Michigan Conference vs. LSU – Right Wing Politics or Truth in Advertising?

by Sean Pitman
.

Since the controversy over the promotion of neo-Darwinism (to the active exclusion of any meaningful support for the “fundamental” Adventist position on creation) erupted at La Sierra University over two years ago, some have accused those who support efforts to actually uphold the church’s position on origins (a literal 7-day creation week) as being fringe ultraconservative right-wing fundamentalists who are just one step away from raving lunacy – if not already there.  Some of the more benign accusations liken supporters of this effort, to include the leadership of the Michigan Conference (and their removal of LSU from official recognition as an Adventist institution; Link), to the Tea Party movement in US politics.

“The Michigan Conference is the Adventist version of the Tea Party wing of the right wing of the Republican Party.” – Dr. Erv Taylor

Some forget, however, that this issue is primarily one of transparency and of church order and government.  The actual governmental structure of the church is important to the success of its mission.  And, one doesn’t have to be a member of any political party to recognize the importance and need for transparency, in particular, from our church with regard to what our children are being taught in our own “Adventist” schools.

If the Seventh-day Adventist Church really does stand for something as “fundamental” to its own identity and mission, or as a primary goal or ideal, it should make that stand very clear and unambiguous… and should call its school administrators and teachers to task to actively support said goals and ideals (which has officially been done by the way). Intuitively, the church should also maintain only those paid representatives who actually represent what they are being paid to represent – as is the case for any viable organization.

Of course, if one or more of our schools is not or cannot support all of the church’s primary goals and ideals, both the school and the church leadership have a moral obligation to inform the membership at large of this situation and work to correct it (as the Michigan Conference is trying to do in this particular case). After all, is it not a moral wrong to give people something other than what they thought they were buying with their hard earned dollars?

In short, Tea-party members aren’t the only one’s who frown on false advertising… Neither Republicans nor Democrats nor independents, nor anyone else for that matter, appreciate getting sold something they never intended to buy.

Share on Facebook10Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

85 thoughts on “Michigan Conference vs. LSU – Right Wing Politics or Truth in Advertising?

  1. Dr. Pitman, I support your contention that Adventist members expect to get what they are paying for.

    Unfortunately, “bait and switch” has a long business history. Christian education, by its very definition, shouldn’t use such secular values to “sell” its product.

    I almost broke a lifelong practice of “listener’s silence” while visiting a large church in Southern California some years ago when several of my sons were studying medicine there.

    An ordained Adventist clergyman preached for about 40 minutes and encouraged us to look elsewhere (outside of Adventism) for spiritual satisfaction, if appropriate.

    He clearly said Adventism requires 1/10 of one’s income and 1/7 of one’s time, which may not be satisfactory.

    I held my tongue in that august body, but never have forgotten the trauma I experienced.

    The Church pays alot for the teaching of truth in its many educational institutions.

    They deserve to get what they pay for.

    Pastor Richard Gates, RN
    (Retired GC Mission Aviation Bolivia/Peru




    0
    View Comment
  2. Sean makes a great point here. The Fundamental Beliefs of the church have been with us for a very long time. These beliefs indicate what Seventh-day Adventists believe. Our church pioneers spent many countless hours studying their Bibles under the direction of the Holy Spirit to reveal those previous truths. If support of our FB’s is now no longer considered main stream Adventism, but rather fringe, right wing, Tea Party stuff, then that demonstrates how far off the progressives that call themselves SDA have gone off course.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. The problem at LSU is not fixed and the problem is not just with the biology department. Things will not be fixed there until disloyal administration and faculty are discharged, and loyal replacements are hired in both the religion and biology departments.

    I don’t think for a minute that the relative quiet at LSU right now means that things are OK. I don’t think that PhD’s that have espoused ideas so contrary to our FB’s have suddenly changed their minds and are now loyal to the church. They are waiting for us to go away and lose interest. What do we want for our church? Do we want our Bible based doctrines that have guided us up to this point? Or do we want do as you please religion as Irv Taylor and his friends at LSU want?




    0
    View Comment
  3. The path of apathy and do-nothing political correctness is the wide road to decline. And many there are who choose it.

    Michigan conference leadership on the other hand show themselves to be the few, the bold and the insightful.

    You can judge the quality of Michigan’s leadership by their opponents lack of it. Those who criticize Michigan exhibit a peculiar lack of research, lack of attention to detail and lack of insight in their summary condemnations of the Michigan conference.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
    • @BobRyan:
      You are right!

      In the past I have exchanged some e-mails with Ervin Taylor [edit]. By saying what he said about the Michigan Conference he made his [mistaken views] more than evident!

      The Michigan Conference leadership is quite an example of faithfulness that should be observed in all levels of the SDA Church organization, but unfortunately is not observed.

      Concerning the teachings of La Sierra, I must say that apostasy is also a reality in other Adventist colleges, like in the Saleve Adventist University (in Collonges, France).




      0
      View Comment
  4. Why do some people insist on bringing God down to their level of understanding. Some seem to believe that God is not capable of doing what He said He did. Trying to make the biblical record fit ones idea of science is actualy dishonoring our creator. If we don’t accept the bible as our only basis for faith and practice, we should join a different church.




    0
    View Comment
  5. I have often wondered how the professors, who are supposed to be so intelligent, can go so far astray. The thought struck me this morning that perhaps it is because higher education considers it a virtue to learn to doubt everything. I have no problem with “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” But there is a huge difference between studying to confirm your beliefs and learning to doubt what you have been taught in the past.

    I think the professors have learned to doubt so long that they have lost the foundation for their beliefs. And, in turn, they encourage their students to doubt–so now we have a multiplicity of doubting Thomases in our church. Stop for a moment and think about that–did Jesus commend Thomas for his doubting? No, He said blessed are those who believe without seeing. So why are these tactics allowed to go on in our schools? The teachers and professors should be there to affirm our beliefs, not strip them away. I believe that this can account in a large part for the loss of so many young people who go through our institutions and then leave the church. Their faith, instead of being affirmed, is being destroyed.

    Add to this that some bright light in the general conference decided that numbers of converts were more important than thoroughly grounded converts,and we now have a large population in the church who constantly look to the world for better ideas instead of looking to the Scriptures and SOP, the guidelines God gave us as a most precious gift.

    Years and years ago, when I started studying the Collegiate quarterlies I was shocked to see quotations from outside religious leaders, such as Anglican bishops, rather than SOP. I could see what was coming even back then, and I wrote to the GC and protested, but to no avail.

    When the children’s divisions began an new program a few years back I saw the worldliness in it and protested yet again–but again to no avail. Time and time again I have heard people say that we need to open the door and let in fresh ideas. Yet what have we really let in? I contend that we have let the devil into our church to bring in the worldliness that we were so long successful in keeping out. It has come in like a flood and we now see the results. Our institutions are corrupt, our quarterlies often contain heresy, our leaders have, in the past, been working behind the scenes to embroil the church in chaos. A good example of this is the spiritual formation that our leaders became involved with and actually sent OUR SDA ministers to Rober Schuller to train. The fact that they went out of the church for training should have been a huge danger signal to anyone with even a little understanding of the SDA beliefs. The Lord said, Come out of her my people and BE YE SEPARATE. The SOP says not to go to them to learn because they have nothing for us. Yet our church seems to be bent on returning to the apostate church of the world.

    I contend that, in part, this happened because in some cases ministers from other churches were brought straight into our church as full-fledged SDA ministers without enough grounding. The foundation that used to be built so carefully before allowing baptism has been neglected because numbers of baptisms became more important than preparation for baptism. I could site many cases where people have been baptised while smoking, drinking, and/or living common law. I really don’t believe that heaven approves these baptisms. It serves to bring error into the church rather than bring salvation to souls.

    I know that some people are going to come back with, “You shouldn’t criticize the church.” That is a favorite cry of the liberals. But I also know that SOP says that when there is error, if we know about it and don’t raise our voices against it, we are participants in it. There have been and continue to be far too few voices raised against the worldliness that has, and continues to be, brought into our church.

    I am thankful for this site as it is functioning as a watchman on the walls. I believe God ordains that Educate Truth raises the alarm concerning LSU and other institutions and what is being taught there. I only wish this had been nipped in the bud years and years ago. There will be many in positions of trust who will be held accountable for this fiasco. I only hope that the leadership of today will learn a lesson from the past and continue to stand for the truth though the heavens fall.

    I appeal to all to pray, pray for our beloved church. The shaking is upon us and our church will be purified of this worldliness, but, sadly, many will be shaken out and eternally lost. As we approach the Sabbath tonight, I hope you will unite with me in raising many prayers for the purification of our church and our own souls. God help us and bless us all.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Faith:

      Faith, it sounds like you’re not too confident in Truth surviving doubt and criticism. That’s sad, as it not only sounds like there’s REASON to doubt, and thus reason to shield and protect the “cherished” beliefs from examination, but your remarks also seem to be suggesting God can’t hold his own. Are not God and the Sacred Ghost not powerful enough to answer the prayers of sincere, seeking hearts? Does God really operate by “don’t study all sides, because mine won’t make sense once you do”?

      If BLIND faith is required, then individuals all over the world will simply accept the religion they were born into, and never violate their “faith” by questioning.

      Truth is (as we can see by the historical record), churches change over time in order to remain relevant and not die out. Of course they’re always the last to change, but they do change. Today, for example, they ignore unambiguous biblical support for slavery and the notion of women as property (or at least their inequality; think Paul). Over time, following the lead of the secular world, even conservative churches will embrace gays and evolution, to name just two future examples. It won’t be hard to find a way to rationalize these foregone conclusions, once the social & political pressure is there, just as it eventually rationalized acceptance of those other issues.

      (Remember, the Federal government had to force the SDA church, through a lawsuit, to pay women the same wage it paid men for the same work—after which the church dug in its heels but lost again in an appeal! I think the church has perhaps progressed enough that today it would pay an equal wage even if not forced to do so by law. Churches find a way to embrace what they once adamantly opposed on the basis of scripture; they adapt for the sake of relevance and survival.)

      I think we can safely say that the descriptive terms “progressive” and “fundamentalist” are apt. Progressives see these kinds of sensible adaptations as foregone conclusions and want to get on the right side of history in a timely manner. They want to move more quickly to the ultimate truth—especially when doing so means making the world a better place, such as alleviating human suffering or putting an end to religion-sanctioned discrimination (women in the past, gays in the future). Fundamentalists, on the other hand, are the ones committed to seeing to it that the church will always be the tail, not the head. Where progressives see a responsibility to lead the world into a better place, fundamentalists are hard at work with the digging in of the heals, historically being dragged kicking and screaming into every major social advancement.

