Call Sin by its Right Name

The greatest want of the world is the want of men,–men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.–Education, p. 57.

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  Isaiah 58:1

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We are living in the solemn scenes of this earth’s history. If ever there was a time when things should be called by their right name, it is now. This is no time to call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. We must lay hold by faith now. It is time for every one to be wide-awake.—Pamphlet 146.

Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. “They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God’s word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonours her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself.—DA 805.

​​The history of Achan teaches the solemn lesson that for one man’s sin the displeasure of God will rest upon a people or a nation till the transgression is searched out and punished. Sin is corrupting in its nature. One man infected with its deadly leprosy may communicate the taint to thousands. Those who occupy responsible positions as guardians of the people are false to their trust if they do not faithfully search out and reprove sin. Many dare not condemn iniquity, lest they shall thereby sacrifice position or popularity. And by some it is considered uncharitable to rebuke sin. The servant of God should never allow his own spirit to be mingled with the reproof which he is required to give; but he is under the most solemn obligation to present the Word of God, without fear or favour. He must call sin by its right name. Those who by their carelessness or indifference permit God’s name to be dishonoured by His professed people, are numbered with the transgressor,– registered in the record of heaven as partakers in their evil deeds….

The love of God will never lead to the belittling of sin; it will never cover or excuse an unconfessed wrong. Achan learned too late that God’s law, like its Author, is unchanging. It has to do with all our acts and thoughts and feelings. It follows us, and reaches every secret spring of action. By indulgence in sin, men are led to lightly regard the law of God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow men, and flatter themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity. But His law is the great standard of right, and with it every act of life must be compared in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead to purity of life. All excuses for sin are vain. Who can plead for the sinner when God testifies against him?–ST April 21, 1881.

Severity to a few will often prove mercy to many. Yet we must be careful to manifest the spirit of Christ, and not our own hasty, impetuous disposition. We must rebuke sin, because we love God, and love the souls for whom Christ died.–ST, January 24, 1884 par. 10.

I must speak plainly. We are reaching a time when a just standard of right and wrong, of honour and dishonour, of truth and error, is becoming a thing of naught. “Truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter.” In the ambitious projects invented, there [is danger] of losing all sense of distinction between right and wrong. Those who listen to misrepresentations are supposed to be acting for the cause. For a long time a course has been pursued which has perverted principle and justice. We need men who will not be drawn into secret, underhand confederacy, but who will shun as a sin the least intriguing and underhand work–men who will call things by their right name, men who are barricaded by principle and braced for duty, be it pleasant or unpleasant, men whom neither flattery, pretence, cunning, nor art could induce to swerve one hair from principle or duty.—Manuscript 17, p. 233.

​​Moses represents a class who will call sin by its right name; a class that will give no place to sin and wrong, but will purge it from among them. Our abhorrence of sin cannot be too strong, if we are controlled by no personal, selfish feelings, if we labour disinterestedly for the salvation of souls, pleading in behalf of the erring, and those blinded by their own transgressions.–ST, May 27, 1880 par. 5.

A Need of Men Who Will Call Sin by its Right Name

​​In the existing state of religious declension, there is crying need of earnest, faithful Nehemiahs and Ezras,–men who will not shun to call sin by its right name, and who will not shrink from vindicating the honour of God. Those upon whom God has laid the burden of his work are not to hold their peace, and cover prevailing evils with a cloak of false charity. Men of courage and energy are needed to expose fashionable sins. Iniquity must not be palliated and excused. Those who lead the church of God to follow the customs and practices of the world, are not to be lauded and exalted. No regard for family or position will hinder the faithful servants of Christ from guarding the interests of his people. God is no respecter of persons. Great light and special privileges bring increased responsibility. When those who have been favoured or honoured of God, commit sin, their influence goes very far to encourage others in transgression. And if, by their example, the faith of another is weakened, and moral and religious principle is broken down, the wrath of God will surely come upon those betrayers of their sacred trust.–ST, January 24, 1884 par. 9.

​​Our churches are becoming enfeebled by receiving for doctrines the commandments of men. Many are received into the church who are not converted. Men, women, and children are allowed to take part in the solemn rite of baptism without being fully instructed in regard to the meaning of His ordinance. Participation in this ordinance means much, and our ministers should be careful to give each candidate plain instruction in regard to its meaning and its solemnity. Our church members see that there are differences of opinion among the leading men, and they themselves enter into controversy regarding the subjects under dispute. Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar

Those Who Walk With God Call Sin by its Right Name

​Those who walk with God are prepared to call wrongdoing by its right name. Sin is sin, whether practiced by ministers, teachers, medical missionaries, or other workers in the Lord’s service. Those who discern unChristlike traits in professed Christians occupying positions of responsibility must use great plainness of speech in pointing out these evils, instead of apparently continuing in fellowship with erring men because they are standing in high places. It is on account of the positions of trust that these unChristlike workers occupy that I am instructed to say to our physicians, Great plainness of speech is required. Those who, though occupying positions of grave responsibility, are Christians only in name are not to be sustained and upheld and strengthened by their brethren, for Satan works through the sinners in Zion to bring in strife and contention and difficulties, which make God’s people a reproach and a shame to Christ Jesus.—Manuscript 16.

Dealing With Sin

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