Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]


Church Discipline

Let none speak lightly of the duty of the church to administer censure and rebuke; neither let them criticize the action of the church when this painful task becomes necessary. Christ has given plain instruction regarding the duty of the church toward those who, while professing to be loyal members, are bringing dishonor to the cause of God by their course of action. “Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted,” He says, “shall be rooted up.” God has commanded that those who prove themselves unworthy of church fellowship shall be separated from His body. Those who speak against the exercise of this authority speak against the authority of Christ. 17MR 164.4

The one who first brought temptation into the courts of heaven is constantly working against the peace and prosperity of the church on earth. To those who will listen to His words, Satan represents the authority of the church as harsh and lacking in sympathy, because it seeks to free the members from corrupting influences. It was Satan's purpose in heaven to dethrone God and himself take the place of the Most High. He failed in this purpose and was cast out from the heavenly courts; and since that time he has tried to instill in the hearts of men and women the belief that God is arbitrary and harsh in His dealings with His creatures. 17MR 165.1

The church does injustice to God when it allows to exist as part of itself elements that are bringing dishonor to His cause. In the responsibilities God has laid upon His church, He gives to each individual a part to act, with encouragement to draw upon the wisdom of God for His help. But there are those who depart from the way of the Lord, and who take sides with the tempter and his sympathizers; and there should be those in the church who in the fear of God will act with justice and righteousness and faithfulness in administering reproof.—Manuscript 9, 1908. 17MR 165.2

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.,

June 4, 1987.

Entire Manuscript.