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Gospel Workers (1892/1893 ed.)

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    Proper Remuneration for Ministers

    “Instead of bringing the expense of the work down to a low figure, it is your duty to bring the minds of the people to understand that the ‘laborer is worthy of his hire.’ [Luke 10:7.]” “The churches need to be impressed with the fact that it is their duty to deal honestly with the cause of God, not allowing the guilt to the worst kind of robbery to rest upon them, that of robbing God in tithes and offerings. When settlements are made with the laborers in his cause, they should not be forced to accept small remuneration because there is a lack of money in the treasury. Many have been defrauded of their just dues in this way, and it is just as criminal in the sight of God as for one to keep back the wages of those who are employed in any other regular business.GW92 200.1

    “There are men of ability who would like to go out and labor in our several Conferences; but they have no courage, for they must have means to support their families. It is the worst kind of generalship to allow a Conference to stand still, or to fail to settle its honest debts. There is a great deal of this done; and whenever it is done, God is displeased.GW92 200.2

    “If the presidents and other laborers in our Conferences impress upon the minds of the people the character of the crime of robbing God, and if they have a true spirit of devotion and a burden for the work, God will make their labors a blessing to the people, and fruit will be seen as the result of their efforts. Ministers have failed greatly in their duty to so labor with the churches. There is important work to be done aside from that of preaching. Had this been done, as God designed it should be, there would have been many more laborers in the field than there now are. And had the ministers done their duty in educating every member, whether rich or poor, to give as God has prospered him, there would be a full treasury from which to pay the honest debts to the workers, and this would greatly advance missionary work in all their borders. God has shown me that many souls are in danger of eternal ruin through selfishness and worldliness; and the watchmen are guilty, for they have neglected their duty. This is a state of things that Satan exults to see.”GW92 200.3

    “All branches of the work belong to the ministers. It is not God's order that some one should follow after them, and bind off their unfinished work. It is not the duty of the Conference to be at the expense of employing other laborers to follow after, and pick up the stitches dropped by negligent workers. It is the duty of the president of the Conference to have an oversight of the laborers and their work, and to teach them to be faithful in these things; for no church can prosper that is robbing God. The spiritual dearth in our churches is frequently the result of an alarming prevalence of selfishness. Selfish, worldly pursuits and schemes interpose between the soul and God. Men cling to the world, seeming to fear that should they let go their hold upon it, God would not care for them. And so they attempt to take care of themselves; they are anxious, troubled, distressed, holding on to their large farms, and adding to their possessions.”GW92 201.1

    “The word of God speaks of the ‘hire of the laborers, ... which is of you kept back by fraud.’ [James 5:4.] This is generally understood to apply to wealthy men who employ servants and do not pay them for their labor; but it has a broader meaning than this. It applies with great force to those who have been enlightened by the Spirit of God, and yet in any degree work upon the same principle that these men do hiring servants; grinding them down to the lowest price.”—Testimonies for the Church 5:375.GW92 201.2

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