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.”

 

Please follow and like us:
3
262
37

876 thoughts on “Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

  1. Hello David, Bill and Bob

    Gentleman.

    I’ve been contemplating on your various positions regarding the importance of faith and works. Interesting, but very complicated stuff.

    How does the treatment of the good Samaritan and the good thief on the cross factor into your theology on this topic?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Ken, the bible is always an enigma to an unbeliever, and for the believer as well in some ways.

    The main factor that seems to confuse people is the issue of time. The law and the continuing historic process of time is simply ignored by the gospel.

    The gospel is about the sovereignty of God and since God knows everything, past, present, and future, time is not relevant to Him in this context.

    So, immature believers have a tendency to use this reality to deny time and the process of law. But the gospel does not negate either the historical process, nor the law.

    So, we are “saved by faith”, meaning, we believe we are saved, even when we are not. We claim the final judgment verdict before the judgment sets.

    And, we act in harmony with this future decision, knowing it is based on two factors, 1. Jesus has paid our debt, and 2. We must repent and obey the law.

    The point is this, just because we claim the final verdict before the fact, does not mean there is no need for a court session and judgment.

    The final judgment remains a moral influence to warn against presumption of thinking you are actually saved, when you are not. You are saved “by faith”.

    If and when a person understands the bible, it is not a “complicated” as many suppose. The sovereignty of God does not negate the sovereignty of man nor man’s obligation to keep the law to be saved.

    While it is an enigma from one perspective, it is not beyond comprehension. Just don’t try to use the fact that God knows everything to negate the sovereignty of man and his obligation to the law in the context of time.

    This issue has been a problem again and again through out the conflict of sin and creature accountability. It started in heaven and will be consumated before Jesus comes back.

    Only the Holy Spirit can help us resolve this issue, for human reasoning can never “figure it out” by human logic.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  2. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Apparently I missed the post where David, Sean, Bill and I were debating which one of us gets to go to heaven.

    Please enlighten me on that post.”

    Hi Bob

    Me too, did someone say there was one? 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  3. ken: What does it mean when different folks infused with the Holy Spirit believe different things. Whose belief is right?

    In acts 15 – there was a dispute within the Christian church. But there is a mechanism for settling the matter for those willing to submit to God’s order of management for His church on earth.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  4. Dear Wes

    I humbled by your response and deep faith. More importantly I am so glad you are finding peace of mind with your faith.

    You are right that we examine the world from different points but goodwill transcends all
    that.

    Be well old friend you are in good hands.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  5. Dear Wes

    It is of late that you are having your most profound effect upon me. I like the Kimean hermeutic of the heart- that’s where the poetry of life emanates.

    Hope we get to meet some day.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
    • @ken: Kimean hermeneutics?

      Long of tooth, I’m such an ancient Adventist I can remember when we did bible study, not hermeneutics. Back in that big evangelistic baptismal tent that I recalled for you from 73 years ago, that you always remind me of, sawdust and all, there was considerable about Daniel 2, nothing whatsoNEVERever about hermeneutics. Nor do I recall the word from the course in upper division Pauline Epistles that I took at, of all places (as I like to say), LSU nee LSC (C for College) from Edward Heppenstall, PhD, the most academically advanced theologian in our then un-inflated tent. He ventured into exegesis but not, at least in public, hermeneutics. And advanced to our seminary. (He did propose, I recall, some new flavors, not new recipes, for our beloved staple, “justification by faith through grace”.)

      Of all the Pauline epistles, Romans is one of the most challenging books both to heart and mind ever written, and it wasn’t as though Dr. Heppenstall didn’t play its esotericism for all it is worth. On the first day of every new course, in the first ten minutes, he would grin his electric grin and inform us premedical students that, our SATs notwithstanding, mere materially-oriented premeds could never comprehend it. Only the spiritually ordained could, which, in retrospect, now that I’ve learned the word, would seem to bar the hermeneutically-disoriented. Hermeneutics is many award-winning things but one thing it is not, is spiritual. Rarefied, yes; spiritual, no. Alas for hermeneutically sealed Romans.

      Heroic hermeneutics came upon us along with apoacademic eonic evolution. Recent radioactive decay data suggest that hermeneutics crawled out of the swamp along with other fishy karyopoetics when LSC (which I attended) became LSU (of which I’m considered an alumnus, qualifying me for the full dose of promotional newsletters, featuring gecko-fondling biologists). That our re-metamorphosed (horrors! not born-again) transcendentally post-grad hermeneutic Postadventist adventurers find mere bible study, even exegesis, and doctrines accruing therefrom, sorely embarrassing, is embarrassing and disheartening to me. Hermeneutics is one of those buttons on my keyboard that shouldn’t be punched lest all my old bells ring and I light up and go tilt.

      It’s not that I am not equipped, despite my pre-medicalness, perhaps because of it, to hermeneutic haranguesmanship, as I once so loved, generating quite a stack of Kimean hermeneutics, but I’ve been disqualified. It’s not that age has mellowed me. Becoming rather spiritually oriented has. Alas for Kimean hermeneutics.

      But never you mind all that, my friend. Actually, I have been waiting for a chance to spring-unload on (harangue) hermeneutics, but not in response to any progressive paen to it, of which there have been plenty hereabouts. (Pannings, not paens, and all the puns in the world, are its just deserts.) However unwittingly, totally unwittingly and unexpectedly, you gave me the right cue. Seriously, Ken, it was so sweet of you, what you said. Your heart, and hermeneutics, are in the right places. On you that hermeneutic hat, cocked just so, looks becoming.

      Your ahermeneutic friend, W

      PS: Meet some day, somewhere, we must, and shall.




      0
      View Comment
  6. Ken: I’ve been contemplating on your various positions regarding the importance of faith and works. Interesting, but very complicated stuff.

    How does the treatment of the good Samaritan and the good thief on the cross factor into your theology on this topic?

    Both of them are examples of the Matt 7 principle of the “good tree” showing good fruit. Showing the impact of the change that happens when one chooses to embrace the light that they have instead of always questioning and doubting it.

    My guess is that you probably agree with this.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  7. I think you are working your way through these concepts, Bob, and I appreciate your comments. And I think most SDA’s have some idea of how it works. But if you hammer out year after year for 40 years how you are NOT justified by the law, and never explain how you ARE justified by the law, the end conclusion is there is no context in which we are justified by the law.

    Rome’s view of justification and the law is this, Jesus came and showed us how we can merit and earn heaven by keeping the law, both moral and church ceremonies.

    Luther first attack church ceremonies by denying anyone can merit heaven in doing these things.
    Eventually, he also realized that even keeping the moral law could not merit heaven. Then he imposed the moral law on Galatians and used Galatians to show we can not keep the moral law and merit heaven.

    Paul was not talking about the moral law in Galatians. It is solely and only the ceremonial law. Paul is talking about a law that was “added” and then explains how that law is now “subtracted”. Obviously, the ceremonial law.

    While we can rightly see a moral law application in principle, it creates total confusion to claim in the historical context that Paul is talking about the moral law. It would mean the moral law has been “subtracted” and now has no application to the Christian community.

    Historically, SDA’s have been very careful to explain the difference between the function of the ceremonial law and the moral law. But now we take the book of Galatians and explain it as if there is no difference.

    Let me give you a reading assignment. Go read the chapter entitled “Apostacy in Galatia” in the book Acts of the Apostles.

    You may be somewhat shocked that EGW never suggests or implies in any way that the law in Galatians is the moral law. That is because she knows it is not. But she also knows that we can impose a moral law application in principle, since no one can merit heaven by the moral law and fulfill the legal requirements of the law by way of the moral law.

    In some ways, she created more confusion in the 1888 fiasco than she clarified. And today, because of some of the things she said, we now conclude that Galatians is about the moral law.

    Apostate Protestantism is happy and willing for us to use Galatians as we do today. They know that in the end, if this interpretation is correct, Adventism will necessarily give up the Sabbath. All they have to do is wait. Neither is the devil going to cause trouble in a church that is coming over more and more to his side.

    In this light, a word about the celebration movement. As SDA’s, we generally don’t have a clue of what the churches of the world are “celebrating”.
    Simply this, “Jesus died and did away with the law.” And we think we are celebrating the same “gospel” they are. And, sad to say, in many ways we are.

    We state it slightly different, but in the end, it means exactly the same thing. So we say, “You don’t have to keep the law to be saved.” Totally false. It would be accurate to say an unbeliever can not keep the law unless he comes to Jesus. And even then, he can not keep the law and merit heaven.

    The bible never places the function of the moral law in the room of what the ceremonial law typifies as Rome does. But the bible clearly defines how we are justified and saved by keeping the moral law in a biblical relationship with Jesus.

    In conclusion, it is OK and commendable to show how we are not justified by the law, as long as we continue the explanation and show how we are justified by the law. We don’t do this in the church anymore, and the members are becoming more and more biblically illiterate as they reflect what is being taught in their church today.

    In the end, the Sabbath is at stake and confusion reigns from top to bottom.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  8. Bill&#032Sorensen: All this, because the church refuses to admit we are justified by obedience to the law of God and claim, “all you have to do is believe” and God does everything else.

    Bill&#032Sorensen: the 1888 fiasco

    Bill, My heart is sad for you. It seems to me that you have rejected God’s leading as He brought the church out of the Closed Door teaching and into the truth of Righteousness by Faith in the 1888 movement, then again with Ford, and again, by way of reaction to Brinsmead’s perfectionism.

