Arbitrary Authority (42)

    Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                A r b i t r a r y    a u t h o r i t y          (  3  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

              The  phrase  'arbitrary authority'  appears  42  times in the published writings of EGW                             See page on Original site                                                         Related Phrase:   exercise arbitrary authority  ( see below )  -  -  Arbitrary power  ( 18 )   - -   Arbitrary rule  ( 12 )

   "The principles contained in this celebrated Protest . . . constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. Instead of these abuses, Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the prophets and apostles, 'We must obey God rather than man.' In presence of the crown of Charles the Fifth, it uplifts the crown of Jesus Christ. But it goes farther: it lays down the principle that all human teaching should be subordinate to the oracles of God."-- Ibid., b. 13, ch. 6. The protesters had moreover affirmed their right to utter freely their convictions of truth. They would not only believe and obey, but teach what the word of God presents, and they denied the right of priest or magistrate to interfere. The Protest of Spires was a solemn witness against religious intolerance, and an assertion of the right of all men to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.  Great Controversy, page 203.4   Read entire Chapter 11

 

 
   Men who through selfishness have become narrow and shortsighted feel it their privilege to crowd down the very ones whom God is using to diffuse the light He has given them. Through oppressive plans, workers who should stand free in God have been trammeled with restrictions by those who were only their fellow laborers. All this bears the stamp of the human, and not of the divine. It is the devising of men that leads to injustice and oppression. The cause of God is free from every taint of injustice. It seeks to gain no advantage by depriving the members of His family of their individuality or of their rights. The Lord does not sanction arbitrary authority, nor will He serve with the least selfishness or overreaching. To Him all such practices are abhorrent.  {7T 179.2}  {PH102 13.1}

 

  But strange fire has been offered in the use of harsh words, in self-importance, in self-exaltation, in self-righteousness, in arbitrary authority, in domineering, in oppression, in restricting the liberty of God's people, binding them about by your plans and rules, which God has not framed, neither have they come into His mind. All these things are strange fire, unacknowledged by God, and are a continual misrepresentation of His  character.  {TM 357.4}
 
  In infinite wisdom, the world which God had newly formed was placed under fixed laws. Laws were ordained, not only for the government of living beings, but for the operations of nature. Man was created subject to law. He was to glorify God by a life of obedience to the divine laws, including those that relate to his physical organization. But God's laws are not merely an expression of His selfish or arbitrary authority.  He is love, and in all that He did, He had the well-being of humanity in view. He would have been glorified in the work of His hands had man retained his first perfection, and had all his varied capabilities of mind and soul and body been developed so as to reach the highest possible degree of excellence.  {PHJ, February 1, 1902 par. 2}

 

  "Your eyes," said Satan, pointing to the tree, "shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,"--independent. This had been the aim of Satan; this was why he fell from his high and holy estate. Now he sought to instill the same principle into the mind of Eve. He told her that God had forbidden her to eat of the fruit, in order to show his arbitrary authority, and to keep the holy pair in a state of dependence and subjection. He told her that in the violation of this commandment, advanced light would be hers; that she would be independent, untrammeled by the will of a superior. But Satan knew, as Eve did not, the result of disobedience, for he had tried it. Whatever of misery there is in the world, whatever of physical suffering, of ingratitude, rebellion, robbery of God, and contempt and defiance of him, is the result of attempting to be independent, to secure that exaltation and homage which belong alone to God.  {YI, July 1, 1897 par. 5}
 
  Time is short, and that work which is essential must be done quickly. Satan has seen this, and he has worked with his deceptive, intriguing power to entangle everything in America, so that the work that you and others could and should have done, has been made impossible. And the work which should have been done in England has been blocked by the very same power that has swayed things in America. The wisdom of men disconnected and out of touch with the wisdom of God, the spirit of arbitrary authority which has manifested itself so decidedly in America, has not been confined to that country, but has extended its power to leaven other countries. I am afraid of the men who have moved like blind men. The cause and work of God demands men who will attend to the work God has given them; and had this been the case, men would have listened to the counsel of God, and not to the wisdom of fools, wise only in their own conceits.-- Letter 71, 1898, pp. 1, 2. (To Brother and Sister W. W. Prescott, Aug. 27, 1898.)  {3MR 23.2}

 

  Jesus says, "Follow me," "he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Consider it not a hard duty. The commandments of God are His expressed character flowing out of a heart of love of thoughtful plans that man may be preserved from every evil. They are not an arbitrary authority over man, but the Lord would have men as His obedient children, and members of His own family.  {6MR 340.3}
 
  And when this step becomes necessary, the child should be seriously impressed with the thought that this is not done for the gratification of the parent, or to indulge arbitrary authority, but for the child's own good. He should be taught that every fault uncorrected will bring unhappiness to himself and will displease God. Under such discipline children will find their greatest happiness in submitting their wills to the will of the heavenly Father.  {CG 250.3}

 

  The men whom God has called and chosen may, if they will, learn of Christ to be true. They may work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. But when young men and young women begin to put on airs of importance, they are not looking to the Lord Jesus. They are not learning from Him to be meek and lowly. They form habits of arbitrary authority, and are full of conceit, full of boasting about what they are going to do, and what wonderful improvements they will make in advancement and growth.  {17MR 219.2}
 
  Everyone will be tested. Men professing to be Christians will be placed in positions of trust, as guardians over the flock of God. But if they act as dictators, using arbitrary authority, they are out of their place. Christ alone is our sufficiency. Great mischief has resulted from the course of men who set themselves as lords over God's heritage.  {21MR 464.4}
 

