Lawrence Geraty, Fritz Guy, and the Framing of Fundamental Belief #6

By Sean Pitman
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In 2010 Sergio Silva published an interesting article in the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society entitled, “Development of the Fundamental Beliefs Statement with Particular Reference to the Fundamental Belief #6: Creation.” In this article Silva explains the process of how the current wording of Fundamental Belief #6 of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, our statement of belief on creation, came to be.

In reviewing this topic also consider reading:

A New Statement of Fundamental Beliefs by Lawrence Geraty

Uncovering the Origins of the Statement of Twenty-seven Fundamental Beliefs by Fritz Guy

Preserve the Landmarks, a summary, by EdTruth Staff

According to Silva, when the language for our fundamental beliefs was first being discussed in 1980, a committee (X–1535) was tasked with proposing the wording for FB#6.  Their original proposal read as follows:

That the book of Genesis contains the only inspired, reliable chronicle of the Creation of the world, and that God [the Father], with Christ and the Holy Spirit, is the Creator of all things.  In six literal days the Lord made heaven and the earth and all living things upon it with their supporting environment.  The Lord then established the seventh day as the Sabbath, a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work.  Man was originally created in the image of God, but his fall into sin in response to Satan’s temptation in the Garden of Eden resulted in the progressive defacement of that image.  It also led to marring God’s handiwork in Creation and to the worldwide flood in the days of Noah.  Through Christ, God will eradicate sin and its results from the universe and at the close of human history restore the pristine perfection of His Creation in a new heavens and a new earth.

This recommended wording was received by the “committee of twelve” for final review. Dr. Lawrence Geraty was a member of this committee as was Dr. Fritz Guy who served as secretary. According to Guy, the language originally submitted to the committee was felt to be too specific and narrow.  So, as Guy remembers, Geraty produced the first draft of a completely new statement on Creation (Link) and, after editing by the committee and others, it read as follows:

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.  Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work.  The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it.  When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God.

According to Guy, this rewrite was felt to be necessary to be more inclusive – as he explains below:

The only ‘official position’ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is stated in Fundamental Belief #6, where the language is deliberately Biblical, and broad enough to accommodate various views about Earth’s natural history.

In other words, as Silva explains, “This means that Fundamental Belief #6, as it reads today, can be used to support any approach to the biblical account of Creation, including progressive Creationism, theistic evolution, etc.”  This is important to note since both Drs. Guy and Geraty refer to themselves as “progressive” in regard to their Adventist faith.  In short,  Dr. Guy is an open and unabashed theistic evolutionist who believes that life has existed and evolved on this planet for hundreds of millions of years (see Understanding Genesis, p. 53). Consider, for example, comments he wrote in his 2009 article, Realities for Adventist Theology in the 21st Century:

At the present time there seems to be no good reason to doubt the gradual development and increasing complexity of life over an extended period of time. The fact that this recognition complicates our theology hardly justifies discounting the overwhelming empirical evidence… [We need to start] incorporating into Adventist thinking the idea of a gradually increasing complexity of living organisms over a long period of time as an alternative to the traditional paradigm of a six-day creation less than ten thousand years ago. We need to move beyond a jig-saw-puzzle model of theology, which involves the idea of an interlocking set of convictions such that significantly changing one part destroys the whole. If that were the case, the whole would be completely dependent on each of its parts; and the credibility of Adventism as a whole would be hostage to a short history of life on planet Earth. (pages 8 & 9)

Dr. Geraty, on the other hand, is a bit more guarded in his public statements on creation, but also seems to be quite supportive of theistic ideas or at least those who are trying to promote such ideas.  Consider, for example, Dr. Geraty’s praise for the conversion of former General Conference Vice President Richard Hammill to “progressive” Adventism after his rejection of the literal creation week (Link) (It is also interesting to note that Richard Hammill happened to be the chairman of the Editorial Committee responsible for framing the Adventist Fundamental Beliefs in 1980). Such comments are very hard to overlook despite the occasional lip service that Dr. Geraty occasionally pays to the “fundamentalist” Adventist position on a literal creation week (see Link).

In this regard Dr. Geraty’s comments published in Spectrum in 2010 are most telling:

Christ tells us they will know us by our love, not by our commitment to a seven literal historical, consecutive, contiguous 24-hour day week of creation 6,000 years ago which is NOT in Genesis no matter how much the fundamentalist wing of the church would like to see it there.

Fundamental Belief No. 6 uses Biblical language to which we can all agree; once you start interpreting it according to anyone’s preference you begin to cut out members who have a different interpretation. I wholeheartedly affirm Scripture, but NOT the extra-Biblical interpretation of the Michigan Conference. Since when is salvation by correct knowledge anyway?

Dr. Geraty has also personally challenged the world-wide nature of the Noachian Flood, arguing that the author(s) of Genesis are most likely talking about a local flood.  In the book, Understanding Genesis: Contemporary Adventist Perspectives Dr. Geraty wrote:

“Was the Genesis flood worldwide? There is no evidence for that as of now, but it certainly covered the world known to the author.  It is the opinion of most experts, and little reasonable doubt remains (although some would dispute this) that the events of Genesis 6-8 must have taken place within a limited though indeed a vast area, covering not the entire globe, but the scene of the human story of the previous chapters.”