    You are right. There is an easy way to judge the truth here. “By their fruits you shall know them”.

    Is is my observation that on the road to salvation many people go through the experience when they recognize that there are certain sins in for which, after years of effort and prayer, they still have absolutely no control. They finally come to the conclusion that if years of effort and prayer are not effective by now, then they might as well give up trying. If Christ chooses not to save them, then they are truly lost. They come to recognize that unless Christ intervenes there truly is no hope.

    It seems to be when they abandon all hope of salvation even to the point of ceasing even to attempt to resist the temptation, it is at that point that Christ steps in. Kind of like a lifeguard at the beach. Who swims out to be nearby, just out of reach, until the person gives up and stops struggling completely. Only then is it that the lifeguard takes hold and brings the person to shore.

    Going through this experience breeds a profound sympathy, compassion, and tolerance for others. It also breeds confidence that God has not abandoned those who seem to be struggling helplessly, whether it is with addictions, or the confusing philosophies of academia. It also makes you realize that neither God, nor the church are threatened by things like biology teachers teaching evolutionary biology.

    I know that your heart will rise up against this description because it is scary to give up all hope and to quit struggling against sin. We have been taught so long, that we need to struggle against sin that this will certainly seem abhorrent heresy to some.

    But it is easy to judge. On which side does the good fruit lie?

    On the one hand we see anger about the church being taken advantage of in the salaries of it’s employees, we see fear of loosing God’s favor through wrong belief. We see fear of losing the Sabbath, and blindness to all the other reasons to keep the Sabbath that would continue even if it weren’t a symbol of creation. We see conflict between the elder’s and the conference with the splitting of the church. We see the use of force in response to rejection of the conference’s attempts to place a pastor that they presumably think would be helpful to the church. For the sake of purity we see the persecution of our deepest thinkers until they are driven out of the church. We see the rejection of joy and praise in music. We see members wishing other members would leave the church, or even the discussion board. We see churches stagnating and dying.

    On the other hand we see peace, and confidence in Christ and the church. We see joy and praise in music. There is free and vibrant debate with the resultant growth and progress in Present Truth. There is tolerance and compassion for those who are “obviously wrong”, or even just seeking. We see warmth and inclusiveness that brings new member’s flocking to meet a Jesus that loves even the most unlovely.

    I’m sorry Bill. I have absolutely no desire to go back to your kind of church. If it works for you, then I wish you well. If it means that my faith in Christ and evolution are delusions and that I am lost, then I am lost. If Elder Wilson is successful in driving people like me from the church, then I will go in peace. My only goal here is to keep a clean conscience and to do everything I can to speak out against the bigotry and intolerance that historically leads to abuse and at the extreme, to the inquisition.




    0
    View Comment
  9. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  10. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  11. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  12. 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?




    0
    View Comment
  13. &#045Shining: Anyone who understands what the word PROOF means will acknowledge that there is no proving how things happened in the past. Creation, true tho I believe it to be, cannot be proved.

    Shining,
    Are you not here acknowledging that agnosticism is the truest, most honest stance to take with anything not directly observed? Agnosticism, not in the sense of never believing anything, but in the sense that all of your truth is provisional and open to further evidence seems to me to be the most principled stance.

    The position that I should believe something I was told second hand regardless of what I see directly with my own eyes, seems to be a precarious position. How then would you be able to tell if you are being told a lie?




    0
    View Comment
    • @Ron: Agnosticism is only honest if you have not come to a conclusion one way or the other. Since I believe the Biblical account, it would be dishonest for me to claim or support agnosticism. There is no truth in agnosticism as it states no position – but rather says it does not know what is right: God or no-God. I did not say that my understanding of creation truth was provisional, only that it could not be proved. I have checked out the evidence for the Bible and I believe it is true. While part of this is second hand, a number of things I mentioned are first-hand. I could give you the long version but what I wrote I think is sufficient to show why I am a believer.




      0
      View Comment
    • @Ron: Pardon me for being just one of those legalists preoccupied by purity rites, but shouldn’t this clarification of truest agnosticism be over in the “Christian Agnostic” thread?




      0
      View Comment
  14. Ken: Re Bob’s Quote

    “And the 144,000 folks were first seen in Rev 7. Almost every Christian denomination on the planet has members that differ as to whether that number is symbolic or literal.”

    Hi Bob

    Just like the SDA has members that differ on whether six days is symbolic or literal right?

    That is called the fallacy of equivocation.

    We have loads of confirming data from both history and the text of scripture legal code summarizing the T.E.-doubted text of scripture in Gen 1-2. The Legal code summarized it this way “Keep the Seventh day holy… Six days you shall labor…for in SIX days the Lord MADE the heavens and the earth the seas and ALL that is in them and rested the Seventh day – therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” Ex 20:8-11

    So far even the T.E.s here have not gone to the extreme of making arguments that claiming that legal code is also “just fluff and poetry” not to be taken literally by the reader.

    Thus your attempt at equivocation is lacking actual support from the text.

    As for the 144,000 not having that kind of triangulation and confirmation in other texts – well that to is a pretty small task to discover since the 144,000 are only mentioned a few times in all of scripture. (So very unlike the 4th commandment).

    So if you not only acknowledge, but freely admit, that other Christian denominations differ on interpreting the literal versus the symbolic

    Massive broad sweeping generalization and equivocation on that level above is hard to find these days. It is like saying that if a physics book ever uses an illustration that is not purely literal than we are all to be befuddled in knowing what part of the book is literal.

    That kind of rationalization does not work in real life. But I do agree that your “if even one text is symbolic then the entire bible is up for grabs” idea is not original with you – we have some T.E.s trying to make that idea stick.

    If every denomination,including the SDA, bends the Bible what determines that your particular twisting is the most objective my friend?
    That’s the point.

    I fully agree that your conclusion is perfectly reasonable if your predicated examples were not so tortured and hollow.

    You are assuming the salient point that leads to your conclusion rather than proving it my friend.

    That kind of reasoning can only appeal to people that are unwilling to question your world view and conclusion.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  15. My point was, David, that Jackson is a liberal, and many liberals believe in the Substitutionary atonement. Dr. Ford believes it. And at least most of his followers do as well.

    While defense in the Substitutionary atonement is commendable and we should as a church affirm it, it is not “present truth”. Billy Graham believes in it and most apostate Protestants do as well.

    And people at Spectrum commend Jackson’s sermon and some even think he would be a great GC president instead of Ted Wilson. Hmmmmmm…..I wonder why?

    Because anyone can claim to support the law of God even while they are undermining it and its meaning and application to the Christian community. IE….Dr. Ford.

    I think few realize how wide spread the attack on the law of God is in the SDA church. How blind can we be? The celebration and eccumenical movement is so entrenched in the church that for those who see it clearly, it would seem impossible that it can be expelled.

    In my opinion, Dan Jackson is no friend to historic bible Adventism even if he does affirm the vicarious atonement. It is fine for him to speak out against the Moral Influence Theory, but why does he not speak out against the celebration movement in the church?

    Either he sees nothing wrong with it, or….he is a politician like many of his peers. The bible doctrine of justification by works is conspicuous by its absence in the SDA church today.

    I think we can rightly assume that few believe in it and all the EGW quotes supporting it are also absent as well.

    Such as….

    “Is it anything strange that one should do this or that under the conviction of the Spirit of God, under a sense of the fact that a refusal or neglect to do so would endanger the soul’s salvation? Is this a matter hard to comprehend, that obedience on our part to all God’s law is absolutely essential to eternal life? Is this an unfathomable mystery to the Christian—to secure the soul’s salvation at any cost to self or selfish interest? Does the Word of God give us any assurance that we can get to heaven just as well transgressing the law as obeying it? If so, the whole requirement of God as a condition of salvation is an entire mistake. {CTr 77.3}
    Were the inhabitants of the old world who perished in the Flood punished for their disobedience of God’s requirements? Or were they washed by the waters of the deluge straight into glory because our merciful God is too good to execute the final penalty of transgressing His law? Were the Sodomites punished for their disobedience and only Lot saved? Or were the inhabitants of Sodom winged by the fire that fell from heaven straight into glory? {CTr 77.4}
    Has God commanded? Then we must obey—without hesitating and seeking to find some way to be saved without obedience; this would be climbing up some other way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.””I have kept my Father’s commandments,” says the Majesty of heaven. . . . {CTr 77.5}
    We should not obey the commandments merely to secure heaven, but to please Him who died to save sinners from the penalty of the transgression of the Father’s law. The sinner’s salvation depends upon . . . ceasing to transgress and obedience to that transgressed law. No one should venture or presume upon the mercy of God, feeling at liberty to sin as much as they dare. . . . It is a sad resolve to follow Christ as far off as possible, venturing as near the verge of perdition as possible without falling in.—Letter 35b, 1877. {CTr 77.6}”

    I challenge anyone to find this quote, or any like it in any modern SDA publication endorsed by the SDA church.

    You may find it in historic EGW writings and comments, but not repeated and published in any church papers of today.

