Immorality in the Ministry
A Spirit of Prophecy Compilation
"How can those who claim to see wondrous things out of the law of God, be found in the list of the impure, of the fornicators and adulterers, constantly evading the truth, and secretly working out iniquity? Do you think that they can hide their ways from the Lord? that God seeth not? that God taketh no knowledge?"—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 433:02-434:0.
"Halfway work with you will not advance you one step toward heaven. Indecision soon becomes decision in the wrong direction. Many decide to serve themselves and Satan by not making determined efforts to overcome their defects of character. While many are petting sinful propensities, expecting to be overcomers sometime, they are deciding for perdition."—4 Testimonies for the Church, 343:02-344:0.
"You will sometimes be flattered by men, but more frequently by women. Especially when you present the truth in new fields, will you meet persons who will engage in this wicked flattery. As a servant of Christ, despise the flattery; shun it as you would a venomous serpent. Rebuke the woman who will praise your smartness, holding your hand as long as she can retain it in her own. Have little to say to persons of this class; for they are the agents of Satan, and carry out his plans by laying bewitching snares to beguile you from the path of holiness. Every sensible Christian lady will act a modest part; she will understand the devices of Satan, and will not be a co-laborer with him."—Evangelism, 679:02.
"What work are we individually doing for the Master? Who are unfolding the truth to those who are in the darkness of error? Who are holding forth the words of life? The enemies of Christ are many, who, while they claim to be righteous, have not the righteousness of Christ. They disguise themselves as angels of light, but they are ministers of sin."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 236:02.
"You have the example of ministers who have exalted themselves and who have coveted praise from the people. They were petted and flattered by the indiscreet until they became exalted and self-sufficient, and, trusting in their own wisdom, made shipwreck of faith."—3 Testimonies for the Church, 236:01.
"When a man dies, his influence does not die with him; but it lives on, reproducing itself. The influence of the man who was good and pure and holy lives on after his death, like the glow of the descending sun, casting its glories athwart the heavens, lighting up the mountain peaks long after the sun has sunk behind the hill. So will the works of the pure and the holy and the good reflect their light when they no longer live to speak and act themselves. Their works, their words, their example will forever live. `The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.’
"But what a contrast to this is the life of those who are earthly, sensual, devilish! The sensual pleasure was indulged. In the light of the judgment, the man appears as he is, stripped of the livery of heaven. He stands before others as he is in the sight of a holy God. Let every one of us think seriously whether the works following us will be the mellow light of heaven or the shadows of darkness, and whether the legacies we bequeath are those of blessings or curses."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 429:01-02.
"Ever since the fall of Satan, who was once an exalted angel in glory, ministers have fallen through exaltation."—1 Testimonies for the Church, 474:01.
" ‘Never earn the reputation of being a minister who is a particular favorite with the women. Shun the society of those who by their arts would weaken in the least your purpose to do right, or bring a stain upon the purity of your conscience. Do not give them your time or your confidence; for they will leave you feeling bereft of your spiritual strength. Do nothing among strangers, on the cars, in the home, in the street, that would have the least appearance of evil.’—Review and Herald, July 8, 1884."—Evangelism, 680:01.
"There is scarcely a ray of hope for him; he has deceived himself and deluded others so long that Satan has almost entire control of his mind and body. If his professed robe of righteousness can be torn from him and his vile purposes and thoughts be exposed, so that he will not continue to lead others in the paths of hell, it will be all we may expect.
"The warnings of God he first hated and then resisted because they brought his own wicked course to be seen in the light of God’s law. It is one of the saddest evidences of the blinding influence of sin that months and years roll on and there is no awaking to repentance. With a firm persistence he has pursued his downward course. He has no bitter feelings of remorse, no dread of heaven’s vengeance. If by lies and deception he can cover his sins from observation he is content. All sense of right and wrong is dead within him. A harvest is before him that he will be horrified to reap.
