Strumming the Attached Strings

By Wesley Kime

 

If you can fiddle with Genesis 1, you can twang the strings attached to your California construction bond.  LSU seems to be striving for prominence in the field of such stringed performances, and its latest production, “Fugue on A Funding Bond, a Concerto Grosso for Attached Strings,” was a landmark contribution, inaugurating and setting the tone of the recent Blogway concert season.  At the several popular blogatoriums the resident choirs and roving troubadours, etc., gave improvised, impassioned, comedic, convincing, enraging etc., etc. performances.  Costumed in the music critic’s tux and tie, yours truly scribbled notes.

As the music began to sound less heavenly and more like law opera, set in modern Southern California, two voices blog-oomed above the rest.  Fittingly, these two choristers are barristers. Singing in original legalese, Mr. Phillip Brantley, a rococo tenor famous for fanciful cadenzas and apoggiatura, and Mr. David Read, a heroic baritone, known for sticking strictly to the score as composed, no trills, gave dazzling performances, I thought. I noted somewhere in the program notes that, adding to the courtroom and operatic drama, the two went to the same law school and once were roommates, like Jacob and Esau.

So that we can follow along with the music, here is the score showing the signature page of a tax-exempt California Municipal Bond with the new attached stipulations (the section is titled “Religious Certification and Acknowledgment”), with annotated grace notes of mine, certain words emboldened, and legal trills elided.

I, (name of signatory), … do hereby certify that: … the coursework used to teach secular subjects [wk-i.e., real science; Genesis 1 is legally pseudoscience and sectarian] is neutral with respect to religion and … is typical of that provided in nonreligious institutions for higher education [wk-but that’s why our SDA schools were established, to not be typical].  …no bond proceeds will be used to finance any facility… to be used for sectarian  [wk-that’s doctrinal Adventism] instruction,…in connection with any…department of theology…that includes instruction … that promotes … a particular religion or religious beliefs.

That is the chorus they sing nowadays in California.

Before the chords of the prelude have faded Mr. Brantley is belting out the ballad of our many institutions, notably hospitals, that have for years received government funding, so why the uproar over this case?  What’s this, a hoedown for spilled milk?  Wrong chorus.  Take it again from the top, please.  If those funds also have borne religious strictures like those of California’s new Municipal Bonds, that would indeed be news and cause for discomfiture for SDAs, as Catholics have just recently awakened to the strange things mandated by the health insurance they must by new law provide their employees.  Unless waivered, of course.  

The bond stipulations seem as clear and as closed to multiple interpretation as the law can make it.  1 Peter 3:18-20 or the Constitution should be so clear.  Not that there weren’t legal arpeggios and riffs around the interpretation of the bond stipulations, ably led by Mr. Brantley, but these seem to have been generally accepted as only token efforts.  Boilerplate, if you will.  Blogs wouldn’t be blogs without such toots.

What really rang my ears and hearing aids was how differently the same score, given the wording, was rendered.  From Mr. Read’s mouth rang the urgent trumpet blast in ominous, troubling tones.  To him the California Chorus isn’t just to slumber by, or doze through, it’s the Anvil Chorus.   But for Mr. Brantley, it is a tableside gypsy serenade, Muzak, or Brahms’s Lullaby.

Mr. Brantley is here to lull – by banging the “boilerplate,” of all things! It’s standard, he hums while he bangs, it’s just a formality, just to cover eventualities and contingencies, to fill space like junk DNA.  It doesn’t mean a thing, not to worry, a nonissue, be calm, don’t get hostile, retract sheepishly your uninformed speculations and paranoia.  Anyway, we can always get a waiver. It’s just “boilerplate.”

Boilerplate!  That’s all our Will & Testament is, boilerplate, boilerplates slung around like Frisbees.  My lawyers brag about it, and charge big-time.  And what is a college catalogue statement of institutional goals and philosophy if not straight out of boilerplate alley?  What are all those awards for every last administrator, professor of hermeneutical research, and parking attendant if not brass plaque boilerplate?  Are you saying they don’t mean anything, not to be taken seriously?

