Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs

By Sean Pitman:

There are many people who think that the “Fundamental Beliefs” of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have turned into a kind of creed or unchangeable set of doctrinal beliefs or Biblical interpretations that supersede the Bible itself in importance and authority.  It has therefore been suggested that the Adventist Church is in danger of falling into the same trap that other Christian denominations and religious organizations have fallen into, of making human interpretations and traditions superior to the Bible as its own creed and interpreter.

Is this true? Has the Adventist Church truly diverged from the foundational protestant statement, “We have no creed but the Bible”?  Are the efforts of those of us who manage this website to promote, within our own schools and churches, the teachings and authority of the basic fundamental goals and ideals of the church, as an organization, way off base? – at conflict with the concept of the Bible as its own interpreter for each individual?  There are those who think so. Consider, for example, the following comment recently posted to this forum:

I am happy for the church to state what they believe as well, but the minute the church starts to do what Educate Truth is advocating, demanding orthodoxy as a test of fellowship and employment, then you have crossed over the line. The church no longer believes the “The Bible and the Bible Only”, because it is usurping the role of the Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible to each individual, and to bring conviction. Instead of allowing the Bible to be broadly interpreted as needed to meet peoples need, the creed limits the Bible to one narrow understanding which may not be where the Holy Spirit is going in some people’s lives. At the very least, the church is putting itself in the place of God by attempting to coerce thought and belief. Coercion is Satan’s tactic, not God’s. (Link)

This individual is not alone in his concerns over this issue.  This was also the basic concern of the founders of the Adventist Church.  Many of the founding fathers, and mothers, of our church had been active and devoted members of other protestant churches.  When they had come upon what they believed to be new light from the Bible, which happened to conflict with the creeds of their own churches, they were removed from fellowship with the church families that they loved.  They therefore originally thought of creedal statements, and even church organization, as entirely evil and fought very hard to prevent the early Adventist movement from organizing or forming official creedal statements of belief.  This feeling has continued within our church to one degree or another and is often cited as a basis for allowing fundamentally divergent views to be preached and taught within our churches and schools.

For example, in support of allowing paid SDA representatives to teach fundamentally diverging opinions, Randal Wisbey, current president of La Sierra University, has quoted J.N. Loughborough in his 1861 statement regarding the issue of Church order and government:

J.N. Loughborough

The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is to make that creed a test of fellowship. The third is to try members by that creed. The fourth is to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And, fifth, to commit persecution against such.(1)

The problem, of course, is that Wisbey and others who reference the founding fathers of the church with regard to church order and government fail to reference Loughborough’s 1907 work, The Church, Its Organization, Order and Discipline.  Although originally opposed to such constraints, it was John Loughborough, together with James White, who first started to realize the need for some sort of internal enforcement of Church order and discipline – i.e., an actual Church government.

      As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization, there would be great confusion, and the work could not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying on the work in new fields, for protecting both the church and ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for other objects, organization was indispensable.(2)

 

Of course, those who were not considered to accurately represent the views of the early Adventist Church did not receive “cards of commendation”.  And what was the attitude of such persons? according to Loughborough?:

     Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”

One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc… Upon this point, when church order was contested, we read: “Satan well knows that success only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. . . .  He deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course. . . .  All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.” (3)

When those who back in the “sixties” [1860s] witnessed the battle of establishing church order now hear persons, as conscientious no doubt as those back there, utter almost the identical words that were then used by those opposing order, it need not be wondered that they fear the result of such statements as the following: “Perfect unity means absolute independence, – each one knowing for himself. Why, we could not have outward disorganization if we all believed in the Lord. . . . This question of organization is a simple thing. All there is to it is for each individual to give himself to the Lord, and then the Lord will do with him just what he wants to, and that all the time. . . . Our only safety, under God, is to go back to the place where God is able to take a multitude of people and make them one, without parliamentary rules, without committee work, without legislation of any kind.” – General Conference Bulletin of 1899.

Superficially considered, this might seem to be a blessed state, a heaven indeed; but, as already noted on a preceding page, we read of heaven itself and its leadings that “the god of heaven is a god of order, and he requires all his followers to have rules and regulations to preserve order.” (2)

 

Yet Wisbey, and others, often quote Ellen White, of all people, in support of “progressive” Adventism where the maintenance of internal church doctrinal standards is viewed as quite harmful to growth, akin to what the Catholic Church did to Galileo:

     There is no excuse for anyone to take the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that our expositions of the Scripture are without error.(1, 4)

 

Such “progressive” individuals fail to note that although Ellen White does indeed use the phrase “unity in diversity,” (5) and stated that “Instructors in our schools should never be bound about by being told that they are to teach only what has been taught hitherto,” (6) she also maintained that the landmarks and pillars of Adventist truth were to remain.  Concepts that impact the science of geology which she “was shown” to be  identified as permanent include the concept of six literal, empirical,  historical 24-hour days of creation, culminating with a literal 24-hour Sabbath day of rest, and that life on earth was non-existent before the literal creation week described in Genesis.(7)

She also writes that no one is to go ahead or fall behind the current leading of God in the understanding of the Church as an organized body and expect to remain a recognized part of that body.

     God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing one thing, another that.  Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust.  The third angels is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly. Some run ahead of the angels that are leading His people; but they have to retrace every step, and meekly follow no faster than the angels lead… (8)

The Word of God does not give license for one man to set up his judgment in opposition to the judgment of the church, neither is he allowed to urge his opinions against the opinions of the church. If there were no church discipline and government, the church would go to fragments; it could not hold together as a body. There have ever been individuals of independent minds, who have claimed that they were right, that God has especially taught, impressed, and led them. Each has a theory of his own, views peculiar to himself, and each claims that his views are in accordance with the Word of God. Each one has a different theory and faith, yet each claims special light from God. These draw away from the body, and each one is a separate church of himself. All these can not be right, yet they all claim to be led of the Lord. The word of inspiration is not yea and nay, but yea and amen in Christ Jesus. (9)


How are those who think themselves so “progressive” in advance of the foundational pillars of the organized SDA Church on such basic fundamental issues going to be remotely capable of “bringing our young people home at the end of the day?”,(10) as Elder Paulsen put it, if they don’t really believe in or see evidence for the home message to begin with?  Ultimately, is there to be no real accountability to the organized SDA Church for what is presented as “truth” from either pulpit or classroom? – by paid representatives supported by God’s own monies in the forms of tithes and offerings?

Such a perspective does not lead to growth, but to chaos and anarchy and eventual fragmentation of any organization.  For any organization to remain viable, internal order and discipline must be maintained.  This is not the same situation as occurred between the Catholic Church and Galileo where the Church thought to take on political and civil powers over all peoples.  That is never a good idea and is the very reason for the need of separation between church and state.  People should always be free to join or to leave any religious organization at will without any repercussions under civil law. However, this isn’t to say that internal government within the churrch is also dangerous or that it is unnecessary.   To the contrary, without the enforcement of internal order and government upon certain core principles and ideals, no organization of any kind could exist.  The order and government of the Adventist Church is itself inspired by God and in keeping with the general harmony and order that is displayed in Heaven.  God is a God of order and government.  He is not a God of chaos and anarchy.

The viability of the SDA Church, as an organization inspired by God, and the developing minds of a generation of SDA young people, is in our hands.

 

1. Dwyer, Bonnie. In the Eye of the Storm. 4, s.l. : Spectrum, 2009, Vol. 37.

2. Loughborough, JN. Testimonies for the Church. No. 32, p. 30.

3. Loughborough, JN. Testimonies for the Church. p. 650. Vol. 1.

4. White, Ellen G. Counsels to Writers and Editors. p. 35.

5. Nichol, Francis D. SDA Bible Commentary, 7 vols. plus supplement. Washington, D.C. : Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1970. p. 1083. Vol. 6.

6. White, Ellen. G. Silver Spring, MD : Ellen G. White Estate, 1888.

7. —. Spiritual Gifts, 4 vols. Battle Creek, MI : Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1858, 1860, 1864. pp. 90-93. Vol. 3.

8. —. Testimonies for the Church. Vol. 1. p. 207.

9. —. Testimonies for the Church. Vol. 1. p. 428, 429.

10. Paulsen, Jan. An Appeal. Adventist News Network. [Online] 2009. [Cited: December 21, 2009.] http://news.adventist.org/statements/an-appeal.html.

 

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266 thoughts on “Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs

  1. When I point to Dawkins’ 11 second flummoxed response to the evolutionism-101 Q&A softball lobbed for him – asking that he show something like “scientific observation in nature” of the fundamental “mechanism” for evolutionism. (the ability to add new coding gene “information” to an existing genome) —

    Your solution it to find some long rambling rationalization from Dawkins where he makes enlightened statements such as –

    pauluc: And Dawkins comments from http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/creationistdeceptionexposed.htm on the infamous 11 second pause.

    “As a preamble, I should explain that, following the advice of my colleague Stephen Jay Gould, I have a policy of not granting interviews to creationists .

    WoW – Dawkins only gives interviews to cheerleaders – never to those who might seriously question his doctrine!

    Does that sound like “science” to you?

