Comment on Back to Square One… by Phil Mills.
David, here is a familiar statement I like with instruction for what I can do AT THIS TIME:
“At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason” (5T 136).
If apostates are fearless about trumpeting their apostasy, why should I not be even more emboldened with the truth. Error has no future. Gaddafi was a strong man yesterday, where is he today?
What we sow we reap (Gal 6:7) is a law throughout the universe. Sow faith, reap faith. Sow hope, reap hope. Sow love, reap love.
There are two sources of seeds to sow. One source is the word of God. The other is the enemy. One sows good seed, the other tares. By the command of God, the tares must grow till harvest (Mt 13:30). The fruit alone can expose the seed for what it is. The seeds of darkness and doubt that have been sown for 6,000 years must fully ripen.
We are not surprised by anything today, because the harvest is near and the fruit is ripening. But though there will be a pitiful harvest of evil, I rejoice that there is a much more abundant harvest of righteousness. We can see it by faith. The word of God is not going to return void. The weeds of sin are not sufficient to crowd out the harvest of righteousness. The death of Christ, his mediation in heaven are not in vain. Sin, and those who insist on clinging to it, will be destroyed, while those who cling to Jesus have a sure refuge.
Phil Mills Also Commented
ken: If I understand Phil correctly, the SDA church is a form or a representative democracy where each local church gets to vote upon and elect its delegates to the GC
No. That is not true. Each local congregation votes it’s representatives to a conference constituency meeting. The constituency votes the conference officers. Conferences then may vote representatives for unions and union constituencies. Unions and division organizations then have representatives at the general conference. At the general conference level it is quite removed from the local church representative. But I am still over simplifying.
Ken, you couldn’t be farther from understanding me.
This is NOT doctrinal change, it is merely attempting to better express the doctrine that has always been taught in the Bible and generally held by the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist church. There isn’t a marginal doctrine in the lot of the 28 fundamental beliefs.
The church doesn’t make doctrines only the Bible can make doctrine. Bible truth and Bible doctrines don’t care a straw about committees or majorities, neither does it change regardless of the views and votes of others.
To understand the phrase commonly used by Adventist “truth is progressive” is to understand that a first grader learns simple truth, then building on the truths he moves to second grade and continues to add to the basic truths and how to apply them to life.
1. Truth is objective, not merely subjective. Truth has evidence. The best possible evidence of truth is that God says it. But other evidence, such as the evidence of science, while weaker, is available. Science cannot “prove” God’s word, but when properly understood, will always provide documentation to the truthfulness of God’s word.
2. Progression is not a rejection of old truth, but a building on, an amplification of previously discovered truth.
Error never will evolve into truth, it simply mutants into greater and greater error.
Truth never changes. It remains far more stable than the Rock of Gibralter. God creates in my heart a love for the truth. As I investigate more and more carefully the word of God, my understanding of life becomes more and more accurate. I can change, but truth does not.
In the area of doctrine: Only the Bible can make true doctrine. The church can only express a summary of key Bible doctrines in a statement of belief.
There is no contemplation of changing doctrine in the modification of the wording of the churches belief. It is simply clarifying its original intent.
And if the church abandoned its fundamental beliefs, as the Jews did, and many Christians did, the truth has not changed. Because truth and doctrine is not democratically determined, all that has happened is that a group of people have united to leave the truth. We call it apostasy. Sadly it has happened to groups in the past (see John 6 and the multitudes leaving Jesus) and sadly it happens sometimes to individuals even within the Seventh-day Adventist church today.
Does that mean only elected representatives get to comment on any changes to FB’s?
First, fundamental beliefs are not frequently addressed. In fact, it was not even felt necessary to formalize these for decades.
Second, fundamental beliefs are expressions of biblical teachings that are clear with multiple references.
Third, there is an extensive process involving committees and the fall council with many eyes looking at the wording. This process is underway at present for the improvement on the official creation statement.
Lastly, the statement of belief is presented to the general conference delegates at a quinquinium for full discussion and decision. It is possible to participate by writing to the members of the involved committees and your delegates. For example, universities have delegates through the education department and are well represented in the entire process.
