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Authority in the Church
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Authority  in  the  Church
Related Phrase:  positions of authority in the church 
When this power which God has placed in the church is accredited to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind will be most subtle and sometimes overpowering, because through this mind he thinks he can affect many others. Your position on leadership is correct, if you give to the highest organized authority in the church what you have given to one man. God never designed that His work should bear the stamp of one man's mind and one man's judgment.- - 3T 493. (See 9T 260, 261.)  {PM 129.3}
 
 
The Thessalonian believers were greatly annoyed by men coming among them with fanatical ideas and doctrines. Some were "disorderly, working not at all, but . . . busy-bodies." The church had been properly organized, and officers had been appointed to act as ministers and deacons. But there were some, self-willed and impetuous, who refused to be subordinate to those who held positions of authority in the church. They claimed not only the right of private judgment, but that of publicly urging their views upon the church. In view of this, Paul called the attention of the Thessalonians to the respect and deference due to those who had been chosen to occupy positions of authority in the church.  {AA 261.3}
 
 
How often, in our own day, is the love of pleasure disguised by a "form of godliness!" A religion that permits men, while observing the rites of worship, to devote themselves to selfish or sensual gratification, is as pleasing to the multitudes now as in the days of Israel. And there are still pliant Aarons, who, while holding positions of authority in the church, will yield to the desires of the unconsecrated, and thus encourage them in sin.  {CC 97.5} and  {PP 317.2}
 
The salvation of children depends very much upon the course pursued by the parents. Children must be restrained and their passions subdued, or God will surely destroy them in the day of his fierce anger, and the parents who have not controlled them will not be blameless. Especially should those who have authority in the church of God govern their own families, and have them in subjection. They are not prepared to decide in matters of the church unless they can rule well their own house.  {RH, September 2, 1884 par. 3}
 
Aaron's failure to be true to his trust brought the rebuke of God upon him. Had he been steadfast, God would have shielded him from harm. We have compliant Aarons in our day, those who hold positions of authority in the church and who coincide with an unconsecrated people and thus lead them to sin. They expose themselves and the people to the wrath of God. However much Aaron excused himself, God regarded him as the principal agent in this terrible transgression. Here is an example traced by the pen of inspiration, in the pages of sacred history, as a lesson to all ministers and those who are in responsible positions, that they should in no case imitate the example of unfaithful Aaron. We have in these last days, as much occasion to tremble with fear at the will of God, as the Israelites had when they stood at the foot of the mountain.  {ST, May 20, 1880 par. 9}
 
Here are lessons which God's people at the present day should take to heart. There are grievous sins indulged by individual members of the church,--covetousness, over-reaching, deception, fraud, falsehood, and many others. If these sins are neglected by those who have been placed in authority in the church, the blessing of the Lord is withheld from his people, and the innocent suffer with the guilty. The officers in the church should be earnest, energetic men, having a zeal for God, and they should take the most prompt and thorough measures to condemn and correct these wrongs. In this work they should act, not from selfishness, jealousy, or personal prejudice, but in all meekness and lowliness of mind, with a sincere desire that God may be glorified. Inhumanity, false dealing, prevarication, licentiousness, and other sins, are not to be palliated or excused; for they will speedily demoralize the church. Sin may be called by false names, and glossed over by plausible excuses and pretended good motives, but this does not lessen its guilt in the sight of God. Wherever it may be found, sin is offensive to God, and will surely meet its punishment.  {ST, January 20, 1881 par. 16}
 
Organized  authority  in  the  Church
 
When this power which God has placed in the church is accredited to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan's efforts upon such a man's mind will be most subtle and sometimes overpowering, because through this mind he thinks he can affect many others. Your position on leadership is correct, if you give to the highest organized authority in the church what you have given to one man. God never designed that His work should bear the stamp of one man's mind and one man's judgment.- - 3T 493. (See 9T 260, 261.)  {PM 129.3}
 

EXPLANATORY NOTE  - -   [The opinions in this document were expressed by Ellen White at a time when only a small group represented the General Conference. After the General Conference was reorganized in 1901 to provide broad representation, Mrs White took a different view.  At the 1909 General Conference she encouraged strong support for the  General Conference. At that session she said:  "AT TIMES, WHEN A SMALL GROUP OF MEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF THE WORK HAVE, IN THE NAME OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE, SOUGHT TO CARRY OUT UNWISE PLANS AND TO RESTRICT GOD'S WORK, I HAVE SAID THAT I COULD NO LONGER REGARD THE VOICE OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE, REPRESENTED BY THESE FEW MEN, AS THE VOICE OF GOD. BUT THIS IS NOT SAYING THAT THE DECISIONS OF A GENERAL CONFERENCE COMPOSED OF AN ASSEMBLY OF DULY APPOINTED, REPRESENTATIVE MEN FROM ALL PARTS OF THE FIELD SHOULD NOT BE RESPECTED. GOD HAS ORDAINED THAT THE REPRESENTATIVES OF HIS CHURCH FROM ALL PARTS OF THE EARTH, WHEN ASSEMBLED IN A GENERAL CONFERENCE, SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY. . . . LET US GIVE TO THE HIGHEST ORGANIZED AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH THAT WHICH WE ARE PRONE TO GIVE TO ONE MAN OR TO A SMALL GROUP OF MEN." -- Testimonies, Volume 9, page. 260, 261. See futher The EARLY ELMSHAVEN YEARS, By A. L. White, page 75-94, 108-110.]   {17MR 169.1} {17MR 176.1} {17MR 180.1}  {17MR 195.1}  {17MR 207.1}   {17MR 215.1}  {17MR 220.1}

 
 
 
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