The Origin of the Sabbath and the 7-Day Week

By Sean Pitman
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Many, even among those who call themselves Adventists, question the true origin of the Sabbath and of the 7-day weekly cycle.  Of course, the Bible claims that God instituted both during the Creation Week described in Genesis.  However, critics of the biblical account claim that the seven-day week was actually invented by the Assyrians, or by Sargon I (King of Akkad at around 2350 B.C.), passed on to the Babylonians, who then passed it on to the Jews during their captivity in Babylon around 600 B.C.  The ancient Romans used the eight-day week, but after the adoption of the Julian calendar in the time of Agustus, the seven-day week came into use in the Roman world. For a while, both the seven and eight day weeks coexisted in the Roman world, but by the time Constantine decided to Christianize the Roman world (around A.D. 321) the eight-day weekly cycle had fallen out of use in favor of the more popular seven-day week. (Link)

Secular historians and biblical critics often suggest that the seven-day week likely arose, originally, as a rough division of the lunar monthly cycle.  However, the seven-day week is actually only 23.7% of a lunation, which means that a continuous cycle of seven-day weeks rapidly loses synchronization with the monthly lunar cycle. “This problem is compounded by the fact that a “lunation” is only the mean time for the lunar phase cycle, with each individual lunar phase varying in length. Also, the duodecimal (base-12) and sexagesimal (base-60) numeral systems have historically been the primary systems used to divide other chronological and calendar units. Therefore, it is not immediately apparent why the seven-day week was selected by ancient cultures, rather than a week that included a number of days that was a factor of these numeral systems, such as a six-day or a twelve-day week, or a week that divided the lunation more accurately using a factor of these number systems, such as a five-day or ten-day week. Finally, there are no historical Jewish or Babylonian records that confirm that these cultures explicitly defined the seven-day week as a quarter of a lunation.” (Link)  It seems then like the seven-day weekly cycle is a most unusual or arbitrary division of time that is unrelated, compared to other more obvious divisions of time (month and year), on cyclic natural phenomena.

So, which version of the history of the seven-day week is most likely correct? – that of secular historians and biblical critics?  Or, that of the Bible itself?  Why has a seven-day week been observed for so long by so many cultures?  Why is this particular weekly cycle so popular? – compared to other more natural or “rational” options like the 10-day week that was attempted in France during the bloody French revolution and “enlightenment”?

Well, for one thing, the idea that the Jews adopted the seven-day week from the Babylonians during their captivity some 600 years B.C. is at least partially based on the still popular but effectively falsified “Documentary Hypothesis” of biblical critics. Numerous claims of those who framed the Documentary Hypothesis, and of biblical critics in general, have been definitively falsified.  For example, biblical critics once argued that writing itself had not been invented by the time of Moses.  Of course, numerous 20th century discoveries have falsified this notion – such as the discovery of the ancient Ebla Tablets.

The Ebla Tablets, written some 2200 years B.C., prove that writing, even alphabetic-type writing, was in existence well before Moses. Some of the statements about creation found on these tablets also seem to parallel the Biblical creation narrative, suggesting that the Genesis creation story, or something very similar to it, was known well before the “Deuteronomists” or even Moses came on the scene. In fact, the farther one goes back in time with archeological discoveries, the closer the creation stories seem to get to the one found in the Bible. These tablets also speak of a flood story like that of the Flood story in the Bible. The Ebla Tablets also mention the names Abraham and Isaac, suggesting that such names were known and common during this time. They also tell of two sinful cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, and mention all five of the cities of the valley in the same order mentioned in the Bible. This is in the face of “higher critics” who had claimed that Sodom, Gomorrah, Ur and other Canaan cities of the Bible never did exist. However, the Ebla Tablets showed the Bible was correct and that the critics were wrong (yet again). And the list goes on and on…

Of course, the Ebla Tablets do not mention the seven-day creation week, or any other particular weekly cycle for that matter.  So, maybe the critics are right for once when it comes to at least the origin of the seven-day week?  Consider that if the biblical version is in fact the true version of history that God may have actually provided extra-biblical evidence within life itself of the true origin of the week?  Wouldn’t it be most surprising, from the naturalistic perspective, to find seven-day rhythms within living things?  Yet, this is exactly what has been discovered.  Many living things, to include humans beings, experience seven-day, or “circaseptan” biological cycles.

The relatively new science of chronobiology has uncovered some totally unexpected facts about living things, to include the most puzzling circaseptan or seven-day cycles experienced by many living things. Secular scientists find it difficult to explain how such a seven-day cyclical pattern would arise or evolve in living things by any natural means.

“At first glance, it might seem that weekly rhythms developed in response to the seven day week imposed by human culture thousands of years ago. However, this theory doesn’t hold once you realize that plants, insects, and animals other than humans also have weekly cycles. . . . Biology, therefore, not culture, is probably at the source of our seven day week.”

Susan Perry and Jim Dawson, The Secrets Our Body Clocks Reveal, (New York: Rawson Associates, 1988), pp. 20-21

Campbell summarizes the findings of the world’s foremost authority on rhythms and the pioneer of the science of chronobiology:

“Franz Halberg proposes that body rhythms of about seven days, far from being passively driven by the social cycle of the calendar week, are innate, autonomous, and perhaps the reason why the calendar week arose in the first place… These circaseptan, or about weekly, rhythms are one of the major surprises turned up by modern chronobiology. Fifteen years ago, few scientists would have expected that seven day biological cycles would prove to be so widespread and so long established in the living world. They are of very ancient origin, appearing in primitive one-celled organisms, and are thought to be present even in bacteria, the simplest form of life now existing.”

Jeremy Campbell, Winston Churchill’s Afternoon Nap, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), pp. 75-79.

 

Specific examples of circaseptan rhythms in humans include: Reject of organ transplants, immune response to infections, blood and urine chemicals, blood pressure, heartbeat, the common cold, coping hormones, and even one’s mood or general state of mind. There is even evidence of a circaseptan cycle in the formation of tooth enamel (Link).

There are also examples in other living things, such as the algae Acetabularia mediterranea (popularly known as mermaid’s wineglass) that shows a seven-day growth cycle or Brazilian bees that observe a seventh-day “Sabbath” rest cycle (Link).

If the seven day week is an invention of culture and religion, as most historians would have us believe, how do we explain innate circaseptan rhythms in “primitive” algae, rats, plants, bees and face flies?  These forms of life have no calendar and can’t read the Torah (Link).  There is even evidence that being in or out of sync with the circaseptan cycle may have an affect on longevity. Consider, for example, that the life spans of the face fly Musca autumnalis or the springtail Folsomia candida are markedly longer when oviposition shifts are allowed to be carried out at intervals that are 7 days apart (Link).

There is, however, research suggesting a lunar influence on various circaseptan cycles (Link).  But several other experiments have shown an intrinsic or endogenous quality to circaseptan cycles that is apparently independent of any external influences – to include that of the lunar cycles (Link).  It does seem, however, that these endogenously derived rhythms are able to respond to external influences (such as circadian influences of day and night or the lunar-induced tides). What is especially interesting is that the circaseptan rhythm, among all the other circadian rhythms, appears to be the one rhythm by which all others are tuned or orchestrated.

“In Franz Halberg’s view, a central feature of biological time structure is the harmonic relationship that exists among the various component frequencies. A striking aspect of this relationship is that the components themselves appear to be harmonics or sub harmonics, multiples or submultiples, of seven…

Circaseptan and circasemiseptan rhythms are not arbitrary, even though they seem to lack counterpart rhythms in the external environment.”

Jeremy Campbell, Winston Churchill’s Afternoon Nap, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 30

 

And, from a more recent paper published in 2007 the author writes:

The endogenous nature of the about weekly (circaseptan) rhythms is shown by their occurrence in animals kept under laboratory conditions precluding circaseptan periodic input, their appearance as circaseptan reaction pattern after noxious stimuli, or introduction of an antigen, and in human subjects by the observation of their free running (rhythms that are not synchronized to environmental time cues) with a frequency different from the calendar week. It appear that our seven-day week, which is found in many ancient and modern civilizations including the three main monotheistic religions, may be an adaptation to an endogenous biologic rhythm rather than the rhythm being a societally impressed phenomenon.

