Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

From the North American Religious Liberty Association
 

Today the Supreme Court decided what is likely the most important religious liberty case to come down in the past two decades.

In Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Court sided unanimously with a church sued for firing an employee on religious grounds, issuing an opinion on Wednesday that religious employers can keep the government out of hiring and firing decisions. [For additional details on the background and facts of the case, see the Liberty articles “An Issue of Church Autonomy: The Supreme Court Examines the Ministerial Exception Doctrine,” (Sept/Oct) and “Hosanna Tabor: The Supreme Court Hears Arguments in a Case with Far-Reaching Implications for Church Organizations” (Nov/Dec).]

The Court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, dismissed as an “extreme position” the plea of EEOC to limit any “ministerial exception” solely to workers who perform “exclusively religious functions.”

Justice Thomas went even further in his concurring opinion, saying that it was clear that the parochial school’s sponsoring church “sincerely” considered the teacher to be a minister, and “That would be sufficient for me to conclude that [this] suit is properly barred by the ministerial exception.”

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists joined an amicus brief urging the court to rule on behalf of the Lutheran Church.

Said Todd McFarland, associate counsel with the Office of General Counsel and NARLA’s legal advisor: “The General Conference is pleased with the Court’s decision and the reasoning behind it. In particular, the Court’s rejection of the Administration’s view that the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment did not provide protection to religious organizations is especially heartening.  This ruling reinforces that America’s First Freedom remains relevant.”

 

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876 thoughts on “Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

  1. Are atheists and agnostics going to be changed before they get to heaven? Then they wouldn’t be in those categories, would they?

    Or, will they be allowed into heaven in their atheistic and agnostic states? Who has an answer?




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    • @Holly Pham:
      Agnostic means to “not know”. If that is true, then Zech 13:6 indicates that there will be agnostics in heaven.

      I don’t have any texts for atheists. There probably weren’t any atheists in Bible times, but but knowing Jesus, it wouldn’t surprise me if a few atheists, who were turned off by religionists, are surprised to find themselves in heaven too.




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  2. Re Holly’s Quote

    “Or, will they be allowed into heaven in their atheistic and agnostic states? Who has an answer?”

    God knows?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  3. Holly Pham Reply January 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm Are atheists and agnostics going to be changed before they get to heaven? Then they wouldn’t be in those categories, would they?

    Or, will they be allowed into heaven in their atheistic and agnostic states? Who has an answer?”

    Holly, Paul said this, “He who has not the spirit of Christ is none of His.” Rom. 8

    Between the resurrection and finally arriving into heaven, there is at least one week, perhaps more…..

    “Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, “Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.” Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, “Alleluia!” as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. {EW 16.1}
    We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads.”

    No one with the “spirit of Christ” will be bickering about what the bible teaches. To those who had not been confronted with some truths, the truth will be presented and there will be no resistance to the obvious simplicity of bible truth.

    The Sabbath, state of the dead, and other issues unknown to these believers will be easily discerned and accepted.

    The details of some truths will no doubt be made more plain during the one thousand year reign. It will be a time of orientation for all of us.

    Who from this world could possibly know by experience what it is like to live in a world without sin and its presence all around us? No temptation…..unbelievable.
    What a day of rejoicing!

    Perfect trust in everyone……how is that possible? Not to mention energy beyond comprension that needs no sleep.

    A thousand years of orientation to prepare us to inhabit the new earth. And of course, a time of judgment to see why some are not there as well as decision making in union with Jesus to determine how much they should suffer before the final death.
    (A pre-advent judgment for the wicked.

    “The saints, in unison with Jesus, pass their judgment upon the wicked dead. “Behold ye,” said the angel, “the saints, in unison with Jesus, sit in judgment, and mete
    53
    out to the wicked according to the deeds done in the body, and that which they must receive at the execution of the judgment is set off against their names.” This, I saw, was the work of the saints with Jesus through the one thousand years in the Holy City before it descends to the earth.”

    EW, page 53

    More people need to read Early Writings and see the simplicity of how all things work out in the end.

    Bill Sorensen




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  4. Mack Ramsy: I have enormous respect for God’s word. If God’s word is not consistent with observable phenomena then it is not God’s word that is wrong, but we who are wrong in our understanding of it. I think others have a misunderstanding in interpretation.

    I’m sorry, Mack, but how you described the scriptures to me and how you are willing to shift their meaning to coincide with the beliefs of mere men, doesn’t really demonstrate to me that you have much respect for, or for that matter, confidence in the scriptures or God.

    As to interpreting the scriptures, we need to adhere to the interpretations God gave us when this church was established. This was not left to human interpretation. The group of people who first established the beliefs of this church spent days and nights in prayer to establish the interpretations according to God’s word. And if they were heading the wrong direction, God sent visions by EGW to correct them. That’s why I have full confidence in the way the church doctrines are applied. It fits together so beautifully…like a jigsaw puzzle of a masterpiece. Why mess with that? Just because some mortal men have come up with a fairytale? Not likely. You are putting your trust in evidence that Satan has tampered with. That you would be willing to change the doctrinal beliefs of our church to fit with that is sooooo unwise.

    I just feel so sad for people who can’t see the beauty of our doctrines. How they fit together so perfectly and are established with several different texts throughout the Bible–sort of like the testimony of more than one witness.

    We have been given extra light on the subject of evolution in the SOP writings. God has outright condemned the theory as error. How can you possibly go against such plain testimony? This is testimony from God–EGW was just the messenger. To reinterpret scripture to fit with evolution is the heights of foolishness.

    Please, Mack, if you have any relationship with God whatsoever, go down on your knees and ask Him. With an open mind, let Him guide you. He will show you the truth if you will let Him. I would advise you to take the time you have been putting into studying the evolutionary error and put it into studying the scriptures and SOP. Your time will be better spent because you will find genuine truth there.




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  5. Eddy:

    I have not forgotten your question concerning the commandments. I am currently taking the time to put together many quotations to make this clear to you. I will post when I am ready.




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  6. ken: If our friend Bob wants to quote a few random excerpts from 30 years ago as proof of the refutation of evolution let him. It is irrelevant in the big scheme of things.

    I suppose our evolutionists friends need a wake up call – “every year” to take it seriously –

    Oh well – free will being what it is.

    For the rest of us – I am more than happy to take seriously the frank observations made by a few atheist evolutionists – even if they are not “convenient” for blind faith devotion to evolutionism.

    Admittedly – not everyone on this board will agree with me on this. I am fine with that.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  7. ken: The argument that we cannot see the mechanism of macro evolution is
    specious due to the time frame over which it occurs. Bob calls this blind faith evolutionism

    I am happy with the situation whereby evolutionists are forced to admit that they do not actually see the “mechanism” claimed for evolutionism – actually adding genetic information to the genome such that Prokaryote-bacteria-A turns into Eukaryote-Amoeba-B much less getting something that would turn into … a Horse.

    All they have today is “bacteria and nylon”. OK – we can all applaud them for showing the mechanism whereby bacteria can consume nylon.

    But what we are looking for is something like prokaryote-bacteria-A turns to Eukaryote-amoeba-B and so on.

    I guess we will be waiting a long long time for that “observation in nature” that confirms the salient mechanism needed by evolutionism’s stories.

    Oh well…

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. By the way, the fact that we are “seven days ascending to the sea of glass” debunks forever any idea that there will be Sunday keepers in heaven. Every saved person will have kept at least one Sabbath before getting there.

    There will be no Sunday keepers in heaven.

    Bill Sorensen




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  9. Re Bill’s Quote

    “There will be no Sunday keepers in heaven.”

    Hi Bill

    Just wondering if you think YEC Adventists historically number less or more than 144,000?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  10. Re: The 144,000 remnant

    Just curious as to whether this forms part of the Adventists’ pillars of faith and. If not why not if EGW clearly saw it in a vision?

    Your. agnostic friend
    Kem




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  11. Re Bob’s Quote

    “I guess we will be waiting a long long time for that “observation in nature” that confirms the salient mechanism needed by evolutionism’s ”

    Hi Bob

    Perhaps not as long a wait as will be to observe 7 day creation. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  12. It’s not so much that Dawkin’s doesn’t want to debate, it’s that debating with a creationist is fairly useless. Take your initial complaint no new information added to the genome. To a biologist (which I am did my dissertation on dengue fever, very unique little bug) that’s a silly and nonsensical question. Any freshman biology student will tell you that Information is added to the genome all the time, bacteria and so on are promiscuous little buggers. In mammalian genomes genes get copied laterally, mutated, replicated again, inverted, tossed out, added back in. How this happens in nature is explained very carefully over several semesters devoted to this precise topic. To the point where they have exceedingly precise calculations of the additional information. As a biologist I can tell you that not only does new information enter the genome all the time, but that it MUST enter the genome. The DNA isn’t stable enough not to have these kinds of events on a very regular basis. Add in all the other assaults to the DNA and you have a very fluid environment as far as information is concerned. if it helps (it probably won’t) think of DNA less like a perfect blue print and more like an incredibly messy garden where people go around trampling in it all the time and pests and deer to eat the cabbages and that sort of thing. That’s a much better picture of DNA. From adversity comes life, there’s probably a lesson in there. How the DNA not only survives but thrives in this environment is an awesome thing, but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally. If that’s your only hangup then join the club because that’s the very very least of your worries. I can think up much more serious concerns about evolution than merely “how does additional information get added?” And you think that one little story about a plane lost in the ice flows somehow refutes what we learn in the ice corps? that’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Not that i doubt the story, but it didn’t crash on the glacier but on the seasonal ice flow. You might have noticed that it moved hundreds of feet more than glaciers are known to do. These ice cores are extremely reliable. Not only are there a bunch of them scattered all over the globe, but they’re all in sync, AND they’re in sync with history. You can accurately pinpoint known historical events like major volcano eruptions and that sort of thing. Each layer traps pollen and gives a fairly precise historical record of changes in climate. It’s all very interesting stuff. Nor is evolution “blind faith” We didn’t magically think this up and go looking for data to prove our own pet satanic theories. Observation came first, always has. Only religion asks blind faith of it’s followers. For example we know how prokaryotes turned into eukaryotes. We know how information got copied down to start with so it could be passed along. I never said we didn’t know, I said it was directly observable, in the same way that the signing of the declaration isn’t directly observable. It’s history, there’s a record. All you have to do is know how to read it.

    @Faith, I applaud your faith. I literally know how much it means to you. But in this church we’ve never lifted any authority above one another (except possibly EGW) We were always encouraged to go to scriptures and to think for ourselves. In this church we believe that truth is progressive. (EGW Signs of the Times, 26 May 1881 and 26 May 1890). It’s always been understood that God will reveal more truth to us. But the jig saw you hold so dear only works if you ignore vast stretches of reality. I’m not saying there wasn’t a flood. there almost certainly was a local or regional event. I was in New Orleans in ’05 I know how your world can be destroyed in a flood. Metaphorically anyway. It isn’t important that the Biblical flood didn’t literal destroy the whole world what’s important is, what is god trying to say when he tells us this story about a time when the part of the world was destoryed? Does it mean less if God started his creation billions of years ago instead of 6,000 years ago? We’ve got cave paintings that are older than 20,000+ years old (assuming the devil didn’t create them just to confuse us). We’ve got a fossil record, we’ve got gene clocks, we so much physical evidence besides logical problems with the story that it makes more sense to see them as a parable or a legend. A story that reveals something important about our world and the character of god without resorting to history. Jesus did so himself numerous times, perhaps more explicitly than moses, but the idea of telling stories to make a point is an old and honored tradition and is entirely consistent with the rest of the bible.




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  13. ken: “I guess we will be waiting a long long time for that “observation in nature” that confirms the salient mechanism needed by evolutionism’s ”

    Hi Bob

    Perhaps not as long a wait as will be to observe 7 day creation.

    We have never seen evolution’s much fabled mechanism “at work” in actual observations in nature creating new genomes etc.

    But we do observe the I.D. mechanism at work every day. Intelligent designers creating things that would not happen “on their own” – and yet blind-faith devotion to evolutionism simply “hopes on”.

    Patterson’s observations proving to be more correct every day –

    “For over twenty years I had thought that I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up, and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years, and there was not one thing I knew about it. “That was quite a shock that one could be misled for so long…

    It does seem that the level of knowledge about evolution is remarkably shallow. We know it ought not to be taught in high school, and perhaps that’s all we know about it

    And then of course there is Patterson’s statement about the religious devotion to evolutionism displayed by its devotees –

    Collin Patterson – Paleontologist British Museum of Natural history speaking at the American Museum of Natural History in 1981 – said:

    Patterson – quotes Gillespie’s arguing that Christians
    “‘…holding creationist ideas could plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact,'”

    Patterson countered, “That seems to summarize the feeling I get in talking to evolutionists today. They plead ignorance of the means of transformation, but affirm only the fact: ‘Yes it has…we know it has taken place.'”

