Standard of Piety

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

                s t a n d a r d    O F    P i e t Y            (  4  RELATED  PHRASES  )                     

                        The  phrase  'standard of piety'  appears  62  times in the published writings of EGW           page not on Original site                                                                        Related phrase:    standard of piety in the church  ( 4 )  below 

  “These are perilous times for the church of God, and the greatest danger now is that of self-deception. Individuals professing to believe the truth are blind to their own danger and wrongs. They reach the standard of piety which has been set up by their friends and themselves, they are fellowshiped by their brethren, and are satisfied, while they entirely fail to reach the gospel standard set up by our divine Lord. If they regard iniquity in their hearts, the Lord will not hear them. But with many it is not only regarded in the heart, but openly carried out in the life; yet in many cases the wrongdoers receive no rebuke. { 1T 214.3} 

 

 

God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian and to be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain and unbecoming conversation, and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory. { EW 47.1} - { ExV 28.1 } -- { RH September 1, 1849, par. 4 }

 
  It is no small thing to be a Christian, and to be owned and approved of God. The Lord has shown me some who profess the present truth, whose lives do not correspond with their profession. They have the standard of piety altogether too low, and they come far short of Bible holiness. Some engage in vain and unbecoming conversation, and others give way to the risings of self. We must not expect to please ourselves, live and act like the world, have its pleasures, and enjoy the company of those who are of the world, and reign with Christ in glory. { CET 104.1 } 

 

  Our Saviour was the light of the world, but the world knew Him not. He was constantly employed in works of mercy, shedding light upon the pathway of all; yet He did not call upon those with whom He mingled to behold His unexampled virtue, His self-denial, self-sacrifice, and benevolence. The Jews did not admire such a life. They considered His religion worthless, because it did not accord with their standard of piety. They decided that Christ was not religious in spirit or character; for their religion consisted in display, in praying publicly, and in doing works of charity for effect. The most precious fruit of sanctification is the grace of meekness. When this grace presides in the soul, the disposition is molded by its influence. There is a continual waiting upon God and a submission of the will to His. { CCh 51.7} 
 
  Our Saviour was the light of the world, but the world knew Him not. He was constantly employed in works of mercy, shedding light upon the pathway of all; yet He did not call upon those with whom He mingled to behold His unexampled virtue, His self-denial, self-sacrifice, and benevolence. The Jews did not admire such a life. They considered His religion worthless, because it did not accord with their standard of piety. They decided that Christ was not religious in spirit or character; for their religion consisted in display, in praying publicly, and in doing works of charity for effect. They trumpeted their good deeds, as do those who claim sanctification. They would have all understand that they are without sin. But the whole life of Christ was in direct contrast to this. He sought neither gain nor honor. His wonderful acts of healing were performed in as quiet a manner as possible, although He could not restrain the enthusiasm of those who were the recipients of His great blessings. Humility and meekness characterized His life. And it was because of His lowly walk and unassuming manners, which were in such marked contrast to their own, that the Pharisees would not accept Him. { SL 14.1} 

 

  The standard of piety is low among professed Christians generally, and it is hard for the young to resist the worldly influences that are encouraged by many church-members. The majority of nominal Christians, while they profess to be living for Christ, are really living for the world. They do not discern the excellence of heavenly things, and therefore cannot truly love them. Many profess to be Christians because Christianity is considered honorable. They do not discern that genuine Christianity means cross-bearing, and their religion has little influence to restrain them from taking part in worldly pleasures. { MYP 374.1} -- { RH August 29, 1912, par. 4 } -- { PH145 8.1 }

The standard of piety is low among professed Christians generally, and it is hard for the young to resist the influence. The mass of professed Christians have removed the line of distinction between them and the world, and while they profess to be living for Christ, they are really living for the world. They do not discern the excellence of heavenly things, and therefore cannot truly love them. They profess to be Christians because it is considered honorable, and there is no cross for them to bear; but their religion has but little influence to restrain them from worldly pleasures. Some such professors can enter the ball-room, and unite in all the amusements which it affords. Others cannot go to such lengths as this; yet they can attend parties of pleasure, picnics, donations, shows, and other places of amusement; and the most discerning eye would fail to detect in such professors of religion one mark of Christianity. There is no difference between their appearance and that of unbelievers. In the present state of society, it is no easy task for parents to restrain their children, and instruct them according to the Bible rule of right. They often become impatient, and wish to have their own way, and go and come as they please. Especially from the age of ten to eighteen, they often feel that there would be no harm in going to picnics and other gatherings of young associates; yet the experienced Christian parent sees danger. Parents are acquainted with the peculiar temperaments of their children, and know the influence of these things upon their minds, and from a desire for their salvation, keep them back from these exciting amusements. Even when the children choose for themselves to leave the pleasures of the world, and become Christ’s disciples, the labor of the parents must not cease. They have just commenced in earnest the warfare against sin and the evils of the natural heart, and they need the counsel and watchcare of their parents. { RH July 15, 1884, par. 4 }