    People must necessarily eventually abandon the bible if and when this concept is not endorsed and published continually in any Christian church or denomination. But you can’t believe in this quote and then “rock and roll” around the golden calf, wear jewelry, dress as you please and tell everyone that God accepts everybody, no matter what. Jackson is a liberal, David, and you know it, no matter what he states about the vicarious atonement.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  16. Re Bill’s Quote

    “As long as people know who you are, and what you stand for (nothing),”

    Re Ron’s Quote

    ” Agnosticism, not in the sense of never believing anything, but in the sense that all of your truth is provisional and open to further evidence seems to me to be the most principled stance.”

    Hi Bill

    Please see Ron’s quote on agnosticism. That is what I stand for. You certainly may opine that is nothing but at least one other Adventist thinks differently. That is something.

    Please note that I always take great care not to disparage your personal faith. I think that is something as well.

    Bill, my goal is not to undermine Adventist faith but rather to look for truth. As my friend Dr. Kime now understands my method is different but no less sincere. There is much I admire about the Adventist faith even though I do not subscribe to it. Also, and I do hope that Dr. Pitman sees me as an ally in this regard, I think that the concept of intelligent design is worthy of much more investigation. I think Adventist institutions should be supportive of Dr. Pitman’s efforts in this regard. In fact I have promoted a chair in Intelligent Design at LSU in this regard. So far no takers but hope springs eternal in the heart of an agnostic. 🙂

    Insofar as being a frequent poster, I am grateful to and at the mercy of our benevolent Christian editors. To let me into their ‘house’ speaks well of their Christian charity and tolerance of a diversity of opinion. But, if I might note, you and Bob comment frequently as well, and nobody is suggesting this not be the case. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  17. Faith, the topic of faith and works came up because Bill quoted something I said at Spectrum on a thread following a video of a sermon on substitutionary atonement that Dan Jackson preached at the LSU Church the Sabbath before last.

    Not everyone in the SDA Church believes in substitutionary atonement, largely because of the efforts of Loma Linda theologian Graham Maxwell. He died not long ago, but his followers are still full of vim and vigor, and still peddling his theory of the atonement that denies substitution. I thought Elder Jackson showed tremendous spine in going into the heart of Maxwell country and preaching a sermon on substitution. (I only wish he could have shown similar spine when he and Larry Blackmer met with the La Sierra faculty last year.)

    But instead of praising Elder Jackson, someone named Jim Roberts immediately attacked him for not emphasizing works. Now, Elder Jackson did not say anything to contradict the Bible, or the book of James, or the Ellen White statements that you and Bill have quoted above. He apparently just assumed that, because Elder Jackson preached on the substitutionary atonement, Jackson must believe in cheap grace, or that the law of God has been made of null effect.

    Of course, those of who believe in the biblical doctrine of substitution do not believe the law has been made void, because if the law could have been changed, Christ would not have had to die for us to be saved. But He DID have to die, precisely because the law can never be changed or set aside. Transgression of the law must be punished, and our transgression was punished in Christ on the cross. This is forensic justification, and it is the farthest thing possible from cheap grace, or antinomianism.

    Those of us who believe in the substitutionary atonement know that the law cannot be made void, else Christ would not have had to die. Far from believing in cheap grace, we know that the grace afforded to us by Christ’s death on the cross was bought at a terrible price, and hence we can never presume to tread upon it by willfully breaking the law.

    So I don’t accept, not even for an instant, that preaching the doctrine of substitutionary atonement leads to presuming on grace, or making void the law of God. It does not. Just the opposite is true. It is those who don’t believe that Christ really bore our sins on Calvary, nor that it was OUR sin that made His atoning death necessary, who are led to view sin as a trifling matter, and thus presume on grace.




    0
    View Comment
  18. The lost are saved by grace through faith Eph 2:8-10.

    The saved are judged by works Romans 2:13-16 “on the day when according to my Gospel God will judge all mankind”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  19. Ron: The fact is, no one, for 150 years of church history has been able to reconcile the Bible’s account with empiric observation. There is no evidence that I know of that the teachers were undermining the churches theology, only that they made a distinction between the teachings of theology and the teachings of science.

    The fact is – as even some of our atheist evolutionist friends (like Colin Patterson) have pointed out – evolutionism is being promoted within a distinctively religious context “I know it happened yes I know it did” while “claiming ignorance as to the means”.

    Evolutionism is the blind faith belief that prokaryotes turn into eukaryotes and amoebas turn into horses given enough time and chance.

    It is not something we “observe in nature” it is merely blind faith in an extreme conclusion without the data to support the salient points of the argument.

    It is an example of yet another “any old excuse will do” system of reasoning.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  20. Ken: By the way you continue to ignore and evade my question as to whether you have taken any university courses on biology, especially evolutionary biology. Seems to the objective unbiased reader you have something to fear in evading that question.

    The question may be asked, “Why do you keep badgering Bob Ryan as to whether or not he has taken any courses in biology?” I might point out that taking courses in biology has done irreparable harm to many involved in this whole issue. The professors who have been at the heart of this whole scandal certainly didn’t benefit from their study as it cost them their faith and belief in the Truth. Many of their students, receiving the heresy at the hands of their professors, have likewise lost their faith in Bible Truth.

    Personally, I am a little tired of the worship of education. Education only has value if what is learned is truth. Much of what is taught in ‘higher education’ is error, and thus of no benefit to anyone. Much of this error is based on the suppositions and opinions of men who have taken this ‘higher education’ and have earned a few letters after their names. Once they have accomplished this, people seem to think them some kind of demi-gods and their opinions become ‘facts’ to those who have not had this education.

    What Bob is saying is truth. He doesn’t need a certificate or diploma or letters after his name to state it.




    0
    View Comment
  21. Ken: But, if I might note, you and Bob comment frequently as well, and nobody is suggesting this not be the case.

    Are Bill and I fellow agnostics with our agnostic friend?

    fellow non-SDAs with our agnostic friend?

    fellow evolutionists with our agnostic friend?

    What is the pattern you are appealing to in that statement where you Bill and I are sharing the same point of reference?

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  22. Ron: I believe the teachers at La Sierra were teaching biology as best they could with the information available to them. The fact is, no one, for 150 years of church history has been able to reconcile the Bible’s account with empiric observation. There is no evidence that I know of that the teachers were undermining the churches theology, only that they made a distinction between the teachings of theology and the teachings of science.

    Ron, you would have to be purposefully blind to what is going on in LSU to state such nonsense. They are well aware that they are teaching evolutionary theory in direct opposition to historic SDA beliefs.

    The fact is, they think they know better because they are ‘better educated’ than the rest of us. It is the conceit that often overtakes those who have ‘higher education’ that is fuelling their fires. They are willingly following the beliefs and suppositions of the ungodly while denying the Bible Truth–God’s truth.

    And, make no mistake, they are rebelliously trying to teach their heresy to the young, impressionable minds that have been entrusted to them to teach God’s Gospel Truth. If it had been an honest mistake and they were trying to do their best to lead their students in the paths of righteousness, they would not be lying and trying to cover up and continue on in their heresy. They wouldn’t continue to try to compromise God’s truth with the worldly theories of evolution. And they wouldn’t, as was so plainly shown in the infamous recordings, baldly try to steal the church’s own property out from under it. There is no honest defense for their behaviour.




    0
    View Comment
  23. Re David’s Quote

    “Darwinism makes utter, contemptible nonsense of Christianity.”

    Hello David

    I appreciate the logic of what you are saying. It’s a case of literal dominoes, once the first domino of creation falls the.rest of the story gets knocked over as well.

    Of course I’m the worst apostate,non Christian on this site, but I want to come to the defence of Christianity if I may. Christian/Judeo ethics have had a profound influence upon the world on how we should live our lives. No matter what one believes about the divinity of Christ his universal appeal of sacrifice and service to mankind is likely the most important principle in a predatory, materialistic world. I say this cautiously as an agnostic, with great respect to your Adventist faith, but I think if the focus is placed on Christ’s message rather on who is literally right or wrong more can be accomplished for the welfare of mankind. As I pointed out before with over 28,000? Christian denominations in the world there is bound to be some doctrinal disagreement. Isn’t a bit of Christian tolerance required of each other?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  24. Re Bob’s Quote

    “And the 144,000 folks were first seen in Rev 7. Almost every Christian denomination on the planet has members that differ as to whether that number is symbolic or literal.”

    Hi Bob

    Just like the SDA has members that differ on whether six days is symbolic or literal right? So if you not only acknowledge, but freely admit, that other Christian denominations differ on interpreting the literal versus the symbolic, you should be accepting that the SDA does so, right?

    If every denomination,including the SDA, bends the Bible what determines that your particular twisting is the most objective my friend?
    That’s the point.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Your agnostic




    0
    View Comment
    • Friend ken, I have continued to track this thread tho it has been a while since I posted to it. Thank you for bringing this thread back to the main theme of this web site. A literal creation account is foundational to a literal Sabbath, literal salvation from a literal savior, literal ressurection at the literal return of the literal savior with our literal friends giving literal eternal life living in the literal new earth. Without its literal acceptance, the whole Bible become irrelevant.

      As a youth I myself questioned the rightness and reasonableness of my faith in a Creator-God. My study led me into a deep acceptance of the reality of the literal explanation of Gen 1-11 because of literal evidence in the literal cosmos and earth and biosphere, fulfilled bible prophecy in literal history, simple literal probability and logistics, the literal ability to reason and love and be aware and communicate,and finally literal answers to my literal prayers.