      As it relates to evolution, progressives are able to see fantastic stories like Adam & Eve as metaphor, while fundamentalists don’t seem to grasp that the more literally you take a fantastic story, the more limited its application and its lessons. For some reason, the notion is that if God didn’t specifically say “here’s a parable…,” then it’s an affront to God to take a story as metaphor, even when we’ve come to learn that it is.

      I am dismayed that so few fundamentalists seem willing to leave much for the believer and God to sort out between themselves. Too bad it’s not just truly the fundamentals that they take a hard line on. Too bad that as humanity learns more about the universe, thus raising reasonable questions, that some churches feel threatened and unwilling to leave much to the believer and his or her God.




      0
      View Comment
      • @Thinker:

        It isn’t a matter of truth being unable to survive scrutiny. Everyone should carefully scrutinize his/her faith (as well as their church) on a regular basis to see if it really is or is not representative of the best “truth” that is currently known – also known as “present truth”.

        However, church employees (like pastors and teachers) are not hired to promote ideas that are fundamentally opposed to the currently stated goals and ideals of the church. That would be counter productive to the organizational structure of the church. Shouldn’t Reebok be able to withstand scrutiny and competitive ideas? Of course, but you won’t see Reebok actually hiring someone to advertise for Nike

        If you or anyone else finds yourself so “progressive”, far beyond the fundamental positions of the church as an organization, how can you hope to be recognized as part of the organization? – much less a paid representative? It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong in your views. If you want to be part of an organization, you must work with where that organization happens to be – or join or form another organization that is more in line with your current views.

        Also, while the human understanding of truth is, or at least should be progressive to at least some degree, there are certain basics that should be solidly established and unshakable in one’s mind. If your “truth” is so relative and post-modern that it can change so easily with popular opinion on such fundamental issues, what’s the point in holding to doctrinal beliefs of any kind as “fundamental”? – something worth dying to uphold? Why believe that anything in the Bible was Divinely inspired over that of any other religious book, moral fable, or just-so story? For that matter, why believe in the existence of a personal God who loves you, died to save you, and will come to resurrect you from the dead and take you to His home to live forever someday? How do you know that this fantastic Biblical claim isn’t just another “metaphor”? Or, have you progressed beyond such fairytales as well?

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com




        0
        View Comment
        • @Sean Pitman:

          Just this rejoinder, Sean…

          From your reply, I don’t think you got my drift, exactly. Yes, employees are to do what the employer wants. I am questioning what the employer wants.

          I believe fundamentalism of ANY stripe is unsupportable by any reasonable thought process and dangerous—Muslim, Christian, SDA, whatever. I think history is on my side about that! So you could say my plea is for individuals and churches to UPGRADE to the other brand of Christianity: “mainstream.”

          If it were POSSIBLE to take every word of the Bible literally, I would sing a different tune. But to cite a single example out of hundreds, the mere fact of two contradictory creation stories in Genesis is proof enough that not every text can be taken literally. The stories are different, they can’t both be right. Same with the 4 gospels; how can the fundamentalist pick one text over here and claim it is exact, perfect, literal and “clear,” while finding acceptable excuses for the contradictions, large and small, among the gospels?

          Same with many texts on slavery, same with beating your unruly kids to death, same with the biblical testimony that God rewarded his religious terrorists with virgins, … on and on and on. Same with God being loving and sorrowful that the least of his creation might suffer—then to demand that unbelievers be brought into his presence before being slaughtered, so he could watch. What happened to Jeremiah’s weeping over such loss?

          Fundamentalist proof-texting under the pretext that every word is perfect and literal NECESSARILY requires picking and choosing.

          The problem with upgrading to mainstream Christianity is that leaders steeped in fundamentalism would feel adrift and defenseless as the members started to think for themselves, according to what is good and positive and uplifting and loving and sensible. Who knows what these frail humans might think or do if given such license! (Can’t depend on God helping them with that??) Fundamentalist churches just can’t fathom giving up that ability to conk ’em over the head with those proof texts—while hoping no one notices the picking & choosing!

          So I hope that clarifies… I’m not talking about whether the employees did what they were told; I’m talking about what they’re told in the first place. And I stick to my point about this fear that students will be led astray merely by being informed as to what most of the world thinks about how life forms evolved over time. (Evolution does NOT address how life started.)

          I do think this is a perfect example of a fear that this particular “truth” cannot stand up to critical review. What? Students can study other world religions and not be swayed by such false teachings (that’s mysticism), but they can’t study a “falsehood” that most of the world accepts (that’s science!) without succumbing? Methinks there would not be this much consternation if church leaders honestly thought evolution is bunk and the truth of creationism could stand scrutiny. Let’s get real!

          What’s threatened is the house of cards that fundamentalism built. Fiddle with one card, the whole thing falls apart. That’s what happens when you claim absolute certainty AND can never be wrong. It’s what happens if the cherished prophet can’t possibly be wrong. In fundamentalism, once you announce a point of doctrine, it isn’t REALLY ever re-examined. It’s “cherished” and it will remain cherished.

          I like science because its “beliefs” are never cherished, but constantly challenged and re-tested. It is how we recognize Truth (best we can) when we see it. If the Bible is Truth, then what’s the problem? Why the consternation?

          I think it’s sad that the church can’t leave something like this in abeyance or, I mean, see it as something to be worked out between the believer and God. But in fundamentalism, there’s that house of cards. Dogmatism. Never a good thing, IMO. Which is why I urge an upgrade from fundamentalism. Much of Christianity has, so it’s not like this is a bizarre suggestion!

          By the way, I wish I knew how to write a short post. I should take a class. 🙂




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker:

          I got your drift just fine the first time. The problem is that you didn’t answer any of my questions regarding your basis for belief in the Divine origin of the Bible, Jesus as the Son of God, His birth from a truly virgin woman, His death and resurrection, or even the existence of the Christian-style God to begin with. Why aren’t these stories all “metaphors” just like the Genesis story of creation?

          By the way, the Genesis stories of creation (chapters 1 and 2) seem to me to be two different ways of describing the same thing. The are simply complimentary accounts of creation, not contradictory accounts. The same is true of the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. They are complimentary, not contradictory. If they were exactly the same in every detail, they would actual be suspect of not having been independently written by different eyewitnesses, reducing the credibility of the accounts. The fact that they are different, providing different details from uniquely different perspectives adds credibility to their fantastic claims.

          Also, if you understand the evolutionary mechanism so well, and how RM/NS can produce the vast diversity of highly complex biomachines in just a few billion years, without the input of any form of intelligent design, please do explain it to me. And, while your at it, please do explain how the rapidly degenerating genomes of slowly reproducing creatures (like all birds, mammals and reptiles, for instance) managed to avoid rapid extinction much less persist and evolve over hundreds of millions of years? Talk about blind fundamentalist faith in something which you yourself don’t remotely understand…

          The fact is that you are a fundamentalist. It is just that your fundamental beliefs are based on the popular opinions of those whom you personally consider to be “experts” or authorities. It is just a different form of religious belief, no less fervently held on a “fundamental” level. You strongly believe, on a fundamental level, that popular scientists and secular theologians are right and those who hold minority opinions regarding the Bible, such as the literal view of the Genesis account of origins, are clearly out of touch with reality. The problem is, your views are no less religious or “fundamental” than those you accuse of being stuck in the Dark Ages in a blind-faith religion… no more open to criticism, testing or potential falsification.

          In any case, if you’re simply against Adventist-“fundamentalism”; if you truly don’t believe anything on a fundamental level, what’s the point? Is there nothing that you hold to be fundamentally true with regard to the existence of God as your personal friend and Savior? Nothing worth any personal risk on your part? Nothing worth dying for even if it happens to be the minority opinion? You’re always going to go with the flow? What would you have done if you found yourself in Nazi Germany? – just go right along with popular opinion regarding the Jews? Where do you draw the “fundamental” line beyond which you will not go regardless of if the heavens fall? – even if no one else alive on Earth were to agree with you?

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




          0
          View Comment
        • @Sean Pitman:

          The reason I didn’t, and won’t, get caught up in all you bring up is that you’re being disingenuous. You’re basically challenging how millions of good Christians can be mainstream instead of fundamentalist. There are gazillions of books on it—a ton of material for the serious questioner.

          Ditto re metaphor. It’s as if the writer has to TELL you it’s metaphor because you can’t discern it through deduction. If you don’t see why and how the story of Adam & Eve (and its requisite incest) must (and easily can) be seen as metaphor in light of what we now know about the world and its flora and fauna, then the scope of any answer I might give in this short space would be woefully inadequate.

          I accept as a given that you would deny any contradictions in the Bible, that’s what defines you as fundamentalist. For every contradiction, there are one or more rationale for explaining it away. (The ones about slavery can be quite amusing.) Mainstream Christians acknowledge those contradictions up front, without damage to their faith. They don’t try to have it both ways. My earlier point was that you can’t selectively latch on to one text and claim it’s the literal final word on something, and then find a rationale for disregarding the contradictory statements in the gospels. If you are going to insist every text means exactly what it says, then you can’t add “except for the contradictory ones.” You can’t take license to say God had the gospel writers write conflicting accounts so people would find them more credible. That doesn’t fly in the context of literalism. I think if people are going to find the part about coming back to life from the dead credible, then consistency in the details won’t be disconcerting!

          Another illustration of your disingenuousness is your distortion of the meaning of the term “fundamentalism”—as if a healthy fundamental approach to things is the same thing as religious fundamentalism (all-or-nothing thinking, total certainty, contempt for evidence and science except when it supports the cherished belief, etc.)

          To my mind, this kind of thing makes you unworthy of any attempt at meaningful dialog with you. But the most egregious disingenuousness you display is your statement to the effect that if I understand evolution so well, then “please explain it to me.” Why should I do that? Get a grip! It is abundantly obvious you have never studied it, and indeed need it explained, but get off the rhetorical pretense of wanting it explained, and actually find out. Read a book, for God’s sake!