Erhard Haus, Chronobiology in the Endocrine System, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 59 (2007) 985-1014

Again, given the historical reliability of “higher” biblical critics compared to the fact that the Bible’s claims about history have proven true time and again, combined with the internal evidence for circaseptan rhythms within ourselves and many if not all living things, is it really such a stretch to imagine that the Bible might be right yet again regarding the Creation Week and the Sabbath rest given to us by God from the very beginning of life on this planet?

Consider a situation where someone (the God of the Bible in this case) claimed to have created a given cyclical pattern of time specifically for our benefit (i.e., “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath – Mark 2:27). This is a testable claim. Given the truth of such a claim the implication is very direct and clear. Obviously, in such a situation one should actually expect to find some sort of biorhythm(s) that is tuned to this particular weekly pattern. One should also expect that if one did not follow God’s advice on following this pattern (given that God actually exists and is in fact our Maker), that one would be able to notice a physical difference in one’s general well being when in or out of line with God’s claimed ideal pattern for the weekly cycle. In other words, God has presented a testable hypothesis or claim to us that we can actually test in a scientific, potentially falsifiable, manner.  Perhaps there is a reason why Seventh-day Adventists are the longest lived ethnically diverse group of people in the world (Link)?

It’s like being told to use a particular fuel for your car for optimal performance – by the car’s designer. You can expect some sort of actual physical difference if you don’t use the particular type of fuel you were told to use by the car’s creator.

Just another piece to add to the puzzle…

 

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105 thoughts on “The Origin of the Sabbath and the 7-Day Week

  1. Why do we even question such things. The Bible said it, and it is so! We either believe the Bible and take it at face value or we don’t. We know that all things have not been shown to us, but we have more than enough proof for the things we need to know. The truth we have can never be exhausted while we are on this earth.




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  2. Hi Sean

    Interesting article indeed. Never heard of chronobiology but it sounds intriguing.

    As I have mentioned before, it is quite possible that the biblical writers borrowed or redacted the Genesis account from earlier versions of other cultures. The Epic of Gilamesh predates the Noachian flood doesn’t it? Why did the Sumerians get it wrong and Moses get it right?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  3. Ken: The Epic of Gilamesh predates the Noachian flood doesn’t it? Why did the Sumerians get it wrong and Moses get it right?

    Hi Ken,

    I believe that everything was destroyed in the Flood, so I don’t think the Epic of Gilamesh predates the Flood. I think you will find that the story was passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth for quite sometime before it was written down.

    You see, Ken, God Himself has preserved the Scriptures throughout the ages. It was He who commissioned Moses to write the historical accounts in Genesis. That is why Moses got it right and the Sumerians didn’t. I fully believe that God gave Moses a vision of the historical events of the world up to his day. It would have played somewhat like a movie, so all Moses had to do was write down what he was witnessing. This “movie” would have been 100% accurate.

    The Sumerian account, unprotected and uncommissioned by God, would have been corrupted, even though it does have some points that strongly resemble the accounts in Genesis; however, it isn’t 100% accurate. Sort of like the comparitively more modern movie of the Ten Commandments. That movie had the basic storyline correct, but it had numerous errors in it.

    Because the Sumerians had ceased to worship God and He had left them to the false gods they had chosen to worship, their account was dependant on human memory which had been intermingled with the worship of false gods. So while it more or less follows the same storylines in Genesis, it definitely departs from the whole truth.




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  4. Hello Faith

    As always, thanks for your comments.

    I meant to say the ‘writing’ of the Epic of Gilamesh preceded the writing of the Noachian flood account in Genesis. Sorry about that.

    I think you are likely right about stories being passed down verbally from generation to generation until writng came into being. Of course because no human being witnessed creation it is interesting to think about the source of the first creation stories before they were written down. Every culture has them and likely more recent cultures borrowed from the antecedent ones, hence the similarities.

    I understand and appreciate your argument regarding the biblical account being the only God inspired true account. I guess this is where faith, which I do not disparage, comes into play.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  5. AS Christians we follow Jesus and believe in His divinity. He kept the Sabbath, the same one as the rest of the Bible writers and being God, He would have known the correct day. Very few people would argue that the seven day cycle has been broken since Him. Therefore near the dateline, if west of it, we start sabbath a few hours before Jerusalem and if east, a few hours after. We should know the attacks on the sabbath will just increase as we near the end.




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  6. Sean

    Interesting concept. But let me get this clear.
    1] The traditional argument has been that nowhere in nature is there a 7 day cycle so the week must have come from God as he delivered it in the beginning. (a God of the gaps argument)

    2] You are now arguing that in fact there is within nature a circaseptan cycle. (a natural theology argument for the actions of God)

    Sean I think you are treading on very dangerous ground. In making an argument against a God of the gaps explanation you are unwittingly (or perhaps indeed wittingly) decreasing the attribution of the 7 day cycle to divine fiat.

    If there is indeed a natural basis for a 7 day cycle you may begin to argue there is a natural basis for many of the other things we have traditionally attributed to God. It is indeed a slippery slope you enter when you begin to look for natural explanations. Best avoid if you wish to maintain the status quo.

    Paul




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  7. Here is a Dr. Taylor comment on the A-today forum……

    “Genesis could well be a “true account of our origins” depending on how we define “true.” One can take the Genesis account seriously but not literally and believe that it is “true.”

    Of course, how we define “true” can make red, yellow. Or dark, light. And we can define “lie” in the same context. So, if you say something untrue, then it is not a lie, unless you define it so.

    And we could think of many other such examples such as “up is down” depending on how you define “up” and “down”.

    So, any two contrasting words may be defined in the opposite way they are used in the norm, and of course, we have total and “Babylon” confusion and any viable communication is totally impossible.

    Depending on what we decide “is” is by way of Bill Clinton.

    I think if we generally stick with the dictionary definitions, we are more likely to be understood by the majority, if and when they also use a dictionary definition.

    And, yes, we are aware that some words tend to move slightly in meaning over time and useage, but even then, it is not a radical change that would make communication impossible.

    I think most Christians tend to follow the obvious biblical meanings without casting doubt on the bible and its ability to communicate such basic dialogue as “yes” and “no”.

    Gen. 1 is clear enough for anyone who is objective in reading its declarations.

    Honesty demands that if you disagree with its declarations, then say so. Don’t do a lot of double talk and play word games to leave the impression that you really believe the bible while attacking its clear communication.

    Actually, you look really foolish to any viable individual who can reason and think. It is inane to do otherwise. I guess “man up” might be a good way to address those who refuse to do so.

    Bill Sorensen




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  8. Bill, Great analysis of Dr. Taylor and his kind. According to him and his cronies, the bible can be “interpreted” anyway one wants. He is not alone however. We have many more like him that are trying to lead our SDA Church down the “yellow brick road” to heresy and apostasy. Unfortunately, the Pacific Union Conference, and its institutions, have the greatest share of these people, some of which are in “leadership” positions.




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  9. Holly, I would make this further comment. A statement may be coherent even if some would consider it irrational.

    For instance……

    I could say that by waving my arms rapidly, I can fly.

    That statement is coherent, even if it is less than rational.

    Those who deny the biblical account of creation claim its declarations are not coherent. Meaning, it can not be understood.

    So, they not only claim the creation account is irrational, (because science will not support its claims), they also claim it is not coherent.

    In which case, they claim we do not even know what it is saying. Obviously, so they can claim they really believe the bible, and since we don’t even what it is saying, we can not “judge” whether what they claim is true or not.

    But we can “judge” because we do know what the bible is saying, and it is clear and coherent.

    So, as I said, we could wish they would “man up” and admit all the double talk and simply say, they don’t agree with the biblical account.

    Yet this man has considerable influence and the A-today ministry is allowed to have a booth at the GC sessions. So, we must conclude that our church leaders consider A-today a viable SDA ministry that represents the SDA church. Along with Spectrum and all other ministries allowed and endorsed by our church at the GC sessions.

    Or, we could ask, “Is the SDA church nothing more than a clearing house for every Tom, Dick and Harry’s theology and we have no definable identity to defend and preserve?”

    I think this is probably the case and they would argue that just because different ministries are “allowed” at the GC sessions, does not mean they are endorsed by the church.