      I know that you openly are not sure about anything (agnostic) and I appreciate tho am saddened by your open position. God has given you enough room to doubt if you choose to. Anyone who understands what the word PROOF means will acknowledge that there is no proving how things happened in the past. Creation, true tho I believe it to be, cannot be proved. However there is quite a lot of evidence to support its rational acceptance. A.E. Wilder-Smith has some very reasonable comments, so do the scientists speaking on originstv, Walter Veith, and a number of others (all on YouTube).

      Peace to you, -Shining




      0
      View Comment
  25. Sean said…..

    “…..knowledge, by itself, is not what makes a person good or bad. It is motive that really counts when it comes to morality and salvation.”

    Excuse me, Sean. Are you suggesting anyone can have a “good motive” without knowledge?

    There is no viable “motive” in our relationship either with God or our fellow man that is acceptable to God unless it is created by a biblical “knowledge” of who God is, who we are, what God requires, and how we can obey His will.

    And while there is a “general” knowledge of God in society, even this will not create an acceptable motive. Even the golden rule is worthless without a biblical revelation.

    And the reason should be obvious, no one can keep it, not even Ken, unless they submit to Jesus and build a biblical relationship with Him.

    The pharisees thought they could. But we see they couldn’t. Oh yes, they could make a superfical show of keeping the golden rule. But they did not have the right motive when the chips were down.

    How much knowledge of the true God did the Samaritan have? We don’t know. We aren’t told. The story simply proves that even a Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, or even a Catholic might have a better “knowledge” of God than a SDA.

    So Jesus says of His Father, “Whom to know, is life eternal.”

    We are “saved” by knowledge. And without knowledge, there is no salvation. How could anyone have faith in Jesus if they don’t even know who He is?

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
    • @Bill Sorensen:

      There is no viable “motive” in our relationship either with God or our fellow man that is acceptable to God unless it is created by a biblical “knowledge” of who God is, who we are, what God requires, and how we can obey His will.

      That’s simply not true. The Bible claims that God has written the Royal Law of love onto the hearts of all mankind – even for those who had no knowledge of the Bible. It is therefore possible for someone without any access to “biblical knowledge” to be saved.

      Paul makes this especially clear in Romans 2:14-15:

      Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. – Romans 2:14-15

      Along these same lines Ellen White writes:

      Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.

      How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”! How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval!

      – Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 637-638

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




      0
      View Comment
  26. Ken: Re Bob’s Question

    “What is the pattern you are appealing to in that statement where you Bill and I are sharing the same point of reference?”

    Hi Bob

    Well free speech my friend, from which you, Bill and I appear to benefit greatly.

    In that case – I suppose the entire posting board aside from the board management would be included.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  27. Hi Bob

    You are quoting from the lower court case not the Supreme Court ruling that overturned it.

    Unless the fired LSU biology profs fit under the same ministerial exception as Perich the Supreme Court decision would not apply and LSU cannot use that as a defense. In her case part of her job was to teach religious classes. Thus I think the issue for the LSU biology profs is whether the were obligated to teach creationisn as part of their job description or mainstream biology which of course would include
    evolution.

    Thus respectfully, I think your conclusion in law is likely wrong.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  28. I think we all know that there has always been a “church within the church”. And the bigger “the church” gets, the smaller percentage wise the inside church gets.

    Of course, we fear the influence of the liberal agenda within the church and its affect on our children and grandchildren. But God seems to be able to preserve the honest in heart, even when it seems the majority is going in the wrong direction.

    I am always encouraged by those who are willing to speak out and am hopeful there are many more who feel the same way, but are often silent, partly because they don’t know what to do about it.

    And, by the way, this would include some of our leaders as well. I assume if they speak out, like David Asserick and the Michigan conf. president Jay Galimore, the powers that be have a way of keeping them quiet. You never hear from them again publically.

    One of the greatest curses and misunderstandings that develops within God’s ordained church is this. It is assumed that since we are being “blessed” financially, and in other areas of life, we must necessarily be doing God’s will. And so spirituality is measured by this temporal success.

    It happens again and again and again throughout the history of God’s church. But at some point, God removes the temporal blessing to awaken the people to the reality of the real situation.

    Perhaps it is the only way in the end to awaken the church to a true spiritual reality check. If so, no one is going to like it. But it will weed out the false professors and leave us in difficult straights.

    I don’t think any of us are ready for that.
    WDYT?

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
    • ref=”#comment-36266″>Bill Sorensen:
      I find it curious that you believe the majority in the church are going in the wrong direction, but you defend the “Fundamental Beliefs ” as being correct because they were voted by the church. Which is it? Are the majority right, or wrong?

      Actually, in this case I think I agree with you that the majority are wrong. We should have never voted on a creed. For Adventists, the Bible should be enough.




      0
      View Comment
  29. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  30. 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




    0
    View Comment
  31. 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




    0
    View Comment
  32. 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




    0
    View Comment
  33. 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




    0
    View Comment
  34. 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




    0
    View Comment
  35. 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




    0
    View Comment
  36. Mack&#032Ramsy: 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




    0
    View Comment
  37. 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




    0
    View Comment
  38. Mack&#032Ramsy: 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




    0
    View Comment
  39. 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




    0
    View Comment
    • @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?




      0
      View Comment
  40. “We should not obey the commandments merely to secure heaven, but to please Him who died to save sinners from the penalty of the transgression of the Father’s law. The sinner’s salvation depends upon… .—Letter 35b, 1877. {CTr 77.6}

    AGain – context is everything.

    In that quote the “WE” is the saved born-again saint who has already been turned into the new creation and yet who is a sinner.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    Yes, Bob, context is everything. And the fact is, no one is “saved” until the final judgment. Faith means we appropriate the final judgment decision before the fact. And so, we can claim we are “saved” even when we are not. Because….”God…calleth those things which be not, as though they were.” Rom. 4

    Everyone is on probation, including a Christian. And just because we have accept Jesus does not mean we actually have the final judgment decision until the final judgment takes place.

    Thus, we know if we will accept the atonement and keep the law, we will be “justified” in the final judgment. Our works will determine if we have returned to obedience and loyalty to God. And our works are the basis of the judgment decision. Just like the bible and EGW affirm.

    So, she says clearly…..

    “Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days.” {Ev 221.3}

    Do you think the law is salvational? Are we saved by keeping the law and following the instructions of Jesus who said, “Follow me”? Did He not say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life?”

    Is He not our example, and are we not saved by following His example?

    Are we not “saved” by keeping the Sabbath as a sign we are resting and trusting in Christ?

    If we acknowledge God’s law and His authority and follow His command, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me,” are we not saved from disobedience by doing exactly as He commands?

    And the bible says,”This is the way, walk ye in it,” is this not salvational to do it? And are we not justified by doing exactly as the law commands?

    Jesus said to Mary, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” Was she not justified by following the command of Jesus?

    In fact, we can rightly interpret this promise and command in this way, “Neither do I condemn thee, (if) you go and sin no more.” Did Mary understand that condition?

    Of course she did. And Jesus is saying,
    “Unless you cease from sin, neither are you free from condemnation.” She was justified by believing the words of Jesus and doing as He commanded.

    Now, could she be forgiven solely by ceasing to sin? NO. Jesus must pay the debt. But is she justified by “faith alone” without fulfilling her part of doing just as Jesus commanded? NO.

    We are justified by faith and works just as both James and Paul clearly state when Paul says, “The doers of the law shall be justified.”

    There are legal and moral obligations to justification, Jesus fulfilling the legal aspects of the law, and the believer fulfilling the moral aspects of the law.

    It is not one or the other. So, it is not “either/or” but “both/and”.

    When Paul says, “By the deeds of the law, shall no flesh (unbeliever) be justified,” he is contrasting the ceremonial law with the ministry of Jesus in heaven. Put the word “unbeliever” in place of the word “flesh” and you will see the meaning of Paul.

    Paul is writing to people who refuse to accept Jesus and hope to be “justified” by the ceremonial law. And again the word here for justified is forgiven. So, put the word “forgiven” in the place of justified, and Paul is crystal clear.

    You can not be forgiven by the ceremonial law. So, we can summarize Paul as saying this….”Obedience to the moral law, without faith in Christ are dead works.” The ceremonial law has been negated as a means of forgiveness.

    James says in complimenting Paul. “Yes, Paul” and “Faith in Christ without obedience to the moral law is dead faith.”

    Paul speaks of dead works. James speaks of dead faith. Paul speaks of unbelievers who think they can be saved by obedience without Christ. And James speaks of believers who think they can be saved by faith in Christ without works.

    So, Bob, I won’t bicker with you or David or even the church for that matter. I know what I am talking about. I understand Paul, I understand James. I understand EGW.

    Frankly, I don’t understand half of the church claims to believe, and in my opinion, I don’t think they do either. So, as Jesus said, “Ye worship ye know not what.” And I believe this applies to the SDA church today in a very real way.

    I have little influence in “the church” I am sure. That doesn’t bother me. Jesus didn’t have any either. Most issues on law and gospel are not “either/or, but “both/and”.

    I take heart in the fact Jesus said the elect will never be deceived. So I know the elect will believe. Matt. 24:24

    Hope everyone has a good week.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  41. David Read, I put this quote up on the Spectrum forum. I never made a single comment. They delete anything I put on the forum. But someone may have read it before it was deleted. You mentioned “war” and they went bonkers when you catagorized the difference and the impossibility of co-existence and compromise. So you said, “war”. Here is the EGW quote. See if they will leave it on if you post it.