          It truly amazes me how one can be so blissfully unembarrassed while saying things like “your views [on evolution] are no less religious or “fundamental” than those you accuse of being stuck in the Dark Ages [your words] in a blind-faith religion.” LOL. That may sound like a winning talking point to you, but it’s preposterous. One view is based on a truckload of science, history and physical evidence. The other is not.

          And finally, you assert that the basic principles of random mutations and natural selection is something which I, myself, “don’t remotely understand.” Such a statement makes me wonder why I bother responding to you alt all. Are you imagining that just because YOU haven’t studied it, and YOU don’t remotely understand it (which you acknowledge), that nobody else does, either??? Again, get a grip! I understand it quite well. I READ! I study. I learn. I am informed, and informed on both sides. I HAVE read Darwin. I HAVE read Wallace (do you even know who he was?).

          If it makes you feel better to have company, I’m confident there’s not one in a thousand Creationists who have read a single book on evolution. Talk to one for a minute or two and you can see how abysmally ignorant they are on what evolution is—they make the dumbest remarks about it, demonstrating they haven’t a clue. Your own ignorance of it is further evidenced by your snide remark of “please do explain it to me,” as if it CAN’T be explained, and your false assertion that it takes “faith” to believe the scientific explanation. Well, it would for YOU, given that you don’t want to find out what’s behind it.

          This is what happens when all you listen to or read is the material put forth by other Creationists—and then imagine you have a handle on it and can speak intelligently about it. You’ll never learn much about the thing you rail against, if you only read fellow apologists. Several years ago, on a Darwin anniversary, the airwaves were bombarded with stories about Darwin and evolution. I happened to have to take a 20-hour car trip into the South at that time, and it seemed the only thing I could get on the radio was religious stations running refutations of evolution. They can be amusing and they pass the time; I listened to a number of them. Without exception—and this includes two polished ABN presentations by SDA preachers on TV after I got to my destination—every speaker denounced the evolutionary notion that life could just pop up from nowhere, out of nothing! Well, there are two things wrong with that. First, evolution doesn’t address the origin of life! Darwin himself didn’t have a clue, nor did he claim to! Second, if a deity speaks something into existence, isn’t THAT something popping up out of nothing?

          I recount the above to illustrate the vastness of the ignorance about evolution among the strongest deniers of it. They haven’t a clue, and that’s how they can flippantly remark, “If you can explain that to me, then please do!” They scoff, for example, at their own self-concocted notion of how the human eye could have evolved—like the absurdity of likening it to a watch coming together after shaking the parts together for a million years. They haven’t a clue, nor do they want one. The cherished belief is carved in stone. Evidence is unwelcome. So they keep parroting the same tired, false notions about evolution that they’ve gleaned from other anti-evolutionists. Sigh.

          In summary, I wish all fundamentalists would upgrade to mainstream Christianity, where common sense and a prayerful attitude trumps proof-texting and absolute certainty. Until that happens, fundamentalists would do well to leave some things between the person and his or her God. But then that would risk the color gray. Not a comfy feeling.




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker:

          I’m a medical doctor, a pathologist with subspecialties in anatomic, clinical, and hematopathology – with fair exposure to genetics. I’ve extensively read evolutionary arguments to include Darwin and Wallace, and have studied, in detail, more modern arguments on neo-Darwinism like Kenneth Miller’s and Richard Dawkins’ books, CDs, debates, etc… as well as the arguments of many many other well-known evolutionary scientists. I’ve also had innumerable personal conversations with many evolutionists, to include some pretty well known evolutionists, about how evolution is supposed to work. Don’t talk to me about the lame misconceptions of many uneducated and ill-informed creationists. That’s a red herring. Many evolutionists are also almost completely unread, uneducated on the topic at hand, and don’t have the slightest clue what they’re talking about. Why would I bother with the arguments of evolutionists who really don’t represent the very best of what evolutionary “science” has to offer? Likewise, why are you attacking strawmen arguments for the creationist position that don’t remotely represent me and my position?

          In short, if you can explain to me how the mechanism of RM/NS can reasonably produce anything novel beyond very low levels of functional complexity, this side of a practical eternity of time, you will be the first. The problem, if you haven’t discovered it yet, is that the Darwinian mechanism is woefully inadequate to explain what you evolutionists attribute to it. Forget about explaining the origin of the first living thing, your mechanism can’t explain the novel evolution of anything at all beyond very very low levels of functional complexity. There isn’t a single example in all of scientific literature detailing how, exactly, any novel system of functional complexity that requires more than a few hundred specifically arranged amino acid parts could reasonably have evolved via RM/NS this side of trillions of years of time. There are a lot of just-so stories to this effect, but none of them are backed up by statistical analysis much less demonstration. It’s all based on blind faith, not testable potentially falsifiable science.

          Then you have the huge problem of inevitable gene pool deterioration, or devolution, for slowly reproducing creatures (like all birds, mammals, reptiles, etc). In other words, detrimental mutations are entering such gene pools far far faster than natural selection can get rid of them or ever could have gotten rid of them. Eventual full blown genetic meltdown is inevitable.

          Really now, you’re the one who is devoted to a “theory” that you simply cannot test in a potentially falsifiable manner. Talk about fundamentalism and blind-faith devotion! No one, not even you, has taken the time to sit down and do the relevant statistical analysis; to even attempt the answer a relatively simple question:


          How long would the mechanism of RM/NS take, on average, to produce novel systems of function at higher and higher levels of functional complexity?

          This question addresses the very basis of the creative potential behind the Darwinian mechanism. So, do you know the answer to this simple question? Of course not or you wouldn’t be a neo-Darwinist. The reason is that the answer is based on an exponential decline (not a linear decline) in evolvability with each step up the ladder of functional complexity. It takes exponentially greater and greater amounts of time, on average to evolve anything beneficially useful at higher and higher levels of functional complexity. Very quickly trillions of years are required, on average, to evolve anything beyond the level of just 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues. Forget about something as vastly more complex as the human camera-type eye or the other types of very complex vision systems. Getting from one of the proposed steps in the evolution of the human eye to the next stepping stone would require novel changes to the pre-existing system that would take a practical eternity to achieve – on average.

          Do the math my friend – then come back and tell me what you’ve discovered…

          A little science (true science that is) never hurt anyone.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

          P.S. I never said that there were no contradictions in the Bible. There are numerous contradictions. However, these are generally minor (Did the rooster crow 2 vs. 3 times when Peter denied Jesus or where there 70 vs. 75 people with Abraham as he traveled to Egypt?) and are not generally relevant to the main point(s) being presented. Most of the time, examples of supposed Biblical contradictions are nothing more than complimentary accounts… not true contradictions. Also, no one is saying that the theology of everyone mentioned in the Bible was correct – to include those who promoted plural marriages, slavery, abuse of women, etc… as the Bible itself makes quite clear if read as a whole rather than in selected passages taken out of the context of the whole…

          I understand, though, if you don’t wish to explain why you think anything in the Bible was Divinely inspired (like the fantastic life, death, and resurrection of Jesus)… or even why you think God actually exists. It’s usually pretty hard for Darwinian fundamentalists to come up with such reasons…




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker:

          I am not going to endlessly debate you on this, so I expect this will be my last response.

          As for your P.S. about biblical contradictions being “generally” minor, then what about the major ones, even if they are few? Or the many “minor” ones, if you are going to take the Bible as inerrant or useful at all for proof-texting?? I address this because, again, I plea for fundamentalists to upgrade to mainstream Christianity.

          Re the topic at hand, I am wondering how you can be as well-read as you claim to be, and still find evolution to be such a mystery (even if you reject it), begging people to explain it to you—and couching it in words intended to imply it can’t be explained. Once again, I suspect your reading has been of other creationists ABOUT Darwin, evolution, etc. If you had studied Darwin, as opposed to about Darwin, I think your criticisms would contain more of a ring of credibility. (Same would be true of a person whose education was a night of watching pro & con YouTube clips on the topic.)

          Regardless of what position a person takes on a topic, credibility is established by evidence that the person actually knows and understands the topic. I see no evidence from what you’ve said so far that you have ever actually read The Origin of Species or equivalent. I see evidence that you’ve read what people who share your religious stance have said about it. (Not saying you haven’t, but that I detect no evidence of it.)

          Even if you disagreed with evolution, you would, if truly knowledgable, have something better to refute it than the absurd assertion that evolution takes as much faith as creation. Thoughtful people on both sides would see that statement is just plain ridiculous. One might not believe the evidence is adequate, but one cannot say with a straight face that there’s no evidence at all, putting it on the same par as believing a deity just spoke everything into instant existence (including fossils in place!).

          Perhaps you mean you feel certain PARTS of evolution aren’t yet understood adequately for you to accept the whole. If so, say that! This illustrates a difference between religious fundamentalism (all-or-nothing thinking) and science. Fundamentalism requires all the answers, complete answers, absolute certainty of the answers. Fundamentalism is extremely defensive and hostile to evidence, because once a stand is taken, it CANNOT BE WRONG without the entire belief system falling apart! Therefore, by definition, no evidence, no matter how compelling, is evidence! Unless it’s supportive evidence.

          Science, on the other hand, would NEVER claim to have all the answers, nor complete answers! Science has nothing to defend! Science BEGS to have people disagree with it and come up with a better, more accurate answer.

          Your position seems to be, like other creationists, is that if there is anything whatsoever that science can’t explain, then it’s ALL bunk. Never mind the overwhelming evidence of fossils and bones—Satan put them there! Or maybe God put them there during creation, just to see if thinking people would be tricked and baffled, and then be sent to hell for employing reason with the brain God gave them. Go figure.

          Yet we see creationists doing this all the time, picking something science has yet to figure out and holding it up with a great “Aha!!!” as if science is suddenly entirely quackery just because it doesn’t know something, or once got something wrong. Find something science still doesn’t know about evolution and Bingo! Ta-dum! Evolution is false! Unlike fundamentalism, science doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but that doesn’t stop the tired refrain, “Well, YOU don’t know how life started!” as if somehow this lack of information, not wallpapered over with the God-of-the-gaps, is some kind of a big revelation. But duh, we didn’t CLAIM to know the answer to that! We aren’t bewitched, bothered and bewildered by what we don’t know!

          You also trot out the “argument” that evolution is only a “theory” (by putting it in quotes), pretending the word “theory” connotes a lack of factuality. Gravity is a theory too. Do you also doubt gravity because it is only a theory?

