Sowing Unity Or Discord?

In Proverbs 6:16 we read,   “These six things the Lord hates, Yes seven are an abomination to Him:  A  proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises  wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”

In this post we’ll look at one of these abominations and see how we can sow unity instead of sowing discord. The Lord has inspired me to discuss this because of a recent experience, and if it had been handled biblically, unity may have been the fruit of the experience instead of discord.  Our treatment among our “brethren” is far more important than we often realize. If we aren’t careful, we’ll take part in something our Lord  hates.

In our relationship with our brothers and sisters, we would do well to keep in mind our Lord’s words. “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11). Our attitude must first be to “serve” and help them. And from that frame of mind we can approach a brother or sister who we may differ with.

The situation arose from activity on Facebook. With this powerful tool today, we can use it to further the gospel and our Lord’s present truth. One of the brothers had become quite active in posting present truth, in this case, the “Timely Greetings” sermons by brother Houteff. He was following the Lord’s advice in being “zealous” in his work for the Lord.

As many are well aware, the Lord’s last Elijah message from brother Houteff has been fought since it came upon the scene, about 1930. So down through the years the mention of “Shepherd’s Rod” or ‘Davidian” is likely to bring prejudice and ignorance from many within the SDA, just like that of the 1888 message that was also mostly rejected by the remnant church.(Note–Davidian Seventh  Adventists are  not  “Branch Davidian” SDA  who were involved in  the Waco fiasco)

So this brother (we’ll call him brother A) posted the sermons and other writings from brother Houteff, but left out the author’s name and date of the writings. They were well received with many reading and sharing them on Facebook. This was producing the desired effect– to have many of our brothers and sisters read the inspired writings and gain some present truth without being prejudiced up front by mentioning names.

After a while, another brother (we’ll call him brother B) took offense to this practice. He felt it was wrong because brother Houteff, who was the author, was left out as the “author”. Plagiarizing was the accusation. Brother B contacted brother A and let him know it wasn’t right according to him. Brother A disagreed in this.(This part was done right, a private message was sent).

Brother B, was the more experienced brother(in the present truth message). And in all honesty he had a legitimate point. Afterall some could have gotten the idea that brother A was the writer. But brother B took it upon himself to by pass direct counsel of the Lord in regards to the proper procedure in handling this kind of dispute.

After he was rebuffed, he began to follow brother A’s postings around and add the author’s name and date of that sermon. Then he went further and posted an article on his website accusing brother A of plagiarizing. Although brother B didn’t mention brother A’s name, he then posted it on Facebook. This whole episode was a spectacle in discord as far as I could see. Let me give the reasons.

Let us view this episode from the point of “Mother” (the SDA members who are not familiar with the Elijah message or much present truth). This term is taken from the Hosea prophecy.  Brother A, as mentioned,  had posted for several months present truth messages from brother Houteff. Mother had been noticing and spreading (as evidenced by the share counts on FB).

Mother has largely been told that the DSDA and their belief of the Elijah prophet,  and foretold exactly described by sister White ( Testimonies for the church, p.475) is incorrect. Although the leaders of the church since 1930 haven’t been able to explain away the numerous interpretations of many hidden prophecies, in Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, Joel, Hosea, Isaiah, Revelation, and more, written out and published by brother Houteff.

So with that understanding clearly understood by brother A, he reposted the messages without making reference to a name that many would simply ignore due to their prior prejudice. Mother is impressed with such truths, and spreads them. Along comes brother B.

Brother B doesn’t take into full consideration that there is a sizable audience (ie.Mother) who is watching and learning what brother A is posting. He goes to brother A in a private message. Brother A  is frankly confused and in bewilderment. Being somewhat new to the message, he is made to feel his efforts have somehow been bad before the Lord .

Brother B, rashly starts to “upset the apple cart” and follow brother A’s posts. He comments after them who the author was and the date of the sermons. Again Mother is watching.  But now Mother sees some discord among the two brothers. Comments are made on FB. Quickly thereafter a post is made by brother B accusing brother A of plagiarizing and posted on Facebook.