Fundamental beliefs are not some hobby horse or pet theory of some domineering leader. Neither will one person be able to give an emotional presentation that would suddenly change the minds of delegates on fundamental beliefs when fundamental beliefs are the beliefs that are already passionately held by the vast majority of members. The purpose of careful wording is to assist in clarity of expression, making plain what is actually believed and taught from the Bible by Seventh-day Adventists.
Nothing is more foundational to the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists than a 6 day creation that occurred about six thousand years ago. For people who do not believe or teach this, yet profess to accept the fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist shows a defect in the expression of that foundational belief that needs correcting. And it is in the process of being corrected.
Frankly, it will not only be corrected, and will be corrected without much dissent. From the Spectrum and so-called Adventist Today discussion blogs, you might think that it is an area of high controversy. But it isn’t. In fact, I am amazed that there is any dissent—since creation is bound up with virtually every truth in the Bible as understood and held by Adventists from the earliest pioneers, only the most confused or spiritually illiterate could ever challenge it. Since birds of a feather flock together (the biblical expression is binding in bundles—see Matt 13:30) there are a few places where these confused and illiterate congregate. For most Adventists worldwide, however, it is so obvious as to be a non-issue.
Recent Comments by Phil Mills
It is interesting how easily three can be dropped from the board when leadership decides to act.
How wise God is. As He has done in the past, so He works in the present. He removes our excuses and lets us reveal reveal our true character by the varying circumstances of life.
We could multiply examples. The Cain that was too kind to “cruelly” kill a lamb for a sacrifice in obedience to God’s command, could easily kill Abel in defiance of God’s command. King Saul, who was too merciful to execute Agag in obedience to God’s command, could kill the high priest in disobedience to God’s command.
Thus it has been through history. Ellen White makes insightful observations about Uriah Smith’s being too weak to provide energetic leadership for right, yet being plenty strong to provide energetic leadership for wrong in the original Battle Creek College crisis of the early 1880’s.
We have certainly seen this same pattern at La Sierra. The same leaders that could not seem to act decisively and firmly when God’s character and truth were under attack, suddenly found the decision and firmness to fire the four men who attacked their own character.
Now other LSU leaders who can’t act decisively in the face of rebellion against the church can suddenly act decisively against those who are seeking harmony with the church. All this reveals that these leaders could have acted decisively and firmly all along, IF THEY CHOSE.
Of course, it should help us reflect on our own lives. What are we revealing by our own inconsistencies?
Former board member never talked with biology faculty
I wonder if “due process” was afforded those who were dropped, since that is very important for accreditation. I wonder if this is being explored.
No Ken, your comparison is far from the mark.
1. Jesus was no rebel. To live out of harmony with the rebellious is not to be a rebel.
All the rest of the world were (and are) rebels. Christ was the only non-rebel that ever lived. He was the only one that was in harmony with the laws of the universe. The rest of the world had no such harmony. It is only as we surrender fully to God’s law as revealed in His word and in nature that we ourselves leave our rebel status.
2. Furthermore, biology professors who believe and teach the currently politically correct view of the origin of the earth that includes evolutionary processes and billions and millions of years of time cannot be compared to a Martin Luther bravely standing alone and braving the displeasure of the “greats” of the world.
Shane and Dr. Pitman are more in the Martin Luther mode.
The Rise of Theistic Evolutionism – The Salvation of Christianity?
The story of Judas contains a warning lesson for those who are against seeking for evidence of the truth of Christ’s words.
DA 719.2 “While the disciples were SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE to confirm the words of the Great Teacher, Judas would lead them almost imperceptibly on another track. Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed.”
DA 719.2 “He expressed doubts that confused the disciples. He introduced controversies and misleading sentiments, repeating the arguments urged by the scribes and Pharisees against the claims of Christ.”
The Rise of Theistic Evolutionism – The Salvation of Christianity?
Those who seem to want to laud the love for the Creator by Theistic evolutionists and attack the motives of those seeking evidence for Young Earth Creation might well consider the following:
“God designs that men shall believe â€¦ because there is abundant evidence for faith.” ST 06/08/1882.
Satan blinds men to this abundant evidence. He sends men of pseudoscience to gravely pontificate that there is no evidence for a young earth creation and that all who suggest this are not scientific. If bold assertions could prove these skeptics case, the case is proved. But careful, thoughtful, scientific study shows a completely different case. However, the doubter is never disturbed by facts. Sadly, professed believers too often agree with the science “falsely so called.”