Separate from the Church

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

         s e p a r a t e      f r o m     t h e     c h u r c h     

            The  phrase  'separate from the church'  appears  1  times in the writings of EGW           See page on Original site           Related phrase:    separate him from the church ( 1 )  - -   separated from the church  (31 )  ( below )  - -  separate them from the church ( 2 ) - -  separate them from the church (2) 

   There are many who are treated as tares and hopeless subjects, whom Christ is drawing to himself. Men judge from the outward appearance, and think they discern the true measurement of a man’s character; but they make many blunders in their judgments. They put a high estimate upon a man whose appearance is as an angel of light, when in thought and heart he is corrupt and unworthy. On another whose appearance is not so favorable, they pass criticism, make him an offender for a word, and would separate him from the church because of his supposed defective character, when it may be that He who reads the heart, sees true moral worth in the man. Human judgment does not decide any case; for the Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are his ways our ways. He whom we would separate from the church as altogether unworthy, is the object of the Lord’s solicitude and love. All heaven is engaged in doing the appointed work of drawing souls to God, and the Lord has said concerning his word, “It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11  { RH January 3, 1893, par. 4 }




                                             separate  him  from  the  church                                                        
​   There are those members who are busybodies, speaking evil, sowing the seeds of doubt and infidelity, who pay no heed to the light God has given them in His Word. If we have but one church member who by his spirit, words, and influence seeks to counterwork the influence of the minister of Christ, labor with that one faithfully; and if after taking the steps required by Christ, he will not hear, will not change his course of action, then separate him from the church, and let him know the reason why the church cannot hold him in her fellowship. And if there are those who sympathize with him, who will not discern the right from the wrong, who, after patient instruction has been given them, choose to keep on the wrong side, let them also be suspended. God’s name must not be dishonored by murmurers, faultfinders, and those who are continually sowing seeds of disaffection. { 15MR 163.3 }


   Do not these words encourage us to do more praying for our brethren, and less accusing of them? I know that if these directions were followed with those who are sin-sick, the Lord Jesus would be better pleased. Would this not be better than to separate an individual from the church, and leave him a subject of Satan's temptations? When all will study their Bibles closely, and give heed to its teachings, the saving grace of Christ will be manifested to the church in rich blessings. I am directed that we must continue our work of soul-saving in harmony with the Bible plan {15MR 201.3}


       s e p a r a t e d     f r o m     t h e     c h u r c h                         


   The work done in ___ was premature and caused an untimely separation in that little church. If the servants of God could have felt the force of our Saviour’s lesson in the parable of the wheat and tares, they would not have undertaken the work they did. Before steps are taken which will give even those who are utterly unworthy the least occasion to complain of being separated from the church, the matter should always be made a subject of the most careful consideration and earnest prayer. Steps were taken in ___ which created an opposition party. Some were wayside hearers, others were stony-ground hearers, and still others were of that class who received the truth while the heart had a growth of thorns which choked the good seed — these would never have perfected Christian characters. But there were a few who might have been nourished and strengthened, and have become settled and established in the truth. But the positions taken by Brethren R and S brought a premature crisis, and then there was a lack of wisdom and judgment in managing the faction. { 3T 114.1}  { PH159 144.2 } 


  Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes. Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself. Were we to deal with these souls according to our imperfect judgment, it would perhaps extinguish their last hope. Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. Many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never enter there. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart. The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time. { COL 71.3} 
There is in the Saviour’s words another lesson, a lesson of wonderful forbearance and tender love. As the tares have their roots closely intertwined with those of the good grain, so false brethren in the church may be closely linked with true disciples. The real character of these pretended believers is not fully manifested. Were they to be separated from the church, others might be caused to stumble, who but for this would have remained steadfast. { COL 72.1}


  I was shown that the same injudicious treatment has been exercised toward others. Some precious souls that could not justify the unchristian course pursued toward the doctor were crowded until they have separated from the church, and others have been cut off. Such a spirit has taken possession of those who have ever carried things by storm that Satan, instead of the Spirit of Christ, has triumphed. Some of those who have been deprived of the fellowship of the church have been more worthy of a place in the church than those by whom they were cut off. God calls upon these to repent, and learn of Christ the spirit of meekness, of self-denial, and love. { 12MR 287.2 } 
  Some precious souls that could not justify the unchristian course pursued toward Brother J and others, have been crowded until they have separated from the church. Others have been cut off for no cause except bitter enmity because they did not act in harmony with the wishes and ideas of the leaders. Such a spirit has taken possession of those leaders who have ever been determined to rule, that they have been controlled by Satan rather than by the spirit of Christ. Some who have been deprived of the fellowship of the church were far more worthy of a place in it than are those who with their longer experience have been so overbearing and so anxious to drive out their brethren. { 15MR 138.3 } 
  The Lord’s church is to Him the dearest object on earth. Creation itself was originated in the purpose of God that He might glorify Himself in the redemption of His people. Your work is not to shape itself. It is not to be separated from the church. Neither are you in any way to demerit the ministry and exalt the work you are doing above the church. You are not to allow the students to suppose your work is separate, because in doing this you will show that you are not a co-worker with God. You may carry things in such a way that those connected with you will be led to think that should you be taken away, all that you had advised, planned, and set in operation would have to go forward just as you had planned. { 21MR 53.5 } 