          I will leave you with this. You can easily find countless things that humans, in spite of our scientific inquiry, still don’t understand—including missing knowledge about evolution, the human body, the universe, disease, weather, all sorts of things. The fact that we don’t know everything is no big “duh” to anyone but religious people who need to defend a cherished belief. No matter how you slice it, you simply cannot deny that there is now such overwhelming evidence for species evolving that it is now accepted as fact by most of the world, and certainly by nearly all scientists. Period. You can say you don’t believe them, but you can’t deny the bulk of existing science. Instead of denying the reality we know, on the pretense that what we don’t know invalidates everything we do know, it seems to me you should just be honest and say your religion doesn’t allow you to accept as real what everyone else has overwhelmingly accepted as real.

          You could post every day of the year to assert that what we don’t know invalidates everything we know so far, based on overwhelming evidence. But that wouldn’t make it true.

          To summarize my take on it, metaphor is a wonderful, useful literary device, not an enemy. When (a) a story is fantastical on the face of it to begin with, and when (b) we have mountains of evidence that it cannot be literal, then it is obviously metaphor. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

          As M. Scott Peck put it so well in The Road Less Traveled, having our cherished beliefs challenged is unspeakably painful. Most people will put forth more effort to deny reality or to try to bend it to make it conform to their comfortable beliefs than would have been required to adjust their beliefs to conform to reality in the first place.

          Seems clear to me that people who rail against the science of evolution do so to protect their religious beliefs, not to test, refine and adjust their beliefs. That is the difference between fundamentalists and the rest of us (including mainstream Christianity). We seek to know truth and reality wherever it leads, even if the news is bad (even if we have to painfully adjust a cherished belief).

          Just as you wondered how I can believe in anything at all, when I could (supposedly) claim everything is metaphor (I guess you don’t realize metaphor doesn’t negate stuff, it restates and explains stuff), I would similarly ask you in return, If “faith” is the only reason to believe something, without any attention to evidence, then why don’t we all just pick whatever cozy beliefs strike our fancy—which is typically whatever faith we grow up in—and believe them by faith no matter how goofy they may prove to be? Personally, my faith is worthless and meaningless if it cannot be tempered or adjusted on the basis of evidence. There’s faith, and then there’s blind faith.

          (That question was rhetorical. I don’t anticipate responding further. And by the way, I’m not sure what being a pathologist has to do with understanding evolution. I think any reasonably intelligent person can gain a good working knowledge of this topic simply by reading—both sides directly, NOT just what one side says about the other.)




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker:

          I haven’t just read “about” evolution. I’ve read and own the primary material. I’ve read and own “On the Origin of Species…” etc. I’ve read and own my own copy of “Finding Darwins’ God” by Kenneth Miller. I’ve read and own “Climbing Mount Improbable” by Richard Dawkins… and many other such books and endless articles in mainstream science journals. I dare say that I’ve read more of the primary material on neo-Darwinism, written by mainstream Darwinian scientists, than you have… or even than most evolutionists have.

          The fact is that none of these books or articles explain the question I asked you – and neither do you. Neither you nor anyone else has any statistical basis or demonstreation for your “theory” that the Darwinian mechanism of RM/NS is remotely capable of doing what you all claim that it did.

          That is why your “theory” really isn’t a scientific theory at all in that it isn’t based on statistical analysis or predictive value or demonstration of any kind beyond very low levels of functional complexity.

          Again, if you think I’m wrong, it should be very very easy for you to reference any scientific article that explains the statistical odds of RM/NS producing anything beyond very low levels of functional complexity within a given span of time. The problem is that no such articles exist in scientific literature – none at all.

          That’s why you haven’t fallen for real “science” here. You’ve fallen for a religious defense of the Darwinian doctrine. You’re a Darwinian Fundamentalist, just as passionate and blinded by your doctrinal beliefs as any Christian-style fundamentalist, who believes in the holy untouchable doctrine that some mindless mechanism can actually create fantastic novel systems of function beyond very low levels of functional complexity. Such a doctrine is not based on science, but on the bald just-so story telling of the true believers. There is no potential for testing these just-so stories in a falsifiable manner. There is only blind faith when it comes to belief in the creative potential of the Darwinian mechanism. Fossil and phylogenetic evidence don’t explain how your proposed mechanism either did or could have done the job. They don’t address this question at all…

          I leave you with one simple question:

          Do you believe that Jesus was really a God-man, born of a virgin woman, walked on water, raised the dead, and was himself raised to life and went to heaven after being dead for three days?

          Do you believe such a fantastic Biblical claim about Jesus? – or is this all just metaphor too?

          It’s a simple “Yes” or “No” question…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




          0
          View Comment
        • @Sean Pitman:

          As I said, I’m not interested in arguing with you further. If you want to characterize that as a “win,” go ahead. “Winning” is precious to a fundamentalist.

          As for your incessant question, “Do you believe that Jesus was really a God-man, born of a virgin woman, walked on water, raised the dead, and was himself raised to life and went to heaven after being dead for three days?”:

          I can only imagine these are the questions YOU struggle with, as these are, in your mind, the beliefs threatened by evolution. They go a-tumblin’ (for a fundamentalist) if Darwin is right! Which is why he will always be rejected by fundamentalists, no matter how overwhelming the evidence becomes.

          Like I say, you could retain these beliefs AND respect evidence by upgrading to mainstream Christianity. Plus you wouldn’t have to get tongue-tied over how to reconcile biblical contradictions with literalism.

          That is all I have to say.




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker: @Sean Pitman:

          I’m just curious to see if you have anything new or substantive to bring to the table beyond the usual just-so story telling and bald assertions? I have no need to “win” a discussion – especially one with an anonymous stranger where few if any will ever read the discussion. “Winning” depends upon the biases of the audience anyway…

          Honestly, I’d be very grateful to you if you could actually show me the rational basis for the creative potential of the Darwinian mechanism beyond very low levels of functional complexity. I’d be overjoyed if anyone could explain it to me… or give me a single reference that even discusses the mathematical odds in support of RM/NS creating anything beyond very low levels of functional complexity…

          No one, not even you, seems up to the challenge as far as I can tell – and I’ve been seriously studying evolutionary theories for many years now. I can only conclude, therefore, that you simply refuse to consider any question or challenge to your position – – that you are in fact a Darwinian Fundamentalist who believes the fantastic just-so stories for the creativity of mindless natural selection without the backing of any real testable, potentially falsifiable, science or empirical basis behind your beliefs.

          As far as Christianity is concerned, I’ve only asked how you think mainstream Christians logically pick and choose which fantastic Biblical stories to take literally and which ones to take as being “metaphorical”?

          You’re the one telling me that there are so many huge errors and contradictions in the Bible, to include the conflicting Gospel accounts about Jesus’ life, that none of it can really be rationally trusted beyond moral fables or metaphorical concepts.

          I’m therefore just wondering if you actually believe, as the literal truth, the central claims of Christianity? – the claims about Jesus being God and/or raised from the dead? After all, many well-known “Christian evolutionists”, like Kenneth Miller for example, do not believe in the literal truth of any of the miracles attributed to Jesus. They do not believe that he was really born of a virgin or that he raised the dead or was himself raised from the dead. They believe all of these miraculous stories are “metaphors”… just like you seem to suggest.

          I’m only wondering if you wish to clarify? Are you of the same opinion as Kenneth Miller? I’m wondering just how far you’ve taken your naturalistic notions toward their logical conclusions? In this regard I’m in full agreement with Richard Dawkins. There simply is no rational basis for any of the fantastic claims of Christianity, none of them, if you take neo-Darwinism to its most rational and logical conclusion. If the claims of neo-Darwinists are in fact true, there simply is no rational basis for any of the empirical claims of Christianity to be taken seriously…

          Why then are you a Christian? – assuming that you do in fact claim the title?

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




          0
          View Comment
        • Sean Pitman: I’m only wondering if you wish to clarify?

          I am not on here to explain mainstream Christianity to you beyond the basic differences I already pointed out between it and fundamentalism. So stop badgering me. If you don’t understand it, read some books and stop mischaracterizing what I said.

          Your implication that mainstream Christians aren’t really Christian is typical fundamentalist fare. I’m among the many who disagree. Frankly I think it’s quite arrogant to imagine that one’s own sincerity trumps that of others merely because their understanding of things religious is different from yours.

          I told you before that I have no interest in arguing endlessly with you, especially not with your continued disingenuousness (as in claiming you would be “overjoyed” to find evidence that evolution is truth, etc.).

          Feel free to take a final jab, but I will simply not respond to any further comments or questions. And to avoid any temptation to do so, I am choosing not even to see them (un-marking the follow-up flag). I regret you have not dispelled my distinct impression that fundamentalists worship cherished beliefs more than Truth. I can relate to that. I was there once.




          0
          View Comment
        • @Thinker:

          I am not on here to explain mainstream Christianity to you beyond the basic differences I already pointed out between it and fundamentalism.

          Yes, but why even be a Christian if you don’t believe the Bible? – if you don’t believe in the credibility of the stories about who Christ really was?

          Also, you’re just fooling yourself to think you’ve somehow escaped fundamentalist thinking. You think you’ve gone from a blind faith religion to a rational form of thinking by accepting the conclusions of neo-Darwinists. In reality you’ve simply traded one form of fundamentalist religion for another that is more popular.

          You’re now just a Darwinian fundamentalist, still believing based on blind faith that the mindless Darwinian mechanism (RM/NS) did the job without really knowing how this is remotely possible. Sure, you’ve got plenty of just-so stories and a spectacular imagination to fall back on, but where’s the science? Where are the testable, potentially falsifiable, hypotheses to back up your stories? Where’s the statistical analysis, predictive value, or demonstration for higher level forms of evolution?

          You won’t even try to answer these questions because you really can’t. No one can and no one has because the statistical odds are so dramatically opposed to the untenable claims of the neo-Darwinists. There’s absolutely nothing in literature in support beyond very very low levels of functional complexity – nothing.

          So stop badgering me. If you don’t understand it, read some books and stop mischaracterizing what I said.

          Hey, you’re the one who came to me, remember? You’re the one posting to my website here. If you don’t like your ideas being questioned, go post your ideas in forums where everyone already agrees with you – like a true fundamentalist who likes to be patted on the back all the time by those of the same persuasion…

          Also, how have I mischaracterized anything that you’ve said? I’ve only asked you a few basic questions for the purpose of clarifying your position.