    “…Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. I know that’s true of me, and I think it’s true of a good many of you in here…

    “…,Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge , apparent knowledge which is actually harmful to systematics…”

    So if that is how evolutionists view it – how can objective unbiased readers such as ourselves be blamed for admitting to the validity of those rare frank and honest evolutionist points made in such statements from Patterson – was until the day of his death a diehard evolutionist??

    I say the evolutionist adherents are barking up the wrong tree when they seek to blame creationists for those statements.

    in Christ,
    Bob




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  14. BobRyan: I agree – so let’s let the reader/viewer decide if Dawkins’ answer to this softball evolution101 question is “instructive” for the objective unbiased observer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaKryi3605g

    Even more “instructive” is Dawkins’ later “explanation” that he in fact does not allow himself to be asked evolution101 by anyone but a devotee to evolutionism’s ardent cheerleader club.

    The idea that one cannot even be interviewed (asked for one’s opinion) on camera except by a full devotee to evolutionism (cheerleaders) – is the essence of the dark ages “spirit of education”.

    Dawkins should have known enough to blush at that point. After all we are no longer in the dark ages.

    Mack Ramsy: It’s not so much that Dawkin’s doesn’t want to debate, it’s that debating with a creationist is fairly useless

    Correction – this was not an “on camera debate”. This is a case of an on camera interview – where the classic evolution101 softball “lob” was handed to Dawkins – only to get that wonderful 11 seconds of totally flummoxed silence and ceiling observation.

    Your decision to defend the idea of not even being “interviewed” (no matter how basic the evolution101 question asked) by someone who is SDA – or even a Creationist of any sort… is more than a little “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    Your decision to cast any evolution101 softball question asked of Dawkins as “a debate” — if it is asked by a critical thinking questioner not already “in the tank” for evolutionism — is incredibly revealing.

    Are you aware of just how transparent your response is?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  15. Mack Ramsy: Any freshman biology student will tell you that Information is added to the genome all the time, bacteria and so on are promiscuous little buggers. In mammalian genomes genes get copied laterally, mutated, replicated again, inverted, tossed out, added back in

    1. Your response is apparently to agree with my assertion that the question was an evolutionism101 softball “lob” — (had evolutionism been at all true).

    I am glad we can agree on at least that much.

    2. Your response seems to be that bacteria remaining as nothing more than prokaryote bacteria (even over 100’s of millions of years of speculated evolutionary time), no matter the damage done to individual genomes, is a great example of evolutionism at work — leaving bacteria – as “bacteria” all the while.

    I agree with you on the basics for that one as well.

    This may explain Patterson’s observation that the evolutionist’s knowledge of evolutionism actually working is amazingly shallow.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  16. Mack Ramsy: but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    I assume from your remarks above – thatyou are an example of an evolutionist that is strongly in favor of Intelligent Design.

    I too favor I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  17. One followup point – being well versed in creating systems architecture and design – I am fully convinced that “those who can – do” and those who “cannot” simply kick at the edges as if they really understood all the problems being addressed in systems design and architecture.

    Just a thought.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  18. Hi Bob

    Just curious about your expertise. Do you have a degree in biology? Ever taken a course in evolutionary biology?

    Oh by the way, even though I did not make a career of it, I do have an undergraduate degree in biology with a concentration in genetics. Did a lot of experiments with fruit flies.

    Pardon me for saying this but It seems to me that Adventists like Dr. Pitman, Dr. Kime, Prof Kent, Pauluc and Mack have just a wee bit
    more first hand knowledge of biology. But I’ll reserve judgment on my opinion until you advise as to your expertise on the topic.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  19. Hello Mac and Eddie

    Keep posting gentleman.

    If an apostate like me can be tolerant and appreciative of Adventist faith, then there is always hope for the most recalcitrant within the ranks. It is not so much what we believe that is important, it is why we believe it. More importantly it is how we all treat each other. And yes Bill, Bob, Faith and Faith, that was a lesson I learned from the Bible, albeit in ‘Sunday’ school 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  20. Re Bob’s Quote

    “I guess we will be waiting a long long time for that “observation in nature” that confirms the salient mechanism needed by evolutionism’s stories.”

    Hi Bob

    We didn’t have to wait very long at all my friend. Mack’s very thorough, articulate, expertise response came precisly ‘7’ hours after yours. Hmmmm there is that ole 7 again. A circaseptan dialectic, maybe Sean has something there:)

    What did the dyslexic philosopher ask? Is there a DOG? Perhaps when we mortals try to understand God, we are are all barking up the wrong tree?

    Your playful agnostic friend
    Ken




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  21. Re Bill’s Quote

    “There will be no Sunday keepers in heaven.”

    Hi Bill

    Just wondering if you think YEC Adventists historically number less or more than 144,000?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Some things in scripture are obviously symbolic depending on the context. When 12 thousand of each tribe is refered to, I think we can readily see in this case it is symbolic.

    Does this then also apply to the creation account in Gen. one? No. In fact, it is quite impossible to do so and maintain any continuity concerning the account.

    These two contrast applications are not difficult to discern. And only a person who wanted to make it difficult to do so, would do so.

    So, the 144,000 refers to a quality and maturity of faith and not a number of people.

    So…….are you still an “agnostic”,Ken?

    The story of the blind man Jesus healed in in John 9 may have a parallel to many questions that unbelievers ask on cyber-space forums.

    So, they asked the man, “How did Jesus heal you?”

    And many modern skeptics ask “And how did God create the world?”

    If you read the story, they asked him over and over until he was finally on to them and responded, “I’ve told you again and again, if I tell you again, will you become His disciple?”

    They realized he was on to them, so they scorned him claiming they were “Moses disciples” and didn’t know who Jesus was and then threw him out of the church.

    Most people don’t know it, but the liberals control the SDA church today. And they will use any means available to destroy the influence of conservative bible believing Christians.

    They generally use under-handed means and it usually accomplishes their goals, so they are not really exposed for what they are and the methods they use. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day.

    This is why ministries like Spectrum and A-today and other liberal ministries are allowed booths at the GC sessions. All in the name of Pluralism and tolerance and unity.

    And of course, any liberals who post here are all for this agenda and affirm to us and each other of how loving and kind and tolerant they are to us and each other, while anyone who would challenge and oppose them are not “like Jesus” who tolerated everything and condemned nothing.

    They seem to have blinders on when they read such declarations of Jesus who said, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lust of your father ye will do.”

    Not to mention the whole chapter of Matt. 23. They have a “one-sided” Jesus, and don’t care to examine and consider the other side. It would show they condon sin and support it all in the name of love and tolerance.

    The average SDA church member has no clue of what is actually happening in their church and simply assume that basically, all is well, even if there are some minor problems that are being worked out.

    It is a “time bomb” about to explode, and few are ready or will be ready when it happens. I don’t know if anyone is actually ready for such an event. But woe to those who have no clue of the event and are fast asleep like the foolish virgins with no oil.

    It is coming like Noah’s flood. With an unrelenting certainty. Do you see the clouds gathering?

    Bill Sorensen




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  22. Re Bill’s Quotes

    “Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, “Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.” Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, “Alleluia!” as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. {EW 16.1}”

    “Some things in scripture are obviously symbolic depending on the context. When 12 thousand of each tribe is refered to, I think we can readily see in this case it is symbolic.

    So, the 144,000 refers to a quality and maturity of faith and not a number of people.”

    Hi Bill

    This is where I get very confused on how Adventists decide what is literal vs, symbolic. Didn’t EGW have a vision and actually see the 144,000? How on earth – well how in heaven 🙂 , can that remotely be symbolic if she actually saw it? And if that is symbolic why is it not symbolic when she apparently saw the 7 day literal creation?

    Your, still very much, agnostic friend
    Ken




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  23. Hi Bill

    This is where I get very confused on how Adventists decide what is literal vs, symbolic. Didn’t EGW have a vision and actually see the 144,000? How on earth – well how in heaven , can that remotely be symbolic if she actually saw it? And if that is symbolic why is it not symbolic when she apparently saw the 7 day literal creation?

    Your, still very much, agnostic friend
    Ken

    Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. And I am not suggesting that literal and symbolic are always that easy to discern. Some things are transparent in one way or the other, some are more obscure in seeing the implications.

    The importance of such discernment is massive in knowing what the bible teaches. None the less, as I said, some issues are so easy that “wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein.”

    So a creation week is easily discernable by the context, and the 144,000 is obviously symbolic.

    But since you brought it up, we can see several issues that have created confusion historically. Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you.”

    Unbelievers stumbled at His saying. But actually, there was no need to. Any rational being knew He did not mean a literal application of what He said.

    On the other hand, when Jesus explained His crucifixion and death, a literal event in the future, they must have assumed He was making some spiritual application that could not have a literal meaning.

    And of course, some things have a literal meaning with a symbolic and spiritual application as well. The seventh day Sabbath is a classic example.

    The modern rapture theory is also an example of a mis-understanding of what is literal and what is spiritual.

    When we are “born again” we are spiritually “raptured” into heaven with Jesus and made to “sit in heavenly places with Him.” We are not physically there, but we are spiritually there. Much of the book of Revelation pictures the church as being in heaven, even though we are physically still here on earth. And this is why the confusion by many concerning some “secret rapture” that preceeds the literal and physical coming of Jesus.

    The true church enters with Jesus by faith into the Most Holy Place in the sanctuary in heaven. We don’t physically go there. But we “follow the Lamb, whither so ever He goeth.”

    In short, the gospel simply ignores physical reality including the time element and historical process for the sake of instilling a real dynamic faith in those of us who believe.

    So, by faith, we are already saved, already in heaven, already judged, and already have eternal life. This is according to the gospel. Not according to the law. For the law says,

    You are not yet saved, you are not in heaven, you have not yet been judged, and neither do you at this time have eternal life.

    Now you see the confusion in the minds of individuals who have no “spiritual discernment” and many will endeavor to negate the law, and historical process claiming we are in fact, already saved, judged, and have eternal life.

    Since the gospel gives us assurance, and the law creates fear, some are willing to deny and negate the law has any application to a believer and we need not “fear” any judgment since we “believe” in Jesus and the gospel.

    This is false reasoning. The fact is this, assurance and fear work together to create a viable motive to be Christians and do the will of God. Negate either one, and you negate both.

    So now you know why I oppose the emphasis in modern Adventism that would negate a dynamic application on law and judgment and emphasize a false gospel that negates the law. Fear of God and judgment is just as much a part of the motivation to know and love and serve God as is grace and forgiveness.

    Obedience to the law is just as much a part of the doctrine of justification as is the forgiving grace of God. And to deny it is apostacy. The tension between the two must remain for each to have any dynamic. Destroy one, you destroy both.

    Martin Luther rightly said….

    “When I look at the law, I don’t see how anyone can be saved…….but, when I look at the gospel, I don’t see how anyone can be lost.”

    Then why look at the law at all? Because if the law is not in effect 100% of the time, then neither is the gospel. But if the law is in effect 100% of the time, so is the gospel. They stand or fall together and each challenges and supports the other.

    Because of this truth, God’s kingdom is dynamic forever and never static as Lucifer opted for. The meaning of our existence is bound up in the paradox.

    Bill Sorensen




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    • @Bill Sorensen:
      Bill, This was a nice discussion, but I don’t think it quite addresses the issue. At least not for me.

      1. You listed many areas where people disagree. For example the Catholic belief in transubstantiation, and the protestant belief in the rapture. If so many other Christians can be in error, (according to you), then how can you be so sure that you aren’t in error as well? It seems reasonable to me to assume that we (including the whole SDA church) are probably in error as well. If it is highly likely that at least some of what we believe is in error, then is seems unwise to set up a creed that goes beyond what the Bible says.

      Look at our history. At one time our major fundamental belief was that Jesus second coming was going to be Oct. 22 1844. If we were wrong in that fundamental Belief, shouldn’t we hold the rest of our “Fundamental Belief’s” lightly?

      2. Remember, I am speaking as a believer now. Our stand has always been to accept the Bible as literal unless there is reason to believe it is not. At the time of Mrs. White we did not have the scientific evidence that we do now. I am beginning to wonder if the fact that, after so many years of honest trying, Genesis and Science remain irreconcilable, that may be an indication that Genesis really is a spiritual story rather than a literal one.
      At least I think it should give us pause, and encourage us to be a little more charitable toward our weaker brothers.

