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Corruption of the church
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Corruption  of  the  church
 
The regulation adopted by the early colonists, of permitting only members of the church to vote or to hold office in the civil government, led to most pernicious results. This measure had been accepted as a means of preserving the purity of the state, but it resulted in the corruption of the church. A profession of religion being the condition of suffrage and officeholding, many, actuated solely by motives of worldly policy, united with the church without a change of heart. Thus the churches came to consist, to a considerable extent, of unconverted persons; and even in the ministry were those who not only held errors of doctrine, but who were ignorant of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. Thus again was demonstrated the evil results, so often witnessed in the history of the church from the days of Constantine to the present, of attempting to build up the church by the aid of the state, of appealing to the secular power in support of the gospel of Him who declared: "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. The union of the church with the state, be the degree never so slight, while it may appear to bring the world nearer to the church, does in reality but bring the church nearer to the world.  Great Controversy, page 297.1
 
 
 
Such had been the experience of Luther. As he saw the terrible apostasy and corruption of the church, he determined to be a faithful steward of God's word, to dispense to others its holy teachings in their purity and simplicity. He knew that unless the people could be led to receive the word of God as their rule of life, there could be no hope of reform. He therefore presented the Scriptures to his hearers as the oracles of God, a divine communication as verily addressed to them as though they heard the voice of God speaking to them from Heaven. With great earnestness he urged upon them the importance of gaining for themselves a knowledge of the sacred word. The Bible was written by holy men under the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, and the aid of that same Spirit was indispensable to an understanding of its teachings. It should be studied in humility and in faith, with unwavering confidence in its supreme authority, and with earnest prayer for divine aid. Only in pursuing such a course could the searcher hope to discern spiritual things. Were the word of God thus studied, it would exert a molding influence upon both the mental and the moral powers, quickening and ennobling the intellect, purifying the soul, thus erecting mighty barrier against the iniquity that was flooding the world.  {ST, June 7, 1883 par. 15}
 
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