          Your implication that mainstream Christians aren’t really Christian is typical fundamentalist fare. I’m among the many who disagree. Frankly I think it’s quite arrogant to imagine that one’s own sincerity trumps that of others merely because their understanding of things religious is different from yours.

          I don’t question your sincerity or the sincerity of those who call themselves Christian while claiming that Jesus was not born of a true virgin woman, did not cure the deaf or blind or raise the dead, nor was himself raised from the dead (like Kenneth Miller). Such may be ever so sincere and earnest, but certainly don’t represent any useful or rational form of Christianity.

          To be honest, Richard Dawkins, William Provine, and the like are much more rational given their initial conclusions. For example, William Provine, late professor of biological sciences at Cornell University, gave a very interesting speech for a 1998 Darwin Day keynote address in which he pointed out the following:

          “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly.

          No gods worth having exist;

          No life after death exists;

          No ultimate foundation for ethics exists;

          No ultimate meaning in life exists; and

          Human free will is nonexistent.”

          Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life”, Abstract of Will Provine’s 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address.

          Provine also wrote, “In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.” – Academe January 1987, pp.51-52

          It seems to me that Provine was right. Darwinian-style evolution is just one more argument for the philosophical position of “Naturalism” – a position that suggests that everything within the physical world, everything that we can see, touch, hear, taste, or smell, is ultimately the result of non-deliberate mindless forces of nature. These forces do not have feelings or care about you or me or our feelings regarding what they are or are not doing to us or for us.

          Really then, upon what rational basis would you argue that Provine is actually wrong? Where is the rational basis for the Christian belief in the historical existence of the God-man Jesus? in his life, death, and resurrection?

          I regret you have not dispelled my distinct impression that fundamentalists worship cherished beliefs more than Truth. I can relate to that. I was there once.

          You still are there…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




          0
          View Comment
      • @Thinker:

        Thinker,

        This is why I am a fundie.

        Fundamental
        Pertaining to the foundation or basis; serving for the foundation. Hence: Essential, as an element, principle, or law; important; original; elementary; as, a fundamental truth; a fundamental axiom.
        ________________________________________
        A leading or primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part, as, the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

        Antonyms: absurdity, ambiguity, foolishness, nonsense, paradox

        You can’t practice science without being one.

        An example of fundamentals;

        A1 – for any such real numbers a and b, a+b=b+a, the commutative law

        A2 – for any such real numbers a,b and c, a+(b+c) = (a+b)+c, the associative law

        A3 – for any real number a there exists an identity, 0, such that, a+0 = a, the identity law

        A4 – for any real number a there exists a number -a such that a+(-a)=0, the inverse law

        A5 – for any real numbers a and b, there exists a real number c, such that a+b=c, the closure property.

        These 5 axioms, when combined with the axioms of multiplication and a bit of logic/analytical thinking, can build up every number field, and from there extend into differentiation, complex functions, statistics, finance, mechanics and virtually every area of mathematics.




        0
        View Comment
  6. @Faith, The fallacy of “Nobody should criticize the Church” is rampant over on Spectrum and AT, while THEY both constantly criticize, not only the Church itself, but most of its leading spokespersons, especially Ted Wilson. [edit]




    0
    View Comment
  7. Faith: I know that some people are going to come back with, “You shouldn’t criticize the church.” That is a favorite cry of the liberals.

    I’m confused. So it’s the conservatives who are criticizing the church, and the liberals who are defending the church?




    0
    View Comment
  8. Holly Pham: The fallacy of “Nobody should criticize the Church” is rampant over on Spectrum and AT, while THEY both constantly criticize, not only the Church itself, but most of its leading spokespersons, especially Ted Wilson.

    Or it’s the liberals who are criticizing the church, and the conservatives who are defending it? I’m confused.




    0
    View Comment
  9. Unfortunately, “Unbelieving Members” of the Adventist church (I don’t like the labels of “Liberal” or “Progressive”. In many ways I am both Liberal and Progressive) see the church as a democracy. Hence, all you need to do in the democratic process is to get the numbers on your side and you can thus legitimately change church policy and doctrines.

    “Believing Members” of the church (I don’t like the label “Conservative” either. In many ways I am not Conservative), on the other hand, hold to the idea that there is a absolutely reliable “Constitution” consisting of divinely inspired writings that supersedes all decisions by people that are contrary, whether those decisions are by the majority or minority.

    The church has been over this ground before during the days of the kings of Israel. We have the same arguments in principle with just new faces for both the people and the issues.




    0
    View Comment
  10. Brian Holland: Unfortunately, “Unbelieving Members” of the Adventist church (I don’t like the labels of “Liberal” or “Progressive”. In many ways I am both Liberal and Progressive) see the church as a democracy. Hence, all you need to do in the democratic process is to get the numbers on your side and you can thus legitimately change church policy and doctrines

    So, Brian do you see Heaven as a democracy? Seems to me that follows the lines of Satan’s reasoning way back before the Creation of the Earth. He seemed to think that the Law should be changed to reflect the angels’ beliefs. Sorry to be the one to point this out to you, but the Law is the relection of the character of God. It is changeless. It has nothing to do with the general population of the universe and is not based on popular vote. If you will notice, the Hebrew nation was ruled by a Theocracy before the Kings came along. It was never God’s plan to have any other type of government for His people. And Heaven is and always will be a Theocracy.

    To me it is the height of arrogance to think that we can change the doctrines of God’s church that was established on the truth of God–by His clear direction. It doesn’t matter how many people come into our church and decide they don’t want to follow the doctrines of the church, they don’t have the right to change anything God has established. They are not forced to believe anything against their conscience, they are free to leave and seek some other church that holds the same beliefs they do, but they don’t have the right to change anything in the SDA church. The church is not a political democracy. God is the supreme ruler of both His church and His Heaven. Period.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Faith:
      Faith, you totally misunderstood me. Read what I said carefully. I stated that “Unbelieving members” (which I am not a part of), see the church as a democracy. Please reread.




      0
      View Comment
  11. I am sure that many assume this vision can not possibly be applied to the SDA church at any time or any way. But I am convinced that spiritually minded people will surely see that it does……

    “Our minds must not be taken up with things around us, but must be occupied with the present truth and a preparation to give a reason of our hope with meekness and fear. We must seek
    88
    wisdom from on high that we may stand in this day of error and delusion. {EW 87.2}
    We must examine well the foundation of our hope, for we shall have to give a reason for it from the Scriptures. This delusion will spread, and we shall have to contend with it face to face; and unless we are prepared for it, we shall be ensnared and overcome. But if we do what we can on our part to be ready for the conflict that is just before us, God will do His part, and His all-powerful arm will protect us. He would sooner send every angel out of glory to the relief of faithful souls, to make a hedge about them, than have them deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan. {EW 88.1}
    I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, “They are binding in bundles ready to burn.” Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, “It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.” {EW 88.2}




    0
    View Comment
  12. Any game we participate in must have some set of rules that all must adhere to. And this certainly applies to any religious group as well. As SDA Christians, we have stated the “rules” we go by are found in the word of God.

    There must necessarily be a unified concensus of what these rules are and how they are to be applied. If not, like any game, we have total confusion and no definitive common goal.

    How would you like to play a game where there are no stated rules? No specific goals? No way to tell if you are actually participating in the game? And no way to know if you are actually “winning” or “losing”?

    In the end, if you have rules for yourself that are different than everybody else, or if everyone has their own rules, the result has no meaning.

    What will happen is this. Those who determine a specific set of rules will necessarily join together to defend and participate in how they understand the bible, for as Amos asks, “Can two walk together unless they be agreed?”

    At some point, Adventism must necessarily define itself, its purpose and mission and then discipline those who choose to ignore the definition. Either they will leave of their own volition, or, they must be told they are violating the “rules” and can no longer participate.

    God has stated the rules. At some point, if the church no longer supports the bible and keeps the rules as I personally understand them, I must necessarily drop out. It is the only honest and honorable thing anyone can do. If a person stays, they are “cheating” and not playing fair.

    So, a split is coming. It can not be avoided and all we can do is carefully examine our own personal spirituality and decide if we can still participate and if so, for how long? Not just, how long can I tolerate them and still function, but how long can they tolerate me and have all be at peace?

    How long can I go to church where they teach error, rock and roll around the golden calf, wear anything they please including jewelry and bring in music that offends me and that I am convinced offends God as well? I don’t know for sure. EGW makes this comment about the corruption during the period of the Judges and Eli….

    “Sins of Priests Caused Some to Offer Own Sacrifices.–As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the sanctuary” (ST Dec. 1. 1881). {2BC 1010.4}

    Serious times require serious and difficult decisions.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  13. “The actual governmental structure of the church is important to the success of its mission.” – Sean Pitman

    The Adventist church does not have a “governmental structure”.

    Quite the opposite Christ shared that He gave the authority not as to “Lord it” as earthly type of governments but rather as servants. “But Jesus called them unto him , and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Matt. 20:25-27”

    The Adventist church follows this God ordained guide outlined in the book of Acts founded in Christ Himself. A structure and authority this site, from its onset, has worked outside of and opposed to while claiming transparency.

    It has fostered accusations of apostasy and babylonian traits, while claiming to protect/defend. It was claimed upon its startup that the concern was with (some, a few, a couple) in the biology department: yet has grown by its posts to include the religious department, other SDA institutions, conferences and the church (GC) itself. That is not protection or defense, it is a full on assault.




    0
    View Comment
    • @John J.:
      You wrote:

      The Adventist church does not have a “governmental structure”.

      While the SDA Church has not and never should take on civil powers of authority (i.e., there should always be a distinct separation between church and state), our church most certainly does have an internal representative governmental structure and an executive hierarchy based on rules and regulations that are and must be internally enforced (Link).

      You need to read the 1907 work of John Loughborough, The Church, Its Organization, Order and Discipline.

      Although originally opposed to such governmental constraints, it was John Loughborough, together with James White, who first started to realize the need for some sort of internal enforcement of Church order and discipline – i.e., a Church government.

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

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

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

      One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc… All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.”

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




      0
      View Comment
  14. As Sean pointed out, historically the SDA believers soon agreed that some form of “government” must be put in place for the sake of unity, harmony and effeciency.

    And here, we have “rules of the game”.

    What we have today in Adventism is “Pluralism” supported by those in authority who refuse to discipline anyone, even when it is apparent they have abandon the “rules” we all agree to.

