La Sierra University Granted Window to Show its Faithfulness to Church’s Creation Belief

Educate Truth shares the following article published by the Adventist News Network as a service to readers.

By Mark A. Kellner

La Sierra University (LSU), a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned school in Riverside, California, will have a year to demonstrate its faithfulness to church teaching on creation, at which time its current accreditation by the Adventist Accrediting Association, or AAA, will be reviewed. The school’s denominational accreditation has been extended to December 31 of next year, with reaccreditation subject to an on-site review by a AAA panel in the second quarter of 2012, and AAA board action in October 2012.

The unusual action followed two years of controversy that has roiled the southeastern California campus and generated extensive comment by Seventh-day Adventist leaders and members across North America and the world church. The La Sierra decision, during which a wide range of options were debated, came among several actions taken the regular biennial AAA board meeting held at the General Conference’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, on April 4, 2011.

“Although La Sierra University has deviated from the philosophy and objectives of Seventh-day Adventist education,” the voted action reads, “it is moved that the university be granted an extension of accreditation to December 31, 2012 in order for the university to act upon its commitments and implement changes and enhancements” involving the teaching of origins at the school. The action extending the university’s current term of accreditation did not address the prospect of a new term, up to five years in length.

Accrediting executives’ rationale

“This was a challenging and complex decision,” said Lisa M. Beardsley, director of the General Conference Education Department. “The AAA board took into consideration the report of the AAA team that visited the campus in November 2010, and events that have transpired since, such as the actions of the institutional board, the finding of its special subcommittee, and the open letter published in March by the university. After careful and prayerful consideration, the board expressed its will as a body by means of a written ballot so that all views could be honored.”

Ella Smith Simmons, a general vice president of the world church and member of the AAA board, said, “Given the recent acknowledgement made by the La Sierra University board and administration, this action seeks to create a bridge for the university to meet its stated commitments and the accrediting requirements to give priority to the standards of Seventh-day Adventist education in harmony with the Church’s official beliefs.”

“The AAA Board has attempted to find a balance between punitive and redemptive help to the university in support of the LSU Board’s recent statements,” added Larry Blackmer, vice president for Education of the North American Division and another AAA board member.

Membership in the Adventist Accrediting Association board includes the director and associate directors of the General Conference Education department; General Conference vice presidential advisers for education; directors of education from each of the church’s 13 world divisions; one representative each from a college/university board chair; a college/university president; an academic vice president or dean; a registrar or admissions officer; a finance officer; an academic department chair of education; a union conference education director; and a local conference education director. Also included are three individuals with international Adventist educational experience; two education specialists not employed by the church; and the General Conference officers — specifically the president, secretary and treasurer.

What lies ahead

In order to retain AAA accreditation, the school administration and board of trustees will, among other steps, have to demonstrate that it is honoring its commitments to “continue to endorse the official Seventh-day Adventist Church statement on creation”; “resource and nurture faculty in an atmosphere in which official Seventh-day Adventist Church positions on creation and origins are taught and honored”; so that the Church’s creation position “is presented in instructional contexts” and also is “presented as the university’s position on origins.”

The university will also have to show it is fulfilling its pledge to develop “specific goals” to assist “LSU students of other faiths to find meaning in and understanding of Seventh-day Adventist values and official beliefs, including those regarding creation and human origins.” According to one of the examples set forth in the voted action, “decisions regarding faculty appointments and development [must be] aligned with board and university commitments to ensure the acceptance and teaching of official Seventh-day Adventist beliefs regarding creation and origins within instructional and co-curricular contexts.”

The AAA is also requiring that LSU’s “board governance structure and function are enhanced to provide fuller participation in its fiduciary responsibility for the university,” again, in keeping with a commitment the school has made.

Decision was a surprise

Following a protracted discussion that lengthened a scheduled three-hour meeting into four hours, the AAA board voted to extend the school’s current church-based accreditation, but did not offer the full new term La Sierra had anticipated. On February 8, La Sierra announced a AAA site visit team’s recommendation “that ‘in their opinion, and subject to AAA approval, La Sierra University should receive the maximum accreditation possible under AAA guidelines.'” The school has since removed that statement from its website.

The accreditation issue — which includes denominational recognition by the church and qualifies a school for certain appropriations from denominational funds — arose following a two-year controversy over La Sierra’s teachings on human origins. Beginning in 2009, critics, including some church leaders, laypersons and LSU students claimed that the school taught the theory of evolution to biology students as the explanation for the origin of life.

Seventh-day Adventists believe “God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made ‘the heaven and the earth’ and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week,” as noted in the church’s Fundamental Beliefs.

La Sierra responds

In a statement to Adventist Review, La Sierra spokesman Larry Becker said, “Although La Sierra University has taken affirmative steps toward resolution of the controversy regarding how creation and evolution are taught in its classes, the AAA Board believed that it is necessary for more time to transpire in order for the university board, faculty, and administration to demonstrate its determination to put in place the steps that the faculty and administration have agreed with the board to implement.”

The LSU statement continued: “University administration appreciates the extension of its current full accreditation as a Seventh-day Adventist university through December 31, 2012. The AAA Board has outlined a specific process moving forward, and we recognize the need for these steps. We look forward to the AAA visit to our campus next year. The board, administration and faculty are already working together to ensure that we provide the outstanding Adventist education desired by our students, our constituents, and our Church.”

La Sierra President Randal R. Wisbey and Ricardo Graham, Pacific Union Conference president and La Sierra trustee board chairman, admitted La Sierra’s shortcomings on the subject in a March 9 open letter.

“We found that only 50 percent of the students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that our Adventist view of creation was presented, and only 40 percent agreed or strongly agreed that our Adventist view was supported,” Wisbey and Graham wrote. “This is not acceptable, and we apologize,” they added.

Further, “instruction at the university, while being strong in many areas, has not adequately presented the denomination’s position on the subject of creation,” according to the document.

And, “there is some evidence that students have not always been respected for their belief in the Biblical creation position,” the March 9 La Sierra statement said.

According to the AAA’s accreditation handbook, “Accreditation of an institution by AAA signifies that the institution has a purpose appropriate to service the educational needs of those in its constituency and has the resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish the institution’s goals.”

School’s history

Founded in 1922 as a Seventh-day Adventist academy, La Sierra grew over the years and became a full-fledged college in 1946. In 1967, it merged with Loma Linda University and became that school’s liberal arts wing, reorganizing as an independent institution in 1990.

In 2010, the school reported 2,098 students had registered at the start of the current school year. Last year’s registration of 440 freshman surpassed 2009’s freshman class of 348 by 26.4 percent, La Sierra said in a statement.

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193 thoughts on “La Sierra University Granted Window to Show its Faithfulness to Church’s Creation Belief

  1. Wow, the accrediting visit has borne fruit. How could LSU have so blatantly misinterpreted the results of the visit? Did the AAA change its report after initially approving the campus or did LSU make up the story about a favorable result?

    Without naming you [Sean] and Shane, it certainly seems like your work is being recognized. Pity it took such an effort to bring this ugly state to the attention of the decision makers. Thanks to you and Shane for your unflagging and valiant efforts. I am pretty sure it is not over by a long shot, but at least the flow has been temporarily staunched. Thank you.

    Art




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    • @Arthur Chadwick: Remember LSU pulled its initial post of AAA findings.

      AAA’s final report was submitted to Wisbey February 1, 2011. Seven days later LSU president Randal Wisbey published AAA’s findings, but without any of AAA’s observations regarding the biology faculty. The next day, the committee submitted their memorandum to the LSU Board. A month later LSU publishes the committee’s memorandum along with an open letter from Wisbey and Ricardo Graham. Then the Adventist Review reported, “La Sierra announced the team’s findings online on February 8, but has since removed the statement from the university’s website.” A copy of the report can be read by clicking here. It is unknown why Wisbey published the AAA findings, along with the visiting team’s names, and then, without explanation, abruptly pulled the report from LSU’s website when the committee’s memorandum was published.

      Something fishy was going on perhaps.




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  2. My reaction to this report is that LSU will make some minor “adjustments” as Graham mentioned before and nothing of any substance will actually be changed. I hope I am wrong.




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  3. None of this top down pressure would be happening were it not for the fact that Ted Wilson is the General Conference President (and is on the AAA board).

    There really is a new sheriff in town. But is it too late?




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  4. This is encouraging, IMO.

    However, the survey of students probably presents a more favorable picture than is realistic, since a significant percentage of the students may not even know what the Adventist position on creation is — considering the kinds of homes they are coming from. But even if they all knew, a 50% rate of believing that SDA views were presented is pretty dismal. That’s a failing grade, after all ..




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  5. Beardsley says quote: “This was a challenging and complex decision.” If that isn’t hyperbole I have never seen it. What’s so complex about following Scripture as reflected in SDA beliefs?

    In my personal view it’s now time to select a new university President and maybe even a new GC Educational Director. As we have clearly seen in the past too often certain ones circle the wagons and try to deny anything of substance has ever happened.

    While I applaud the progress that has been made I’m not at all certain that the future will show substantive improvement. The problem has festered long enough and should be corrected before the next teaching cycle begins.




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  6. Isn’t it time for Wisby to go for failure to lead, failure to admit that LSU did wrong without a ton of external pressure, failure to make the changes that were needed without being forced to, failure to protect student’s academic freedom, failure to proactively support the church’s beliefs?

    Are we naive? Do we think that this problem is really solved? This is the tip of the iceberg! Do we think that Gary Bradley and Lee Greer have suddenly had an epiphany and are going to fall in line behind this decision?

    What about the religion department? Are they not to blame for much of this problem and maybe even more so than the biology department? Shouldn’t they have been the first to send up the red flag that something was wrong in what was being taught to our students? They are just as guilty, or more guilty for what is happening here than the biology department. Let’s not forget that the FB on creation and origins is not the only areas where our professors are off base. What about the recent push from religion professors at LSU (and LLU for that matter) and Christy Oberg at LSU University Church to push for homosexual marriage in California? Our FB says we believe in marriage between one man and one woman.

