Ellen White Topics
By some there is shunning of the living testimony. Cutting truths must not be shunned. It needs something besides theory to reach hearts now. It needs the stirring testimony to alarm and arouse; that will stir the enemy's subjects, and then honest souls will be led to decide for the truth. There has been and still is with some a disposition to have everything move on very smoothly. They see no necessity of straight testimony. 2SG 283

Sins exist in the church that God hates, but they are scarcely touched for fear of making enemies. Opposition has risen in the church to the plain testimony. Some will not bear it. They wish smooth things spoken unto them. And if the wrongs of individuals are touched, they complain of severity, and sympathise with those in the wrong. As Ahab inquired of Elijah, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" they are ready to look with suspicion and doubt upon those who bear the plain testimony, and like Ahab overlook the wrong which made it necessary for reproof and rebuke. When the church departs from God they despise the plain testimony, and complain of severity and harshness. It is a sad evidence of the lukewarm state of the church. 2SG 283

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

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

Preachers should have no scruples to preach the truth as it is found in God's word. Let the truth cut. I have been shown that why ministers have not more success is, they are afraid of hurting feelings, fearful of not being courteous, and they lower the standard of truth, and conceal if possible the peculiarity of our faith. I saw that God could not make such successful. The truth must be made pointed, and the necessity of a decision urged. And as false shepherds are crying, Peace, and are preaching smooth things, the servants of God must cry aloud, and spare not, and leave the result with God. 2SG 284

The message we bear must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. He rebuked the adultery of Herod. Notwithstanding his life was in peril, the truth did not languish upon his lips. And our work in this age must be as faithfully done. The inhabitants of the world at this time are represented by the dwellers upon the earth at the time of the Flood. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the old world is plainly stated: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). 2SM 151

We see danger in the bestowal of rich gifts or of words of commendation upon human agencies. Those who are favoured by the Lord need to be on guard constantly, lest pride or self-esteem obtain the supremacy. He who has an unusual following, he who has received words of commendation from the Lord, needs the special prayers of God's faithful watchmen, that he may be shielded from the danger of cherishing thoughts of self-esteem and spiritual pride. Never is such a man to manifest self-importance, or attempt to act as a dictator or a ruler. Faithfully should his brethren warn him of his dangers; for, if left to himself, he will surely make mistakes, and reveal human frailties. 3BC 1131

[ Despisers of Reproof ] The apostle Paul plainly states that the experience of the Israelites in their travels has been recorded for the benefit of those living in this age of the world, those upon whom the ends of the world are come. We do not consider that our dangers are any less than those of the Hebrews, but greater. There will be temptations to jealousies and murmurings, and there will be outspoken rebellion, as are recorded of ancient Israel. There will ever be a spirit to rise up against the reproof of sins and wrongs. But shall the voice of reproof be hushed because of this? If so, we shall be in no better situation than are the various denominations in our land who are afraid to touch the errors and prevailing sins of the people.

Those whom God has set apart as ministers of righteousness have solemn responsibilities laid upon them to reprove the sins of the people. Paul commanded Titus: "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." There are ever those who will despise the one who dares to reprove sin; but there are times when reproof must be given. Paul directs Titus to rebuke a certain class sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. Men and women who, with their different organisations, are brought together in church capacity have peculiarities and faults. As these are developed, they will require reproof. If those who are placed in important positions never reproved, never rebuked, there would soon be a demoralised condition of things that would greatly dishonour God. But how shall the reproof be given? Let the apostle answer: "With all long-suffering and doctrine." Principle should be brought to bear upon the one who needs reproof, but never should the wrongs of God's people be passed by indifferently. 3T 358

There is very little reverence for sacred things in either the Upper Columbia or the North Pacific Conference. The ordained instrumentalities of God are almost entirely lost sight of. God has instituted no new method of reaching the children of men. If they cut themselves off from heaven's appointed agencies to reprove their sins, correct their errors, and point out the path of duty, there is no way to reach them with any heavenly communication. They are left in darkness and are ensnared and taken by the adversary. 5T 298