    And when Jay Galimore feels the need to do something about it, the liberal element cries “foul” and condemns him for acting in harmony with the stated beliefs.

    If someone challenges the church concerning biblical teaching and can prove the doctrine is in harmony with the word, then we must carefully consider the issue. But when people blatantly attack the bible and endeavor to dis-credit its testimony, we need not patronize them nor give them any credibility as being a part of the community.

    If they were honest, they would simply admit they are against the church and seperate themselves from its fellowship.

    But once you embrace Pluralism, the church has no definition and thus no basis for discipline. Liberals have no viable argument. Only confusion and dis-order.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  15. Sean Pitman: our church most certainly does have an internal governmental structure and hierarchy

    Govermental and a hiarchy structures have citizens at the bottom of a pyrimid and the commander and chief at the top.

    The Adventist church does not have such organization. It is the opposite and an inverted pyrimid. The authority rests with individual members as gathered at a GCS.

    The local church works for it members, the conferences work for those churches, unions work for those conferences, divisions work for those unions and the GC committee works for those unions and for the GC between sessions. It is an organization of service, not govermental or hiarchy.

    The comment of the church not having a govermental structure was about orginization not church and state.

    I am well aware of Johns work for orginization as well as a historian and our churches structure. Yet who in that structure is this site accountable to? None nota!




    0
    View Comment
    • @John J.:

      Govermental and a hiarchy structures have citizens at the bottom of a pyrimid and the commander and chief at the top.

      There are many different kinds of governmental structures. Some governments are dictatorships. Some are democracies or republics or other forms of representative governments. Regardless, they are all governments in that they are based on a system of rules and regulations whereby the individual who is part of said organization is not at complete liberty to do anything one pleases, but must answer to the overall governmental structure for one’s actions.

      Ideally, good governments should be of service for the general or overall good of the governed. However, individuals who step out of line beyond the decided rules and regulations laid down by their government may no longer be qualified to represent it and may be asked to step down from their prior positions within the government or be removed from the governmental organization all together.

      The fact is that the SDA Church does have a governmental structure with rules and regulations set in place to maintain internal order and discipline (as originally set up by John Loughborough, James White, and others). A system of internally-enforced rules and regulations is the very definition of a government… as opposed to a situation where no one is required to answer to anyone for anything that is done within an organization (aka: an anarchy – or the “absence of government”).

      The Second Book of Discipline declared that “Christ had appointed a government in his Church, distinct from civil government, which is to be executed in his name by such office-bearers as he has authorized, and not by civil magistrates or under their direction.” This marks a notable advance in the Protestant theory of Church power, which differs from the Popish theory, inasmuch as it is co-ordinate with, not superior to, the civil power, its claims to supremacy being strictly limited to things spiritual, and subject to the State in things temporal.

      – Ellen White, History of Protestantism, Volume 3, Page 519

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




      0
      View Comment
      • @Sean Pitman: Sean, if you want to claim the church has a hierarchy organization, a claim that disagrees with the church and the church manual then so be it. It only perpetutes the babylonian claims this site has made against the church.

        The fact remains, any decision direction or policy made by a church, conference, union or GCEC can be reversed or changed by those they serve.




        0
        View Comment
        • @John J.:

          What I said is that the SDA Church has a governmental system, to include rules and regulations to which representatives are held accountable, which it does. Of course the power is with the representatives of the individual membership. This does not mean that the SDA Church has no government or structural hierarchy – it does. Here is the opening statement on church government from the official SDA website:

          The Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized with a representative form of church government. This means authority in the Church comes from the membership of local churches. Executive responsibility is given to representative bodies and officers to govern the Church. Four levels of Church structure lead from the individual believer to the worldwide Church organization:

          http://www.adventist.org/world-church/facts-and-figures/structure/index.html

          So, there you have it. The SDA Church itself claims to have a governmental system, a representative government as well as an executive hierarchy…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com




          0
          View Comment
        • @John J.:

          John J.: The fact remains, any decision direction or policy made by a church, conference, union or GCEC can be reversed or changed by those they serve.

          Agreed and the fact that the constituency are not voting to reverse it – is a sign that this is not merely the views of the Administration in Michigan.

          As for hierarchy – there is no doctrinal authority in the administrators.

          And as for administrative hierarchy – the GC leadership has no authority to dismiss rogue teachers which is one of the reasons that this particular meltdown at LSU seems to go on and on and on. It slows at times and it speeds up at other times – but the fire is not simply put out.

          in Christ,

          Bob




          0
          View Comment
  16. I do not claim to know the Mich. conferences operating policy, so I will just say 2/3 vote as an example.

    At a constituency meeting if 2/3 of the delegates representing all the churches in the conference were to vote to overturn the conferences decision~ this action/course would be reversed.




    0
    View Comment
  17. Why aren’t we reading more about LSU in the Adventist Review?

    To show the SDA members that the G.C. is on top of the situation, it would ease a lot of minds.




    0
    View Comment
  18. John J.: @Sean Pitman: Sean, if you want to claim the church has a hierarchy organization, a claim that disagrees with the church and the church manual then so be it. It only perpetutes the babylonian claims this site has made against the church.The fact remains, any decision direction or policy made by a church, conference, union or GCEC can be reversed or changed by those they serve.

    All of us can see that John J claims the similar notion that the “Occupy” people do, which is when the representative government votes to do or not do something, anyone can simply decide the he/she doesn’t want to do it – leading to an anarchistic state.

    This same philosophy is present in the Pacific Union Conference and elsewhere. We will do what WE decide we want to do, despite what has been voted by the world Church.




    0
    View Comment
  19. Eddie: Or it’s BOTH the conservatives and the liberals who are criticizing the church, and the moderates who are defending it?

    Liberals and conservatives tend to criticize the Church for much differenc reasons.

    Let me explain it to you, Eddie. The liberals criticize the SDA Church because they believe it is too “old fashion” out of date” “behind the times” etc. because the Church is still being too “bible based” “too much Ellen G. White” etc. [edit]

    Many “conservatives” criticize many SDA Church leaders because of their apathetic lack of leadership when presented by heretical and apostate doctrinal issues [edit].




    0
    View Comment
  20. @Eddie, BTW, the “moderates” usually come up with the response, “Can’t we all just get along?” which simply ignores the actual problem. They are usually of no help in contributing anything to the conversation.

    The truthful answer is that we will not be able to “just get along” when such different world views are held.




    0
    View Comment
  21. Holly said……

    “The truthful answer is that we will not be able to “just get along” when such different world views are held.”

    Holly, many if not most church members are not able to discern this situation. And for that reason, very little is done, or deemed necessary to get involved one way or the other. The mentality is this, “Our church leaders will handle the situation, and therefore, I don’t need to get involved.”

    But no doubt, someday whether people want to or not, they will “be” involved due to a condition that will necessarily force everyone to make a decision.

    I think we agree it is better to “get involved” and know as much as possible before you are forced to. Knowledge is both freedom and power. Ignorance is bondage and servitude.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  22. The significance of this story is how it highlights the war between the liberal and conservative factions in the SDA Church. These factions are currently in a struggle for the soul, not to mention the organizational infrastructure, of the SDA Church.

    Anyone who has observed American politics recently surely has noticed that, because left and right in this country have two utterly different and mutually exclusive secular religions, our politics consists of each of these ideologically committed wings trying to capture the un-committed middle third of the electorate on which every election hinges. Each side is trying to impress the middle third that it is reasonable, and that the far side of the spectrum is unreasonable and untrustworthy. In practice, this has devolved into “gotcha” politics in which each side tries catch the other side in an unguarded statement or action that will make it look bad to the ideologically uncommitted guy in the middle. And if they can’t find real “gotcha” moments, they manufacture them.

    What this story basically is, is the liberal wing of the church, through the person of Randal Wisbey, manufacturing a “gotcha” moment to make the conservative wing, as personified by Jay Gallimore, look bad to the ideologically uncommitted middle third of the church. Randal Wisbey knew that Gallimore had forbidden LSU to recruit in Michigan. Wisbey also knew very well that college group (choir, band, orchestra, tumbling, etc.) tours, especially when they stop at Academies, are a form of recruitment. Thus, Wisbey knew perfectly well that the request for the LSU Chamber Singers to perform at two Michigan academies would violate Gallimore’s previously stated ban on LSU recruiting in Michigan. Finally, Wisbey also knew that if the Chamber Singers would ask anyway, and force Gallimore to actually refuse them, it could be turned into a “gotcha” moment, i.e., it would look bad or somehow “unChristlike” to the ideologically uncommitted middle-of-the-road Adventist.

    This whole thing was a propaganda coup planned and carried out by Randal Wisbey. Of course, those of us who understand the stakes and understand that Darwinism is the death of Adventism, aren’t impressed with Wisbey’s stunt. But it wasn’t designed for us. Wisbey knows there’s no influencing the conservative third of the church, and he’s not trying to; he’s trying to convince the middle third that the conservative third is cruel and un-Christlike.

    It is entirely specious, but it just might work. It is impossible to overestimate how grossly uninformed the average Adventist in the pew really is. They don’t know what’s going on; they do not have a clue. And because they don’t, Gallimore’s action might well seem extraordinary and unjustified to them. And that is the whole point of the exercise.




    0
    View Comment
    • @David.

      While the scenario you portrayed is entirely plausible, and one could even argue probable, it is also however, reading into the motives (unfavorably at that) of others. While it is entirely proper to judge wrong actions, I would like to remind that it is also not good to judge the motives of others, no matter how plain they may seem to us.




      0
      View Comment
  23. Steve Mahan: Why aren’t we reading more about LSU in the Adventist Review?

    To show the SDA members that the G.C. is on top of the situation, it would ease a lot of minds.

    Possibly it is because they left all the same players in place. The foxes are still guarding the hen house (Wolves still herding the sheep?) – and some people are hoping they do not like the taste of chicken while “on the clock” working at their day job.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  24. John J.: I do not claim to know the Mich. conferences operating policy, so I will just say 2/3 vote as an example.

    At a constituency meeting if 2/3 of the delegates representing all the churches in the conference were to vote to overturn the conferences decision~ this action/course would be reversed.

    I agree. Thus this is not merely the decision of the Conference leadership — it is the decision of at least 2/3 of the Conference constituency – given that they have not chosen to reverse the administration’s decision.

    Well done Michigan conference!!

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
    • @BobRyan:

      You mean 1/3 of the conference constituency? If it takes 2/3 to overturn, then it only takes 1/3+1 to keep it from being overturned.

