\*\*Does Truth Cause Divisions?\*\*
To many church members, a message from God should not create schism. A true message from God should unite church not divide.. The fact, they say, that The Shepherd’s Rod message creates controversy and separation is clear evidence that it is false. Perhaps you have wondered about that yourself.
It certainly is true that any message from heaven should not cause separation, but the sad fact is that it does and has throughout history. Did not the message of the prophets and even Christ Himself bring about controversy and separation? In fact, Inspiration told us that “Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition. . . “ But who was to blame? Was it the fault of the message, or was it the fault of the opponents of it? It is true that our loving Heavenly Father intended that truth should bring harmony, but that is hardly ever the case because of the mistreatment of its messengers by opponents.
“Opposition,” wrote Ellen White, “is the lot of all whom God employs to present truths specially applicable to their time. There was a present truth in the days of Luther,—a truth at that time of special importance; there is a present truth for the church today. . . . But the truth is no more desired by the majority today than it was by the papists who opposed Luther. There is the same disposition to accept the theories and traditions of men instead of the word of God as in former ages.”
Unfortunately, overzealous Rod adherents have occasionally acted unwisely. However, these incidents are rare. By far, the primary contributor to the problem of schism is the prejudice and persecution by church members. If Rod believers are not treated with coldness, they are insulted, ostracized, and disfellowshipped, just for having differing views of Scripture!
In the final analysis, the truth of a message is not determined by whether or not it brings about unity, or whether it is or is not accepted by the majority, or even how its adherents conduct themselves, but by the weight of scriptural evidence. Victor Houteff put it best:
“The fact that the message of the Rod brings a separation, is one more evidence in the proof that in this fundamental effect, at least, it is right in line with all other messages from God. This therefore adds another link to the golden chain of Truth that cannot be tarnished or broken. “The weight of evidence” is the only fair and final criterion worthy of a Christian who must ever make an investigation for himself concerning purported truth.”