The minister of God is commanded: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." The Lord says of these people: "They seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness." Here is a people who are self-deceived, self-righteous, self-complacent, and the minister is commanded to cry aloud and show them their transgressions. In all ages this work has been done for God's people, and it is needed now more than ever before. 5T 299

If the minister's face is not flint, if he has not indomitable faith and courage, if his heart is not made strong by constant communion with God, he will begin to shape his testimony to please the unsanctified ears and hearts of those he is addressing. In endeavouring to avoid the criticism to which he is exposed, he separates from God and loses the sense of divine favour, and his testimony becomes tame and lifeless. He finds that his courage and faith are gone and his labours powerless. The world is full of flatterers and dissemblers who have yielded to the desire to please; but the faithful men, who do not study self-interest, but love their brethren too well to suffer sin upon them, are few indeed. 5T 299

The providence of God says, "Go forward," not back into Egypt; and instead of framing a testimony to please the people, ministers should seek to arouse those who are asleep. 5T 372

[ Duty to Give Reproof ] "If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty. In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain, Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it." 5T 676

"Never was there greater need of faithful warnings and reproofs . . . than at this very time. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. He is flooding the world with pleasing fables, and the people of God love to have smooth things spoken to them. . . . I was shown that God's people must make more firm, determined efforts to press back the incoming darkness. The close work of the Spirit of God is needed now as never before." 5T 676

It is of little use to try to reform others by attacking what we may regard as wrong habits. Such efforts often result in more harm than good. MH 156

There has been much said in order to keep out licentious practices and improper familiarity between men and women. This has be to be met and reproved, and constantly guarded against, and the ones that are corrected become angry; in the place of reforming, they try to work their revenge upon the faithful workers in the institution. My own soul has been weighed down with burdens that are inexpressible, as I have tried in the fear of God to do my duty to all parties and to the institution. PC 26

Had Elder Smith exercised more firmness and boldness in defending the right and condemning the wrong, my husband would not have been forced to take such firm, decided positions. This disposition on the part of Elder Smith to overlook wrong, and leave evils uncorrected, which, though small at first, would increase till they finally destroyed the purity of the church, has forced my husband to act, and caused his course, in contrast with Elder Smith's, to seem very severe and dictatorial. Had Elder Smith stood as a bold soldier for Jesus Christ, had he called sin, fraud, and dishonesty by their right names, had he given these evils their just rebuke, less of such disagreeable work would have fallen upon my husband, and less cause would have been given for temptation in regard to his course of action.

God would have the facts appear as they are. Elder Smith has neglected to cultivate those traits of character which it is so needful that all who are engaged in the work of God should possess. Pleasing or unpleasing to human nature, faithfulness, vigilance, and boldness must be exercised, or sin will triumph over righteousness. A failure to see and sense the wants of the cause for this time, and to reprove sin, is called by some, meekness; God calls it unfaithfulness, and spiritual sloth. He gives no credit to those who shun the cross and neglect the disagreeable duties, thereby imperilling his church. Envy, jealousy, dishonesty, falsehoods, and evil surmisings have ever had to be met. They existed in the time of ancient Israel, and will ever be found in modern Israel. Some one must meet this element, and whoever does will displease some; it cannot be otherwise, for there will ever be those who will sympathise with wrong-doers. Those who have shunned that part of the work which requires anxiety and care, boldness and fortitude, will receive no reward for their silence and their peaceful demeanour; but condemnation will be written against them....

