SDA Corporate Responsibility

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Ellen G. White Protests Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference Corporation Actions

Will the "Ship", Depending on Worldly Lawyers, Go Through?

Keep away from worldly lawyers. This is the rock on which many have wrecked their barque [sailing vessel]. . . . (5MR:445)

Those who have placed their dependence on lawyers, on the counsels of unconsecrated men, have been unfaithful stewards. (20MR:171)

We are not to lean upon the policy of worldly lawyers. We must be humble men of prayer, not acting like those who are blinded by Satan's agencies. (18MR:36)

God's cause is now in need of the influence that protests against evil, and strives to counteract it--the influence that Christ has always demanded of His people. Let there be no delay, for the message that I am bearing is from God. While He has been calling upon His people to come out from the world, and to be separate and distinct, not touching that which is unclean, human agencies have been counterworking His work, by linking up with worldly men, cultivating the spirit of commerce, and depending on worldly lawyers and worldly methods. The Lord is sorely displeased with these men who have made themselves one with the world. (16MR:10)

How Christ is Crucified Afresh

God will call the world to account for the death of His only-begotten Son, whom to all intents and purposes the world has crucified afresh, and put to open shame in the persecution of His people. (TM:39)

These men cast aside the counsel God has given, and do the very things He has bidden them not to do [initiate lawsuits]. They show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and in heaven their names are registered as one with unbelievers. Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Let these men know that God does not hear their prayers....Matters connected with the church are to be kept within its own borders. If a Christian is abused, he is to take it patiently; if defrauded, he is not to appeal to courts of justice. Rather let him suffer loss and wrong.(3SM:299, 300)

The world and unconverted church members are in sympathy. Some when God reproves them for wanting their own way, make the world their confidence, and bring church matters before the world for decision. Then there is collision and strife, and Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts! ...To lean upon the arm of the law is a disgrace to Christians; yet this evil has been brought in and cherished among the Lord's chosen people. Worldly principles have been stealthily introduced, until in practice many of our workers are becoming like the Laodiceans--half-hearted, because so much dependence is placed on lawyers and legal documents and agreements. Such a condition of things is abhorrent to God. (3SM:302, 303)

Through His servants, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. He manifested Himself through His witnesses in their arrest, in their trial, and in their imprisonment. Yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. They were men of whom the world was not worthy, and by killing them the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. So it will be again. The authorities will make laws to restrict religious liberty. They will assume the right that is God's alone. They will think they can force the conscience, which God alone should control. Even now they are making a beginning; this work they will continue to carry forward till they reach a boundary over which they cannot step. God will interpose in behalf of His loyal, commandment-keeping people. (DA:630)

A Solemn Warning

Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured. (GC:581) is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God's precepts. (ST 04-22-89; pr:07)

Those who have an opportunity to hear the truth, and yet take no pains to hear or understand it, thinking that if they do not hear, they will not be ACCOUNTABLE, will be judged guilty before God the same as if they had heard and rejected. There will be no excuse for those who choose to go in error when they might understand what is truth. (RH 04-25-93; pr:10)

One Man Responsible for Another Man's Unfaithfulness

"Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins; keep thyself pure." (1 Tim. 5:22) ...Sin should be rebuked. Whatever opposition and trial might come to the elder of the church because of his faithfulness, he should not swerve from true principles. Sins should not, because of unsanctified preferences and sympathy, be lightly regarded in one man which would be condemned in another. This matter is one of great importance. If he trusts responsibilities to one whose habits and practices he knows to be wrong, he shows that his own principles are not sound, that his motives are questionable. By this very act he sanctions the errors and sins of the man he has commended and appointed to the sacred office of caring for the flock of God. Unless he is guarded by heavenly wisdom, he will place himself in a position where he will feel it necessary to sustain the man with whom he has united his influence; and God will hold him RESPONSIBLE for his brother's unfaithfulness in office, and for the harm which will result to the church. He must keep himself pure by refusing to mingle with any unholy influence. (PH028:17, 18)

Individual Members Responsible for State of the Church

Each member of the church should feel under sacred obligations to guard strictly the interests of the cause of God. The individual members of the church are RESPONSIBLE for its distracted, discouraged state, by which the most sacred truths ever committed to man are dishonored. (5T:278)

Church Body Accountable for Negligence and Sin of Members

God will hold the church at _____ RESPONSIBLE, as a body, for the wrong course of its members. If a selfish and unsympathizing spirit is allowed to exist in any of its members toward the unfortunate,...He will hide His face from His people until they do their duty and remove the wrong from among them....the Lord holds the church accountable for the sin of its members until they have done all they can to remedy the existing evil. (WM:212, 213)