    But it is still duplicity and apostacy, no matter how they explain it. I still hope and pray that God has a “man with the dirt brush” represented in William Miller’s dream. If not, we are surely doomed as a church. We can hope that Educate Truth is part of the “dirt brush” and we need many more with equal convictions who will continue to demand accountability.

    I am tired of the “get in, sit down, shut up and hang on” philosophy being sold all in the name of “unity at all cost.”

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  10. Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    In light of Ted Wilson’s endorsement and reaffirmation of FB# 6 is does seem puzzling why the church is not confronting the liberals straight on. Why not just disfellowship them?

    Here is my hypothesis. Its about power and money. Why happens to the progreesive tithes if the Church comes down hard upon the liberals? Would you rather being leading a big organization with money from lots of sources or a smaller remnant one with less prestige and funds?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  11. Re Pauluc’s Quote

    “Sean I think you are treading on very dangerous ground. In making an argument against a God of the gaps explanation you are unwittingly (or perhaps indeed wittingly) decreasing the attribution of the 7 day cycle to divine fiat.”

    Pauluc makes a good point. If there are other types of biological cycles that are not in accordance with biblical time frames does this militate against divine fiat by faith? The human menstrual cycle? Hibernation cycles? Migration cycles? What were the sources of these if not evolutionary?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  12. Ken, I think your conclusion about Wilson and church politics is correct. Obviously, he has limited power and influence.

    Many, if not most leaders today are often puppets of a higher authority who “allow” them to hold an office as a public figure.
    They can say what they want, but actually have little control of any situation.

    This seems to be applicable to modern USA presidents, who actually have far less influence and authority than many people think. I would suggest he says and does what he is told to do and say.

    And it would probably apply to the Catholic church as well. The Pope is nothing more than a figure head who also does what he is told.

    If prophecy is correct as we understand it, then money sanctions will eventually control the world. Not just individuals who oppose the system. But governments who don’t get in line will be placed in the same unenviable position.

    The money pressure controls modern Adventism far more than most lay members know or think. And pastors are intimidated by conference officials on the same level. They fear they may lose their jobs if they oppose the conference leaders.

    EGW has called it the “spirit of Popery” in our conferences and described it as “rule or ruin”.

    I’ve heard “the dragon roar” against me and seen it in more than a few cases and so have many others. It wasn’t Rome.

    Some of us have considerable freedom because we don’t “work for the church” and so they can not intimidate us financially. And the hate it. They would like to have us out if we won’t fall in line.

    So far, they have the “bully pulpit” and control church members who know little and see little to be concerned about.

    Since you don’t believe and confess anything, Ken, you will never be on the bubble and can ride safely along. Just watching the outcome.

    The demise of our county is paralled by the demise of our church. Same philosophy, some tactics, same outcome. But no one can “ride the fence” forever. God has a way of “forcing” people to make a decision. And in some cases, no decision, is a decision.

    Bill Sorensen




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  13. Re Bill’s Quotes

    “Some of us have considerable freedom because we don’t “work for the church” and so they can not intimidate us financially.”

    Yes Bill, and some of us enjoy total freedom, because we will think independent of any of how anyone of non faith or faith tells us how to think. Even free of Pascal’s Wager. And even more, I believe in trying to be a good moral being, even if the only reward is to live a good life.

    “But no one can “ride the fence” forever. God has a way of “forcing” people to make a decision. And in some cases, no decision, is a decision.”

    Agnosticism is a decision and is every bit as deep as Adventist faith. Do you think I risk my potential immortality lightly or without strong conviction for my search for truth? How and when do you think God is going to make me decide?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  14. @pauluc:

    Sean I think you are treading on very dangerous ground. In making an argument against a God of the gaps explanation you are unwittingly (or perhaps indeed wittingly) decreasing the attribution of the 7 day cycle to divine fiat.

    It is unlike the God of the Bible to be completely arbitrary – to command things for no reason outside of some private personal benefit (i.e., without some inherent benefit for those who follow his commands). According to the Bible, the Sabbath, and therefore the seven-day weekly cycle as well, is a special gift of God that was created and given to us for our benefit. In other words, according to the Bible, the seven-day week wasn’t an entirely arbitrary cycle of time created by God. Rather, it was a cycle of time that would in fact be to our benefit if followed. This directly implies some physiologic relationship between a seven-day cycle of work and rest and one’s overall health and well being. Even Jesus argued that, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:17)

    So, just because something in nature is/was the result of a deliberate and intelligent act of God does not mean that these natural effects can readily be explained without any appeal to some source of deliberate intelligence in their formation.

    Let’s say, for example, that “Chocolate cake was made for man, not man for chocolate cake.” One would expect, therefore, that chocolate cake would have a positive physiological effect on man for whom it was made. According to your argument, the fact that there may be some natural beneficial effect on those who eat chocolate cake must therefore mean that the chocolate cake was not deliberately designed and created via an intelligent agent – which of course is nonsense.

    If there is indeed a natural basis for a 7 day cycle you may begin to argue there is a natural basis for many of the other things we have traditionally attributed to God. It is indeed a slippery slope you enter when you begin to look for natural explanations. Best avoid if you wish to maintain the status quo.

    Again, having a natural basis isn’t the same thing as saying that God didn’t make it or that an intelligent source of some kind isn’t required to explain its origin. Explaining the origin of many aspects of nature (such as the fine tuning of the fundamental constants of the universe or the meaningful informational complexity of the most simple free living thing) demand the input of deliberate high-level intelligence and creative power that cannot be readily distinguished from a God or God-like power. The fact that they are found in nature is irrelevant to the fact that they were also clearly designed by a very intelligent designer…

    On the other hand, one might argue that a natural phenomenon might just as easily be explained by apparently mindless forces of nature – such as the formation of the crystalline structure of a snowflake or a pyrite cube. Are the circaseptan cycles found in many living things easily explained by such apparently mindless forces of nature? If so, I’ve yet to find such a mindless mechanism since such circaseptan cycles are pretty much exclusive to living things without any influence by external environmental factors – such as cycles of heat and cold, light and dark, etc. Rather, it seems more consistent that whoever made life deliberately created life with an inherently cyclical pattern to many biological processes that happen to match the ideal circaseptan pattern described in Genesis for the seven-day weekly cycle of work, worship and rest.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  15. Re Sean’s Quote

    “So, just because something in nature is/was the result of a deliberate and intelligent act of God does not mean that these natural effects can readily be explained without any appeal to some source of deliberate intelligence in their formation.”

    Hi Sean

    Good debate.

    Let’s extrapolate a bit on you theory of deliberate design. What is your theory on the existence of black holes in the universe: deliberate design or causal effect of the physics of our universe?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  16. @ken:

    Let’s extrapolate a bit on you theory of deliberate design. What is your theory on the existence of black holes in the universe: deliberate design or causal effect of the physics of our universe?

    I don’t know. I personally don’t have enough information on the nature of black holes to tell if they are necessary for the structure of galaxies or if they are simply the result of the natural evolution of galaxies over time. I suspect that there is some kind of structural benefit that is produced by black holes since every known galaxy has one in the center. However, I’m just guessing here…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  17. Re Comparing human and biblical cycles

    OK, let’s have some fun with this.

    The human menstrual cycle averages about 28 days, which is a multiple of 7.

    The human gestation cycle is about 40 weeks. Now in Genesis 7:12, it says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

    Coincidence or God’s hand? ?. .?
    ^
    ~~~

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  18. Re Sean’s Quote

    “I don’t know. I personally don’t have enough information on the nature of black holes to tell if they are necessary for the structure of galaxies or if they are simply the result of the natural evolution of galaxies over time. I suspect that there is some kind of structural benefit that is produced by black holes since every known galaxy has one in the center. However, I’m just guessing here…”

    That’s honest, fair and an intriguing answer my friend. On a larger cosmic scale, could such gravitational sinkholes actually support the anthropic principle for life in the universe? Might there be a design to them that somehow benefits life? Let’s hope the earth doesn’t get sucked into one! Hmmm…interesting.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  19. @ken:

    The human menstrual cycle averages about 28 days, which is a multiple of 7. The human gestation cycle is about 40 weeks. Now in Genesis 7:12, it says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

    Coincidence or God’s hand?