    What about our FB on the Investigative Judgement? I would predict that we would find very few at LSU that support that FB. LSU’s smorgasbord Adventism where one can pick and choose which belief you like and which one you don’t like stinks. It is time for ACCOUNTABILITY. We need a bunch of new faculty and administrators at LSU and start over with a clean slate. Let the ones that don’t agree with our beliefs move on to the local community college or university where their beliefs will be more in line with with is being taught there.

    And Ricardo Graham needs to go too. He typifies SDA politics as usual. Gloss things over or sweep things under the rug. He should have been the first SDA administrator to do something definitive to fix this problem. This should have not had to go all the way to the GC. It should have stopped with the Pacific Union Conference.




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  7. David Read: None of this top down pressure would be happening were it not for the fact that Ted Wilson is the General Conference President (and is on the AAA board). There really is a new sheriff in town. But is it too late?

    You’re absolutely correct, Dave. Most of the “underlings” are either afraid to do anything or simply are waiting for someone “higher up” to take charge of this debacle.




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  8. June 2010 WASC issued a letter to La Sierra University president Randal Wisbey, stating it would return for a special visit spring 2011, because of what WASC considered a threat to LSU’s institutional autonomy and academic freedom. The Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA) gave LSU until Dec. 31, 2012 to demonstrate its faithfulness to the biblical creation account. It will be interesting to see how WASC reacts to the AAA action. The letter to Wisbey stated:

    In your communications with the Commission, both in writing prior to meeting and at the Commission meeting, you expressed the commitment of the board and the president to resist efforts that would compromise academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

    It is unknown exactly when WASC will visit LSU, but I assume if it hasn’t happened already that it will be very soon.




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  9. D. Fender: Our FB says we believe in marriage between one man and one woman.

    Does our FB say that we believe it’s imperative to IMPOSE our belief on ALL citizens? We have many FBs that we do not insist must be enforced by law, so why should the Church take a stand on this particular one?

    I always understood that neither Ellen White nor our Church have support legislated morality. You can say, “it’s best for our children,” and I couldn’t agree more. But outlawing alcohol and tobacco and divorce, and requiring the teaching of the 10 commandments and creation in our public schools, would also be good for our students (among many other moral behaviors that could be legislated).

    What you are insisting on, no matter how you spin it, is legislated morality. And you and Ron Stone not only demand it of our Church, but publicly chastise anyone who disagrees with your position. I realize the Church has presently taken a stand on this position, but there are MANY in the Church who recognize the hypocrisy. Are we going to support legislated morality, or eschew it?




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  10. Most, if not all, countries legislate morality. In regard to alcohol Ellen White said:

    The honor of God, the stability of the nation, the well-being of the community, of the home, and of the individual, demand that every possible effort be made in arousing the people to the evil of intemperance. Soon we shall see the result of this terrible evil as we do not see it now. Who will put forth a determined effort to stay the work of destruction? As yet the contest has hardly begun. Let an army be formed to stop the sale of the drugged liquors that are making men mad. Let the danger from the liquor traffic be made plain and a public sentiment be created that shall demand its prohibition. Let the drink-maddened men be given an opportunity to escape from their thralldom. Let the voice of the nation demand of its lawmakers that a stop be put to this infamous traffic. Liquor Traffic and Prohibition p. 346

    I don’t see anything wrong with legislating morality. What shouldn’t be legislated are laws that have to do with our freedom to worship (or not to worship) our God as we see fit. Ultimately, legislated morality doesn’t really change anyone, but it has its purpose.

    I’m sure you support the government prohibiting/punishing stealing, murder, adultery, lying under oath, and sex with minors. There are others.

    There is no mandate to impose all our beliefs on the public, but in regards to morality it, why not?




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  11. Prof Kent, in more recent times the rest of society was in step with the church and agreed that marriage was between one man and one woman. Society has had a moral framework that followed much of the 10 commandments and the Christian religion. Society has been changing, and not for the good. Society at large is moving towards destruction at a lightning speed. Are we going to be a force for good and moral behavior, or sit by passively and let it all go to hell, literally?! I prefer to be salt as Jesus described us, and give some good flavor. I believe judgement is coming for those who sit passively by and let it happen, and even worse for those who help usher in evil.




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  12. Wow! It’s about time something get’s done. After 2 years of teaching nonsense and being given another year to get their act together seems an awful long time. Is it that complicated that it should take a whole year to say “Hey, let’s get back to the Bible truth or remove those unwilling to teach it?”

    I hope and pray their changes will be sincere and from the heart. Thanks for being a voice for our church Sean. It gives hope that your work and the work of others is not in vain.

    Debbie Rockwell




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  13. Prof. Kent, Christians are members of society equal to non-Christians. We all have an equal vote for what we want society to be. We all have a different perception of what the societal outcome should be. Satan and his loyal citizens are doing a great job of trying to force all forms of immorality down my and my families throats. There is nothing wrong with me voting for what I think causes society to be the best and most moral.




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  14. Debbie Rockwell, I have yet to hear anyone in administration say that “or remove those unwilling to teach it?”. As far as I’m concerned, this process is SDA politics as usual until someone either PUBLICALLY recants their views that are in conflict with the church and humbly reforms, or they leave. We are bad at holding people accountable and gloss over issues and think we have done God’s will. God and many church members know the evil that is swept under the rug. We are corporately responsible for not doing good and for overlooking bad.




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  15. D. Fender: Debbie Rockwell, I have yet to hear anyone in administration say that “or remove those unwilling to teach it?”. As far as I’m concerned, this process is SDA politics as usual until someone either PUBLICALLY recants their views that are in conflict with the church and humbly reforms, or they leave. We are bad at holding people accountable and gloss over issues and think we have done God’s will. God and many church members know the evil that is swept under the rug. We are corporately responsible for not doing good and for overlooking bad.

    I predict that “recanting” and “humbly reforming” will not occur with anyone at LSU.
    Why should they? No one has even asked whether that should be done or not. No pressure is being exerted by anyone to actually “reform” or change anything except some students “perceptions.”

    Suppose LSU does another “survey” and the results show even a slight downturn in the number or percentage of students having a negative perception. Will we all be celebrating some type of “victory?” I certainly won’t be!




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  16. Dr Stone,

    The progressives and liberals are unrelenting and persistent in trying to destroy the SDA church. You are right, LSU is not going to come around and start to do what is right just because of this story. People do not so easily change their opinions. They will only get more secretive about how they teach their error.




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  17. Shane pointed out what may be crucial in forcing LSU to choose it’s allegiance. Since Wisbey has pledged the administration and the board will “resist efforts that would compromise academic freedom and institutional autonomy” how can AAA’s requirements be met? Which one will LSU oblige? Wisbey has committed the school to an impossible dilemma. With WASC reevaluating, at any time now (if not already) the answer may be forthcoming quite soon.




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  18. I hope, believe, and pray that LSU will remain squarely within the Church’s fold.

    It will be tragic if this website actually creates a dilemma with WASC that leads to revocation of accreditation, or pushes the university the wrong direction. In either case, some here will view such an outcome as a victory.




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  19. I simply cannot believe that those who have sought to bring the ideas of evolution (in any form)into our institutions will change. The statements that I have been reading do not show change but rather a begrudging assent to hide what they really believe in their hearts.

    Let’s not forget the Adventist mission which is to bring God’s final warning to a world that is about to perish: The “Three Angels Messages”. The core of that message is that God is the Creator. Scripture plainly teaches that God created us and all that surrounds us in a seven-literal-day cycle. It was accomplished quickly and in perfection. A decline began when mankind entered the state of sin and that decline has continued until today.

    In contrast, every form of evolution that I have ever seen, teaches that life on the earth began simply and has grown toward perfection. These two teachings are the opposite of each other and are mutually exclusive. They cannot be reconciled.

    To those who would bring the ideas of evolution into our faith, please be honest about what you are trying to do. Go ahead and sign the “Clergy Letter Project” letter with Butler University and at least be as honest as the thousands of clergy of other “faiths” who have signed the document. Here is the link:

    http://blue.butler.edu/~mzimmerm/rel_evol_sun.htm

    Go and do it, if that is what you believe. But know this, that faithful Adventist people believe in a God who is not subject to “laws of nature” and has power beyond the ability of our scientific methods to even detect or measure. If you don’t believe in such a God, then you are not really a SDA, no matter what you claim to be. Just please be honest – at least.




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  20. @Charles, I agree with you completely. But perhaps you do not live out here in California, where secular humanism is the “rule” not only at LSU, but in our conferences, even up to the highest levels.

    Don’t believe me? Just check out what our so-called leaders have allowed to infiltrate into our SDA Churches and institutions–“evolution as fact” and “gay marriage” being only two of the major problems.

    Are these “real” SDA’s? Well in some places they are considered the “mainstream!”




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  21. You are right, Ron. I have only even been in Califoria a very few times. I cannot understand what you are dealing with re the liberal culture of where you are.

    Truthfully, I have no wisdom to know how to deal with the problem of some who take the name of Adventist but deny or try to change the fundamentals of the faith. The only thing I can do is pray for and support world leadership as they struggle for wisdom to deal with it.

    Really, it is a sign of the times – one of many. Jesus is coming soon (are “Adventists” scoffing me for saying this?) and the time is now to make the final preparations to meet him. Any naysayers? They are a sign of the times.

    From the buckle of the Bible belt…

    Charles




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  22. Professor Kent: I hope, believe, and pray that LSU will remain squarely within the Church’s fold.

    I too would love to see LSU finally change to the point of being squarely within the Church’s fold.