    “It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed. {GC88 45.1}
    After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the Word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children’s children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war. {GC88 45.2}
    Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God’s professed people. There is an alarming indifference in regard to the doctrines which are the pillars of the Christian faith. The opinion is gaining ground, that,
    46
    after all, these are not of vital importance. This degeneracy is strengthening the hands of the agents of Satan, so that false theories and fatal delusions which the faithful in ages past imperiled their lives to resist and expose, are now regarded with favor by thousands who claim to be followers of Christ.” {GC88 45.3}

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  42. @bill how can you imply that Liberals are secretly in control of the church when it was conservatives who got those researchers fired and the most conservative leadership in years has been elected into office? This rather suggests that political fortunes favor conservatives at this moment.




    0
    View Comment
  43. @all you guys hoping for “the shaking” probably shouldn’t hope to much. The church is as minuscule enough as it is. It also rather directly contradictory toward our evangelical goals. It’s awkward to go through purges when you’re trying to recruit new members.




    0
    View Comment
  44. Holly&#032Pham: The fact that SDA campuses do virtually nothing as far being “proactive” in the drug realm disturbs me quite a bit.

    Holly, I’m curious to know the basis of your statement. Do you work on a SDA campus? Are you a professional counselor? Have you ever counseled a friend or colleague who abused drugs? What do you suggest SDA campuses do differently?




    0
    View Comment
  45. Mack&#032Ramsy: @all you guys hoping for “the shaking” probably shouldn’t hope to much. The church is as minuscule enough as it is. It also rather directly contradictory toward our evangelical goals. It’s awkward to go through purges when you’re trying to recruit new members.

    Not everyone is pleased with the idea of the shaking that God is planning in the near future – I will grant you that.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  46. Dear friends

    As I witness all this internicine, doctrinal infighting within your ranks, I wonder if this is as far removed from the divine as one can be? So many claiming the high ground eviscerating others who differ in opinion. Such complicated theology that seems to make the simple premise of loving one’s fellow man an afterthought. Actually condeming others to oblivion because they accept Christ but think differently!

    Wasn’t Jesus’s message about being humble and loving one’s fellow man rather than being self rightgeous?

    Perhaps I’m missing the point and have no right to express this opinion. but sometimes the heart speaks for the head.

    Please take care of each other no matter what you think.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Ken, since you confess that you are not a believer, how could you possibly be able to discern what is non-negotiable in a given Christian community, and what is not?

    As an example, your evalutation could easily be extended to Luther, John the Baptist, Elijah, and briefly, any and all the prophets including Jesus Himself. Not to mention the war in heaven over simular issues.

    Lucifer’s call for unity based on love apparently won for him considerable commendation by more than a few angels who were eventually expelled from heaven.

    You obviously would applaud love and unity since you have no convictions of right or wrong in this biblical debate of evolution vs. creation. All you can possibly do is observe and wonder who is right and who is wrong and why does it matter?

    I would think by now you would at least have observed the strong convictions of both sides. How is it you can not see the irreconcilable and non-negotiable difference?

    So, for some at least, your observation and exhortation is trite. At least pay attention before making such a comment.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  47. Mack&#032Ramsy: On a molecular level they’ve been able to show a astoundingly large variety of genes and proteins that have changed over time in response to various things, especially virus. But, creationists say, that’s not REAL evolution that’s not fish turning into monkeys

    The “mechanism” that evolutionist claim will turn an amoeba into a horse “given billions of years” of time, goes far beyond “a virus damaging existing genes within a genome”.

    To demonstrate the claim – they need to get a Prokaryote bacteria to become something like a eukaryote amoeba. They need to demonstrate that the mechanism for adding new genetic information to the genome such that the taxa changes on the way to “a horse” (i.e. NOT the current genome of the individual ) – actually “exists” or is observable.

    No such observation is available. The mechanism has never been observed that can account for that level of change.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  48. Mack&#032Ramsy: The reason it doesn’t satisy a person like yourself is that over the course of a human lifetime that change tends to be small

    You glossed over the details in the actual evolutionism 101 question put to Dawkins.

    The question was about “Adding information” to the Genome in an observable manner. The question was not “tell us what convinces the critical thinker” – but just “give an example of information being added to a genome”.

    What was really pretty simple.

    No wonder atheist evolutionist Collin Patterson could ask that question of the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural history – as he reported it in a talk he gave at the American Museum of Natural History 1981

    Colin Patterson (Senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum and author of the Museum’s general text on evolution)

    ——————— Patterson said –

    Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing…that is true?

    I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural history and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said “I know one thing – it ought not to be taught in high school”

    “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…




    0
    View Comment
  49. Mack&#032Ramsy: And I’m not going to far in my assertion that if evolution is not true than the devil is responsible for an extraordinary act of creation. He’d have to be responsible for creating all extinct plants and animals in fossil record.

    Is it the claim of the Bible that “only the devil can make a fossil”??

    If so – I never found it.

    Nor is it true that a fossil can only come about after a million years of time.

    Given the soft tissue finds in fossils these days – I would say all the critical thinkers are re-evaluating that claim.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  50. I think I’m going to have repeat myself again. 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. Many here think that I have a misunderstanding. Who’s to judge? Well that would be Christian fundamentalists I suppose. I jest of course. God is ultimately the judge, but people seem so very confident at which way he’s leaning

    @BobRyan Being familiar with Dawkins I’ve never known him for a loss for words. The trouble with the question is that there’s no way to satisfy a person like your self. We can say we’ve observed heritable change over time (this is actually the formal definition of evolution, just for the sake of clarity) The reason it doesn’t satisy a person like yourself is that over the course of a human lifetime that change tends to be small. But sure there are plenty of examples. From plants, insects, animals, you name it. I think there was a paper recently discussing how a particular gene that conveyed disease resistance was able to spread through a population and was beneficial. But oh were did that gene come from? they actually have that answer too, they’ve found similar simpler genes littered about the genome but in our species and others. There was even a paper recently that showed in bacteria how a loss of function of a duplicated gene product (That was discovered in nature) allowed multiple copies of the proteins to interact in a way that was much more stable and efficient. Forget the paper I’d have to look it up. The really interesting part was they were able to go back to the lab and duplicate their observations in nature. I think someone mentioned some Tibetans that had some favorable gene mutations, I know there are similar stories about the aboriginal people in the Andes with similar. On a molecular level they’ve been able to show a astoundingly large variety of genes and proteins that have changed over time in response to various things, especially virus. But, creationists say, that’s not REAL evolution that’s not fish turning into monkeys and that sort of thing. We want to observe THAT. Well that sort of thing takes a few million years it’s not observable in the sense that you can see it happening. It does leave traces that are recorded in the genes and in the fossil record. Which oddly enough tend to line up pretty closely. In the last 10 years there has been an extraordinary amount of work done in that field. You can measure the rate of change or to use your language, the increase in beneficial information, extremely precisely. “Well that’s all speculative” one might say. That’s true, but then they can go back to the lab and replicate the phenomenon under conditions suitable to observation. Laboratories are getting sophisticaed enough they almost work as time machines. You can observe a phenomena in nature and say to yourself “Hey this is change from previous observations? It must have happened like such and such” and then take it back to your lab and see if your hypothesis is true. And if it’s not you do something else. There’s always lots to do. I think there was a paper out recently talking about the genesis of an energy transduction mechanism that helped bacteria utilize a protein gradient for energy. Very interesting article actually, a molecule had the ability to become charged by light (this is fairly common phenomenon actually) but it had found a way to pass along that charge to nearby proton pump. It is, they think, one of the many precursors to chlorophyll. I don’t say any of this to “prove” to you that evolution is true. I think if God cam down from heaven and said so himself you wouldn’t believe. I mean the rain forest is a living breathing laboratory on natural selection and evolution. All of it evolves so very quickly but there are those with eyes who can not see and ears that can not hear. And I’m not going to far in my assertion that if evolution is not true than the devil is responsible for an extraordinary act of creation. He’d have to be responsible for creating all extinct plants and animals in fossil record. He’d be responsible for changing our DNA in clever and sophisticated ways so that it appears to have evolved. There’s all this stuff around that was supposed to be destroyed by the flood. Unless God really did create dinosaurs and just didn’t like them very much and decided to bury them in such a way as to suggest a chronological order? He’d have to be responsible for the 100s of 1000s of years found in the ice record. No, if you don’t believe in Evolution then the devil has been very busy creating things.




    0
    View Comment
  51. Faith: EGW says that no one will be saved who doesn’t keep the commandments.

    FB 19 states “Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments.” I personally know SDAs who are theistic evolutionists yet keep the seventh-day Sabbath and the rest of the commandments as well. One such SDA who kept the Sabbath once asked, “Isn’t it enough that Jesus kept the Sabbath?” It’s uncharitable to label such SDAs as “unbelievers.”




    0
    View Comment
  52. Mack&#032Ramsy: He’d have to be responsible for the 100s of 1000s of years found in the ice record. No, if you don’t believe in Evolution then the devil has been very busy creating things.

    Yet another claim that has been debunked.

    Deciphering ice ring layers becomes a problem after the first clearly distinguishable layers disappear under pressure. The layers in the upper area of a core can be counted – and in some cases it can be shown at the upper levels that there is one layer in a year. But when you go deeper down into the core, the layers will thin out as a result of high pressure and ice flow, making countable layers impossible.

    there is the case where the ice-core theory was “tested” in Greenland by real life measurement against known data.