"The worst feature in this case is that all his satanic work is done under pretense of being a representative of Jesus Christ. One sinner dressed up as an angel of light can do incalculable harm. Dark and fearful plans are deliberately made to separate man and wife. Said the apostle: `Of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.’ These licentious characters even creep into respectable families and by their deceptive wiles and intrigues lead astray the conscientious. Damnable heresies are received as truth, and the most revolting sins committed as acts of righteousness, for conscience becomes confused and stupefied.
"This man embraced the unpopular doctrine that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, in order to give to his religious experience a semblance of honesty."—5 Testimonies for the Church, 139:2-140:02.
"Oh, how can any who have the light of truth, the great light given them of God, defy the wrath and judgments of God by sinning against Him and doing the very things God has told them in His word not to do? How can they be so blinded by Satan as to dishonor God to His face, and defile their souls by sinning knowingly? Says the apostle, ‘We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.’ Will these sinners—shall I call them hypocrites?—in Zion inquire, In what manner am I a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men? Answer for yourselves, By my abuse of the light and privileges and mercies God has given me, by unseemly actions which corrupt and defile the soul. Professing to know God, do I put Him out of my thoughts, and substitute an idol? Do I lead other minds to regard sin lightly by my example? Am I a spectacle to the world of moral looseness? Am I a spectacle to angels in indecent actions and moral defilement of the body? The apostle exhorts us: ‘I beseech you, . . brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ ‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’"—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 447:02-448:0.
"A preacher may be dealing in sacred, holy things, and yet not be holy in heart. He may give himself to Satan to work wickedness and to corrupt the souls and bodies of his flock. "—2 Testimonies for the Church, 456:04.
"Our great adversary has agents that are constantly hunting for an opportunity to destroy souls, as a lion hunts his prey . . One safeguard removed from conscience, the indulgence of one evil habit, a single neglect of the high claims of duty, may be the beginning of a course of deception that will pass you into the ranks of those who are serving Satan, while you are all the time professing to love God and His cause. A moment of thoughtlessness, a single misstep, may turn the whole current of your lives in the wrong direction. And you may never know what caused your ruin until the sentence is pronounced, `Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ —5 Testimonies, 397, 398. (1885)"—Evangelism, 681:03-682:0.
"The professed people of God were not all holy, that some were corrupt. God sought to elevate them, but they refused to come up upon a high plane of action. The corrupt animal passions bore sway, and the moral and intellectual powers were overborne and made their servants. Those who do not control their base passions cannot appreciate the atonement or place a right value upon the soul. Salvation is not experienced or understood by them. The gratification of animal passion is the highest ambition of their lives. God will accept nothing but purity and holiness; one spot, one wrinkle, one defect in the character, will forever debar them from heaven, with all its glories and treasures."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 453:01.
"After the passing of the time in 1844, fanaticism came into the ranks of Adventists. God gave messages of warning to stay the incoming evil. There was too great familiarity between some men and women. I presented to them the holy standard of truth that we should reach, and the purity of deportment that we should maintain, in order to meet the approval of God and be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Most solemn denunciations from God were given to men and women whose thoughts were running in an impure channel, while they claimed to be especially favored of God; but the message God gave was despised and rejected.
"We are not out of danger even now. Every soul who engages to give to the world the message of warning will be sorely tempted to pursue such a course in life as will deny his faith.
"We must as workers be united in frowning down and condemning anything that bears the least approach to evil, in our associations with one another. Our faith is holy; our work is to vindicate the honor of God’s law, and is not of a character to bring anyone down to a low level in thought or in deportment. There are many who claim to believe and teach the truth who have error and fanciful ideas of their own mingled with the truth. But there is an exalted platform for us to stand upon. We must believe and teach the truth as it is in Jesus. Holiness of heart will never lead to impure actions. When one who claims to be teaching the truth is inclined to be much in the company of young or even married women, when he familiarly lays his hand upon their person, or is often found conversing with them in a familiar manner, be afraid of him; the pure principles of truth are not inwrought in his soul. Such are not workers with Jesus; they are not in Christ, and Christ is not abiding in them. They need a thorough conversion before God can accept their labors.