    Or does it sound like the blind-faith system – hinted at by Patterson?

    Let the reader decide.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  2. Dawkins is apparently soooo befuddled in his attempts to restore his 11 seconds of fame to something he would be proud of – that he makes this very telling statement

    The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask

    Essentially Dawkins is admitting that evolutionists are not accustomed to critical thinking when it comes to evolutionism – and that only creationists are known for asking the hard questions when it comes to his pet doctrine.

    Folks – it just does not get any easier than this!

    At what point was the Christian supposed to get so confused as to join Dawkins in that explicit, self-defeating strategy?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  3. Can’t edit – must repost —

    ====================

    Dawkins is apparently soooo befuddled in his attempts to restore his 11 seconds of fame to something he would be proud of – that he makes this very telling statement

    Dawkins said:
    The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask

    Essentially Dawkins is admitting that evolutionists are not accustomed to critical thinking when it comes to evolutionism – and that only creationists are known for asking the hard questions when it comes to his pet doctrine.

    Folks – it just does not get any easier than this!

    At what point was the Christian supposed to get so confused as to join Dawkins in that explicit, self-defeating strategy?




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  4. I praise the Lord for people ilke BobRyan .
    He teaches me that as a disciple i must subjugate my natural response and practice patience and compassion.

    Why do I continue to post on this site when there is so little evidence of any useful educational outcome.

    To some degree it reflects my view that education has value and there is nothing that cannot be examined critically and honestly and that christain faith and faith are robust and can withstand scrutiny.

    ligion and faith




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  5. Sorry last message sent before editing.

    I mostly post here because I believe that Christian belief and faith can withstand scrutiny. I also post because as a scientists I value integrity and honesty and feel sorry for the many young people who may be pursuing higher education or seeking a career in science who are being told that they must deny the clear data they are encountering every day or they cannot be a Christian.




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  6. Bob Ryan:

    As I read the above postings my respect for you has deepened. You stand alone, defending the truth against those who are willing to put their soul’s salvation in the hands of infidels. They mock you and try hard to refute you, but they only show that they are willingly blind to the truth.

    They put forth as truth statements that are clearly in opposition to the Bible and use twisted logic to support their statements. (i.e. Ron’s statement that the only way God is changeless is in that He changes all the time. Does not the Bible say that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever? How does that support constant change? Only twisted logic could see it that way.)

    I really grow weary of the TE’s who take the word of mortal man over the Creator’s word and then claim that they are accepting ‘the evidence’ that ‘science’ comes up with because they are honest. Give me a break. They are deluded–and, again, willfully so.

    To be a Christian means to follow Christ. Where do they find any evidence that Christ did not believe in Creation. He was there at the beginning–yet when He was here on earth in person, He never made any statements that the Creation account was all just an entertaining story, did He? If He came to teach us truth, as He did daily throughout the three years of His official ministry, don’t you think He would have told us not to believe the Genesis account if it were not true? He taught in the synagogue. Don’t you think He would have straightened out the record then, if indeed it needed straightened out? I guarantee you that it is an important enough topic that if it needed to be addressed, it would have been.

    These ‘scientists’ that are trying to wed evolutionism to Christianity haven’t a leg to stand on. They plainly show where their hearts really are. They believe the idle tales of man rather than the truth written by God’s very own finger in the midst of His law. They are trying to incorporate the lies of Satan into God’s church. Cannot be done. Each person must choose whom they will serve. They cannot serve two masters. It doesn’t take much intellect to figure out why that is.

    Satan and his lies are diametrically opposed to God and His Truth. And all the posturing and pretty packaging the TEs try to use will not deceive God’s true people.

    These TEs believe the theory of evolution which was developed by man because men who went to university and received some letters after their names from other men have supported this theory. Rather a flimsy foundation to build on, if you ask me.

    We believe God because we know we can trust Him to tell us the TRUTH–which He has done in His Word. Anyone who cannot accept God at His word is no follower of His, no matter what they claim. Thus it is impossible to be a Christian and an evolutionist at the same time. IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!

    The fact that these educated people claim to do this is so ridiculous that it makes me wonder how they can be taken seriously as educated people at all. They are so obviously in error. It doesn’t take much to figure out the incompatiblness of evolution and creation. They need only open their eyes to the truth. In the end it will fullfil the Biblical statement that there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death.

    Bob, continue to fight with courage, my brother. You stand on solid ground. You have the truth and you will one day be rewarded for your faithful defence of it. God Bless you and keep you.




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  7. The most beautiful three words in all of scripture are: “And God said”….

    That’s all I need to know. He said it. It is. Case closed. Just like the Bible says.




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  8. Dave: The most beautiful three words in all of scripture are: “And God said”….That’s all I need to know. He said it. It is. Case closed. Just like the Bible says.

    I agree. However, liberals and progressives have a different view. What the Bible says must be “interpreted” by each person. Thus, there must be millions of viewpoints on what the Bible actually “means” especially as it relates to our postmodern society.

    The end result of this type of thinking is we become our own “gods.”




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  9. BobRyan: The “mechanism” for creationism is observed every day. Intelligent designers create books, computer programs, works of art that rocks and gas will never produce no matter the times the blind-faith evolutionist utters their sacred mantra “beeeellions and beeeellions”.By contrast – the “mechanism” for evolutionism whereby static genomes acquire new coding genes such that the amoeba turns into the horse (after the appropriate beeeeellions and beeeellions is said over it) – has never been “observed in nature”.in Christ,Bob

    Well stated, Bob. Intelligent being do create things. However, rendomness and blind chance don’t seem to.




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  10. I agree with some words spoken here by our TE friends.

    I mostly post here because I believe that Christian belief and faith can withstand scrutiny. I also post because I value integrity and honesty and feel sorry for the many young people who may be pursuing higher education or seeking a career in science who are being told that they must deny the clear data they are encountering every day in terms of “observations in nature” – forced to exchange real science for junk-science religious doctrines found in evolutionism’s not-sacred halls of blind-faith.

    And far be it from faithful Seventh-day Adventists to pile on evolutionist story after story on the heads of our young adults as if doing so would be true to real science or encourage acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. To Faith and Holly – thank you for those kind words.

    There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  12. pauluc: I praise the Lord for people ilke BobRyan .
    He teaches me that as a disciple i must subjugate my natural response and practice patience and compassion.

    Thank you for those kind words Pauluc.

    I post here because I think some people have lost sight of the deep significance of the information given to use through divine revelation and written in 3SG90-91 for all to be informed “as they will” – regarding what actually happened in nature at the creation of the world.

    Clearly for those who take the time to read the text – the TE world view undermines understanding of what actually took place in nature. The other alternative is that the TE world view is right – and both science and God are in error.

    For me the choice is easy (and apparently easy for almost the entire group of SDA representatives at the GC2010 session).

    For a few others it may be more difficult – I do not challenge their right to free will.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  13. “There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.”

    More than one agnostic? Wonders will never cease! 🙂




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  14. BobRyan: To Faith and Holly – thank you for those kind words. There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.in Christ,Bob

    You’re so correct Bob. Most SDA’s I speak to know “about” ET and support it, but the vast majority do not post anything or even “vote.” Why?




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  15. Holly –

    I am one of those who does not vote on every thread myself — even in cases where I agree with the post in favor of creation, or against a post or two evolutionist posts that I find to be less than objective.

    So while I do vote – I rarely vote on more than a couple of posts.

    I find it perfectly understandable that pro-Bible pro-creation Christians would come here – read and not vote – especially in case of creationist arguments since the web site is “Educate Truth” and they assume that the majority here already are in favor of the Bible as being “valid” and also “trustworthy”.

    By contrast it is not uncommon to find evolutionists “and those who support them” coming here and making the wild claim that “nobody reads” posts that are not pro-evolutionists over here at Educate Truth.

    Oh well – free will being what it is – I guess we must suffer them that additional indulgence in fiction.

    Still it is instructive to watch them come here and do it time after time.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  16. I have seen this interview clip several times, but had never seen Dawkins’ explanation. Wow! Black is white and up is down, isn’t it?

    Dawkins: “A real biologist finds it an easy question to answer (the answer is that natural selection increases the information content of the genome all the time – that is precisely what natural selection means)”

    Maybe he means like those endangered and extinct finches and honey creepers on Hawaii and other islands. They have, or are about to, “natural selection” themselves right out of existence. Darwin’s exhibit one only implies the LOSS of genetic information. Oops.




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  17. Sean Pitman: Otherwise, there would be chaos within and the organization itself would fragment and crumble into irrelevance.

    This is a false statement. Allowing a dynamic exploration and discussion of the issues creates a strong church. I think your insistence on enforcing a narrow view is damaging to the church and making it more irrelevant.




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  18. BobRyan: The “mechanism” for creationism is observed every day. Intelligent designers create books, computer programs, works of art that rocks and gas will never produce no matter the times the blind-faith evolutionist utters their sacred mantra “beeeellions and beeeellions”.

    Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.




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  19. Ron: Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.

    If evolution is redefined as “a Intelligent designer created something” then I agree.