 

On account of the standard of piety being so low among professed Christians generally, it is much more laborious and trying for those who wish to follow Christ in sincerity. The influence of worldly professors is injurious to the young. The mass of professed Christians have removed the line of distinction between Christians and the world. And while they profess to be living for Christ, they are living for the world. Their faith has but little restraining influence upon their pleasures. While they profess to be children of the light, they walk in darkness and are children of the night and of darkness. Those who walk in darkness cannot love God, and sincerely desire to glorify him. They are not enlightened to discern the excellence of heavenly things, and therefore cannot truly love them. They profess to be Christians because it is considered honorable, and there is no cross for them to bear. Their motives are often selfish. Some such professors can enter the ball-room, and unite with all the amusements which it affords. Others cannot go quite to such a length as this, yet they can attend parties of pleasure, picnics, donation-parties, and exhibitions. And the most discerning Christian would fail to detect in such professed Christians one mark of his or her Christianity. One would fail to see any difference in their appearance from the greatest unbeliever. The profligate, and open scoffer of religion, and the openly profane, all mingle together as one. And God regards them as one in spirit and practice. { 4bSG 146.1 } 
 
  It is a great thing to be a child of God, and a joint-heir with Christ. If this is your privilege, you will know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. God looketh upon the heart. I saw that you must seek Him earnestly, and raise your standard of piety higher, or you will certainly fail of everlasting life. You may ask the question: Did Sister White see this? Yes; and I have tried to place it before you and give you the impressions which were given me. May the Lord help you to take heed. { 1T 243.2} 

 

  The standard of piety is so low among professed Christians generally that those who wish to follow Christ in sincerity find the work much more laborious and trying than they otherwise would. The influence of worldly professors is injurious to the young. The mass of professed Christians have removed the line of distinction between Christians and the world, and while they profess to be living for Christ, they are living for the world. Their faith has but little restraining influence upon their pleasures; while they profess to be children of the light, they walk in darkness and are children of the night and of darkness. Those who walk in darkness cannot love God and sincerely desire to glorify Him. They are not enlightened to discern the excellence of heavenly things, and therefore cannot truly love them. They profess to be Christians because it is considered honorable, and there is no cross for them to bear. Their motives are often selfish. Some such professors can enter the ballroom and unite in all the amusements which it affords. Others cannot go to such a length as this, yet they can attend parties of pleasure, picnics, donation parties, and exhibitions. And the most discerning eye would fail to detect in such professed Christians one mark of Christianity. One would fail to see in their appearance any difference between them and the greatest unbeliever. The professed Christian, the profligate, the open scoffer at religion, and the openly profane all mingle together as one. And God regards them as one in spirit and practice. { 1T 403.2} 

 

Their influence and teachings in regard to the service of God and a religious life are in direct opposition to the teachings of our Saviour and His disciples. By precept and example they lower the standard of piety and say that they need not sorrow for their sins or separate from the world in order to be followers of Christ, but can mingle with the world and participate in its pleasures. These leaders would not encourage their adherents to imitate the life of Christ in prayerfulness, sobriety, and dependence upon God. Persons of conscientious minds and firm trust in God cannot receive one half as much benefit at-----as those can who have confidence in the religious principles of the leaders of that institution. The former have to stand braced against much of their teachings, so far as religious principles are concerned, sifting everything they hear lest they should be deceived and Satan obtain advantage over them. { 1T 615.1} 
 
  It is impossible for you to bring others up to any higher standard than that to which you yourself attain. If you do not advance, how can you lead the church of God forward to a higher standard of piety and holiness? All such ministers as you have been for several years are more of a curse than a blessing to the cause of God, and the fewer we have of them the more prosperous will be the cause of present truth. { 3T 461.1} 

 