The church is in a great degree RESPONSIBLE for the sins of her members. She gives countenance to evil if she fails to lift her voice against it. (PK:651)

The church is in a great degree RESPONSIBLE for the sins of her members. She gives countenance to the evil, if she fails to lift her voice against it. The influence from which she has most to fear is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of the God of Israel. (SW 05-10-04; pr:06)

The church as a whole is in a degree RESPONSIBLE for the wrongs of its individual members because they countenance the evil in not lifting up their voice against it. The favor of God is not enjoyed for several reasons. His Spirit is grieved by the pride, extravagance, dishonesty, and overreaching which are indulged by some professing godliness. All these things bring the frown of God upon His people. (4T:490, 491)

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. (CG:235, 236)

Aaron failing to stand up boldly for the right, his yielding to the strength of numbers, placed him with the majority. Aaron represents the cases of a large number composing our churches at the present day. They pass over sins existing in the church which grieve the spirit of God. They are lax where order and principle are involved, because it is not pleasant to reprove and correct wrongs. They are themselves carried along with the current, and become RESPONSIBLE for a fearful neglect of faithfulness. (ST 05-27-80; pr:04)

...if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held RESPONSIBLE for those sins. (3T:265)

Brethren and sisters in the faith, does the question arise in your hearts, "Am I my brother's keeper?" If you claim to be children of God, you are your brother's keeper. The Lord holds the CHURCH RESPONSIBLE for the souls of those whom they might be the means of saving. (ChS:13)

We repeat, God holds the CHURCH RESPONSIBLE for the sins of its individual members. When coldness and spiritual declension exist, God's people should put away their pride and self-confidence and self-exaltation, and should come to the Lord in sorrow and humility, not charging him with injustice, but seeking wisdom to understand the hidden sins which shut out his presence. (ST 04-21-81; pr:24)

God's Displeasure at Sin Among His People

God's displeasure is upon His people, and He will not manifest His power in the midst of them while sins exist among them and are fostered by those in RESPONSIBLE positions. (3T:270)

The sin of Eli was in passing lightly over the iniquity of his sons, who were occupying sacred offices. The neglect of the father to reprove and restrain his sons brought upon Israel a fearful calamity. The sons of Eli were slain, Eli himself lost his life, the ark of God was taken from Israel, and thirty thousand of the people were slain. All this was because sin was lightly regarded and allowed to remain among them. What a lesson is this to men holding RESPONSIBLE positions in the church of God! It adjures them faithfully to remove the wrongs that dishonor the cause of truth. (4T:166)

The leaven of unbelief is working, and unless these evils which bring the displeasure of God are corrected in its members, the whole CHURCH stands ACCOUNTABLE for them. (RH 12-23-90; pr:10)

Cleanse the camp of this moral corruption, if it takes the highest men in the highest positions. God will not be trifled with. Fornication is in our ranks. I know it, for it has been shown me to be strengthening and extending its pollutions. There is much we will never know, but that which is revealed makes the CHURCH RESPONSIBLE and guilty unless they show a determined effort to eradicate the evil. Cleanse the camp, for there is an accursed thing in it. (TSB:237)

We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors' wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil? (TSB:188)

Becoming Partakers of Others' Sin/Evil Deeds

The wheat is not to sow itself among the tares; for although we may not practice the works of some of the members of the secret orders, in joining them we are registered in heaven as partakers of their evil deeds, RESPONSIBLE for their works of evil, and bound up in bundles with them as tares. Thank God, it is not too late for Christians to sever themselves from all unholy connections, and come fully unto the side of Christ. (RH 01-10-93; pr:16)

"The people of God are not to vote [for men in political parties] to place such men in office; for when they do this, they are PARTAKERS WITH THEM OF THE SINS which they commit while in office." (GW:391)

The names of those who sin and refuse to repent should not be retained on the CHURCH books, lest the saints be held ACCOUNTABLE for their evil deeds. (5BC:1096)

What a lesson have we here for parents and guardians of youth, and for those who minister in the service of God. When existing evils are not met and checked, because men have too little courage to reprove wrong, or because they have too little interest or are too indolent to tax their own powers in putting forth earnest efforts to purify the family or the church of God, they are ACCOUNTABLE for the evil which may result in consequence of neglect to do their duty. We are just as ACCOUNTABLE for evils that we might have checked in others, by reproof, by warning, by exercise of parental or pastoral authority, as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves. (4T:516)

...if one neglects the duty Christ has enjoined, of trying to restore those who are in error and sin, he becomes a partaker in the sin. For evils that we might have checked, we are just as responsible as if we were guilty of the acts ourselves. (DA:441)

If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God. (3T:281)