    And in that case all the atheists would be signing up to the 4th commandment as “evolution” – or at the very least would respond “yep that is exactly the kind of thing we are talking about”.

    Instead of that Darwin, Provine, Meyers and Dawkins all claim that evolution is what destroys christian faith.

    At this point – I only state the obvious.

    I think we would both agree.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  20. Ron: Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works

    I have already shown in great detail here on this board how atheist evolutionists like Martin Reese and Leonard Susskind have carefully explained just how shockingly blatant is the evidence for Intelligent Design is in cosmology and how desperate the evolutionist (materialists) were to avoid that conclusion — and how relieved they now are after “imagining” a multiverse solution to their atheist problem so bent on denying I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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    • @BobRyan:
      ??? Your comment makes no sense.

      BobRyan: Instead of that Darwin, Provine, Meyers and Dawkins all claim that evolution is what destroys christian faith.

      At this point – I only state the obvious.

      I think that is one of the problems. Both sides in the debate have jumped to the obvious conclusions which just happen to be wrong. They are then so invested in defending themselves that they refuse to see the obvious truth that there is no inherent conflict. There is no rational reason why God can’t create organisms with the capacity to adapt to new environments (another way to say “evolve”).

      Bob, I know you will deny it, but I think you really are a theistic evolutionist, you are just afraid to acknowledge your own reason.




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      • @Ron:

        You are confused yet again. The ability to adapt to new environments beyond very low levels of functional complexity requries pre-programmed information to exist within the gene pool. Without such pre-programmed information, there is no ability for adaptation beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

        Darwinian-style evolution is based on the notion that high level information can be created within that gene pool which was never there before. This isn’t the same thing as breeding or Mendelian variation – both of which are based on pre-existent genes or alleles which allow for such high-level variation in form and function.

        In short, you don’t seem to appreciate the difference between something like Mendelian variation (based on pre-existent genetic information) and Darwinian-style evolution (based on the generation of novel genetic information). They really aren’t the same thing.

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  21. Re Bob’s Quote

    “If evolution is redefined as “a Intelligent designer created something” then I agree.”

    Hi Bob

    Be careful my friend or someone might suggest you are starting to sound like a theistic evolutionist! 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  22. @Ron:

    Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.

    This is one of your main problems – you think that intelligent design works via the very same mechanism as Darwinian evolution. That’s obviously not true.

    Intelligent design is intuitive and can therefore work toward a pre-determined goal or ideal. The mindless mechanism of random mutations combined with natural selection (RM/NS) cannot do this. Beyond this obvious fact, NS cannot work at all until a novel functional system is actually found in the vastness of sequence space by purely random chance (i.e., random mutations). Intelligent design is not limited by these restrictions.

    It is for this reason that true artifacts are actually discoverable as such by various sciences such as anthropology, forensics, and even SETI. According to your understanding of the methods of intelligent design, this would be impossible.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  23. @Ron:

    This is a false statement. Allowing a dynamic exploration and discussion of the issues creates a strong church. I think your insistence on enforcing a narrow view is damaging to the church and making it more irrelevant.

    If you think the Church’s fundamental goals and ideas are “narrow”, go and join another church! This is a free country after all – thank God! Who’s stopping you? Why would you want to work for any organization that happened to be so fundamentally opposed to your own personal beliefs?

    What you are proposing is that the Church organization have no basic goals and ideals for which there should be any requirement of any employee to support. That notion is not rational for any viable organization. That’s a recipe for chaos, not any workable organization in existence…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  24. Sean Pitman: This is one of your main problems – you think that intelligent design works via the very same mechanism as Darwinian evolution. That’s obviously not true.

    No, not quite. I think evolution is a word that describes a universal principle that superceeds biology. Right now I am working as an inventor, and as I examine how I develop things, I see a lot of similarities with what happens in biology. If the creation reflects the creator, then I would have to say that evolution describes a characteristic of God.




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    • @Ron:

      So, explain to me the difference in mechanism between Darwinian-style evolution and something that requires intelligent design to produce? In your opinion, is it possible to produce all things via truly mindless evolutionary mechanisms? How can I tell if something did or did not require the input of an intelligent designer?

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  25. Go, join a different church? How is that solution consistent with mission and evangelism? This is my church. I think I’ll stay.

    Sean Pitman: What you are proposing is that the Church organization have no basic goals and ideals for which there should be any requirement of any employee to support.

    No, that is not true, but I might have different goals and ideals than you.
    It seems to me that supporters of Educate Truth value orthodoxy and doctrinal purity at the expense of being an inclusive community which values spiritual growth.

    I think the most Fundamental of Adventist beliefs are freedom of conscience, by which I mean the right to think and act according to ones personal understanding of truth.

    I do not believe that people can be forced to believe by dogma and creeds, but that each person needs to be convinced by close and diligent reasoning. Yes, I believe that evolution is a serious problem for the church, but the church has not done the hard work of reconciling its dogma with reality. I do not believe it is right for the church to punish biology teachers for simply teaching science, when the church as a whole does not have any reasonable explanation that is consistent with its theology.

    I also think that Present Truth is a fundamental Adventist belief. The Adventist church as rejected many well established fundamental beliefs (Hell is a major one) of Christianity, because we believe God has continued to shed new light. I believe that the process of discovering Present Truth requires that it be safe to submit any and every thought to the close scrutiny of debate. I believe that truth has nothing to fear in such a process.

    The establishment of a creed was widely discussed and rejected by our forefathers precisely because it inhibits the process of truth discovery, and the “Fundamental Beliefs” themselves are an apostasy from from the course set by our fathers.

    What you are proposing – persecuting teachers and other believers, even by something so simple as telling me, I should leave the church is of the same spirit that motivated the inquisitions of the Catholic church, and even the persecutions of one protestant group by another. It is the pursuit of purity and orthodoxy by force that is the Mark of the Beast, in Catholicism the the image of the Beast in Protestantism. Adventism should have none of that.




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    • @Ron:

      Again, there was no option during the Catholic Inquisitions of the Middle Ages since the Church controlled civil government as well its own internal government. No one was really free to leave the Catholic Church during this time without fear of severe civil penalties.

      This is not the case today since there is still a separation between church and state in this country (thank God). All are free to leave the SDA Church at will – free of any civil reprisals of any kind.

      However, this does not therefore mean that all are free to expect a paycheck from the SDA Church for teaching or preaching whatever they want. The Church is also free to hire only those whom it feels would most effectively represent its primary goals and ideals – to include its efforts to promote its most fundamental doctrinal ideas to the world…

      In no meaningful sense of the word can this sort of expectation be called a “persecution” of those who cannot or will not represent the church as the church sees fit – on the church’s dime.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  26. Hi Sean

    Have you ever thought of running for a position within the church? With your intellect and conviction I think you would thrive. Think of what you could accomplish as a delegate at the GC? I would love to see ID established as a discipline some day at Adventist institutions. I think you have the ability rimless that charge nut it will likely require your pollical involvement rather being marginalized.

    Just a thought.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  27. Ken suggests that only a Bible believing Christian would admit to Intelligent Design.

    But in Romans 1 – God tells us that all mankind can see it clearly.

    And how can we doubt such a thing when even some of our diehard evolutionsts will say things like the statement below…

    Mack Ramsy: How the DNA not only survives but thrives in this environment is an awesome thing, but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change.

    There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    If this attribute of design, as observed in nature, is so blatantly obvious that even our evolutionist friends cannot help themselves when speaking about it – who are Bible believing Creationists to deny Intelligent Design?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Ken suggests that only a Bible believing Christian would admit to Intelligent Design.”

    Hi Bob

    Your comment is 100% false. Why do you continue to mischaracterize what people actually say? What message does that send to Christians?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  29. I stand corrected – Ken apparently does accept the fact that both evolutionists and creationists are admitting to I.D. science.

    Their affirmation of it can clearly be seen over at Discovery Institute’s web page.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. I find it interesting that opposition to I.D. is such a distinctly atheist argument given what God says about Intelligent Design “clearly seen” by all mankind – even non-Bible cultures.

    How amazing then that SDA evolutionists would become so befuddled as to adopt that distinctly atheist POV in their pursuit of belief in evolutionism.

    It appears that those SDA evolutionists fall deeper into confusion than many of their non-SDA evolutionist brethren when once they turn to darkness and confusion and rejection of the facts that they had as SDAs to start with.

    How instructive.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. Sean Pitman: In no meaningful sense of the word can this sort of expectation be called a “persecution”

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I think that threatening one’s employment is pretty coercive. As far as I am aware, none of the teachers took the position that the churches theology was wrong. It seems the church is persecuting them for simply teaching science to the best of their ability.

    I don’t think it is an individual teacher’s responsibility to reconcile the whole churches theology to the science. I think that leadership really needs to come from the theology department. It probably makes more sense to fire the theology department for negligence.




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  32. BobRyan: If this attribute of design, as observed in nature, is so blatantly obvious that even our evolutionist friends cannot help themselves when speaking about it – who are Bible believing Creationists to deny Intelligent Design?

    So Bob, am I to conclude from your comment that you are becoming a theistic evolutionist, since you seem to equate evolution and ID?