This exactly represents the case of ministers in our day. It is an evil day. Satan is continually at work to press his temptations among us. At first he presents little deviations from right; then after the senses have become accustomed to this slight departure from the light which God has given, he presents another temptation to lead away from former positions and principles. Then as the mind becomes accustomed to that, he presents a still greater departure from the simplicity of our faith, until the barriers are broken down, and idolatry in various forms is at home in our midst. God then moves upon those who will not shun to declare his whole counsel, and charges them, "Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, . . . as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God." Those who ought to be humiliating their souls before God will then begin to justify themselves:--

"What an easy, happy time we were having. The church was in a pleasant condition. We were doing well. But, lo! here come Elder White and his wife, the disturbers of Israel. They always create a trouble whenever they come. If they only had the sweet spirit of Elder Smith; he never hurts any one's feelings, he never says sharp and cutting things." But these blind ones do not see that this very pleasing, careless indifference on the part of men at Battle Creek who have failed to keep the fort, has created the necessity for the alarm to be sounded and the cutting rebukes to be given. Where would the church drift, were it not for the plain, close, searching testimonies to arouse them from their slumber? PH043 9-13,16

We must as workers be united in frowning down and condemning anything that bears the least approach to evil, in our associations with one another. Our faith is holy; our work is to vindicate the honour of God's law, and is not of a character to bring any one down to a low level in thought or in deportment. There are many who claim to believe and teach the truth who have error and fanciful ideas of their own mingled with the truth. But there is an exalted platform for us to stand upon. We must believe and teach the truth as it is in Jesus.

Holiness of heart will never lead to impure actions. When one who claims to be teaching the truth is inclined to be much in the company of young women or even of married women; when he familiarly lays his hand upon their shoulders, or is often found conversing with them in a familiar manner, be afraid of him. The pure principles of truth are not in wrought in the soul. Such are not workers with Jesus; they are not in Christ, and Christ is not abiding in them. They need a thorough conversion before God can accept their labours. The truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never leads him to the least approach to undue familiarity. On the contrary, it sanctifies the receiver, refines the taste, elevates and ennobles him, and brings him in close connection with Jesus. It does not lead him to disregard the Apostle Paul's injunction, to abstain from even the appearance of evil, lest his good should be evil spoken of. We have a great work to do to elevate man and to win him to Christ, to lead him to choose and to seek earnestly to be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Every thought, every word, and every action of the workers should be of that elevated character that is in harmony with the sacred truth they advocate. We are living in an age where iniquity abounds, and an unguarded word or an improper action may greatly injure the usefulness of the one showed this weakness. Keep up the barriers of reserve. Let not one instance occur in your relation to others that the enemy may make capital of. If you begin to place your affections upon one another, giving special attention to favourites, using flattering words, God will withdraw his Spirit.

If married men leave their wives to care for their children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work as the husband and father. Although one is in the missionary field, the other is a home missionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. Her work is a solemn and important one. It is to mould the minds and fashion the characters of her children, and train them for usefulness here, and fit them for the future, immortal life. The husband in the open missionary field may receive the honours of men, while the home toiler may receiver no credit for her labour. But if she works for the best interest of her family, to fashion their characters after the divine model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world. God does not see things as man's finite vision views them. ST OCT.15,1885

[Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Isa. 58:1.] Hypocrisy is peculiarly offensive to God. A large majority of the men and women who profess to know the truth prefer smooth messages. They do not desire to have their sins and defects brought before them. They want accommodating ministers, who will not arouse conviction by speaking the truth. They choose men who will flatter them, and in their turn they flatter the minister who has shown such a "good" spirit, while they revile the faithful servant of God. . . . Many praise the minister who dwells on the grace and mercy and love of Jesus, who is not particular to enforce duties and obligations, who does not warn of the danger of hypocrisy, or present the terrors of God's wrath. TDG 055

My brother, you have had the respect of the church, old and young. But your course is condemned of God, and you have not had His Spirit, and you are not a free man. You have pursued a course that has caused your good to be evil spoken of. The very things that transpired at the Piedmont Sabbath school reunion, I would not have [had] occur for thousands of dollars. You, a grey-haired man, lying at full length with your head in the lap of Georgie S. Had I done my duty, I would have rebuked you there. Many saw this and made remarks about it. After such exhibitions as this, of what value would be your admonitions to them to be guarded against everything of this free and easy familiarity? You have yourself neutralised your efforts to elevate the young by your example. TSB 182