    I am also glad that some of those here who at one time trumpeted ideas about the SDA church not messing around with any of LSU’s wild offbeat agendas – now suggesting that LSU should do an about turn and entere squarely into the center of the SDA Church fold.

    What a great idea!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  23. Professor Kent,

    If those that believe that evolution is the explanation to our origins and the earth is millions of years old end up leaving the church, it won’t be because they believed in in all of the church’s fundamental beliefs but one.

    I have worked with those that call themselves “progressive” SDA’s and they not only don’t believe our FB on origins, they don’t believe many more (possibly most) of our FB’s. They call themselves SDA, but behave fundamentally different than the vast majority of those who are loyal and follow our beliefs. The Sabbath is not respected whatsoever. Personal business is conducted and church is skipped. They drink alcohol and eat every form of creature that ever lived, with no regard for our health message. They promote homosexuality and gay marriage believing that society today is more enlightened than our ignorant forefathers. They are SDA in name only, or maybe only because they grew up in an SDA family. They are cultural Adventists, if there is even such a thing.

    So back to your original premise, will the tug-o-war between WASC and AAA cause them to leave? NO. They were on their way out for a long time. We did not push them out, they disbelieved, and doubted, and formed beliefs and attitudes that caused them to leave.




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  24. D Fender

    “If those that believe that evolution is the explanation to our origins…”

    Good comments, I’d like to add a few:

    For the astute member who has faithfully studied the purpose of our church and the events related to its founding, these events (apostasy in the church) are a signal of end times. Add the events of the world – the increasing “birth pains” – both in frequency and intensity – and one may clearly see the unfolding of the inspired words of Ellen G White. Yes, I said it – “Ellen G White”. Is her name unmentionable anymore?

    She was a prophet that God raised up to be a core component of the founding of this church. Our very reason for existence is to proclaim the three angel’s messages to the world. What are those messages?

    1. Worship God as Creator.
    2. Expose Babylon.
    3. Clearly warn the world of impending doom.

    Jesus said of his second coming that it would be like the days of Noah: While Noah was in the boat with his family, the world partied and ridiculed outside – oblivious to the impending doom.

    We KNOW that when Jesus comes and takes His redeemed home with him, the earth will be left desolate of any human life. Thats what happened in Noah’s day. But this is not the message of any form of evolution theory. Those ideas all point to a continued march toward God-hood under the banner of His enemy – Satan.

    I am not pointing fingers at anyone without having three pointed back at myself. But what are we doing to finish this work? Building a retirement plan? A big new school? A mega-chain of hospitals?

    Ellen White wrote more than a hundred years ago, “We could have been in the kingdom long er this…” So why are we not there? There will come a time when the end will happen. I believe this time is very close (according to the signs) and long-term planning is wasted time. Many will leave the church but many more will come in – according to EGW.

    If I had lived in Noah’s day and understood the impending flood, how would I have related to those I love? Would I casually walk up the steps into the boat and wave bye? Or would I have desperately pled with them to come with me? We are in the same circumstance today. The world, as we know it, is about to end. Is there someone we love who needs to be persuaded to have their lamps filled with the sweet oil of God’s Holy Spirit?

    The end will come soon. The way we are going at the work that God gave us to do, I think the angels are going to have to join in to get it finished.

    Lets pray for each other.




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  25. Does anyone really believe that the current leadership and faculty at LSU will–or even can–(or even want) to change things as LSU? Can a leopard change his spots?

    It appears to me that the leadership and at least most of the science teachers are fully committed to the theory of evolution–as well as most of the board members–and as well as some in the theology department. To expect them to do a truly about face in a year (or even longer) is wishful thinking. The only way to obtain a change is to do some replacing of a good many of the teachers, the administration and the board–as well as their lawyer!

    The few board members that really believe in our stand on creation have been treated shamefully. Students who believe in our stand have also been treated with contempt and their lives made miserable. That attitude of faculty and administration isn’t going to “go away.” They may put on a better front for while but will sooner or later find another way to carry out their own plans.

    One thing that really bothers me is the fact that some–like Wisbey, Graham and others will probably retire and spend the rest of their lives getting a check every month from the church they have betrayed. I don’t suppose anything can legally be done about that now–but, please, let’s replace those who have betrayed our church and our children before they are eligible for tenure! There has been enough “foot dragging” already. More than enough of our precious youth have been lost to our church by these “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

    The “heart of the pastor” has plead with these folks long enough–it’s past time for the “heart of the pastor” to be turned toward the youth whose faith has been–and is being–destroyed by these agents of Satan (which they are—regardless of how sincere they may be in their belief of evolution.) Abraham had to send Ishmael away in order to protect Isaac. Can we not do the same in order to protect our “Isaac’s”? What will God say to us in the day of judgment if we don’t??

    This is not going to be easy–but the longer we put it off the harder it will be–and the more of our precious youth will be destroyed. May God give our leaders the strength and determination to meet this “iceberg” head on!




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  26. @Lydian Belknap You are absolutely correct–the ones that are undermining our denominational institutions and churches are the very ones we, the constituents, will be paying for during decades of time, long past the time they have ceased to harm our denomination.

    Regarding “replacement”–the “progressives” in our denomination are waiting to replace the “fundamentalists” according to Ryan Bell and others, although their plan may backfire since most of the new members in our SDA Church are actually NOT “progressives” but “Third
    World” more bible-based SDA’s.




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  27. Lydian Belknap: The only way to obtain a change is to do some replacing of a good many of the teachers, the administration and the board–as well as their lawyer!

    Lydian, some of our schools are looking for faculty RIGHT NOW. If you haven’t heard, they are hard to come by right now. I’m told that SAU, SWAU, WWU, and PUC are all struggling to find SDA biologists right now. SAU and SWAU have specifically advertised for “creationist biologists;” one would like to think they’ll be the first to find hires. Anyone have an update on these positions? (Maybe I can learn something by the weekend…I have my sources.)




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  28. And Lydian, if you know of candidates who might be considered, tell them to apply. I personally would like to see the positions filled, and with Godly biologists at that. (And I’m sorry that in my prior post I ended three sentences in a row with “right now.”)




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  29. The AAA statement said

    ““Although La Sierra University has deviated from the philosophy and objectives of Seventh-day Adventist education,” the voted action reads, “it is moved that the university be granted an extension of accreditation to December 31, 2012 in order for the university to act upon its commitments and implement changes and enhancements”

    LSU’s gracious reply offers appreciation for the extension – but does not admit to the wrong-doing identified in the AAA statement except to this extent.

    “We found that only 50 percent of the students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that our Adventist view of creation was presented, and only 40 percent agreed or strongly agreed that our Adventist view was supported,”

    Wisbey and Graham wrote. “This is not acceptable, and we apologize,” they added.

    Further, “instruction at the university, while being strong in many areas, has not adequately presented the denomination’s position on the subject of creation,” according to the document.

    And, “there is some evidence that students have not always been respected for their belief in the Biblical creation position,” the March 9 La Sierra statement said.

    Clearly LSU’s response is not admitting to wrong-doing at the level of the AAA board statement and the LSU response could indicate a committement to more ceremony in reading FB#6 to students so as to get that checkmark on the next review.

    1. At no point does LSU claim that even to this day – they finally stopped promoting evolutionism as being the truth about what happened in nature regarding the origins of all complex life seen on earth today.

    2. At no point does LSU claim that Bradley’s statement about what LSU is doing – is exactly what was being done at LSU.

    3. At no point does the LSU statement claim that some epiphany (other than AAA board wake-up call) has occurred among LSU religion and biology dept profs, such that they finally figured out the flaw in their prior arguments.

    “A man convinced against his will – is of the same opinion still.”

    The cat-and-mouse game is apparent. The likely result is that the former evolutionist evangelists at LSU – are now the bitter or resentful evolutionists conducting biology and religion classes, appealing to students in perhaps not-so-subtle ways to “side with them” in lamenting the current position of the denomination.

    It is as if the AAA board had said “I see by your teeth, claws and tail, you are a lion, we were wanting an elephant in that position”.

    And the response from LSU is to bite off an elephant’s trunk and tail and attach them, showing a good faith effort by the lions among them to comply to the extent possible.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. Professor Kent: Lydian, some of our schools are looking for faculty RIGHT NOW. If you haven’t heard, they are hard to come by right now. I’m told that SAU, SWAU, WWU, and PUC are all struggling to find SDA biologists right now.

    The morale among applicants for biology professor vacancies is at an all-time low. Last year a couple of conservative SDA applicants at SAU were rejected because they weren’t sufficiently passionate about creationism, but fortunately for them they were warmly welcomed by other SDA colleges. This year SAU has a dearth of applicants, in part because some potential candidates are now reluctant to apply. One candidate recently snubbed SAU’s offer of a job, so SAU’s Biology Department is currently in a bit of a precarious situation, reaping what it sowed.

    The combination of low wages (often much lower than pastors and denominational teachers at all levels), negative publicity surrounding LSU, and uncertainty about who will be targeted next by Educate Truth is very discouraging to potential prospects. The paucity of candidates will become even more acute during the next 5 years when a handful of professors retire at AU.

    Good luck to the SDA Church (particularly SAU and SWAU) in finding qualified biology professors who are even SDA, let alone SDA plus passionate about creationism.




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    • @Eddie: Statistical assertions, vast and sounding statistical, these assertions about plummeting morale and impoverished professors shuddering at exposure by this site. Where’s the evidence? Or to be taken by, er, faith?




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  31. Eddie: The morale among applicants for biology professor vacancies is at an all-time low. Last year a couple of conservative SDA applicants at SAU were rejected because they weren’t sufficiently passionate about creationism, but fortunately for them they were warmly welcomed by other SDA colleges. This year SAU has a dearth of applicants, in part because some potential candidates are now reluctant to apply. One candidate recently snubbed SAU’s offer of a job, so SAU’s Biology Department is currently in a bit of a precarious situation, reaping what it sowed.

