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Dealing with the Erring ( 33 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Dealing  with  the  erring
Related Phrase:  In dealing with the erring ( 18 )  - -  Christ's rules of dealing with the erring  ( 3 )
How much suffering would be prevented, if those who claim to know and believe the truth, would practice its precepts! In living out the lessons of Jesus, we make it manifest that we are not careless, inattentive, unfruitful hearers of the word. If those who claim to be the followers of Christ were only obedient to the truth, the door that is now open where Satan finds access and enters to wound and bruise the soul, would be closed. How careful we should be not to offend one of the little ones that belong to God! The Saviour said, "It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." Let every member of the church try to save the souls of others, and not through criticism and evil reports discourage or destroy them. How many and how great evils would be extinguished in the church if men followed Christ's rule of dealing with the erring, instead of following the impulse and passion of their unsanctified hearts!  {RH, July 22, 1890 par. 2}
 
 
Perverted Discipline -- In dealing with the erring, harsh measures should not be resorted to; milder means will effect far more. Make use of the milder means most perseveringly, and even if they do not succeed, wait patiently; never hurry the matter of cutting off a member from the church.  Pray for him, and see if God will not move upon the heart of the erring.  Discipline has been largely perverted.  Those who have had very defective characters themselves have been very forward in disciplining others, and thus all discipline has been brought into contempt.  Passion, prejudice, and partiality, I am sorry to say, have had abundant room for exhibition, and proper discipline has been strangely neglected.  If those who deal with the erring had hearts full of the milk of human kindness, what a different spirit would prevail in our churches.  May the Lord open the eyes and soften the hearts of those who have a harsh, unforgiving, unrelenting spirit toward those whom they think in error.  Such men dishonor their office and dishonor God.  They grieve the hearts of his children, and compel them to cry unto God in their distress.  The Lord will surely hear their cry, and will judge for these things.-- Review and Herald, May 14, 1895. {ChL 65.1}
 
 
The spirit that instigates accusation and condemnation in the church which results in uprooting those that are looked upon as evil-doers, has manifested itself in seeking to correct wrongs through the civil power. This is Satan's own method for bringing the world under his dominion; but the Lord Jesus Christ has given us no such example for thus dealing with the erring. God has been misrepresented through the church by this very way of dealing with heretics; he has been represented as the one who empowered the church to do these wicked things.  {RH, January 10, 1893 par. 8}
 
From time to time for the past twenty years I have been shown that the Lord had qualified my husband for the work of faithfully dealing with the erring, and had laid the burden upon him, and that if he should fail to do his duty in this respect he would incur the displeasure of the Lord. I have never regarded his judgment infallible, nor his words inspired; but I have ever believed him better qualified for this work than any other one of our preachers, because of his long experience, and because I have seen that he was especially called and adapted to the work; and also because in many cases where persons have risen up against his reproofs, I have been shown that he was right in his judgment of matters and in his manner of reproving.  {1T 612.4}
 
"Let us learn to follow the Bible rule for dealing with the erring. Let us do our part to answer Christ's prayer for unity among His people. During the coming year, let us obey the new commandment that Christ gave to His disciples in every age, 'Love one another, as I have loved you.' For our soul's sake let us serve Him with more zeal and earnestness than we have ever served Him before.  {KC 38.3}
 
I know by the burden which is rolled upon me, that many who are officiating in our schools need themselves to learn in the school of Christ his meekness, his tender dealing with the erring, his compassion and love. Until they are melted over and the dross separated from the character, they will work at cross purposes. I am deeply grieved in my heart, for serious results in unwise dealings have followed, more serious then many are willing to admit to their own conscience or to God. Self is so large in many, ever striving for the mastery. There are those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ who have never died to self. They have never fallen on the Rock and been broken, Until this shall be, they will live unto self, and if they die as they are, it is forever too late for their wrongs to be righted. I love their souls. Jesus loves their souls, and he will do a good work for them, if they will humble themselves under his mighty hand, repent and be converted, surrender every day to God. It must be a constant daily surrender. We must be minute men and women, ever on guard over self, and watching to improve every opportunity to do good and only good for the souls for whom Christ has given his life to make them his own. When the human agents deal with these souls in a hard spirit, they grieve the heart of Christ, and put him to open shame, for they misrepresent in their own character the character of Christ, Said one, "thy gentleness hath made me great." I pray to our heavenly Father that all connected with our schools may be in Christ as the branch is united to the living vine.  {SpM 146.2}
 
Patient Dealing with the Erring 
   The one who is placed in charge of such ones should in no case fret or scold. He should not give way to impatience or lose his self-control. Take them by themselves, and tell them that such exhibitions cannot be permitted, that their spirit must be changed. Tell them that to educate themselves to think that they need sympathy is the most foolish thing they can do. Pray with them; then give them their task, as God gives us our tasks. He has given to every man his work, according to his several ability.  {MM 178.1}
 
Dealing With the Erring
  For want of patience, kindness, forbearance, unselfishness, and love, -- the revealings of their opposite trait-flash forth involuntarily, when off guard, and unchristian words and unchristian exhibitions of character burst forth, sometimes to the ruin of a soul. "Rejoiceth not in iniquity;--mark it, the apostle meant that where there is a cultivation of genuine love for precious souls it will be exhibited for those most in need of that patience which "suffereth long and is kind," and which will not be ready to magnify a small indiscretion or direct wrong into large, unpardonable offenses -- will not make capital out of born, strikes deeper than the surface, "Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." Fortified with the grace of Christ, love "doth not behave itself unseemly."  {GH, July 1, 1898 par. 1}
 