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  33. When I point to Dawkins’ 11 second flummoxed response to the evolutionism-101 Q&A softball lobbed for him – asking that he show something like “scientific observation in nature” of the fundamental “mechanism” for evolutionism. (the ability to add new coding gene “information” to an existing genome) —

    Your solution it to find some long rambling rationalization from Dawkins where he makes enlightened statements such as –

    pauluc: And Dawkins comments from http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/creationistdeceptionexposed.htm on the infamous 11 second pause.

    “As a preamble, I should explain that, following the advice of my colleague Stephen Jay Gould, I have a policy of not granting interviews to creationists .

    WoW – Dawkins only gives interviews to cheerleaders – never to those who might seriously question his doctrine!

    Does that sound like “science” to you?

    Or does it sound like the blind-faith system – hinted at by Patterson?

    Let the reader decide.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. The most beautiful three words in all of scripture are: “And God said”….

    That’s all I need to know. He said it. It is. Case closed. Just like the Bible says.




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  35. I apologize for hiding the evidence about Dawkins 11 second pause and Colin Pattersons talk within a link so that some have concluded that my comments were without basis. Here it is in full from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

    “Dear Mr Theunissen,

    Sorry to have taken so long to answer your letter of July 9th. I was away for a while, and then infernally busy. I seem fated continually to make a fool of myself with creationists. The specific quote you mention, from a letter to Sunderland dated 10th April 1979, is accurate as far as it goes. The passage quoted continues “… a watertight argument. The reason is that statements about ancestry and descent are not applicable in the fossil record. Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no: there is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way to put them to the test.”

    I think the continuation of the passage shows clearly that your interpretation (at the end of your letter) is correct, and the creationists’ is false.

    That brush with Sunderland (I had never heard of him before) was my first experience of creationists. The famous “keynote address” at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981 was nothing of the sort. It was a talk to the “Systematics Discussion Group” in the Museum, an (extremely) informal group. I had been asked to talk to them on “Evolutionism and creationism”; fired up by a paper by Ernst Mayr published in Science just the week before. I gave a fairly rumbustious talk, arguing that the theory of evolution had done more harm than good to biological systematics (classification). Unknown to me, there was a creationist in the audience with a hidden tape recorder. So much the worse for me. But my talk was addressed to professional systematists, and concerned systematics, nothing else.

    I hope that by now I have learned to be more circumspect in dealing with creationists, cryptic or overt. But I still maintain that scepticism is the scientist’s duty, however much the stance may expose us to ridicule.

    Yours Sincerely,

    [signed]

    Colin Patterson”

    And Dawkins comments from http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/creationistdeceptionexposed.htm on the infamous 11 second pause.

    “As a preamble, I should explain that, following the advice of my colleague Stephen Jay Gould, I have a policy of not granting interviews to creationists or flat earthers. This is not because I cannot answer their arguments, but because I have better things to do with my time and I do not want to give them the oxygen of publicity.

    On September 16, 1997, Keziah Video Productions, in the persons of Gillian Brown and Geoffrey Smith, came to my house in Oxford to film an interview with me. I had agreed to see them, on the misapprehension (as it later turned out) that they were from a respectable Australian broadcasting company. I had no idea they were a creationist front and I would not have granted them an interview had I known this, because of my policy as mentioned above.

    The interview began. I have considerable experience of television work, and I was initially surprised at the amateurishness of their filming technique, but I carried on without voicing my surprise. As the interview proceeded, I became increasingly puzzled at the tone of the questions. Puzzlement gave way to suspicion that Keziah was, in fact, a creationist front which had gained admittance to my house under false pretences.

    The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask. A real biologist finds it an easy question to answer (the answer is that natural selection increases the information content of the genome all the time – that is precisely what natural selection means), but, from an evolutionary point of view, it is not an interesting way to put it. It would only be phrased that way by somebody who doubts that evolution happened.

    Now I was faced with a dilemma. I was almost certain that these people had gained admittance to my house under false pretences – in other words, I had been set up. On the other hand, I am a naturally courteous person, especially in my own house, and these were guests from overseas. What should I do? I paused for a long time, trying to decide whether to throw them out, and, I have to admit, struggling not to lose my temper. Finally, I decided that I would ask them to leave, but I would do it in a polite way, explaining to them why. I then asked them to stop the tape, which they did.

    The tape having stopped, I explained to them my suspicions, and asked them to leave my house. Gillian Brown pleaded with me, saying that she had flown all the way from Australia especially to interview me. She begged me not to send her home empty handed, after they had travelled such a long way. She assured me that they were not creationists, but were taking a balanced view of all sides in the debate. Like a fool, I took pity on her, and agreed to continue. I remember that, having had quite an acrimonious argument with her, when I finally agreed to resume the interview I made a conscious effort to be extra polite and friendly.”

    These statements clearly are not congruent with the origin citations we have seen on these pages which suggest that Colin Patterson supports creationist models or that creationists can easily ask a question of Richard Dawkins that will easily stump him and shows the vacuousness of his arguments.

    There is such as thing as integrity and honesty with the data. If you wish to make an argument against some model of descent with modifications at least make it honestly. That surely is the Christian approach.




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  36. Sorry last message sent before editing.

    I mostly post here because I believe that Christian belief and faith can withstand scrutiny. I also post because as a scientists I value integrity and honesty and feel sorry for the many young people who may be pursuing higher education or seeking a career in science who are being told that they must deny the clear data they are encountering every day or they cannot be a Christian.




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  37. I praise the Lord for people ilke BobRyan .
    He teaches me that as a disciple i must subjugate my natural response and practice patience and compassion.

    Why do I continue to post on this site when there is so little evidence of any useful educational outcome.

    To some degree it reflects my view that education has value and there is nothing that cannot be examined critically and honestly and that christain faith and faith are robust and can withstand scrutiny.

    ligion and faith




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  38. Can’t edit – must repost —

    ====================

    Dawkins is apparently soooo befuddled in his attempts to restore his 11 seconds of fame to something he would be proud of – that he makes this very telling statement

    Dawkins said:
    The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask

    Essentially Dawkins is admitting that evolutionists are not accustomed to critical thinking when it comes to evolutionism – and that only creationists are known for asking the hard questions when it comes to his pet doctrine.

    Folks – it just does not get any easier than this!

    At what point was the Christian supposed to get so confused as to join Dawkins in that explicit, self-defeating strategy?




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  39. Dawkins is apparently soooo befuddled in his attempts to restore his 11 seconds of fame to something he would be proud of – that he makes this very telling statement

    The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask

    Essentially Dawkins is admitting that evolutionists are not accustomed to critical thinking when it comes to evolutionism – and that only creationists are known for asking the hard questions when it comes to his pet doctrine.

    Folks – it just does not get any easier than this!

    At what point was the Christian supposed to get so confused as to join Dawkins in that explicit, self-defeating strategy?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  40. To Faith and Holly – thank you for those kind words.

    There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  41. “There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.”

    More than one agnostic? Wonders will never cease! 🙂




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  42. Ron: Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.

    If evolution is redefined as “a Intelligent designer created something” then I agree.

    And in that case all the atheists would be signing up to the 4th commandment as “evolution” – or at the very least would respond “yep that is exactly the kind of thing we are talking about”.

    Instead of that Darwin, Provine, Meyers and Dawkins all claim that evolution is what destroys christian faith.

    At this point – I only state the obvious.

    I think we would both agree.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  43. I have seen this interview clip several times, but had never seen Dawkins’ explanation. Wow! Black is white and up is down, isn’t it?

    Dawkins: “A real biologist finds it an easy question to answer (the answer is that natural selection increases the information content of the genome all the time – that is precisely what natural selection means)”

    Maybe he means like those endangered and extinct finches and honey creepers on Hawaii and other islands. They have, or are about to, “natural selection” themselves right out of existence. Darwin’s exhibit one only implies the LOSS of genetic information. Oops.




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  44. BobRyan: The “mechanism” for creationism is observed every day. Intelligent designers create books, computer programs, works of art that rocks and gas will never produce no matter the times the blind-faith evolutionist utters their sacred mantra “beeeellions and beeeellions”.

    Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.




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  45. Dave: The most beautiful three words in all of scripture are: “And God said”….That’s all I need to know. He said it. It is. Case closed. Just like the Bible says.

    I agree. However, liberals and progressives have a different view. What the Bible says must be “interpreted” by each person. Thus, there must be millions of viewpoints on what the Bible actually “means” especially as it relates to our postmodern society.

    The end result of this type of thinking is we become our own “gods.”




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  46. PaulUc: The dubious nature of his use of this evidence has been pointed out to BobRyan before as has the questionable practice of citing for support someone who you think a liar.

    ================================
    No “dubious nature” facts where raised in Pauluc’s accusation above – he merely “accused” and made the “claim” that at some point he had established “the dubious nature” of the use of that evidence.

    Thus he “Claimed” success where in fact no success in that area was ever demonstrated by Pauluc.

    How in the world were we “not supposed to notice”??