But seriously, folks, of the boilerplate bobby traps that government lays, eventualities and contingency clauses, waivers and benign neglect are to be most feared.  They’ve been known to be setups. Ask Daniel in the lions’ den.  Hasn’t original Adventism always warned that society and government would change key from major to minor?  And might California Bondage be coming in on cue?   Or is that old fogey classical music few listen to nowadays?

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we are back on campus among the new award-winning structures bonded so securely they exceed earthquake standards, and sheep may safely graze.  We are attending the season gala and finale, a specially commissioned LSU Response, a tone poem for church organ and pastoral oboe with counterpoint for thin-skinned snare drum, and legal obbligato by the official court counsel, a Mr. Hansen, who, having thus performed, seems to have bowed off stage as Mr. Brantley came on.

The organ begins, softly.  There is a strange peace here.  I cannot but recall the Sabbath evening organ vespers Professor Hanum held in old Hole Memorial Hall, when I was a student here, almost seventy years ago, before the big church with the big square tower was built.  My happiest school memories, those vespers, that organ.   My eyes, old and watery now, begin to spill over.

Could it be that LSU’s peace that passeth all understanding is truly warranted, LSU being the soul of contented compliance, at least to its bonds, living the letter and singing the spirit of the law, and the law is a friend and abettor?  Abide in the law and fear not.  This regulation might as well have been specially commissioned and composed just for LSU.  Providential.  The attached strings are the ties that bind, blissfullyLSU has faced the music and it turns out to be “our song.”

Or will it be “Requiem for An Adventist University”?

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39 thoughts on “Strumming the Attached Strings

  1. Did you say 70 years ago you attended this institution? Well, it was only 50 for me. None the less, I assume more than a few consider us “old and gray and in the way”, what do you think?

    Bill Sorensen




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  2. Great comments, Dr. Kime. You are SO RIGHT! “Boilerplate rules the law” according to Brantley. No need to worry, fret, feel afraid, or be concerned.




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  3. Sold out for a pot of porridge. Someone either sold us out ignorantly or purposely. Take your pick. If ignorantly, then they are incompetent in the extreme. If purposely, their status as an SDA needs to be removed. Either way they should be shown the door to the unemployment office.

    Bill




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  4. “LSU has faced the music and it turns out to be ‘our song.'”

    Sadly, when we follow the history of the school, we must admit that it is “our song”. The board of trustees are us. We cannot remove “us” from the song. It is how we have played the music and now the chords are sounding loudly for the world to hear. Reproach is brought upon Christianity and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We have led this school to its demise. Like Harvard and Yale, Princeton and Brown, La Sierra where once great sacrifices were made to build the school, is no longer representing the Truth. Like other Christian universities that have separated from their churches, La Sierra is no longer Christian. Yet, it remains attached to the church. How many conference presidents sit on its board? How many Pacific Union officers sit on its board. Yes, indeed, it is “our song” that has led La Sierra to its “Requiem”.

    God orchestrated a symphony that if played would have led multitudes of our young people to heaven. Instead many are now on the downward path following Shakespeare and Darwin to perdition having been led straight into the world.

    May God grant us wisdom and grace to learn from this painful case of rebellion against God and His Word.




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  5. I’d like to know if the other Christian Universities in the area have accepted these state funds. Biola, CalBaptist, and Azusa Pacific tell prospective students that their science classes are creation based.




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  6. from the article

    I, (name of signatory), … do hereby certify that: … the …coursework used to teach secular subjects [wk-i.e., real science; Genesis 1 is legally pseudoscience and sectarian] is neutral with respect to religion and … is typical of that provided in nonreligious institutions for higher education [wk-but that’s why our SDA schools were established, to not be typical]. …no bond proceeds will be used to finance any facility… to be used for sectarian [wk-that’s doctrinal Adventism] instruction,…in connection with any…department of theology…that includes instruction … that promotes … a particular religion or religious beliefs.

    That is the crux of the matter.

    LSU — Sold for thirty pieces of Silver in a sellout for government funding.