Dr. Geraty stands here in direct and very open opposition to the historical position of the SDA Church on this issue.  He also, at the same time, challenges the SDA understanding of the inspiration of Mrs. White who clearly claims that she was shown by God that the Noachian Flood was indeed world-wide in nature and was responsible for the formation of much of the geologic an fossil records.  In short, what Dr. Geraty does here is fling the door wide open for the mainstream interpretation of the fossil record as representing millions of years of life existing and evolving on this planet.  How he can then claim, before certain audiences, to be opposed to theistic evolutionism and actually supportive of literal six-day creationism is difficult to understand if not downright deceptive.  His mixed messages, depending upon his audience at the time, seem to me to be politically driven rather than a matter of true personal conviction (see the following Link for further discussion of Dr. Geraty’s views on creation).

It is also interesting to note, in this context, that both Drs. Guy and Geraty were presidents of La Sierra University and brought in science, and even religion, professors to teach there who also happen to reflect their own “progressive” views on Earth’s history.

In any case, when originally brought to a discussion on the floor of the General Conference Session of 1980, Ariel Roth expressed his concerns with the wording of FB#6 proposed by the “committee of twelve”, suggesting the need to include thoughts from the Spirit of Prophecy.  E. J. Humphrey, who inquired about the possibility of including the words “six literal days,” which would clearly distinguish Seventh-day Adventists from many other denominations.  In support of the latter, John V. Stevens stressed that one of the purposes for rewriting the fundamental beliefs and including a statement on Creation was to make what Seventh-day Adventists believe “more easily understood by those not of our faith”; thus, adding the words “six literal days” to that statement “would certainly let the world know what we believe.”

Despite these suggestions from the floor, the statement created by Dr. Geraty was voted upon and became the official statement of the SDA Church on creation.  And, this more open statement has born fruit, to include the current situation at La Sierra University where long ages for life existing and evolving on this planet are taught as the true story of origins to our own sons and daughters.  As David Asscherick originally observed in his now infamous letter to church leadership:

It is a matter of incontestable fact that naturalistic evolution is being taught at La Sierra University. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. Evolution should be taught at our denominational universities.” He continued, “But it should be taught as a competing and inimical worldview to the biblical worldview. (read more…)

The situation at LSU, and some of our other schools to a lesser degree, remains essentially unchanged since Asscherick’s letter was written (April, 2009).  Despite the heated nature of the controversy, most of the professors of science, and even of religion, at LSU continue to support and promote within their classrooms modern evolutionary theories of life existing and evolving on this planet, in a Darwinian manner, over hundreds of millions of years.

However, some good has come from this discussion.  At the very least the membership of the church at large are more aware of what is taking place in our own schools and what is being taught as truth to our sons and daughters who are being sent, at great expense and sacrifice, to supposedly “SDA” schools that advertise true “Adventist” education.  Also, it was most encouraging to see Ted Wilson, our new General Conference President, propose an effort to reword FB#6.

Certainly unexpected by many was the motion brought to the floor by Dr. Ted N. C. Wilson, the newly elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On the one hand, Wilson’s motion was in part a response to various requests to clarify the Fundamental Belief #6 as requested by some voices in the International Faith & Science Conferences (2004), the Faith and Science Council, the Michigan and Northern California Conferences. On the other hand, his motion reflected his comprehensive vision for the church’s mission and his life of service to the church.

Wilson’s motion included a request to approve the statement “A Reaffirmation of Creation,” which more clearly stated the Adventist understanding regarding origins, based on the interpretation of Genesis 1-11. In addition, his motion included a request that the General Conference Administration initiate the process of integration of Fundamental Belief #6 and the statement “A Reaffirmation of Creation.” The motion was enthusiastically carried and strongly supported.

In summary, it is not an overstatement to say that Wilson’s motion voted on the floor of the General Conference in Atlanta, GA on June 30, 2010 is a remarkable development to be remembered in Seventh-day Adventist history as part of the great leap forward, leading us to a new reformation.

Read More…

 

43 thoughts on “Lawrence Geraty, Fritz Guy, and the Framing of Fundamental Belief #6

  1. Question: When did these men reveal their theistic evolutionary beliefs, before or after they were named to this committee?

    If it was before, then who was the less than intelligent person who put them on this committee?

    If it was after, then why was the wording not reviewed as soon as this became known? Surely someone could have put two and two together to come up with four long before this? How on earth did they both get the presidential position at LSU while holding this heretical belief? Somewhere along the line someone really dropped the ball here–or, worse, was complicit with them.

    Seems to me that the GC probably needs a housecleaning as much as LSU.

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  2. This is, in my view, one of the most significant and well documented articles which shows clearly how we got snookered into a general statement which purposely omits significant aspects of what the SDA church teaches.

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  3. Faith, to understand why fundamental belief #6 was allow to be changed and placed into our statement of beliefs as it was, we have to take a quick overview of the last 50 or so years. For most of those years, liberal/progressive minds have been hard at work. The problem of evolution is only one of many that plague our denomination. I believe Ted Wilson has a plateful and is doing as much as he can. He needs our support for those of another, less honorable, point of view are wreaking havoc upon our church. Each of us can help by cleaning up our own home churches when we observe deviations.

    Perhaps the liberal/progressive really believe they are doing a service. However, one can change leaders and not realize it, believing a lie. Since Ted Wilson has become our GC President, I have heard statements such as, “He’s trying to take us back into the 1800’s”. You see, the liberal/progressive mind thinks forward is best not realizing we need to stay attached to our roots. If we study the Israelites, we can readily see where they went off track but the liberal/progressive will not consider (maybe not even study) that history repeats itself. When a group of people forget where they came from they forget who they are. Basically that is where we are. We indeed do need to go back to the 1800’s and again find our roots or we will wonder more in the wilderness of error’s uncertainty.