      3. I am not so certain it is possible to tell the difference between Theistic evolution and Intelligent design.

      Did Bob mention that he was a designer? I’ll bet that if Bob sits down and really analyses the design process, that he will see that it is at its heart, an evolutionary process. You generally start with a rough idea of what you want, then you start tweaking it until gradually, and eventually, you have what you want. Usually you don’t start completely from scratch, but you adapt, or branch off from something you have seen or done previously.

      So, as I look at the world, it appears to me that evolution is a fundamental law of the universe, even a law of Intelligent Design. Evolution describes the process rather than the Cause. And it seems to me that something so pervasive in nature, must connect somehow with the God who created nature. Part of God’s nature if you will. If God, the creator, is constantly creating, then would that not appear like evolution to us? Far from undermining belief in God, I think evolution as we see it, is evidence that God is in fact, live and well, and continuing to create.

      (The main theological point of disagreement here, is whether God continues to create or whether he stopped being the creator after he created Earth. Let’s not go there.)

      I think that when Mrs. White objected to Evolution, she was referring to Evolution as the Cause. What we have typically labeled “Atheistic evolution”. That was a fundamental error in early thought about evolution and I agree with Mrs. White’s objections, and Bob’s quotes, on that ground, but I am not sure her statements would apply to evolution as a process. As I read Mrs. White’s statements, it appears to me that she is objecting to skeptics using Evolution as an argument to remove God as the cause, hence her description of God sustaining and moving every atom. It does not appear that she ever conceptualized the possibility of evolution as a process. Because she never made that distinction, I don’t think her statements really address the current issues.

      (Please don’t side step this question by reference to evolution requiring death. It doesn’t, and I consider that argument irrelevant, and quite frankly, intellectually insulting.)

      4. Bob, et. al. object to theistic evolution. But everyone, even Bob admits to what they call “micro evolution”. (I don’t see any dividing line between evolution and micro-evolution. It is all the same as far as I can tell.) But if God is in control of the movement of every atom as Mrs. White describes, how is it that micro-evolution is not theistic evolution?




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  24. Mack:

    Why do I not think we should be disregarding any Bible texts or changing our beliefs? Here is a little quotation for you from This Day With God.

    “Not one jot or tittle of God’s holy requirements will ever be changed to meet man in his unready condition. The holy Word will never change or be done away with.”—p 100

    And on the subject of science:

    “From Christ all truth radiates. Apart from Christ, science is misleading and philosophy is foolishness. Those who are separated from the Saviour will advance theories that originate with the wily foe. Christ’s life stands out in contrast of all false science, all erroneous theories, all misleading methods. (Such as evolution)

    Pretenders will arise with theories that have no foundation in the Word of God. We are to hold aloft the banner bearing the inscription, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus….Let no one attempt to dilute truth with a mixture of sophistry. Let no one attempt to tear down the foundation of our faith, or to spoil the pattern by bringing into the web threads of human devising.”—p 324

    If you truly do respect the scriptures you will not wrest them from the intended meaning to fit with false theories and false evidences.

    As to the professors who are teaching the heresy of evolution in the biology departments:
    “Shall those who do not heed the divine counsel be acknowledged as leaders in the Lord’s institutions?—God forbid. How can we regard as safe guides those who manifest a spirit of unbelief, and who, in words and character, fail of revealing true godliness.”—p248 This Day With God

    Thus, because of their unbelief in Creation, these professors unfit themselves for the positions they have been holding in LSU and other institutions. The church is correct in removing them from these positions. Seems pretty clear to me.




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  25. Mack Ramsy:: but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    BobRyan:

    I assume from your remarks above – that you are an example of an evolutionist that is strongly in favor of Intelligent Design.

    I too favor I.D.

    I noticed a couple of negative votes on this point of agreement.

    I am curious about who objects to our agreeing to the concept of I.D seen in nature.

    Anyone care to share?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  26. I noticed a couple of negative votes on this point of agreement.

    I am curious about who objects to our agreeing to the concept of I.D seen in nature.

    Anyone care to share?

    in Christ,

    Bob

    Bob, I didn’t vote. But I know the I.D. is a convoluted idea that endeavors to make sense of evolution and support it while patronizing those who want to believe in some intelligence involved.

    A real evolutionist would never agree, nor would a real bible Christian embrace the principles. Google Intelligent Design and see what you find.

    And you know I appreciate your strong stand on biblical truth and the creation account in Genesis.

    Bill Sorensen




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  27. Ok, I see Bill is commenting on the law and obedience to it. I have been doing a bit of in-depth studying on this subject myself the past few days. Eddy has challenged me to support the statement I made concerning the necessity of keeping the commandments in order to enter heaven.

    Eddie:
    I, too, have been raised in the church, and I know that we are told that the law cannot save us. And, strictly speaking, that is correct. But does that mean we are not to keep the law?–no, of course not.

    The law of God is an expression of His character. It is the law that heavenly society is based upon, and if we are to share in this society, we must learn to keep this law—just as we would expect to keep any law in any place in which we live. Can we do this on our own? No, we cannot. Sin has come into the earth and corrupted its inhabitants. At this point we need Christ’s grace to help us to keep the law—but keep it, we must, if we intend to be admitted to heaven. This is supported by statements from both the SOP and the Bible.

    My daughter and I love the devotional book, This Day With God. We have read and reread it now for years and learn something new from it every year. I have spent the last couple of days mining out the statements from this book concerning the necessity of the keeping of the law for salvation and I will share them here with you.

    “The Lord will not let His human treasure with Christ, its head, go into the enemy’s ranks without every effort made in their behalf. Their only hope is to do the commandments of God. “–p 28

    “If the graces of Christ are not revealed in their lives, they (the professing followers of Christ) can never be admitted to the heavenly mansions He has gone to prepare for them that love Him and keep His commandments.”–p73

    “Pardon is offered to all who will return their allegiance to the law of God. But there are those who refuse to accept a ‘thus saith the Lord’. They will not reverence and respect His law….he (Satan) holds in allegiance to himself all who refuse to keep God’s commandments, who reject a plain ‘thus saith the Lord’. They stand under the enemy’s banner, for there are but two parties in the world. All rank either under the banner of the obedient or under the banner of the disobedient.”—p 84

    “Obedience to God’s commands will enroll our names in the Lamb’s book of life.”—p 87
    “The way to heaven is narrow, hedged in by the divine law of Jehovah.”—p108
    “Christ attaches a weight of importance to the obedience of His people to the commandments of God. They are to have an intelligent knowledge of them, and bring them into their daily lives….Not to keep the commandments of God is not to love Him.”—p 142

    “Those who love Jesus will reveal that love by being obedient children. They will be doers of the Word and not hearers only. They will not be continually pleading ‘All that we have to do is to believe in Jesus.’”—p 299

    “Heaven is only for those who have purified their souls through obedience to the truth.”—p315

    “’If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15)—not to select one or two or nine, but the whole ten—all His commandments must be kept…’He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ (1John 2:4) ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.’ (1John 5:3)”—p319
    Would you see the King in His beauty? Would you stand around the great white throne? Then you must obey God’s commandments because none will enter heaven who refuse to accept the law of Jehovah as the rule of life.”—p 320
    “We can overcome only in the way Christ overcame—by wholehearted obedience to every commandment of God. True religion is obedience to all the commandments of God.”—p 322

    “Obedience to the law of God is the question that is to test the whole world….”—p 325

    Besides these very clear statements from the Spirit of Prophecy, the Bible says:
    “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Rev. 22:14

    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”—Ecclesiastes 12:13

    And, finally, here is a quotation from another devotional written by EGW:
    The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” is their cry; “only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.” While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God.

    There are two errors against which the children of God—particularly those who have just come to trust in His grace—especially need to guard. The first . . . is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. . . . It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, that can make us holy.

    The opposite and no less dangerous error is that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption.

    But notice here that obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. . . . Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.
    From Devotional: Our Father Cares, pp. 68, 69.

    With the above quotations in mind, I don’t see how anyone can argue that keeping the commandments is required for entrance into heaven.




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  28. I think you’ve misunderstood my answer, I did not suggest that bacteria do not evolve, or are the currently the same as they were. We know about many of the changes that have happened and roughly when. If you had listened to Dawkins what he said was true, there are no living examples of a species that existed at the dawn of evolution. Those exist no more than your ancestors currently exist. They left their history for us to read. We can and do and creationists have a fit. It’s kind like complaining that historians read history books. Of course they do, all the time. This is something that happens on an observable time frame. One of the misconceptions that many creationists believe that evolution is directed to some ultimate goal. that prokaryotes are trying to become eukaryotes and so on. The “point” is to become better suited to your environment. I don’t believe in ID as it’s traditionally defined. I believe that God created a system designed to evolve. So I guess you’re welcome to keep harping on Dawkins. So he took a long time to think about an answer, I notice you’d rather pick at an ancient and irrelevant video than discuss the issues involved or my plethora of examples of information being added to the genome. In my experience it is very rare “to plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact”. Typically what frequently happens is that creationists don’t understand the answer and think Evolutionists are ignorant and sidestepping important questions. (Like how does information get added to a genome). Like I’ve said previously I do not anticipate any of these arguments swaying minds. Evolution has been the established scientific paradigm for 100 years, and it shows no sign of changing. I know you don’t believe this, but the people who study this issue are in fact Christians and they are looking at this and many other issues you could not possibly understand sincerely and in good faith. There is not a legitimate scientist even with in the Adventist church who feels differently.




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  29. Regarding the question of atheists and agnostics going to heaven, the quotations regarding keeping the commandments sort of disqualifies anyone not keeping God’s law, and I would be surprised if anyone who isn’t a Bible-believing Christian would be doing that.

    Another quotation I found is appropriate to this subject:
    “Let no one think that, while he is living in transgression, he will be allowed to enter the gates of the holy city. Those who, when Christ comes, are in rebellion against God will not be admitted to the courts above. No rebel will enter heaven.”—p 320 This Day With God




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  30. Mack:

    Why do I not think we should be disregarding any Bible texts or changing our beliefs? Here is a little quotation for you from This Day With God.

    “Not one jot or tittle of God’s holy requirements will ever be changed to meet man in his unready condition. The holy Word will never change or be done away with.”—p 100

    And on the subject of science:

    “From Christ all truth radiates. Apart from Christ, science is misleading and philosophy is foolishness. Those who are separated from the Saviour will advance theories that originate with the wily foe. Christ’s life stands out in contrast of all false science, all erroneous theories, all misleading methods. (Such as evolution)

    Pretenders will arise with theories that have no foundation in the Word of God. We are to hold aloft the banner bearing the inscription, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus….Let no one attempt to dilute truth with a mixture of sophistry. Let no one attempt to tear down the foundation of our faith, or to spoil the pattern by bringing into the web threads of human devising.”—p 324

    If you truly do respect the scriptures you will not wrest them from the intended meaning to fit with false theories and false evidences.

    As to the professors who are teaching the heresy of evolution in the biology departments:
    “Shall those who do not heed the divine counsel be acknowledged as leaders in the Lord’s institutions?—God forbid. How can we regard as safe guides those who manifest a spirit of unbelief, and who, in words and character, fail of revealing true godliness.”—p248 This Day With God

    Thus, because of their unbelief in Creation, these professors unfit themselves for the positions they have been holding in LSU and other institutions. The church is correct in removing them from these positions. Seems pretty clear to me.




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  31. Faith: Mack:Why do I not think we should be disregarding any Bible texts or changing our beliefs?

    Sorry, that first sentence got a little muddled. It should read:
    Why do I think we should not be disregarding any Bible texts or changing our beliefs?




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  32. Dear Bill

    Thank you very much for your thorough explanation. It is obvious you are a learned man very steeped in your knowledge of the Bible.

    Unfortunatly for my simple mind I cannot make any sense of what you are saying or see any rational basis for discerning between the literal or symbolic set out in the bible. But it certainly gives me a better explanation as to why Adventists differ so widely in interpreting same.

    I’m actually sympathetic on this point as by analogy I understand how difficult it is, not just for the layman, but for lawyers as well, to interpret secular law. When it comes to this forum I am likely the least able to understand the bible and profess no expertise in this regard.

    Thanks again for taking the time and thought to educate a heathen like me.

    Your grateful agnostic friend
    Ken




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  33. Dear Bill

    Thank you very much for your thorough explanation. It is obvious you are a learned man very steeped in your knowledge of the Bible.