    Wow, Eddie; this is exactly what I feared. Actually, it’s worse. Very disturbing.

    Does anyone know whether SWAU has had any success finding the “creationist biologists” they could not locate last year? I sincerely hope they are having better success than SAU.

    Did I read somewhere here that LSU is looking for a biologist?




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  32. Instead of looking for creationist biologists, they could hire any biologist with the understanding that they are to teach facts only, and not speculate about origins. Then for the creation v. evolution part, they could just bring in lawyers, who are trained to argue and, more importantly, to separate fact from assumption. There’s no need to ask scientists to argue about origins when they are typically abysmally unqualified for the task.




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  33. I don’t know him, but I have heard of a highly qualified biologist from South Africa who is passionate about Creationism. He seems to have had a remarkable conversion experience from athiesm some time back. He could probably be contacted at:

    http://amazingdiscoveries.org/

    Not sure he’d oonsider a position among a pack of wolves.




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  34. Especially to Ron Stone and Professor Kent–Sorry I’ve been so slow replying to your earlier posts to me. There’s always a lot going on around here and this old lady has a hard time keeping up for some reason or other! Anyway, here’s how I see things:

    I fully understand that qualified scientists are hard to come by and I’m not sure just what the answer is–but God does and if we are truly in earnest He can, and will, provide for our needs. (The Israelites did not know how they were going to cross the Red Sea–but God made a way. They did not know where their food was coming from–but God rained down Manna from heaven. They did not know where their water was coming from in the wilderness but God brought it out of a rock for them.) And I know God has a way to get us out of the mess we are in. It’s not going to be easy but, with His help, it can be done!

    “Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.
    “The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today. . . .
    “Let us be hopeful and courageous. Despondency in God’s service is sinful and unreasonable. He knows our every necessity. To the omnipotence of the King of kings our covenant-keeping God unites the gentleness and care of the tender shepherd. His power is absolute, and it is the pledge of the sure fulfillment of His promises to all who trust in Him. He has means for the removal of every difficulty, that those who serve Him and respect the means He employs may be sustained. His love is as far above all other love as the heavens are above the earth. He watches over His children with a love that is measureless and everlasting.
    “In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, have faith in God. He is working out His will, doing all things well in behalf of His people. The strength of those who love and serve Him will be renewed day by day.
    “He is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the help they need. He will give them the wisdom which their varied necessities demand (The Ministry of Healing, pp. 481, 482)”.

    How? I don’t know–but this I DO know, He isn’t going to provide ANYTHING until we as a people are truly in earnest about this–and other problems we are having to deal with. I also know we do have some good scientists out there (I know one personally) who would love to have time to write and publish but are so burdened down with teaching they simply do not have the time and energy to do it, This whole area is far bigger than LSU but LSU does show us where we are headed if we don’t wake up and make some drastic changes in how this situation is handled. (It should have been dealt with decades ago!)

    The thing that continues to puzzle (and bother) me is how so many non-Adventists, qualified scientists can–and are–writing and publishing the “Creation Gospel.” If you don’t believe this is happening just go on the internet and search for “Creation” sites. I did–and was amazed at what is available out there–and disappointed that there is so little (that I can find) from us. I’m far from being a computer “geek” so I could be missing something–and hope that if I am someone will please let me know. (My niece was here this past weekend and informed me that there is plenty out there in our TV ministeries but I don’t have access to those at the present. But I still think we need the printed page “out there.”

    And I am curious as to how these non-Adventist sites and organizations can apparently attract a lot of competent creation scientists and we apparently cannot. I realize the salary situation is very unfair and I wonder why–but is that the only reason? If not, what else is the problem?. Let’s get this situation out in the open and deal with it.

    One site that I ordered a very good book from a while back told me they have a group of Creation scientists who are prepared to go to any church or groups of people and hold a series of meetings on the subject–and the price was rather reasonable. I would love to have heard what they had to say but I declined. Somehow I just couldn’t handle the thought of having non-Adventists scientists come to our church and teach a group of Adventists the truth about creation! (We have many exceptionally intelligent young people in our ranks so why don’t we have a group like this one who can go out and “do likewise.” Where are we failing our youth–and our God? I was always taught that we are supposed to be the “head and not the tail” of all things scriptural! Excuse me if I’m wrong, but at this point I can’t see that we are even a very good “tail” in many respects. Why?

    If we are unable to support the very thing on which our whole reason for being “SEVENTH-DAY Adventists” hinges, we had better close down our churches and our whole educational system and go into hiding! God is quite capable of raising up another group of people who WILL preach the whole truth and who WILL defend the first chapters of Genesis and His holy Sabbath! And you really can’t defend the 7th day Sabbath if you can’t–or won’t–defend a Creator and His Word–beginning with Genesis 1! (I have no question but that some–if not all–of these sincere, dedicated people will someday find and accept the Sabbath but for some reason God seems to be holding His hand over that right now.)

    I also feel that our problems go a lot deeper than just LSU and evolution . As I understand it there are other of our institutions that are also infected with this same problem (and others–though not at quite to the same extent that LSU apparently is) not only in their science classes but also in theology classes. Since when did God say homosexuality was even a little bit okay because some folks are “just born that way”? Some kids are born with terrible tempers–and other bad habits–but does that make it okay for them to indulge in temper tantrums for the rest of their lives? Hardly! Every one of us are “born that way” in one way or another but that does not excuse us from sinning!

    I recently bought a book called “The Greatest Hoax on Earth” by Jonathon Sarfati–noted as being the most powerful anti-evolutionist around. (To me, that title should belong to an ADVENTIST’ scientist!) This book is his response to “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins (who is known as the “world’s greatest champion of atheism…and evolution.”) This book is “touted as an unanswerable challenge to those who believe in divine creation.” Sarfati takes Dawkins on one point at a time, and, according to the press release for this new book, refutes everyone of them. (My copy of the book just came and I haven’t had time to read more than a few pages of it so far.) There are a lot of other very good books out there–even for children in grade school and so far what I have read is excellent.

    Do we realize that evolutionists are working on books, DVD’s, etc, in comic book style that preach the “truth” about evolution to preschoolers and on up through grade school? And, of course, all the science classes in high school teach evolution. By the time this crop of young people finish high school and are ready for college they will be thoroughly convinced that the Bible is wrong. So, as one site remarked: “It is already almost to late to give just Bible studies.” After all, if young adults don’t believe the Bible is true they aren’t going to be interested in hearing what It has to say about Creation or anything else! Satan has stolen a march on a sleeping church and we are already in a lot of trouble, my friends.

    My big question still remains: Where are OUR books, video’s and DVD’s that meet this great need? No wonder God calls us “Laodiceans!”

    We need well illustrated books for children–if evolutionists can create them we certainly should be able to. I haven’t actually seen any of their books yet but they are either out there or at least “in the works.” (I live up on a small mountain and, though I do still drive I don’t go into the “big cities” where the big bookstores are located and I live quite a ways from the nearest ABC.)

    Just one caution: Very few of us are “scientists” so, in dealing with this, writers need to (at least some of the time) “put the cookies on a lower shelf so the children can reach them!” If others can do it we should be able to do it also.

    I really don’t mean to be critical but I am alarmed over the situation we now find ourselves in. Where do we go from here? I don’t mean to be skeptical but I just can’t see the confirmed evolutionists at LSU suddenly having a complete change of heart and enthusiastically beginning to teach our belief in creation. As far as LSU’s leadership is concerned so far I haven’t been able to sense any real change of heart there either. (“Can the leopard change his spots?)

    However, the God that can part the Red Sea, bring water out of a rock, and send manna from heaven can certainly handle this situation–BUT it will not happen until we as a people confess our own sins, repent over our own failure to take care of this evil decades ago and truly turn our backs on the sins we are each guilty of. All of us need to a lot of soul-searching and praying!

    Whether old or young, none of us know how much time we have left. Within the last month I have lost three dearly loved family members–my sister, my brother-in–law (they were getting close to their seventieth wedding anniversary and still deeply committed to each other) and my sister-in-law. Of course they were all very old and tired so, while sad, their deaths weren’t unexpected. But we have also lost young friends along the way–so none of us have any promise of “tomorrow!

    “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7, 8)”

    “You who are resting your hope on self are building on the sand. But it is not yet too late to escape the impending ruin. Before the tempest breaks, flee to the sure foundation. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” “Ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.” Isaiah 28:16, R.V.; 45:22; 41:10; 45:17.”
    Will the “good ship Zion” ever make it safely into the heavenly port? Absolutely! No question about it. God says it will and He has never been wrong once. The question is, “Who will be aboard Her when that time finally comes?” Will you? Will I? That depends entirely on whether or not we are “safe to save.” Affliction will NOT rise up a second time and God is not about to take anyone to heaven who will cause another “fall” with all of it’s train of heartache and deaths .and woe! Let us make sure that our connection to our God is strong and secure now and when that time comes we will be ready to “sail in” with her!!

    Lydian




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  35. Eddie,

    I spoke on the phone with two SDA biologists yesterday (one an old pal, another a more recent acquaintance, both well placed in SDA teritiary institutions). Your comments regarding Southern’s ongoing difficulty finding “creation biologists” are apparently widely known amongst an inner circle. One of these individuals says that SWAU is also struggling to find suitable candidates. Another institution will be needed something on the order of 5 candidates in the next few years.

    Both individuals indicated that the hostile climate generated by Educate Truth’s tactics have been detrimental and counterproductive. So be it.




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  36. Re David’s Quote

    “Instead of looking for creationist biologists, they could hire any biologist with the understanding that they are to teach facts only, and not speculate about origins. Then for the creation v. evolution part, they could just bring in lawyers, who are trained to argue and, more importantly, to separate fact from assumption. There’s no need to ask scientists to argue about origins when they are typically abysmally unqualified for the task.”

    Hi David

    That is an interesting perspective.

