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Position(s) in the Church ( 17 ) & (17 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
position  in  the  Church
 
Many were persecuted by their unbelieving brethren. In order to retain their position in the church, some consented to be silent in regard to their hope; but others felt that loyalty to God forbade them thus to hide the truths which He had committed to their trust. Not a few were cut off from the fellowship of the church for no other reason than expressing their belief in the coming of Christ. Very precious to those who bore this trial of their faith were the words of the prophet: "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." Isaiah 66:5.   Great Controversy, page 372.3  {4SP 227.1}  {SR 261.3} 
 
 
God's people of today are in danger of committing errors no less disastrous. We cannot, we must not, place blind confidence in any man, however high his profession of faith or his position in the church. We must not follow his guidance, unless the word of God sustains him. The Lord would have his people individually distinguish between sin and righteousness, between the precious and the vile.  {ST, August 17, 1882 par. 16}  {2BC 1016.2}
 
 
In his ministry, Paul was often compelled to stand alone. He was specially taught of God and dared make no concessions that would involve principle. At times the burden was heavy, but Paul stood firm for the right. He realized that the church must never be brought under the control of human power. The traditions and maxims of men must not take the place of revealed truth. The advance of the gospel message must not be hindered by the prejudices and preferences of men, whatever might be their position in the church.  {AA 199.3}
 
This Samaritan, said Christ, was neighbor to him who fell among thieves. The Levite and the priest represent a class in the church who manifest an indifference to the very ones who need their sympathy and help. This class, notwithstanding their position in the church, are commandment breakers. The Samaritan represents a class who are true helpers with Christ, and who are imitating His example in doing good.  {ChS 192.2}
 
All who have been benefited by the labors of God's servant should, according to their ability, unite with him in working for the salvation of souls. This is the work of all true believers, ministers and people. They should keep the grand object ever in view, each seeking to fill his proper position in the church, and all working together in order, harmony, and love.  {5T 238.1}  {ST, January 18, 1883 par. 9}
 
Angels of God will not abide in your family until there is a different order of things. It is not your means that is wanted. Yet when reproved you have thought it was your means that the church wanted. You are deceived here. You have been too liberal with your means, for the very reason that you have thought this was to obtain salvation for you and buy you a position in the church. No, indeed! it is you that is wanted, not the little means you possess. If you would be transformed by the renewing of your mind and be converted, deal truly with your own soul. It is all that the church require. You have deceived yourself. If any man seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, that man's religion is vain. Treat your family in a manner that Heaven can approve, and so that peace may be in your dwelling. There needs to be everything done for your family. Your children have had your bad example before them; you have blamed, and censured, and manifested a passionate spirit at home, while you would, at the same time, address the throne of grace, attend meeting, and bear testimony in favor of the truth. These exhibitions have led your children to despise you and the truth you profess. They have no confidence in your Christianity. They believe you to be a hypocrite, and it is true that you are a sadly deceived man. You can no more enter heaven without a thorough change than could Simon Magus, who thought that the Holy Ghost could be bought with money. Your family have seen your overreaching spirit, your readiness to take advantage of others, your penurious spirit toward those with whom you sometimes deal, and they despise you for it; yet they will too surely follow in your footsteps of wrongdoing.  {2T 86.1}
 
The two great principles of the law of God are supreme love to God and unselfish love to our neighbor. The first four commandments and the last six hang upon, or grow out of, these two principles. Christ explained to the lawyer who his neighbor was in the illustration of the man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and who fell among thieves and was robbed and beaten and left half dead. The priest and the Levite saw this man suffering, but their hearts did not respond to his wants. They avoided him by passing by on the other side. The Samaritan came that way, and when he saw the stranger's need of help he did not question whether he was a relative or was of his country or creed; but he went to work to help the sufferer because there was work which needed to be done. He relieved him as best he could, put him upon his own beast, and carried him to an inn and made provision for his wants at his own expense. This Samaritan, said Christ, was neighbor to him who fell among thieves. The Levite and the priest represent a class in the church who manifest an indifference to the very ones who need their sympathy and help. This class, notwithstanding their position in the church, are commandment breakers. The Samaritan represents a class who are true helpers with Christ and who are imitating His example in doing good.  {3T 511.3}
 
Those who occupy a leading position in the church should not exhaust their physical and mental strength through the week so that on the Sabbath they are unable to bring the vivifying influence of the gospel of Christ into the meeting. Do less temporal, everyday labor, but do not rob God by giving Him, on the Sabbath, service which He cannot accept. You should not be as men who have no spiritual life. The people need your help on the Sabbath. Give them food from the word. Bring your choicest gifts to God on His holy day. Let the precious life of the soul be given to Him in consecrated service.  {6T 361.3}
 