    It’s pretty easy to find just about any particular pattern one chooses somewhere in something (as was the case for John Nash in A Beautiful Mind). But, we are talking about predicting patterns beforehand based on certain assumptions or starting conditions. Given a certain situation, what patterns should predictably follow?

    For example, it would not be expected or intuitive or predictable to find a 40 day pattern for human gestation just because the Bible mentions that it rained at one point in time for 40 days. There is no overtly evident connection here… which seems to be your main point.

    In contrast, consider a situation where someone (the God of the Bible in this case) claimed that he created a given cyclical pattern of time specifically for our benefit. This is a testable claim. In such a situation the implication is very direct and clear. Obviously, in such a situation one should actually expect to find some sort of biorhythm(s) that is tuned to this particular weekly pattern. One should also expect that if one did not follow God’s advice on following this pattern (given that God actually exists and is in fact our Maker), that one would be able to notice a physical difference in one’s general well being under experimental conditions when in or out of line with God’s claimed ideal pattern for the weekly cycle. In other words, God has presented a testable scientific hypothesis or claim to us that we can actually test in a scientific, potentially falsifiable, manner.

    See the difference? It’s like being told to use a particular fuel for your car for optimal performance – by the car’s designer. You can expect some sort of actual physical difference if you don’t use the particular type of fuel you were told to use by the car’s creator.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  20. Re Sean’s Quote

    “In contrast, consider a situation where someone (the God of the Bible in this case) claimed that he created a given cyclical pattern of time specifically for our benefit. This is a testable claim. In such a situation the implication is very direct and clear. Obviously, in such a situation one should actually expect to find some sort of biorhythm(s) that is tuned to this particular weekly pattern.”

    Hi Sean

    Interesting stuff.

    Let’s examine your line of thinking a little more. Why would we see circaseptan biorhythms when biblically life was created in two days? Shouldn’t we see two day cycles instead to accord with the bible? Wouldn’t a seven day biorhythm in fact contradict fiat creation of life?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  21. Hi Sean

    Just had a look at Genesis. If one includes plants, creation of life took three, rather than two days. Sorry about that. 🙂

    However the point remains as to why we shouldn’t see two or three day biorhythms versus seven.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  22. Those who “imagine new universes” and even “10^500 imagined universes” — show a great deal of “imagination”.

    If the question is “how does the Bible hold up to massive amounts of imagination set up against it” — I would say that based on Daniel 2, 7, 8 and 9 it is holding up pretty well.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  23. ken: Prior to the bible, didn’t Babylonians celebrate every 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days as holy days as well?

    The bible starts in Genesis 1 with the creation of all life on earth.

    No “Babylonians” prior to that.

    The Bible takes us to the world wide flood in Gen 6 and 7 — no Babylonians before that.

    In Bible history – the Babylonians are descendants of Noah.

    In Genesis 2 – we have the 7th day made a holy day for all mankind.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  24. Simply –

    The whole world (humanity with extreme diversity of “cultures”) recognizes not only A weekly cycle, but the SAME weekly cycle.

    As far as I know, this is a fact that cannot be disputed by anyone with any credibility. I have never heard anyone dispute that fact by presenting a culture somewhere that observes a shorter or longer cycle – or even a cycle that has another numbering system (defining as to which day is the “first”, “second”, etc.

    I am not a statistician but intuitively to me, this fact is a statistical impossibility without the 7-day Creation story being literal and true. As God has presented, the Sabbath commandment truly does bear witness to the fact that He CREATED things as He says that He did.

    On what else does the whole world seem to agree?

    But I don’t base my faith on that – it is just an evidence to me. It takes a prayer relationship with God to be convicted of Who He truly is. If one does not have that, they will flounder.

    Thomas was the one who said “show me”. Jesus said that those were blessed who had NOT seen but still believed. Why? Those who believe by faith are not in a blind trust relationship. They have a connection that comes by prayer.




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  25. Hi Bob

    Those that imagine an invisible investigative judgement beginning in heaven in 1844 may be another universal cornfield as well. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  26. @ken:

    However the point remains as to why we shouldn’t see two or three day biorhythms versus seven.

    Because, according to the Bible, God did not create a 2- or 3-day week when He created life on this particular planet. Rather, the Bible clearly says that God established a 7-day week, to include a Sabbath day of rest within that week, for our planet and promised to bless those who followed this weekly pattern. If that was in fact the case as described by the Bible, then we should expect to see some sort of empirical benefit in following this particular pattern vs. any other.

    In short, according to the Bible, it doesn’t matter how long it took to create life (Adam and Eve were created in a very short time the morning of the 6th day after all) if life was created to fit best into a 7-day weekly cycle.

    Did a little more reading on the topic. Seems there are theories that black holes actually spawn new universes. Would that be by design? How does that affect the notion of fiat creation?

    Yes, I know. The concept of multiuniverses, while certainly interesting and even valid theorectically, is not a scientific concept since it is currently outside of the realm of testing and falsifiability (unfortunately).

    In fact, the way many scientists use the concept of “multiverses” today (as a means to supposedly remove the need to invoke God-like intelligent design to explain the extremely finely tuned anthropic features of the universe) undermines the very basis of science itself. In other words, if multiverses can be used to explain the existence of phenomena that would otherwise be statistically impossible in our own universe via any known mindless process of nature, the same could be said for any and all phenomena that occur in our universe – like if Arnold Schwarzenegger won the California Lottery 10 times in a row without deliberate design on anyone’s part (he just happened to be in the right universe).

    The undermining of statistical probability removes the meaning or usefulness of the predictive value behind scientific hypotheses and theories – and therefore destroys science itself.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  27. Re Charle’s Quote

    “As far as I know, this is a fact that cannot be disputed by anyone with any credibility. I have never heard anyone dispute that fact by presenting a culture somewhere that observes a shorter or longer cycle – or even a cycle that has another numbering system (defining as to which day is the “first”, “second”, etc.

    I am not a statistician but intuitively to me, this fact is a statistical impossibility without the 7-day Creation story being literal and true. As God has presented, the Sabbath commandment truly does bear witness to the fact that He CREATED things as He says that He did.”

    Hi Charles

    Actually I’ve read that the Romans celebrated a 8 day week before they adopted a 7 day week. The fact that the world now recognizes a 7 day week does not mean that always was the case.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  28. @Ken:

    Actually I’ve read that the Romans celebrated a 8 day week before they adopted a 7 day week. The fact that the world now recognizes a 7 day week does not mean that always was the case.

    This is true. Many if not most ancient cultures (B.C.) did not seem to observe a 7-day week. This is why it is most interesting that circaseptan cycles seem to support the Biblical account of an original 7-day week despite the fact that this cycle was not remembered by many cultures as time went by.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  29. Re Sean’s Quote

    However the point remains as to why we shouldn’t see two or three day biorhythms versus seven.

    Because, according to the Bible, God did not create a 2- or 3-day week when He created life on this particular planet. Rather, the Bible clearly says that God established a 7-day week, to include a Sabbath day of rest within that week, for our planet and promised to bless those who followed this weekly pattern. If that was in fact the case as described by the Bible, then we should expect to see some sort of empirical benefit in following this particular pattern vs. any other.

    In short, according to the Bible, it doesn’t matter how long it took to create life (Adam and Eve were created in a very short time the morning of the 6th day after all) if life was created to fit best into a 7-day weekly cycle.”

    Hi Sean

    Interesting argument.

    However I think one can equally argue that to corroborate the Bible, extant biorhyms should match the biblical timeframe within which life was created. Even adding on a day of rest at most that would be 4 days.

    But I think you have to go further to test your seven day hypothesis as well. Take the human menstrual cycle. Presuming Eve had one, why wasn’t that seven days instead of 28?

    The point I’m making is that the presence of circaseptan cycles does not necessarily indicate the benefit of seven day fiat creation. There are lots of other cycles to which life responds and adapts: night and day, 28 days, monthly, yearly, etc. Thus does one cherry pick the one(s) that augments arguments for optimal biblical cycles or consider them all and what they mean?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  30. Ken: Re Charle’s Quote“As far as I know, this is a fact that cannot be disputed by anyone with any credibility. I have never heard anyone dispute that fact by presenting a culture somewhere that observes a shorter or longer cycle – or even a cycle that has another numbering system (defining as to which day is the “first”, “second”, etc.I am not a statistician but intuitively to me, this fact is a statistical impossibility without the 7-day Creation story being literal and true. As God has presented, the Sabbath commandment truly does bear witness to the fact that He CREATED things as He says that He did.”Hi CharlesActually I’ve read that the Romans celebrated a 8 day week before they adopted a 7 day week. The fact that the world now recognizes a 7 day week does not mean that always was the case.Your agnostic friendKen

    Okay, my friend. You may have read about it. My comment was present tense. For whatever reason, the whole world (presently) observes the same seven-day week, as far as I know.