    Bill

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  4. Thanks for your reply, Bill. I had a hunch that this was happening a long time ago. I can remember my Dad when he was reading the Review make comments about there being error in the articles. I can also remember back in 1970 when we were in academy, or graduating from it, that we heard a rumour that Andrews University had a gay club on campus. Our family was shocked! But we were confident that the GC would handle the problem. Boy! did we live in a dream world.

    What I don’t understand is that when all this began the progressive/liberals were expounding heresy and no one did anything to root this out before it grew into something this big. All I can think is that the mainstream SDAs were too charitable to take the necessary action to nip this thing in the bud.

    I have heard lots of these types on this site saying we need to love these people and accept them for who they are and that everyone can interpret the Bible in their own way. Well…we can see the fruits of that theory now, can’t we?

    I know that there is room for personal beliefs when it doesn’t affect the fundamental beliefs of the church or a person’s salvation; however, when people refuse to believe the foundational beliefs then their hearts are really not SDA, are they. When this happens, they should be invited to go to where they can agree with the beliefs of their choice. This is especially true when ministers are in leadership positions. If these people had been ousted years ago we would not now be having to deal with the fallout.

    It is never easy to discipline–even as a parent, I know that. However, it IS necessary for the better good of whatever group (family or church family) that is effected by it. Think of what happened when Samuel and Eli neglected the discipline of their sons. The whole church was polluted because of it. After much time and opportunity for repentance, God finally took matters into His own hands and Eli’s sons were killed in battle.

    I wonder what God’s solution will be to this problem, should repentence be spurned by these characters.

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  5. The liberals hold the “bully pulpit”. And no one can or will take it from them. When a church becomes a political entity over and above spiritual matters, you can be sure there is no way back.

    History has proved it over and over. If Jesus, the Son of God, could not convince the Jewish nation to repent, why would we think that somehow this generation will react differently?

    But Jesus did not abandon the church then, and probably should not abandon the church now. Jesus was “forced out” in a most dramatic way.

    Martin Luther did not leave the church either. He also was “forced out” by excommunication.

    Early Adventists were also “forced out” of their churches. We just need to keep agitating and demanding accountability of ourselves individually, and the church corporately.

    You won’t be popular. But some, or at least a few, will begin to see your point as over and over the liberals expose themselves more and more as not only being anti SDA, but anti bible.

    By the way, this quarters lessons are “liberal” oriented. If you don’t see that, you are not paying much attention.

    The discussion on creation vs. evolution is simply the symptom of this movement that began with the book “Questions on Doctrine.” While the book has many excellent defenses of our historic faith, none the less, the seeds of liberalism were sown and now bearing fruit more and more.

    The only “Church that will stand” is the one based on the bible and our historic message formulated by our pioneers and endorsed and reiterated by EGW.

    Those who attack EGW, always, and I mean always, abandon the bible in the end. And we know why. Because our message is biblical and non-negotiable.

    God will pull His people together eventually. For now, we must individually fight for the biblical norms in worship, dress, music and other biblical mandates.

    If you think the devil will walk out without a fight, you don’t know history. One final point, since the liberals control the money, it is quite likely they will eventually “take the money and run.”

    Don’t lose faith and don’t lose hope. Just keep on supporting the truth and be sure you make your voice heard in SS and other avenues available to you.

    We can thank Shane and Sean for standing up, even if we don’t agree on every detail of what is being said. The issues are coming out and being dealt with.

    Have a great Sabbath and keep the faith.

    Bill Sorensen

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  6. Gentlemen, ladies, I must thank Shane and Sean for the research on FB#6. Today as I plied the streets on pastoral duties I was listening to my electronic Bible on my iPhone. The book was Jeremiah, the last few chapters.

    I encourage all of you to listen to the book read. God will work wonders for you. I can even now hear Jeremiah plead with the people, king and courtiers, to only follow the word of the Lord and their lives will be saved. They refused, many died. Friends, so is it with the church today. God has given us a voice, a woman’s voice at that, calling us back to a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ Loud and clear is the clarion call to hold steadfastly to the Written Word.

    But many in the church, leaders and others, like the people of Jeremiah’s day, refuse to submit to the plain, simple, thus saith the Word of the Lord. And even more sadly, the others left seem paralyzed as to what to do next! Their inaction is fodder for the rebellious. But all is not gloom, my friends.

    In Jeremiah we read where he is commanded to buy a parcel of land in Judah as a guarantor, a Divine pledge and promise that Judah and Benjamin will be inhabited again! God will not forsake forever; His mercies are everlasting! By the voice of the prophetess he assures us that this church may appear to fall but it will not!

    God will step in and rectify matters; and those that are on board will be carried safely into harbour! We are repeating the steps that Israel trod, as predicted. But always remember, it was by a prophet that God delivered his people of old and it is by another delicate prophet that God is delivering his present church.

    Let’s do what we can to ‘stay the course’ while indeed showing clarity to errors, and at the same time exposing, promoting, and exalting the truth as it is in the Word. We have nothing to fear for the future except as we forget the way the Lord has lead us, and his teaching in our past history.

    God bless you my friends and enjoy his presence in his special memorial of his fiat creation.

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  7. The article by Sergio Silvia was an excellent piece of scholarship on the the background and development of FB# 6 [notice I didn’t say evolution :)] I now understand why it is such a bone of contention and open to such wide interpretation. The framers intended it to be that way!

