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Managing Theological Conflict in the Local Church

Royce Snyman


Many churches in Michigan, and North America, are being faced with major theological controversy in the form of anti-Godhead, Branch Davidian and Shepherd’s Rod groups, etc. When churches face these conflicts, local church leaders are often at a loss as to how to help the church work through these issues and maintain unity. This class will address the steps leaders should take to protect the church and help the wandering.


Royce Snyman

Ministerial Department Director and Coordinator of Evangelism for the Michigan Conference




  • June 22, 2018
    9:30 AM
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By then haven't we are so grateful for this day and for your many blessings to us we pray that you will bless our time here today our responsibility to day is a serious one and we take it seriously but we also know that you. Understand these issues far better than we do and one of the biggest theological conflicts as ever existed we call the great controversy and the only solution you had for that was Jesus Christ and Lord we know that even that did not solve the prairie body so we pray that as we need together and talk today that you help us to be realistic but also find as many answers as we can in this brief period of time in Jesus' name and. Those of you then part of the class that I've been teaching in the afternoon on Russians by faith have especially yesterday been reminded of some of the issues that can come into the church or that did come into the church and have come into the church as a result of Satan's attack against the true message that God wants His people to have God has a message he wants everybody to understand but the devil wants to make sure they don't understand that. We should not be surprised that number one God's Church continues to be attacked both from outside and from within we should not be surprised that it is theological confusion and theological conflict that comes in sometimes that theology is simply aberrant theology that is just off the wall Other times it is connected to things that we believe but takes off on a different tangent. And whatever it is. Satan is trying to sidetrack from the work that God is leading us or him to do this is a leadership class that's why it's part of the sequence of elders and deacons and deaconesses training that I've done earlier in the week whether you're here or not is not relevant to that statement what I'm saying is. The context of what I'm sharing today is that you are leaders in the church and as leaders in the church ever responsibility to care for your church and to be shepherds of that congregation and helping them understand that not everything everybody anybody comes along teaching is correct that is biblically sound we should not be surprised if you go to the book great controversy there's a couple chapters on there in there that specifically talk to the fact that the only you safeguard we are going to have at the end of time is the Scriptures and that with our deep understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures we will be led astray we are seeing that all around us people are being taken off for this reason then that reason you are seeing it in your churches which is very likely why you are here today to talk about the subject we all want to be kind and Christ like and I'm giving you a general introduction now and I'll get into this in the slides here in just a few moments but we all want to be Christ like and we want to be caring and we should be and we must be at the same time we may have to remember that Revelation Chapter 12 versus 79 says there was peace and heaven. It was war in heaven and as a result of that war some of the people there with the leaders of the church were cast out of heaven it should not surprise us that the leaders that were cast up from heaven came down to this earth and that the church today is still having to encounter that same kind of a challenge so as we talk about it I'm going to give you 2 presentation today is going to be in 2 parts the 1st part is a general discussion of managing conflict in the church those of you minimal leadership classes before you will see some familiarity here. That is a for you it's a reminder for those of you are new to the class today it is an introduction to the fact that we are talking about conflict this is the illogical conflict this is the illogical warfare and how do we manage that warfare that in our church there are some basic principles that apply to that and yesterday in the you can begin to says class talk a little bit about conflict management as well I'm going to get more into that today that's part of the class other part of the class is taking a survey look not a detail blog but a survey look at a couple of the areas that are especially being attacked in the Michigan conference and some of the tools that we are using in order to be able to try to deal with that those situations and I'm going to put those materials in your hands. So that you can take them home and they will tools for you but I do want to give you a realistic expectation of what this means there is no magic bullet for any of these problems that will suddenly come in and zap you've taken care of that problem in that church those people will suddenly be converted and your church will have no more struggles so hope you are realistic about that and that you will see what I'm talking about as we get into our class today. Because God is holy and righteous his church has set standards of moral and social behavior they reflect the character of God. These standards are based upon Biblical principles what you are turning all and unchanging every pap person baptized into the church promises to follow these standards those standards relate to lifestyle they relate to what we believe they belong relate to all these different aspects of our connection with God and with our brothers and sisters in the church also our witness to the community speaking in a very general sense these standards and these. Foundations upon which our church is built from the Word of God sometimes come into conflict and when they come into conflict because of the fact we are involved in the great controversy the church has to have some understanding of how to face those kinds of issues unfortunately in the more recent history the 70 have in this church and of our local 70 have missed churches the general direction that our churches have been taking is to ignore. Things that are happening in the church if someone is violating the standards of the church they tend to turn a blind eye to those those issues or a deaf ear to those issues and for a while that seems to be OK It just it you know it's no conflict there's no challenge I don't have any confrontations with people I don't like confrontation I'm speaking about me OK. And we don't like that for a while but it only lasts for a while and then it begins to come to the surface and in time it destroys the church recently I saw a post on Facebook and I am on Facebook my main reason for being there is I like to know what's going on and I learn a lot about what's going on it's also a good way to screen pastors. I'll leave it at that at any rate I saw a post on there was from a former pastor and his wife and I say former former in Michigan still a pastor today but I gave you his name you would know who he is he's a good man Avon's to actually taken a post of leadership in one of the conferences. At any rate he his wife especially they were posting on here we have suddenly discovered that within our church and I always struggle with us suddenly discovered that within our church are people who have this certain theology. And and they've been here for so long they've been slowly sharing this information within the church and all of a