Ellen G. White Writings

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The Indiana Reporter

May 8, 1907

Criticising Burden-Bearers

Mrs. E. G. White

The church is suffering for want of unselfish Christian workers. Those who live upon the husks of others’ failings and deficiencies, and who gather the unwholesome miasma of their neighbors’ neglects and short-comings, make themselves church scavengers, and no advantage to the society of which they form a part, but are an actual burden to the community upon which they inflict themselves.

The church is in need, not of burdens, not of fault-finders, but of builders in Zion, men who will be true as steel to preserve the honor of those whom God has placed at the head of his work. The Spirit of gossip and tale bearing is one of Satan's special agencies to sow discord and strife, to separate friends, and to undermine the faith of many in the truthfulness of our positions.

The names of God's chosen servants have been handled with disrespect, and in some cases with absolute contempt, by certain persons whose duty it is to uphold them. There are many who find special enjoyment in discoursing and dwelling upon the defects, whether real or imaginary, of those who bear heavy responsibilities in connection with God's cause. They overlook the good that has been accomplished, the benefits that have resulted from arduous labor and unflinching devotion to the cause, and fasten their attention on some apparent mistake, when the truth is, had they been left to do the work, they either would have refused to move at all under the attending discouragements of the case, or would have managed more indiscreetly than those who did do the work.

In your blindness you have ventured to handle the servant of God in a cruel manner. “Touch not mine anointed,” saith God, “and do my prophets no harm.” It is not a small matter to array yourself against men whom God has sent with light and truth for the people. Beware how you influence souls and reiterate insinuations and misrepresentations which have originated in an unsanctified heart. Souls are defiled by this root of bitterness, and are, through these questioning, murmuring ones, placed where the testimony of reproof which God sends will not reach them.

Men's hearts are no softer today than when Christ was upon the earth. They will criticise and turn against the servant of God the very efforts he is leading them to make. They will, with their evil surmisings, see fraud and dishonesty where all is right, and where perfect integrity exists. They lay selfish motives to the charge of God's servants, when he himself is leading them, and when they would give even their lives if God required, if by so doing they could advance His cause.

God's word is our standard, but how few follow it! Our religion will be of but little worth to our fellow men if it is only theoretical and not practical. The influence of the world and of selfishness is carried about by many who profess to be following the Bible. They are like a cloud, chilling the atmosphere in which others move. The religious zeal which is manifested in a raid upon brethren, is a zeal not according to knowledge. Christ has nothing to do with such testimony.

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