    How do you see it working? Would you bring in lawyers arguing from different perspectives or just Adventist lawyers? Would you as a lawyer be prepared to argue for evolution for the sake of objectivity?

    Just curious
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  37. Re Lydian’s Quote

    “Within the last month I have lost three dearly loved family members–my sister, my brother-in–law (they were getting close to their seventieth wedding anniversary and still deeply committed to each other) and my sister-in-law. Of course they were all very old and tired so, while sad, their deaths weren’t unexpected.”

    Dear Lydian

    I was very sorry to hear about your loss.

    I admire your strong faith and may your God be with you.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  38. Oink: @Professor Kent: Hmmm. Now why would a well-placed SDA biologist who is not hostile to Genesis 1 sense hostility by, of all places, EduTru?

    The problem is not mine to solve. If you think you have an answer, you should offer it to the administrators of SAU and SWAU.




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  39. @ Sean Pitman:

    We all know that when conspecifics compete with each other, and the fittest survives, this is natural selection (Darwinism) in action. Accordingly, we all recognize that natural selection can never produce cooperative behavior, or altruism, among animals.

    We are then faced with a dilemma, however: bees, which produce a nasty venomous sting, exhibit remarkable altruistic behavior, in which individuals sacrifice their own lives for the good of the colony. Which traits did God create in these bees: the stinger (an evil trait), or the altruistic behavior (a Godly trait)? Or could both of these traits somehow have evolved?

    This leads me to my next question: wouldn’t the evolution of altruism in bees, termites, and other animal societies qualify as a trait that exceeds what is possible via your model of evolution? And one more question follows: is it okay for SDAs to believe or teach that cooperative behavior and altruism can evolve in animals?




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  40. Lydian, thanks for your post. That was wise and heartfelt, and I agree with you.

    The fact is that this SDA church needs a full time apologetics ministry, focusing on creation/evolution, but covering the whole apologetics waterfront. I’ve been convicted of this for about year now, and I’ve said it on several blogs, but I haven’t really done anything positive to start the ball rolling. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Pray for me.




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  41. Oink: @Professor Kent: Hmmm. Now why would a well-placed SDA biologist who is not hostile to Genesis 1 sense hostility by, of all places, EduTru?

    The “hostile climate” Kent is referring to is the attitude that our SDA administrators both in the educational areas and our Church must be responsible for doing their jobs, part of which is to foster, endorse (by word and action)and support our SDA biblically based beliefs in our churches, schools, and other institutions.

    This is feared by most liberals and progressives because they wish to act separate and “free” from our denominational beliefs.

    We see an egregious example here in the LSU Biology Dept. and administration. However, many other examples exist, the Pacific Union Conference being the major instigator for most,




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  42. Ron Stone M.D.: The “hostile climate” Kent is referring to is the attitude that our SDA administrators both in the educational areas and our Church must be responsible for doing their jobs, part of which is to foster, endorse (by word and action)and support our SDA biblically based beliefs in our churches, schools, and other institutions.

    No, Ron. The hostile environment is one in which any SDA-employed scientist is viewed with suspicion and distrust. This is fueled when any statement–oral or written–by a Church-employed biologist gets dissected, vivisected, resected, disrespected, and judged as evidence of infidelity to SDA fundamental beliefs in a mean-spirited public forum. Even if a statement is theologically unimpeachable, it gets the same rude treatment if the individual failed to arrive at his or her position by the one true method sanctioned by the one true source of knowledge at this website.

    Tell me: have you been hostile toward even unnamed scientists at this website by making generalizations about which institutions have heretical faculty? Or do you claim to show no hostility at all?




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  43. Professor Kent: Tell me: have you been hostile toward even unnamed scientists at this website by making generalizations about which institutions have heretical faculty? Or do you claim to show no hostility at all?

    I have no personal hostility towards anyone mentioned here, since I don’t know them personally enough to have any hostility. However, I AM hostile to some ideas which they seem to be promoting, since they are undermining our SDA bible-based beliefs.

    I AM offended and totally embarrassed regarding those who claim to be “guardians” of our SDA Church, collecting salaries from our tithes/offerings and then not doing the job we chose them to do.

    Those in positions of “power” should have their words and actions discussed and even “dissected” if needed, no matter who is “offended.”

    You will notice that those “offended” have not addressed this issue directly, either on this forum or elsewhere, but hide behind either silence or pre-packaged PR statements. [edit]

    I challenge those involved to “have it out” in a public forum with some of the “disrespectors” so we all can hear and see first hand who is saying what.

    I suggest a couple of the Biol. Profs, Wisbey, Graham and whoever else wants to join in “go at it” with Shane, Sean, Walter Veith, Dave Assherick and others they would choose.

    Lets’ see whose prevails or even shows up!




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  44. Dear commenters,

    Do not be so quick to judge La Sierra University. Many of the accusations made are half-truths and do not show the entirety of the situation. The only way you will be able to understand La Sierra’s Bio dept. is by becoming a student, or auditing a class. So just as the Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if the words of the apostles were so, go to LSU to see if these things are true.




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    • @La Sierra BIO Student: The initial allegations toward LSU were originally made by students. There have been two student led petitions in the past, 1999 and 2004, that spoke of this issue. Educate Truth was created by a graduate of LSU who took one of the biology classes promoting evolutionary theory as fact.

      Could you elaborate on the “half-truths” these students are making in their allegations?

      Also, don’t forget that AAA confirmed the allegations just be talking with the professors themselves for three hours. A conversation that should have happened at the beginning.

      You’re right though about people needing to go to LSU and see things for themselves. I wish more had done this. Much more would have been revealed about the situation.




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  45. Well here I sit, wallowing in my “superstitious” beliefs.

    Yep, that is it. I actually do believe in a Great and All-powerful God who stands outside of the boundaries of time and science and actually does have the power to form a man out of dirt and breathe into this element-composed lifeless form, the “breath of life”. Imagine my foolishness? In all of the great discoveries of science, even a clue as to what constitutes the “breath of life” cannot be found. We know when it is there, and we know when it is gone. How can it be tested?

    But science is all about discovery and will not acknowledge that some crucial things about our existence are a part of the secrets of God – not to be discovered by man. That essence of LIFE is one of them. I know when it is present and I know when it is gone. Where it comes from is not a thing I can discover. So for my feeble mind that cannot discern the secret of what actually constitutes LIFE, I must indulge in FAITH – that is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

    I look at myself, others, and my surroundings. I realize that even though there is much reality that can be studied and explored by science, all of it still goes back to the existence of LIFE – which, again, is NOT something that “science” has been able to touch. And so I indulge in accepting something on FAITH – or without proof – simply because I can observe that I do exist.

    My faith has given me a sort of blissfulness. Yes, it is because I believe in such an all-powerful Being that can form a person from dirt and put life into it within a literal day, that I have FAITH. Thus, I also find it not a stretch to believe that the same Great Being has a similar power that can bring the millions back to life who once existed but whose bodies are now totally decomposed. There is no “scientific method” involved and that event will defy any natural laws with which we have any familiarity.

    My belief here is what makes me an “Adventist”. Yes, I believe in a literal return of the Creator who will exercise those non-scientific powers that raise the dead back to life. I am a “Seventh-Day” Adventist because I believe that the world was created in seven literal days through his non-scientific power.

    If studies in faith and science cause conflicting conclusions, which one has the greater authority? Truth is absolute, is it not? I see our realities as totally dependant on the existence of life. Science knows nothing about life – beyond simply being able to observe that it does exist. One cannot study Biblical history in one discipline and science in another, and come to two opposite true conclusions.

    A very brilliant person recently told me that he does not believe in the “hocus pocus” of a God creating by “His Word”. He said he “has no problem” with the existence of a God but that this God is constrained by natural laws to use them to perform his creative works. I understand exactly what he is saying but what he does not realize is that he is foolishly trying to put God into limits to which God is not subject. God is totally beyond our ability to fathom – especially in the fallen state that we live in on this earth today. That is why we must have FAITH. That is why He said, “Except …ye become as little children…”

    Sadly, so-called “science” and “religion” have found themselves on the opposite ends of a continuum of explaining existence and reality. They are opposite and mutually exclusive conclusions and there is no reconciliation of the two belief systems.

    The SDA church’s existence is absolutely and wholly based on the FAITH side – on the extreme end of the continuum. The view is so extreme as to be found as foolish or deluded by the adherents of the other extreme. There can be no conciliation between the two views.

    To the “scientist”:
    Call me a fool or superstitious about such an all-powerful God, if you like. Yes we are a minority in today’s world but we are the Seventh-Day Adventist church and we have “FAITH” – meaning that we accept as reality those things we cannot see, test, or prove. You cannot prove how we got here so if you must try, please join the armies of the scientists of the world who believe as you do and allow us the HOPE (yes “hope” based on “faith”) that is the reason for our existence. Argue with us if you like, but please do not try to dishonestly destroy us from within.

    Matthew 18
    3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.




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  46. Re Charles’ Quote

    “I understand exactly what he is saying but what he does not realize is that he is foolishly trying to put God into limits to which God is not subject. God is totally beyond our ability to fathom ”

    Hi Charles

    Thanks for your interesting comments.

    By your logic, aren’t Adventists equally as foolish limiting an unfathomable God by their unique interpretation of the Bible?

    Ironically
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  47. La Sierra BIO Student: Dear commenters,Do not be so quick to judge La Sierra University. Many of the accusations made are half-truths and do not show the entirety of the situation. The only way you will be able to understand La Sierra’s Bio dept. is by becoming a student, or auditing a class. So just as the Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if the words of the apostles were so, go to LSU to see if these things are true.

    So, please inform us, in detail, about all of these “half truths!” We would like to have more objective facts concerning these matters.




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  48. ken –

    Interpretation? Some aspects of scripture may require “interpretation”. Most is quite clear – as is the story of Creation. Brief, but clear.