"The truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never leads him to the least approach to undue familiarity; on the contrary, it sanctifies the believer, refines his taste, elevates and ennobles him, and brings him into a close connection with Jesus. It leads him to regard the apostle Paul’s injunction to abstain from even the appearance of evil, lest his good should be evil spoken of."—Selected Messages Book 2, 29:01-30:01.
"There will be women who will become tempters, and who will do their best to attract and win the attention of men to themselves. First, they will seek to win their sympathy, next their affection, and then to induce them to break God’s holy law. Those who have dishonored their minds and affections by placing them where God’s Word forbids, will not scruple to dishonor God by various species of idolatry. God will leave them to their vile affections. It is necessary to guard the thoughts; to fence the soul about with the injunctions of God’s Word; and to be very careful in every thought, word, and action not to be betrayed into sin.—Review and Herald, May 17, 1887."—Evangelism, 681:02.
"If a minister of the gospel does not control his baser passions, if he fails to follow the example of the apostle and so dishonors his profession and faith as to even name the indulgence of sin, our sisters who profess godliness should not for an instant flatter themselves that sin or crime loses its sinfulness in the least because their minister dares to engage in it. The fact that men who are in responsible places show themselves to be familiar with sin should not lessen the guilt and enormity of the sin in the minds of any. Sin should appear just as sinful, just as abhorrent, as it had been heretofore regarded; and the minds of the pure and elevated should abhor and shun the one who indulges in sin, as they would flee from a serpent whose sting was deadly."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 457:01.
"When one who claims to be teaching the truth is inclined to be much in the company of young or even married women, when he familiarly lays his hand upon their person, or is often found conversing with them in a familiar manner, be afraid of him; the pure principles of truth are not wrought in his soul. Such are not workers with Jesus; they are not in Christ, and Christ is not abiding in them. They need a thorough conversion before God can accept their labors. The truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never leads him to the least approach to undue familiarity; on the contrary, it sanctifies the believer, refines his taste, elevates and ennobles him, and brings him into a close connection with Jesus. It leads him to regard the apostle Paul’s injunction to abstain from even the appearance of evil, lest his good should be evil spoken of . .
"Men who are doing God’s work, and who have Christ abiding in their hearts, will not lower the standard of morality, but will ever seek to elevate it. They will not find pleasure in the flattery of women, or in being petted by them. Let both young and married men say, Hands off! I will not give the least occasion to have my good evil spoken of. My good name is capital of far more value to me than gold or silver. Let me preserve it untarnished. If men assail that name, it shall not be because I have given them any occasion to do so, but for the same reason that they spoke falsely of Christ—because they hated the purity and holiness of his character; for it was a constant rebuke to them.
"I wish I could impress upon every worker in God’s cause, the great need of continual, earnest prayer. They cannot be constantly upon their knees, but they can be uplifting their hearts to God. This is the way that Enoch walked with God.—Review and Herald, Nov. 10, 885."—Evangelism, 680:02-681:01.
"The example of those who minister in holy things should be such as to impress the people with reverence for God and with fear to offend Him. When men, standing `in Christ’s stead’ (2 Corinthians 5:20) to speak to the people God’s message of mercy and reconciliation, use their sacred calling as a cloak for selfish or sensual gratification, they make themselves the most effective agents of Satan. Like Hophni and Phinehas, they cause men to `abhor the offering of the Lord.’ They may pursue their evil course in secret for a time; but when at last their true character is exposed, the faith of the people receives a shock that often results in destroying their confidence in religion. There is left upon the mind a distrust of all who profess to teach the word of God. The message of the true servant of Christ is doubtfully received. The question constantly arises, ‘Will not this man prove to be like the one we thought so holy, and found so corrupt?’ Thus the word of God loses its power upon the souls of men.