sudden it's devastating Archer's. That's what happens. When we as elders deacons and deaconesses don't do our job when we're not visiting in our church we're not getting acquainted with people we're not discussing with people what's going on in their hearts and their lives we're not connecting with people now let me tell you that it happens sometimes even when we do that because if people want to be clandestine anough they can do it and they can hide it but usually someone is going to come and tell you you know I was just talking to some Brother So and so he was telling me some none ever heard this before then I was pretty pretty fascinating let me tell you about it but I would never talk to people you don't know what's going on around there and if we're just doing our work from the platform on Sabbath morning or taking of the offering on Sabbath morning we're not getting connected with that kind of information don't wake up in your church and suddenly find out your church is devastated when you know something's going on have a plan have my purpose ahead of time discuss this as elders deacons and deaconesses how many of you have one of those offices in your church you're all or deacon or dignus Ok so many of you feel that responsibility others may to be in a different capacity so let's talk a little bit about discipline for a moment because that is the foundation for the methodology by which we begin to seek to address issues that come in our church the whole idea of discipline is very offensive to many people today discipline rightly understood as Correction it's not punishment it's redemption it's not abuse the reason we discipline our our children is not to abuse them. It's to save them when you tell your child please don't. Run in the freeway it's to save them I've got good news and I have bad news Shelley would you please just do a quick head count of here and in the conditional copies accordingly. You can do that from back there and just count the number of people in here and then add to 20. Sorry about that I underestimated how many would be here so you need to take all those originals on you know the regions from that it is to run them. Yeah we are you made 20 add however many in here to that OK So we we have to remember that the purpose of discipline is to save not destroy and that means our methodology is not going to be pulling out the weapon start beating people I don't mean physically you wouldn't do that anyway I'm talking about spiritually or emotionally we are seeking to work with people and to be able to encourage them and can encourage their hearts and correct So how does the church have to correct a member does the church have to correct a member who has seriously broken God's law or violated their understanding of the Word of God How does the church treat members who are not living up to its high standard or its level of the our understanding of theology What are the steps toward correcting the wrongs of members when and how should the church discipline its members when and how should the church I think I just had this story about that whether saved or unsaved God's love is the same for all people and men. Jesus came and died for people he knew would not accept his correction and would not accept his sacrifice and yet he still came and died for them that includes us doesn't it whatever the church needs to take action concerning a member is fallen into sin let each one of us be reminded that Jesus gave his life that erring members just as much as he gave it for us or that erring member just as much as he gave before us in testimonies volume 7 it says Human beings are Christ's property purposed purchased by him at an infinite price how careful then we should be in dealing with $1.00 another the foundation of our discussion today is Jesus' love for his people and his church Amen. That's our foundation you may say well we take that for granted no let's not take that for granted let's recognize that often we forget that as the basis for what we do in our church and let me suggest to you that poor discipline is easy to do. Appropriate discipline in the church takes planning effort prayer working together seeking the Holy Spirit having a direction to go and then taking that direction when it's necessary again she says if wrongs are apparent among his people and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them they virtually sustain and justify the center and are like guilty and will just of it just as surely receive the displeasure of God for they will be held I'm sorry made responsible for the sins of the guilty. If you have a problem in your church where a church member is robbing banks and you do not correct that situation you are just as guilty before God as a leader as if you were robbing those banks that not what that just. You see that hear him we don't deal with the issue they virtually sustain and justify the sinner and are like guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God for they will be made responsible for but what. The sins of the guilty are either give that to you to scare you I just gave that to you so that we're all realistic about the fact that the challenges that we face today in the church whether it's worldliness whether it's outright disobedience to the commandments or is theological conflict where people are coming up with their own theology and we're a big rebelling against what the Bible teaches and our understanding of what the Bible teaches whether it's one of those things are not we are responsible for what happens and we need to realize that the longer we bury our heads in the sand the more damage that gets done in the local church the more difficult it is going to be for us to correct that now the good news is any sin we commit including the guilt of over. Overlooking the sins here we need to understand Jesus will forgive us for that but we have to repent for it and repentance means turning from that action and taking on the action that God wants us to occur so if you and your church have been guilty of not taking a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ on something in the church that needs to be done then the time is now to repent of that it's part of the work of the Laodicean work message that is included in Revelation Chapter 3 God wants us to be moving in his direction under his plan according to that plan and she goes on in Volume 3 of the testimonies and she said God holds his people as a body responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them of the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body they become responsible for these sins anybody here still want to say you're an elder or deacon ridiculous and huge or. Were you thinking of resigning right about now. I also want you to understand that when she says what she says here diligently search out the sins it does not mean that we go to our elders meeting and say Folks we needed begin a search and destroy mission and we'd like to assign visitation to all of our elders and we're going to ask the deacons and deaconesses to come in and be a part of this we're going to have go out and we're going to visit all our members in the next month and what we're looking for is all of the average theology and all of the bad things that these Poco doing is that what that means no it means that we need to be attentive we do need to be our doing our duty and that's why we talked in our basic last in the last couple of days for both of these leadership positions and as those of you been in my class in years past we've always talked about the need to be visiting our members and be connecting with them we need to be building relationships with them not so we can seek out their mistakes but so that when those mistakes show up and those errors show up we need to be there to shepherd them and to begin moving them in the right direction by taking them to the Word