    Unfortunatly for my simple mind I cannot make any sense of what you are saying or see any rational basis for discerning between the literal or symbolic set out in the bible. But it certainly gives me a better explanation as to why Adventists differ so widely in interpreting same.

    I’m actually sympathetic on this point as by analogy I understand how difficult it is, not just for the layman, but for lawyers as well, to interpret secular law. When it comes to this forum I am likely the least able to understand the bible and profess no expertise in this regard.

    Thanks again for taking the time and thought to educate a heathen like me.

    Your grateful agnostic friend
    Ken




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  34. We’re in deep deep trouble when we have to resort to Ellen White to support our doctrinal views.

    Which fundamental belief tells us that commandment keeping is required of adventists or anyone else for that matter? And if keeping the commandments will get us to heaven then why did Jesus have to die?

    These arguments border on silly. Most of the individuals who had substance in their comments seem to have vanished.




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  35. Re. dragging Intelligent Design back into it, again, again: As just another litigious, legislatious lobby, IntelligentDesign.org is just A Great Distraction. As a science, Intelligent Design is a Great Leap Forward for agnostics, certainly atheists, towards God. For Christians, a Great Retreat.




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  36. We’re in deep deep trouble when we have to resort to Ellen White to support our doctrinal views.

    Which fundamental belief tells us that commandment keeping is required of adventists or anyone else for that matter? And if keeping the commandments will get us to heaven then why did Jesus have to die?

    These arguments border on silly. Most of the individuals who had substance in their comments seem to have vanished.




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  37. Faith said….

    “Ok, I see Bill is commenting on the law and obedience to it.”

    Actually, Faith, I was pleasantly surprised that I got 3 thumbs up on my post concerning law and gospel.

    I was afraid many, if not most, would not even understand the point I was making.

    That we are justified by the law should be so obvious that we could wonder that any professing Christian would deny it.

    The purpose of any law is to justify or condemn. So….if we can not be justified by the law, then neither can we be condemned by it.

    It should also be equally obvious that no unbeliever can be justified by the law for several reasons.

    1. It is the law of faith, grace, love and the gospel. How then could an unbeliever who has no faith in the gospel have any ability to be justified by the law.

    2. Unbelievers can not keep the law since they have no moral motivation or power to do so. So they can’t keep it, even if they try. (Many of us know this by experience.)

    3. The law is based on a love relationship with Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus, you can not have a relationship with Him, nor keep His law.

    4. The law is a covenant agreement simular to marriage. You must be married to Christ and thus be a part of His family before you can keep the “family” law. If you are not a member of the family, it is vain to think by obedience you can become a member of the family. A legal act of marriage precedes the moral action of obedience. None the less, the two work together in a perfect unity, so that if you refuse to obey, the marriage is eventually annuled.

    5. Those who think they can be justified by Christ’s atonement, without entering into the covenant agreement of obedience are self deceived.

    6. Justification then has two aspects. A legal and a moral component. The moral law is not for the purpose of satisfying the legal requirements. Thus, we rightly discern that the ceremonial law, which typifies Christ, can not be fulfilled by anyone except Christ Himself. We are released from this obligation when we accept Him. But this does not release us from the necessity to keep the moral law to be justified.

    Rather than say there is a legal justification, and a moral justification, it seems more appropriate to say justification has legal and moral implications.

    The Catholic church clearly understands that you must keep the law to be justified. All Christians should agree on this point. The error of Rome is to convolute the legal and moral aspects of justification and claim a believer can earn and merit (legal) the favor of God by keeping the moral law.

    Apostate Protestantism discerns that the merit of redemption is found solely in Christ, but seperates the moral law and negates it true intent and purpose by claiming we need not keep the moral law to be saved and/or justified.

    God raised up bible Adventism to set the record straight. We aren’t doing very well, are we?

    Bill Sorensen




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  38. Ken, if the 144,000 was a literal number there would be only 12,000 saved from each tribe of Israel, which means only Jews would be saved. No born-again Christians, Catholics, Baptists, SDAs, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Polynesians, Bob Ryans, Bill Sorensons, Professor Kents, etc. Unless, of course, they happened to be of Jewish descent. To me it’s an obvious symbol. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, incidentally, interpret the number literally.

    As for trying to understand the distinction between the symbolic and literal interpretation of a scripture, here’s a quote from The Great Controversy, p. 199: “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.”




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  39. John Henry Newman was a Protestant scholar who, after years of study and evaluation, decided that Protestantism was not a viable explanation of the bible and salvation. He joined the Catholic church and became a Cardinal.

    His difficulty was this, “How can you build a bridge to obedience and Christian ethics by advocating salvation “by faith alone”? It was obvious to him, and me, that if we are saved by “faith alone” obedience has no dynamic to the salvation formula. Had he carefully studied the better scholars in historic Protestantism, he would have found the answer.

    All historic confessions of faith acknowledge that the law is still a rule of life for all believers and all believers are “under the law” as a rule of life, but not “under the law” of condemnation since we are now forgiven. If you break the law, you are again under its condemnation.

    The phrase “faith alone” had a selective and special meaning in the context of their conflict with Rome. It singular application had to do with merit and so it was “faith alone, Christ alone and grace alone.” When it comes to merit, only Jesus can and did merit heaven and offers it to us as a free gift.

    Protestantism seperated merit from a believers works, but did not seperate the moral obligation of the believer to keep the moral law to be justified.

    Bible Adventism re-affirms exactly how merit is a part of the believer’s works. As our works are wrought in Christ, He adds His merit to our works and by His intercession, our works are considered meritorious, even when they are not.

    Catholics and others call this “legal fiction” and reject legal imputation as being unethical and even immoral.

    But we don’t call it “legal fiction” when Mary Smith marries Jim Jones and now becomes Mary Jones, do we? She really is Mary Jones by way of a legal declaration of an authority that unites her to Jim.

    Mary and Jim have a covenant agreement in marriage that can be broken so that either one has a right to divorce the other if the agreement is abandon. Just so, if we break the moral law, God will divorce us eventually and we are no longer “justified”.

    Bill Sorensen




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  40. Xanadu: Which fundamental belief tells us that commandment keeping is required of adventists or anyone else for that matter? And if keeping the commandments will get us to heaven then why did Jesus have to die?

    You just don’t get it, do you? First of all, when to the fundamental beliefs take precedence over the Bible and SOP? Next, if you had read my post you would have seen that I said the commandments won’t save you. BUT that doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep the law.

    I do realize this concept is quite deep, but if you ask the Holy Spirit, He will help you understand it.

    So, you think we are in trouble if we have to resort to Ellen White to support our beliefs? You obviously didn’t read all of my post. There are several texts from the Bible in there as well. But that aside, you are in trouble yourself if you don’t respect and believe in the SOP. How dare you make such a disparaging remark concerning God’s counsel. Ellen White was only the messenger–the messages come from God. And if you have an ounce of logic you will realize that this whole controversy centers around the Law and the keeping of it. It doesn’t take a whole lot of intellect to realize that if we are at odds with God’s law, we will not go to heaven where every citizen is required to keep it. Satan was bounced out of heaven because he rejected God’s law. Lesson learned? I hope so.

    Earth is our training ground for heaven. So how hard is it to understand that we have to do all we can to keep the law here. What can we do? We can accept it as the rule of our lives. We can ask God to give us strength to keep His law. Then we put the rest in God’s hands.

    Mind you, there is one way to be “free” of the law. You can join with Satan in his bid to overthrow the Law and God’s govenment–and then you can join in Satan’s doom along with the rest of his followers. Sound good to you? Well, if you refuse to keep the law, that’s your default choice.




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  41. The law as a “means of grace.”

    You are saved by reading the bible. Can you merit heaven by reading the bible?….no, no.

    You are saved by prayer. Does prayer merit heaven? no….

    You are saved by going to church and Christian fellowship. Does fellowship merit heaven?….no.

    You are saved by witnessing. See I Tim. 4:16. Will this merit heaven?…..YOU know it won’t. Only a Roman Catholic would claim you can merit heaven by the things I have mentioned above.

    And yes, keeping the ten commandments saves you as well. Who can break the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me,” and still claim to be saved? And this principle applies to every commandment of God and every exhortation in the bible.

    In the last 40 years our whole teaching and emphasis has been in explaining how we are “not saved by the law” as Paul has stated.

    But we never teach how we “are saved by the law” as James so clearly explains.

    This has gone on so long, that it is almost impossible to find people who are willing to admit we are saved by the law in any context for fear of being called “legalists” by the church. So, today we have no bible doctrine on how we are saved by the law.

    Not even as a means of grace. Keep it up much longer and there will not be a Sabbath keeper on the face of the earth just as the devil hopes for.

    We are saved to a responsible obedience, not some irresponsible freedom that casts aside the law for justification and salvation.

    And this false theory that if you truly and really believe the gospel, you will obey the law automatically is equally false.

    Billions of people will be lost who knew full well what the gospel was and believed, but would not and did not obey the law and they are lost.

    We obey the law by a conscience choice and decision, just like we choose to believe the gospel or not. We would not need the book of James if faith in Christ automatically caused a person to obey the law. Neither would we need to exhort people to believe if a presentation of the gospel caused an “automatic” response of faith.

    So, we are exhorted to not only believe, we are also exhorted to obey. And we sing, “Trust and obey”. Two factors in the salvation decision. Just because they work together in a perfect unity, does not mean they have no seperate function. I choose to believe God will accept me through the merits and atonement of the cross. I also choose to believe I must obey the law or the atonement will not be appropriated to me.

    The subtle deceptions of the devil would not be so subtle if we were all better bible students with an intense desire to avoid his deceptions and understand clearly the issues involved in the “Great Controversy”.

    Yes, we are saved by keeping the law, but not so we can merit heaven. It is for a fitness to live there.

    Bill Sorensen




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  42. @Ron, Where in SDA history did we (SDAs) say that 1844 would be the Second Coming? Wasn’t this advocated by people before the SDA Church was established and organized? How would this be a “fundamental belief?”




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  43. PUC&#032Student: @Holly Pham: Actually, the usual sanction for substance abuse at PUC on first offense includes a suspension (as you say) which will reflect negatively on your grade, a record on your PUC citizenship record which will be a factor should you get called before the committee for any reason at a future date, and generally required, binding, counseling for substance abuse.I believe the fact that we have a counseling center on campus shows that our administration does take substance abuse seriously and is proactively working to provide resources to individuals who are caught up in unfortunate habits.

    Sounds like the typical “hokey” fluff that all colleges have. Regarding a “counseling center” this means absolutely nothing. Most pot smokers will not voluntarily “check into” any type of “voluntary” counseling.

    Mandatory counseling has an abysmal record as to solving or even helping college students, as all colleges have them, and pot smoking in rampant on most campuses despite them.!

    What is PUC doing “proactively” to address this problem? I believe the answer is nothing.




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    • @Holly Pham:

      So what would you suggest, Holly, to “proactively address the problem” in a redemptive way?

      Frankly, PUC comes down much harder than most schools on substance abuse. It’s not even a big problem as you assume at PUC. I would estimate the percentage of the student that uses illicit drugs during the school year to be less than 5% at the absolute maximum.




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    • @Holly Pham: Holly, I think how colleges do or don’t respond to drug use is really off topic.
      You might change your mind about counseling if you ever get any. Good counseling is a lot of hard spiritual work.




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    • @Holly Pham: Every College takes substance abuse very seriously. Even ours. But there’s a limit to what can be effectively done about it. Not even the parents of young kids can effectively keep tabs on them. If some idiot teenager wants to smoke pot how would you stop them? At college these are adults who have the right go where ever and whenever they please. Unless you can catch them in the act there’s really nothing you can do. And as anyone who’s worked with people suffering with substance abuse problems, treating someone resistent to help is a futile effort. You can always kick them out, but that’s only if they’re dumb enough to get caught (and you’d have to be pretty dumb). Our colleges do everything they can. They offer counseling, safety and medical care if necessary. Drug dealers are sent to prison and the truly recalcitrant are asked to leave. This is what we do, this is what all institutions do. It’s a great deal more than nothing, but a great deal less than a magic wand to make the problem better.




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  44. Hi Eddie

    Thanks for the tutelage. I’m still struggling with the concept of EGW seeing something in a vision that is symbolic rather than literal. I guess I’m just spiritually dense!

    In any case I hope you and all my Adventist friends have a good Sabbath.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  45. Bill&#032Sorensen: They seem to have blinders on when they read such declarations of Jesus who said, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lust of your father ye will do.”