    So now the big question — is it a “conflict of interest” to have the same guys that sold out the school – deciding just how much “Adventism” they are going to allow back into those science class rooms?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  7. BobRyan:
    from the article

    That is the crux of the matter.

    LSU — Sold for thirty pieces of Silver in a sellout for government funding.

    So now the big question — is it a “conflict of interest” to have the same guys that sold out the school – deciding just how much “Adventism” they are going to allow back into those science class rooms?

    in Christ,

    Bob

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head, Bob. Are the foxes still going to be in charge of the henhouse? It appears so!




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  8. Wesley Kime, you could learn something from Sean Pitman. He quotes what I wrote and does so fairly in one of his essays in which he mentions my name and discusses my views (regarding biblical hermeneutics and the relationship between Scripture and external science data). In contrast, you do not quote anything I wrote regarding the bond agreement. Instead, you misrepresent my views (in the eighth paragraph of your essay) in the strange lingo that you apparently find amusing.

    It is elementary that boilerplate language has meaning that requires serious attention. The serious attention I give to the entire language of the bond agreement is evidenced by my review of the California Supreme Court opinion that explains what that language means. See, http://charitygovernance.blogs.com/charity_governance/files/california_supreme_court_2007_revenue_bond.pdf.

    In your essay, you do not cite the Court’s opinion or quote and discuss the relevant language in the opinion. Instead, you invite innocent readers to surmise in their ignorance that La Sierra University is to be justly criticized for participating in the bond program.

    Readers need to be reminded that the authority on California law is the California Supreme Court, not some novice who lacks appropriate feelings of embarrassment for making declarations on matters that are clearly beyond his expertise.




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    • @Phillip Brantley:

      I’m sorry Phil, but Dr. Kime isn’t the only one who understood you as arguing that “boilerplate language” does in fact lessen the legal weight of the language when it comes to trial. If that is not what you were saying, please do clarify your position for us.

      Also, I’ve read the California Supreme Court decision. The language used, boilerplate or not, seems quite clear. It clearly says that the bonded buildings cannot be used to promote sectarian views in a preferential manner.

      By your own admission, the SDA perspective on origins is defined, by the State, as “sectarian” or otherwise “religious”. It would seem reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the language of the Supreme Court would not allow for the preferential promotion of the SDA perspective on origins in any bonded building… right?

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  9. Dr. Pitman, I do not expect you to fully understand the California Supreme Court opinion or my explanatory comments. You have never learned how to think and reason like a lawyer. The law is much more mysterious to you than you realize.

    I can explain a legal matter to you in all crystal clarity, but I cannot understand it for you. To respond to your last comment on the merits is fruitless, because I would just be repeating myself. I suggest that you read again the comments I have made on the various websites regarding this matter and La Sierra’s responsive statement.




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    • @Phillip Brantley:

      So, the language of the Court’s decision is so mysterious that one has to be a lawyer to understand it? and even then, as in the case of David Read, the language may still be too mysterious? For example, what did the Court mean when it made the following statement?

      “The program’s validity turns on two questions: 1) Does each of the recipient schools offer a broad curriculum and secular subjects? 2) Do the school’s secular classes consist of information and coursework that is neutral with respect to religion?

      This test insures that the state’s interest in promoting the intellectual improvement of its residents is advanced through the teaching of secular information and coursework, and that the expression of a religious viewpoint in otherwise secular classes will provide a benefit to religion that is merely incidental to the bond programs primary purpose of promoting secular education.”

      Are you saying that the Court didn’t mean what it seemed to say here? I mean, I think I’ve read the majority of your comments on various websites regarding this matter, to include your comments regarding the response of LSU, and all I’ve found is your basic argument that there’s no problem because (and I paraphrase):

      “There’s no such thing as ‘creation science’. All attempts to argue along these lines amount to nothing more than ‘pseudoscience’. The SDA position on origins is a faith-based religious position that is supported only by the documentary method of biblical interpretation – not any form of significant empirical evidence or true ‘science’. This conclusion has been affirmed by the vast majority of theologians and scientists and even in a court of law [as in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case that you often cite as evidence to support your position]. Therefore, if the SDA position is presented as the faith-based religious perspective that it really is, there is no conflict with the language of the bond agreement.”