    I found this quote from page 33 of Silvia’s article to be quite insightful:

    “This means Fundamental Belief #6, as it reads today, can be used to support any approach to the Biblical account of Creation, including progressive Creationism,theistic evolution, etc.”

    Now to be fair this comment was made in the context of Fritz Guy’s assessment of the meaning of FB#6. On a personal level it is clear that Silvia thinks FB#6 needs to be reformed precisely because of its larger ambit.

    Here is my question, if Silvia is right, until such time as FB#6 is actually reformed at the next GC, isn’t the wider interpretation of FB#6 that includes theistic evolution actual church approved doctrine?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  8. ken: Here is my question, if Silvia is right, until such time as FB#6 is actually reformed at the next GC, isn’t the wider interpretation of FB#6 that includes theistic evolution actual church approved doctrine?

    No, it doesn’t. The church does not support the heretical theistic evolution theory any more now than it did before that smart alec bunch had #6 worded to accomodate their own heresy.

    It was and is unacceptable to our church to believe that God didn’t mean what He wrote in His word. Our stand is that ALL scripture was written by writers inspired by God. (You might say that these people were God’s secretaries.)

    God told no lies. He gave us the literal account of how our world began and how it was once destroyed by a world-wide flood among other great truths.

    Just because these men conspired to make the beliefs of the church fit their folly doesn’t mean the church has or ever will accept(ed) this folly.

    It is a long way from opening the door to wrong beliefs to officially accepting said error. Thank God we are not at that point.

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  9. Hello Faith

    Thanks for your comments.

    How is it not acceptable to the church if FB#6 was actually approved at the 1980 GC. Is the GC not the actual legal mechanism of the church to approve Adventist beliefs and doctrines?

    For example, let’s say at the next GC a motion passes to amend FB#6 to make it six literal, recent days. Would you not agree that such amended FB#6 was the official belief of the church?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  10. Ken, FB#6 is definitely officially approved doctrine. I think perhaps what faith is saying is that Theistic Evolution is not officially approved doctrine. Just because FB#6 supposedly does not condemn theistic evolution as Educate Truth is pushing for, does not mean that it promotes it either.

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  11. Hi John

    That’s an excellent point and I think the one that Silvia was making.

    There seems little doubt that if FB#6 is reformed and amended to specifically exclude OEC and theistic evolution then Faith would be correct.

    That being the case what is the legitimate basis for Educate Truth to argue that the teaching of evolution at LSU is against existing church doctrine and belief?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  12. John Mark said…..

    “Ken, FB#6 is definitely officially approved doctrine.”

    Technically, there is no “officially approved doctrine” in the SDA church. If you check your copy of the Fundamental beliefs, you will find a dis-claimer of this assertion in the front of the book.

    What we have is a generally accepted concensus statement that we would hope most if not all loyal SDA’s would agree to.

    Part of the problem is because we have no such creed. This can be both positive and negative. Positive, in the sense we are always testing our understanding by the word and seeking a clearer perspective.

    Negative, because it can lend itself to “Pluralism” where anybody and every body can claim special enlightenment and present their view as superior to the concensus statement.

    Liberals thrive on pluralism. In which case, no one can discipline anyone else and all can claim academic freedom.

    It creates a mess, doesn’t it? But God knows how to “force” people to admit they are and have abandon the bible. And in the end, this is our singular creed.

    “The bible is our only rule of faith and practice.”

    This is the heart and soul of any true Protestant confession of faith. And God will create a community of believers who hold this confession of faith, and they will be the only ones ready when Jesus comes. The rest will all eventually embrace “the beast” (man’s kingdom) as opposed to God’s kingdom.

    God forced Pharoah’ hand, the Jewish leaders hands, Rome’s hand and all denied the true faith. And God can and will do the same in the end.

    Bill Sorensen

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  13. Ken I don’t think you can rightly limit the doctrine and teachings of the church to our official fundamental statement. The Seventh-day Adventist movement and church existed with certain known teachings long before we had any such official statements. Our doctrinal teachings have preceded official statements and official statements have been used to clarify and unify us on what we already taught. While Theistic Evolution may not be against the official statements it is certainly against traditional teaching.

    Of course an interesting development and point to consider is whether in their emphasis on official statements the Educate Truth movement is unwittingly increasing the perceived importance of official statements in relation to doctrine and teaching. Ironically the same kind of phenomenon can be seen in the development of Roman Catholicism. Doctrines, such as, Apostolic Succession and then the infallible truths of official proclamations of particular councils all developed in response to heresies, as the church thought to maintain the purity of their truth. They were legitimate heresies as well. All of this should make one pause and consider whether the solution to the heresy may actually be worse then the heresy.

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  14. Ken,

    It was not the intention nor goal of the church to support theistic evolution when this wording for #6 was created. Quite the opposite really, as the members of the GC were actually trusting these heretics to word #6 to demonstrate our belief in the six literal days of creation. For most of us, this belief is so obvious that we would not see the necessity of beating a dead horse, so to speak. These men took advantage of the trust placed in them.

    So, no, the church is under no obligation to accept this nonsense just because these guys made a mess of things.

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  15. From the opening article: –

    The situation at LSU, and some of our other schools to a lesser degree, remains essentially unchanged since Asscherick’s letter was written (April, 2009). Despite the heated nature of the controversy, most of the professors of science, and even of religion, at LSU continue to support and promote within their classrooms modern evolutionary theories of life existing and evolving on this planet, in a Darwinian manner, over hundreds of millions of years.

