The Shepherd’s Rod message, is it truth or error?
The Shepherd's Rod message, is it truth or error?What do you think? Maybe to you, as with the vast majority of Seventh-day Adventists, the question was answered long ago it's heresy. The very name Shepherd's Rod sparks aggregate fear and trepidation.Church members are told unequivocally to avoid studying Shepherd’s Rod literature or attending Rod Bible studies as if believers are infectious.
When not verbally insulted, abused, there are times when adherents are literally beaten, or physically thrown out as outcasts. This may seem incredible, but it's true. Perhaps you've seen it.But have you ever wondered why it is so vehemently opposed? How about you? Why are you so convinced that The Shepherd’s Rod message is spurious?
The truth is that the Shepherd's Rod is the name of a reformatory and prophetic message specifically for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.It is not a separate denomination.Its adherents are Seventh-day Adventists Christians who are striving to know and walk with Christ, and who hold on to the fundamental truths of Adventism. They are typically members of the denominational churches but who share the prophetic series of interpretations known as, “The Shepherd’s Rod.”
Unfortunately, most Seventh-day Adventists do not know this because they have never studied the Shepherd's Rod message and are not even certain what it is.For them it is just something loathsome.For the few who have read bits and pieces of it, they either say that it is based on false hermeneutics (method of interpretation), or that it contradicts Mrs. White’s writings, or both. With rare exception, they draw this conclusion not from studying the message directly for themselves, but from popular General Conference publications, such as: The History and Teachings of “The Shepherd’s Rod.” This booklet is a blend of two pamphlets, The Story of “The Shepherd’s Rod,” and Some Teachings of the Shepherd’s Rod Examined.
These booklets, like nearly every other like it, endeavor to discredit the controversial message by demeaning its history and pointing out so-called discrepancies between the writings of Mrs. White and Victor Houteff author of The Shepherd’s Rod series. This method remains the typical and primary basis for denouncing its teachings.
This publication hopes, with the prayerful aid of the Holy Spirit, to reveal to the candid mind that the above-mentioned arguments are not only very faulty but grossly biased. We will see that the anti-Rod literature, such as mentioned above, are political, partisan, and dissimulated. The objective reader will also notice that although some facts are stated by the denomination, they were placed in the most exaggerated light while misstating others.
This kind of modus operandi is no different than that used by politicians. It is a common sort of propaganda practiced by public officials and the media. No thinking person would accept at face value the assessment of the Republicans from the Democrats, or vice versa. A fair investigation would involve a thorough study of both parties. Continuing the political illustration a bit further, we could use the example of candidates running for election who are often smeared by their opponents. A challenger may refer to his opponent’s so-called poor voting record, or raise allegations giving the appearance that he is the one for the job. But as in so many cases, an honest and thorough research reveals the whole truth. How many stories has the media reported unfairly? Daily we are bombarded with reports in the news, and although these stories inform us of events that perhaps we would not otherwise know, they are frequently slanted (whether intentionally or otherwise) to fit our prejudices. This is quickly proven when you travel to another country and read or hear the same story altogether differently.
The same should apply to religious matters especially since it concerns our eternal welfare. Prejudice, preconceived opinions or notions, can be detrimental if we allow them to override a plain thus saith the Lord.
This publication is dedicated to the fair and balanced investigation of the major teachings of the Rod and other related subjects with the sincere hope that the reader will see more of the beauty of our Savior, His Word, and the great plan of God for His church and the world. We believe and are sure that the Shepherd’s Rod is the lens to do that—the gift given to our church from a loving Heavenly Father. This publication does not cover all of its teachings. However, what will be discussed should be more than ample to substantiate it as truth, not heresy. You will find that Rod believers are not aberrant or religious freaks, lurking about to destroy the church or to take you out of it. They are in fact, Seventh-day Adventists who, although imperfect, love Christ, the Scriptures, and the Third Angel’s message. No, friends, and brethren, “we have not followed cunningly devised fables.” (2 Peter 1:16). “Come and see” (John 1:39, 46).
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