Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, Page 298

Chapter 31—Criticizing Ministers

One mistake leads to another. Our brethren must learn to move intelligently and not from impulse. Feeling must not be the criterion. A neglect of duty, the indulgence of undue sympathy, will be followed by a neglect to properly estimate those who are laboring to build up the cause of God. Jesus said: “I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

Many do not look upon preaching as Christ's appointed means of instructing His people and therefore always to be highly prized. They do not feel that the sermon is the word of the Lord to them and estimate it by the value of the truths spoken; but they judge it as they would the speech of a lawyer at the bar—by the argumentative skill displayed and the power and beauty of the language. The minister is not infallible, but God has honored him by making him His messenger. If you listen to him as though he were not commissioned from above you will not respect his words nor receive them as the message of God. Your souls will not feed upon the heavenly manna; doubts will arise concerning some things that are not pleasing to the natural heart, and you will sit in judgment upon the sermon as you would upon the remarks of a lecturer or a political speaker. As soon as the meeting closes you will be ready with some complaint or sarcastic remark, thus showing that the message, however true and needful, has not profited you. You esteem it not; you have learned the habit of criticizing and finding fault, and you pick and choose, and perhaps reject the very things that you most need.

There is very little reverence for sacred things in either the Upper Columbia or the North Pacific Conference. [See footnote on page 249.] The ordained instrumentalities of God are almost entirely lost sight of. God has instituted no new method of reaching the children of men. If they cut themselves off from heaven's appointed agencies to reprove their sins, correct their errors, and point out the path of duty, there is no way to reach them with any

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