of God and helping them to see the direction God is trying to take them if there were no church discipline in government the church will go to fragments and it could not hold together as a body I'm working right now with a church that has so much history in this kind of thing that it went from 200 members in the years past to just a few people attending today relatively speaking Fortunately by the grace of God beginning to move in the other direction already though the devil's not happy with it sorry about that. It's a war it's an ongoing battle and it's a war and that is what makes this challenge for the good news is Jesus is stronger than the devil Jesus loves people more than the devil wants to destroy them but God wants us to work to keep it together but if we don't do it churches wall disk beast reduced Royden fragment and will disappear and I've seen that happen in Michigan conference not just one place several places so we need to keep that in mind it needs to be that foundation we must not put our head in the sand we must learn to move ahead. Sin cannot be ignored in the congregation and sin is abhorrent theology it is disobedience the commandments it is whatever is moving people away from a connection with Jesus Christ and the truth of the Word of God that is sin and so we need to as a church as church leaders understand that while gentleness love and mercy must be shown to members who have fallen into sin in the church as a responsibility to take action concerning that since Christ method is very clear for us and I've taught a class in this whole redemptive discipline. Or would I teach that last year it was last year when it rained and those principles are there when we get into this whole Matthew 18 process more extensively I'm just superficially going over that today to give us a framework for what I'm going to do in the last part of our last when the church has done all it can to reclaim erring members without success Jesus says that they should then be considered as outside the church the principles of revenue Sorry Matthew 18 are if we find that there is a problem that needs to be corrected there's been a disagreement among member members or there's a sin in the camp or whatever it is that needs to be dealt with the best way to deal with it is the smallest number of people possible to deal with it one the one is the best when one in one fails to accomplish its purpose. Then you go to on one another words 2 leaders 3 leaders go and visit as the Bible says go and connect with them and pray with them and seek to lead them in the direction if that works you're done with your problem and you praise the Lord you move on if that doesn't work eventual it has to come to the church for correction and many times just about the time that's happening the person says I see you're serious you really think this is a problem Ah you're you're not just going to go by this are you and some people turn the corner and they come back to Jesus realizing that you care enough about them to show them the the area where they need to grow in and then do they turn around and go the other way others entrenched themselves and eventually comes to the church and has to be deal with when that happens Jesus says they should then be considered as outside the church disfellowshipped Bell disfellowship members should not however be removed from the church as love prayers and concern as a matter of fact when Jesus says that they should be treated as though they are Republican are somebody who is not a Christian or a follower of God What do we do for those people we work harder than ever to bring them into the church and we shouldn't suddenly now shut the door and slam it tight and have a closed door theology towards people we should be doing everything we can to redeem them but when it comes to theological issues you are going to have to understand that there is a real challenge with allowing people to continue to attend your church We'll get to that in a moment. Dispeller shipping should be carefully considered when you're dealing with discipline it is an extreme action which may be taken only when every other action to reclaim them has been attempted I have seen churches labor with diligence literally for years trying to help people get the right direction and move that direction at times that's a mistake. Because the longer you deal with the ology that is abhorrent and allowed to continue to persist the more it in trenches itself and it spreads like a cancer in the church so you have to be careful of that but I do commend churches for being careful about the process and doing everything they possibly can but unfortunately myself as a leader and Co and us as a leadership team in the conference have also come to realize ation that in one case I can think of we labored much too long in that situation and should have intervened more directly more quickly and dealt with because we didn't that began to spread much farther than I believe it might have had we been able to address it more directly if you want to know more about that check out the church manual by the way there is a section of the church manual but we believe it begins on page 56 which deals with discipline and works through that looking again Adele in white in volume 7 the testimonies no church officers should advise no committee should recommend nor should any church vote that the name of wrongdoer shall be removed from the church books until the instruction given by Christ has been faithfully followed. Faithfully follow the steps the Christ outlines but that means faithfully timely doing this work and then that needs to be brought before the church and the action may need to be taken out actually either. What has been called in the past in the past. Putting people on center or we sometimes today put in a better a period of grace thank you so much. So love and mercy is our guide to all our action in our dealing with those who make mistakes love must guide that many feel is their duty to root out sin in the church God has not given this work that's what Ellen White says but she understand it in the context that our work and this in less were a leader in the Church members of the church and their work is not to go out trying to root out all the problems in the church but the leaders have the responsibility of shepherds of the congregation to be continuing to guide that church and when the errors come in they need to be dealing with the presence of the pastors essential no individual church member has the authority to display fellowship another and nor does the church board this has to be taken to a business meeting and dealt with and that particular manner now I'm going over there very quickly that's time for another class I want to go on to resolving conflicts in the church because it's not just discipline but it's also conflict it's disagreement. Sometimes it's discriminant of a position of the time it's sometimes it's a a personality clash other kinds of things that again is the root of our conversation here as we're getting into the theological issues. We are seeking the lost the principle of Matthew 18 is that we are seeking to save those that are lost a person who is lost a person is lost when they are allowing sin to dominate their lives now I want to pause here for a moment and make this clear if a person is and I use the robbing banks because most of our church members are not robbing banks but I hope you will make the transition to the sins that are are true in our church and I'm not telling you there are no agonise the ever rob banks there are some that have done that but the sins that are in the church need to be addressed and some of them are being ignored by our church and we need to understand that when sins are present and we're all sinners Saddam misunderstand me but what I'm talking about open blatant sin clear violation of the 10 Commandments