    Hence my response as follows –

    BobRyan:

    For those accustomed to using critical thinking when reading wild baseless claims such as the above – we note that you actually gave no detail, no evidence, no argument at all to show any of your wild accusations to be even remotely true.

    The little dance done in that post above – carefully avoids the need to step up to the level of objectivity demonstrated in my practice of letting Dawkins, Darwin, Patterson, Provine, Meyers, Reese, Susskind make my points for me.

    The TE’s favorite rock to hide their failed arguments under is the “I just can’t see it” rock.

    And that rock is effectively removed when we point out just how well these well-known evolutionist sources ARE admitting and even dealing with the very issues that our TE friends want to claim “they just can’t see”.

    In each case – how instructive for the unbiased objective reader.

    in each case – the point made is that EVEN our atheist evolutionist friends are at times more objective and above aboard on these topics than some of the TEs within the church.

    The TE’s reponse?? “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. ??!! How was that solution on their part ever supposed to be taken seriously??

    Impossible point to miss (no matter the level of ad hominem, sneering comments to which the evolutionist posters may choose to resort.)

    This just could not be any more obvious. How did the evolutionist TEs posting here, suppose this would work out in their favor?

    pauluc: I apologize for hiding the evidence about Dawkins 11 second pause and Colin Pattersons talk within a link so that some have concluded that my comments were without basis. Here it is in full from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

    Sadly for your own accusation – the link you provided states that the Patterson quotes are perfectly accurate – and that in the case of the talk Patterson gave at the American Museum – that text is an exact verbatim from the recorded event.

    nothing “dubious” about the nature of that complete testimony from Patterson himself.

    Even worse – the link you gave not only affirmed the points I claimed that Patterson had made – but it ALSO argued that my claim that Patterson is an “Atheist evolutionist” is every bit as accurate as I claimed it to be.

    How in the world was this supposed to help you in your claim that the quote is “dubious”??

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  47. Sean&#032Pitman: Otherwise, there would be chaos within and the organization itself would fragment and crumble into irrelevance.

    This is a false statement. Allowing a dynamic exploration and discussion of the issues creates a strong church. I think your insistence on enforcing a narrow view is damaging to the church and making it more irrelevant.




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  48. BobRyan: To Faith and Holly – thank you for those kind words. There are untold numbers of objective unbiased readers viewing these threads – many more than our TE friends would like to imagine.in Christ,Bob

    You’re so correct Bob. Most SDA’s I speak to know “about” ET and support it, but the vast majority do not post anything or even “vote.” Why?




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  49. pauluc: I praise the Lord for people ilke BobRyan .
    He teaches me that as a disciple i must subjugate my natural response and practice patience and compassion.

    Thank you for those kind words Pauluc.

    I post here because I think some people have lost sight of the deep significance of the information given to use through divine revelation and written in 3SG90-91 for all to be informed “as they will” – regarding what actually happened in nature at the creation of the world.

    Clearly for those who take the time to read the text – the TE world view undermines understanding of what actually took place in nature. The other alternative is that the TE world view is right – and both science and God are in error.

    For me the choice is easy (and apparently easy for almost the entire group of SDA representatives at the GC2010 session).

    For a few others it may be more difficult – I do not challenge their right to free will.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  50. Bob Ryan:

    As I read the above postings my respect for you has deepened. You stand alone, defending the truth against those who are willing to put their soul’s salvation in the hands of infidels. They mock you and try hard to refute you, but they only show that they are willingly blind to the truth.

    They put forth as truth statements that are clearly in opposition to the Bible and use twisted logic to support their statements. (i.e. Ron’s statement that the only way God is changeless is in that He changes all the time. Does not the Bible say that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever? How does that support constant change? Only twisted logic could see it that way.)

    I really grow weary of the TE’s who take the word of mortal man over the Creator’s word and then claim that they are accepting ‘the evidence’ that ‘science’ comes up with because they are honest. Give me a break. They are deluded–and, again, willfully so.

    To be a Christian means to follow Christ. Where do they find any evidence that Christ did not believe in Creation. He was there at the beginning–yet when He was here on earth in person, He never made any statements that the Creation account was all just an entertaining story, did He? If He came to teach us truth, as He did daily throughout the three years of His official ministry, don’t you think He would have told us not to believe the Genesis account if it were not true? He taught in the synagogue. Don’t you think He would have straightened out the record then, if indeed it needed straightened out? I guarantee you that it is an important enough topic that if it needed to be addressed, it would have been.

    These ‘scientists’ that are trying to wed evolutionism to Christianity haven’t a leg to stand on. They plainly show where their hearts really are. They believe the idle tales of man rather than the truth written by God’s very own finger in the midst of His law. They are trying to incorporate the lies of Satan into God’s church. Cannot be done. Each person must choose whom they will serve. They cannot serve two masters. It doesn’t take much intellect to figure out why that is.

    Satan and his lies are diametrically opposed to God and His Truth. And all the posturing and pretty packaging the TEs try to use will not deceive God’s true people.

    These TEs believe the theory of evolution which was developed by man because men who went to university and received some letters after their names from other men have supported this theory. Rather a flimsy foundation to build on, if you ask me.

    We believe God because we know we can trust Him to tell us the TRUTH–which He has done in His Word. Anyone who cannot accept God at His word is no follower of His, no matter what they claim. Thus it is impossible to be a Christian and an evolutionist at the same time. IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!

    The fact that these educated people claim to do this is so ridiculous that it makes me wonder how they can be taken seriously as educated people at all. They are so obviously in error. It doesn’t take much to figure out the incompatiblness of evolution and creation. They need only open their eyes to the truth. In the end it will fullfil the Biblical statement that there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death.

    Bob, continue to fight with courage, my brother. You stand on solid ground. You have the truth and you will one day be rewarded for your faithful defence of it. God Bless you and keep you.




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  51. @Eddie:

    Sean wrote: “For any organization to remain viable, internal order and discipline must be maintained.”

    Precisely! And the most effective means is to use websites such as this to publicly identify and vilify heretics, including friendly and unfriendly agnostics.

    Evidently the church body has been unaware of the fact that certain suborganizations within the Adventist Church, La Sierra University in particular, have been actively attacking, in a very conserted and deliberate manner, certain key fundamental beliefs of the church on the church’s dime for several decades. The church, as a body, needs to become more aware of this situation and act accordingly if it is to maintain effective order and government as an organization.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  52. I agree with the article. Let’s maintain order and accountability in God’s church! We uphold the standard of God’s word in our church entirely. The church is to be the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:16). The literal 7 day week from Creation, and the Sabbath are Bible teaching…plain and simple. It’s not merely some person’s conjecture. We have every right and necessity, as God’s people, and His church for the last days to UPHOLD the Bible’s true and clear teachings. If some individuals want to distort or misrepresent those Bible teachings, the church must, needs to, and shall hold them accountable. If they don’t like it, they can go start their own church of “so and so says” religion, and mix whatever kind of philosophy and heresy they want to. But don’t call it 7th-day Adventism. That’s the farthest thing from it.




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  53. Some time ago in our Sabbath School class our head elder and head deconess got into a somewhat heated discussion. During this discussion I realized we had three visitors setting behind me. I became more and more nervous as the “discussion” continued. Later, to my dismay, those visitors told the person that invited them they would NOT be back. Their reason: “Hey, you people don’t know what you believe!” Paul is clear in 1 Corinthians 1:10 we should all speak the samethings, that there be no divisions and that we should be perfectly joined together. It is the devil’s goal to divide and conquer while Christ’s is to unite in Him. IF we are truly united together in Him we will be in harmony, we WILL be saying the samethings because it will be Christ speaking, not ourselves.




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  54. @Daniel Shannon:

    IF we are truly united together in Him we will be in harmony, we WILL be saying the samethings because it will be Christ speaking, not ourselves.

    There are many honest and sincere Christians who are not on the same page when it comes to various doctrines that the Adventist Church considers to be “fundamental”. This is due to the fact that different people are on different points in their understanding of the Scriptures and in their walk with God. God does not expect everyone to be on the same point in the path when it comes to knowledge or their relationship with God. So, there will be differences of opinion which are inevitable – even among the saints of God.

    This is not to say, however, that all are therefore qualified to be an official representative of a particular organization, like the Adventist Church, simply because they might be in a saving relationship with God.

    To be an effective representative of an organization requires training and education and general agreement when it comes to the primary goals and ideals of the organization itself. This also implies that just because there are those who may not qualify as effective representatives of a particular organization does not mean that they are therefore not in a saving relationship with God or that God is not leading them and inspiring them. It just means that they do not currently represent, in an effective manner, the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    In short, this is not a moral issue. It is simply a practical matter of church order and government. That’s all. Church order and government, as with any viable organization, requires the enforcement of internal rules to which all who wish to belong must voluntarily submit or leave the organization. Otherwise, there would be chaos within and the organization itself would fragment and crumble into irrelevance.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  55. Sean wrote: “For any organization to remain viable, internal order and discipline must be maintained.”

    Precisely! And the most effective means is to use websites such as this to publicly identify and vilify heretics, including friendly and unfriendly agnostics.