    Such a sad commentary on the state of open rebellion within a few institutions owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

    I am truly sorry to see it come to this. Yet God will not be mocked quite as easily as those in rebellion have supposed.

    They who think that “God does not see” and that “God will do nothing” – show that they not only throw out the first book of the Bible – but they also throw out the last book as well as much of the New Testament.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  16. @ken:
    There is nothing to support a belief that a session of the General Conference can interpret or define the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist who hold that the Holy Spirit is the one that leads us all into all truth.
    If we must believe we are subject to a hierarchy to interpret our beliefs then we must hold with Catholic belief that only thy have the right to interpretation of God’s word.

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  17. @Abe Yonder:

    Oh, did it come across as a suggestion? I’m sorry, I meant to make it crystal clear that heretics don’t belong on leadership committees and shouldn’t be holding leadership offices of any kind.

    You seem to be labouring under the misconception that individual opinions can change church doctrine by popular vote. That isn’t how it works.

    Here’s how it works:

    Each church has its own beliefs and doctrines. You, as an individual, get to look at all these doctrines and go to the one that fits your “opinions” (if that’s what you want to call the doctrines you ascribe to). You do not get to join a church with doctrines that don’t match your “opinion” and try to change it till it does.

    The TE belief is heretical to our church’s doctrines. TEs don’t belong in our church…and their “opinions” will certainly not change our church’s doctrines.

    Is that plain enough for you?

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  18. Yonder: @ken:
    There is nothing to support a belief that a session of the General Conference can interpret or define the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist who hold that the Holy Spirit is the one that leads us all into all truth.

    You are free to select whatever belief you wish. You can choose to be agnostic or hindu or Catholic or Mormon if you wish. Nobody in the SDA church will stop you from making your own free will choice.

    But within the SDA church there is the concept of the Holy Spirit guiding the Church of God.

    Hint – in the Bible when disputes arose — they go to the Acts 15 Jerusalem council for resolution. That which you claim has no support in the Bible – has every support – for even the prophets and apostles of the NT were bound by those Jerusalem council decisions.

    Hint 2 – no evolutionist is making anything remotely like a “sola scriptura case” for evolutionism. Thus your entire argument collapses.

    Hint 3 – in 3SG 90-91 God informs the church directly – that evolutionism is the “worst form of infidelity” when it is in the form of Theistic Evolutionism. Because it is “infidelity in disguise”.

    Ellen White argues in several places that the church meeting in approved world session is the voice of God speaking to the church – in harmony with the Acts 15 model.

    So – given that evolutionists are NOT offering up to us the much imagined “sola scriptura” case for evolutionism, and given that God himself points to the TE position as the worst form of infidelity and given that the Acts 15 model is much more “biblical” than TE’s operating from inside the SDA church would like to think – I fail to see where you have a solution in favor of the TE position from inside the SDA denomination.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  19. Abe Yonder: So are you suggesting that those named to a committee should be only those who will have the popular opinion and none other?

    The guys in leadership positions inside SDA institutions need to be actual SDAs who actually believe the same thing that we would ask a non-SDA to believe when they seek to join the church.

    Accepting church leaders who are MORE befuddled and confused on doctrine than the non-SDA seeking to join our church on the day of the baptism of that non-SDA – is without excuse.

    Those church leaders who can not muster the inclination to study the Bible “enough” to catch up to those non-SDAs — should not be accepted.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  20. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Ellen White argues in several places that the church meeting in approved world session is the voice of God speaking to the church – in harmony with the Acts 15 model.”

    Meaning, contrary to Faith’s argument, that the existing FB#6 formulated in 1980 was the voice of God, not heretics, right?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  21. Regarding the question whether in its currently worded form does FB6 represent the official position of the Seventh-day Adventist church, we need to remembeer that in General Conference session, 2010, the delegates voted to affirm “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation.” andalso voted that a reformulated FB6 in 2015 should be voted which reflects the contents of “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation.” Importantly, the content of “A Response . . .” rejects the notion that life forms have been on earth on earth for millions of years, and at the dame time “A Response . . . ” affirms a global flood, thus strongly rejecting progressive creation and theistic evolution. Happily, this means that until 2015 we have an officially voted General conference interpretation of the current wording of FB6 which interpretation, as noted above, does not support the teaching of macroevoltion in our schools as the position of the SDA church regarding earth history.

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  22. Hi John

    Thanks for our comments

    I think you are totally correct on the interpretive status of FB#6 since 2004.

    I should have clarified my comments to pertain to the period between 1980 and 2004 before the Affirmation of Creation Sorry about that.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  23. I said –

    “Ellen White argues in several places that the church meeting in approved world session is the voice of God speaking to the church – in harmony with the Acts 15 model.”

    Ken:

    Meaning, contrary to Faith’s argument, that the existing FB#6 formulated in 1980 was the voice of God, not heretics, right?

    As the article starting this thread points out – the FB6 proposed by the conference committee is not the one that the group at Andrews re-cast. Even so the conference committee still had last say on what was sent to the delegates and even Fritz Guy said that the people at Andrews were a bit surprised that the conference took the “rewrite” as-is.

    The text of FB6 as it stands today does not say anything against the literal 6 day creation doctrine of the SDA church. It merely does not go to the point of saying “I really really mean it” at the end of the text. Now we are adding the “I really really mean real 6 days – real literal 6 days not some other kind of 6 days”. (As if that is necessary).