      Doesn’t that about sum up your position Phil? In other words, if LSU were to attempt to present the SDA perspective on origins as, not just a faith-based position, but as something scientifically superior to the neo-Darwinian position, having the greater support of empirical evidence, that effort would indeed violate what seems to me to be very clear language within the bond agreement… or am I still too simplistic in my understanding of the language in the Court’s decision to really appreciate this distinction and/or the arguments you’ve been making along these lines?

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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      • @Sean Pitman: You’re correct, Sean, in that there is nothing magical or particularly inaccessible about the California Supreme Court’s decision in the controlling case.

        The best that can be said (and this concept is also perfectly accessible to the layman) is that, as a practical matter, it is unlikely that anyone will ever sue to enforce the secularizing covenant in the bond, or to examine La Sierra’s curriculum. But if someone ever did, that language would be construed to mean exactly what it says.




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    • @Phillip Brantley:

      From all that I have witnessed, many difficulties in society stem from the immoral work of lawyers. That of course does not apply to all lawyers. May I never end up thinking like one.

      Here is the Supreme Court’s statement that we are concerned with.

      “As explained below, in resolving a state constitutional issue we conclude that the pertinent inquiry should center on the substance of the education provided by these three school, not on their religious character. Therefore, whether the schools are pervasively sectarian (as the parties have assumed) is not a controlling factor in determining the validity of the bond funding program under our state constitution. Rather, the program’s validity turns on two questions: 1) Does each of the recipient schools offer a broad curriculum and secular subjects? 2) Do the school’s secular classes consist of information and coursework that is neutral with respect to religion? This test insures that the state’s interest in promoting the intellectual improvement of its residents is advanced through the teaching of secular information and coursework, and that the expression of a religious viewpoint in otherwise secular classes will provide a benefit to religion that is merely incidental to the bond programs primary purpose of promoting secular education.”

      A child may understand the test. “Do the school’s secular classes consist of information and coursework that is neutral with respect to religion?” It is not a difficult matter to understand what the State wants. The issue is not what the state wants, but what God wants. And here is where La Sierra has erred. She does not care what God wants. She cares what the state wants. God wants all of the classes taught in our schools to be centered in Scripture. God does not want religion to be “incidental” to the subject. That includes biology. It is rebellion against God to teach evolution as fact in any class in our schools. [] The state says the classes must be “neutral with respect to religion.” God says just the opposite. La Sierra sides with the state.

      Mr. Brantley, I think you understand what the state court has ruled, but there is no doubt in my mind that you do not understand what God has ruled. Therefore you think that La Sierra has not violated the state mandate. You are probably right. And that is just the point.




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      • @Richard Myers:

        “God wants all of the classes taught in our schools to be centered in Scripture. God does not want religion to be ‘incidental’ to the subject. That includes biology.”

        Beautifully stated, Richard. It really is appalling that La Sierra embraces the notion that its own “secular” curriculum is religiously neutral, when the whole point of Adventist education is that there are no “secular” subjects. I’ve just written an article on this very theme for Advindicate (it hasn’t posted yet). The greatest irony is that the best statement of the Adventist philosophy of education is from a legal brief, a friend-of-the-court brief in Mitchell v. Helms, co-authored by Alan Reinach, director of religious liberty for the Pacific Union Conference:

        “Since the goal of math class is to connect the student’s mind with the mind of God, and to develop both the mind and the character in the twin pursuits of both education and redemption, then any aid given to the ‘secular’ pursuit of ‘mere’ arithmetic also aids ‘Religious Instruction.’ The entire premise of religious education is that it is entirely sacred, not secular. It is holistic, not dualistic. Religion is part of the warp and woof woven into the fabric of life in a religious school. There are no secular subjects.”