"In Eli’s reproof to his sons are words of solemn and fearful import—words that all who minister in sacred things would do well to ponder: `If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?’ Had their crimes injured only their fellow men, the judge might have made reconciliation by appointing a penalty and requiring restitution; and thus the offenders might have been pardoned. Or had they not been guilty of a presumptuous sin, a sin offering might have been presented for them. But their sins were so interwoven with their ministration as priests of the Most High, in offering sacrifice for sin, the work of God was so profaned and dishonored before the people, that no expiation could be accepted for them. Their own father, though himself high priest, dared not make intercession in their behalf; he could not shield them from the wrath of a holy God. Of all sinners, those are most guilty who cast contempt upon the means that Heaven has provided for man’s redemption—who ‘crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.’ Hebrews 6:6.
"Another warning was to be given to Eli’s house. God could not communicate with the high priest and his sons; their sins, like a thick cloud, had shut out the presence of His Holy Spirit."—Patriarchs and Prophets, 580:01-581:01.
"I saw that the church should feel their responsibility and should look carefully and attentively at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers."—Early Writings of Ellen G. White, 100:01.
"Our only safety is to stand as God’s peculiar people. We must not yield one inch to the customs and fashions of this degenerate age, but stand in moral independence, making no compromise with its corrupt and idolatrous practices.
"It will require courage and independence to rise above the religious standard of the Christian world. They do not follow the Saviour’s example of self-denial; they make no sacrifice; they are constantly seeking to evade the cross which Christ declares to be the token of discipleship.
"What can I say to arouse our people? I tell you not a few ministers who stand before the people to explain the Scriptures are defiled. Their hearts are corrupt, their hands unclean. Yet many are crying "peace, peace;" and the workers of iniquity are not alarmed. The Lord’s hand is not shortened that He can not save, nor His ear heavy that He can not hear; but it is our sins that have separated us from God. The church is corrupt because of her members who defile their bodies and souls."—5 Testimonies, 78:2-79:0.
"I am instructed to say to our people: Let us follow Christ. Do not forget that He is to be our pattern in all things. We may safely discard those ideas that are not found in His teaching. I appeal to our ministers to be sure that their feet are placed on the platform of eternal truth. Beware how you follow impulse, calling it the Holy Spirit. Some are in danger in this respect. I call upon them to be sound in the faith, able to give to everyone who asks a reason of the hope that is in them.
"The enemy is seeking to divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days. His sophistries are designed to lead minds away from the perils and duties of the hour. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give to John for His people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to receive special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science.
" ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.’ Jeremiah 6:16.
"Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith—the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building for the last fifty years. Men may suppose that they have found a new way and that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid. But this is a great deception. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid.
"In the past many have undertaken the building of a new faith, the establishment of new principles. But how long did their building stand? It soon fell, for it was not founded upon the Rock."—8 Testimonies, 296:01-297:02.
"Ministers of the gospel have a sacred work. They have a solemn message of warning to bear to the world—a message which will be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. They are God’s messengers to man, and they should never lose sight of their mission or of their responsibilities. They are not like worldlings; they cannot be like them. If they would be true to God they must maintain their separate, holy character. If they cease to connect with heaven they are in greater danger than others and can exert a stronger influence in the wrong direction, for Satan has his eye constantly upon them, waiting for some weakness to be developed whereby he may make a successful attack. And how he triumphs when he succeeds; for when one who is an ambassador for Christ is off his watch, through him the great adversary may secure many souls to himself."—4 Testimonies for the Church, 524:03.
" ‘I was shown that you had been wrong in sympathizing with E. The course you have taken in regard to him has injured your influence, and has greatly injured the cause of God. It is impossible for E to be fellowshiped by the church of God. He has placed himself where he cannot be helped by the church, where he can have no communion with nor voice in the church. He has placed himself there in the face of light and truth. He has stubbornly chosen his own course, and refused to listen to reproof. He has followed the inclinations of his corrupt heart, has violated the holy law of God, and has disgraced the cause of present truth. If he repents ever so heartily, the church must let his case alone. If he goes to heaven, it must be alone, without the fellowship of the church. A standing rebuke from God and the church must ever rest upon him, that the standard of morality be not lowered to the very dust. The Lord is displeased with your course in these things."—1 Testimonies for the Church, 215:01.