Now Mother has witnessed a major discord among the brothers. So now Mother may be saying ” If these brothers have such great truths and can’t even get along amongst themselves, maybe what they teach really is off  like they say.” And sadly, no doubt some have been put off  by this spectacle.

Did this have to be a spectacle? Most likely not had brother B followed the counsel below. If this whole affair could have been handled by the  Lord’s direct advice below,  then no such discord would have affected Mother and most likely unity would have been achieved.

In (Matt 18:15) we read ” Moreover if your brother sins against you, go tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

Here we can see clearly the error from brother B. He did not go to one or two other brothers to try to get the issue resolved in private. In this case, myself and a few other brothers were mutual friends of both these brothers. Had he done so, there would have very likely been a mutual understanding of the issue, particularly because our Lord would most likely had blessed us because we were taking His direct advice.

It is noteworthy that our Lord made this statement right after discussing differences between brothers “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My father in heaven (Matt 18:19). Had brother B gone to brother A  and claimed this promise, and agreed to ask (prayed) to receive instruction from the Lord how to handle this problem, the Lord would certainly have kept His word and answer given. When all else fails look to our Lord’s word and believe the promises!

So after this public spectacle , brother A quit posting for awhile, then did more but with a disclaimer that he wasn’t the author. So what was the net effect?  A public spat with evidence of discord. The whole disagreement would have likely been settled if brother B would have taken counsel among brother(s) who could also talk to brother A, and no public discord shown.

As we have pointed out before in numerous posts, those who take up the Elijah message must be courageous and willing to stand up to the naysayers and even those who will ridicule.  Brother A was/is  doing that by posting many present day messages,  the straight testimony. Brother B took  little consideration of that effort. Many may  be drawn to present truth by brother A’s efforts. Should any contact him to inquire who is the author, you can rest assured he would not hesitate to disclose brother Houteff.

Additionally we can see how brother Houteff himself made note in regards to this. In His letter “to any seeking to be DSDA” under rule number 1  he says (describing one who is seeking)  “He is unselfish, he rejoices over the good fortune of others, and loves to have others receive credit for something he himself may have accomplished. He expects his credit from the Lord only.”

Based on the above, would brother Houteff had gotten upset that his name was left out on the wonderful truths he was inspired to write, and was posted by brother A? I think not, as he was a person known to have practiced what he preached.

Ellen White makes a further enlightening comment, “..Those who are busy in dissecting the words and acts of others, to discover all that is objectionable, fail to discern the good and pleasant things.” (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 12, p.7-8, no.922)

“..whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy –meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:19).

 Sure there are times when we must warn a brother or sister,  but our approach is the Lord’s way not our way.Do we still consider brother B,   a brother? Yes we do. And we must remember our Lord’s instruction,  “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people ” (1 Thess.5:15). He has done some good work in many areas of the present truth message. But no one is beyond reproach. If we humble our souls and seek the truth in all matters, we should appreciate it when  corrected.

Our Lord said “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This should be our primary focus towards our brothers and sisters- love and concern. Our Lord can do wonderous things if we abide by His word and instructions.

In these very last days before our Lord comes to begin the judgment for the living, we have but little time to get caught up in discords, especially public ones. This is viewed not as unity but public squabbling, and can only hurt our cause. Despite the example above, the Lord’s work on Facebook is going on powerfully and many are accepting the present truth message. Praise the Lord!

The grand work will go forward with or without us,  only let us strive to be found  sowing seeds of unity and not discord, to the best of our ability.

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3 Responses to “Sowing Unity Or Discord?”

  1. Teri Says:

    Since I rarely spend time on Facebook, I was clueless to this situation. This is a good lesson for all and you did a nice job explaining it. No one should be offended by what you wrote and to God be the Glory! I hope my comment is an encouragement to you.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    So nice to hear from you sister Teri. As always your comments are much appreciated and they do encourage me, thank you! And yes –To God be the Glory, amen.

  3. b. Albert Graham Says:

    Amen.

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