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  56. “People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become Seventh Day Adventists and keep Saturday holy” (Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, Vol. 30, Nov. 22, May 31, 1995)




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  57. I agree with some words spoken here by our TE friends.

    I mostly post here because I believe that Christian belief and faith can withstand scrutiny. I also post because I value integrity and honesty and feel sorry for the many young people who may be pursuing higher education or seeking a career in science who are being told that they must deny the clear data they are encountering every day in terms of “observations in nature” – forced to exchange real science for junk-science religious doctrines found in evolutionism’s not-sacred halls of blind-faith.

    And far be it from faithful Seventh-day Adventists to pile on evolutionist story after story on the heads of our young adults as if doing so would be true to real science or encourage acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  58. BobRyan: The “mechanism” for creationism is observed every day. Intelligent designers create books, computer programs, works of art that rocks and gas will never produce no matter the times the blind-faith evolutionist utters their sacred mantra “beeeellions and beeeellions”.By contrast – the “mechanism” for evolutionism whereby static genomes acquire new coding genes such that the amoeba turns into the horse (after the appropriate beeeeellions and beeeellions is said over it) – has never been “observed in nature”.in Christ,Bob

    Well stated, Bob. Intelligent being do create things. However, rendomness and blind chance don’t seem to.




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  59. Holly –

    I am one of those who does not vote on every thread myself — even in cases where I agree with the post in favor of creation, or against a post or two evolutionist posts that I find to be less than objective.

    So while I do vote – I rarely vote on more than a couple of posts.

    I find it perfectly understandable that pro-Bible pro-creation Christians would come here – read and not vote – especially in case of creationist arguments since the web site is “Educate Truth” and they assume that the majority here already are in favor of the Bible as being “valid” and also “trustworthy”.

    By contrast it is not uncommon to find evolutionists “and those who support them” coming here and making the wild claim that “nobody reads” posts that are not pro-evolutionists over here at Educate Truth.

    Oh well – free will being what it is – I guess we must suffer them that additional indulgence in fiction.

    Still it is instructive to watch them come here and do it time after time.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  60. @Ron:

    Bob, Take a close look at your examples of “Intelligent design” you mentioned above. I have yet to see any book, computer program or work of art that was achieved except through a process of evolution. Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works. Even the proverbial watch found in the forest was created through a long history of evolution of metallurgic science.

    This is one of your main problems – you think that intelligent design works via the very same mechanism as Darwinian evolution. That’s obviously not true.

    Intelligent design is intuitive and can therefore work toward a pre-determined goal or ideal. The mindless mechanism of random mutations combined with natural selection (RM/NS) cannot do this. Beyond this obvious fact, NS cannot work at all until a novel functional system is actually found in the vastness of sequence space by purely random chance (i.e., random mutations). Intelligent design is not limited by these restrictions.

    It is for this reason that true artifacts are actually discoverable as such by various sciences such as anthropology, forensics, and even SETI. According to your understanding of the methods of intelligent design, this would be impossible.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  61. @Ron:

    This is a false statement. Allowing a dynamic exploration and discussion of the issues creates a strong church. I think your insistence on enforcing a narrow view is damaging to the church and making it more irrelevant.

    If you think the Church’s fundamental goals and ideas are “narrow”, go and join another church! This is a free country after all – thank God! Who’s stopping you? Why would you want to work for any organization that happened to be so fundamentally opposed to your own personal beliefs?

    What you are proposing is that the Church organization have no basic goals and ideals for which there should be any requirement of any employee to support. That notion is not rational for any viable organization. That’s a recipe for chaos, not any workable organization in existence…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  62. Ron: Evolution is the process by which every intelligent designer I have ever known works

    I have already shown in great detail here on this board how atheist evolutionists like Martin Reese and Leonard Susskind have carefully explained just how shockingly blatant is the evidence for Intelligent Design is in cosmology and how desperate the evolutionist (materialists) were to avoid that conclusion — and how relieved they now are after “imagining” a multiverse solution to their atheist problem so bent on denying I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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    • @BobRyan:
      ??? Your comment makes no sense.

      BobRyan: Instead of that Darwin, Provine, Meyers and Dawkins all claim that evolution is what destroys christian faith.

      At this point – I only state the obvious.

      I think that is one of the problems. Both sides in the debate have jumped to the obvious conclusions which just happen to be wrong. They are then so invested in defending themselves that they refuse to see the obvious truth that there is no inherent conflict. There is no rational reason why God can’t create organisms with the capacity to adapt to new environments (another way to say “evolve”).

      Bob, I know you will deny it, but I think you really are a theistic evolutionist, you are just afraid to acknowledge your own reason.




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      • @Ron:

        You are confused yet again. The ability to adapt to new environments beyond very low levels of functional complexity requries pre-programmed information to exist within the gene pool. Without such pre-programmed information, there is no ability for adaptation beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

        Darwinian-style evolution is based on the notion that high level information can be created within that gene pool which was never there before. This isn’t the same thing as breeding or Mendelian variation – both of which are based on pre-existent genes or alleles which allow for such high-level variation in form and function.

        In short, you don’t seem to appreciate the difference between something like Mendelian variation (based on pre-existent genetic information) and Darwinian-style evolution (based on the generation of novel genetic information). They really aren’t the same thing.

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  63. Ranald&#032McLeish: Re your question, “Can you in all good conscience support and teach the 27 Fundamental Beliefs” –

    First of all let me be very clear, In general the 28 are very good statements, When it comes to the interpretation of the voted statements, the answer “in all good faith” has to be no. Because it is clear some teachings in that book are certainly contrary to to the Scriptures. Furthermore as it is clear that teachings contrary to these beliefs are presented to our people through the official publications of the church,

    First of all – I have not seen you point to any place where the 27 FB differs from the voted doctrines of the Church or the Bible.

    A great place to “start your list” would be here – http://www.clubadventist.com

    A few years ago poster calling himself “Bravus” came here from the clubadventist area and posted that he was SDA and yet felt free to declare Ellen White wrong when she reported what God told her in 3SG90-91, that the SDA church is wrong in its view of creation, that the doctrinal statements could be bent to serve the usages of evolutionism and that he was not saying this as an evolutionist but as an SDA.

    Over the years he finally did admit that he is speaking as an evolutionist.

    And now has posted this statement below – stating that he is no longer SDA – and listing the doctrinal areas where his views are in conflict with SDA doctrine.

    http://www.clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/491719/Re_Why_I_am_a_former_SDA.html#Post491719

    At last after all these years he his let his outward profession of religious affiliation match his outward arguments against the Bible on creation and against the SDA church on a number of doctrinal points.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. Hi Charles

    I appreciate the depth of your faith. I’m sure it is of great comfort.

    I trust you undrestand that I do not come by my agnosticism lightly.

    Always good to hear from you.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  65. Hi Bill,

    You said, “The little horn represents pagan Rome, Dan. 8:9 and “another little horn” represents Papal Rome. Dan. 7:8.

    So the time element would include both pagan and papal Rome. But as SDA’s we are more interested in “another little horn” which is from 538 AD to 1798 AD. The Papacy.

    Bill I am glad you see the word “another” in Daniel, means Just that. So I am presuming you see two little horns in Daniel 7 and 8, The LH of 7:8 representing the Papacy, and the LH of 8:9 representing Rome.

    My question to you is this, As you see the 1260 years of 7;25 apply to the Papacy, which time element applies to both Rome and the Papacy? i.e. how long does Rome rule for? Or as FB puts it how long does” Rome pagan and papal” rule?

    Blessings,
    Ranald.




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  66. Ranald –

    1. Your quote is from the text explanation of the 27 FB found in the book 27 Fundamental beliefs – and not from the actual belief statement itself.

    If your argument is that the committee that worked on the explanation of the belief did not always write every word out to 100% accuracy – then I am not in a position to challenge you in that regard.

    However on this forum you will often find the reference to our voted belief statements – not necessarily a claim that the 1000’s of words in the book called by that name are each infallibly correct.

    2. You seem to be grasping at straws – but if you wish to make your case – I suggest clubadventist because it has a “Theological town hall” where you can talk about his all day long. I am there as well.

    3. Having said all that – and at the risk of this post getting deleted. I would argue that in Dan 8 “out of one of them” (out of one of the four winds) (the four points of the compass) we have the Roman empire arising. This fact is also in 11.4 where the four winds are the four points of the compass.

    Since we are talking about Daniel 8 and you ask how long a period of time is associated with this event. The only time element given in Dan 8 is 2300 day (2300 years in the day for year model obviously used in Dan 9 and in 8 and 7 as well).

    No single entity in Dan 8 does anything for 2300 years. Rather the 2300 years of Dan 8 covers the entire timeline addressed by Daniel 8 from Persia to well past the Roman empire.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  67. “How long does the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 rule? Bible answer please. This is not a “straw man” question.”

    The little horn represents pagan Rome, Dan. 8:9 and “another little horn” represents Papal Rome. Dan. 7:8.

    So the time element would include both pagan and papal Rome. But as SDA’s we are more interested in “another little horn” which is from 538 AD to 1798 AD. The Papacy.