    Bill, It is not that liberals don’t see the quote. The problem is that Jesus was talking to the religious establishment, ie the conservatives of his time. It looks to me like Jesus is referring to exactly the kind of thing that is happening at La Sierra, with the conservatives trying to drive out the teachers. The conservatives killed Jesus, and now they are persecuting the believers.




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  46. Xanadu: Which fundamental belief tells us that commandment keeping is required of adventists or anyone else for that matter? And if keeping the commandments will get us to heaven then why did Jesus have to die?

    More Bible – … less complaining.

    You correctly state the view of God’s Law that is the perspective of the lost. For the lost person the Law only serves one function – to condemn and point to the need of salvation. The lost do not “keep the commandments to become saved”. No amount of keeping the commandments will ever save a lost person.

    But for the saved person – well for that POV we have John 14:15 “IF you love Me THEN keep My Commandments”.

    Paul puts it this way “What MATTERS is KEEPING the Commandments of God” 1Cor 7:19.

    Thus the role of the Law for the SAVED person is just as James describes it – and as Paul stated it in 1Cor 7:19 and Romans 2:13-16.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  47. Bill Sorensen: Bob, I didn’t vote. But I know the I.D. is a convoluted idea that endeavors to make sense of evolution and support it while patronizing those who want to believe in some intelligence involved.

    A real evolutionist would never agree, nor would a real bible Christian embrace the principles. Google Intelligent Design and see what you find.

    And you know I appreciate your strong stand on biblical truth and the creation account in Genesis.

    You are right – that I.D. is not creationism. In Romans 1 Paul states that all of mankind (even those with no Bible at all) are condemned because the invisible attributes of God are “clearly seen through the things that have been made”.

    Thus – all mankind is accountable to the basic “I.D.” principle that nature demonstrates. That is a far cry from claiming that all mankind believes in a 7 day creation week less than 10,000 years ago.

    Far be it from me to claim that I.D. is the creation account found in the Bible.

    But it is “just the obvious” when it comes to “observations in nature”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  48. Useing the marriage as an illustration as the bible often does, we should be able to see that no matter how great an experience can be between a man and a woman, it is still adultry unless they are legally married.

    They may keep all the same covenant conditions that a married couple agree to keep, but if they are not married, they are still “breaking the law”.

    The law demands a legal unity before an intimate experiencial relationship can be valid.

    Just so, how don’t care how “moral” people may be and/or act, unless they accept Jesus as their only title to heaven, they are still lost and will remain so unless they repent. In God’s eyes, they are immoral law breakers and sinful in heart and action.

    So, Jesus said, “Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, you will in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    He then goes into the motive for obedience in His sermon and shows that “civil righteousness” is never good enough. And without the right motive, sin is mingled in every good work. And without Christ, every “good work” is self righteousness.

    And Paul would say, “By the deeds of the law shall no unbeliever in Christ be justified.”

    And James would say, “And no one is saved by faith in Christ without the deeds of the law.”

    Perfect harmony. No discord. They each say the same thing from a different perspective. EGW agrees with this in her personal testimonies and her writings.

    I hope you do too, I know I do.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath and keep the faith.

    Bill Sorensen




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  49. Happy Sabbath, everyone. We are another week closer to His glorious return. “Keep your lamps trimmed and burning. Watch.”

    The time is near. “Today, today, today… until He comes…”




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  50. The law as a “means of grace.”

    You are saved by reading the bible. Can you merit heaven by reading the bible?….no, no.

    You are saved by prayer. Does prayer merit heaven? no….

    You are saved by going to church and Christian fellowship. Does fellowship merit heaven?….no.

    You are saved by witnessing. See I Tim. 4:16. Will this merit heaven?…..YOU know it won’t. Only a Roman Catholic would claim you can merit heaven by the things I have mentioned above.

    And yes, keeping the ten commandments saves you as well. Who can break the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me,” and still claim to be saved? And this principle applies to every commandment of God and every exhortation in the bible.

    In the last 40 years our whole teaching and emphasis has been in explaining how we are “not saved by the law” as Paul has stated.

    But we never teach how we “are saved by the law” as James so clearly explains.

    This has gone on so long, that it is almost impossible to find people who are willing to admit we are saved by the law in any context for fear of being called “legalists” by the church. So, today we have no bible doctrine on how we are saved by the law.

    Not even as a means of grace. Keep it up much longer and there will not be a Sabbath keeper on the face of the earth just as the devil hopes for.

    We are saved to a responsible obedience, not some irresponsible freedom that casts aside the law for justification and salvation.

    And this false theory that if you truly and really believe the gospel, you will obey the law automatically is equally false.

    Billions of people will be lost who knew full well what the gospel was and believed, but would not and did not obey the law and they are lost.

    We obey the law by a conscience choice and decision, just like we choose to believe the gospel or not. We would not need the book of James if faith in Christ automatically caused a person to obey the law. Neither would we need to exhort people to believe if a presentation of the gospel caused an “automatic” response of faith.

    So, we are exhorted to not only believe, we are also exhorted to obey. And we sing, “Trust and obey”. Two factors in the salvation decision. Just because they work together in a perfect unity, does not mean they have no seperate function. I choose to believe God will accept me through the merits and atonement of the cross. I also choose to believe I must obey the law or the atonement will not be appropriated to me.

    The subtle deceptions of the devil would not be so subtle if we were all better bible students with an intense desire to avoid his deceptions and understand clearly the issues involved in the “Great Controversy”.

    Yes, we are saved by keeping the law, but not so we can merit heaven. It is for a fitness to live there.

    Bill Sorensen




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  51. PUC Student: @Holly Pham: Actually, the usual sanction for substance abuse at PUC on first offense includes a suspension (as you say) which will reflect negatively on your grade, a record on your PUC citizenship record which will be a factor should you get called before the committee for any reason at a future date, and generally required, binding, counseling for substance abuse.I believe the fact that we have a counseling center on campus shows that our administration does take substance abuse seriously and is proactively working to provide resources to individuals who are caught up in unfortunate habits.

    Sounds like the typical “hokey” fluff that all colleges have. Regarding a “counseling center” this means absolutely nothing. Most pot smokers will not voluntarily “check into” any type of “voluntary” counseling.

    Mandatory counseling has an abysmal record as to solving or even helping college students, as all colleges have them, and pot smoking in rampant on most campuses despite them.!

    What is PUC doing “proactively” to address this problem? I believe the answer is nothing.




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    • @Holly Pham: Holly, I think how colleges do or don’t respond to drug use is really off topic.
      You might change your mind about counseling if you ever get any. Good counseling is a lot of hard spiritual work.




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    • @Holly Pham:

      So what would you suggest, Holly, to “proactively address the problem” in a redemptive way?

      Frankly, PUC comes down much harder than most schools on substance abuse. It’s not even a big problem as you assume at PUC. I would estimate the percentage of the student that uses illicit drugs during the school year to be less than 5% at the absolute maximum.




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    • @Holly Pham: Every College takes substance abuse very seriously. Even ours. But there’s a limit to what can be effectively done about it. Not even the parents of young kids can effectively keep tabs on them. If some idiot teenager wants to smoke pot how would you stop them? At college these are adults who have the right go where ever and whenever they please. Unless you can catch them in the act there’s really nothing you can do. And as anyone who’s worked with people suffering with substance abuse problems, treating someone resistent to help is a futile effort. You can always kick them out, but that’s only if they’re dumb enough to get caught (and you’d have to be pretty dumb). Our colleges do everything they can. They offer counseling, safety and medical care if necessary. Drug dealers are sent to prison and the truly recalcitrant are asked to leave. This is what we do, this is what all institutions do. It’s a great deal more than nothing, but a great deal less than a magic wand to make the problem better.




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  52. Hi Eddie

    Thanks for the tutelage. I’m still struggling with the concept of EGW seeing something in a vision that is symbolic rather than literal. I guess I’m just spiritually dense!

    In any case I hope you and all my Adventist friends have a good Sabbath.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  53. Bill Sorensen: They seem to have blinders on when they read such declarations of Jesus who said, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lust of your father ye will do.”

    Bill, It is not that liberals don’t see the quote. The problem is that Jesus was talking to the religious establishment, ie the conservatives of his time. It looks to me like Jesus is referring to exactly the kind of thing that is happening at La Sierra, with the conservatives trying to drive out the teachers. The conservatives killed Jesus, and now they are persecuting the believers.




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  54. Holly Pham: Where in SDA history did we (SDAs) say that 1844 would be the Second Coming? Wasn’t this advocated by people before the SDA Church was established and organized? How would this be a “fundamental belief?”

    Holly, technically of course you are correct. The official SDA church was incorporated until much later, however most if not all of our founders were part of the Millerite movement that taught that Jesus was coming Oct. 22, 1844. Mrs. White clearly considered the Adventist movement to have come out of the great disappointment and to have been one with it.

    I think the second coming of Christ in 1844, was THE fundamental belief of the Millerite movement, and if you believe Mrs. White, the movement was directed by God, and God intentionally allowed them to misunderstand. This suggests to me:
    1. That God is sometimes OK with our lack of understanding and
    2. that we should retain just a little skepticism when we assert that we have the truth. Our history shows that what seems absolutely black and white and has even had the power of the Holy Spirit driving it, can still be wrong. We need to believe, but we need to hold our beliefs lightly and always be willing to examine new evidence at the risk of having to change our beliefs, even our “fundamental beliefs”.

    The early Adventists came up with the Sanctuary doctrine after going back and re-examining the Scripture when reality didn’t line up with their beliefs. In the area of geochronology, reality is no longer consistent with our previous interpretations of scripture, so I think we are going to have to do again what our fathers did. They went back to scripture and found a new way to interpret it.




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  55. Ron: 1. That God is sometimes OK with our lack of understanding and
    2. that we should retain just a little skepticism when we assert that we have the truth.

    What you fail to consider here, Ron, is that Ellen White was the end-time prophet that God chose to bear a decided testimony as to what is truth.

    When the founders of our church were wrestling with different interpretations of the Scriptures, Ellen could not understand what they were talking about. Then God would come to her in a vision and give her the true interpretation. We don’t have to re-think or reinterpret any one of our doctrines, nor do we need to be skeptical about any of the doctrines given us by divine intervention. To do so would be to shun the truth God gave us. God doesn’t change–and neither do His doctrines of truth. When this church, the remnant church till the end of time, was established, God made sure we had the correct understanding of all doctrine.

    Skepticism is Satan’s tool to introduce doubt into the church. We should never entertain any doubt that our doctrines are true and right.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why people who have been priviledged to know the truth are so willing to trade it for error.




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  56. So, we are exhorted to not only believe, we are also exhorted to obey. And we sing, “Trust and obey”. Two factors in the salvation decision. Just because they work together in a perfect unity, does not mean they have no seperate function. I choose to believe God will accept me through the merits and atonement of the cross. I also choose to believe I must obey the law or the atonement will not be appropriated to me.The subtle deceptions of the devil would not be so subtle if we were all better bible students with an intense desire to avoid his deceptions and understand clearly the issues involved in the “Great Controversy”.Yes, we are saved by keeping the law, but not so we can merit heaven. It is for a fitness to live there.Bill Sorensen

    Very well said, Bill.

    “To him who overcometh…”
    “Blessed are they that do His commandments…”

    He does not save us IN our sins, but FROM them.




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  57. Ron Reply January 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm Bill Sorensen: They seem to have blinders on when they read such declarations of Jesus who said, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lust of your father ye will do.”

    Bill, It is not that liberals don’t see the quote. The problem is that Jesus was talking to the religious establishment, ie the conservatives of his time. It looks to me like Jesus is referring to exactly the kind of thing that is happening at La Sierra, with the conservatives trying to drive out the teachers. The conservatives killed Jesus, and now they are persecuting the believers.”

    You miss the point, Ron. Liberals simply don’t like any “challenge” for or against anything. Like Rodney King, “Why can’t we just all get along?”

    Many Sunday keepers would say, “Fine, keep the 7th day if you want to, just don’t bother me and claim I am lost if I reject your understanding of the bible. I believe in Jesus, we are all going to heaven.”

    And so many may well say in Adventism, “If you choose to believe in a 7 literal days for creation week, fine, I choose to believe science will not support such a position and believe otherwise.”

    But a liberal is only “tolerant” as long as he has the “bully pulpit” and can ram-rod his agenda on society in the secular world as well as in the church.

    The liberal becomes very “intolerant” when he loses power to force his agenda on society and the church. It is only because the liberals have control of the church that they can cry “tolerance” as they force their agenda of liberal music, dress, worship styles and women elders on the church community all in the name of “tolerance and love and the gospel.”