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  10. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Pitman, I do not expect you to fully understand the California Supreme Court opinion or my explanatory comments. You have never learned how to think and reason like a lawyer. The law is much more mysterious to you than you realize. I can explain a legal matter to you in all crystal clarity, but I cannot understand it for you. To respond to your last comment on the merits is fruitless, because I would just be repeating myself. I suggest that you read again the comments I have made on the various websites regarding this matter and La Sierra’s responsive statement.

    So, all of a sudden, all of us don’t know what words say and mean? We’re all a bunch of dummies? Even David Read? Or is he an exception? Please explain, O Mighty Sage!




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  11. @Phil Brantley, Regarding the “strange lingo” that Dr. Kime uses–I have been told by a friend that worked at Kettering Medical Center that Dr. Kime had the same “poetic” style, even when describing pathology slides, biopsies, etc. at conference at KMC. So, he is not trying to insult you.




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  12. Hmmm…
    The law does not mean what it says.

    and

    creation is just evolution in disquise.

    and

    6000 years is really six billion. huh?

    Man was not created in perfection. Rather he is simply headed there… (NOT!)

    The subtle deceptive words of the serpent slither down the years, “you will become as God…”

    Seriously –
    Prophecy is being fulfilled. We are living and witnessing it.




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  13. At this point I can’t help commenting. I have long feared that there aren’t many minds being changed by this and its opposing blog sites. Nonetheless, I think it’s appropriate to say a few things that might at least clarify the debate.

    First, I think this web site needs to rethink its fundamental argument: “employees need to espouse what their employer has hired them to represent.” Let me say that I fervently agree with this point of view. However, the question is “who hires the faculty of LSU?” Unfortunately, the world SDA church does NOT do the hiring. After following this for years (I taught at LSU in the 80s) I think the sad fact is that the professors in question ARE for the most part representing their employers.

    The first point brings up a second. Our church may not be officially split, but it is in all actuality split. All you have to do is compare the Conferences in Michigan and Ohio to know that. Or the West Coast to the heartland. Or Europe and North America to the “third world.”

    Folks, we have a much bigger problem here than LSU. We have a significant number of leaders who themselves question the historicity of Scripture, the role of E. G. White, the notion of the remnant, the importance of Sabbath observance, great chunks of our health message, and our historicist prophetic interpretation. Strangely, I believe almost exactly as my parents did, not just because they did, but because my own research has led me to believe as they did. Again strangely, they were pretty mainstream Adventists back then. I now seem to be a
    “right wing extremist” in the eyes of many of my former colleagues. Sad.
    The Adventism of many of our “intelligencia” has moved. I haven’t.

    I think it’s time we stood back, took a deep breath, and realized this has all been foretold. The sky may seem to be falling, but it is really echoes of a coming Lord. It’s up to each one of us personally to be ready. We can’t trust any leader, or any institution to be the ark of safety. It’s between me and my Lord.

    Meanwhile, let’s keep up the good fight — kindly, but firmly speaking the truth as revealed by God. Let us expect to receive the same response that Christ received long ago. Let us treat others with respect and dignity, but never, ever let that come to mean that we accept any picture of Christ that makes Him anything less than the omnipotent Word that took six days to create.

    Finally, I want to encourage you that there are MANY pastors in North America who are still faithful. I am proud to sign my name to my belief in Christ as the God who created me, and has redeemed me, and will one day place me in a new heaven and new earth that did not take five billion years to make.

    George Hilton




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    • @George Hilton: Well said, George. Amen. I quoted a similar comment of yours (not using your name, don’t worry) in a sermon I developed a couple of years ago, called “The Two Adventist Churches.” There really are two Adventist Churches.

      It has now become crucially important, as you state, that no one put his trust in man, but only God and in God’s word. We must study for ourselves. In times like these, no one is safe in putting her trust in this pastor, or that conference president, or the other Adventist satellite television personality, or in this learned university president, etc. We must “study to show ourselves approved” and “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” We must not put blind faith in man.

      Ellen White wrote:

      “Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will.” GC 595

      That was a general statement about Christianity, but it is now true within Seventh-day Adventism as never before.