    Bill Sorensen




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  68. Hi Bob,

    You correctly stated “1. Your quote is from the text explanation of the 27 FB found in the book 27 Fundamental beliefs – and not from the actual belief statement itself.”

    You also stated, “First of all – I have not seen you point to any place where the 27 FB differs from the voted doctrines of the Church or the Bible.”

    I quoted from FB, “While this volume is not an officially voted statement — it may be viewed as representative of “the truth . . . in Jesus (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim. Seventh-day Adventists Believe — 27, p. iv.”

    Now Bob, and anyone else, especially Educate Truth, the question is simple:

    How long does the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 rule? Bible answer please. This is not a “straw man” question.

    Am I right in assuming FB 27 was written to present the Adventist understanding of the little horn among other things. Now if it, FB, presents the “the truth . . . in Jesus (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim,” surely someone can answer this simple question!!

    Regards,
    Ranald.




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  69. I am saying that there is only 1 timeline given in Dan 8 from which the little horn statement that you quoted is being taken. And that chapter does not state that the little horn actions last for 2300 years (because in fact they do not).

    In vs 13 the question is asked “How long is the vision” (how long a time period is covered by the vision) and in vs 14 the answer of 2300 years is given.

    We notice that in vs 1-4 the vision begins with the age where Persia is dominant. Long before Rome.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  70. pauluc: To make the argument either Dawkins and Patterson were lying in explaining themselves after the events or they were less than transparent initially. Either way a lawyer like David Read would not use them to make any supportive argument.

    First of all I am reluctant to accuse David Read of anything based on your wide ranging accusations in your posts.

    So lets take the point “in general”. Do we have lawyers out there claiming that Christians do not accept math, history or spelling books, news reports, x-ray reports written by atheists?

    Hopefully those lawyers are not going down that road.

    Very often in accounts written in the Bible or in the dark ages where enemies of the saints are making their case – we accept details from those accusations as proving the veracity of some point of truth.

    For example in the gospels – we see the enemies of Christ saying that the body of Christ was stolen. What they do NOT say is “it is still there right in the tomb – right where it is supposed to be so what is all the fuss about”.

    In other words – even though we take them as hostile witnesses – and against the Gospel account – yet the objectivity of noting that key elements of the Gospel account are affirmed EVEN by the enemies of the Gospel is an argument hard to refute.

    The point remains.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  71. BobRyan: Almost every human on the planet “sees the point” that creationism and evolutionism are two opposing views on how life in all its forms has come to be. Only our TE friends are so engaged in self-talk so as to imagine that the two can be married together.

    Clearly our atheist and agnostic friends see the point above easily – so also do many Christians.

    My focus was on the specific group known as TE’s – I have not been as focused on problems regarding agnostics and atheists. In any case – most people in that group have no problem admitting that “FOR in SIX DAYs the Lord made the heavens and the earth” is not another way to say “evolution did it”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  72. Jon&#032S&#046&#032Klingbeil: “People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become Seventh Day Adventists and keep Saturday holy” (Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, Vol. 30, Nov. 22, May 31, 1995)

    Great Quote. Has anyone ever tried to dispute this logic? From either within or outside our SDA Church/




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  73. Dear Lydian

    Thank you very much for your kind comments. I respect your faith and connection to God even though I might not understand it.

    When it comes to proximity to the Creator i suspect you are on the top rung of the ladder while I am still muddling around in the dark trying to find its base. You do raise an interesting point though that I do not agnostically rule out: might God be influencing me in mysterious ways of which I am not even aware? It would be pretty cool if Educate Truth was a rung on the ladder in that respect!

    Hope this finds you well.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  74. I stand corrected – Ken apparently does accept the fact that both evolutionists and creationists are admitting to I.D. science.

    Their affirmation of it can clearly be seen over at Discovery Institute’s web page.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  75. Hi Sean

    Have you ever thought of running for a position within the church? With your intellect and conviction I think you would thrive. Think of what you could accomplish as a delegate at the GC? I would love to see ID established as a discipline some day at Adventist institutions. I think you have the ability rimless that charge nut it will likely require your pollical involvement rather being marginalized.

    Just a thought.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  76. Sean&#032Pitman: In no meaningful sense of the word can this sort of expectation be called a “persecution”

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I think that threatening one’s employment is pretty coercive. As far as I am aware, none of the teachers took the position that the churches theology was wrong. It seems the church is persecuting them for simply teaching science to the best of their ability.

    I don’t think it is an individual teacher’s responsibility to reconcile the whole churches theology to the science. I think that leadership really needs to come from the theology department. It probably makes more sense to fire the theology department for negligence.




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  77. Ken suggests that only a Bible believing Christian would admit to Intelligent Design.

    But in Romans 1 – God tells us that all mankind can see it clearly.

    And how can we doubt such a thing when even some of our diehard evolutionsts will say things like the statement below…

    Mack&#032Ramsy: How the DNA not only survives but thrives in this environment is an awesome thing, but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change.

    There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    If this attribute of design, as observed in nature, is so blatantly obvious that even our evolutionist friends cannot help themselves when speaking about it – who are Bible believing Creationists to deny Intelligent Design?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  78. I find it interesting that opposition to I.D. is such a distinctly atheist argument given what God says about Intelligent Design “clearly seen” by all mankind – even non-Bible cultures.

    How amazing then that SDA evolutionists would become so befuddled as to adopt that distinctly atheist POV in their pursuit of belief in evolutionism.

    It appears that those SDA evolutionists fall deeper into confusion than many of their non-SDA evolutionist brethren when once they turn to darkness and confusion and rejection of the facts that they had as SDAs to start with.

    How instructive.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  79. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Ken suggests that only a Bible believing Christian would admit to Intelligent Design.”

    Hi Bob

    Your comment is 100% false. Why do you continue to mischaracterize what people actually say? What message does that send to Christians?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  80. Sean, if God and therefore truth never changes, then the truth as it is in Jesus must be represented by the Bible, not by the volume 28.

    Cf. the following. “While this volume is not an officially voted statement — it may be viewed as representative of “the truth . . .. in Jesus (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe — 27, p. iv.

    How many times have people been falsely censured, disfellowshipped, or had credentials withdrawn, by applying the volume as “the truth as it is in Jesus.” instead of the Bible?




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  81. Sean wrote, “God, and therefore Truth, never changes. However, our human understanding of truth does change —”

    Sean, my question is very specific, am I correct in assuming the above is what you understand this phrase, commonly used by Adventists, means?

    As we have a 50/50 vote, so far, I suspect someone must disagree.




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  82. Hello Charles

    I enjoyed your post.

    I suspect that the reason this topic is currently off the radar is due to the publicity surrounding the exposure of Harold Camping. I doubt that Advenstists want to repeat this folly, especially wtih no signs of a mandated Sunday law in sight.

    Eschatology is tricky business and the word soon loses its edge as years, decades and centuries roll by.

    That’s my respectful view from the agnostic peanut gallery.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  83. There used to be a couple who attended our church over 25 years ago. They were very interested in our beliefs and studied deeper and deeper. We thought they were going to be baptized and join the SDA church after the bible study. Then they stopped coming.
    Later on we found out that they, their uncle and some friend bought a piece of property close to the city center and turned it into a Church. they called it Church of God Seventh Day and worshipped on Saturdays instead of Sunday. The church is still there with the same name. The group have been attending various churches, picking the various churches’ doctrine that they like and put it together into one and used it as their doctrine.
    This is the proper thing for them to do. Those who don’t agree with the SDA FB and are trying to dismantle it and divide the church should learn a lesson from this group and form their own group/church.
    It is not right for them to collect pay cheques from the SDA church and at the same time undermine/destroy the basic SDA beliefs of the organisation that pay them.




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  84. Apparently Ron thinks by creating all kinds of false dilemmas and muddy up the water of reason, he can demonstrate a “Christian” attitude concerning those who attack stated church teaching.

    So, he re-defines evolution in a way no one would subscribe to and hopes to convince others of his ideas by doing so.

    I suggest it is rather typical of modern unbelief on many issues. If you can re-define, convolute other definitions, and generally destroy the human language as a means of communication, you can create a Babylon confusion where dialogue is impossible.

    So, anyone can use a phrase or word in the context of a statement, and when challenged by the standard useage of the word or phrase, simply say, “Well, I mean thus and so, even if it is not in harmony with common useage.”

    Seriously, don’t you just get tired of all the word games and double talk unbelievers use to try and defend their positions?

    I know I do.

    Bill Sorensen




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  85. “What in the world were you thinking with your appeal for an explanation from the Sabbath School department” ?”

    in Christ,

    Bob

    Well, Bob, I think we have a right to expect the SS quarterly to reflect the world wide thinking of the SDA church, don’t you?

    If anything is “official” SDA teaching, it certainly should be the quarterly.

    Bill Sorensen




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  86. Ranald&#032McLeish: Will someone be brave enough to define exactly what “THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS” means to Adventists? It appears that unless we have a clear understanding as to what this phrase means to Adventists, when used by Adventists, we will not understand the difference between Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs.

    For example, does THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS, change?

    Truth never changes.