working on Sabbath is a clear violation of the 10 Commandments having a man hour man in your life who is not your husband is a clear violation of the Commandments or the other go way around in that relationship whatever the case it is not violate one of the commandments someone in your church is going around telling lies about everybody is violating the 10 Commandments I whatever it is that sin is going to cause those people to be lost eternally do we understand that. That's what I have to come face to face with when I'm dealing with this kind of an issue Jesus loves those people but if they continue to do well and live in that soon and think it's OK they will be lost when Jesus comes or they will die in their sin and they will not be resurrected in the 1st resurrection they will be resurrected in the 2nd resurrection and the Bible says in Revelation 20 you don't want to be resurrected in the 2nd resurrection I said it says it there but anyway you don't want to be resurrected then there are a person is lost when they are allowing sin into their lives a person can be lost with their membership status and good and regular standing our churches often look at these issues and they say if I take their name off the books maybe they'll get upset and go go away they might and it's true they might but if you leave it on the books they might not be in heaven now which is worse them going away from the church and then at some point coming back or them staying in the church and being lost eternally which is worse. I know I'm that was a rhetorical question but. Her stand we sometimes have to verbalize that is a problem if we do nothing they may be lost forever so Matthew 18 as the steps that I've already talked about and I don't want to go back into that I want to remind you of the power of forgiveness we must not forget the power and place of forgiveness Matthew 182122 remind us of the fact that God is a forgiving God the parable of the unforgiving servant reminds us that it has tremendous implications for the issues of resolving conflict that parable that Jesus told reminds us that an unforgiving servant of Jesus that is an unforgiving Christian and never unforgiving disciple of Jesus risked being told to be cast out of the church so to speak into everlasting fire and you and I don't want that experience you and I need to learn to be forgiving if we were talking today and in our role is to talk about conflict in theology but if we're talking about interpersonal conflict and people can't learn to forgive each other they risk not being in heaven because of an unforgiving heart and the reason for that is not just because they're not forgiving it's because Christ has 1st forgiven them and they are not turning around and applying the principles of love that Christ is applied to them and and forgiving other people therefore they have not accepted the forgiveness of Jesus and you and I cannot be saved if we don't accept her Givens and she's human. All right so there are some biblical tele tools for resolving conflicts in our church and personal conflicts especially communion is one of them whatever the conflict may be intervention of church leaders is a great one the church manual is also a great tool to help us good legal and church tools yes. I went over that so. You were quickly thinking that's good and me back there up let's say there's a conflict between you Dave and another brother in the church their way that's a tool is when we go come to that quarterly experience pastors often will preach a sermon the Sabbath before reminding people we're coming up to Communion next week there's anything that's between you and a brother you need to go and cut back corrected so as you come to Communion you can wash one another's feet and you can incept that difference behind you so communion becomes a tool by which we were reminded periodically that we must not allow situations to fester between our brothers and sisters to resolve conflicts so that's how it becomes tools good question and also involves intervention of leaders leaders doing their visitation leaders recognizing the issues there is I told the deacons deaconesses class yesterday and many of you were present there were all those as well again I reminded you that this work of leaders is to stop conflict that's why deacons and deaconesses got their position in the 1st place in Acts Chapter 6 is because of the whole situation was conflict and the leaders had needed to intervene. This is a little hard to read I'm sorry I should change that color and. Hate it when people put blue up on the screen like this but if your eyes start doing. Apologize Christians should make every effort to avoid tendencies that would be by them and bring them bring dishonor to their cause that is the purpose of God His children will blend in Unity do they not expect to live together in the same heaven goes or refuse to work in harmony greatly is on or. Now I understand this has 2 sides to it the obvious side is that we need to learn to get along with each other or it but we also need to remember that there is another side those who refuse to work in harmony greatly dishonor God and the ones who that might be us not getting along with our brother and sister but it might also be a brother or sister who have picked up air or an errant theology and who refuse to listen to the fact that this is destroying the harmony in the church and those are individuals who are greatly dishonoring God I've had to tell some people who come to me and try to share their theology with me that what they are doing is not following the way of Christ when they go off trying to force their way into our churches that's not the Christian method by which they do what they do they go in they try to sneak into our churches on Sabbath morning they try to sneak into a Sabbath school class and I say sneak they don't sneak as in crawl under the table come in they walk straight into the church come into a Sabbath school class they're sitting there and tell they get an opportunity to speak and then what comes out of their mouth is. Disunity and it begins to question the unity of the church and begins to question of the ology of the Word of God and begins to divide and then they just kind of sneak back on back on out and hopefully they get some phone numbers and some addresses of people so they can connect with those people and they start to build their base that way it's exactly what's happening in the Michigan conference today in church after church after church you and I need to be ready for this so one of the things I'm trying to help you to do in terms of managing conflict is to understand that you not only need to understand theologically Woods going on you even more importantly need to be prepared to manage this from a structural point of view and I'm going to come to that in a moment if matters of difficulty of doing brother were not laid open before others but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love how much evil might be prevented how many roots of bitterness whereby many are defiled would be destroyed and how closely and tenderly might be the follower might the followers of Christ be united in his love. All right now that's the foundation for what we're going to do in the last 25 minutes of our class the foundation is we're trying to save OK Everybody with me on that. The foundation is that we are trying to save using the tools that we have in the church that begin with personal interaction with people but also build on our ability to work with people step by step trying to correct along the way you tell Finally we may have to use the worst tool that we have but the most serious tool that we have but the one that we don't use our say enough but that we are sometimes afraid to use and that is actually asking people to know longer be a member of the church because they no longer believe will. And that's