    What the 1980 delegates did not “foresee” is the degree to which TEs where sitting in the wings hoping to find a place to insert an opening wedge.

    That cat is out of the bag now – of course.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  24. Re Bob’s Quote

    “As the article starting this thread points out – the FB6 proposed by the conference committee is not the one that the group at Andrews re-cast. Even so the conference committee still had last say on what was sent to the delegates and even Fritz Guy said that the people at Andrews were a bit surprised that the conference took the “rewrite” as-is.”

    So Bob, do you think that was God at work or Man at work at the GC? It just seems to me that internal politics determines what passes for doctrine rather than the inspiration of God.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  25. As I stated before – even in the case of the wording passed for FB#6 – in the 27 FB – the Real six day language is still there.

    The only thing that is being added – even now is the “we really really mean it” language.

    Language that is only needed in the context of evolutionists trying to find an opening wedge.

    Adding “I really mean it” to the text is not changing the doctrine — as it turns out.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  26. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Language that is only needed in the context of evolutionists trying to find an opening wedge.”

    Or OEC’s that are not theistic evolutionists but don’t believe in a ‘recent, literal’ creation, right?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  27. Thank you, Ken, for your kind evaluation of my remarks, and for your sound explanation of the time period to which your perspectives pertained.
    In appreciation,
    John

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  28. ken:

    Bob said: “Language that is only needed in the context of evolutionists trying to find an opening wedge.”

    Ken replied:
    Or OEC’s that are not theistic evolutionists but don’t believe in a ‘recent, literal’ creation, right?

    I agree – that the OEC with all of their OLC variations – would not be happy taking the Bible “as-is” or the FB6 language that is coming up. They need “old life” — long ages of life on earth.

    But I don’t see that group as having much representation as compared to the evolutionists – and of course the ever popular much-more-numerous creationists among SDAs.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  29. Bob Ryan is correct that there’s absolutely nothing in FB #6 as currently worded that hints at non-Adventist views. Anyone with an Adventist background who reads the statement will automatically read it as indicating literal, 24-hour days. This is indicated by the Sabbath commandment that is based upon the creation week. (See, Gen. 2:2-3; Exodus 20:11)

    The idea that it somehow makes room for old life creationism of theistic evolution is entirely in the minds of those with reservations about the Adventist view of origins.

    Nevertheless, the contention that it leaves room for these un-Adventist views (however much bad faith is implicated by such a contention) means that it needs to be and will be tightened up to indicate literal, contiguous, 24-hour days.

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  30. That should be, “old life creationism OR theistic evolution.”

    By the way, I’m impressed to emphasize Bill Eichner’s observation about how long the liberal conspiracy has been working inside the church. We’re here talking about wiggle room on FB#6 that liberals secretly left themselves over 30 years ago. And the conspiracy (that is now bearing fruit) to take La Sierra away from the SDA Church has been underway for about 40 years.

    I’m discouraged about the prospects of traditional Adventism, because traditionalists tend to leave the church and start independent ministries, whereas liberals use every scrap of political guile and skill and planning and networking and lobbying to liberalize the OFFICIAL church. They’ve been working very hard for decades, and they now control great swaths of the official church.

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  31. I’m discouraged about the prospects of traditional Adventism, because traditionalists tend to leave the church and start independent ministries, whereas liberals use every scrap of political guile and skill and planning and networking and lobbying to liberalize the OFFICIAL church. They’ve been working very hard for decades, and they now control great swaths of the official church.

    You are so right, Dave. Especially here in California. The SCC, SECC, and NCC are almost totally controlled by liberals, progressives, and by those who are to afraid to stand up to these heretics.

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  32. David, some of us have both watched and opposed this liberal agenda for more than 4 decades.

    The “Brinsmead Awakening” was the first serious challenge to liberalism in the chuch. He fluctuated around for a period of time and eventually sided with the liberals himself.

    Being an honest individual, he could see the obvious implications of the Ford movement that he had opposed, and when he “joined” this agenda, he also abandon EGW and bible Adventism.

    Ford and many of his followers, didn’t abandon the church, only the church doctrines and teaching. It was Ford’s agenda to change church doctrines. And so his followers have the same agenda.

    Ford attack EGW, so do his followers. I mention this because we need to see that Brinsmead and his final decision is also the final outcome of all who embrace the liberal agenda.

    So, those who first attack EGW and bible Adventism, will eventually follow in Bob Brinsmead’s footsteps. Today, he freely admits he does not believe the bible.

    So, Ford and all his spiritual followers will eventually admit the same. This evolution/creation discussion is only the obvious outcome of the Dr. Ford spirituality.

    Anytime the gospel is used to undermine the law, we can know it is a false gospel. This false gospel has come into the church like a flood and we see the outcome of it in many ways. The celebration movement, Pluralism, and the eccumenical spirit is now the major influence in Adventism.

    Like the rebellion in heaven, we can only wait until its fruit is so obvious that any and all honest individuals can readily see the error of it and oppose it and refuse to support it.

    Small wonder EGW has well said….

    ” Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. . . .” {LDE 180.3}

    Followed by this observation….

    ” This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.–2SM 380 (1886). {LDE 180.5}
    As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have
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    not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.”–GC 608 (1911). {LDE 180.6}

    The shaking will surely intensify more and more. But we must necessarily wait until what is more than obvious to some of us will become transparently obvious to all who desire to be loyal to God and His kingdom.