    Our understanding of it improves over time.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  87. Ranald:

    I agree with Sean, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His truth does not change. However, you seem to be in disagreement with something written in the Seventh-Day Adventists Believe, and I am curious to know what it is. In theory, SDAs believe according to the Bible. While I have never read the book, I would like to know where it seems to you to vary from the Bible. I only believe what is in agreement with the Bible and if there is something in that book with the 28 fundamental beliefs, I want to know about it. Could you enlighten me?




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  88. Hi Bob, and c.lee.

    Your Question was largely answered in my response to C. Lee. However as that post has disappeared I will respond again.

    I believe “the truth as it is in Jesus” is only found in one book, the Bible.

    I believe the church needs to have a statement of beliefs, I have no problem with that. The problem is when a church’s statement of beliefs, is made equal to, or above the Bible, that is when the beliefs become a Creed.

    It appears Educate truth is not happy to leave the final say with the Bible, cf. “James Londis, Don’t Change Our Belief on Creation, the Words of Scripture Suffice, OCTOBER 4, 2011. cf. the disclaimer, Educate Truth does not share the opinion of this author.”

    You see Bob, I am quite happy for Educate Truth to have an opinion that incorporates the Bible +, as long as I can believe differently, cf. Matt 13:25-30.

    Do you honestly believe that a few chosen men, given less than a week, could put together 27 statements of belief that would never have to be changed?

    Re your question, “Can you in all good conscience support and teach the 27 Fundamental Beliefs” –

    First of all let me be very clear, In general the 28 are very good statements, When it comes to the interpretation of the voted statements, the answer “in all good faith” has to be no. Because it is clear some teachings in that book are certainly contrary to to the Scriptures. Furthermore as it is clear that teachings contrary to these beliefs are presented to our people through the official publications of the church, It is clear various departments of the Church feel that they are not strictly bound by some of these specific beliefs today.

    In the SOP writings there are 45 hits for the phrase, “The Bible and the Bible only.”
    It was good enough for the Reformers, to see the light, it was good enough for the Pioneers to see the light, and I believe it is the light for me to walk in today.

    Trusting that answers your questions,
    Your brother in Christ,
    Ranald.




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  89. BobRyan: Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith,–the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work, by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building for the last fifty years. Men may suppose that they have found a new way, and that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid. But this is a great deception. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid.

    Come on, Sis. White. Is that really what the apostle Paul was referring to with that text?




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  90. 11/1/11
    Eddie Says:

    “Precisely! And the most effective means is to use web sites such as this to publicly identify and vilify heretics, including friendly and unfriendly agnostics.”

    Eddie–

    We weak human beings cannot read another’s heart–Jesus could. So we need to be careful how we “judge” another human being. For all we know Ken (he is the only acknowledge agnostic I know of on this site) may be a lot closer to God than some of us who profess to be SDA Christians.

    I have never known him to write one unkind word to any one nor respond in a harsh way to any unkind remarks thrown his way. That comes pretty close to “being like Jesus” in my estimation. I just wish I could say the same about every one of us who post on this site.

    “Among the pitfalls of our life
    The best of us walk blindly–
    So, friend, be careful, watch and pray–
    And judge your brother kindly.”

    (This may not be quoted 100% correctly–I couldn’t locate my copy of it–but the thought is the same.)

    So please let us give him the benefit of the and concentrate on the real danger to our church–those who teach and preach a “gospel” that is the exact opposite of what we, as a church organisation, believe.

    I don’t care how deeply someone may believe in evolution–or any other doctrine that is contrary to our beliefs (and they are welcome to their beliefs) but it is downright dishonest to accept a pay check from us (or any other organization) while you do every thing possible to undermine what we (or they) stand for. That is known as “stealing”! And stealing is not a good character trait in anyone. (And, by the way, neither is “mud slinging!”)




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  91. BobRyan: That is not what Darwin found evolution to be.

    That is not what Dawkins claims to have found out about evolutionism.

    That is not what Provine and Meyers said they found out about evolutionism as compared to Christianity.

    Or is it your claim that these guys just don’t know anything about what evolution actually is?

    No, my claim is that Darwin, Dawkins et.al. are making a false dichotomy and that Mrs. White was responding to the false dichotomy. Creation and evolution are not intrinsically exclusive and that this is an area where truth is progressive. We do not understand the issue the same way that even Mrs. White did. Her statement does not apply to evolution as I see it, because what I believe is not what she was describing.

    I can believe without cognitive dissonance that God created life in 7 days, 6000 years ago with the ability to evolve/diversify/adapt to a changing environment.

    When I look around at the world and ask myself, what is God like? What kind of a God created what I see? One of the conclusions that I draw is that God is a creator, because I see new things constantly being created.

    I think God loves diversity all the way down to the individual level, because the individuality and diversity I see in the world is almost overwhelming.

    I think God loves change, because the one thing that never changes is that everything changes. If God loves change and he loves his creatures, then it seems logical that He would create creatures that have the ability adapt/evolve with the change. And when I look, lo and behold every single living creature (well, almost) uses DNA for it’s genetic material, and it appears to me that DNA is made to evolve. Every single creature, with the possible exception of mitochondria, has a mechanism in place that creates change and diversity within its DNA.

    What’s more, is the mechanism working? YES! Far better than Darwin ever imagined. We see even humans evolveing within just the last 3000 years. http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/101001_altitude
    I mean, that is almost as recent as when Jesus was here!

    Tell me. Is there anything here that threatens Adventist faith? Help me, because for the life of me I don’t see it.




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  92. @Ron:

    I agree with the quotes above. But there as nothing like that going on at La Sierra. There were no teachers who have “claimed that they were right, that God has especially taught, impressed, and led them.” or taught that they had “special light from God”. No one was trying to undermine the foundations of the church. No one was claiming to “have a stronger foundation than was laid”. These are simply Biology teachers trying to teach basic science the best they can with the best information they have. They weren’t even teaching anything new! They certainly weren’t trying to disrupt church organization.

    So, telling one’s students that life has clearly existed and evolved, via Darwinian mechanisms, on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, that the concept of a literal 6-day creation week, not to mention a worldwide Noachian Flood, is logically and scientifically untenable, is not really an act of undermining any of the primary goals or ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Where have you been?

    Did you miss the fact that the General Conference Executive Committee, at the 2004 Annual Council, asked all professors in SDA schools to also present the SDA perspective on origins in all classrooms?

    “We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.” (Link)

    How is LSU supporting this request of the Adventist Church? How is LSU not directly undermining the Church’s position on a literal 6-day creation week as the true story of the origin of life on this planet?

    I could possibly credit your concerns if the church had a clear understanding and could reconcile the Bible with the Science, but the church doesn’t and can’t. No one can, and it seems unreasonable to expect a single biology teacher to be able to do what NO ONE has been able to do in the last 150 years.

    Beyond the fact that this statement isn’t true on its face (there is in fact a great deal of scientific evidence in support of the Biblical claims on origins), it is irrelevant to the question of church order and government. The church has every right to expect that those who are hired to represent its interests will actually do so. It also has the right to release those from employment who cannot support the church’s goals and ideals from pulpit or classroom.

    Sean Pitman: “This is not a moral issue.”

    Actually this is a moral issue. It is categorically immoral for anyone, let alone the church to use coercion and persecution to enforce anyone’s belief against reason and conscience.

    Of course you are right here, but only with regard to those who do not claim to be representatives of the church. Your problem is that you think it is the right of all people, regardless of one’s individual views or ideas, to become paid representatives of the Adventist Church. It is not a basic human right to be paid by the SDA Church for promoting one’s own individual views independent of the views of the church who employs you. To be hired by the Church as an official representative from pulpit or classroom is a privilege, not a right, for which not everyone qualifies. Therefore, it is not persecution, in any meaningful sense of the word, for the church to refuse to hire or continue to pay those who do not accurately reflect the goals and ideals of the church as an organization.

    The church has not taken on civil authority here. You can do as you wish with respect to your own religious preferences in this free society of ours – thank God. You can leave or join any church at will without any fear of civil reprisals. And, that’s a very very good thing. However, the church, like all viable organizations, must also be free to hire only those who actually do represent the goals and ideals of the church.

    How is this not common sense? What you are arguing for here is chaos and anarchy within the church, not order and government for the Church.

    Is religious freedom within the church any less moral?

    There should always be freedom of religion in society at large. However, for a particular organization to remain viable, there must be selectivity when it comes to hiring official paid representatives. Freedom of religion in society at large does not mean that you can expect payment from any particular organization within that society for doing whatever you want independent of the goals and ideals of the organization that you hope will support your efforts financially.

    For example, if you like to wear Reebok shoes, you think they are the best, don’t expect to be hired by Nike for promoting the superiority of Reebok. In the same way, why should the SDA Church pay someone who thinks that Catholicism is better? – or who openly promotes anything that counters the basic goals and ideals of the SDA Church as an organization?

    What you are suggesting here is, again, not “freedom”, but chaos and anarchy. It was tried in the early formation of the Adventist Church. It didn’t work then, for obvious reason detailed above, and it will not work now.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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