    Study the Bible honestly, fairly, and prayerfully. It will be clear to you as well.




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  49. Re Charles Quote

    “Study the Bible honestly, fairly, and prayerfully. It will be clear to you as well.”

    Hi Charles

    Thanks for your comments.

    I think that when folks interpret days as days but in other places days as years, based on their unique method of interpretation, things aren’t really clear.

    Some Christians interpret creation literally, and some allegorically. That seems clear to me.

    That’s my honest, fair appraisal, having read the Bible.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  50. The highly objective historical-grammatical method of “interpreting text” is valid not only with the Bible but with any text.

    It is a sticking point that is hard to miss for those who say that the Bible should or can objectively be bent to their liking.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  51. La Sierra BIO Student: Dear commenters,
    Do not be so quick to judge La Sierra University. Many of the accusations made are half-truths and do not show the entirety of the situation. The only way you will be able to understand La Sierra’s Bio dept. is by becoming a student, or auditing a class

    Yet any student at LSU who lists a complaint about the LSU biology program here is slammed by the LSU evolutionist “faithful” from LSU – so clearly there is no such thing as “we will take whatever criticism comes from our biology students”.

    In fact this whole thing got raised to the level of Educate Truth to start with precisely BECAUSE the LSU admin would not take observations from their own biology students who noted the “obvious” facts which prof Bradley himself stated clearly to the press!

    How deaf and blind would we have had to be to “miss that”???

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  52. And of course – the AAA review itself found those charges to have merrit. And the LSU student survey indicated results so glaringly obvious that even they had to admit to the problem – at long last.

    Why are we still having some people slowwwwly coming up to speed on this?

    Where is the difficulty in getting the point?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  53. BobRyan: And of course – the AAA review itself found those charges to have merrit. And the LSU student survey indicated results so glaringly obvious that even they had to admit to the problem – at long last.Why are we still having some people slowwwwly coming up to speed on this? Where is the difficulty in getting the point?in Christ,Bob

    The fundamental “problem” with LSU is not a few evolutionary biologists, but a slow deterioration of our SDA biblical beliefs, both initiated and supported by the so-called leaders that the Board has chosen–Fritz Guy, Lawrence Geraty, and Randall Wisbey, over the past several decades!

    And the Board, ultimately, has to admit to the blame and thus “correct” the problem. Will they?

    I say “No.” Why? They are themselves supportive of this deterioration, at least the majority. How else could this situation have gotten to this serious a level?




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  54. Re Bob’s Quote

    “The highly objective historical-grammatical method of “interpreting text” is valid not only with the Bible but with any text.”

    Thanks Bob

    Rhetorically, would this mean that all Christian denominations that use the HG method come to objective conclusions. What separates the Adventist wheat from the chaff in this respect? The prophecy of EGW?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  55. The H-G method is a tool for achieving objectivity in spite of prior bias. However we are all human and many Christians today come to the Bible with a predetermined set of beliefs.

    The Early Adventists (Millerites) came to the Bible with various doctrinal backgrounds. (Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, agnostic) etc.

    They did not instantly come to the same conclusion on all doctrines but (as might be expected) they started out in agreement in one specific area and over time scoped out agreement on additional doctrines.

    Having Christians of various backgrounds united on one point (prophetic use of the day-year principle and the 2300 year timeline) and then hammering out doctrinal positions over a 50 year perior of time – has always resulted in large strides forward in Christian history – each time a group has dared to come together and do it.

    That was true for Luther and for Wesley.

    Adventists engaged in the same process but with the added help of supernatural messages coming directly from God as they conducted their Bible studies.

    At no point did Ellen White introduced any of the stated doctrines – but once they were reached she reported God’s approval which immediately clarified the gray areas and the temptation to go back to that conclusion and bend or tweak it with another person’s ideas.

    That was a big help that other groups did not have.

    Another big help was that when they would reach an empass – on a given doctrine stuck between two apparently great options – Ellen White would be given a message from God selecing the right fork in the road.

    Another bit advantage not enjoyed by those groups that engaged in that exercise in prior ages.

    The result was a doctrinal foundation that had the stamp of approval from God right down to the very name chosen for the group.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. Ron Stone M.D.: And the Board, ultimately, has to admit to the blame and thus “correct” the problem. Will they?

    I say “No.” Why? They are themselves supportive of this deterioration, at least the majority. How else could this situation have gotten to this serious a level?

    And that is where a miracle is needed.

    The horse is now out of the barn and those who let it out are still at the barn-door holding it open.

    Some of them may be convicted that they made a mistake – while others may simply be infavor of that mistake. In both cases they know that getting the horse back into the barn would

    1. take a miracle. Would be disruptive and revolutionary merely evolutionary.
    2. And it would be admitting publically to a huge mistake on their part. Both costly and painful to fix.

    So both groups have a natural inclination to simply sit this one out and let nature take its course rather than admit to being in gross error. Which means more lip service and still no real substantive change.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  57. JUDGMENT DAY – THIS COMING SABBATH!

    Apparently, this Sabbath is THE day. A large group of Christians, organized by FAMILY RADIO in California, has calculated from scripture that a massive worldwide earthquake will occur on this day that will throw open all graves–at 6:00 pm local time. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God. The bodies of all unsaved people will be thrown out upon the ground to be shamed.

    The inhabitants who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until October 21, 2011 when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.

    Here’s a great quote: “For one to object to May 21st, 2011 one must have BIBLICAL AUTHORITY to do so. Objections cannot be based upon consensus, traditions or fear. God has given far too many biblical proofs for anyone to disregard May 21 simply because he or she does not like it.” Anyone here got “Biblical authority?” And…if you have not studied it, then how can you refute it?

    DETAILS: http://bit.ly/hspDJM
    STORY: http://bit.ly/mRk5Es (very compelling)




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  58. This story has been out there since last year when the nation-wide Family Radio followers of Harold Camping began touring America with vans painted up with “Judgment Day” signage.

    This has been a wonderful opportunity to find friends and neighbors suddenly interested in talking about the coming judgment and looking for bible evidence of the same.

    As Seventh-day Adventists this is a perfect lead-in to the “real truth about Judgment day”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  59. Here is an example of an SDA Pastor with the right idea about sharing the Gospel through the open door provided by the sudden up-tick in interest in Judgment day this week.




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  60. I learned of it for the first time last evening…from the CNN.com story.

    I want to check their website Saturday evening to learn their explanation for the absence of the massive 6 pm earthquake that is supposed to move approximately 1 time zone per hour from New Zealand, where it is to begin (as I recall). That–and why they are still on this planet and able to access their website. Should be amusing to say the least!




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  61. BobRyan: Here is an example of an SDA Pastor with the right idea about sharing the Gospel through the open door provided by the sudden up-tick in interest in Judgment day this week.

    Professor Kent: I want to check their website Saturday evening to learn their explanation for the absence of the massive 6 pm earthquake

    Clearly we see two entirely different uses for this upcoming event.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. BobRyan: Clearly we see two entirely different uses for this upcoming event.

    Clearly? I wasn’t referring to the youtube website. I was referring to the Family Radio website in response to the prior two posts by Eddie. Or did you divine my reaction to a website I haven’t visited yet?




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  63. Indeed – we both saw that you were talking about looking at the family radio web site and I was talking about that pastor using this as an opportunity to have a serious of meetings on the subject.

    That was the easy part.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. End of the World –

    It is coming but the group teaching about tomorrow do not have Biblical facts straight.

    Camping has the flood dated at 4990 BC and thus placing us at about 7000 years since the flood. The earth is about 6000 years old from the Creation (ahem, my agnostic friend, Ken. The earth is simply not so very old.) One of the best compilations of historical / Biblical information to determine the age of the earth, was an enormous chart (about 25′ long) that was worked on for many years by a man named Sebastian Adams and completed in 1878. Adams places the Flood at 2348 BC and I suspect that is fairly accurate. He places the Creation at 4004 BC.

    I think such activity is invented by Satan to cast doubt upon the real event as it draws near. Time after time when predicted dates come and go, mankinds general skepticism grows – just what Satan wants.

    Jesus gave us the signs to watch for and told us to watch. He also told us that he would come at such a time as we think not… AND that we “know not the hour”…

    The message is that it is soon. It was “soon” 166 years ago and today we are 166 years closer than we were then. The signs are clear about the nearness of the coming and Herold Camping is one of the signs, I’d guess.




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  65. Charles: Camping has the flood dated at 4990 BC and thus placing us at about 7000 years since the flood. The earth is about 6000 years old from the Creation.

    Charles, I was under the impression that most SDAs do not believe the earth to be only 6,000 years old, in spite of what Ellen White says in 3SG90-91.

    Charles: I think such activity is invented by Satan to cast doubt upon the real event as it draws near. Time after time when predicted dates come and go, mankinds general skepticism grows – just what Satan wants.

    I think you’re absolutely right. Excellent point.




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  66. The earth is about 6000 years old according to 3SG 90-91 where we are told that belief in evolutionism destroys faith in the accuracy of the Bible and belief in God. (Ellen White reports that calls Theistic Evolutionism the worst form of infidelity at that point)

    But in that statement Ellen White specifically states that Earth with Life on it — is the context for the statement.

    3SG
    But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike his dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of his wisdom. {3SG 91.1}

    Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves of difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods,

    It is clear that Ellen White is talking about creation week itself being 6000 years ago.

    She does not speak to a seperate creation of the earth rocks as another creation, so it is not out of reason to admit to the basic fact that she was shown that creation week occurred about 6000 years ago and that this is the time at which all life on earth was created.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  67. Charles: End of the World –
    It is coming but the group teaching about tomorrow do not have Biblical facts straight.
    Camping has the flood dated at 4990 BC and thus placing us at about 7000 years since the flood. The earth is about 6000 years old from the Creation (ahem, my agnostic friend, Ken. The earth is simply not so very old.) One of the best compilations of historical / Biblical information to determine the age of the earth, was an enormous chart (about 25′ long) that was worked on for many years by a man named Sebastian Adams and completed in 1878. Adams places the Flood at 2348 BC and I suspect that is fairly accurate. He places the Creation at 4004 BC.

