Ellen G. White Writings

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Pastoral Ministry, Page 209

Chapter 36—Church Discipline

Necessity of Discipline

Pastors having too little courage to reprove wrong are held accountable for the evil that may result—Those who have too little courage to reprove wrong, or who through indolence or lack of interest make no earnest effort to purify the family or the church of God, are held accountable for the evil that may result from their neglect of duty. We are just as responsible for evils that we might have checked in others by exercise of parental or pastoral authority as if the acts had been our own.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 578.

There will ever be a spirit to rise up against reproof—There will ever be a spirit to rise up against the reproof of sins and wrongs. But the voice of reproof should not be hushed because of this. Those whom God has set apart as ministers of righteousness have solemn responsibilities laid upon them to reprove the sins of the people. Paul commanded Titus, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” There are ever those who will despise the one who dares to reprove sin. But when required, reproof must be given. Paul directs Titus to rebuke a certain class sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. And how shall the reproof be given? Let the apostle answer: “With all long-suffering and doctrine.” The one at fault must be shown that his course is not in harmony with the Word of God. But never should the wrongs of God's people be passed by indifferently. Those who faithfully discharge their unpleasant duties under a sense of their accountability to God, will receive his blessing.—The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1880.

Those failing to reprove are not to be exalted—To exalt a minister as perfection because he has not displeased any one by reproving errors, not only brings a snare upon the minister, but brings disaster upon the people. He who does not hurt the spiritual self-complacency of the people is almost deified by them, while a devoted, faithful servant of God, who lays bare the errors of the church-members, is supposed to be defective, because he does not see what they suppose are their personal merits. He reproves wrongs which really exist, and this is counted an indignity, and his authority and instruction

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