    So they demand that a conservative must set aside their convictions for the sake of unity and love and not challenge the present statis quo that presently controls the church. And so they point out how “loving and tolerant” Jesus was, and refuse to acknowledge His direct challenge to the false doctrine and theology the religious leaders taught in His day.

    So, it is not conservative vs. liberal or visa versa. It is truth vs. error and who holds the “bully pulpit” to force their erroneous agenda on the church community.

    EGW has well said, “Two parties will be developed in the church.” We see that clearly in the church today. But the authority to form and shape the spirituality of the church is the false party and false religion.

    The lines are being drawn. Polarization will continue until a split will surely and inevitably happen. The politicians of the church work earnestly to see if they can avoid it, but they can’t. Truth and error can not exist together very long.

    It was so in Jesus’ day, and has happened again and again in history and will certainly happen again in our time.

    Bill Sorensen




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  58. Ron: 1. That God is sometimes OK with our lack of understanding and
    2. that we should retain just a little skepticism when we assert that we have the truth.

    What you fail to consider here, Ron, is that Ellen White was the end-time prophet that God chose to bear a decided testimony as to what is truth.

    When the founders of our church were wrestling with different interpretations of the Scriptures, Ellen could not understand what they were talking about. Then God would come to her in a vision and give her the true interpretation. We don’t have to re-think or reinterpret any one of our doctrines, nor do we need to be skeptical about any of the doctrines given us by divine intervention. To do so would be to shun the truth God gave us. God doesn’t change–and neither do His doctrines of truth. When this church, the remnant church till the end of time, was established, God made sure we had the correct understanding of all doctrine.

    Skepticism is Satan’s tool to introduce doubt into the church. We should never entertain any doubt that our doctrines are true and right.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why people who have been priviledged to know the truth are so willing to trade it for error.




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  59. Ken,

    You aren’t the only one who does not understand the 144,000. Some believe it to be a symbolic number and some believe it is a literal number. I have heard the theory put forth that the 144,000 are a group of people who do a special work to try to evangelize the world just before God comes and that it is a literal number. I have heard a theory that they are the only ones translated to heaven without seeing death and it is a symbolic number.

    In actual fact, no one on earth has been given a specific understanding of exactly who or what the 144,000 is. Why? Because this is not something that adds or subtracts anything to our soul’s salvation. We have been counseled by the SOP not to waste time trying to understand that which God has not revealed to us. I include one such statement here.

    “When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand. This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.”

    In my opinion, since no specific information is given us, we are free to suppose, but should never take a firm stand on any particular theory, nor should we spend much time worrying over it. As Ellen says, we will find out soon enough.

    A comment on how Ellen White could see in vision anything that is symbolic:
    John the Revelator, among others in the Bible, saw many things that were symbolic. He was shown the symbols and, at times, an angel guide explained them and John recorded these explanations.

    Ellen was not given an explanation on the 144,000 to pass on to the rest of us. Perhaps the time was not yet right for explanation. Thus it remains a mystery, and will remain so until God reveals it.

    Hope that helps your confusion somewhat.




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  60. Ron: I think the second coming of Christ in 1844, was THE fundamental belief of the Millerite movement, and if you believe Mrs. White, the movement was directed by God, and God intentionally allowed them to misunderstand. This suggests to me:
    1. That God is sometimes OK with our lack of understanding and
    2. that we should retain just a little skepticism when we assert that we have the truth. Our history shows that what seems absolutely black and white and has even had the power of the Holy Spirit driving it, can still be wrong. We need to believe, but we need to hold our beliefs lightly and always be willing to examine new evidence at the risk of having to change our beliefs, even our “fundamental beliefs”.

    The early Adventists came up with the Sanctuary doctrine after going back and re-examining the Scripture when reality didn’t line up with their beliefs. In the area of geochronology, reality is no longer consistent with our previous interpretations of scripture,

    That is simply a repeat of one of Fritz Guy’s debunked ideas.

    His argument took the Millerite experience (and pretty much anything else that was handy) to argue that the pillars of SDA doctrine that have stood the test of time need to be destroyed in order to “go forward” — in those cases where our doctrine conflicts with evolutionist dogma.

    I also assumed that evolutionist dogma is reality no matter what the Bible says to the contrary – just as you suggest above.

    But you are in fact – merely choosing the religion of evolutionism over the religion of the bible – and tossing science “under the bus” in the process.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  61. Ok – that was a funny mistake!

    (He — “Fritz Guy”) also assumed that evolutionist dogma is reality no matter what the Bible says to the contrary .




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  62. Ron: 4. Bob, et. al. object to theistic evolution. But everyone, even Bob admits to what they call “micro evolution”. (I don’t see any dividing line between evolution and micro-evolution. It is all the same as far as I can tell.) But if God is in control of the movement of every atom as Mrs. White describes, how is it that micro-evolution is not theistic evolution?

    The fallacy of equivocation.

    You cannot uncritically equivocate between getting a sunburn, or toenails aging — and “hyrax to horse storytelling”.

    They are very different things – and frankly the hyrax-to-horse story “needs more work” before it leaves the realm of blind-faith storytelling. Whereas toenails aging and tendencies to sunburn, or resist the flu – are “observed in nature” – by contrast.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  63. Ron: I think that when Mrs. White objected to Evolution, she was referring to Evolution as the Cause. What we have typically labeled “Atheistic evolution”. That was a fundamental error in early thought about evolution and I agree with Mrs. White’s objections, and Bob’s quotes, on that ground, but I am not sure her statements would apply to evolution as a process. As I read Mrs. White’s statements, it appears to me that she is objecting to skeptics using Evolution as an argument to remove God as the cause

    The details do not support that form of wishful thinking.

    Let’s take 3SG90-91 as a test case for that speculation above.

    Notice that in the 3SG example – it is Theistic Evolutionism that is specifically the religion being called into question – not atheist evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. Mack Ramsy: : but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    Obviously the references above to “designed” and “intention” could not be overlooked by the objective unbiased reader applying a bit of critical thinking to the topic. And so my response below merely states the obvious point of agreement on a part of that post.

    BobRyan::

    I assume from your remarks above – that you are an example of an evolutionist that is strongly in favor of Intelligent Design.

    I too favor I.D.

    Mack Ramsy: I don’t believe in ID as it’s traditionally defined. I believe that God created a system designed to evolve.

    In your earlier statement you claimed that system was designed with “redundancy and backup” features. That is not something rocks, gas and water could ever do – hence the term “Intelligent Design”.

    But perhaps you have access to more highly advanced rocks, gas and water?

    Also you mention “intention” as if the immune system was deliberately designed with an end goal in view.

    As it turns out – it is those “inention” and “Intelligent Design” aspects that are at the very heart of I.D. enabled science were we have the freedom to “follow the data where it leads” even if it leads to a conclusion in favor of design that does not fit atheist dogma about there “being no god”.

    how odd then that you seem to later back pedal on your prior observation.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  65. Wesley Kime: Re. dragging Intelligent Design back into it, again, again: As just another litigious, legislatious lobby, IntelligentDesign.org is just A Great Distraction. As a science, Intelligent Design is a Great Leap Forward for agnostics, certainly atheists, towards God. For Christians, a Great Retreat.

    In Romans 1 – Paul claims that even pagans are under obligation to admit to “Intelligent Design” in true “no Bible needed” fashion.

    The idea is not that the observed I.D. aspect of nature so blatantly obvious to all mankind (according to Rom 1) – will get you to the same level of detail as the inspired Word of God telling us that all life forms on earth were created in a real 7 day creation week less than 10,000 years ago.

    So while it is true that this basic level concept (I.D.) is not the full detailed picture given in Genesis – it is a foundation common to both in the same way that the “observed existence of people” is a basic observed fact that is also consistent with the Genesis story but falls far short of encompassing the details of the Genesis account of creation.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  66. Mack Ramsy: I don’t believe in ID as it’s traditionally defined. I believe that God created a system designed to evolve.

    A number of evolutionists (Theistic evolutionists) take that view – accepting I.D. as an obvious attribute displayed in nature – all the while insisting on evolutionism.

    I just find it funny – when evolutionists who happen to be Christians take the self-conflicted position of arguing the uniquely atheist POV that opposes I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  67. Re Bob’s Quote

    “I guess we will be waiting a long long time for that “observation in nature” that confirms the salient mechanism needed by evolutionism’s stories.”

    Hi Bob

    On Madagascar 90% of the plant life is unique or endemic to the island. This is not just restricted to the species or genus levels. They are eight unique families of plants.

    The question for you Bob is how did those unique families arise just on Madagascar? I’m afraid that a Dawkin’s pause in thought or thirty year old quotes won’t suffice as an answer.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • Have any of you ever watched/listened to A.E. Wilder-Smith on You Tube? Almost all of his talks are relevant to the evo-creo debate. Most systematic accounts I have ever heard.




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  68. Holly Pham: Sounds like the typical “hokey” fluff that all colleges have. Regarding a “counseling center” this means absolutely nothing. Most pot smokers will not voluntarily “check into” any type of “voluntary” counseling.

    Mandatory counseling has an abysmal record as to solving or even helping college students, as all colleges have them, and pot smoking in rampant on most campuses despite them.!

    What is PUC doing “proactively” to address this problem? I believe the answer is nothing.

    Holly, I have been a member of such a grievance committee. Many students admit that being “caught” was good for them. It gave them a chance to change their lives before spiraling downward on a self-destructive path. I personally know many students who have benefited from counseling at our SDA campuses. There are many positive things that happen at SDA campuses and they need our support.

    I suspect you would be a happier person if you looked more at the positive aspects and less at the negative aspects of SDA education SDA church members.




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  69. Re Wes’s Quote

    “Re. dragging Intelligent Design back into it, again, again: As just another litigious, legislatious lobby, IntelligentDesign.org is just A Great Distraction. As a science, Intelligent Design is a Great Leap Forward for agnostics, certainly atheists, towards God. For Christians, a Great Retreat.”

    Hi Wes

    Welcome back my friend

    I liked your pithy observation on ID.

    Nothing wrong with using scientific method to look for design in nature in my books. Even if there is an inherent design to the physical laws of our universe – and their resultant cause and effect unfolding to produce life- the question remains: what is the nature of the Design and and our anthropomorphically conceived Designer?

    As our friend Bob has pointed out ID does not automatically default to creationism. But as you have aptly noted, ID may be a theistic step for secularists.

    Can everything, including the first quantum fluctuation that caused the big bang be explained without design? Is the initial quantum fluctuation the irreducible complexity or will astrophysics in time even take us back further towards a first cause? Don’t know, but I applaud all that use empirical methodology to look for design within the universe, including our Dr. Pitman.

    That is why I advocated for and said I would support a Chair for ID at LSU. Unfortunately not one, single, Adventist supported this idea! Thus I agree with you that, at least for YEC Adventists, ID is viewed as a great retreat. That is why Adventists like Prof Kent are so scared of Dr. Pitman using empirical means to prove Adventist faith. The danger of course is that ID might inevitably disprove literal Genesis.

    For our readers please see the link below in defence of ID.

    “http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/#Godgaps”

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  70. Hi Bill

    It is to Shane and Sean’s great credit that they allow a great diversity of opinion, including your own. Censorship is a tool of control and oppression. You should not be sanctioned or barred from other forums and I would gladly advocate for your right in that regard.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  71. @Bill “Liberals simply don’t like any “challenge” for or against anything.”
    Really, Bill? Are you saying that Conservatives love being challenged? Liberals aren’t condemning all to hell for disagreeing with them. Point out a few gaping flaws in logic and torches and pitchforks start getting handed out out a mob mustering on the lawn. This whole thing got started because a few “liberals” started challenging the paradigm of conservatives. You’ve invented an entire conspiracy about the take over of the church and of the world to try and explain a disagreement between honest folk

    @Bob My language in this forum is not formal. Try not to get caught up in semantic issues. And I actually agree with you on the little distinction between theistic evolution and atheistic evolution. There is very little difference between them. Science can’t tell you why a system is the way it is, it can only tell you how it works. Science can only examine the world through the five basic senses. Our technology allows us to extend those senses from the very atoms and smaller to galaxies and beyond. We can read the genome like a history book. Needless to say the book is sufficiently complex that when we figured out what the letters were it took us 60 years to learn how to read it properly. Everything we know in biology points to plants and animals and everything to them having changed over a long period of time. If you’re going to believe in God, then you need to believe in a God that fits into that process. If he’s the creator then he created it thusly. It is not blasphemy to suggest otherwise. @Ron actually makes a good point, if you believe in evolution on a small scale you can believe in evolution on a larger scale, because when you study the issue carefully (and I mean scientifically rather than religiously) than the distinctions between micro and macro evolution become increasingly indistinct. Though I included at least one paper dedicated to the exchange of heritable information between various groups and how new information can be generated. Though I don’t suspect that these papers will in anyway change minds. Religious belief has never been swayed by rational discourse and will never be. It’s not about rationality, it’s about Faith. Hard core conservatives feel that reality will be twisted around by belief if it is fervent enough and become true purely on the merits of faith. Let me put it another way, if the bible said that there was a giant hole the size of several mountain rangers in the desert when there clearly wasn’t one, then we’d say that the hole was a metaphorical and spiritual. In fact we’d probably say that the entire desert was a metaphor and spend a thousand years arguing over what it means. Maybe even start the odd religious war. Ardent conservatives would believe in a literal hole so completely they’d start creating little sign posts telling people to watch their step. (worst case scenario there’d be a run on shovels)

    We get caught up in our own interpretations of the bible and use those to hurt others (like fire them for the jobs that they were doing brilliantly). Just because people disagree with you is hardly evidence for their inevitable damnation.

