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  Christian Leadership:   Dictatorship
The Results of Domination -- The holy principles that God has given are represented by the sacred fire; but common fire has been used in place of the sacred.  Plans, contrary to truth and righteousness, are introduced in a subtle manner on the plea that this must be done, and that must be done, because it is for the advancement of the cause of God.  But it is the devising of men that leads to oppression, injustice and wickedness.  The cause of God is to be free from every taint of injustice.  It can gain no advantage by robbing the members of the family of God of their individuality or of their rights.  All such practices are abhorrent to God . . . . {ChL 31.1}
The high-handed power that has been developed, as though positions had made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear.  It is a curse wherever, and by whomsoever it is exercised.  This lording it over God's heritage will create such a disgust of man's jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result.  The people are learning that men in high positions of responsibility cannot be trusted to mold and fashion other men's minds and characters.  The result will be a loss of confidence even in the management of faithful men . . . .  {ChL 31.2}
The spirit of domination is extending to the presidents of our conferences.  If a man is sanguine of his own powers and seeks to exercise dominion over his brethren, feeling that he is invested with authority to make his will the ruling power, the best and only safe course is to remove him, lest great harm be done, and he lose his own soul, and imperil the souls of others.  "All ye are brethren." {ChL 31.3}
This disposition to lord it over God's heritage will cause a reaction unless these men change their course.  Those in authority should manifest the spirit of Christ.  They should deal as he would deal with every case that requires attention.  They should go weighted with the Holy Spirit.  A man's position does not make him one jot or tittle greater in the sight of God; it is character alone that God values.-- Letter 55, 1895 (Sept. 19, 1895 to O. A. Olsen). {ChL 31.4}
How the Wheels of Progress are Clogged -- If it were possible, the enemy would clog the wheels of progress and prevent the truths of the gospel from being circulated everywhere.  With this object he leads men to feel that it is their privilege to control the consciences of their fellow-men according to their own perverted ideas.  They dismiss the Holy Spirit from their councils, and then, under the power and name of the General Conference, they invent regulations through which they compel men to be ruled by their own ideas and not by the Holy Spirit. . . . {ChL 31.5}
There is need of an education in regard to the rights and duties of men in authority who have lorded it over God's heritage.  When a man is placed in a position of trust, who knows not what kind of spirit he should exercise in dealing with human minds, he needs to learn the very first principles as to his authority over his fellow-men.  Right principles must be brought into the heart, and wrought into the warp and woof of character.--Letter 83, 1896 (May 22, 1896 to O. A. Olsen). {ChL 32.1}
Satan Fiercely Assails Responsible Men -- Observing carefully every direction that the Lord has specified in regard to the Christian armor, you will walk before him softly, and will work discreetly.  You will not carry with you any yokes to bind men to your plans, nor will you attempt to make the Lord's workers amenable to any finite mind.  The maxims and precepts of men are not to control His laborers.  Let no man be placed in a position where he can lord it over God's heritage; for this imperils alike the soul of him who rules and the souls of those who are under his rule.-- Manuscript 140, 1902 (Nov. 6, 1902 Principles for the Guidance of Men in Positions of Responsibility). {ChL 32.2}
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