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Men in Responsible Positions ( 154 )
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   Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Men  in  responsible  positions
Related Phrase:   those in responsible positions  (  )  see below
Satan's chief work is at the headquarters of our faith. He spares no pains to corrupt men in responsible positions and to persuade them to be unfaithful to their several trusts. He insinuates his suspicions and jealousies into the minds of those whose business it is to do God's work faithfully. While God is testing and proving these helpers, and fitting them for their posts, Satan is doing his utmost to deceive and allure them, that they may not only be destroyed themselves, but may influence others to do wrong and to injure the great work. He seeks by all the means in his power to shake the confidence of God's people in the voice of warning and reproof through which God designs to purify the church and prosper His cause.  {4T 210.5}
 
 
Men in responsible positions will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but from the sacred desk, will urge upon the people the observance of the first day of the week, pleading tradition and custom in behalf of this man-made institution. They will point to calamities on land and sea—to the storms of wind, the floods, the earthquakes, the destruction by fire—as judgments indicating God’s displeasure because Sunday is not sacredly observed. These calamities will increase more and more, one disaster will follow close upon the heels of another; and those who make void the law of God will point to the few who are keeping the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as the ones who are bringing wrath upon the world. This falsehood is Satan’s device that he may ensnare the unwary." - ST January 17, 1884, par. 12
 
Near the close of this earth's history Satan will work with all his powers in the same manner and with the same temptations wherewith he tempted ancient Israel just before their entering the Land of Promise. He will lay snares for those who claim to keep the commandments of God, and who are almost on the borders of the heavenly Canaan. He will use his powers to their utmost in order to entrap souls and to take God's professed people upon their weakest points. Those who have not brought the lower passions into subjection to the higher powers of their being, those who have allowed their minds to flow in a channel of carnal indulgence of the baser passions, Satan is determined to destroy with his temptations -- to pollute their souls with licentiousness. He is not aiming especially at the lower and less important marks, but he makes use of his snares through those whom he can enlist as his agents to allure or attract men to take liberties which are condemned in the law of God. And men in responsible positions, teaching the claims of God's law, whose mouths are filled with arguments in vindication of His law, against which Satan has made such a raid--over such he sets his hellish powers and his agencies at work and overthrows them upon the weak points in their character, knowing that he who offends on one point is guilty of all, thus obtaining complete mastery over the entire man. Mind, soul, body, and conscience are involved in the ruin. If he be a messenger of righteousness and has had great light, or if the Lord has used him as His special worker in the cause of truth, then how great is the triumph of Satan! How he exults! How God is dishonored!  {AH 327.1}
 
 
Men of experience have seen stealthy hands slipping the bolts that Satan might enter; yet they have held their peace with apparent indifference as to the results. Some have been glad to see this, as it seemed an extenuation of their past neglect, which made it a necessity to call for others to fill the posts of responsibility that they had abused or neglected. This lack of watchfulness on the part of these newer incumbents seemed to excuse the former for their own want of faithfulness, as it showed that others were fully as derelict in duty. These persons do not realize that God holds them responsible for every advantage gained by the foe who is admitted to the fort. The desolation and ruin following lie at the door of the unfaithful sentinels, who, by their neglect, become agents in the hands of the adversary to win souls to destruction. Men in responsible positions should seek wisdom andguidance of God, and not trust to their own judgment and knowledge. Like Solomon they should earnestly pray for faith and light, and God will give them freely of His abundant supply.  {4T 211.3}
 
No institution that God has established can afford to be unjust or unfair in any of its business transactions, either with brethren or worldlings. In no case should advantage be taken with the excuse that it is justifiable and right because the means gained will enrich the cause of God; for he will never approve injustice. The Bible rule, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them,” should never be lost sight of in deal. Men in responsible positions should correct wrongs among the people, but they should not practice a wrong course themselves. { RH March 11, 1884, par. 11 }
 
There is much for men in responsible positions to learn.  When men feel that their ideas are without a flaw, it is time for them to change their position from president to that of a learner.  When they think that their ideas, their judgment, should be accepted without question, they show that they are unfit for their position.  God sees not as man sees.  Whatever position a man may be called to fill, his judgment is not to be regarded as unerring.  His entrusted responsibility makes it far more needful than it otherwise would be for him to be free from all egotism, and willing to receive counsel.-- Manuscript 55, 1897 (June 3, 1897, "Development of Workers"). {ChL 12.4}
 
Men who follow the leading of another, and are willing that another should think for them, are unfit to be entrusted with responsibility.  Our leading men are remiss in this matter.  God has not given to special ones all the brain power there is in the world.  Men in responsible positions should credit others with some sense, with some ability of judgment and foresight and look upon them as capable of doing the work committed to their hands.  {ChL 37.2}
 
When men in responsible positions yield their hearts to unbelief, there are no bounds to the advance they will make in evil. . . . If only the two men had brought the evil report, and all the ten had encouraged them to possess the land in the name of the Lord, they would still have taken the advice of the two in preference to the ten, because of their wicked unbelief.  {CC 106.5}
 