    It was in this area, 17 miles off the east coast of Greenland, that Bob Cardin and other members of his squadron had to ditch their six P-38’s and two B-17’s when they ran out of gas in 1942 – the height of WWII. Many years later, in 1981, several members of this original squad decided to see if they could recover their aircraft. They flew back to the spot in Greenland where they thought they would find their planes buried under a few feet of snow. To their surprise, there was nothing there. Not even metal detectors found anything. After many years of searching, with better detection equipment, they finally found the airplanes in 1988 three miles from their original location and under approximately 260 feet of ice! They went on to actually recovered one of them (“Glacier Girl” – a P38), which was eventually restored to her former glory.

    What is most interesting about this story, at least for the purposes of this discussion, is the depth at which the planes were found (as well as the speed which the glacier moved). It took only 46 years to bury the planes in over 260 feet (~80 meters) of ice and move them some 3 miles from their original location. This translates into a little over 5 ½ feet (~1.7 meters) of ice or around 17 feet (~5 meters) of compact snow per year and about 100 meters of movement per year. In a telephone interview, Bob Cardin was asked how many layers of ice were above the recovered airplane. He responded by saying, “Oh, there were many hundreds of layers of ice above the airplane.” When told that each layer was supposed to represent one year of time, Bob said, “That is impossible! Each of those layers is a different warm spell – warm, cold, warm, cold, warm, cold.”

    Also, the planes did not sink in the ice over time as some have suggested. Their density was less than the ice or snow since they were not filled with the snow, but remained hollow. They were in fact buried by the annual snowfall over the course of almost 50 years.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  53. Hello Mac

    Keep posting my friend, you are making an impact

    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.

    He already knows, as confirmed by Dr. Pitman, that new coding genes do arise in genomes. What happens over hundreds of millions of years with new coding genes arising in species as a result of natural selection? 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 but uses no such language when it comes to observable seven day creation.

    In the final analysis the more people that post rational responses will carry the day.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  54. Re Bill’s Quote

    “I would think by now you would at least have observed the strong convictions of both sides. How is it you can not see the irreconcilable and non-negotiable difference?

    So, for some at least, your observation and exhortation is trite. At least pay attention before making such a comment.”

    Dear Bill

    I see and understand the differences my friend. It is not the differences but the treatment of those that hold honestly held different opinions that saddens me.

    But you and Wes are right: any attempt by me to exhort any of you Christians or assume a morally superior position is false humility. I’m not a righteous person, I know that, but I’d like to be a better person if that is possible.

    Sorry to offend.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
    • @ken:

      Time for a poem, sigh, a break.
      We’re of two mental venues, that’s that, I think.
      That’s settled, so shake on it.
      Let’s kiss and make up, like Newt and Mitt.




      0
      View Comment
  55. Ken, Thank you for bringing us back to the main point of discussion. I agree with you.

    The Adventist church has gone through several “purges” in my lifetime. To me they are so evil and abusive that sometimes I am ashamed to be an Adventist. Previously I was too young and did not see what was happening until it was over. So I didn’t say anything. This time I am speaking up for tolerance.

    Bill&#032Sorensen: You obviously would applaud love and unity since you have no convictions of right or wrong in this biblical debate of evolution vs. creation. All you can possibly do is observe and wonder who is right and who is wrong and why does it matter?

    Bill, This is the kind of mind reading that makes fundamentalism so dangerous. You project so much of your own thinking onto other people, and you make enemies where there were none before. For example earlier in the discussion I made a comment to the effect that I didn’t really care about the issues of the debate. Someone, you, Bob, or Faith, accused me of not believing creation is important. But you missed the whole point of what I was trying to say. It is not that I don’t think it is important what you believe, it is just that the beliefs under discussion are irrelevant to the point I am trying to make; about, what is the proper way to deal with people in the church who believe differently than the majority.

    I see this tendency to “mind reading” to be a serious problem with conservatives. They are so sure they are right, that they can’t even conceive of other possibilities. How do you expect the Holy Spirit to be able to speak to you? If you can’t even listen with understanding to a simple human, how are you going to understand God?

    Obviously you are happy with your faith. That’s fine, I am not trying to change anybody’s mind about their faith. What I am trying to do is to get the fundamentalists to leave a little room in the church for people like St. Thomas, who are loyal disciples, but still have a few questions.

    What did Jesus say to do with the “tares” in the church? Weed them out? NO! He said to leave them alone! He said that the weeding would do more harm than good, and that has been sadly confirmed many times during my lifetime in the church. Look how Jesus handled Judas. Was Judas able to destroy Jesus mission because Jesus kept him as a disciple? Absolutely not. And so apostate (by fundamentalist definition) teachers and preachers will not stop the Adventist mission. We do not have to be afraid or defensive. Follow Jesus example and God will take care of it just as he promised.




    0
    View Comment
  56. 3SG 90-91 declares that Theistic Evolutionism is a form of doctrinal and theological infidelity – in fact the “Worst form” because it is infidelity “in disguise”.

    The argument on those pages is that the evolutionist argument naturally leads to an attack on the Bible, creation week, the Sabbath and trust in the Bible as the Word of God – leading ultimately to distrust in the God of the Bible.

    Some may wish to differ with the view that 3SG 90-91 paints. But given Mark’s recent posts – and his choice to link acceptance of the text of the Bible with rejection of evolution – is it not a “case in point”? In fact one could hardly ask for a more direct illustration of the 3SG 90-91 claims.

    Certainly Darwin, Dawkins, Provine, Meyers and others have all gone on record admitting to the same conflict between evolutionism and the Bible.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  57. Mack&#032Ramsy: This is fine, let’s look at your story and see if that makes sense.

    Mack&#032Ramsy: This is fine, let’s look at your story and see if that makes sense. The creation story blatantly contradicts itself between chapters 1 and 2,

    Stop the bus! Time for a break in favor of at least an ounce or two of critical thinking.

    In your statement above – you seem (once again) to be revealing much more than you may have at first intended. (Kind of like your foray into the realm of intelligent design).

    1. In the case above you imply that Genesis 1 and 2 is the SDA’s story as if we wrote it.

    2. You unwittingly place yourself in opposition to Genesis 1 and 2 as if your gaining some kind of victory against SDAs by discrediting Genesis 1 and 2 would help your argument in some way. While I could understand that form of opposition if your claim was atheist or agnostic… but my understanding is that you are not comfortable with the atheist position nor even the agnostic one? So why do you feel compelled to oppose the text of the Bible itself?

    3. I am willing to bet that “on other days” you are more than willing to admit that “SDAs did not write Genesis 1 and 2”.

    And thus the book – the Bible is “not OUR story” but rather we are Bible believing Christians who claim that the Bible is the “Word of God” not “The Word of SDAs”. We did not author it. It is not our idea.

    Is it your claim that SDAs are the authors of the Ten Commandments? That we wrote them – they are “our story” and so “for in SIX Days the Lord made the heavens and the earth the seas and all that is in them and rested the SEVENTH day” is really just “our creation story” – an SDA myth, an SDA “story”?

    BTW – in your attack on Genesis 1 and 2 – you show no studied review of the text at all – no exegesis at all. Would you be just as careless with Exodus 20:11?

    Mack&#032Ramsy:

    the flood has multiple problems such as number of animals, zoological necessities, sustainable ecology, the coming and going of all the water, the mysterious olive leaf

    As usual – no reliable rendering of the text in your complaint – and nothing to back up your wild claims.

    Yet you position the question as if you had a video of all conditions on earth during the world wide flood – right down to were the leaves were!!

    Fascinating the amount of certainty the evolutionist will claim to have when they have no data on a given subject.

    When you look at the stories, it’s quite clear that Adam and Eve and Noah and the Ark are speaking about spiritual truths not literal ones.

    Not even close. The text gives us names, and families and timelines and refers the reader to geography that the reader would be aware of –

    Exegesis of the text without the pre-bias of evolutionism – shows the text to be a reliable historic record – not a parable or a myth.

    Hence SDA fundamental belief #1.

    With the evolutionists having gone sideways starting right at “belief #1” what level of common ground does an SDA evolutionist really seek with the actual SDA denomination and it’s teaching?

    Is the only path for reconciliation – that we all throw our Bible’s under the bus in true “sacrifice all for evolutionism” fashion? Is that what the evolutionist demands – so that we can come to terms when it comes to doctrine and belief?

    There may well have been a regional disaster on the Mediterranean at some point, but it clearly didn’t destroy the entire world in a literal fashion. It would violate every known law of physics and biology that we know.

    Total nonsense.

    The idea that it is better to deny the actual words in the text of Genesis 7-8 and “pretend” that God promised Noah that no local flood would ever happen again – only serves to destroy both the Bible and trust in God.

    Again I say – I would understand your solution if your intent were to argue in favor of the agnostic or atheist POV — I would have to at least applaud your consistency in that regard.

    Since you seem to circle back to that position so regularly – are you trying to tell us something? Is that really where you want to go?

    WE keep insisting that this is the direction that evolutionism would take the SDA church – but why are YOU so anxious to demonstrate that point for us? What is in it for you?

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  58. Holly&#032Pham: 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.




