No one is saying that the GC in session is …

Comment on Northern California Conference Votes to Act Independent of the General Conference by Sean Pitman.

No one is saying that the GC in session is “infallible”. This does not mean, however, that the GC in session has no authority or that decisions that we may not like can simply be ignored. Such a situation does not a viable organization make…

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Northern California Conference Votes to Act Independent of the General Conference
I refer you again to Article VII, Section 7 of the NCC Constitution, which states:

“The Executive Committee shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its affairs and the affairs of the Conference, provided that the same are not in conflict with these Bylaws or those of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, or of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists,”

How do you get around this language? language that exists within the bylaws of every union and conference? – language that was put in place by the GC in session? – for the very reason that the GC “in session” can make policy decisions that do in fact (or should) affect and have authority within unions and conferences alike? Again, I also fail to see “kingly power” in play here. This was the decision of hundreds of delegates in session. The intent seems quite clear… at least to me. So, I fail to see how a conference acting against this decision of the GC “in session” does not qualify as a deliberate act of independence and non-recognition of the authority of the GC “in session”?

Northern California Conference Votes to Act Independent of the General Conference
I appreciate your honest sincerity here, but I simply have to disagree with you on this particular point.

And no, I don’t think God condemns anyone who is honest and sincere and has earnestly tried to carefully study and look into the matter in question – even if they may be mistaken at the present time. After all, not one of us is omniscient. You yourself, no doubt, occasionally make honest mistakes and come to honest conclusions as to what the Bible is saying that are incorrect. Such honest mistakes are easily solved by providing additional information that such a person can actually comprehend and understand. God actually winks at such ignorance until the time when the truth is actually comprehended by a person. Only at that time is a person held morally accountable.

Northern California Conference Votes to Act Independent of the General Conference
The argument that Adam always had “headship” over Eve, even before the Fall, is not supported by the Bible and Mrs. White is particularly clear on this point.

“God had made [Eve] the equal of Adam, but sin brought friction, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression. By her urging Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband.” (Link).

Clearly then, according to Mrs. White the “headship” role for Adam and the “submissive” role for Eve didn’t start until after the Fall – not before. It was put in place because of the friction that sin brought into their relationship. Before sin entered, however, there simply was no friction at all and therefore no need for “headship” or “submissive” roles in their relationship. It would just make no sense.

Beyond this, just for arguments sake, even if Adam did have headship over his wife before the Fall, how does that give you headship over my wife? – just because you’re a man? That just doesn’t follow. All of the headship statements in the Bible are in reference to the marriage relationship alone – not to the place of men or women outside of the marriage relationship. There is simply no way that any other man can claim “headship” status over my wife. That’s a patently absurd conclusion…

Also, it’s a reality that Jesus is the only head of the church and that no one else under him has a hierarchical advantage over anyone else… since there are no priests anymore. All are now one is Christ since Christ replaced the priestly and temple service – which were only types pointing forward to the reality found in Him. In Him, in His Church, there is no inherent distinction among men or women or anyone else. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). This lack of any other “headship” in the church does not spill over into the home because the a successful husband/wife relationship in this fallen world required that one or the other be given headship. However, outside of this particular relationship, there is no injunction against women in any kind of leadership role over men in the pages of the Bible acting within the Church that Jesus set up.

The early founders of the SDA Church recognized this quite clearly – as did Mrs. White herself. The passages that were then used and are still used today to suggest that women cannot be placed in leadership positions, that women cannot teach or preach or run a church, are shown to be taken out of context – a context directed at a particular problem in Paul’s day (Link).

“Piety and devotion are what count — It is not always men who are best adapted to the successful management of a church. If faithful women have more deep piety and true devotion than men, they could indeed by their prayers and their labors do more than men who are unconsecrated in heart and in life.” —Manuscript Releases 19:56.

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.

The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.

God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.

The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.

For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”

That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Bill Sorensen:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28

Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.

Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.

This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…

Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.

Sean Pitman

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull

Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.

Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.

Sean Pitman

Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…

Sean Pitman