where we are today but one more slide so it didn't get into your notes I added it later but here is that slide I want to share with you today about 3 different groups actually I put up Charles wheeling I'm going to mention him just very briefly the 2 that we are facing the most Previn Lee right now a Branch Davidian and Branch Davidian come in a lot of different forms branch the Varians are one form shepherds rods are another form they are just because they come out of the same basic. Root and and then go on from there and I don't understand all of the theology and all the history I have some understanding of it but I've not exhausted my resource source or research in relationship to this but I'm going to start with this and I've got some materials so if you would take this material and I want to just give you a little bit of idea here of a situation that we have in the Michigan conference and I say the Michigan conference in Michigan in the conference but in Michigan and where there are some challenges along. So I want to review a little bit of this with you to give you a little bit of let me give you a little bit of context before I go into this. Our Jim Howard how many of you remember Jim Howard when he was here on the camp grounds early in the camp meeting and then he had to get on a plane and fly to China understand while. That's a lot of work. At any rate he was pastoring in the Detroit area some time ago and his churches were growing and making a lot of progress when all of a sudden something showed up in the church. And there were some individuals who decided that they were relatively recent 7th Day Adventist that baptized members but they had I don't know how they got connected with us I don't remember how it happened or yes I do because they sat in my office long ago and I remember they told me a little bit of the story and what they did is they they had been you know people come into the church in the Bible speaks of these people who are blown by every wind of doctrine that comes along right and so I had the experience with some people like this in the in my churches in Plymouth. My church in Plymouth a number of years ago a lot of years ago and some people I studied with and they knew so much about what we believed and they they had a journey I think they basically come out of a hippie type environment and hippies had a tendency to really be connected with good health practices in terms of diet anyway maybe not some other good old practices. Drugs and a few other kinds of things but they did have that focus and these people came into the church through the health message and they had learned a lot about these things and they just kind of blew right into the church but people sometimes you get blown right into the church I mean I hardly had to study with them and I mean that only in the sense that everything I studied with them they just kind of went down the line that they understood most of it already and so when we talked about it was right there we just went you know sometime later you study the Bible for 2 or 3 years or 5 years with people before they'll make a decision but these folk I mean they were just right there they knew one of the leaders in the church you was a health educator in the community and they were ready for baptism right into the church very very quickly a year or 2 later along comes a theology and they kick right in with it in they went out. That happens so Jim Howard had the situation in his church and these are the couple these folks had gotten online and they had started reading about something that was something that bothered this one lady she told me she said it was just something about this passage in scripture that bothered her and she just couldn't get an answer and anybody she asked would give an answer since you went online and lo and behold she found the answer in other words if you want to get an answer to something and you're willing to go anywhere to get it you'll probably find it and the trouble is that people are looking for to understand why the 7th day Sabbath is not being kept and they go to the Bible and they look there and they find it they go there and they come they come to 7 they miss church and they say I know the Bible says the sum of the Sabbath so I feel look online a found out about you here I am That's good yes that's good but knowing where to stop and be found built on a strong foundation of the church is difficult that was the beginning of their journey out of the church they had come into the church that was their journey out they got connected with this now let me give you a little bit of a history page one in the early 1930 S. the summer they haven't just sat a schoolteacher named Victor hoot off the gander teaches things in his local church they were contrary to scripture There's your clue and by the way Sabbath school is a breeding ground. For these kinds of problems if you're not careful so managing one of the things you need to do in managing these kinds of things in your churches know what's going on in Sabbath school what are your teachers teaching elders deacons and deaconesses you need to know what's going on in your classes and when the things are happening there don't ignore it this is one I really meant to put up here and I'd like to put it up here in in in the place of Charles wheeling. Let me just briefly talk to you about Charles wheeling Charles wheeling is a an individual that for the last. Say 20 even 30 years he had an idea some interpretations of prophecy and he started setting dates for the return of Jesus Christ and he did that and missed one the getting within another one he missed another one and he kept doing that and I actually thought that he had basically done enough of that that he was vanished and it turns out he's still around I'm not putting that name up there for you to go look for him because let me tell you you be careful when you start dealing with the stuff and you need to look at this very very carefully. Mentioned why I want to go back to the one on the trinitarian move and give you a little information on that one as well. So anyway continuing on so that's almost say about Charles Wheelan there's another one on here that try to remind me of his name when you said there was one more and I'll come back to that I want to mention it and get sidetracked right now he wrote a book 2nd line here he wrote a book called The shepherds rod that's where the title of the name of the people as shepherds rods which apply at multiple added as ministers reviewed and found to be in error the local church along with pastors and domination leaders became involved in a long process attempting to reclaim him from his error after much effort to no avail his name was eventually dropped from church membership Mr Hu to F. would eventually start an offshoot group called the video on 7th Day Adventists commonly referred to as shepherds rod the distinct beliefs of this group include the belief that the slaughter of 09 will take place after 144000 administers sealed all adman is who were not part of the 144000 will be slaughtered and the 144000 will give their message to the rest of the world let me tell you folks the right understanding of this group is they are a very violent group with a believe in their responsibility to violently deal with this problem abd when the time comes all right and I mean this day and age that should concern us OK. You know that. There's a real challenge in these folks are real folks how many of you seen these folks show up at your Georges All right let me tell you that they've been at the Lansing church the Metra church many to Joy Detroit area churches and down in the southern part of the state they come in they stand outside they know better than to get on the property because as soon as they set their foot on the property we call the police all right and they know will do it and when