"Those who claim to be shepherds of the flock are carnally minded, leading the sheep of their care, whose purity, modesty, and virtue they should strictly guard, into licentiousness and lewdness. Angels of heaven are looking on with shame and grief and disgust. How can the pure angels of heaven minister unto this class? How can they bring heavenly light into the assemblies where such ministers are advocating the law of God, but breaking that law whenever a favorable opportunity presents itself; living a lie, pursuing an underhanded course, working in secret, nursing their polluted thoughts and inflaming their passions, and then taking advantage of women or men who are tempted, like themselves, to break down all barriers and debase their bodies and pollute their souls? How can they do this thing? How can they have any fear of God before them? How can they have any love for God in their souls? Of what value is their faith in the truth?
"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.
"The words of God to Joshua are: `Neither will I be with you anymore, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.’ These things are written for our benefit, upon whom the ends of the world are come."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 427:01-428:01.
"Not all who profess to keep the commandments of God possess their bodies in sanctification and honor. The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been entrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by it. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than is that of the classes I have named, who do not acknowledge the law of God as binding upon them. In a peculiar sense do those who profess to keep God’s law dishonor Him and reproach the truth by transgressing its precepts."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 450:01-451:0.
"Satan’s special temptations are directed against the ministry. He knows that ministers are but human, possessing no grace or holiness of their own; that the treasures of the gospel have been placed in earthen vessels, which divine power alone can make vessels unto honor. He knows that God has ordained ministers to be a powerful means for the salvation of souls, and that they can be successful in their work only as they allow the eternal Father to rule their lives. Therefore he tries with all his ingenuity to lead them into sin, knowing that their office makes sin in them more exceeding sinful; for in committing sin, they make themselves ministers of evil.’—Gospel Workers, 124. (1915)"—Evangelism, 678:02-679:0.
"If the sisters were elevated and possessed purity of heart, any corrupt advances, even from their minister, would be repulsed with such positiveness as would never need a repetition. Minds must be terribly befogged by Satan when they can listen to the voice of the seducer because he is a minister, and therefore break God’s plain and positive commands and flatter themselves that they commit no sin. Have we not the words of John: `He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him’? What saith the law? `Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ When a man professing to keep God’s holy law, and ministering in sacred things, takes advantage of the confidence his position gives him and seeks to indulge his base passions, this fact should of itself be sufficient to enable a woman professing godliness to see that, although his profession is as exalted as the heavens, an impure proposal coming from him is from Satan disguised as an angel of light. I cannot believe that the word of God is abiding in the hearts of those who so readily yield up their innocency and virtue upon the altar of lustful passions."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 457:02-458:0.
"The Lord would have His people divested of everything unscriptural in regard to the ministry. The men called to the ministry should not be made idols of; they should not be looked upon with superstitious reverence; and because of the power vested in them through their office, sin in them should not lose its offensiveness. Their very office makes sin in them more exceedingly sinful, for in committing sin they make themselves the ministers of sin, the agents of Satan, through whom he can work with success to perpetuate sin."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 404:01.
"All should bear in mind that Satan’s special efforts are directed against the ministry."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 404:01:02.
"When ministers thus take advantage of the confidence the people place in them and lead souls to ruin, they make themselves as much more guilty than the common sinner as their profession is higher. In the day of God, when the great Ledger of Heaven is opened, it will be found to contain the names of many ministers who have made pretensions to purity of heart and life and professed to be entrusted with the gospel of Christ, but who have taken advantage of their position to allure souls to transgress the law of God.
"When men and women fall under the corrupting power of Satan, it is almost impossible to recover them out of the horrible snare so that they will ever again have pure thoughts and clear conceptions of God’s requirements. Sin, to their deluded minds, has been sanctified by the minister, and it is never again regarded in the loathsome light that God looks upon it. After the moral standard has been lowered in the minds of men, their judgment becomes perverted, and they look upon sin as righteousness, and righteousness as sin. By associating with these, whose inclinations and habits are not elevated and pure, others become like them. Their tastes and principles are almost unconsciously adopted.