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  31. @Ken:

    However I think one can equally argue that to corroborate the Bible, extant biorhyms should match the biblical timeframe within which life was created. Even adding on a day of rest at most that would be 4 days.

    There is no reason given in the Bible to support this assumption – especially given that mankind was created one day before the end of the first 7-day week. What? Would that suggest a 2-day weekly cycle for mankind?

    It makes far better sense to simply take the Bible at its word when it says that God specifically created a 7-day weekly cycle of work and rest that was to be of benefit to mankind – suggesting that observing anything other than this particular weekly cycle would not be as ideal.

    But I think you have to go further to test your seven day hypothesis as well. Take the human menstrual cycle. Presuming Eve had one, why wasn’t that seven days instead of 28?

    Not all cycles need to be matched to seven days – for obvious practical reasons. Can you imagine your wife having a menstrual cycle every single week?! Once a month is bad enough. I’m sure all women and all men who are married would agree with me on this one. In fact, the menstral cycle is so inconvenient whenever it happens that Eve may not have originally been created to have one as we currently know it (especially given that there are various kinds of animals that reabsorb, rather than slough off, their endometrium).

    The point I’m making is that the presence of circaseptan cycles does not necessarily indicate the benefit of seven day fiat creation. There are lots of other cycles to which life responds and adapts: night and day, 28 days, monthly, yearly, etc. Thus does one cherry pick the one(s) that augments arguments for optimal biblical cycles or consider them all and what they mean?

    There are a lot of cyclical patterns in nature to which we must respond. The circaseptan cycle is entirely internal, not in response to any known external cyclical phenomenon (like night and day or seasonal cycles). This is why it is so interesting that humans and other living things have been created with so many of these internal circaseptan biorhythms… just as would be expected if the Bible was telling the truth about the promised blessings one might gain in following the pattern that God originally set in place (according to the Bible anyway).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  32. Re Sean’s Quote

    It makes far better sense to simply take the Bible at its word when it says that God specifically created a 7-day weekly cycle of work and rest that was to be of benefit to mankind – suggesting that observing anything other than this particular weekly cycle would not be as ideal.”

    Hi Sean

    Is that what Genesis actually says or is that just your postulate for a bio friendly seven day cycle? Why a seven day cycle if life wasn’t created over seven days? A 1-4 day cycle to match the period of time life was created and rested seems more rational and relevant to me. Why for example would the creation of heaven and earth devoid of life have any bearing or utility on biorhyhms?

    Now if life were created on the first day of the creation cycle and was around for the full seven days then your theory would make more sense.

    But we may be beating a dead horse created on the sixth day of a seven day cycle. :). Perhaps Pauluc would like to weigh in upon the topic again lest you and I are merely ‘recycling’ our arguments.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    See the difference. 🙂

    Your agnostic




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  33. Ken: Is that what Genesis actually says or is that just your postulate for a bio friendly seven day cycle?

    Oh goody – an agnostic asking what the Bible actually says. We could not have asked for a better situation.

    Here is what the actually Bible says in Genesis –

    Genesis 1:
    24 Then God said, “”Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.
    25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
    26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
    27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “” Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
    29 Then God said, “”Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
    30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
    31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day

    Genesis 2:(NASB)

    1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.
    2 By the seventh day
    God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
    3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
    4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

    And then we have that same sequence encapsulated in legal code in Genesis 20.

    8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

    10But the seventh day is The Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed The Sabbath day, and hallowed IT.

    Recall that Erv Taylor asked the reader to “imagine” that no time frame is mentioned in the text itself – (or perhaps he just wants the reader to imagine an unspecified time frame).

    Either way the imagination he requires is more the act of turning a blind eye to the details in the text – instead of reading them and accepting the text.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. Ken: Those that imagine an invisible investigative judgement beginning in heaven in 1844 may be another universal cornfield as we

    Surely you are just pretending to have an interest in the Daniel 7 investigative judgment. Or are you saying that you actually read the chapter and do not find the Bible to be talking about opening books in a courtroom where the Ancient of Days shows up – the “court sits” and then “Judgment is passed in favor of the saints” after which they inherit the Kingdom?

    Of course this requires that we look at the “details in the text” again – but should you have such an interest – lets discuss.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  35. Interesting to not that cultures and peoples who left off the worship of the God of Creation often tried to change the 7-day weekly cycle–as did the French at one time. Yet, they seem to return to the 7-day fold. Like Charles, I do not know of a country today that does not use the 7-day weekly cycle.




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  36. @Bill Sorensen, Your Jan. 6 comment about how church employees, especially pastors, are very reluctant to get involved in something like ET, even though they fully support its goals, is very true.

    I’ve asked numerous SDA pastors why they are “silent.” They all say they are afraid the conference officials will start pressuring them or even threatening them.

    One actually said, (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t want my boss to get upset.”

    When I asked him who his “boss” was, he named the conference President. I then told him I thought his (and my) “Boss” was God. He became embarrassed and sheepishly admitted I was correct.

    But, he still won’t speak up on any controversial issue. Are most SDA pastors this spineless? It seems so by seeing how few participate in this forum and even in other issues.

    Silence appears to be “golden” regarding these matters.




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  37. Hi Bob

    Thanks for quoting the literal text of Genesis.

    Nowwhere in the text does it say, and I quote Sean: ” God specifically created a 7 – day weekly cycle of work and rest that was to be of benefit to mankind”?

    Where does it actually say ” benefit of mankind” ? Is it OK just to imply that as a progressive might or should one stick to the literal text?

    Let’s continue with the literal shall we. Does Daniel talk about “an invisible investigative judgment beginning in 1844”?

    Oh goody I like to debate the exact words I or others have stated as oppossed to the imagination of what others think I said. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Oh goody I look forward to your reply 🙂

    Your agnostic reply




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  38. Dear Bill and Holly

    I agree with you 100% that if one cannot stand up for one’s convictions those convictions are shallow indeed.

    Your convicted agnostic friend
    Ken




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  39. No doubt God will yet select an individual and give them the message and influence that will finally shake the church.

    Neither Elijah, John the Baptist, nor any prophet gave a rip about pleasing anyone except God. But then, they did not get “paid” by “the church”. And this is probably why God seldom could choose and use such people.

    I still think a man with a “dirt brush” will eventually emerge and there will be a genuine shaking that is far more than the gentle moving being agitated today.

    And I might add, none of us are really ready for it. When the time comes, we may well say, “If I had known it would come to this, I never would have made such a fuss over these matters.”

    Be that as it may, we realize we can not simply say nothing no matter what the outcome. If you are as old as me, we worry far more about our children and grandchildren than ourselves.

    I think our leaders hope all us “old” people die off, and then they can do as they please without protest.

    EGW has said false ministers will suffer 10 times more than others during the plagues. And for obvious reasons. If you claim to represent God and then don’t, you have considerable more influence than lay members. And thus your accountability is increased accordingly.

    It would seem that being a “professional” Christian and getting “paid” to represent God carries special temptations that few are able to deal with. The history of the old testament bears this out again and again. How can you attack the orgainization that writes your paycheck?

    Are you ready to get fired, or even withdraw if you are challenged? You will certainly give the benefit of the doubt to your employer on any issue. And you may easily begin to justify some things you know are not really acceptable.

    We believe God will work it out. But probably not in the way we would imagine nor the way we would like.

    But I think many of us know by now that “loyalty to the church” is not, ipso facto, “loyalty to God.” But a lot of people still think so, and this is why the leaders can continue to do as they please and still maintain considerable control of the people.

    I don’t want their job. But if they take the job, then do it. And if not, don’t take the job. It is way too much like the politics of the world, and when you “get in” you have a “lock up” for life. Just don’t rock the boat.

    Isn’t that right?

    Have a great new week.