  Choose poverty, reproach, separation from friends, or any suffering, rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the transgression of God’s law, should be the motto of every Christian. As a people professing to be reformers, treasuring the most solemn, purifying truths of God’s word, we must elevate the standard far higher than it is at the present time. Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may not be contaminated. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp from Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church. { CH 626.2}  { 5T 147.1} 
  Choose poverty, separation from friends, losses, reproaches, or any suffering, rather than to defile the soul with sin. Death before dishonor or the transgression of God’s law should be the motto of every Christian. As a people professing to be reformers treasuring the most sacred, solemn, purifying truths of God’s Word, we must elevate the standard far higher than it is at the present time. Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may fear God. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp of the Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church. When the individual members of the church shall act as true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour there will be less covering up and excusing of sin. All will strive to act at all times as if in God’s presence. They will realize that the eye of God is ever upon them and that the most secret thought is known to Him. The character, the motives, the desires and purposes are as clear as the light of the sun to the eye of the Omniscient. — Manuscript 1, 1871, 11-13, 18, 19. (“Agents of Satan” undated.) { 7MR 210.2 } 


  False teachers had brought to the Galatians doctrines that were opposed to the gospel of Christ. Paul sought to expose and correct these errors. He greatly desired that the false teachers might be separated from the church, but their influence had affected so many of the believers that it seemed hazardous to take action against them. There was danger of causing strife and division which would be ruinous to the spiritual interests of the church. He therefore sought to impress upon his brethren the importance of trying to help one another in love. He declared that all the requirements of the law setting forth our duty to our fellow men are fulfilled in love to one another. He warned them that if they indulged hatred and strife, dividing into parties, and like the brutes biting and devouring one another, they would bring upon themselves present unhappiness and future ruin. There was but one way to prevent these terrible evils and that was, as the apostle enjoined upon them, to “walk in the Spirit.” They must by constant prayer seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which would lead them to love and unity. { 5T 243.2}  and  { ST January 25, 1883, par. 5 }
  What the church needs is to be cleansed of those who defile it. The spirit of reformation must be kindled among us, and this class must be converted or be separated from the church. We entreat those who have a connection with God to pray earnestly and in faith, and not to stop here, but to work as well as pray, for the purification of the church. The present time calls for men and women who have a moral fixedness of purpose, men and women who will not be molded or subdued by any unsanctified influences. Such persons will make a success in the work of perfecting Christian character through the grace of Christ so freely given. For those who are ready to be discouraged at every unfavorable circumstance, the great enemy of souls will so shape circumstances as to give them abundant reason to be always discouraged. { RH June 3, 1880, par. 5 }


  It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love. Is it worldliness? Is it selfishness? Is it the love of self-esteem? Is it striving to be first? Is it the sin of sensuality that is intensely active? Is it the sin of the Nicolaitans, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness? Is it the misuse and abuse of great light and opportunities and privileges, making boasted claims to wisdom and religious knowledge, while the life and character are inconsistent and immoral? Whatever it is that has been petted and cultivated until it has become strong and overmastering, make determined efforts to overcome, else you will be lost. It is these cherished sins, abhorrent to God, that make enfeebled moral courage, and leave you to choose to walk apart from God, while you retain a miserable, heartless, outward form. Once the soul was all aglow with love for Jesus; but all this is changed. The great Head who moves in the midst of his candlesticks will never be without a church. There will be faithless ones who will go out from us because they were not of us. There will be apostasies. But “nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” There will be those who are evil, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, who are sensual, who are controlled by the master-worker in all evil, who will have to be separated from the church. { RH June 7, 1887, par. 16 }
  The present truth had an effect upon his heart, and for a time its influence restrained his conduct. He meant to be a Christian, but he never saw the blackness of his sins in the past. His brethren in present truth began to confide in him, thinking him about right. They made much of him, and as he insinuated himself into their confidence he began to think he was not very bad after all, became exalted, puffed up by Satan, and then the natural feelings of his carnal heart influenced his life. And if the pointed, straight testimony had not been crushed in the church, his conduct would have received the highest censure and he would have been long ago separated from the church of Christ. { 19MR 222.3 } 


                                      must be separated  from  the  church            
  There were still some in the church, who, when reproved by the apostle, had persisted in their sinful course, despising his warnings and defying his authority. The time had come when he must take decisive measures to put down this opposition. He had warned the Corinthians of his purpose to come and deal in person with the obstinate offenders: “I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that if I come again, I will not spare; since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me.” He had delayed his coming, to give them time for reflection and repentance. But now all who continued in their course of error and sin, must be separated from the church of Christ. They had charged Paul with timidity and weakness because of his long forbearance through love for their souls. He would now be compelled to pursue a course which would disprove this charge. { LP 184.1 } 




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