 

      e x e r c i s e    A r b i t r a r y    a u t h o r i t y                           

       The  phrase  'exercise arbitrary authority'  appears  xx  times in the published writings of EGW  

                  Related Phrase:  exercising arbitrary authority  ( see below )               
 
Arbitrary authority to be avoided - -  Never should parents scold their children. Never should they administer punishment while in a fit of passion. Children cannot be trained aright in this manner. Angry parents need to be chastened by the rod themselves, instead of chastening their children. Punishment in anger only hurts and provokes. Do you want a home in heaven? We are all desirous of reaching heaven. But does anyone desire to reach heaven in order that he may fret and scold or punish in anger, and exercise arbitrary authority?  On the other hand, do we not desire to reach heaven because peace reigns there; because on every side we shall hear the words, "Thy gentleness hath made me great"?  {PCP 28.1}

 

 
  God forbade the eating of unclean beasts, not to exercise an arbitrary authority, but to preserve the life and health of his people. In order for them to retain their faculties of mind and body, it was necessary that their blood should be kept pure, by eating simple, healthful food. He therefore specified the animals least objectionable for food. The leading Jews who delighted in teaching and in administering the law, carried the prohibitions of God to unreasonable lengths, making life a burden of ceremonies and restrictions. They carried the regulations of eating and drinking so far that the mind was kept on a continual strain in discriminating between what was considered clean and unclean, and in following out the multitude of injunctions imposed by the priests. All the water was strained lest the presence of the smallest speck or insect might render it unclean, and therefore unfit to use. They were in constant fear of infringing upon customs and traditions which were taught to them as portions of the law.  {ST, March 21, 1878 par. 3}

 

The Lord has given special directions in His word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use, and enforced His prohibitions with strong warnings and threatenings. But His warning against the use of intoxicating beverages is not the result of the exercise of arbitrary authority. He has warned men, in order that they may escape from the evil that results from indulgence in wine and strong drink. . . .  {Te 42.4}
 
The Lord God of heaven ruleth. He alone is above all authority, over all kings and rulers. The Lord has given special directions in His word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use, and enforced His prohibitions with strong warnings and threatenings. But His forbidding the use of intoxicating beverages is not an exercise of arbitrary authority. He seeks to restrain men, in order that they may escape from the evil results of indulgence in wine and strong drink. Degradation, cruelty, wretchedness, and strife follow as the natural results of intemperance. God has pointed out the consequences of following this course of evil. This He has done that there may not be a perversion of His laws, and that men may be spared the widespread misery resulting from the course of evil men who, for the sake of gain, self maddening intoxicants.-- Drunkenness and Crime, pages 4-6.  {Te 53.4}
The Lord God of heaven ruleth. He alone is above all authorities, over all kings and rulers. The Lord has given special directions in his word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use, and enforced his prohibitions with strong warnings and threatenings. But his warning against the use of intoxicating beverages is not the result of the exercise of arbitrary authority. He has warned men, in order that they may escape from the evil that results from indulgence in wine and strong drink. Degradation, cruelty, wretchedness, and strife follow in the wake of drink. God has laid out the consequences of taking this course of evil, in order that there may not be a turning upside down of his instituted laws; that there may not be misery on all sides, through the increase of evil men who for the sake of gain shall selfishly heap to themselves riches, even through selling strong drink and putting the bottle to their neighbors' lips. The liquor traffic should not be legalized in any of our towns or cities.  {RH, May 1, 1894 par. 9}

 

When I heard these words, I thought to myself, What do these statements mean? I have been instructed that the arbitrary authority exercised at one time in Battle Creek to control all our publishing houses was never again to have sway. To make such propositions was more like going back toward Egypt than on to Canaan.  {PM 137.3}
 
Every worker who deals with souls successfully must come to the work divested of self. There can be no scolding or fretting, no arbitrary authority exercised, no putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity; but come to the work with hearts warmed with love for Jesus and for precious souls for whom He died. Those who are self-sufficient cannot conceal their weakness. They will come to the trial with overweening confidence in themselves, and make manifest the fact that Jesus is not with them. These self-sufficient souls are not few, and they have lessons to learn by hard experience of discomfiture and defeat. Few have the grace to welcome such an experience, and many backslide under the trial. They blame circumstances for their discomfiture, and think their talent is not appreciated by others. If they would humble themselves under the hand of God, He would teach them.  {TM 168.2}
 

 

                                     exercising  arbitrary  authority                                               

 

Do not exercise arbitrary authority -- When our schemes and our plans have been broken; when men who have depended upon our judgment conclude the Lord would lead them to act and judge for themselves, we should not feel like censuring, and like exercising arbitrary authority to compel them to receive our ideas. Those who are placed in authority should constantly cultivate self-control.-- CW 37, 38. {PaM 54.1}

 

 
Could those who are self-sufficient see how the universe of God regards them, could they see themselves as God sees them, they would behold such weakness, such manifest want of wisdom, that they would cry to the Lord to be their righteousness; they would want to hide from His sight. The apostle says, "Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." When our schemes and our plans have been broken; when men who have depended upon our judgment conclude the Lord would lead them to act and judge for themselves, we should not feel like censuring, and like exercising arbitrary authority to compel them to receive our ideas. Those who are placed in authority should constantly cultivate self-control. . . .  {CW 37.2}

 

   
   
   

 

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