Comment on Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools by Sean Pitman.
Oh please, I never said that those who hold different views of God, to include Darwinian views, are “all atheists” or are being dishonest in their views. In fact, I’ve known quite a number of atheists who hold to very high moral standards. I have no doubt that a sizable number of very surprised atheists (and “Christian Darwinists”) will find themselves in Heaven one day discovering a lot of very unexpected realities. In short, this isn’t about judging the morality of a person or who will or who won’t be saved. I totally agree with you that this decision is entirely up to God.
Now, I do personally believe that I am called to be prepared to give a reason, a logical reason, for the hope that is within me (1 Peter 3:15). I may not believe that your Christianity is rational or logical (after all, you yourself don’t think your own Christianity is logical). However, I do not judge you on a moral level aside from the fact that I believe you to be honest and sincere. You are free to cite your “gestalt” feelings as your reason if you want. Which is fine for you. Again, I do not question your relationship with God or your sincerity.
However, I do not believe that the Adventist Church should hire those who go with such gestalt feelings of what they personally believe to be true when such conclusions fundamentally oppose the church’s positions on various topics. You can believe whatever you want and form your own private views of your own Christianity – but not on the church’s dime. If you don’t subscribe to the clearly stated views of an organization, that’s perfectly fine. Go and form your own organization or work for yourself. However, it simply isn’t right, ethically right, to take money from any organization while going around undermining the primary goals and ideals of that organization.
I must also note where you said, “I am quite confident He does not expect us to throw it all away when we suddenly become convinced that there is some compelling ’empirical evidence’ that the earth is more than 6000 years old. I believe that faith in God is independent of the age of the Earth. You do not.”
Again, your faith is indeed independent of the claims of the Bible at large. You pick and choose and create your own picture of God based on your own personal feelings or “gestalt” – a gestalt that you hold in much higher regard compared to your views on the credibility of the Bible. So, you’re right. Your faith is so solid that it can withstand the falsification of any and all of what the Bible has to say.
Remember also that I’m a “young-life” not a “young-Earth” creationist (which we’ve already discussed in some detail). While it may be rationally possible to believe in some kind of God given the truth of the neo-Darwinian perspective, I don’t see how such a God could be the same as the God described in the Bible. Such a neo-Darwinian reality would suggest to me a very different type of God – a deceptive dishonest type of God whom I wouldn’t like or have faith in to do the right thing. Nor would I wish to live forever in the type of place that you imagine Heaven to be (where the death and suffering of sentient animals continues for all eternity). Such a cruel place would not be Heaven for me. I much prefer the God of the Bible who suffers when even a little sparrow falls wounded to the ground; who promises to do away with all such death and suffering for all sentient creatures – as things were originally intended to be.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools
As I’ve pointed out before, there are a lot of books claiming to be “The Word of God”. How do you know that the Bible’s claim, among so many competing options, is true? – based on a feeling? That’s how you know? Did an angel show up and tell you that the Bible’s claims are true? – or how to interpret it? Were you born with this knowledge? or did you have to learn it? If you had to learn that the Bible’s claims are true, upon what did you base your learning? – and how did this basis of your learning help you distinguish the true from the false?
At first approximation, the Bible is just a book making a bunch of claims. How can you tell the difference between the origin of the Bible and the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an? In order to determine that God had anything to do with its creation, you have to read it and make judgments about it. If you base your judgments on some kind of deep feeling or gestalt sensation of truth, I say that this isn’t a reliable basis for a leap of faith. However, if you base your acceptance of the claims of the Bible on rational arguments that make sense given what you already think you know to be true, then you have yourself a much more useful and helpful basis for faith… as the Bible itself recommends.
God does not expect us to believe or have faith without sufficient evidence to establish a rational and logical faith in the claims of the Bible. Have you not read where the Bible challenges the honest seeker for truth to “test” even the claims of God? (Judges 6:39; Malachi 3:10; John 14:11; etc…). We are not called to blindly accept anything as true, not even the Bible. The claims of the Bible must be tested to see if they truly are what they claim to be – i.e., the Words of God.
Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools
I haven’t changed my mind. I still see atheism as the most logical alternative to Christianity and any other view of God if such views of God are only based on a wishful-thinking type of fideistic faith. Why should one be a Christian or believe that the Bible is anything more than a good moral fable? – or believe that God exists any more than Santa Claus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists? For me, it’s because I see real empirical evidence for God’s existence as well as His Signature within the pages of the Bible and within the universe and the world in which I find myself.