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  14. Brantley seems to have disqualified himself by his own “legal” logic–i.e., does he hold any credentials for categorizing anything “pseudoscience” or is that classification based on someone else’s authority/opinion i.e., “mysteriously” man-made, beyond his comprehension?




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  15. George Hilton: At this point I can’t help commenting. I have long feared that there aren’t many minds being changed by this and its opposing blog sites. Nonetheless, I think it’s appropriate to say a few things that might at least clarify the debate.

    First, I think this web site needs to rethink its fundamental argument: “employees need to espouse what their employer has hired them to represent.” Let me say that I fervently agree with this point of view. However, the question is “who hires the faculty of LSU?” Unfortunately, the world SDA church does NOT do the hiring. After following this for years (I taught at LSU in the 80s) I think the sad fact is that the professors in question ARE for the most part representing their employers.

    You make a good point.

    However for the sake of context – Tithe money pays for a good chunk of the religion department salary at LSU. So no matter how far off the reservation that the LSU administrators are going – that Tithe money is not their’s to do with as they please. Anyone accepting Tithe money owes their service and allegiance to the SDA denomination itself.

    2. So far no Biology dept at any SDA university has gone rogue on the subject of creation vs evolution without the religion department providing cover for them by teaching against Bible creation in the school of religion.

    So “again” – the tithe going to the religion department should have solved the problem to some extent.

    3. Your point ignores the extent to which LSU was funded and founded by the SDA denomination and by sponsors who would view it as a breach of trust to simply turn LSU into “the best public university that Adventist gifts, tuition and tithe dollars can buy”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  16. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Pitman, I do not expect you to fully understand the California Supreme Court opinion or my explanatory comments.

    As someone here has already pointed out – by that logic – we do not expect Brantly to fully understand the Bible. SDA doctrine, the subject at hand (the article at the top of this thread), or the reason that a school like LSU was put in place to start with. []

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  17. I appreciate the comment posted by Richard Myers, because it reflects the often-overlooked fact that a major basis for the agitation against La Sierra University is fundamentalist opposition to university education. []

    Critics of La Sierra University should ponder whether their agitation is based on knowledge or the fear that accompanies ignorance. I sense a lot of fear. Fear is not conducive to cerebral thought and learning. Fear also stunts one’s self-awareness ego.

    Critics of La Sierra University should adopt the meekness of a criminal defendant. You have to place trust in someone, particularly your attorney, even if you do not fully understand everything your attorney knows.




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    • @Phillip Brantley:

      The major basis for opposition to what LSU has been doing is that LSU has been actively undermining the Adventist position on origins for a very long time – telling students that the Adventist position is rationally and scientifically untenable; that the neo-Darwinian position is actually true, and the Adventist position false, based on “overwhelming” empirical evidence. That’s the problem.

      You have no problem with this because, as you’ve made very clear, you believe the creationist position to be based on nothing but “pseudoscience” and empirically-blind faith. You actually declare that the Adventist position on origins is no more than a faith-based doctrine which does not belong in any real university science curriculum, much less the primary basis of the curriculum.

      That’s where we have a problem… and that is why you do not address such questions when I pose them to you.

      You know that the Court’s decision would not allow the Adventist position to be presented, in any bonded building, as any kind of valid scientific counter to the neo-Darwinian position on origins. As David Read said over on the Spectrum blog:

      We want creation science to be taught as science, in a scientifically rigorous manner, not merely as faith. (Link)

      Of course, such a “fundamentalist” effort would be in clear violation of the language of the bond agreement – as you well know. The language in this regard is quite clear. It is not at all clouded in mystery so that us non-lawyer types can’t understand it – contrary to your rather condescending suggestion that us simpletons best not even try to read the document for ourselves… that we’d better just trust you lawyers to explain it to us. Please…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  18. Dr. Pitman, you (or some other editor) unfairly edited my last comment and the comment that I responded to, so I am forced to wipe the dust from my shoes and leave you and others to stew in anger and confusion.