    @References:

    Most papers talk about the evolution of the little pieces, the evolution of a particular kind of signal transduction mechanism or environmental response element, that sort of thing. So I included a few of those just because I thought they were interesting. But i thought your question was a little broader than that so I included some more general review articles. The trouble is to be truly comprehensive requires a truly massive book. Whole libraries would have to be devoted to the subject (and there are). This is what I could put together in a few minutes of searching seeing that I do have other matters to attend to in the next few weeks and months.

    Early cell evolution, eukaryotes, anoxia, sulfide, oxygen, fungi first (?), and a tree of genomes revisited.
    Martin W, Rotte C, Hoffmeister M, Theissen U, Gelius-Dietrich G, Ahr S, Henze K.

    Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Aug 7;266(1428):1571-7.
    The origin of eukaryotes: the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
    Vellai T, Vida G.

    IUBMB Life. 2003 Apr-May;55(4-5):193-204.
    Early cell evolution, eukaryotes, anoxia, sulfide, oxygen, fungi first (?), and a tree of genomes revisited.
    Martin W, Rotte C, Hoffmeister M, Theissen U, Gelius-Dietrich G, Ahr S, Henze K.

    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2006 Jun 29;361(1470):969-1006.
    Cell evolution and Earth history: stasis and revolution.
    Cavalier-Smith T.
    Source
    University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. tom.cavalier-smith@zoo.ox.ac

    The phagotrophic origin of eukaryotes and phylogenetic classification of Protozoa.
    Cavalier-Smith T.
    Source
    Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK. tom.cavalier-smith@zoo.ox.ac.uk

    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2010 Mar 12;365(1541):699-712.
    Endosymbiotic associations within protists.
    Nowack EC, Melkonian M.

    Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2009 Dec;73(4):775-808.
    Biological diversity of prokaryotic type IV secretion systems.
    Alvarez-Martinez CE, Christie PJ.

    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Oct 12;364(1531):2795-808.
    Evolution of phototaxis.
    Jékely G.

    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Sep 12;363(1505):2813-20.
    Review. Genetic exchange and the origin of adaptations: prokaryotes to primates.
    Arnold ML, Sapir Y, Martin NH.




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  72. ken:

    Hi Bob

    On Madagascar 90% of the plant life is unique or endemic to the island. This is not just restricted to the species or genus levels. They are eight unique families of plants.

    The question for you Bob is how did those unique families arise just on Madagascar?

    For the sake of evolutionist we had better be seeing life come up out of dust, rock and water. But I think it would be fair to give evolutionists a “win” even if this is just a case of plants turning into animals or amoebas turning into plants or any of the cross phyla walk-up-the-taxonimic ladder story telling done by evolutionists where finches are “no longer finches”.

    Sadly for the salient point in their story telling – no such mechanism is seen to operate there – no not even in Madagascar.

    Piling up “more storytelling” will not suffice as a substantive response — but it may be sufficient to propup evolution for while – at least for a few of its devotees.

    Meanwhile — we have the “glaringly obvious” observations in nature – still being ignored by blind-faith evolutionists.

    Here it is — made easy so “everyone” can get it.

    http://www.thebranch.org/videos/Creation_Calls.mov

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  73. Mack Ramsy: Early cell evolution, eukaryotes

    I for one am always facinated when evolutionists talk about the way that eukaryotes evolved – having no data at all in the fossil record to show such a thing – nor any science (no not even Urey Miller) showing that such at thing can even be artificially manipulated in a tricked-out lab experiment.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  74. Mack Ramsy:: : but the one thing we know for certain is that it was designed to change. There are so many back up and redundancies designed to make whatever changes that DNA faces to be profitable for the organism, or if their deleterious to ensure they don’t damage the subsequent generation (yes there are very complex methods for doing this) The immune system in fact does it intentionally.

    BobRyan:
    Obviously the references above to “designed” and “intention” could not be overlooked by the objective unbiased reader applying a bit of critical thinking to the topic. And so my response below merely states the obvious point of agreement on a part of that post.

    No wonder the application of a bit of critical thinking just then – demands that we conclude from your remarks above – that you are an example of an evolutionist that is strongly in favor of Intelligent Design. I too favor I.D.

    Mack Ramsy:
    Obviously the references abov

    I don’t believe in ID as it’s traditionally defined. I believe that God created a system designed to evolve.

    BobRyan:
    Obviously the references abov
    In your earlier statement you claimed that system was designed with “redundancy and backup” features. That is not something rocks, gas and water could ever do – hence the term “Intelligent Design”.

    But perhaps you have access to more highly advanced rocks, gas and water?

    Also you mention “intention” as if the immune system was deliberately designed with an end goal in view.

    As it turns out – it is those “intention” and “Intelligent Design” aspects (so key to your response above) that are at the very heart of I.D. enabled science were we have the freedom to “follow the data where it leads” even if it leads to a conclusion in favor of design that does not fit atheist dogma about there “being no god”.

    how odd then that you seem to later back pedal on your prior observation.

    Thus you seem to be in somewhat of a self-conflicted position at the moment.

    At least given the content of your statements about “intent” and “backup systems” and “redundancy” designed into the systems themselves (even to the point of “error correction” as we see in the case of nucleic polypeptide amino acid chains and their chiral orientation).

    Of course all that just gets us back here
    http://www.thebranch.org/videos/Creation_Calls.mov

    Mack Ramsy: My language in this forum is not formal. Try not to get caught up in semantic issues.

    Out of curiosity is that statement supposed to provide a solution to just how it is that something “not designed” is able to exhibit unique design characteristics such as “back up systems” – “redundancy” – error correcting mechanism and an “immune system with intention” regarding a specific outcome or goal?

    No doubt the study of biology most definitely shows us that such things are present “in nature” based on “observations in nature” – and so you are right to state it as you did.

    So if you are then going to double back and reject what you just affirmed – what do you have by way of “explanation” for such a self-conflicted course?

    Reaching for a solution of the form – “Pay no attention to my actual words if they do not serve to deny I.D.” does not provide as satisfactory resolution to the problem as you may have at first supposed.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  75. Mack Ramsy: Science can’t tell you why a system is the way it is, it can only tell you how it works.

    Now here we are in agreement.

    Science tells us “what is” and can show us how it works –

    Eukaryote cells have certain common characteristics that are “observable”.

    What we cannot “observe” is a prokaryote evolving into a eukaryote nor can we even “make a eukaryote” cell – evolution or not.

    What is left is “storytelling” about how that cell created itself — not science.

    No wonder Colin Patterson could summarize and even lament the situation as he did – among his fellow atheist evolutionists.

    There is no “amoeba to horse” or even “hyrax to horse” – science to be had. There is only storytelling. And this was the shocker that brought Simpson “up short” when he first published Othaniel Marsh’s fraudulent arranged “horse series” that even atheist evolutionists now admit “never happened in nature”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  76. Mack Ramsy: Let me put it another way, if the bible said that there was a giant hole the size of several mountain rangers in the desert when there clearly wasn’t one, then we’d say that the hole was a metaphorical and spiritual. In fact we’d probably say that the entire desert was a metaphor and spend a thousand years arguing over what it means

    Funny you should choose to go down that road – because that is PRECISELY the solution that our Theistic evolutionist friends are taking.

    They have become befuddled to the point of imagining that hyrax-to-horse storytelling has left the realm of story telling and is now “observed science fact”.

    Their solution is to then “bend the Bible” so that it fits the usages of evolutionism nor matter how tortured the Bible bending exercise is for the text.

    Why do you single out their solution as the bad example? Are you rethinking support for the T.E. Bible bending program?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  77. Mack said……

    “Liberals aren’t condemning all to hell for disagreeing with them.”

    Of course not, Mack. They hold the “Bully pulpit” and if you don’t like it, “Get out of town.”

    They will do everything they can to destroy your influence in the church. And they don’t mind lying to accomplish their goals either.

    And once they get their agenda in place, it is “sweep everything under the rug we don’t want any investigation and exposure.”

    They would shut up Shane and Sean if they could. And now we hear not a word from David Asserick or Jay Galimore about the La Sierra situation.

    Who do you think shut them up?

    Oh yes, the liberals hold the “bully pulpit” and use it to their advantage. By the way, Shane and Sean allow you to post what you please as well as Ken and others who attack the bible and spread their unbelief all over cyber space.

    Why is it Spectrum and A-today don’t allow me free posting on their forums? They allow anyone who attacks the SDA faith to post freely and even encourage such activity. Including a Catholic priest who attacks not only Adventism but basic Protestantism.

    Liberals control not only the secular media and our political system, but religion in America in general and liberals control the SDA church as well.

    The situation at LSU is typical and not some unusual situation in Adventism.

    Shane and Sean have forced into the public arena their double dealing and duplicity for any and all to see.

    Any objective observer can see who controls modern day Adventism. Who do you think “Forces” rock and roll music, jewelry, women elders and a dress agenda that emulates the heathen?

    I don’t know a pastor in the denomination today with the spiritual stamina to stand up and demand accountability of his members for fear of losing his job.

    So, as the saying goes, Mack. “I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.”

    The devil has been working his way into the church for the last 40 years and he is not sitting on the back row. He is in the pulpit.

    “The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.–3SM 385 (1886). {LDE 179.2}
    Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. . . . {LDE 179.3}”

    Notice, she said, “many”. Not a “few”.

    Church members don’t really believe it, so the leaders are pulling it off with little difficulty.

    Don’t get me started, Mack. I’ve seen everything for decades. Thankfully, a few like Shane and Sean are now beginning to speak out publically. And, yes, some are beginning to wake up.

    God will yet have a people who hold to the bible only and won’t be intimidated by the liberal agenda.

    Bill Sorensen




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  78. Hi Bill

    It is to Shane and Sean’s great credit that they allow a great diversity of opinion, including your own. Censorship is a tool of control and oppression. You should not be sanctioned or barred from other forums and I would gladly advocate for your right in that regard.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  79. Bill Sorensen: Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan

    Bill, It is Satan who is the “accuser of the brethren”. You might want to re-read your post with that in mind.

    Bill Sorensen: And so they point out how “loving and tolerant” Jesus was, and refuse to acknowledge His direct challenge to the false doctrine and theology the religious leaders taught in His day.

    Hmm . . . The only time I recall Jesus challenging doctrine, is when he explicitly contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible on how to observe the Sabbath. (Something to think about.)

    The only time he really got angry was when the people were being robbed in the temple, when they were plotting his murder, and when they were condemning sinners.

    I see the spirit of Jesus as being in direct opposition to the spirit of conservativism.




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  80. I agree with Mack Ramsay when he says, “I believe that God created a system designed to evolve.”

    Clearly, God did design his creation with the ability to adapt and change. That isn’t at all inconsistent with the biblical truth that God created the ancestral plant, animal and human forms in a literal week a few thousand years ago. To the contrary, that God created life forms able to adapt and change with changing conditions demonstrates the genius of our Creator God.

    In my opinion, the mechanism of change posited by the Neo-Darwinian Theory of evolution—random DNA replication errors—is inadequate to explain not only macro-evolution, or the amoeba to Einstein narrative of mainstream science, but also the rapid post-Flood speciation and adaptation posited by creation science. Random DNA replication errors are palpably inadequate to explain the substantial and rapid evolutionary change that I, as a YEC or YLC creationist, believe has taken place in a relatively short amount of time.

    I personally think the NDT has hampered science and retarded exploration of other evolutionary mechanisms–like lateral gene transfer–that, while they couldn’t substantiate the molecules to man myth, could help creationists explain the rapid evolutionary change that must have taken place in our young life creationist model.