You see, we are called to have an “intelligent trust” in God’s Word – a trust that is based on something more than a deep feeling or internal gestalt. Otherwise, you’re really in the same boat as my LDS friends with their “burning in the bosom” argument for faith in what is or isn’t true.
Now, it is possible to doubt the Divine origin of the Bible while still recognizing the Divine origin of the universe – based on the weight of empirical evidence. This is where quite a number of modern physicists are in their view of God. And, it is a reasonable position given the honest conviction that life and its diversity can evolve via the Darwinian mechanism of random mutations and natural selection over long periods of time to produce what we have today on this planet.
So, there are different “levels” of recognition when it comes to seeing God’s hand behind various phenomena. And, once His Signature is recognized at a different level, the implications and responsibilities change for us. It’s a “first step” toward God to recognize a Divine Signature behind the origin of the universe and the natural laws that govern it. However, once one recognizes the Divine Hand behind the origin of the Bible and the credibility of the Bible’s empirical claims, one is called to experience different responsibilities and privileges in a higher level walk with God – “in Spirit and in truth”.
Ted Wilson: No Room for Evolution as Truth in Adventist Schools
Again, there are somethings that, if seen in vision, cannot be easily misinterpreted. If you see that “there was light” then “there was darkness” and that this pattern of was used to mark off a series of seven days, that’s pretty hard to get wrong or misinterpret. Mrs. White also confirms these biblical claims by arguing that God specifically showed her that the creation week was a literal week “like any other”.
So, what needs to happen now is see which claims among competing claims are most likely true. Where does the “weight of evidence lie”? If the claims of neo-Darwinism are true, then the claims of the Bible aren’t just a matter of honest misinterpretations – they are either completely made up fabrications or they are outright lies – from God.
I will say, however, the Darwins observations did help to shed light on the Bible. For example, there were those who believed in the absolute fixity of the species – that nothing could change and that no new species of any kind could be produced by natural mechanisms. Darwin showed, quite clearly, that this interpretation of the Bible was false. So, Darwin’s discoveries did shed light on the Bible’s comments about reproduction “after their kind”. However, the Bible sheds light on Darwin’s claims by showing the clear limitations of Darwinian-type evolution – to very low levels of functional complexity over a short period of time (i.e., not hundreds of millions of years of evolution).
Again, we have science and Scripture shedding light on each other…
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
“For such a time as this”
Again, while a good diet and great health are important, this just isn’t enough to effectively prevent disease during a viral pandemic. As I’ve already explained, this is why Ellen White took the smallpox vaccine herself and advised the others who were with her to do the same. Such vaccines are, in fact, part of the most effective ways of “keeping well” rather than “curing disease” after the fact…
Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
Regarding the recent situation where 23 nursing home patients died in Norway following vaccination the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer and/or Moderna (given to 30,000 people so far), these patients were all over the age of 80, were very frail. It is also somewhat difficult to determine a link in this particular population between the vaccine and any other potential cause of death – since around 400 nursing home patients die in Norway every week. However, at this point, it is not ruled out that adverse reactions occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to a more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease and general frailty.
Steinar Madsen, medical director with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said: “We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” (Link)
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said concluded that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.” (Link)
Consider this also in the light that more than 30% of nursing home residents are likely to die if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs. So, weighing the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine vs. being exposed to a potential COVID-19 outbreak seems to weigh heavily in favor of taking the vaccine – with the exception, perhaps, of those who are already very frail.