      Its too bad that a radical fringe is running the Church up there.




      0
      View Comment
  25. I think David set forth a pretty good overview of the whole situation. Both from an American political game, to spiritual politics in the SDA church.

    And most importantly, most individual members who sit in the pew don’t have a clue of the importance of the issues at hand.

    Even if members sense that there are some problems, it is generally hoped that someone else will deal with them and church members are not culpable for the outcome.

    With this mentality, themselves and their children are being raped spiritually on a continuing ongoing basis. Meaning, we are all being “forced” in some way to participate in rebellion against God just by attending church and financially supporting the church.

    Now I think we should continue to support the church both financially and in other ways, but only if we protest and demand accountability of ourselves individually and our leaders corporately.

    I think most of us understand that the church will surely split. And now the only question is when, how, and what will the final outcome be? Who will control? Ahab and Jezebel, or the sons of the prophets?

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
    • @Bill Sorensen:

      Bill, I posted an EGW quote below, then read your comment on “Ahab and Jezebel…” So true! My quote is from the beginning of the chapter, “In the Sprit of Elias (Elijah)”…. I see so many similarities between the Mt. Carmel story and what’s happening now!




      0
      View Comment
  26. David Read: This whole thing was a propaganda coup planned and carried out by Randal Wisbey.

    David, what is the basis of your claim? Do you have any written or verbal evidence from an insider? Or is it just a whim?




    0
    View Comment
    • @Eddie: Eddie, let me make clear that although I disagree with Randal Wisbey ideologically, I do not make the mistake of underestimating him, his intelligence or his political acumen.

      Randal Wisbey is a very smart man. So when I think about the facts, and I have two ways of interpreting the facts, one of which makes Randal Wisbey an imbecile and the other of which assumes him to be clever, I interpret the facts according to the latter assumption.

      Now, try to follow along, if you would. Jay Gallimore had forbidden LSU to recruit in Michigan. Do you think Randal Wisbey just forgot that, or that he was keenly aware of that fact? I say the latter.

      Adventist college group tours (e.g., choir, band, orchestra, tumbling, etc.) are a form of student recruitment, especially when they stop at Adventist academies, where many of the students at Adventist colleges are recruited from. Do you think Randal Wisbey didn’t know that, or that he was keenly aware of it? Again, I take it for granted that Randal Wisbey understands this fact.

      Now, since Gallimore had forbidden LSU to recruit in Michigan, and college choir tours are a form of recruitment, do you think Randal Wisbey knew that Jay Gallimore, to uphold his previous ruling, would have to deny the La Sierra Chamber Singers permission to perform at any Michigan SDA academy? Again, I have to give Randal Wisbey credit for having an IQ above room temperature, so of course he knows this.

      But as long as Randal Wisbey just has the Chamber Singers ASK, he wins either way. If Gallimore says yes, then Wisbey has made of none effect Gallimore’s ban on recruitment. He essentially uses the Chamber Singers to flout the ban and rub his victory in Gallimore’s face. If Gallimore says no, then you get what we’ve had for the last two weeks: a propaganda coup for LSU as Chuck Scriven writes two Spectrum articles (in addition to two other Spectrum articles) whining about the horrible, world-ending injustice of the LSU group not being allowed to sing at Michigan academies.

      Even I have to admire Wisbey’s sheer diabolical cleverness.




      0
      View Comment
  27. @David Read, Thank you for your great insight into this situation. I agree with you completely. I also want to thank you for your support of God’s Word over on Spectrum, amongst the many opposing views.

    You take a lot of harrassment and pummeling from the group over there, and I really appreciate your work, along with Sean Pitman, who also is attacked regularly. We all should thank God for people like you and Sean, and Shane, of course. Keep up the great work!




    0
    View Comment
  28. I came upon this paragraph from Ellen White this morning, from the book “Prophets and Kings”. To me, it perfectly sums up what is happening in the SDA Church regarding Creation vs. Evolution:

    “Many even of those who claim to be Christians have allied themselves with influences that are unalterably opposed to God and His truth. Thus they are led to turn away from the divine and to exalt the human. The prevailing spirit of our time is one of infidelity and apostasy–a spirit of avowed illumination because of a knowledge of truth, but in reality of the blindest presumption. Human theories are exalted and placed where God and His law should be. Satan tempts men and women to disobey, with the promise that in disobedience they will find liberty and freedom that will make them as gods. There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God, of idolatrous exaltation of human wisdom above divine revelation. Men have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity to worldly customs and influences that they seem to have lost all power to discriminate between light and darkness, truth and error. So far have they departed from the right way that they hold the opinions of a few philosophers, so-called, to be more trustworthy than the truths of the Bible. The entreaties and promises of God’s word, its threatenings against disobedience and idolatry–these seem powerless to melt their hearts. A faith such as actuated Paul, Peter, and John they regard as old-fashioned, mystical, and unworthy of the intelligence of modern thinkers.”

    Prophets and Kings, pp. 177-178




    0
    View Comment
  29. It would be interesting to determine how much of the quoted paragraph in Prophets and Kings EGW “adapted” or “borrowed” from a previous author. I believe everyone is now aware of how much EGW used other writer’s ideas and word phrases in her publications.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Ervin Taylor:

      Ervin Taylor:
      It would be interesting to determine how much of the quoted paragraph in Prophets and Kings EGW “adapted” or “borrowed” from a previous author. I believe everyone is now aware of how much EGW used other writer’s ideas and word phrases in her publications.

      It really doesn’t matter even if the entire section was a direct “borrowing.” (Originality is a man-made test, you won’t find it in the Bible). The question is rather, is it truth?

      So Erv, do you go by the old adage used in debates everywhere; “If you don’t like the message, attack the messenger”?




      0
      View Comment
  30. Ervin TaylorReplyApril 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    “It would be interesting to determine how much of the quoted paragraph in Prophets and Kings EGW “adapted” or “borrowed” from a previous author. I believe everyone is now aware of how much EGW used other writer’s ideas and word phrases in her publications.”

    Who cares? or, What does it matter?
    None. Truth stands on its own two feet and needs no human endorsment or affirmation.

    Neither do we need to know who said what, when or where unless it is some biblical quotation. So, the only thing we need to ask is whether this quotation fits our present day scenario or not.

    I know many don’t think so, but at least some of us do.




    0
    View Comment
  31. David Read: Even I have to admire Wisbey’s sheer diabolical cleverness.

    David, you might be right, but would you feel any remorse if your public accusation of a fellow brother in Christ is mistaken?

    University presidents are rather busy individuals so I seriously doubt any, even Wisbey, would ever personally make arrangements for their choir to perform at an academy. That’s what music professors are paid to do.

    A previous thread titled “Michigan Conference accused of shunning LSU choir students” states:

    “A letter dated Aug. 29, 2011, was sent to La Sierra University President Randal Wisbey from the Michigan Conference Board of Education, requesting LSU no longer recruit on Michigan Conference campuses until LSU resolved its problem.”

    “La Sierra’s request to sing was initially accepted by the academy principal, and according to La Sierra adjunct professor of music David Kendall, PLANNED MONTHS IN ADVANCE [emphasis supplied]; however, it wasn’t until the principal contacted the office of education in March 2012 that the conference was aware the La Sierra Chamber Singers were coming, according to a phone call with Jay Gallimore.”

    So, David, given that the trip was “planned months in advance,” how can you be certain that it was Wisbey’s idea and not David Kendall’s? Can you be certain that the choir trip wasn’t planned BEFORE Wisbey received the missive from the Michigan Conference Board of Education?

    I don’t know what the truth is, so I’m not accusing you of rumor mongering, but if by chance that’s what you’re doing, I don’t see it listed among the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).




    0
    View Comment
  32. Sorry I am getting a little confused. Do any of the 28 fundamental beliefs, especially FB#6, require acceptance of a 6×24 hour creation? I am reading it an can’t see that it says exactly that? In any event, Adventists have long prided themselves on having no creed, being open to the notion of progressive revelation and present truth. What seems to be suggested is a credal test?

    It also surprises me that a common argument used by conservatives today amounts to – ‘if you don’t like it, leave.’ However, if all our pioneers did just that, we would be an anti-Trinitarian, Arian, legalistic, pantheistic, shut-door, racially segregated (still haven’t completely fixed that one), dress-reform wearing, Turkish-hating cult.

    Perhaps it is because conservatives have been so willing to leave the official church at the drop of a hat that so shocks them that progressives are generally not so willing to follow suit.




    0
    View Comment
  33. Mr. Taylor, I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind:

    Do you believe we are living in the last days of earth’s history?

    Do you believe the Bible, when it speaks of “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” as it says in Joel 2:28?

    Lastly, do you believe that God gave EGW the Spirit of Prophecy?

    I would offer, that if your answer to any of the above questions is “no”, that you might consider joining another church that better represents what you believe.




    0
    View Comment
  34. Deliss Charo: You guys might be interested in this article published on ADvindicate:http://advindicate.com/?p=1172

    This is true and accurate. I contacted the State of California about this and received an two emails confirming this fact.

    T. Joe Willey, over on Spectrum, first noted this, as he has done some research into this. (He is, BTW, and LSU supporter).

    Shane and Sean–can we do some more research into this matter? La Sierra will not give any information, since I have already contacted them about this, and gotten no response.

    There are numerous buildings on the La Sierra campus which have recieved State funds, and according to the law, cannot be used for any religious teachings. How many buildings? Does anyone have an answer?




    0
    View Comment
  35. PUC Student: @BobRyan: You mean 1/3 of the conference constituency? If it takes 2/3 to overturn, then it only takes 1/3+1 to keep it from being overturned.Its too bad that a radical fringe is running the Church up there.

    You may not be aware of this, but the “radical fringe” is actually liberal/progressive wing, which is probably very active and prominent at PUC, although a minority of our worldwide members.




    0
    View Comment
  36. Hmm “God … or money? God …. or money??”

    I suppose 24 million is a “lot of money” and apparently it was too much for Wisbey and Geriguis to resist.

    Oh well… I guess the admin has “more decisions” to make.