Jesus adds to the lesson these words: "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This assurance, that after the rules of Christ have been followed to the letter, the decisions of the church will be ratified in heaven, gives a solemn significance to the action of the church. No hasty steps should be taken to cut off names from the church books, or to place a member under censure until the case has been investigated, and the Bible rule fully obeyed. The word of Christ shows how necessary it is for church officers to be free from prejudice and selfish motives. Human minds and hearts, unless wholly sanctified, purified, and refined from partiality and prejudice, are liable to commit grave errors, to misjudge and deal unkindly and unjustly with souls that are the purchase of the blood of Christ. But the decision of an unjust judge will be of no account in the court of heaven. It will not make an innocent man guilty, nor change his character in the least before God. As surely as men in responsible positions become lifted up in their own esteem, and act as though they were to lord it over their brethren, they will render many decisions which heaven cannot ratify.  {HM, February 1, 1892 par. 13}  {RH, April 16, 1895 par. 10}
 

Let men in responsible positions consider to a purpose that there is not one rule of action for the men in authority and another for the class who are expected to submit to their decisions; not one rule for the director and another for the supposed inferiors. I say supposed, for many who are treated as inferiors are men whose principles and course of action are such as heaven approves. They may be regarded as inferior in this world of iniquity, of semblance and sham, but in the sight of God they are counted more precious than gold, though it be tried with fire; they shall be found unto praise, and honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. The true learners of Christ, combining faith and truth and righteousness in their life practice, will keep the way of the Lord; there will be no conniving in selfish practices. Every path that God has not marked out for men to pursue is that of the destroyer.  {PM 130.4}

Men in responsible positions should be men of temperance and integrity, and especially should those who are entrusted with judicial functions be men of sober habits, that they may render justice, and be unbiased by bribe or prejudice. But how widely different is the condition of our judicial and governmental affairs from that made possible through obedience to the commands of God. Liquor, tobacco, low morals, lead men to deal treacherously with their fellow men.  Temperance, page 281.3
 
It is on the law of God that the last great struggle of the controversy between Christ and His angels and Satan and his angels will come, and it will be decisive for all the world. . . . Men in responsible positions will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but from the sacred desk will urge upon the people the observance of the first day of the week, pleading tradition and custom in behalf of this man-made institution. They will point to calamities on land and sea--to the storms of wind, the floods, the earthquakes, the destruction by fire--as judgments indicating God's displeasure because Sunday is not sacredly observed. These calamities will increase more and more, one disaster will follow close upon the heels of another; and those who make void the law of God will point to the few who are keeping the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as the ones who are bringing wrath upon the world. This falsehood is Satan's device that he may ensnare the unwary.--Southern Watchman, June 28, 1904.  {ChS 155.2}
 
Men in responsible positions should improve continually. They must not anchor upon an old experience, and feel that it is not necessary to become scientific workers. Man, although the most helpless of God's creatures when he comes into the world, and the most perverse in his nature, is nevertheless capable of constant advancement. He may be enlightened by science, ennobled by virtue, and may progress in mental and moral dignity, until he reaches a perfection of intelligence and a purity of character but little lower than the perfection and purity of angels.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 93.  {ChS 225.4}
 
But I am now speaking of actual mistakes and errors that those who really love God and the truth sometimes commit. There is manifested on the part of men in responsible positions an unwillingness to confess where they have been in the wrong; and their neglect is working disaster, not only to themselves, but to the churches. Our people everywhere have great need of humbling the heart before God, and confessing their sins. But when it is known that their ministers, elders, or other responsible men, have taken wrong positions, and yet excuse themselves and make no confession, the members of the church too often follow the same course. Thus many souls are endangered, and the presence and power of God are shut away from his people.  {RH, December 16, 1890 par. 5}
 
 
You need to drink deep of the streams of grace and salvation before you can lead others to the Fountain of living waters. Holding the office of president of a conference, with the experience and influence that this office gives, instead of discouraging the people you should have urged them to new exertion, to bear weightier responsibilities. There are special duties devolving upon men in responsible positions; there are laborious efforts to be made which it would be convenient to neglect. But when the shepherds are negligent of duty, may the Lord pity the poor sheep.  {5T 371.1}
 
Among God's preferred people, there are men in responsible positions who are content to remain in a state of coldness and backsliding. Their piety vanishes at the approach of temptation. To gain the friendship of worldlings, they will risk the consequences of losing the favor of God. The Lord is trying His people as silver is tried. Closer and still closer will come the searching test, until the heart is wholly submitted to God, or hardened in disobedience and rebellion (ST June 2, 1881).  {2BC 1001.7}
 
What Moral Courage Cost Some Men -- Anyone who has had courage--moral courage to call these things by their right name, and who has refused to be drawn into the net spread for the unwary, who would not be robbed without making a protest, were not looked upon with favor by those with whom they disagreed.  Members of councils and boards who would not uphold exaction and double-dealing, but who took a firm stand for the right, were not invited to be present at the meetings where these plans were discussed.--Letter 4, 1896, pp. 13, 15, 16 (July 1, 1896 To Men in Responsible Positions).   {ChL 15.1}
 