    0
    View Comment
  59. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  60. Ron, if Darwin was right, talk of salvation is sheer idiocy, utterly deracinated and pointless. There was no Adam, no fall, no need of redemption or salvation, no point in Jesus’ death, no hope of a supernatural future free of death and disease and predation (because there was no perfect creation free of death, disease and predation). Darwinism makes utter, contemptible nonsense of Christianity.

    I think Bill is profoundly misguided and unbiblical in his views about justification, but he’s much closer to sound religion than you are if you embrace mainstream science’s origins narrative.




    0
    View Comment
  61. Bill&#032Sorensen: 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




    0
    View Comment
  62. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  63. 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




    0
    View Comment
  64. But the good news is that God is ultimately at the helm and will bring in a sifting and shaking — whereby those who oppose the Bible position of the church will not find it convenient to stick with it.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    I agree, Bob. And I think it is wise to wait to some extent. But I think we all know that God never uses “hocus pocus” to accomplish His will. He does use human instrumentalities who are willing to sacrifice every convenience and their influence and popularity and acceptability in the church to defend His kingdom.

    I think many seem to opt for some “hocus pocus” agenda that God will somehow use to cause the shaking. But here is what EGW has said…..

    ” I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people. {CET 176.1}”

    So when the “straight testimony” is presented in its true import and meaning, we know the opposition will not like it. But they will surely not oppose it in any dynamic way as long as they hold control of the church. Why would they?

    Why would the devil attack Adventism when he is sucessfully gaining control more and more by infilteration? Only if and when more and more people demand accountability of their church leaders, will any real dynamic action be forth coming.

    I don’t like the idea that some think is essential to maintain any viable spirituality. They simply withdraw from the church. I understand their reasons. They don’t want their children corrupted by apostacy and they don’t feel they have any influence to make a difference. And it may be a viable option in some cases. But I prefer and think it is more in line with God’s will to stay and protest and “fight the good fight of faith.”

    If they throw you out, and I have been threatened with this tactic, then the decision is more complex. EGW also said this about people in Samuel’s day….

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

    Who is to say we are not in the same situation today? So I can not condemn anyone who will not allow their children to be corrupted by the present liberal agenda and the celebration worship style in our churches of today.

    What we need is more people who know and are convicted of the apostacy in their church to demand accountability, first of ourselves individually, and the church leaders corporately. If not, the liberals will eventually utterly destroy historic Adventism and God will use other means to finish His work.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  65. Ken,

    Of course you and Ron are “buddy, buddy”. Neither of you have any conviction of discipline for an evolutionist who wants to claim and be a SDA.

    But there is no SDA evolutionist. To make such a claim is apostacy from Christanity in general and Adventism in particular.

    What if a person would say, “I am a Christian, but I don’t believe in Christ?”

    Or a Roman Catholic who would say, “I am a Roman Catholic, but I don’t believe in the Pope?”

    It is absurd, isn’t it?

    Some aspects of any denomination define the denomination and its adherents. So, no one can claim to be an SDA and still be an evolutionist. Absolutely impossible.

    They are “nominal Adventists” at best. Meaning, they claim the name that denies their faith. There is no tolerance. They need to be shown the impossibility of their profession, and then be allowed to make a decision accordingly.

    Either repent, or, be censored with the future possibility of being dis-fellowshipped. Better if they would just leave of their own free will, if they see no need to repent.

    But far better yet, if they would see the error of their profession of faith and re-affirm the basic SDA teaching about origins.

    Now I don’t expect this to happen any time soon. After all, we allow and even condon almost every form of the violation of God’s law with little or no discipline.

    If individuals have little or no influence in the church, it would certainly be less offensive when they live and/or teach contrary to the church’s teachings. But they are often placed in high levels of influence and authority. Such as….

    Sabbath school teacher.

    Deacons.

    Elders.

    Pastors.

    Sabbath school superintendents.

    Church school teachers and administrators.

    And of course, our colleges and Universities.

    Now if a conservative and traditional SDA has any convictions of right and wrong, they will not be silent and no doubt will be accused of being “none loving” “intolerant” “judgmental” because they demand accountability.

    And so Ken, do you think we would value your evaluation of what we should do, or how we should act and/or what course we should take in dealing with the present situation?

    I for one, am aware you have no convictions of what is right or wrong concerning this theological issue. Since you admit you don’t even know if there is a God or not, you certainly could not advise anyone on how they should deal with a situation concerning God and/or science. Could you?

    So, of course you would applaud Ron and any other liberal who wanted to avoid any confrontation and discipline.

    I just don’t see your observation as being rational in light of the circumstances concerning your own faith, or lack of it.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  66. Ken: The same applies to rendering scientific opinions on evolution which our friend Bob tends to do. You see I have no problem with you or anyone attacking evolution from a faith perspective. But when someone like Bob goes up against the likes of Prof Kent,

    That old “tell me what to think” argument never did carry a lot of weight with me – or with most people reading this message board.

    Not sure why you feel it is going to work for your line of argument.

    As far as junk-science evolutionism goes – my point is that the violation of real science is so glaringly obvious that even the atheist evolutionists themselves are admitting to it.

    Just how far in the dark did you suppose we would have to be “not to notice”??

    And as for having a degree in science – I have one. But I never make that an argument for “believe this because I say-so” kinds of arguments.

    In fact I argue that the blatant gaffs, blunders, confirmed hoaxes, and confirmed frauds of evolutionism are so glaringly obvious that the non-science person among us need not be befuddled by the wild sweeping claims of evolutionists.

    I prefer to keep the point at a level where every single reader easily “gets the point”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  67. Ken: I think you are right on with this point. The question is whether advenitst biology professors should be teaching faith based biology at an Adventist institution. T

    To Larry’s credit that IS one of the many points he “got right” with a big home run in his talk at LSU regarding the mission of SDA teaching institutions.

    We start out with world view that is not atheist – nor even agnostic. We stick with “actual observations” in nature – and discard all the fluff and junk-science about amoebas turning into horses “given enough time”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  68. Ken: Re Sean’s QuoteHi SeanI think you are right on with this point. The question is whether advenitst biology professors should be teaching faith based biology at an Adventist institution. That is a complex question as it deals with issues of autonomy of an academic institution from its supporting church as well as the autonomy of science professors to teach science independent of their theological convictions. I don’t know the answer to that.Your agnostic friendKen

    Is La Sierra an “autonomous” institution with regards to our SDA Church? I’ve always thought it is not. How could it be “autonomous?”




    0
    View Comment
  69. Bob, there’s no conflict between Ephesians and Romans. Ephesians says we’re saved by grace through faith as the gift of God, which is imputed righteousness; Romans 2:13 says the saved will be “declared righteous,” which is imputed righteousness.

    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13.

    They’re not saved because they obey the law; they’re saved because they are “declared righteous,” and they’re declared righteous because their obedience is evidence of saving faith, genuine conversion and sorrow for sin.




    0
    View Comment
  70. David said…..

    “The moral law does not justify; the moral law condemns. It shows us we are sinners because we do not live up to the standard.”

    Of course, David, the moral law can not and does not justify an unbeliever. What you deny, is that a believer can keep the law.

    I made it clear what the ceremonial law typifies. Forgiveness of sin. And in the context of Paul, EGW has well said, “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.”

    What you deny is the moral aspects of justification and in so doing, you deny the moral law has any application to a believer.

    Worse yet, you deny that obedience to the moral law is salvational. And you did not comment on this statement….

    “” It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes, and permit the people to do as they please, than for the Ruler of the universe to annul his law, and leave the world without a standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient.”

    And of course, you deny the real dynamic function of the Investigative judgment which shows our justification is just as dependent on our sanctification as is our sanctification being dependent on forgiveness of sin and/or pardon.

    You can not possibly harmonize your theology with this statement….

    “If we cannot without pain trace the workings of our own hearts and review the record of our lives, how can we stand before the Judge of all the earth, who is infinitely pure and holy, and who will determine our cases by the unerring standard of his perfect law? {ST, January 4,”

    If a judge “determines” by the law what his decision will be, how can you blatantly deny that a Christian can and must obey the law to be justified?

    We are so obviously and clearly justified by obedience to God’s law, (according to the bible and EGW), you have to actually dupe people into believing otherwise.

    The devil’s lies are only subtle to those who are willing to be duped by them.

    So, you say to people, “We can’t be justified by fulfilling what the ceremonial law typifies, namely, the death of Jesus and His merits in our behalf” and then say,”and this applies to the moral law as well.”

    This is a blatant lie. It not even subtle. We must have a title and fitness for heaven. Jesus is our title. He paid it all, we come to God in His name. But Jesus is not our fitness. We must obtain a fitness for heaven by obedience to the law, and the law justifies all true believers who obey it.

    In the end, you and the church deny the real dynamic of the new birth experience and claim no one is really “born again”. We are all just unregenerate sinners who can’t keep the law and so we can’t be justified by it.

    Is sin mingled with a believer’s works? Yes. But Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary removes the sin, and all that is left is perfect obedience to the law of God. Absolute pure undefiled works and obedience. And these works justify the believer.

    And it is absolutely necessary for the Christian community to not only be informed of this reality, if they are not, and are convinced they need to keep the law to be saved and justified, the church will simply degenerate lower and lower into immoral oblivion.

    The Sabbath is at stake here. Your theology undermines the Sabbath and any need to obey it. The SDA church has been undermining the Sabbath for at least 40 years.

