your parents and for your brothers and sisters. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Young men, you cannot afford to sacrifice your eternal interests for your school studies. Your teachers may stimulate you by applause, and you may be deceived by the sophistry of Satan. You may be led on step by step to seek to excel and to obtain the approbation of your teachers, but your knowledge in the divine life, in experimental religion, will grow less and less. Your names will stand registered before the holy, exalted angels and before the Creator of the universe and Christ, the Majesty of heaven, in a very poor light. Opposite them will be a record of sins, of mistakes, failures, neglects, and such ignorance in spiritual knowledge that the Father and His Son, Jesus our Advocate, and ministering angels will be ashamed to own you as children of God. { 3T 224.1} 
  I fear, greatly fear, that J will fail of heaven. She loves the world and the things of the world so well that she has no love to spare for Jesus. She is so incrusted in selfishness that the illuminating light from heaven cannot penetrate the cold, dark walls of self-love and self-esteem which she has been building up for a lifetime. Love is the key to open hearts, but the precious plant of love has not been cherished. J has so long blinded her eyes to her selfishness that she cannot now discern it. She has had so little experimental religion that in heart she is of the world, and I fear that this world is all the heaven she will ever have. Her influence over her husband is not good. He is swayed by it and does not see the necessity of being fortified by the grace of God to stand for the right with true moral courage. Not only does she fail to realize and do the work that God requires of her, but she exerts an overpowering influence to hold her husband and tie his hands. And she has succeeded to a great extent. He is blinded. { 3T 535.1} 


  There is an element in the church at-----that is detrimental to its spiritual interests. There is a great want of vital godliness, of experimental religion. I call no names. Let each search his own heart and understand his own imperfections. There are some who are ever leaning toward the world, ever lowering the standard of religion by their worldly conversation. They have not the love of God in their hearts. They are weak-handed when real help is needed in the church. This spiritual weakness is the result of their own unwillingness to bear burdens when and where they can help the most. When, however, there is any plan or device of their own to carry out, they are willing to assume any responsibility; to have their own way is their purpose. If that were a sanctified way, it would not be so bad; but it is not. { 5T 114.1} 
  Human strength is weakness, human wisdom is folly. Our success does not depend on our talents or learning, but on our living connection with God. The truth is shorn of its power when preached by men who are seeking to display their own learning and ability. Such men display also that they know very little of experimental religion, that they are unsanctified in heart and life and are filled with vain conceit. They do not learn of Jesus. They cannot present to others a Saviour with whom they themselves are not acquainted. Their own hearts are not softened and subdued by a vivid sense of the great sacrifice which Christ has made to save perishing man. They do not feel that it is a privilege to deny self and to suffer for His dear sake. Some exalt self, and talk of self; they prepare sermons and write articles to call the attention of the people to the minister, fearing that he will not receive due honor. Had there been more lifting up of Jesus and less extolling the minister, more praise rendered to the Author of truth and less to its messengers, we would occupy a more favorable position before God than we do today. { 5T 158.4} 
Experience is knowledge derived from experiment. What we need is experimental religion. How shall we know for ourselves God’s goodness and his love? The psalmist tells us—not, hear and know, read and know, or believe and know; but—“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Instead of relying upon the word of another, taste for yourself. { ST January 11, 1883, par. 24 }

In these days, persecution and reproach for Christ’s sake are scarcely known. Very little self-denial and sacrifice are necessary in order to put on a form of godliness, and have the name upon the church-book; but to live in such a manner that our ways will be pleasing to God, and our names registered in the book of life, will require watchfulness and prayer, sacrifice and self-denial. Very few of the youth know what experimental religion is. They have not a fixed principle to serve God. They sink under every cloud; they have no power of endurance. They appear to serve God; they make now and then a formal prayer, and are called Christians; but they do not grow in grace. They are not led to search their own hearts diligently, and to count the cost of becoming a Christian. As a result, they profess to be Christians without sufficiently trying their motives. { ST May 1, 1884, par. 1 }


                               Return  to  Selected Quotations by EGW  page

Related Information

EGW quotes - E-F Earthquake Emboldened in sin Embrace Emergency Encourage End justifies the means Endeavor Endurance Enemy Enrich the mind Enter the strait gate (15) Entering wedge Envy Error (Separate page) Escape Essence (160) Essential ( is essential ) Essential for man Eternal Evangelism Every (separate page) Every person we contact Evidence Evil (Separate page) Example Excommunicate Excuse (2,291) Exercise Experience Eye salve Eyes Fact - Facts (Separate page) Failure Fair chance Faith (Separate page) Fall False (Separate page) Familiar Fanaticism Fasting (418) - Fear (Separate page) Feast of Pentecost Feelings Fidelity (separate page) 989 Fighting Fire (separate page) Flattery Follow Jesus Follow their own (359) Foolishness Forbearance of God Forbidden Force Forgive Form of Godliness Formation of small companies Fortification Forward (Go Forward) France ( French Revolution ) Free - Freedom ( Separate section ) Fruits of the Spirit (Separate page) Fulness (Separate page) Fundamental principle Future (Separate page) Necessity of experimental religion