    I saw a source the other day stating that Usher placed creation at Oct 22, 4004 BC.

    His claim that the 7 days of creation week dictate that the earth is to be destroyed on the 7000th year. (Which of course it may well be – in Rev 20 – at the end of the 6th 1000 year time period).

    But that will be a thousand years too late for the 2nd coming.

    The other interesting note here is that some of the atheist/agnostic groups plan to party this weekend celebrating judgment failure day.

    Just as they partied at the time of Gen 6 and 7 for seven days before the rain fell.

    Well then – it makes one wonder about Fri-Sat May 27, 28. Does Satan plan to do a mock-echo of Genesis 7 with a local crisis on that day?

    Would God allow it?

    Who knows – but I do not we should not join with the atheists in mocking judgment day EVEN when the subject is brought up under such dubious claims as Camping has assembled.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  68. More editing —

    Who knows – but I do know that we should not join with the atheists in mocking judgment day EVEN when the subject is brought up under such dubious claims as Camping has assembled.




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  69. BobRyan: we should not join with the atheists in mocking judgment day EVEN when the subject is brought up under such dubious claims as Camping has assembled.

    But it’s okay to mock SDAs whose theology you think is dubious?




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  70. The chart by Sebastian Adams (referenced in previous post) puts the creation at 4004 BC. I have been a bit dubious that the age of the earth can be determined that precisely. The chart is a work of syncronization of Biblical and Historical records.

    I see nothing to indicate that there is any precision in the idea of spending six milleniums upon this earth under sin. I do see some validity in the idea of “God’s Great Week of Time” – six thousand years of labor under sin followed by a one thousand year period in Heaven where mankind is reconciled to a face to face relationship with his Creator. (a great “Sabbath” of sorts) And of course we KNOW that the 1000 year period begins immenently.

    Charts constructed to determine the age of the earth must be based in part on the given age of Adam from the Genesis account. What is unknown is Adam’s age when he and Eve fell by committing the sin. If, indeed, exactly six milleniums should pass for the earth to fully ripen in it’s rebellion against the Creator, we still cannot determine so much as even which year that would happen.

    AND,

    Clearly, God does not wish us to try to make that determination – although He HAS given us abundant signals and signs to know that it is near. Simply look at the earth today, compared to 20 years ago! Or 100 years ago! How much longer can it last?

    In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus gave us His best advice – that is to keep our lamps (Lamp = His word) filled with OIL and burning (Holy Spirit) in order to be ready for that day. When the BrideGroom came, it was time to go NOW – not time to get ready.

    NOW is the time to cultivate that experiential familiarity with the Holy Spirit – who speaks to us in a “still small voice”.

    To Ken, my agnostic friend: It it good to know that you are at least an “agnostic” rather than an athiest. I urge you, plead with you to simply do one thing: Pray to God, your Creator and ask for something. But when you do, make a committment to go with the request – that is that when you know Him you will accept Him as your Creator and will embrace His will for your life. This is not something to fear but to embrace. When you have an experiential relationship with your Creator, you will have no doubt whatsoever about how you came to be here or where you will go from here.

    How could I put it any differently?

    Hebrews 11:6
    But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.




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  71. Charles: When you have an experiential relationship with your Creator, you will have no doubt whatsoever about how you came to be here or where you will go from here.

    I can’t think of better evidence that God is for real.

    Hebrews 11:6
    But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    Amen.




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  72. Dear Charles

    Thank you for your concern about my welfare. I respect that.

    However, I suggest your prayers would be better appllied towards poor, misguided Harold Camping and his followers today. Hard to imagine the depth of despair and spiritual confusion they must be going through about now. They are going to need a lot of support tomorrow.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  73. Ken,

    My expressions to you were genuine, absolutely.

    I sorrow for a world who knows not their Creator. Too many will be “lost”. The Creator and Savior of the world wishes not one of humanity be lost.

    I know little of Harold Camping except what I have heard in the last 4 or 5 days. His message was not consistent with scripture. My prayer for him would be that he come to know his Creator.

    Believe it or not, scripture – though written over a period of more than one and a half millenea – by something like 35 writers, is consistent from beginning to end. “To the law and to the testamony, if they speak not according to his word, there is NO LIGHT in them.”

    Most of “Christianity” today is not consistent with scripture. It is part of the deception of the Creator’s enemy. There is but one truth and falsehoods are in abundance.

    Your presence in this forum is a good sign. I will pray for you.




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  74. Ken: [re:] Harold Camping and his followers today. Hard to imagine the depth of despair and spiritual confusion they must be going through about now. They are going to need a lot of support tomorrow.

    Yes, indeed. Tragic.




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  75. His message had flaws and was inconsistent with scripture. I feel sorry for him and his followers today. I am sure that the belief of many was genuine and is now sadly shaken.

    I think that such deceptions are the work of Satan. It is part of a successful campaign to desensitize mankind to what is coming and to bring ridicule upon those who believe in end-world scenarios.

    The end of the world will come and it will be soon. How soon? No one can tell but we can see Biblically that time is short. A month? A year? 10 years? 20 years? It does not matter. Jesus told us to “watch” and to be ready.

    Those who have not made the preparation of “heart” for that event will wail in sorrow when realizing what they have spurnned. The evidence is compelling and in plain sight. Search the scriptures diligently and KNOW…




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  76. Jesus tells us to be aware of the times in Matt 24 and not to be asleep at the wheel that the day should overtake you as a theif.

    I think the Camping fiasco is designed to get people to ignore Bible prophecy when it comes to end times for “fear” of being labeled with Harold Camping’s group.

    It is interesting that in the 1800’s before there was Ellen White – there was Joseph Smith – perfectly designed to get people biased against anything at all like a modern day claim to visions and dreams.

    History repeats itself.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  77. Professor Kent: But it’s okay to mock SDAs whose theology you think is dubious?

    Aside from a bit of misdirection here and there trying to spin what someone else says to the extreme – what is your actual theology??

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  78. Charles: I think that such deceptions are the work of Satan. It is part of a successful campaign to desensitize mankind to what is coming and to bring ridicule upon those who believe in end-world scenarios.

    I am concerned that Satan similarly uses the hard-line creationists, who disrespectfully ridicule, mock, and taunt others having different views, especially evolutionists. We see a lot of this here.

    It’s saddest when the jeering is directed toward fellow Seventh-day Adventists. And what could be more repugnant than when it is done, of all things, “In Christ?” Satan takes much delight in this.

    Next, we’ll likely see more justification of the ridicule and abuse.




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  79. Professor –

    If anyone is “jeering” or subjecting others to “ridicule and abuse” – that is wrong. I have not seen it here and it is not the way of Jesus. Certainly, most of the “ridicule and abuse” comes from those Evolutionsists who believe that true Creationists are superstitious and deluded – because the idea of an all-powerful being who can “speak” the world into existence simply does not meet the muster of scientific reason.

    Having said that, it is absolutely the position of the SDA movement (from the beginning) that God created this earth in seven literal days just a few thousand years ago (6000 more or less). True, SDAs are by far in the minority in that belief. But that means nothing – the majority has often been wrong.

    It seems to me that the “argument” (for lack of a better word) of creation vs evolution is not the subject of this forum. The position of evolutionist ideas within the SDA faith is – if I understand correctly.

    Again, the SDA position within the debate is that of a miraculous (outside the limits of science) creation by an all-powerful God. If that is not what you believe, join the millions or billions in the world who think similarly. Why would you want to be an Adventist and pretend to believe in literal Creation if indeed you believe that we are here by some other way?

    If you are truly a believer in the SDA faith, then you believe in the literal creation. This belief is at the very core of the foundation of our existence. It is the essense of the faith.

    I’d like to mention one other thing: SDAs also believe in a very near return of the Creator (Jesus) to this world. (it’s what the word “Adventist” means) At that time there will be a “harvest” of the ones who have nurtured a personal relationship with Him. This event will be equally miraculous (and unscientific) to the “Creation” in that people will be “caught up to meet him in the air”. Not only that but they will be given new and perfect bodies that will live forever. We believe that after this event, the world will be devoid of any human life for 1000 years – at which time we will return to the earth and it will be re-created in perfection – as it was 6000 years ago.

    If I cannot believe in a literal and miraculous creation about 6000 years ago, how can I believe in what I know about what I just said?

    If you are not an SDA – have not studied the foundational beliefs of this faith – then perhaps all of that sounds a bit bizzare to you. I would urge you to really study what you claim to believe – if you are indeed a Seventh-Day Adventist. The story of Creation is not the biggest stretch if one must apply the laws of science or reason as understood by the world today.

    What I say above, I say with a sense of genuine care, respect and concern. Please don’t take any of it as ridicule or abuse. It is NOT intended as such. Please know that I respect your right to have your opinion and disagree. But the reality is that if you do not believe in what Seventh-Day Adventists believe, then you are not one. I can only hope (or wish) that you are.

    In Christian love

    Charles




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  80. Professor Kent: I am concerned that Satan similarly uses the hard-line creationists, who disrespectfully ridicule, mock, and taunt others having different views, especially evolutionists. We see a lot of this here.

    As you noted on another thread – you believe it is unchristian and apparently “evil” for anyone to agree with the 3SG 90-91 statement that T.E is in fact the worst form of infidelity.

    Given that many SDAs are more inclined to agree that Ellen White was inspired in writing that statement – you surely see that there is going to be a “gap” between your view of this as “no big deal” and SDAs who accept Ellen White’s ministry seeing it as a “big deal indeed”.