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  81. God designed our bodies so that they can react to our environment. But He did not create “the amazing amoeba able to transform into a horse”. And in fact we do not observe such a thing at all in nature.

    The evolutionist “hopes” that if any change can be shown in nature – then ALL degrees of change hoped for and imagined – must be possible. That is as Patterson said – a religious conviction – not science. He said they “plead the fact while claiming ignorance as to the means”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  82. Ron: Hmm . . . The only time I recall Jesus challenging doctrine, is when he explicitly contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible on how to observe the Sabbath. (Something to think about.)

    I for one – am happy to have that proven with an actual Bible study – rather than mere wishful thinking.

    It always amazes me that some people take such a light interest in the text itself that they end up making the argument of Christ’s accusers rather than the argument of Christ.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  83. ken: I asked once before and I’ll ask again: what is your background

    We are talking about religion not biology when it comes to evolutionism. Even atheist evolutionist proponents like Patterson confess the religious nature of the argument for evolution where our evolutionist friends are said to “claim the fact while admitting ignorance as to the means” (Patterson’s words not mine).

    If we were talking about actual science – such as Maxwell’s covariant field tensors, or mitosis, or mRNA translation or anything else “observable in nature” or even the equations for string theory – it would be another matter for the “believe it because I say so” crowd.

    But the confirmed history of fraud and debunked myth so central to evolutionism’s salient arguments removes us from the need of a “believe it because I say so” style discussion.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  84. Re Bob’s Quote

    “ken: I asked once before and I’ll ask again: what is your background

    We are talking about religion not biology when it comes to evolutionism. Even atheist evolutionist proponents like Patterson confess the religious nature of the argument for evolution where our evolutionist friends are said to “claim the fact while admitting ignorance as to the means” (Patterson’s words not mine).”

    Hi Bob

    You are dodging the question my friend. By doing so you leave us with the impression that you have never even taken a university level introductory course in biology. Am i right in that assumption?

    Now certainly you are entitled to your opinion that evolutionism is religion. But I suspect hundreds of evolutionary biologists that hold PHd’s in the subject would differ with you in that regard. The problem you have is you want to argue evolution is junk science from a scientific point of view without any training or education in the field. The same applies when you render legal opinions.

    Why not just admit your lack of expertise and earn yourself a bit of credibility? You don’t see me running around claiming expertise in interpreting the bible do you? Nor do I use disparaging terms like junk or blind when it comes to describing the sacred text.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  85. Re David’s Quote

    “In my opinion, the mechanism of change posited by the Neo-Darwinian Theory of evolution—random DNA replication errors—is inadequate to explain not only macro-evolution, or the amoeba to Einstein narrative of mainstream science, but also the rapid post-Flood speciation and adaptation posited by creation science.”

    Hello David

    That is an interesting and candid comment.

    What mechanism do you think is at play that could explain such rapid, post flood speciation?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  86. BobRyan: I for one – am happy to have that proven with an actual Bible study – rather than merewishful thinking.

    Bob, I apologize, I thought the assertion was self evident for those who have read the Bible. The story is in Luke 6. If you read the Bible literally, the disciples should have been put to death.

    “You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. (Ex 31:14–16).”

    Note that God even demanded the death penalty for something that was NOT explicitly prohibited. Numbers 15:32-36.

    “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest. Ex. 34:21

    Here we see that plowing and harvesting were explicitly prohibited by the Sabbath command to rest. Jesus assertion countermands the explicit written work of God. By this act, Jesus establishes the principles, that Biblical interpretations do change with time, the Biblical prohibitions are contextual, and the Bible should never be interpreted in a way that demeans human life and value.




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  87. Bill Sorensen: Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.

    Have you ever heard of an “evolutionist” standing in the pulpit trying to support their beliefs from “false prophecy”?

    Bill, who is she referring to here? Is is not those who use the Bible to support persecution? It is Satan who is the “accuser of the Brethren”. Are you not making a false prophecy when you use the Bible to predict God’s damnation of your brethren?




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  88. @ Bob Ryan,
    Your protestations that evolutionists do not know the mechanisms of evolution are patently false. We have given you numerous examples in early postings on this web site. I can only assume that you do not see because you choose not to see, and are willingly ignorant. I do not believe that willingly ignorant “faith” will be approved of God.

    Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?

    Also, you failed to answer my question. When bacteria evolved the ability to digest nylon, and Tibetans evolved the ability to live at high altitudes, (micro evolution by your criteria). Did that involve a direct act of God, or not?

    It is a pretty simple question. If God was involved, then you believe in theistic evolution. If you believe God was not involved, you believe in a-theistic evolution. If you deny that the change happened, then we have no foundation for discussion, because we do not have a common definition of what constitutes evidence or reason. Which is it for you?

    I choose to believe that God was involved. I can live with people who chose to believe he wasn’t. The other’s I try it ignore, except when they become destructive toward my church.




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  89. Anent the CV, as its called in medicine, or resume in the world of Bain or Godfather Pizza, this is always the first thing demanded, along with tax returns and library card if your are even a minor GOP presidential candidate, and birth certificate and college transcript if you are a sitting (ducking) president, and photo ID at the voting booth or Home Depot checkout, and rightly so. But, curiously, it’s the academic who sometimes turns out to be the least forthcoming, even of identity. Such as “Professor K–,” not otherwise identified or vetted, who once schlepped and snorted this jungle, the archetypal university professor to hear him, though hardly archetypally humble, who never would. “I am disinclined to reveal my identify here for fear that colleagues and students who look me up will read all the horrific stuff at this website.” On the other hand when an authentically and openly processed and onymous academic authoritatively declaims the intricacies of DNA, Himalayan erosion rates, and, of course, quantum physics, it turns out he’s a doctor of political science or Coptic literature. But he googles and hangs out at pandasthumb.org a lot so it’s OK.




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  90. OK, let’s cut to the chase. Hyper liberals and hyper conservatives will eventually call a truce and get together. Legalist and antinomians, civil society, and all factions of human governments will eventually come to some workable agreement.

    A one world government and kingdom can not exist unless the “bickering” stops and this includes every aspect of human society.

    In the secular world, this can be accomplished by the obvious need for everyone to “just get along” since the world is getting smaller and smaller and more and more leaders see such a need.

    Religion may be a little more difficult since it deals with the spiritual concepts of man and his god. You must create a generic “god” with “one size that fits all” in the religious realm.

    Spiritualism can and will do that. But before you can destroy Protestant Christanity, you must discredit the bible by any means available and possible.

    One of the main arguments, and perhaps the only and final one is this,….The bible can not be understood by the average individual and it is necessary for “religious experts” to define and decide its true meaning and application.

    So, the bickering goes on and on about creation and evolution, law and gospel, faith and works, church authority vs. individual accountability, etc…….

    They can and will unite religion precisely because people are inherently lazy and more than willing to have someone else dictate every area of their existence as long as they have all the things they want and think they need. And this applies to civil government as well, doesn’t it?

    The system is rolling now, and only needs a few more things to put it in place. And we need to consider that it is far more advantageous to persuade than to force. So, persuasion is now being used, until the only and last resort is force.

    Once you get the vast majority by way of persuasion, the last few “hold outs” will have little influence and it will be easy to convince everyone that the “hold outs” are simply a small rebel group that have no viable argument and unity is not only necessary but possible.

    None the less, we have this assurance. If we remain faithful to the bible, God will force all His enemies to admit they have abandon the bible and we can “keep the faith” inspite of the overwhelming odds against us.

    Many enemies of the bible today claim they believe and accept the bible, and this makes it more difficult at this time to define and identify a true believer from an apostate. God will force their hand. We can only continue to defend the word.

    So, EGW says this as we near the end….

    “At the news of Luther’s escape, the legate was overwhelmed with surprise and anger. He had expected to receive great honor for his wisdom and firmness in dealing with this disturber of the church; but his hope was
    138
    disappointed. He gave expression to his wrath in a letter to Frederick, the Elector of Saxony, bitterly denouncing Luther, and demanding that Frederick send the reformer to Rome or banish him from Saxony. {GC88 137.3}
    In defense, Luther urged that the legate or the pope show him his errors from the Scriptures, and pledged himself in the most solemn manner to renounce his doctrines if they could be shown to contradict the Word of God. And he expressed his gratitude to God that he had been counted worthy to suffer in so holy a cause. {GC88 138.1}”

    And in reference to the end she affirms this same principle…..

    “From the minister in the desk you will hear, “Peace, peace; there is to be a temporal millennium first before Christ will come.” But what we want is the Bible. {2SAT 28.4}
    Look at Martin Luther. As he stood before the people he cried

    -29-

    out, “The Bible, the Bible, is the foundation of our religion.” And we want to search the Scriptures, praying the God of heaven to give us light upon it. And when these doctrines come pouring in upon us from every side, then we can say, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the foundation of our religion.” We want to believe that the Lord is coming in the clouds of heaven, and show our faith by our works, and be getting ready for His appearing. {2SAT 28.5}”

    So we can wait and make no mistake, all who oppose God will eventually admit they do not accept the bible.

    Bill Sorensen




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  91. Re Bill’s Quote

    “One of the main arguments, and perhaps the only and final one is this,….The bible can not be understood by the average individual and it is necessary for “religious experts” to define and decide its true meaning and application.”

    Hi Bill

    Interesting treatise. I presume this is all part of Adventist eschatology?

    Who do you perceive the “religious experts” will be who try to impose their will upon others? The Catholic church?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  92. Re Bill’s Quote

    “One of the main arguments, and perhaps the only and final one is this,….The bible can not be understood by the average individual and it is necessary for “religious experts” to define and decide its true meaning and application.”

    Hi Bill

    Interesting treatise. I presume this is all part of Adventist eschatology?

    Who do you perceive the “religious experts” will be who try to impose their will upon others? The Catholic church?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Yes, Ken, ultimately, the Catholic church. But before then, they are being prepared before hand by all the denominations in one way or the other. And this does not exclude Adventism.

    I don’t think we generally understand how hard “faith” is and the absolute necessity to nurture and maintain it continually.

    And I don’t mean to simply go to church and let other people “bottle feed” you their religion and yours. Faith is fragile and not easily maintained and will be even more so in the future.

    “The Influence of Doubt

    I do not ask an explanation of your course. Brother [C. W.] Stone wished to read your letter to me. I refused to hear it. The breath of doubt, of complaint and unbelief, is contagious; if I make my mind a channel for the filthy stream, the turbid, defiling water proceeding from Satan’s fountain, some suggestion may linger in my mind, polluting it. If his suggestions have had such power on you as to lead you to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage–the friendship of the Lord’s enemies–I want not hear anything of your doubts, and I hope you will be guarded, lest you contaminate other minds; for the very atmosphere surrounding a man who dares to make the statements you have made is as a poisonous miasma. {2SM 166.4}
    I beg of you to go entirely away from those who believe
    167
    the truth; for if you have chosen the world and the friends of the world, go with those of your own choice. Do not poison the minds of others and make yourself Satan’s special agent to work the ruin of souls. If you have not fully taken your stand, make haste to resist the devil before it shall be forever too late. Do not take another step into darkness, but take your position as a man of God. {2SM 166.5}”

    I know what she meant and I think to some extent, we need to beware of bickering with the enemy of all truth and those who want to advocate doubt and skepticism about the clear biblical teachings.

    Many in our church, like Canright, doubt the fundamentals of bible Adventism and even blatantly attack the bible. All in the name of freedom and “higher enlightenment”.

    God will keep us true and faithful, but we need to beware of presumption like Peter who affirmed his loyalty no matter how anyone else responded.

    The spiritual condition of the church today is deplorable in its non-defense of bible truth. And many members look to their church leaders to tell them what to believe, and what to do.

    The Sabbath will no doubt be the final test, but many have already given up the Sabbath in spirit and will soon do so in form. Just because people are presently still going to church on the Sabbath is no reason for us to believe this will continue in the future as the spirit of the Sabbath is attack and spiritualistic sentiments are advocated over and over.

    And like Paul, we should “fear, lest having defended the truth in the past, we will give it up ourselves in the future.”

    If we have the true spirit of the Sabbath, then we will keep it. “But he that hath not the spirit of Christ is none of His.”
    Paul

    God knew all the things that had to happen in His end time church before its final victory. God has all the time He needs. My time is limited and so is yours. But I think we can see that it must surely almost be over. If not, it would seem the question, “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?” would be “no”.

    Jesus eventually forced the issue in His day, and He can do it again when the time is right.

    Bill Sorensen




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