    Bill Sorensen




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  40. “It would seem that being a “professional” Christian and getting “paid” to represent God carries special temptations that few are able to deal with.”

    Probably the biggest issue is the demystification of the clergy, I.e., being clergy and realizing that you’re no different, and no better, than anyone else. Ideally, this should lead to humility, but in some cases it leads to the attitude that since you are the church, you can do anything you want to do with the church. Things that should be treated with reverence are treated commonly.




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  41. Re Bill’s Quote

    “But I think many of us know by now that “loyalty to the church” is not, ipso facto, “loyalty to God.” But a lot of people still think so, and this is why the leaders can continue to do as they please and still maintain considerable control of the people.”

    Hi Bill

    In a nutshell you have aptly described the problem with all religious institutions. It takes courage to think for oneself outside of the institutional box.

    In my mind that is what education is all about: to give one the tools to
    think for oneself independent of indoctrination. And yes that applies to the non blind examination of evolution as well!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  42. Re Holly’s Quote

    “I’ve asked numerous SDA pastors why they are “silent.” They all say they are afraid the conference officials will start pressuring them or even threatening them.”

    One pastor who is not scared is my friend Ron Henderson who posts here time to time. But you do raise a good point: why aren’t more SDA pastors that support the YEC/YLC position posting here?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  43. @Ken:

    Nowwhere in the text does it say, and I quote Sean: “God specifically created a 7 – day weekly cycle of work and rest that was to be of benefit to mankind”?

    Where does it actually say “benefit of mankind”? Is it OK just to imply that as a progressive might or should one stick to the literal text?

    As noted in my original article and several other times in my responses to your comments in particular, it was Jesus himself who explained that the Sabbath (and therefore the seven-day weekly cycle of work, worship and rest) was “made for man” – Mark 2:27.

    In other words, we have none other than Jesus Himself claiming that God created a cyclical period of time, the seven-day week, to include a rest/worship day within that period of time, not for any arbitrary reason on God’s part, but specifically for our benefit.

    That’s a scientifically testable empirical claim. It has the potential of falsification upon testing. And, if testing demonstrates the validity of this claim, this adds additional credibility to the claims of the Bible in general as a trustworthy witness. As already noted, “It’s just one more piece in the puzzle”. There is a reason why Seventh-day Adventists, who actually follow the biblical guidelines promoted by the church organization, are the only long-lived ethnically diverse group of people in the world (The Blue Zone: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest (National Geographic Books, 2008).

    Consider also that the 7-day weekly period of time is especially highlighted in the Bible, noting God’s claim that one should especially strive to “remember” its observance. – Exodus 20:8. If God really does exist, why would He tell us so specifically to remember the Sabbath cicaseptan cycle? Probably because He knew that we humans would be prone to forget this cycle and, according to Jesus anyway, miss out on the inherent benefits of observing it.

    In short, the Bible clearly claims that the weekly cycle was created by God so that no only man, but various forms of animal life, would enjoy the benefits of said weekly cycle. That is in fact what the Bible claims. There is no real argument on this particular point.

    Now, you may argue that the Bible is in fact wrong in what it claims regarding the supposed benefits of the weekly cycle, but you cannot really argue that the Bible makes no promises of a blessing or benefit for those who choose to observe this particular cycle of work and rest. The Bible is quite clear in this regard in many places. – Isaiah 58:13-14

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  44. Re Isaiah 58:13

     13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
       and from doing as you please on my holy day,
    if you call the Sabbath a delight
       and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
    and if you honor it by not going your own way
       and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

    [Keep reading the rest of the passage chapter to find out what God promises those who keep the 7th-day as a day set apart, a Sabbath, holy to God. – sp]




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  45. “Hi Bill

    In a nutshell you have aptly described the problem with all religious institutions. It takes courage to think for oneself outside of the institutional box.”

    This is true, Ken. But we have a spiritual enigma that is not so easily dealt with or solved.

    Every “church” is convinced they have been ordained by God to be used by Him to advance His kingdom. No one is more absolutely sure of this than the Roman Catholic church.

    And they often persuade people to join their communion based solely on this principle. And of course, when they do, people feel no further obligation in moral accountability as long as they are “approved” by “the church”.

    And I am convinced, as hopefully all SDA’s are, that God has called and ordained the SDA church with a mission and message that we alone can give to prepare the world for Jesus’ second coming. We are “the remnant church” of bible prophecy.

    But, it is tragic if the same spiritual attitude becomes the norm that many other denominations foster, including Rome, becomes the norm in bible Adventism. The heart and soul of bible Adventism is this, there is no unconditional election for any person, nor is their any unconditional election for any ordained instrumentality that God has created to advance His kingdom. Both the bible and EGW can easily be misused in this context. Especially with all her affirmations of a “final victory” for “the church”.

    All her affirmation are balanced with conditions and “if” applied continually.
    She had great faith. She believed and hoped just like the prophets of ancient Israel. None the less, the Jews crucified Christ and committed the unpardonable sin as a nation.

    It is sad if anyone thinks this is somehow impossible for the SDA church. It is not only possible, but more than likely and even certain if “unconditional election” is implied and advocated in the church.

    I think it is, at least on some level. And it is largely the reason so much apostacy is tolerated and ignored, along with other political reasons.

    So, in closing let me give a quote by EGW that I think few really take seriously….

    “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . .” {LDE 59.3}

    I don’t think many SDA’s really believe this statement. The phrase “found wanting” means rejected and cast out.

    The success of the church is dependent on taking this statement seriously and acting accordingly.

    Bill Sorensen




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  46. Re Sean’s Quote

    “As noted in my original article and several other times in my responses to your comments in particular, it was Jesus himself who explained that the Sabbath (and by implication the seven-day weekly cycle of work, worship and rest) was “made for man” – Mark 2:27.

    In other words, we have none other than Jesus Himself claiming that God created a cyclical period of time, the seven-day week, to include a rest/worship day within that period of time, not for any arbitrary reason on God’s part, but specifically for our benefit.”

    Hello Sean

    Firstly, sorry for posting the germane biblical passages piecemeal. I haven’t figured a way to copy them all in one post when working off an iPad.

    Secondly, thank you for your candid admission that it is by ‘implication’ , rather than the literal text, that you say that Jesus says the seven day week was made for man. Hence it is from that implication, rather than what the passages actually say, you posit that the seven day week was made for the benefit of mankind. Then you connect the dots to show circaseptan cycles are scientific proof of the biblical seven day week being of benefit to mankind. I don’t fault you for making that leap of faith, I just point it out for argument sake.

    It is certainly arguable that God made the Sabbath , but not necessarily the whole week, for the benefit of mankind. Ever consider that God created the heaven and earth for his own pleasure , not necessarily for the benefit of mankind? Why for example would God make creatures that had no benefit to mankind outside of the Garden of Eden? Dinosaurs, tigers, sharks! Yikes! And if heavens includes a black hole in our galaxy, double yikes!

    Now I know I’m digressing a bit and mixing in theodicy with perfect creation, but the point remains that the Bible does not seem to specifically say that the seven day week was created for the benefit of mankind. Ask yourself: when humans create, do they do so primarily for their own pleasure or that of others? Do you think God would have been displeased with his creation if he had stopped short and not created Man? Would he have been pleased with the symmetry of his tiger? (apologies to William Blake).

    Sean, my point is not merely pedantic, it is too demonstate that your circaseptan implication is not necessarily empirical or as cut and dried as you may first have thought.

    In any case I enjoy your intelligence and thinking and I think your intellect is a tremendous boon to the Adventist community. I’m one of your biggest fans, and yes Dr. Kime, I do hope that sincere flattery will get me to a good space. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  47. Re Bill’s Quote

    “Every “church” is convinced they have been ordained by God to be used by Him to advance His kingdom”

    Hi Bill

    I agree, but do any? Or are they political, social manifestations of Man trying to get a leg up on the competitive ladder of salvation?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  48. @Ken:

    It is certainly arguable that God made the Sabbath , but not necessarily the whole week, for the benefit of mankind. Ever consider that God created the heaven and earth for his own pleasure , not necessarily for the benefit of mankind?