No institution that God has established can afford to be unjust or unfair in any of its business transactions, either with brethren or worldlings. In no case should advantage be taken with the excuse that it is justifiable and right because the means gained will enrich the cause of God; for he will never approve injustice. The Bible rule, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them," should never be lost sight of in deal. Men in responsible positions should correct wrongs among the people, but they should not practice a wrong course themselves.  {RH, March 11, 1884 par. 11}
 
I speak to the men in responsible positions, warning you of the dangers of negligence. Bear in mind that Satan is playing the game of life for your souls. He is working through agencies that you little suspect. Holy and perfect trust in the Lord is your only safeguard.  {RH, May 6, 1909 par. 10}
 
Saith the Lord, "I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay-tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, and he could not be found. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." Will the fathers and mothers uphold their children in iniquity? will they seek to lessen the sin which the Lord abhors? Will men in responsible positions see who is intrusted with sacred trusts? Will we elevate the standard, that the sin of Achan be not chargeable to God's people, and they put to shame?  {SSW, October 1, 1885 par. 12}
 
The Lord has shown me that men in responsible positions are standing directly in the way of His work because they think the work must be done and the blessing must come in a certain way, and they will not recognize that which comes in any other way. My brethren, may the Lord place this matter before you as it is. God does not work as men plan, or as they wish; He "moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." Why reject the Lord's methods of working, because they do not coincide with our ideas? God has His appointed channels of light, but these are not necessarily the minds of any particular set of men. When all shall take their appointed place in God's work, earnestly seeking wisdom and guidance from Him, then a great advance will have been made toward letting light shine upon the world. When men shall cease to place themselves in the way, God will work among us as never before.  {5T 726.1}
 
The Lord has shown me that men in responsible positions are standing directly in the way of His work, because they think the work must be done and the blessing must come in a certain way, and they will not recognize that which comes in any other way. My brethren, may the Lord place this matter before you as it is. God does not work as men plan, or as they wish; He "moves in a mysterious way. His wonders to perform." Why reject the Lord's methods of working because they do not coincide with our ideas? God has His appointed channels of light, but these are not necessarily the minds of any particular set of men. When all shall take their appointed place in God's work, earnestly seeking wisdom and guidance from Him, then a great advancement will have been made toward letting light shine upon the world. When men shall cease to place themselves in the way, God will work among us as never before.  {SpTB10 24.1}
 
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Those  in  responsible  positions
 
In the case of the sin of Achan, God has shown how he regards sin among those who profess to be his commandment-keeping people. Those whom he has especially honored with witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of his power, as did ancient Israel, and that will venture to disregard his express directions, will be subjects of his wrath. God would teach his people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to him, and not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when his people are found in sin, they should at once take decided measures to put the sin from them, that his frown should not rest upon all his people. But if those in responsible positions pass over the sins of the people, his frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for the sins that exist in their midst. God, in his dealings with his people in the past, shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs that exist among them. One sinner may diffuse darkness which will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, then they should earnestly seek God in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve God's Spirit are searched out and put away from among them.  {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 1}
 
 
I was shown that the manner of Achan’s confession was similar to the confessions that some among us have made and will make. They hide their wrongs and refuse to make a voluntary confession until God searches them out, and then they acknowledge their sins. A few persons pass on in a course of wrong until they become hardened. They may even know that the church is burdened, as Achan knew that Israel were made weak before their enemies because of his guilt. Yet their consciences do not condemn them. They will not relieve the church by humbling their proud, rebellious hearts before God and putting away their wrongs. God’s displeasure is upon His people, and He will not manifest His power in the midst of them while sins exist among them and are fostered by those in responsible positions. { 3T 270.2} 
 
Those who are standing in responsible positions
Those who are standing in responsible positions should understand clearly that they are not rulers over their fellow-workers. Men in responsibility should be Christ-like in deportment. They need to be leaders in every reformatory movement for the purification of the church. They are to reveal that angels of God are constantly round about them, and that they are laboring under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Carefully are they to avoid everything that savors of a spirit of selfishness and self-esteem; for in meekness and humility of heart they are to be ensamples to the flock. {NPU Gleaner, April 6, 1910 par. 9}
 
men entrusted with positions of responsibility
Related Phrase:   
I am instructed by the Lord to say that position never gives a man grace or makes him righteous. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Some men entrusted with positions of responsibility entertain the idea that position is for the aggrandizement of self. Let no manager think that all minds must be subjected to his mind, that all wills must be subordinate to his will, and that all methods must be laid aside for his methods. Greater injury cannot be done to any institution than by allowing such a man to remain in his position, after proper test and trial. It is a sin against God to permit unfaithful stewards to remain in positions of trust; for the Lord's people are liable to be misled by their unfaithfulness. -- MS. 154, 1902. {MM 165.4}
 
 
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