I remember as a child being told that Ellen White said we should not go into the theaters or bars because our guardian angels could not or would not go with us. I have tried to find this statement by looking in the index to her writings and by doing a search on your Web site. No success. I am beginning to think this is one of those “quotes” that isn’t really there!Have you heard this statement before? If so, any idea where it can be found?
I don’t think there is a statement just like the ones you are asking about. Because I am usually asked about theaters rather than bars in this connection, I have gathered some statements that might be relevant to the theater issue, and I’ll be glad to share them with you. The theater in her day, of course, was live theater, not movies. Its moral level, however, was probably as bad in its day as that of the movies today. Let me share with you several statements that may bear on the question you have asked about angels leaving us when we go to unsavory places.
Angels of God will preserve His people while they walk in the path of duty, but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan’s ground (Testimoniesfor the Church, 5:198).
The above statement doesn’t deal with the theater, but it does indicate that by the choices we make, we can at least restrict, if not repulse, the work and even the presence of the angels. Surely this is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly.
Here is one statement that does refer to the theater in connection with angels:
When about to accompany his wife and children to the theater or the ball-room, let the professed Christian ask himself, Can I seek God’s blessing upon the scene of pleasure? Would my Master be a guest at such a place? Will angels minister to me there? (Signs of the Times, February 23, 1882).
But note also this encouraging word:
The angels never leave the tempted ones a prey to the enemy, who would destroy the souls of men if permitted to do so. As long as there is hope, until they resist the Holy Spirit to their eternal ruin, men are guarded by heavenly intelligences (Signs of the Times, June 6, 1895).
See also question 31: What’s wrong with going to the theater? And see question 32: What did Ellen White say about Christian drama?