    [Attacks on Shakespeare and the like are off topic and are distracting to the purpose of this website and will not be published – not even in the comment section. The same is true for other topics that many often attempt to post on this website – such as those dealing with homosexuality, abortion, women’s ordination, the personal morality of one’s opponents, etc. – ET Staff]




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  19. “To many, scientific research has become a curse. God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in discoveries in science and art; but even the greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to investigate the relations of science and revelation.”

    The Great Controversy, 522

    Strong language – “bewildered”.

    Seems profoundly relevant to this discussion.




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  20. All who value their eternal interests should be on their guard against the inroads of skepticism. The very pillars of truth will be assailed.
    It is impossible to keep beyond the reach of the sarcasms and sophisms, the insidious and pestilent teachings, of modern infidelity. Satan adapts his temptations to all classes. He assails the illiterate with a jest or sneer, while he meets the educated with scientific objections and philosophical reasoning, alike calculated to excite distrust or contempt of the Scriptures. Even youth of little experience presume to insinuate doubts concerning the fundamental principles of Christianity.
    And this youthful infidelity, shallow as it is, has its influence. Many are thus led to jest at the faith of their fathers and to do despite to the Spirit of grace. Hebrews 10:29. Many a life that promised to be an honor to God and a blessing to the world has been blighted by the foul breath of infidelity. All who trust to the boastful decisions of human reason and imagine that they can explain divine mysteries and arrive at truth unaided by the wisdom of God are entangled in the snare of Satan.

    — The Great Controversy, page 600




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  21. George Hamilton said…..

    “We can’t trust any leader, or any institution to be the ark of safety. It’s between me and my Lord.”

    Until church members really believe this stated truth, we will continue in a statis quo mode. “Loyalty to the church is loyalty to God” has been the down fall of true bible spirituality for six thousand years. It has been demonstrated again and again that this theory will always lead to apostacy.

    It allows leaders to manipulate members and intimidate their spirituality by threats of damnation if you oppose “the church”.

    God has always allowed “the church” to go down, down, down, until it was so obvious that any honest spiritually minded individual could not, and would not be deceived by such a declaration.

    If “the church” is salvaged, it will only be when enough members realize the truth of the matter and demand accountability of themselves individually, and church leaders corporately. It would most likely cause the final shaking and bring on the “terrible ordeal” EGW predicted would take place before the end.

    We need to pray it will come, and even more importantly, pray we will be ready for it. And don’t expect justice and honesty to be used by those who oppose the truth in the end. You will be mis-represented and maligned if and when you stand for God’s truth.

    Bill Sorensen




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  22. Phillip Brantley:
    Dr. Pitman, you (or some other editor) unfairly edited my last comment and the comment that I responded to, so I am forced to wipe the dust from my shoes and leave you and others to stew in anger and confusion.

    Do you really mean this? Or will it be like many others who threatened to leave, but then constantly came back time after time, stayed a while, then later announce another departure?

    BTW, Sean or Shane edit, delete, and censor many of my posts, and I don’t whine about it, stomp my feet, and (threaten to) leave.




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  23. By the way, just as an observation and some speculation on my part, I would suggest that EGW would be banned from posting on Spectrum or A-today.

    I think her straight forward testimony would leave them feeling a little “out to lunch” in their so-called “freedom of expression.”

    Their “freedom” is primarily to affirm each other in their attack on bible Adventism. A few conservative voices are heard, but not many.

    Perhaps A-today feels some sense of affirmation by way of Herb Douglas and Monte Salin. Neither of which will openly confront the ministry for what it is. An anti-SDA ministry along with Spectrum.

    I guess we will never know for sure about EGW and how she would respond. But I think we can come pretty close to an accurate conclusion by the way she confronted people in her day. Such as Kellogg, Canright, Smith and Butler, Jones and Waggoner and a host of others who at various times began a departure from the bible.

    As far as EGW herself was concerned, she was a woman called of God to do a man’s job. And under the circumstances, she did a fantastic job considering the day and age in which she lived. God at first called two different men who refused the calling. To show His sovereignty, He then called a woman who was weakest of the weak and accomplished His goal. But we should note that she was not God’s original choice.