they know we have a right to do but they will come and they will stand there elbow papper as I saw him out there once one Sabbath with because they came there I think it was one done bachelor's and holding some meetings there and they were drawing to do their duty in doing that they were standing out there on the curb and so it is one up and started dialoguing with them they boy pulled out a used video camera immediately started recording because what they want you to do is to do something that they can record and then get the police to come against you in other words if you push them they will they will try to antagonize you so that they actually get you to physically do something against them then they can get that recorded in and they can charge you with with with. Assault Thank you. Let me let me let me come back to that because I want to deal with that in a general way as part of this management OK. At the right question to ask and I need to give you that answer. And to do that the local church they went through this problem and all of this. Eventually Let's see I do with 144000 is then it says another distinct believe for the shepherds rod is that the very kingdom will be set up in Palestine before Christ returns pre-millennial in which no man or animal will harm one another because Davidian stooge of the $144000.00 must 1st come from the administers prior to the slaughter of all have other admin this and prior to the evangelisation of the world they currently aim all their eventual is to get herds toward convincing administers their of their claims that's why they constantly go to the atmosphere which you can't get them to go anywhere else because their theology teaches them they've got to get us straight now and the 144000 is what they've got to get taken care of our Right now there's all kinds of other details in here I'm not going to take the time to get into today's You can read this on your own as a tool that if you're in counting they're on countering them that you'll have some information what I want to tell you right now is let's be realistic I've got to tell you honestly that nobody that I know of who has gotten invested in this theology or the anti Trinitarian movement has ever been won back you hearing me unfortunately when they get this deep they almost never listen to The Spirit of Prophecy Council or the Word of God they're always right and they know they're we're wrong and they simply deal with it that way and you know what we live in this battle this should not surprise us. But you know that the Sunday keepers say the same thing about 70 AD and you see why we need to know our Bibles it is going the truth is going to be so close to error and errors going to be so close to truth that if we don't know our Bibles and it's not based upon our relationship with Jesus we will be confused you and I need to know what's going on the best way to protect yourself against Aberdeen theology is to know the truth the best way to know a counterfeit bill from a true bill is to know the true bill because if you know what the REAL be all looks like you'll never be confused by a counterfeit bill because it has something wrong with it so you have to know that Bill you are and that it was duration before and the same is relative here with the truth now I've given you this as a tool but I don't have time to try to get into every piece of that theology so the question is what do we do when we encounter these kinds of situations now you know there are there's an appropriate time for us to sit down and have some dialogue with. The appropriate time in the most successful time in connecting with people that are getting caught up in this is when they 1st get caught up in it. When their hearts are confused but they're still trying to figure out what the truth is and one of the best tools you and I have is Adventist history agonist history is a tremendously valuable tool in my afternoon class yesterday I was talking about a couple of 4 ways that the devil came in to try to sidetrack the true message of rightness by faith one of those tools were the fanaticism of 2 individuals Stanton and Caldwell those individuals came and had this idea that the admin is church was Babel and wrote a paper about it called the loud cry got people like alt stand stand and got Caldwell to kind of connect with that they went running off to Australia and they were trying to get other people involved with what they were doing that history often will help people say wait a minute this kind of thing has happened before this kind of falls the ologies happened before the issues that we are dealing with today is not new this and I Trinitarian movement that has been around for 2000 years. And the church Christian church including the admins church is had its time of going back and forth on this issue history won't help us in relationship to that of course the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy are clear as part of that but we need to at the beginning try to help people to have an open heart to look at history and realize that this theology is a quick way out of the church and eventually a quick way away from Jesus Christ and that's what often happens people get caught up in it and they disappear off of them so let's say that we have people come to to our church and we have a problem with them. This family for example they seem to be the most active Shepherd draws though I believe there are more in Michigan than just them they often show up at Camp Meeting I don't know I haven't been paying attention to whether they've been here or not. Most last year I believe they were trying to stand down way up a corner to try to catch people down there as they were leaving their own hand you know their pamphlets out in that kind of stuff and in all of that what do you do when they come to your church you deacons deaconesses the elders need to have a plan chances are these kind of folk and I turn to tearing a whatever are going to come to your church plan ahead be watching Remember we're talking about before your responsibility as shepherds to be watching for this but having a plan for this when it comes you can wait till it happens and then you got to try to figure out what to do or you can calmly happen handle it when it when it takes place the shepherds rods usually they do handle this 2 ways I have heard of them just come and start sitting in the church people don't know who they are. So they just sit there and that's what I understand they've done that I think they did that in an arbor I think they did a number of the places and then they just sit there and they start making friends with people. Where you can't you know anybody becomes in your church Police are you a shepherd or your shepherds work we don't come in you don't do that with people reckoned we were not going to do that but when this comes to the surface what is your plan your plan is to immediately confront it and if they are shepherds rods and or do billions or whatever they term they may happen to use in relationship to this I would tell you you need to be very kind but very forthright and the way you manage this is by telling them understand that this is the foundation of your belief from the things I've been hearing being taught told by you know you told some of the church members here and is it true that your belief about brain you know is a whatever you might have to deal with some of the theological terms that's why I've given you some of this information here they don't always like to be called shepherds rods and some of them don't care with the what you call them but if they they'll probably admit to an even if they don't admit to it if you have evidence that that is what their theology is you've got to understand my suggestion to you is Do kindly but firmly say thank you very much but please do not return did you just hear what I said please do not return