Here we are shown that God gives to every man his work, and in doing this work, man is fulfilling his part of God's great plan. Every faithful worker will minister for the perfecting of the saints. All who have been benefited by the labors of God's servant, should, according to their ability, unite with him in working for the salvation of souls. This is the work of all true believers, ministers, and people. They should keep the grand object ever in view, each seeking to fill his proper position in the church, and all working together in order, harmony, and love.  {RH, November 12, 1908 par. 14}
 
God has precious souls in these churches who would become ministers if they grow in the knowledge of the truth, and teach others the way of salvation, and lead them to righteousness. Satan will use every device in leading young men to form marriage connections which will defeat the purpose of God. He will seek to lower the standard of spirituality and holiness, so that the church will not be a living, working church, and its members be fitting themselves to work in the cause of God. Oh! how careful should be those who take the leading position in the church that their lives and deportment shall not scatter from Christ instead of gathering with Him.  {12MR 283.3}
 
 
positions  in  the  Church
 
The present is our day of trust. To every person is committed some peculiar gift or talent which is to be used to advance the Redeemer's kingdom. All God's responsible agents, from the lowliest and most obscure to those in high positions in the church, are entrusted with the Lord's goods. It is not the minister alone who can work for the salvation of souls. Those who have the smallest gifts are not excused from using the very best gifts they have, and in so doing their talents will be increased. It is not safe to trifle with moral responsibilities nor to despise the day of small things. God's providence proportions His trusts according to the varied capabilities of the people. None should mourn because they cannot glorify God with talents which they never possessed and for which they are not responsible.  {PaM 152.1}  {4T 618.2}
 
 
Some who have been workers, and who have an experience in the cause of present truth, move to Battle Creek and lay off their burden. Instead of feeling the necessity of double energy, watchfulness, prayer, and diligent performance of duty, they do scarcely anything at all. Those who have burdens to bear in the office, and have not time for duties aside from their work, are obliged to fill responsible positions in the church and to perform important, taxing labor which if they do not do will remain undone because these others will not take the burden.  {2T 114.4}  {GCDB, March 20, 1891 par. 6}
 
 
We all know what mischief an unruly tongue will do if left to run at will. Those who have been brought together in church capacity have bound themselves by their act in joining the church to keep evil speaking out of their ranks. It is the duty of those in responsible positions in the church to closely guard this matter to see that order and harmony are preserved in the church. . . .  {UL 210.2}
 
In the sixth chapter of Acts we are shown how when men were to be selected to fill positions in the church, the matter was brought before the Lord, and most earnest prayer was offered for guidance. The widows and fatherless were to be supported by contributions from the church. Their wants were not to be relieved by the church but by special donations. The tithe was to be consecrated to the Lord, and was always to be used for the support of the ministry. Men must be chosen to oversee the work of caring for the poor, to look after the proper distribution of the means in hand, that none among the believers should suffer for the necessaries of life.-- Letter 9, 1899.  {WM 275.2}
 
Many who occupy responsible positions in the church of God, are sacrificing their integrity to secure the favor of the ungodly. A strong current is sweeping downward, and they decide that it is easier to float with the tide than to row against it. Like the children of Israel, they sacrifice the blessings of God by their indolence and spiritual sloth. Many set up idols in their hearts,--idols of selfishness, idols of pride, and love of display. Eternal things lose their value. Withdraw the influences which God has provided to preserve and strengthen our spirituality, and it decays and dies. We must be continually seeking to draw near to God, and to learn his will. We must become more unlike the world, and more like Christ in character.  {ST, June 30, 1881 par. 23}
 
  
Those  who  hold  responsible  positions  in  the  church
How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives. Many do not realize the sacredness of church relationship and are loath to submit to restraint and discipline. Their course of action shows that they exalt their own judgment above that of the united church, and they are not careful to guard themselves lest they encourage a spirit of opposition to its voice. Those who hold responsible positions in the church may have faults in common with other people and may err in their decisions; but notwithstanding this, the church of Christ on earth has given to them an authority that cannot be lightly esteemed. Christ, after His resurrection, delegated power unto His church, saying: "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained."  {4T 17.2}
 
 
The sin of Eli was in passing lightly over the iniquity of his sons, who were occupying sacred offices. The neglect of the father to reprove and restrain his sons brought upon Israel a fearful calamity. The sons of Eli were slain, Eli himself lost his life, the ark of God was taken from Israel, and thirty thousand of the people were slain. All this was because sin was lightly regarded and allowed to remain among them. What a lesson is this to men holding responsible positions in the church of God! It adjures them faithfully to remove the wrongs that dishonor the cause of truth.  {4T 166.2}  {RH, June 30, 1885 par. 5}  {ST, February 12, 1880 par. 7}
 
 
Related Phrase:    Selected to hold responsible positions in the church
 
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