    And thus when we point out that Darwin was correct to point out that reason dictates you cannot accept belief in evolutionism and faith in the accuracy and trustworthy nature of the Bible, and so also does the inspired ministry of Ellen White affirm that same glaringly obvious observation – we are really just stating the obvious.

    It is a principle that applies in general and is not a personal assault on any one person as though we had said “Well Fritz in YOUR case T.E. is the worst form of infidelity” as opposed to any other T.E in Adventism.

    Just reading the text of 3SG 90-91 and accepting it as true and inspired, as well as admitting to the obvious logical conlusion of Darwin himself in this matter – is not an act of personal vindictiveness against Bradley or Fritz or John Smith.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  81. Charles: If anyone is “jeering” or subjecting others to “ridicule and abuse” – that is wrong.

    Charles, I give you an example of “ridicule and abuse:”

    BobRyan: As you noted on another thread – you believe it is unchristian and apparently “evil” for anyone to agree with the 3SG 90-91 statement that T.E is in fact the worst form of infidelity.

    I simply stated that there are millions of Christians who accept theistic evolution, yet still believe in the Bible, and that anyone accusing all of these Christians of rejecting the Bible is delusional. I said “delusional,” not “evil;” there is a big difference. And I will repeat the word again: delusional.

    Have you not read Bob Ryan’s many posts? How could you characterize them as anything other than ridicule and abuse?

    Charles: If you are truly a believer in the SDA faith, then you believe in the literal creation.

    Yes, I am truly a believer in the SDA faith, and I most certainly do believe in the literal creation. If you have read my posts, you would surely recognize this.

    PK
    Professing Christ until the whole world hears




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  82. I won’t say anything else about “jeering” etc. Everyone can read the blog and draw their own conclusions. I may be guilty of some harsh comment as well and I do not mean to offend anyone. I am sorry if I have.

    Having said that, I still believe that those who cannot accept miraculous creationism (outside of our limited “scientific” understanding) should not be teaching in SDA institutions.

    The SDA church has strong fundamental beliefs and is mainly supported by people who wholly embrace them as core values. The church is a relatively small refuge from a world who has embraced a plethora of notions about the realities of how we got here, what we are here for, and where we go from here. We can tend to be a bit protective of the fundamentals, and I think we should be. It cuts to the core of our reason for existence.

    Pretty much all of Adventist institutions were founded upon these values by sacrificial giving from people who embraced a calling to finish the work of God upon this earth so that He can come back. Any of the parts of this message (including the first 7-day week about 6000 years ago) are integral to the whole message.

    SDAs are loving people and wish all people to embrace the message that is the reason for organizational existence. But if you join, please embrace the SDA message and don’t come in with the idea of corrupting it. (said with love) If you hold to ideas about “theistic evolution” (broadly speaking), you are not embracing this message. Simple fact. Is this not an obvious conclusion? Is there a better way it should be said?

    In Christian love –
    Charles

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.




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  83. Dear Charles

    I enjoyed your posts regarding the basis of the Adventist faith and miracullous creationism. No pretension and stating like it is. Laudable.

    You are absolutely correct that the harsh treatment of some individuals on this site is improper. Believing different things does not make people bad, but their conduct can. As I have said before I consider myself to be the most apostate on this forum, but maybe the best treated. My treatment here says more to me about your faith and Christian charity than any one of the FBs.

    I believe it is possible to challenge the very essence of what we believe, but with great respect and tolerance. The fact that conservative Adventists may be in the minority respecting the theory of origins does not lessen this requirement. But, with respect I think that conservative Adventists should not be demonizing others, especially of essentially the same subset- YEC/YEC, or else they risk being marginalized as irrational zealots. That I think will be anathema for the church if it trying to attract its youth.

    As I watch my children mix with Christians, Muslims, Hindus, old insufferable agnostics like their father, etc. , with grace and tolerance, I think that this is the way Jesus would want to see us all behave. All of us are going to believe something slightly different – ex. YEC v. YLC- is this really a good reason for recrimination?

    It has and is my great pleasure to participate with you all on this good forum. Let’s do it with good will and great things will happen.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  84. Ken –

    You seem like an honest and good person. I wish you were my next door neighbor so that we could sit on my front porch and visit. (I have an awesome place in the country with a huge front porch and rocking chairs).

    I would like to ask you something. For the sake of my question, lets assume that there was actually a cataclysmic event on earth about 4300 years ago that destroyed the earth as it had existed prior to that event. I’ll call that event “the flood”. Please humor me in this.

    According to the story, the man “Noah” knew about this flood for 120 years before it happened. He was pretty much a lone man with his message and was doing a thing that from a logical (or “scientific”) perspective could only be described as “crazy”. He was building a huge boat on dry land – far from any sizable body of water. As he built, he explained to anyone who would listen that the world was going to be destroyed and that anyone who would just get on the boat, would survive.

    No need to go on with the story – as I am sure that you can see where it is headed.

    What if YOU had been Noah? What if you were 100% sure of your message – as he was?

    What could have happened to Noah that would have set him on a 120 year course to proclaim an event that seemed as far-fetched as anything anyone could imagine? Noah knew (still – assuming the story is true) what he was talking about. He KNEW. But practically no one would listen – especially after 120 years of just talking about it.

    So here is my question: IF you had absolute knowledge of some huge devastating event (anything you could imagine), what would you do for those you love and care for, to warn them or persuade them to take an action to put them at safety from that event? What could one do to persuade? How would you feel when they just look back at you with an “understanding” smile?

    Even if you don’t accept that the universal flood story from scripture is true, I ask you to put yourself in a similar place as IF it were, and describe what you would do to bring the ones you love to safety.

    Your believer friend
    Charles




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  85. Re Charles Quote

    “What if YOU had been Noah? What if you were 100% sure of your message – as he was?”

    Hi Charles

    I liked your hypothetical. Within its confines, if I was Noah and had 100% conviction then I would have been in the boat building business. All aboard! Glad it wasn’t Harold Camping at the tiller.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we had Noah’s first hand account to assess. I have done quite a bit of reading on the Epic of Gilamesh, which I understand preceded the Noachian, biblical account. Interesting similarities. The scientific consensus seems to be that there was a large local flood in that part of the world as well, which may mean the basis for the stories are not just mythological or apocryphal.

    Did someone survive on a boat with animals and pass on their epic story? Did the story morph into legend with the retelling and embellishment? Those are all plausible possibilities.

    Love to sit on your front porch someday and share a lemonade.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  86. Thanks for your response, Ken. Of course you do not have to answer the question – which was not about the flood. The question was asking your advice about how one should go about warning loved ones of a cateclysmic event of which you have absolute knowledge and your loved ones do not.

    The “end of the world” is coming. When it comes, there are no second chances. The preparation for the event is a preparation of the heart and mind. There are many who experientially KNOW a relationship with their Creator and are thus making preparation. Others who do not have the experience / relationship, simply do not understand. How can one penetrate that invisible barrier of complacency?

    From our “reality” the ideas of such events can seem a bit far-fetched. After all, society is on an evolutionary continuum that takes us into the new age of hyper-knowledge, right? We will conquer space and populate new planets… etc…ect…ect, right? Will the fantasies of Star Trek be our future reality? Will we discover the gene that causes us to age and thus be able to find “eternal life” from within our own scientific endeavors?

    AS humans we have generally failed to recognize the issues that are involved in where we find ourselves today. There is actually a record of how we came to exist, why, and an expected outcome. It is all about a great intelligence that is “God” and one of His created beings who led many in a great rebellion….

    I could go on – but I think you know the story. This forum is insufficient to have the needed discussion.

    Would you do me a favor? I will provide a link here. You may have to copy and paste it to your browser – I am not sure. Will you invest the 15 min or so it would take to read this chapter?

    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da1.html

    Your believer friend,
    Charles




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  87. Re Charles Quote

    “Would you do me a favor? I will provide a link here. You may have to copy and paste it to your browser – I am not sure. Will you invest the 15 min or so it would take to read this chapter?”

    Hi Charles

    Thank you my friend. I will certainly take the time to read your link. My very good Adventist pastor friend Ron Henderson did send me the Messenger of the Lord which I have read and enjoyed.

    I think I understand Adventist eschatology. Empirically I watch for the signs, the imposition of the universal Sunday law, etc., to test its predictive merit. Don’t see them yet. In fact I think we are moving in the opposite direction from a one world order towards a more democratic world ( Arab spring) where no world power would ever be able to enforce a Sunday day of worship. If that happens I’ll be on the Adventist front line advocating my friends’ right to worship on Saturday.

    And while I am at it, let me emphasize that I have great respect for the Bible. An amazing book. I do think it is a record, but not necessarily an exclusive one, of ‘Man’s’ experience. But it may also be that if, as our friend Bob surmises, there is a universal Holy Spirit, it speaks to humans in a variety of ways, e.g was Gandhi influenced by it?

    I think if we keep open minds and hearts, good people will find ways to make the world and humanity better, no matter what our beliefs.

    Well, got to make my daily bread to support the teenagers.

    Take care
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  88. Professor Kent: Charles, I give you an example of “ridicule and abuse:”

    BobRyan: As you noted on another thread – you believe it is unchristian and apparently “evil” for anyone to agree with the 3SG 90-91 statement that T.E is in fact the worst form of infidelity.

    I simply stated that there are millions of Christians who accept theistic evolution, yet still believe in the Bible, and that anyone accusing all of these Christians of rejecting the Bible is delusional.

    Kent – you are spinning the point. If you want to actually make a case – you will have to show that your complaining on the thread I mentioned – is really as calm and mild as you now want to claim with Charles on this thread.

    Try quoting the harsh accusations you actually made on that other thread — and then explaining to Charles how that is not accusing those who choose to accept 3SG 90-91 of being mean spirited and unchristian.

    if you do not have the interested in exposing that problem in this your most recent flurry of accusations – I am happy to quote you … for you.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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