and why do we do that. OK Yes What's another reason that we're doing that I'm sorry they're dangerous exactly what else keep going I mean that in this no one right answer. OK it's disruptive it is. Something that begins to destroy the unity of the church and we legally have a right to gala more years to use this term a lot we have a right to free association a legal right to free association which means that we can associate freely as a group but if somebody comes to our group that does not believe like we do and is disruptive to that process of unity we have a legal right to ask them to leave and if they refuse to leave we have a legal right to call the police and the police will come and ask them to leave escort them or physically take them away if they refuse so we have that legal right and it doesn't feel good to do that that's why I'm telling you you need to have this conversation I had a time because it doesn't feel good to do that and if you wait to the last minute you're not going to have the courage or the strength of purpose to be able to go ahead and do this when I lived in Southern California they told us that the time to prepare for an earthquake is not when the ground was shaking. Because you don't have time to prepare for that you have to prepare for an earthquake with a purpose and a plan in your mind that you know how are you going to respond in that instance and they told you what to do by the way what they told us to do was been proven to be very dangerous and don't do it that way they said get in the door jam they tell us if you go in a door jam that's a place where a good place where you get cut in half and don't do that they say go and now they say Go and lie next to a bed or a desk or something like that so our walls fall on you the death stops and what I need a way I can get off on our side right my point is the idea is being prepared having a plan know what just right is going to be that allows you to keep calm remember the Sheffer drugs especially they're trying to agitate you they want you to get stirred up emotionally they want you to do something that will be embarrassing that they can catch and they can use against you that is their strategy now the Branch Davidian isn't the shepherds Raj The Branch Davidian folk that Elder Howard encountered do not seem to be behaving the same way as the shepherds are arms I don't know exactly what that is they are a I. They are a progressive group and what happens with these groups is they will take steps along the way and they will eventually excuse the word branched off and go different directions. David Koresh was part of this branch connection and all of that and the this group that I met in my office recently that came out of the group that. There Howard was dealing with that actually the beginning of that that those people said please don't connect us with David Koresh we don't have anything we don't whatever they don't we want to be associated with them but what they fail to recognize that there is there is connection there. And eventually the engine the directions they don't want to go but we have to be fair to them and say OK you don't happen to like them and that's fine but you still don't believe like we do and whether they are a more aggressive and I call say violent type like this family the goes around or are they are those who are more peaceable group they are still theology is divisive and I told this these folk it came to me I listen to them for a while they left me with some books they always do and they're trying to convince me that they've got the right idea listen to some of them are Tiriel in and done that kind of work and I said I just want you to know that if you come to our churches you will be asked to leave and I said I don't like doing that but I have to do that the problem is that I just held some of Angeles to meetings down in their neighborhood just baptize them dear lady who sat in that class one day in our in our in our evangelistic meeting on the revelation and one day she later at the end of the meeting she said I finally found the truth unfortunately what I didn't know is that one of the persons the people who was helping us lead in that meeting had gotten connected with these people. And was already starting to go down that track and she connected with this lady has already taken her. And we're only talking 6 months since then. It breaks my heart and breaks our heart when we see it but as I've counseled the pastor and the others there I've said you got to say no you can't let them continue to stay in your church the longer they do the more they build these connections and eventually they start pulling people out and when you initially stop them it's sometimes causes differ option because when you stop them from coming our you have to disfellowship them it becomes a big lights you know like a show in the church and they see that and that sometimes connects more is one of those dangerous things that you have to do but you can't ignore it this is not the wheat and tares folks this is the devil and there's a difference the weight in the tears or people that are just slightly different and have difference of opinion but the devil himself is blatant aberrant theology that leads so far away the these folk got I talked to they believe that there is for in the Godhead and one of them is a woman spirit OK get into and read it it just goes on and on and on and you know that was one of the things that attracted this lady that that we baptized she likes things that connect with ladies all right and so that theology was attractive to her all right that's enough on that one issue let me talk about the trinitarian challenges that exist in the. Part of that theology is says and the biggest argument the an eternity Ariens in the 7 them is church they're using is that the early pioneers believe this therefore we should that it very simply put That's what they have a book called The about the Pioneers and it looks really good we love the stories of our pioneers so you pick up this book with these nice pictures of all these pioneers and you get into it and then you begin to find out that they're teaching that what they believe back then is what we should be believing today about the and I turn it eerie and world folks this one is one of the most destructive and even in the last 2 weeks a personal friend of mine who is a theology professor was a theology professor in the 70 AD and as one of our universities stepped away from the 7th Day Adventist Church to take up this the ology are i'm just for I'm broken hearted and I was well I had a friend of mine another friend call me and and I told him I said I'm broken hearted about the situation he called and he gave me some of the background told me that he had talked with his friend for a period of time and and the guy still sign a kind of searching but still kind of headed off that direction he sent. The statement this guy wrote and with that he gave me a warning and you know what I want to do that warning to you if you get some of these kinds of things don't think you're strong enough to read this get somebody else who strongly with you if you feel you have a reason to need to read it because of your responsibilities then get someone to sit with you and pray as you read and ask God to guide you because the devil is too smart for you is too smart for me I'm not going to read that alone I want this this guy is in this this guy was a preacher here on the camp. I mean that's all I'm going to say at this moment. This is serious stuff this is serious warfare there were in now the way that the average Trinitarians have been working in the Michigan conference mostly on the west side of the state they've been able to go there was a pastor there while there was a pastor in the Michigan conference not the one I was just talking about because the one I was talking about Preacher