Let every member of the church try to save the souls of others, and not seek to discourage or destroy them through criticism or evil reports. How many and how great evils would be extinguished in the church if men would follow Christ’s rule of dealing with the erring instead of following the impulses and passions of their unsanctified hearts. If matters of difficulty between brethren are not laid open to others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, the difficulty would in nearly every case be healed and the offending brother won. Misunderstandings have arisen that have been thus explained, in Christian tenderness, and the breach has been healed. { 15MR 153.4 } 
dealings with one another
The words given me were of that character that I knew the people needed, and which would benefit them if they would hear. One discourse was upon how to treat those united with us in church capacity, if they erred. They were not to permit their minds to be affected to action by the words of the Lord’s enemies against his children. If complaints or murmurings or charges are made, they must study in Christ’s school as to the course to be pursued toward the ones of whom complaints are made. Tell the matter between him and thee alone, and if he will not hear, then take two or three others; if he will not hear these, tell it to the church.The world has no part with the believers in this work. They cannot discern the motives and principles by which God’s people are bound in their relations and dealings with one another. We must be true, loyal soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ. All his followers are to keep step with their Leader. They should never introduce their secrets to, or make confidants of, the enemies of Jesus Christ in regard to their movements or what they purpose to do in their line of action; for it is a betrayal of sacred trusts, and is giving the enemy every advantage. Let the counsel of the people of God be within their own company. The enemies of Christ should not be made familiar with their secrets, while the children of God are kept in ignorance of the very things they ought to know. The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him. { SpTA06 7.1 }
 
manner  of  dealing  with  the  erring
Related Phrase:  Christ's manner of dealing with the erring
From Christ's manner of dealing with the erring we may learn profitable lessons which are equally applicable to this work of confession. He bids us go to the one who has fallen into temptation, and labor with him alone. If it is not possible to help him, because of the darkness of his mind and his separation from God, we are to try again with two or three others. If the wrong is not righted, then, and only then, we are to tell it to the church. It is far better if wrongs can be righted and injuries healed without bringing the matter before the whole church. The church is not to be made the receptacle for the outpouring of every complaint or confession.  {5T 646.2}
 
 
Those who are selfish, peevish, dictatorial, coarse, and rough, who do not carefully regard the feelings of others, should never be employed as teachers. They will have a disastrous influence upon their students, molding them after their own character, thus perpetuating evil. Persons of this character will make an effort to break a boy's will, if he is unruly; but Christ has authorized no such manner of dealing with the erring. Through heavenly wisdom, through meekness and lowliness of heart, teachers may be able to direct the will and lead in the way of obedience; but let no one imagine that by threatening, the affection of the student may be gained. We must work as Christ has worked.--TSS 80, 81 (1900). (CSW 174,175.)  {2MCP 688.3}
 
 
Those who are selfish, peevish, dictatorial, coarse, and rough, who do not carefully regard the feelings of others, should never be employed as teachers. They will have a disastrous influence upon their students, molding them after their own character, thus perpetuating evil. Persons of this character will make an effort to break a boy's will, if he is unruly; but Christ has authorized no such manner of dealing with the erring. Through heavenly wisdom, through meekness and lowliness of heart, teachers may be able to direct the will, and lead in the way of obedience; but let no one imagine that by threatening, the affection of the student may be gained. We must work as Christ has worked.  {CSW 174.3}
 
Let every member of the church try to save the souls of others, and not seek to discourage or destroy them through criticism or evil reports. How many and how great evils would be extinguished in the church if men would follow Christ's rule of dealing with the erring instead of following the impulses and passions of their unsanctified hearts. If matters of difficulty between brethren are not laid open to others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, the difficulty would in nearly every case be healed and the offending brother won. Misunderstandings have arisen that have been thus explained, in Christian tenderness, and the breach has been healed.  {15MR 153.4}
 
 It is very discouraging to labor for those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their transgressions. When their wrong course is pointed out to them as being dangerous both to themselves and to others, they excuse their actions, laying the blame on circumstances, or heaping the censure which justly belongs to them upon others. They are filled with indignation that any one should regard them as sinners, and the one who reproves them is looked upon as a personal enemy who has done them a personal injury. The very ones who are blind to their own faults are often quick to note the faults of others, quick to criticise their words, and condemn them for something they have or have not done. They do not realize that their own errors may be much more grievous in the sight of God. They are like the man whom Christ represents as seeking to remove the mote from his brother's eye, while he has a beam in his own eye. The Spirit of God makes manifest and reproves sin that is concealed in darkness, sin that, if cherished, will increase and ruin the soul; but those who are willing to be self-deceived resist reproof, and will not yield to the influence of the Spirit of God. Yet they are quick to correct others; and in dealing with the erring, they do not manifest patience, kindness, and respect. They do not show an unselfish spirit, and manifest the tenderness and love of Jesus. They are sharp and rasping, and utter words of reproof in a wicked spirit.  {RH, May 7, 1895 par. 4}
 
 
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