    Historically, God’s true church has always become the center of the antichrist movement. It is happening again. But God has a way of “forcing” the enemies of truth to expose and declare themselves openly. It happened in heaven. And again and again in history. It will surely happen again in the SDA church of today.

    But, like the loyal angels in heaven, we must patiently wait until the obvious is clearly made known and all make their final choice.

    Bill Sorensen

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  33. @Steve Mahan:

    I don’t recall saying that we need FB#6. All I said is that FB#6 needs to be reworded to close the imaginary loopholes it contains for people determined to believe evolution which flies in the face of what is clearly written in the Bible.

    As far as I am concerned the Bible tells it well enough for me. But if they are going to write it down in “plain language” for those who can’t seem to read what’s written on the pages of the Bible, then they apparently do need to carefully define every term so that no one can possibly get a false impression…even the professors.

    If you have read all my posts on this page, Steve, you will see that I clearly do believe in the Bible as it reads. My question is: why did you direct this question at me in particular? By this time, I have made my views abundantly clear on this site. I believe the Bible–all of it. I place no trust in mankind for salvation. I do not accept or tolerate the new theology that has entered our church and I can’t wait for all this rubbish to be swept out of our church and get back to the true doctrines established by the Lord. Anyone who believes and truly understands the Bible has no bone to pick with me.

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  34. Faith said…..

    “I do not accept or tolerate the new theology that has entered our church and I can’t wait for all this rubbish to be swept out of our church and get back to the true doctrines established by the Lord.”

    You know I agree, Faith. Sometimes I doubt if this can or will happen in light of the fact that historically, when the devil gets a firm grip on any God given movement, he hangs on until it is so corrupt, it can not be restored.

    Still, we can hope that the movement as God ordained it, will be visible and identifiable as “the sinners in Zion will be sifted out.” (Of course, we hope we are not one of them.)

    You may remember the dream EGW recorded that William Miller had. I may well have a real application at the present time.

    William Miller’s Dream
    [Referred to on Page 48]

    I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously wrought casket about ten inches long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and thus arranged they reflected a light and glory equaled only to the sun. {EW 81.2}
    I thought it was not my duty to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was overjoyed at
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    the brilliancy, beauty, and value of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center table in my room and gave out word that all who had a desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life. {EW 81.3}
    The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket, they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased, everyone would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table. {EW 82.1}
    I began to think that the owner would require the casket and the jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor to take them out of the casket; but the more I pleaded, the more they scattered; and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor and on every piece of furniture in the room. {EW 82.2}
    I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved, the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine. {EW 82.3}
    I then became vexed in my physical soul and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter and bring in dirt and shavings and sand and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds, and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket
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    and scattered it among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept. {EW 82.4}
    While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that He would send me help. {EW 83.1}
    Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dirt and rubbish from the room. {EW 83.2}
    I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish. {EW 83.3}
    He told me to “fear not,” for he would “take care of them”. {EW 83.4}
    Then, while he brushed the dirt and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins, lay scattered in profusion all over the room. {EW 83.5}
    He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin. {EW 83.6}
    He then called upon me to “come and see.” {EW 83.7}
    I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me. {EW 83.8}

    Faith, I hope and believe the dream has a special relevance to what has happened and is happening in our church today. And in the near future, God will take things into His own hands and restore all that we know is true and discard all the false ideas and doctrines so scattered and corrupting to the faith God established by way of William Miller and our pioneers.

    Many are frustrated, including myself, by the events and teachings that have developed over the last few decades, but I think we need to hang on, at least for now, until we have clearer light on how to deal with the situation.

    I like this dream, don’t you?

    Have a great new year and keep the faith.

    Your brother in the blessed hope.

    Bill Sorensen

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  35. Thank you, Bill. I greatly needed this encouragment–especially right now.

    A friend of mine recently sent me a copy of a letter to the GC regarding the teaching of spiritual formation at both Andrews and Walla Walla. I am absolutely devastated by the thought of so many young people being led astray at the very places
    they went to learn in an SDA atmosphere.

    I think of all the deceptions out there, spiritual formation is the worst, most Satanic one of them all. It is directed at the very people who want to be closest to the Lord–and they wind up being stolen from Him instead.

    It seems that the Creation controversy is so plainly documented in the Bible that one would have to be willingly deceived. And that is bad enough. But with Spiritual Formation, sorcery is disguised as worship.

    I am deeply pained at the thought of the people of God’s church being led astray by the very ones whom they should be able to trust–the ministers. The GC has sponsored these ministers to learn and teach this spiritualism at the hand of Robert Schuler’s organization. I am dumbfounded by this fact alone. But I really don’t understand why, with Ted Wilson now in charge–someone who knows this to be wrong–why, why isn’t this stopped? I consider this to be so heinous a deception, I would have stopped it the day after I was voted into office. I know it is probably not as simple as that. However, surely we should be seeing some sort of measures to put a stop to this by now.

    Just like in Ellen’s dream I, too, feel like weeping–weeping for the church and the precious souls that are being lost every day over these two horrible deceptions that are running rampant through our church.

    Surely there should be an education program started by the church. Surely
    Elder Wilson could send out some sort of warning messages regarding these two false teachings–the Creation issue and Spiritual Formation. Surely he could warn the congregations not to listen to anyone trying to teach them meditative prayer or breath prayer, as it is sometimes called. Warn them that this meditation that is being promoted is nothing more than Transcendental meditation with a new name.

