Ellen G. White Writings

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Manuscript Releases, vol. 5 [Nos. 260-346], Page 447

MR No. 343—Local Elders of the Church

Elders and deacons are chosen to have a care for the prosperity of the church; yet these leaders, especially in young churches, should not feel at liberty, on their own judgment and responsibility, to cut off offending members from the church; they are not invested with such authority. Many indulge a zeal like that of Jehu, and rashly venture to make decisions in matters of grave importance, while they themselves have no connection with God. They should humbly and earnestly seek wisdom from the One who has placed them in their position, and should be very modest in assuming responsibilities. They should also lay the matter before the president of their conference; and counsel with him.—Manuscript 1, 1878. (To the church at Ligonier, Indiana, October, 1878.)

Are not the qualifications which he says are essential in the deacon, equally essential in the elder of the church? The deacons were church officers. 2 Corinthians 6:4: “But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses.” 1 Timothy 5:22: “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partakers of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.” Here is a matter that is worthy of consideration. In the twenty-first verse the solemn charge is given: “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” These verses, 21 and 22, need to be carefully and prayerfully considered. Sin should be rebuked. Whatever opposition and

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