“For such a time as this”
It’s a serious mistake to compare the advances of modern medicine to the prophecies of Ellen White regarding the activity of Satan during the Last Days – where Satan appears as a powerful angel of light, even taking on the form, appearance, and attitude of Christ (making fire come down from the sky and healing the sick and speaking words of grace and comfort in order to deceive the world). Are you really suggesting that the modern mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are actually part of these final “benevolent” works of Satan? How is this anything but extremist nonsense? – a rejection of a gift of God to help humanity by claiming that it is actually the work of Satan himself? This sort of thing reminds me of this passage in Matthew:
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24)
You do realize, after all, that Ellen White took the smallpox vaccine herself during an outbreak? as did her son William White? and that she recommended that all of the others who were with her at the time take the vaccine as well? (Link) Contrary to some claims that I’ve heard regarding her actions here, it wasn’t that the vaccines in her day were less risky or more “pure” than they are today. They were actually riskier compared to modern vaccines, but still far far less risky compared to getting the actual infection itself. That’s why she took the vaccine. She also recommended that missionaries in areas infested with malaria take quinine – that we should, “do the best we can” in such situations (Link). When medications are beneficial and are appropriate, they may be used. When surgery is called for, it should be performed. In 1905 Ellen White wrote:
“Those who seek healing by prayer should not neglect to make use of the remedial agencies within their reach. It is not a denial of faith to use such remedies as God has provided to alleviate pain and to aid nature in her work of restoration…. God has put it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life. This knowledge has been placed within our reach for use. We should employ every facility for the restoration of health, taking every advantage possible, working in harmony with natural laws… It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God,… If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed… Before major surgery, the entire body is saturated with a powerful and, in a sense, harmful drug [the anesthetic], to the point of complete unconsciousness and to complete insensibility. By the same token, after surgical procedures, the physician may find it necessary to administer medications that almost certainly include drugs to give relief and prevent the patient from lapsing, from sheer pain, into a state of surgical shock and, in some instances, possible death.” (Link)
Ellen White also recognized that blood transfusions could save lives. She herself had radiation therapy — X-ray treatments at Loma Linda for a skin problem. In short, she was not opposed to reasonable advances of modern medicine, accepting them as gifts of God, not sinister plots of Satan. We should remember her example in this regard and no turn away from the gifts of God that He has granted us through the advances of modern medicine.
As promised, I took a look at Sangers Sequencing and I found a 43 page PDF from the FDA who is complicit in the scam–it’s simply the entirety of the PCR test they all are using…
You don’t know the first thing about PCR or genetic sequencing. Did you even watch the video about Sanger Sequencing that I recommended?
Why would I need to study science for years to be able to break down all of these 43 pages of information, and critically analyze it?
Because, you don’t know the first thing about these scientific tests, not even the basics. Yet you feel yourself free to make claims about them that are absolutely false. You even claim that you’re guided by the Holy Spirit when you make these false claims – which is a very dangerous thing to do. You’re treading on holy ground with your presumptuous claims.
John_16:13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
This doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit gives you knowledge about things that you are unwilling to seriously study or investigate or that He will guide you when you are unwilling and too arrogant to change when errors are revealed to you. You’re simply wrong with your understanding of PCR and how it is used. You don’t understand the first thing about genetic sequencing, and you’re even wrong about Mrs. White and her own use and recommendation of vaccines for others. Almost nothing you’ve said is true. Yet, you claim to be guided directly by God in this nonsense of yours? Please…
There’s simply no point in discussing these things further with you. It’s just no longer useful to me.
Wow, I got this from you on this first day that I looked at your information on Dr. Wakefield–I had never heard of BrandNewTube until I saw this video. Watch out what you link to–now according to you, I’m into “conspiracy theories” because I got BrandNewTube from you.
I cited the Wakefield video as an example of a conspiracy theorist with ideas and claims that simply aren’t credible, even outlandishly wrong, given what we actually know about mRNA vaccines. And, this same website hosts many other conspiratorial videos as well. Christians should strive to avoid being associated with such conspiracies.
Then you proceed to shoot down the PCR inventor’s own testimony about his own test because he was into astrology. So what. Has Satan ever had any part into you? or me? Absolutely–and you dare to speak nonsense and garbage about someone who is dead and cannot defend themselves? Wow, Sean, how far will you go to defend your false science?
Showing that someone is “into” a whole lot of non-credible beliefs and conspiracies plays into that person’s overall credibility – especially given the very relevant nonsense claims of Mullis regarding HIV/AIDS. This is something to consider when someone is cited as an “authority” or “expert” to support this or that sensational claim that supposedly falsifies the vast majority of scientists and medical experts on a particular topic.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wrong in your claim. In fact, your claim that PCR cannot, by itself, prove the existence of a new virus is absolutely true! I agree with you here! However, what you don’t understand is that, as I’ve explained in some detail already, PCR wasn’t used, by itself, to demonstrate the existence or genetic makeup of the COVID-19 virus. The genetic sequencing that was done to initially detect the COVID-19 virus and its genetic makeup is quite involved and very interesting (and goes well beyond PCR) – if you care to actually learn something. I recommend starting the “Sanger Sequencing” (watch the short video explaining it that I posted in my comment above).