    Given the restriction language

    The Corporation covenants and agrees that no portion of the proceeds of the Bonds will be used (1) to finance or refinance any facility, place or building used or to be used for sectarian instruction or study or as a place for devotional activities or religious worship or in connection with any part of the programs of any school or department of divinity…. (Page D-32)

    It is entirely possible that Wisbey and Geriguis thought they were only risking a “partial sellout of Adventism” since “in theory” they could hire biologists who would not promote blind-faith evolutionism – would just teach science (that which we actually can, observe test in the lab) rather than blind-faith evolutionist speculation, and would only fail to comply with their obligation to explicitly promote SDA world views in each of their classes.

    But that half-compromised position could never have survived for long before it went to fully-compromised. (As history now shows us).

    On the other hand – by the time they signed that agreement – in 2008 they were already promoting evolutionism in both the religion department and the science department. So they might have seen it as a “win-win” with no downside at all.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  37. Prophets and Kings, pp. 177-178: There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God, of idolatrous exaltation of human wisdom above divine revelation. Men have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity to worldly customs and influences that they seem to have lost all power to discriminate between light and darkness, truth and error.

    hmm — I wonder if we have any examples of that??

    Ervin Taylor: It would be interesting to determine how much of the quoted paragraph in Prophets and Kings EGW “adapted” or “borrowed” from a previous author. .

    Did not have long to wait.

    1. The Bible example of John quoting Isaiah demonstrates the fact there is no such thing as a Bible doctrine about “only one person getting a given truthful teaching from God” – that many of our lib friends so love to “imagine”.

    Very often God communicates the same truth to multiple people over time… “as it turns out”.

    2. There are “signature Ellen White” sections of Prophets and Kings, DA, GC — all of the books. Sections impossible to borrow from anyone but another prophet. Our lib friends are very reluctant to let that bit of light out to their followers.

    Oh well…




    0
    View Comment
  38. ET’s complaint post about Prophets and Kings asks the critical thinker to consider for a minute – why it is that prophetic, inspired writers have any value at all beyond a simple historian.

    Coming from someone who dumps the Bible out the window starting in Genesis – it is apparent that Erv’s view of inspired writing is “limited” at best.

    For the rest of us – inspired writing adds God’s perspective to events – so that well known events become that much more “instructive” when viewed from God’s POV. He adds insights and details not available to non-inspired historians.

    So when SDAs look at surveys of history as God has inspired them – in His supernatural communication via His gift of prophecy to mankind, it is those God-perspectives and details that we are looking for and not merely the historic fact that “the Roman empire existed” etc.

    So also with the Genesis account – it is blatantly obvious that life exists on earth and not the other planets in our Solar system – but “what is God’s perspective” on that? How did it come about? What was God’s purpose? That is given to us in HIS inspired summary of His work in creating life on earth in 7 real days. (Evenings and mornings)

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  39. BobRyan: Agreed

    I am glad you agree.

    I am unable to agree that it is fact/proof cause there is no vote to reverse it, there constituent meeting has not happend yet. Nor would I have info if it would make it to the agenda. There may be more pressing issues?

    Agreed the GC only has authority over Andrews. As the GC has no authority over Pacific conference, neither does the Mich conference. Its actions are attmpting to, or at least manipulate outside the structure.

    If Mich has a concern then they have to find the same concern across all world conferences and bring it to a GCS. To side step the structure and manipulate it is an attack on the church as a whole.

    This whole effort has done it this way, which is sad. To say it is to promote transparencey and protect the church while it acctualy operates outside the churches structure and authority is bewildering.




    0
    View Comment
  40. Steve Mahan: To show the SDA members that the G.C. is on top of the situation

    LSU is not under authority of the GC. The only university that is inc. through the GC is Andrews.

    LSU’s is inc, through the Pacific Conference not GC. Andrews is inc through the GC not Mich. conference.

    This whole thing is not a debate over creation vs. evolution as much as it is lines of authority.

    To which this site is accountable to no authority as is its sister site ADvindicate.

    The agenda of this site to promulgate a hierarchy line of authority is rightfully and respectfully rejected, as manipulative it has been to accomplish such.




    0
    View Comment
  41. Holly Pham: This same philosophy is present in the Pacific Union Conference and elsewhere. We will do what WE decide we want to do, despite what has been voted by the world Church.

    Sister Holly, Umm, no I do not claim such nor ever have or will. Ironically, this site has. That is truly comical.




    0
    View Comment
  42. BobRyan: it is the decision of at least 2/3 of the Conference constituency

    Would you have the minutes reporting such? Um I dont belive it was a decision by delegates rather the conference acting in absence of a session. If it would come up/have room on the next agenda I have no idea.




    0
    View Comment
  43. John J.: Sister Holly, Umm, no I do not claim such nor ever have or will. Ironically, this site has. That is truly comical.

    There is nothing “comical” about Conferences doing whatever they want, despite the worldwide delegates voting the opposite. You may not claim such, but it IS happening. Please open your eyes and ears.




    0
    View Comment
  44. Brian Holland:
    @Ervin Taylor:

    So Erv, do you go by the old adage used in debates everywhere; “If you don’t like the message, attack the messenger”?

    Erv loves to attack the messenger, as can be seen by his articles over on Adventist Today, especially on Ellen White. See for yourself.




    0
    View Comment
  45. Holly Pham: There is nothing “comical” about Conferences doing whatever they want, despite the worldwide delegates voting the opposite.

    Sister Holly, there has been no GCS vote that is against a conference that I know of. Can you give reference to such votes you mention specifically? I do ask for refrain from bandwagons and other fallacies that are not conducive to honest discussions. Those and personal comments only highjack a discussion.




    0
    View Comment
  46. I only come past EducateTruth(sic) very infrequently just to keep up on what the radical right wing of the Adventist Church is up to this month and missed the question by jdoe.

    In answer to his/her (not sure which) questions:

    No.

    Not sure.

    No.

    I’m currently quite happy as a member in good standing of my local Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    Any other questions?




    0
    View Comment
    • @Ervin Taylor:

      For the record (and for those joining this late), here’s my questions again, and Dr. Taylors’ answers:

      1) Do you believe we are living in the last days of earth’s history? “NO”

      Do you believe the Bible, when it speaks of “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” as it says in Joel 2:28? “NOT SURE”

      Lastly, do you believe that God gave EGW the Spirit of Prophecy? “NO”

      Good to know where one is coming from…




      0
      View Comment
  47. John J.: Sister Holly, there has been no GCS vote that is against a conference that I know of. Can you give reference to such votes you mention specifically? I do ask for refrain from bandwagons and other fallacies that are not conducive to honest discussions. Those and personal comments only highjack a discussion.

    Hasn’t the world Church voted twice to not recognize women’s pastoral ordinations? And, hasn’t the Pacific Union Conference, among others, simply ignored this vote and done what they want anyway?

    As I’ve stated before, why do we even have General Conference “votes” if the Divisions, Unions, Conferences,and even individual churches can simply do whatever they want? Does anyone have an answer?

    BTW, I’ve contacted the General Conference regarding this question, and they haven’t responded. So, maybe nobody there knows either?!




    0
    View Comment
  48. John J.: BobRyan: it is the decision of at least 2/3 of the Conference constituency

    Would you have the minutes reporting such? Um I dont belive it was a decision by delegates rather the conference acting in absence of a session. If it would come up/have room on the next agenda I have no idea.

    You said that 2/3 vote by the constituency could overturn the Administration. I merely point out that by not voting to overturn the Administration – they are in fact supporting it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  49. Ervin Taylor: In answer to his/her (not sure which) questions:

    No.

    Not sure.

    No.

    Now and then Erv will contribute something of substance to the discussion.

    wait for it….it looks like it may take him a bit longer these days.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  50. BobRyan: Now and then Erv will contribute something of substance to the discussion.wait for it….it looks like it may take him a bit longer these days.in Christ,Bob

    You’re so correct, Bob. Dr. Taylor doesn’t like to engage in any back-and-forth discussion, as we we see here on ET, but only wants to be able to run in–make a few vague comments (or insults to ET) and run away.

    Dr. Taylor has not seemed to have answered any of the questions I have asked him in the past, or those of most others. He seems to have a lot to say over on Adventist Today, mostly attacking the SDA Church and Ellen White, both for being too old fashioned, conservative, and bible-based, instead of based on secular humanism, which Dr. Taylor seems to love.




    0
    View Comment
  51. @JDoe, As you can see from Dr. Taylors’ answers, he is not quite what many SDA’s would consider a real SDA. And, you didn’t even ask him about many other beliefs of our Church. Would he answer those too?

    However, he is happy to brag about his “member in good standing” status at the Loma Linda University Church.

    Do you understand now why some of us have a problem about what is going on at La Sierra, Loma Linda, and other places in our denomination?




    0
    View Comment
    • @Holly Pham:

      Absolutely, Holly. I don’t doubt Dr. Taylors’ sincerity, but it does give me pause when someone answers that they are “not sure” if they believe the Bible or not.

      I have always appreciated your comments on this website very much. And for that matter, Dr. Taylors’ comments, also, as he continues to make the contrast between SDAs and “in name only ‘SDAs'” all the more clear.

      Don’t worry, Erv… if God can open my eyes to His truth (which I believe He has), He can also show you the truth someday (if you’re willing to listen).

      I’ll be praying for you.




      0
      View Comment
  52. jdoe:
    @Holly Pham:

    Absolutely, Holly.I don’t doubt Dr. Taylors’ sincerity, but it does give me pause when someone answers that they are “not sure” if they believe the Bible or not.

    I have always appreciated your comments on this website very much.And for that matter, Dr. Taylors’ comments, also, as he continues to make the contrast between SDAs and “in name only ‘SDAs’” all the more clear.

    Don’t worry, Erv… if God can open my eyes to His truth (which I believe He has),He can also show you the truth someday (if you’re willing to listen).

    I’ll be praying for you.

    Not really believing in the Bible, Spirit of Prophecy, or other SDA beliefs is very common, not only from Dr. Taylor, but from many so-called “religious scholars” at LLU and La Sierra, as well as some at other places. You will find some of this actually broadcasted on LLBN TV. [edit]




    0
    View Comment
  53. Steve Mahan:
    Why aren’t we reading more about LSU in the Adventist Review?

    To show the SDA members that the G.C. is on top of the situation, it would ease a lot of minds.

    Why? Well for one reason, it would plainly show that the “leaders” of our SDA Church have been lax in their duties, including the “leaders” at the GC. And, many would actually ask or even demand something be done about this matter, which the Conferences, Unions, Divisions, and even the GC is unwilling to handle.

    The GC is NOT “on top of” this or most situations.




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.