"If the society of a man of impure mind and licentious habits is chosen in preference to that of the virtuous and pure, it is a sure indication that the tastes and inclinations harmonize, that a low level of morals is reached. This level is called by these deceived, infatuated souls, a high and holy affinity of spirit—a spiritual harmony. But the apostle terms it `spiritual wickedness in high places,’ against which we are to institute a vigorous warfare.
"When the deceiver commences his work of deception, he frequently finds dissimilarity of tastes and habits; but by great pretensions to godliness he gains the confidence, and when this is done, his wily, deceptive power is exercised in his own way to carry out his devices. By associating with this dangerous element, women become accustomed to breathe the atmosphere of impurity and almost insensibly become permeated with the same spirit. Their identity is lost; they become the shadow of their seducer.
"Men professing to have new light, claiming to be reformers, will have great influence over a certain class who are convinced of the heresies that exist in the present age and who are not satisfied with the spiritual condition of the churches. With true, honest hearts, these desire to see a change for the better, a coming up to a higher standard. If the faithful servants of Christ would present the truth, pure and unadulterated, to this class, they would accept it, and purify themselves by obeying it. But Satan, ever vigilant, sets upon the track of these inquiring souls. Someone making high profession as a reformer comes to them, as Satan came to Christ disguised as an angel of light, and draws them still further from the path of right.
"The unhappiness and degradation that follow in the train of licentiousness cannot be estimated. The world is defiled under its inhabitants. They have nearly filled up the measure of their iniquity; but that which will bring the heaviest retribution is the practice of iniquity under the cloak of godliness. "—5 Testimonies for the Church, 143:02-144:02.
"The nominal churches are filled with fornication and adultery, crime and murder, the result of base, lustful passion; but these things are kept covered. Ministers in high places are guilty; yet a cloak of godliness covers their dark deeds, and they pass on from year to year in their course of hypocrisy. The sins of the nominal churches have reached unto heaven, and the honest in heart will be brought to the light and come out of them."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 449:01.
"Do not think that God will work a miracle to save those weak souls who cherish evil, who practice sin; or that some supernatural element will be brought into their lives, lifting them out of self into a higher sphere, where it will be comparatively easy work, without any special effort, any special fighting, without any crucifixion of self; because all who dally on Satan’s ground for this to be done will perish with the evildoers. They will be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy."—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 453:02.
"The slightest insinuations, from whatever source they may come, inviting you to indulge in sin or to allow the least unwarrantable liberty with your persons, should be resented as the worst of insults to your dignified womanhood. The kiss upon your cheek, at an improper time and place, should lead you to repel the emissary of Satan with disgust. If it is from one in high places who is dealing in sacred things, the sin is of tenfold greater magnitude, and should lead a God-fearing woman or youth to recoil with horror, not only from the sin he would have you commit, but from the hypocrisy and villainy of one whom the people respect and honor as God’s servant. He is handling sacred things, yet hiding his baseness of heart under a ministerial cloak. Be afraid of anything like this familiarity. Be sure that the least approach to it is evidence of a lascivious mind and a lustful eye. If the least encouragement is given in this direction, if any of the liberties mentioned are tolerated, no better evidence can be given that your mind is not pure and chaste as it should be, and that sin and crime have charms for you. You lower the standard of your dignified, virtuous womanhood, and give unmistakable evidence that a low, brutal, common passion and lust has been suffered to remain alive in your heart and has never been crucified."—2 Testimonies for the Church, 458:02-459:0.
"The subject of purity and propriety of deportment is one to which we must give heed. We must guard against the sins of this degenerate age. Let not Christ’s ambassadors descend to trifling conversation, to familiarity with women, married or single. Let them keep their proper place with becoming dignity; yet at the same time they may be sociable, kind, and courteous to all. They must stand aloof from everything that savors of commonness and familiarity. This is forbidden ground, upon which it is unsafe to set the feet. Every word, every act, should tend to elevate, to refine, to ennoble. There is sin in thoughtlessness about such matters.’—Gospel Workers, 125. (1915)"—Evangelism, 679:01.