    The God of the Bible finds His pleasure in providing for the needs of and giving pleasure to others – to us. The Bible describes God as finding His greatest pleasure in selfless service to others – to include those sentient intelligent beings that He has created (to include humans, angels, and other created intelligences). Consider that Jesus actually took pleasure in washing the feet of his disciples – in being of service to them in both the lowest as well as the highest aspects of their needs. It is similar, I would think, to the pleasure parents realize in being of service to their children – even when it comes to their most basic needs. I know that is true in my own experience with my two-year old and four-month old boys.

    Also, the Sabbath is defined, in the Bible, as the seventh day of the weekly cycle. This is not just some vague implication from the biblical passages. It is directly defined in this manner. Therefore, if the Sabbath was made for our benefit as Jesus claims, then so was the weekly cycle of which the Sabbath is defined as the seventh day. The two go hand in hand in the Bible. Clearly then, one simply cannot have the blessings of the Sabbath of the Bible without observing a seven-day weekly cycle at the same time.

    By the way, you only quoted the first part of the 4th commandement of Exodus 20. The rest goes like this:


    “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” – Exodus 20:8-11

    Notice that God defines the Sabbath as the 7th day of a 7-day weekly cycle and tells us to remember to observe it and to allow our animals to observe it as well… most interesting. Again, according to Jesus, such a command was given for our benefit, not just as an arbitrary act of God to satisfy just His own personal whims or desires without any benefit to those who obey His commands.

    Why for example would God make creatures that had no benefit to mankind outside of the Garden of Eden? Dinosaurs, tigers, sharks! Yikes! And if heavens includes a black hole in our galaxy, double yikes!

    According to the Bible, there was no death or predation for any sentient creature anywhere in the universe – this planet included. There were no predatory dinosaurs, tigers, or sharks. All had a vegetarian diet. That’s right, William Blake was wrong. God never intended the tiger to be carnivorous in his original creation of life on this planet. Meat eating sharks and tigers and other carnivores devolved after the moral fall of mankind when death and suffering for sentient beings (like humans and tigers and dinosaurs) started to occur for the very first time in all of God’s creation.

    Sean, my point is not merely pedantic, it is too demonstate that your circaseptan implication is not necessarily empirical or as cut and dried as you may first have thought.

    I know that is your goal, but I for one don’t see how you’ve shown that the seven-day weekly cycle is not in fact very clearly claimed, by the Bible, to have been created by God for the benefit of both humans and animals? It seems to me, and even to those who don’t believe the Bible, that the biblical authors are quite clear in their claim that God desires both us and our animals to observe the seventh-day of a seven-day week as a day of rest and worship and grateful thanksgiving to God. I know you want to challenge this concept, but I think you’re making yourself look rather obtuse on this particular issue. Even liberal Biblical scholars would concede this much as far as the intent of the Biblical authors is concerned regarding the Sabbath and the 7-day weekly cycle by which it is defined – and a promised blessing for those who observe this pattern. I’m not sure how the biblical language could have been made any more clear in this regard?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  49. Re Sean’s Quote

    “I’m not sure how the biblical language could have been made any more clear in this regard”

    Hi Sean

    Ok I’m happy to answer that my engaging friend. Jesus could have said: The Seven Days of Creation were made for man, not man for the Seven Days of Creation.

    See the diffence? Implication of ommision by not mentioning the other six days?

    Let me demonstrate by agnostic parable. A mother makes seven different ice cream cones of different flavours. The 7th one is chocolate. She says to her son: ” That chocolate cone was made for you son”. Does that mean by implication that the other six cones were made for the benefit of the son?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  50. Re Sean’s Quote

    “According to the Bible, there was no death or predation for any sentient creature anywhere in the universe – this planet included.”

    Hi Sean

    Yes I was aware of that. Thus my allusion to predators not being to the benefit of mankind in respect to the biblical issue at hand was not relevant. My apologies.

    But it does raIse another issue that I have been curious about for a long time. With procreation, but no predation or death, how was God planning for a perfect planet not to overpopulate by beast and man alike? Where would we be today in a perfect world if all of Adam and Eve’s progeny were alive? Presumably there is a rational biblical explanation for this?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  51. @Ken:

    Ken’s Quote

    “It is certainly arguable that God made the Sabbath , but nnecessarily the whole week, for the benefit of mankind. Ever consider that God
    created the heaven and earth for his own pleasure , not necessarily for the benefit of mankind?”

    Revelation 4:11

     11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

    Hi Sean

    I decided to do a bit of biblical research to see if I could come up with support for my supposition whether God created for his own pleasure, Lo and behold I came upon the little gem of Rev: 4:11.

    I presume you would agree that. ‘ all things’ include the seven days of creation, right? And Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, not all things, including the other six days of creation, right?

    Can you now appreciate that my argument is not so obtuse as you might have first thought?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  52. Pingback: The Origin of the Sabbath and the 7-Day Week | Sabbath School Net

  53. @Ken:

    Re Sean’s Quote

    “I’m not sure how the biblical language could have been made any more clear in this regard”

    Hi Sean

    Ok I’m happy to answer that my engaging friend. Jesus could have said: The Seven Days of Creation were made for man, not man for the Seven Days of Creation.

    See the diffence? Implication of ommision by not mentioning the other six days?

    In mentioning the Sabbath in Jewish culture, Jesus is automatically mentioning the seven-day weekly cycle (which his audience already knew from the reading of the Genesis account as well as from the Ten Commandments written in the Torah where the intended ideal purpose for both the Sabbath and the other six days of the week are very explicitly given – Exodus 20:8-11).

    As I’ve already explained, the Sabbath, for the Jews, was defined by the weekly cycle as the seventh-day of each week since creation. Therefore, it would have been obviously redundant for Jesus to talk about the other six days in that setting. In claiming that God made the Sabbath for man’s benefit Jesus is automatically claiming that the seven day cycle of work and rest was itself made for our benefit. Again, he didn’t have to clarify for his audience that the Sabbath was in fact the seventh day of the weekly cycle. They already knew it.

    I decided to do a bit of biblical research to see if I could come up with support for my supposition whether God created for his own pleasure, Lo and behold I came upon the little gem of Rev: 4:11.

    And, as already noted, God finds his pleasure in serving others. We were made so that He could serve us and find pleasure in that service – in the joy we realize from His gifts of service. We were not made so that God could find pleasure in our service to Him alone. He needs no slaves to do stuff for him nor does He require our praise to stroke His ego. He finds His pleasure in bringing us happiness. As is the case with any good parent, in our own joy and pleasure He finds pleasure.

    Why do most parents choose to have kids? – to produce slaves that serve and pay homage and stroke the ego of the parents? Of course not. The parents don’t (or shouldn’t) need any ego stroking. Rather, the parents find joy or pleasure in serving their children’s needs and helping them grow into fine upstanding independent adults who will contribute to society at large.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  54. @Ken:

    With procreation, but no predation or death, how was God planning for a perfect planet not to overpopulate by beast and man alike? Where would we be today in a perfect world if all of Adam and Eve’s progeny were alive? Presumably there is a rational biblical explanation for this?

    There are various potential explanations, such as limited procreation – i.e. no more procreation after certain population limits have been reached. Or, spread to other planets as certain planetary population limits are reached.

    Whatever the explanation, the Bible is very clear that death and suffering were never intended for any of God’s sentient creatures – to include sentient animals.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  55. Holly Pham: Are most SDA pastors this spineless?

    It seems to me that there has been a great deal of emphasis on the prohibition of criticism of the church–beginning way back when the heresies began creeping in. The ministers have been indoctrinated with the thought that we are not to criticize the church ever for any reason–and other ministers likewise.

    This is not altogether wrong–but when error is seen in the church or the ministerial ranks, there should be no hesitation on the part of any of us to raise the alarm. There are ways outlined in the Bible and SOP to do just that, so we must be supposed to do it.

    It is my belief that Satan misuses the non-critical platform to stop us from nipping in the bud the heresy that has come into the church. There is a fine line to walk in this, but truth must be upheld no matter what. It seems to me that the general membership of the church should be a sort of check and balance to the leadership. They aren’t perfect and if they make wrong decisions, the membership needs to point it out before it goes too far. If this had been done decades ago we wouldn’t be here now.




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  56. “It is my belief that Satan misuses the non-critical platform to stop us from nipping in the bud the heresy that has come into the church.”