    Obviously, people don’t read the bible much and the Spirit of Prophecy less. Let me suggest you go read the Chapter in the GC entitled “Facing Life’s Record” and then come and tell me a Christian is not justified by keeping the law of God.

    Are you a lawyer, David? What kind of a lawyer would deny the purpose of any law is to justify or condemn?

    What is really sad is this, you reflect the modern apostate SDA theology of today and think you are supporting the gospel.

    Sad delusion.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  71. BobRyan: Evolutionism is the blind faith belief that prokaryotes turn into eukaryotes and amoebas turn into horses given enough time and chance.

    It is not something we “observe in nature” it is merely blind faith in an extreme conclusion without the data to support the salient points of the argument.

    Surely we can all agree – that all readers easily get that point!

    Our evolutionist readers may not like it – but they get the point and they can tell that those reading the post all get it as well. Nothing “hidden in the weeds” there.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  72. Ken: Re Sean’s QuoteHi SeanI think you are right on with this point. The question is whether advenitst biology professors should be teaching faith based biology at an Adventist institution. That is a complex question as it deals with issues of autonomy of an academic institution from its supporting church as well as the autonomy of science professors to teach science independent of their theological convictions. I don’t know the answer to that.Your agnostic friendKen

    Regarding the “autonomy” of college departments, would a music teacher (I believe we had one here but I forgot his name) be allowed to teach “hip-hop” “heavy metal” “rap” and other forms of music our SDA Church generally disaproves of in one of our SDA colleges?

    Would a physician at LLU medical center be allowed to use “medical marijuana” as part of his treatment for whatever his patient complained of?

    Our these types of things happening in our SDA institutions?




    0
    View Comment
  73. 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




    0
    View Comment
  74. 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:

    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&#032Ramsy: 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




    0
    View Comment
  75. 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




    0
    View Comment
  76. 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




    0
    View Comment
  77. 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




    0
    View Comment
  78. Re David’s Quote

    “But that is the battle that is now being fought in the Adventist Church.”

    Hi David

    I enjoyed your comments, especially those about the universality of the Golden Rule.

    It is not for me as an agnostic observer to take doctrinal sides in the battle within your church. It may well be that a schism is coming. If so I hope it can be amicable and all can abide by the Golden Rule.

    Have a good Sabbath.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  79. David&#032Read: Bob, you’re right that the election of Wilson was viewed by both liberals and conservatives as a conservative course correction. I agree with that assessment. There is reason for optimism. But the GC president has little control over non-GC institutions. That’s why the situation at La Sierra U has not appreciably improved. What is more, the somewhat inept attempts to use AAA to positively intervene at LSU are further ground for pessimism. They failed, and they revealed Dan Jackson as, if not an outright liberal, certainly not a vigorous traditionalist. Ultimately, LSU is a Pacific Union institution, and if the leaders of the church in that region are not up to governing it—and so far they’re obviously not—then it will continue as it has been going, actively undermining Adventist faith.

    David, I agree with everything you say. Regarding Dan Jackson, did he ever actually try to “spank” Pastor Assherick? Does anyone know? When and where? Is this a legitimate and legal form of pastoral discipline? Jackson appears to want to or to have actually given a “slap on the wrist” to those at La Sierra.

    That seems a more lenient punishment than a spanking, meaning Pastor Assherick must have done something more serious than those at La Sierra. Has President Jackson explained himself regarding this matter?




    0
    View Comment
  80. David&#032Read: So where is the urgency for the SDA Church to drop all of its doctrines so that no one will be barred from membership on account of not believing what Adventists believe? What’s the point?

    It is the classic logical fallacy of “either or” instead of “both-and”.

    In this vanilla “either-or” gimmick you pretend that “either you keep SDA doctrine OR you choose to love your neighbor as in the good Samaritan illustration – but you should not try both”.

    It is “proof by suggestion” on the part of the one making that “either or” argument.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  81. Re Wes’s Quote

    “Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”

    Hi Wes

    There is another very viable option. That the depiction of Jesus by third parties was not accurate. Did his ardent followers try to create a divine being out of a remarkable man?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
    • @ken: “…either Son of God or else a madman or something worse.” “Did his ardent followers try to create a divine being out of a remarkable man?” If so, they, we, are madmen, something worse. And if they didn’t, to thus dismiss Him may be madness or something worse. Oh no, not Paschal’s Wager again…

      Your believing friend, W




      0
      View Comment
  82. Hi Ken,

    I don’t know if this is the place where you asked how I was doing or not but since you are on every “conversation” on this web site I guess you will read this eventually.

    The cast is off but I’m having a difficult time convincing this wrist that the “vacation” is over and its time for it to get “back to work!” I’m having physical therapy twice a week and it is improving some but not nearly as fast as I wish it was!

    But I will survive and I AM making progress!
    (I have a couple of local daughters that are “slave drivers” as far as making me take all the necessary exercises is concerned. (They keep reminding me of the “slave driver” I was
    in years gone by when the tables were turned.) Oh well–that’s life, I guess!

    Thanks a lot for your concern.

    Lydian




    0
    View Comment
  83. Re Wes and Ron’s Quotes

    “Wesley Kime: it was about BEING righteous

    @ Wesley, I agree with you, but for me, being righteous includes being tolerant and respectful of others who don’t agree with me theologically.”

     Hi Ron

    Although I’m not an expert in Kimean hermeneutics, I think what our wise friend Wes was alluding regarding riightgeous ‘BEING’ was only partially human. A CAPITAL double entendre.

    Your admiring agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  84. Seems to be the fashion this election season to keep repeating the same message.

    Likewise repeated everywhere and always, on this blog, happily, more graciously and politely than usual, is the message that Jesus is a nice teacher and role model just like Buddha, Gandhi, and Teresa, or EB and EG White, LSD Leary or Saul Alinsky. Fair tactic, no complaints.

    So I shall exercise my equal-time prerogative, yea reiterate this site’s fundamental premise, and again declare our message, this time through the words of C.S. Lewis, who puts it most categorically, compellingly, articulately, admirably: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” — C.S. Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY. If you’ve forgotten all that, read John again (e.g., John 4:26)

    So, on, as we must, woe upon us, to our forthcoming Great Schism – “the hour is coming and now is,” to use the compelling way Jesus would put it, as in John 5:25. And on to Avignon, famous for, if nothing else, Chateauneuf de pape and eonic creation.




    0
    View Comment
  85. Bob, I don’t know enough about finches to know if the bills are the result of selective breading or if it represents truly new genetic material. What I want to know is how you interpret th development of truly new genetics that have never existed in nature before like nylonase bacteria, or the genetics of the Tibetans. Is that the result of Gods activity or not? No tricks, it is an honest and simple question.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Ron:

      I discuss the evolution of the nylonase enzyme as well as other truly novel examples of evolution in action (which you might find interesting) at:

      http://www.detectingdesign.com/kennethmiller.html#Nylonase

      In short, it is much easier (exponentially easier) to accidently discover a new beneficial 3-letter word in sequence space via some random search algorithm than it is to discover a more functionally complex system, like a new beneficial 7-letter word, in sequence space. With each additional minimum size and/or specificity requirement of the novel system in question, the evolvability of any novel system at that level of functional complexity decreases exponentially…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




      0
      View Comment
  86. As David Read pointed out, the SDA church was not raised up to be a clearing house for every “Tom, Dick, and Harry’s” philosophy.

    We have a specific and well defined message that is coherent, reasonable and biblical. And it is this fact that is being attack by a liberal element that claims the message is not coherent, reasonable nor biblical.

    This difference creates a situation that can not be resolved by any compromise or some condescending unity. It creates a spiritual war that can and will divide the church. It is doing so, even now. But much more so in the future as the issues become more intense and defined.

    Every single church member must necessarily become involved. Just as the first coming of Jesus created a simular situation with the Jews.

    The conservative will not be persuaded by any exhortation about being “kind” “loving” and “non-judgmental”.

    We are aware that these attributes, as important and necessary as they are to Christanity, are no excuse to ignore, patronize and even condon apostacy.

    Any explanation of “love” that is not in perfect harmony with all the bible says about God and His kingdom is a false meaning and application of the word.

    Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” So the bible and all the teachings of the bible are “love” and anything less is not.

    As love is explained today, it is some shallow cheap sentimental idea with no solid base to build on. The liberals use this word to defend apostacy and deny the faith. Once these principles are clearly defined, then the decision must be made as to whose side we will stand on.

    If you are faithful to God and His word, you can be sure that you will be called unloving and a legalist. And a few more choice descriptions of your spirituality. By the world? Maybe. But more certainly by a church that has abandon the bible faith.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  87. Reply to Bill Sorensen post of January 27, 2012

    Bill. I agree with your comments 100% and I truly believe with all my heart that we are very near the “shaking time” and that the “final events” are closer than we even dream of. Things will only get worse before this battle between good and evil is over. Only those who are REALLY the “people of the Book” will go through the terrible times ahead of us and truly BEING among those “people” will require a lot more Bible study and dedication than most of us have today.

    Keep on “posting!”




    0
    View Comment
  88. 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




    0
    View Comment
  89. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  90. 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




    0
    View Comment
  91. 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




    0
    View Comment
  92. 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




    0
    View Comment
  93. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  94. Bill&#032Sorensen: 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?




    0
    View Comment
  95. 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.




    0
    View Comment
  96. @ 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.




    0
    View Comment
  97. 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




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.