    Bill Sorensen




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    • @Bill Sorensen: Bill, I have now joined you in the ranks of the banned. They are not allowing me to post on any thread at AToday. For the time being, I am still allowed to post at Spectrum, which takes a broader view of permissible speech.




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      • @David Read:

        Erv Taylor is not “afraid” to post here – but he is “Afraid” to have well thought out views posted on AToday that do not flatter his agenda.

        That was not news right?

        in Christ,

        Bob




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  24. @Bill Sorensen, I agree with you completely. Ellen White would not only be booted off both Spectrum and AT, but probably from most other SDA websites, including this one!

    People are just not used to someone speaking truthfully, no matter whose feelings it hurts. Mrs. White spoke out forcefully, and wasn’t afraid to name specific people whom she disagreed with.




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  25. David Read:
    @Bill Sorensen: Bill, I have now joined you in the ranks of the banned.They are not allowing me to post on any thread at AToday.For the time being, I am still allowed to post at Spectrum, which takes a broader view of permissible speech.

    Dave, Consider it an HONOR to be banned from Spectrum or Adventist Today. Anyone who is banned by them certainly gave them too much TRUTH for them to handle, as you did over there!

    Liberals and Progressives live by the term “tolerance” except when it comes to them tolerating what they do not want to hear.




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  26. “Liberals and Progressives live by the term “tolerance” except when it comes to them tolerating what they do not want to hear.”

    (Quote)

    Like or Dislike: 1 3

    I see you got 3 thumbs down, Holly. I suspect the liberals read this forum, even if they don’t comment.

    As for posting, Sean has to decide what he thinks is viable to the goals he preceives for the church.

    I never would have allowed Ken to post as long as he did because his influence could never be ultimately positive being an agnostic. I guess he left on his own. And maybe still lurks and reads various comments.

    None of us would desire him to develop a negative attitude either toward Christanity in general nor Adventism in particular. But I think his over all spirituality would lend itself toward Universalism and maybe He would have felt rather inclined to endorse Ron’s views.

    As far as Adventism and Pluralism is concerned, one major factor is the inability of church leaders in responsible positions to correctly define bible Adventism themselves. In which case, Pluralism became an option in some cases, at least, to cover ignorance.

    Maybe they should listen more to lay members of the church for input and less to their peers and co-workers.

    I think most of us truly believe God will yet create the Christian community by way of the bible as the Holy Spirit leads those who seek truth to find it. So that the church on earth reflects the church in heaven as to doctrine and practice.

    It should also be obvious that unless you have a pure bible doctrine, it is totally impossible to have an experience and practice of truth that emulates biblical norms.

    Even the liberals know this and opt for faulty doctrine being non-relevant as long as you “believe in Jesus”, whoever that is?
    Since we can’t possible know who Jesus is without a clear biblical understanding of His ministry, mission and teaching.

    Those who hold such a view will necessarily embrace the antichrist who knows well how to present a semblance of truth mixed with enough error to confuse and deceive, “if possible, the very elect.”

    So, what you said, Holly is very relevant….”Liberals and Progressives live by the term “tolerance” except when it comes to them tolerating what they do not want to hear.”

    They don’t want to “hear” what I just posted. It doesn’t fit their liberal theology and liberal agenda. So, as people like David continue to challenge their false theology, they become more than a little unsettled by such a confrontation and respond accordingly.

    What we see is only a small sample of the world wide spiritual war that begins in Adventism and culminates in the battle of Armagedon.

    But the positive for true and loyal SDA’s is the final out pouring of the latter rain and the loud cry and final gathering of all of God’s people from every denomination. Even though some of this is very painful spiritually, we can’t relent nor cave in to popular opinion even if it is the majority opinion in modern Adventism.

    Here is hopeing we all have a great Sabbath experience as a deeper understanding of the Sabbath is what seals us into the truth, “so that we can not be moved.” Selah

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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