Bill was not a Michigan pastor but there's a Michigan pastor by the name of Daniel Mason Daniel Mason himself about a year ago came out and he became has become a spearhead of this movement in the United States as a matter of fact they hold camp meetings from time to time in the state of Michigan and they draw I don't know how many people I haven't gone over to see and I don't want to go beyond sort of although there are tempted to do this. But they make sure they hold it at the time would indeed be a challenge to be able to do that any rate so. That's how serious this has become and we've had several churches that have been devastated by this and one church this is a place where we took too long we sent a 70 haven't as minister to go in there and spend a year as an interim pastor in that group trying to help them get straightened out into. This pastor knows this stuff is a good theologian. As well as a good 70 AD and as Minister he was not successful in the. Elder Lauren Nelson was not able to get through that we sent another interim pastor in there he also tried to work with him was not successful that that group eventual he took out several there we had to disfellowship them from the church. That started with a disfellowshipping of a man up and cattle A They had the same situation since that time a number of people in a number of churches have had to be disfellowshipped because they it's not just that they come to study this they are every Angelus tick about it and they go around of these various churches and they deal with the bringing these people and they they make friends with people then they start inviting them to their homes they sit down they start teaching with them pretty soon those people stop attending your church and they start going with this group and then they start coming to your church trying to teach everybody. All right now I've run out of time and unfortunately that's the case but let me mention to you again part of the strategy that we try to summarize this. If you're encountering this kind of situation you have already developed a plan number one with me sat down with your deacons and deaconesses and you have elders and pastor and you develop a strategy for what you're going to do when you encounter any of these kinds of situations from any of these kinds of circumstances Another one has very subtly in our classes today has to do with what we call Maxwellian of the ology and it is the also the substitutionary atonement and it goes away from what the 7 they have as church in the Bible teach about the substitutionary atonement of Jesus it's very subtle it's very enticed saying and there are so many Sabbath school class teachers teaching this especially if they happen to come out of Loma Linda University in a mobile and a university Maxwell was a teacher down there he taught Sabbath school classes many many doctors and many dentists especially got caught up in that and then go and teach other people now don't look at every doctor and every dentist with suspicion I'm just telling you that's a little bit of how it got around. That one is not as destructive as this but it is still leading away from the Word of God and where it needs to be one have a plan. Execute that plan when it comes you probably you need to deal with those individuals who are members of your church appropriately with the discipline steps a number to do is develop a disciplinary process Pacific to the needs of those individuals your purposes punishment or reduction. Redemption you're trying to redeem them you're trying to save them from those but if they do not respond to you you have to take a stand in relationship to that and eventually they may have to be disfellowshipped Unfortunately I'm going to tell you you probably are going to wind up there with these groups they are too entrenched and once they get into it you have to deal with the 3rd step of managing this it's not complicated but the 3rd step of managing this is that if they come to your churches you've got to keep them from coming or you need to help them to understand and let me be real clear on this they are no longer you you tell them they no longer are welcome at your church we love you we care about you but you're no longer welcome to come to the church or any of our meetings want you to know that if you come back again we will ask you to leave and we will expect you to do that if you do refuse to leave we will call the police not hear me you tell them that the best way to do those the legal way to do this is also give them a letter that tells them that they have no legal right to come on the grounds and that they are being asked to stay away and if they come the Thora Jews will be call I hate to do that it is so against my nature and I was called to be a gospel minister to bring people in the church I'm standing here telling you that you need to call the police and tell these people to stay away that breaks mylar I've sat down and met with these folk and I've talked to them and I pleaded with them I've gone out to lunch with them I prayed with them. And it goes no one's all the last time I sat down with one of these an attorney and friends of mine I said I think I understand that this is where you're at right and you have no intention of going back on that right I said I'm sorry but I'm still your friend we're done I'm not having this conversation with you again this is one of the individuals that had been part of this group for 2 years I wasn't going to spend any more time I've had other pastors who said well we need to talk to him so they did and it's done nothing OK So let me finish that and then I'll get to this because I'm already over time and you need to take that but please is not you as an individual it's you as the church as why you need to have a plan and a process so that when this happens you implement that process and that process is that you take a stand against them being there if you need to take the point of telling them not to return then get your pastor to write a letter to them the authorized by your board letting them know that they are no longer welcome if you get to that point get counsel from your pastor and the ministerial department that's me OK all right and and let them know and then we will guide you through that process Fortunately it's not happening all the time those are the 3 main steps the most important step is the 4th one. Before during and after pray pray pray get your people together to fast and pray there's only one way we will get these people back and that is by being so serious about caring about them now we will come together and we'll pray together we'll do a time of fasting and praying and sore say Lord please bring these people back to truth that is the only answer we had in dealing with these problems we don't have magic bullets all this material I've given you has never persuaded anybody that I know but what it is there for you to do is to me mind you we are on the right path with the truth of the Word of God all right has this class been helpful. Let's bury a Father in heaven this is a conversation that we just don't really wish we were having to have but these leaders have come here today because they're honestly seeking counsel and because of the fact that we live in these last days when we knew we wouldn't be encountering this problem it's prevalent and it's spreading but the good news is Jesus and His truth is really the answer I pray that the message of righteous by faith in the $800.00 message that Jesus gave to us that we might be able to have a root in him will be the message that we teach that the begins to root out this kind of be so Lord as we go our ways only we have your direction and your protection and I thank you Jesus. This media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons leader visit W.W.W. audio dot org.


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