FIRST REPORT OF
This is the complete summary of our findings while probing The Shepherd’s Rod infiltration and activities in our churches, also the opinions of men who study and think for themselves, be they wrong or be they right.
Soon after our committee’s work began all of us became convinced that there are more Rodists in our churches than it actually appears and that many others could in one way or another be considered at least sympathizers. This will be seen from the rebuke which we faced everywhere we went. We were confronted with talk backed by references such as the following:
Many of our deep thinking men said, “The successful Rod infiltration is due to our manner of dealing with Its adherers.” They said, “It is because we have injudiciously made our teachings appear inconsistent and our dealings unfair so as to create doubts of our sincerity. Having always protested against those who thought it wise to cast out from among their midst those whom they thought were in error, and now ourselves doing the same as they did is not helping our people. The laity,” they said, “are therefore losing confidence in the leading men.”
Others said, “The Rod’s success is due to our neglecting strictly to abide by the Lord’s command, to let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest; that our saying the harvest is not yet come makes us liars as long as we continue casting out the Rod tares.” Still others thought that our casting out the Rods is nothing short of usurping the angel’s place, that this is no small sin and we are paying for it. A number of them read to us, and others quoted the following:
“. . . The Lord forbids us to proceed in any violent way against those whom we think erring, and we are not to deal out excommunications and denunciations to those who are faulty.’’—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 47.
“. . . The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man.”—lbid.
I was told time and again that our unmindfulness of the Lord is our greatest mistake. Then they read this:
“. . . We are not to think, as did the Jews, that our own ideas and opinions are infallible; not with the papists, that certain individuals are the sole guardians of truth and knowledge, that men have no right to search the Scriptures for themselves, but must accept the explanations given by the Fathers of the church. . . .”—Id., p. 105.
“You can see from these passages,” they told us, “that unless we heed the warnings from God we are liable to fall into the same mistakes as did all who thought themselves rich and in need of nothing more, and who as a result rejected God’s messengers, and warned their flocks against His messages.
“We have paid dearly already,” they continued, “but if we do not now at this very moment, and at this late hour change our minds from feeling in need of nothing, and if we do not acknowledge that we are indeed ‘wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, in need of everything, as the Lord says we are, then as sure as God lives, our end shall be a thousand times worse than the end of any evildoers who have gone before us. The Shepherd’s Rod is winning,” they said, “because of our ‘lukewarm’ (contented) attitude—of being rich in Truth and in need of nothing more. This we know, is still another abomination in God’s sight. It has broken our communication circuit with Heaven. It is a damper to God’s cause and a deprivation to our souls. To continue doing what we now do is indeed blasphemy, especially after having been told time and again:
“ ‘Precious light is to shine forth from the word of God, and let no one presume to dictate what shall or what shall not be brought before the people in the messages of enlightenment that He shall send, and so quench the Spirit of God. Whatever may be his position of authority, no one has a right to shut away the light from the people. When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims. No one can afford to stand back in an attitude of indifference and self-confidence and say:
“I know what is truth. I am satisfied with my position. I have set my stakes, and I will not be moved away from my position, whatever may come. I will not listen to the message of this messenger for I know that it cannot be truth.” It was from pursuing this very course that the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages of heaven have not reached them.’—Testimonies On Sabbath School Work, p. 65; Counsels On Sabbath School Work, p. 28.
“ ‘. . . This message [the Loud Cry] seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angels’ message in 1844. . . .—Early Writings, p. 277.”
“If the Loud Cry message is an addition to the Third message,” they declared, “then why are we not expecting it and praying for it? Why are we not searching for it? And how shall we find it if we do not even so much as look into another man’s work, especially when it springs up right from the midst of us, and in the name of the Lord? The ‘addition,’ we ought to know, will not come down to us in a parachute, no, no more than the first part of the first angel’s message came down in a parachute. It is to come through some individual for sure. Such an have-need-of-nothing attitude as ours, cuts off Heaven’s communication line, and makes absolutely impossible God’s messages ever reaching us. Pray, pray, but think and study too.”
A great number of such loud-spoken Adventists look the liberty to say: “As our people’s attitude now stands they are ready to denounce and to bar out everything if the minister so instructs. Many of the laity are strictly and even religiously conforming to such pseudo education, though they for themselves may not have even an idea what the issue is about. This foolish practice continues on and on,” they said, “in spite of Inspiration’s warning:
“ ‘The rebuke of the Lord will rest upon those who would bar the way, that clearer light shall not come to the people. A great work is to be done, and God sees that our leading men have need of more light, that they may unite with the messengers whom He sends to accomplish the work that He designs shall be done . . .’—Gospel Workers, p. 304.”
Thus they insisted that God wants our leading men to unite with the messengers whom He sends, not the messengers to unite with the leading men.
By another group we were told: “The cry that we have all the Truth to carry us to the Kingdom, and our stubborn position that we have need of nothing more, notwithstanding the grim fact that we are unable to meet the pestering Rod, and that we run away from It even though we are the ones who carry a big stick on our shoulders, is the best admission that we are badly in need of something which we do not now possess; that if we do not get hold of that something, the Rod will soon have us all bowing down to It while we hoodoo and boodoo at it day and night. In such an event if the Rod is from the Devil, then the Devil will have us all in hell; and if the Rod is from God, and if It takes us while we war against It, then It will condemn us and send us all to hell! From this irrefutable logic, it is positive that we are fighting a losing battle, be the Rod right or be it wrong.”
Nearly all insisted that our running away from the Rod and warning others to keep away from It, is stupid. “Why not face It?” they asked, then went on saying: “Has not God told us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1)? And to hold fast to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21)? Why are we not mindful of Him? Is it possible that we should know better than He! Try the spirit of the Rod. If It be of God, take It; and if It be not of Him, prove it. Since closing our eyes against the Rod has not caused It to disappear, or to cease haunting us, we ought to know by now that our closed-eye-tactics are as sensible as an osrich’s sticking her head into sand to get away from a hound. Moreover, our talking against the Rod is doing as much as the wind’s blowing against fire; it intensifies it. And casting out the Rodists is making them martyrs, not heretics. Rome tried all these methods but failed to stop the incursion of so-called heretics.”–Reporting Un-Adventist Activities, pp. 2-9.
(For a PDF download of the complete text of this report please click the link above.)