Ellen G. White Writings

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Gospel Workers 1892, Page 181

Discussions Not to be Sought

[From a Personal Testimony.]

I was shown that here is the danger of young ministers who engage in discussion: They turn their minds to the study of the word to gather the sharp things, and they become sarcastic, and in their efforts to meet an opponent, too frequently leave God out of the question. The excitement of debate lessens their interest in meetings where this special excitement does not exist. Those who engage in debates are not the most successful laborers, and the best adapted to build up the cause. By some, discussion is coveted, and they prefer this kind of labor above any other. They do not study the Bible with humility of mind, that they may know how to attain the love of God; as Paul says, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” [Ephesians 3:17-19.]

Young preachers should avoid discussions; for they do not increase spirituality or humbleness of mind. In some cases it may be necessary to meet a proud boaster against the truth of God in open debate; but generally these discussions, either oral or written, result in more harm than good. After a discussion, the greater responsibility rests upon the minister to keep up the interest. He should beware of the reaction which is liable to take place after a religious excitement, and not yield to discouragement himself.

Men who will not admit the claims of God's law, which are so very plain, will generally pursue a lawless course; for they have so long taken sides with the great rebel in warring against the law of God,

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