  We rejoice in spirit as we contemplate what may be done; but we blush before our Maker at the thought of the little that has been accomplished. Shepherds have neglected their God-given responsibilities; they have become narrow and faithless, and have encouraged unpardonable cowardice, slothfulness, and covetousness. They have not realized the magnitude and importance of the work. Men are wanted whose eyes are anointed to see and understand heaven’s designs. Then the standard of piety will be raised, and there will be real missionaries who will be ready to sacrifice for the truth’s sake. There is no room in the church of God for the selfish and ease-loving; but men and women are called for who will make exertions to plant the standard of truth in our large cities, in the great thoroughfares of travel. { 5T 370.1} 

 

True happiness in this life and in the future life depends upon obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” ... Let Christ’s life be the pattern. Satan will devise every possible means to break down this high standard of piety as one altogether too strict. It is your work to impress upon your children in their early years the thought that they are formed in the image of God. Christ came to this world to give them a living example of what they all must be, and parents who claim to believe the truth for this time are to teach their children to love God and to obey His law. This is the greatest and most important work that fathers and mothers can do.  { SD 43.4} 
 
  I am deeply exercised in mind in reference to the low standard of piety among our people. And when I think of the woes passed on Capernaum, I think of how much heavier will come the condemnation upon those who know the truth and have not walked according to the truth, but in the sparks of their own kindling. In the night seasons I am addressing the people in a very solemn manner, beseeching them to ask their own consciences; What am I? Am I a Christian, or am I not? Is my heart renewed? Has the transforming grace of God moulded my character? Are my sins repented of? Are they confessed? Are they forgiven? Am I one with Christ as he is one with the Father? Do I hate what I once loved? Do I now love what I once hated? Do I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? Do I feel I am the purchased possession of Jesus Christ, and that every hour I must consecrate myself to his service? { SpTA01b 37.2 } 

 

  Brother Matteson suggests that it would please the people if I speak less about duty and more in regard to the love of Jesus. But I wish to speak as the Spirit of the Lord shall impress me. The Lord knows best what this people needs. I spoke in the forenoon [Sabbath, October 17, 1885] from Isaiah 58. I did not round the corners at all.... My work is to elevate the standard of piety and true Christian life, and urge the people to put away their sins and be sanctified through the truth.—Manuscript 26, 1885, 5. [Diary, October 15-30, 1885.] { 2MR 153.2 } 
 
My brethren in the Lord, I am instructed to say that you must raise the standard of piety and truth and holiness higher, still higher. Compare scripture with scripture. Encourage the people to study their Bibles. Nearly all have the common version, and the words are so simple and plain that all who read may understand. Let the Scriptures be read freely in the family and in the pulpit. The men who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired of God, and the words of Holy Writ are for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. { 20MR 170.5 }

 

          s t a n d a r d    O F    P i e t Y    i n    t h e    c h u r c h       (  6  )           

 

  In the truths of His word, God has given to men a revelation of Himself; and to all who accept them they are a shield against the deceptions of Satan. It is a neglect of these truths that has opened the door to the evils which are now becoming so widespread in the religious world. The nature and the importance of the law of God have been, to a great extent, lost sight of. A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity, and the obligation of the divine law has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification, and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church.  Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time. { GC 465.1}   Read entire Chapter 27

 

In the truths of His word, God has given to men a revelation of Himself; and to all who accept them they are a shield against the deceptions of Satan. It is a neglect of these truths that has opened the door to the evils which are now becoming so widespread in the religious world. The nature and the importance of the law of God have been, to a great extent, lost sight of. A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity, and the obligation of the divine law has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification, and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church. Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time.... { NL 9.3} 
 
  A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity, and the obligation of the divine law, has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification, and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church. Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time.... { FLB 326.4} 

 

  Never, never was there a time when the truth will suffer more from being misrepresented, belittled, demerited through the perverse disputings of men than in these last days. Men have brought themselves in with their heterogeneous mass of heresies which they represent as oracles for the people. The people are charmed with some strange, new thing, and are not wise in experience to discern the character of ideas that men may frame up as something. But to call it something of great consequence and tie it to the oracles of God does not make it truth. Oh, how this rebukes the low standard of piety in the churches. Men who want to present something original will conjure up things new and strange, and without consideration will step forward on these unstable theories that have been woven together as a precious theory. And present it as a life and death question.... { 6BC 1064.6 } 

  Never, never was there a time when the truth suffered more from being misrepresented, belittled, demerited through the perverse disputings of men than in these last days. Men have brought themselves in with their heterogeneous mass of heresies which they represent as oracles for the people. The people are charmed with some strange new thing, and are not wise in experience to discern the character of ideas that men may frame up as something. But to call it something of great consequence and tie it to the oracles of God, does not make it truth. Oh, how this rebukes the low standard of piety in the churches. { 2SM 15.1} 

 

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