    Every SDA needs to read The Omega Rebellion–this should be highlighted by the GC. Why are they not preaching this from every pulpit?

    My guess is that they have been far too successful, under the former leadership, in indoctrinating the ministers with this. And now too few of the ministers will raise the warning.

    I am just heart-sick over this whole thing.

    However, Bill, perhaps the dream you told me about above is just what I needed to hear. I know God is still in control and that He will help us if we ask Him. And I do fully believe this church will be purified of all these false doctrines. My concern is for those who will be lost in the meantime. I guess all we can do is warn those we know and pray, pray, pray for the rest.

    Thank you for your post, Bill, and a Happy New Year to you and to all on this site. I sincerly hope that this year will see a great advancement on our journey to the Kingdom.

    God Bless

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  36. We see that well meaning people are often deceived and used by the devil to advance his agenda.

    So, Peter said to Jesus after Jesus had explained the cross in His experience….

    “Far be it from thee….” and Jesus said..
    “Get thee behind me Satan.”

    None of us want to be used by Satan (at least I hope not). Yet all of us are suseptible to his deceptions and what may appear to us as advantageous in advancing God’s kingdom, may well be the opposite.

    The early church changed the day of worship. They did not sit down and ask, “How can we come up with an idea that will oppose God’s kingdom and decieve the people?”

    What they did was wrong. But they thought it was right. This whole modern scenario in the SDA church is a perfect parallel to the early church apostacy. Human speculation and reasoning take the place of biblical revelation all in the name of what is defined as “the gospel”.

    So, the early church changed the day of worship in the name of “love and the gospel” and felt sure it was God’s will. And in the end, they finally concluded the leading of the Holy Spirit in the church community transcended the written word.

    And finally concluded, the church was infallible, since the Holy Spirit was infallible and would not allow them to make a mistake. So, they would tell us, the church did not really make the change, it was the Holy Spirit, and they simply followed His direction. But the whole theory is bogus. The Holy Spirit will not make us do what is right. Either by force or even some divine revelation apart from the bible.

    Modern Adventism is departing from the bible and advocating spiritual delusions akin to the early church.

    Protestantism gave us the bible, with the confession that the bible was sufficiently clear to make known the truth of God concerning the gospel and God’s will for the human family.

    We see in the creation/evolution dialogue, one of the main arguments of those who oppose creation is that the bible is not sufficiently clear so we can trust its declarations. We must trust science and other evidence, and if science and other evidence conflicts with the clear declarations of scripture, we must assume the bible is not clear enough, or reliable to inform us concerning the truth of the matter.

    Once this agenda is “sold” to the church community, there is no stopping place, is there? Any conflict can not and will not be resolved by a biblical declaration, but by human reason and speculation, with the affirmation that the Holy Spirit is leading to sound conclusions, even if it contradicts the bible.

    Same as Rome. By the way, Rome endorses a qualified evolution contrary to the bible.

    All this undermines individual human accountability as well. We must confess “the church” is being led by the Spirit, and we must come into conformity to church mandates and any challenge is considered rebellion against church leadership and church authority. Not to mention the need for unity at all cost.

    And unity it is, “at all cost”. For truth is sacrificed and the bible undermined and individual accountability set aside in the name of “unity.”

    And yes, Faith, this whole agenda is being “sold” to new pastors and new converts to the point the words of Jesus have a clear application to the SDA church today….

    “You travel all over the world to make a convert, and when he is converted, you make him two more times the servant of hell than yourselves.”

    But, if we love Jesus and His kingdom, we will not “get in, sit down, hang on and shut up.”

    This is what they want you and me and everyone else who would challenge their apostacy and false doctrines to do.

    We won’t yield, we won’t give up, and we will continue to demand accountability of ourselves individually, and the whole church corporately. We intend by God’s grace to…..

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen

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  37. Steve Mahan: @Faith: Why do we need FB#6 when we have the Bible?

    Steve, Please read or listen to the liberals and progressives in our SDA Church. They have their own “interpretation” of what the
    Bible says or “means” or “reads.”

    “Day” doesn’t really mean a real 24 hour day. Homosexuality isn’t really the “kind” we have today.

    Any topic or belief is simply “reinterpreted” through the eyes of our postmodern society.

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  38. GMF: This is, in my view, one of the most significant and well documented articles which shows clearly how we got snookered into a general statement which purposely omits significant aspects of what the SDA church teaches.

    Snookering is one of the main ploys of guys like Fritz Guy, Lawrence Geraty, and Randall Wisbey. Take a look at how they have literally “sold out” La Sierra to the secular world over the past 20 or so years.

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  39. Pingback: Walla Wall University: Collegian Issue on Evolution vs. Creation | Educate Truth

  40. Steve Mahan: @Faith: Why do we need FB#6 when we have the Bible?

    Well, one of the obvious reasons is that we have people in our own SDA Church who say the Bible doesn’t really mean what it actually says, but is mainly “allegory” “myths” “fairy tales” bogus copycat statements made by some other guys, etc.

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  41. Steve Mahan: @Faith: Why do we need FB#6 when we have the Bible?

    Why does any church need any statement of faith at all when all of them have the Bible?

    Why did the SDA church in the 1800’s come up with that list of “defining” beliefs so that non-SDAs would have some clue as to what we believe?

    I think it is for the sake of clarity and communication in a “real” world where people both inside and outside the church would like the official statement that defines the beliefs of the church – rather than “yet one more case of one-man’s opinion”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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