    Kind of like “hate crimes” in secular and civil government. And backed up by “don’t judge”. Never was a biblical concept wrested from its true meaning and misapplied in the church today.

    Bill Sorensen




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  57. Re Sean’s Qote

    “There are various potential explanations, such as limited procreation – i.e. no more procreation after certain population limits have been reached. Or, spread to other planets as certain planetary population limits are reached.

    Whatever the explanation, the Bible is very clear that death and
    suffering were never intended for any of God’s sentient creatures – to include sentient animals.”

    Hi Sean

    Thanks for your comments, I always wondered about that.

    Is there any empirical evidence whatsoever to support this specific proposition or must one have faith in the Bible?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  58. Re Sean’s Quote

    “As I’ve already explained, the Sabbath, for the Jews, was defined by the weekly cycle as the seventh-day of each week since creation. Therefore, it would have been obviously redundant for Jesus to talk about the other six days in that setting. In claiming that God made the Sabbath for man’s benefit Jesus is automatically claiming that the seven day cycle of work and rest was itself made for our benefit. Again, he didn’t have to clarify for his audience that the Sabbath was in fact the seventh day of the weekly cycle. They already knew it.”

    Hi Sean

    Of course I am no biblical scholar. But it seems to me that when the literal text does not say exactly what you would like it to say, you say it does automatically by implication. On the other hand when I quote literal text to suggest there could be another position you say I am being obtuse, not seeing the obvious. Really my friend? 🙂

    It seems to me that this is the same phenomenom that cause criticism of the OEC for implying a longer time frame than 6 literal days for creation.

    Sean, I’m not saying your argument is wrong, your implications might be very well right. I’m just trying to point out that it might not be quite as automatic or apparent to others as you think. Fair enough?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  59. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Why do most parents choose to have kids? – to produce slaves that serve and pay homage and stroke the ego of the parents? Of course not. The parents don’t (or shouldn’t) need any ego stroking. Rather, the parents find joy or pleasure in serving their children’s needs and helping them grow into fine upstanding independent adults who will contribute to society at large.”

    Hi Sean

    I’d venture the main reason parents have kids is due to the instinctual procreative drive which all species have. That’s how life continues. The difference in humans is we can plan for contraception.

    It’s god like in a way as we can create beings in our own image. Then, if we are good we devote our lives and energy to them. In doing so we hope in turn they will procreate and be great parents. In that way we ensure our genes will prosper. Evolutionary biology 101.

    Beyond that I hope that there is a human element to love as well so we are not just Darwin’s puppets in a mindless universe. To that end I try to remain an existentialist: choosing to love rather than being mandated by doctrine or biology to do so. Am I deluding myself in that regard? An agnostic must consider all the possibilities.

    Glad you are finding so much joy and pleasure in your children. It only gets better. I am lucky to have two great teenage boys who have given terrific meaning to my mortal existence. Fortunately they have their mother’s looks and brains so they’ll likely do well in life. 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  60. @Ken:

    Sean, I’m not saying your argument is wrong, your implications might be very well right. I’m just trying to point out that it might not be quite as automatic or apparent to others as you think. Fair enough?

    My apologies if I cannot comprehend your argument. I simply do not understand how anyone at all familiar with the Bible could seriously argue that the Bible is anything other than crystal clear when it comes to the Sabbath being defined by the seven-day weekly cycle. If you are observing a “Sabbath” on anything other than a 7-day weekly cycle, you are not observing the Sabbath of the Bible. Is that really not clear to you?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  61. Re Sean’s Quote

    “My apologies if I cannot comprehend your argument. I simply do not understand how anyone at all familiar with the Bible could seriously argue that the Bible is anything other than crystal clear when it comes to the Sabbath being defined by the seven-day weekly cycle. If you are observing a “Sabbath” on anything other than a 7-day weekly cycle, you are not observing the Sabbath of the Bible. Is that really not clear to you?”

    Hi Sean

    Now I’m confused. Please point out where I stated that the Sabbath is not part of the biblical seven day week. I’m not arguing about that.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  62. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Rather, it seems more consistent that whoever made life deliberately created life with an inherently cyclical pattern to many biological processes that happen to match the ideal circaseptan pattern described in Genesis for the seven-day weekly cycle of work, worship and rest.”

    Which should mean one should observe six days of work and one day of rest in all biological circaseptan cycles, not just Brazilian bees, to support your design argument, right?

    Your buzzing agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      Brazilian bees and the fact that Adventists are the longest lived ethnically diverse group of people in the world. Note, however, that the fact that a group of bees observes the exact “Sabbath” day of rest that Adventists observes is obviously coincidental. What is interesting is that all living things seem to have endogenous or internally-derived circaseptan biorhythms – to include bees and humans.

      Again, the finding of circaseptan rhythms orchestrating the other circadian rhythms (like a conductor of an orchestra) is just an interesting bit of information that is quite unexpected from a naturalistic point of view while being not nearly as surprising from the biblical point of view.

      And, it only makes sense that if you live contrary to your own internally programmed circadian rhythms, you’re probably not going to function quite as well as you could (like putting the wrong fuel in your car).

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  63. Hi Sean

    Hello my fellow confused friend. 🙂 That’s OK we’ll sort it out in gentlemanly fashion as we always do.

    The circaseptan cycle is indeed fascinating. Apart from the 7 day cycle outlined in the bible I started to think about other natural cycles of seven days. What came to mind was lunar phases and tides. Do you think it is possible that it might be the phases of the moon rather than biblical creation that might cause circaseptan cycles?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      I don’t think so because the phases of the moon are not precisely circaseptan. Not even a full lunar month is a true multiple of seven. That’s why the truly endogenous circaseptan rhythms rapidly get out of sync with lunar cycles if they are not directly influences or recalibrated by these externally-derived cyclical rhythms.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  64. Hi Sean

    Another question: has anyone done any scientific research to show that circaseptan cycles repeat exactly to the seven, 24 hour day, week?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      Yes, that’s exactly what’s been done. Of course, it has also been shown that the circadian rhythms are themselves “reset” slightly on a daily basis to match the periods of light and dark. Without those external clues to daily cycles, the daily rhythms for different people would be slightly different… and therefore the circaseptan cycles would also be slightly different and go out of sync over time (Link).

      The point remains, however, that whatever the daily circadian cycle, the circaseptan cycle is timed to a period of seven of these circadian days.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  65. Re Sean’s Quotes

    “That’s why the circaseptan rhythms rapidly get out of sync with lunar cycles”

    Hi Sean

    That is indeed interesting, could you please direct me to the exact research on that.

    Thanks.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  66. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Yes, that’s exactly what’s been done”

    Again Sean, could you please refer me to the research on that specific point.

    Thanks.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  67. Ken’s Question

    “Do you think it is possible that it might be the phases of the moon rather than biblical creation that might cause circaseptan cycles?”

    Sean’s Response

    “I don’t think so because the phases of the moon are not circaseptan. Not even a full lunar month is a true multiple of seven. That’s why the circaseptan rhythms rapidly get out of sync with lunar cycles.”

    Research

    http://www.scielo.br/pdf/bjmbr/v30n2/2485c.pdf

    http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/84/3/707.full.pdf

    Hi Sean

    I took your advice and did some research. See the above links. Here lies scientific proof, not conjecture, that circaseptan cycles are related to lunar phases. Would you agree?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @ken:

      I took your advice and did some research. See the above links. Here lies scientific proof, not conjecture, that circaseptan cycles are related to lunar phases. Would you agree?

      Of course there are certain kinds of circaseptan (“about 7-days”) that are are very clearly related to lunar tides and other phases (as is only to be expected). However, what is strange is that not all circaseptan rhythms seem to be controlled by lunar phases or any other external factor. Some actually seem to be “built in”, “genetically determined”, or otherwise truly “intrinsic” to the individual without any external points of reference (such as the lunar cycle).

      As already reference in my original article, there is an interesting case of man who’s urinary excretion of 17-ketosteroid was measured for 10 years. During this time the secretion was “precisely” circaseptan (i.e., not 7.4 days or in any other way related to lunar cycles). He then “self administered” testosterone for a 3-year period and the circaspetan rhythm in 17-ketosteroid secretion was seen to “free run”, suggesting some form of truly endogenous control.

      Consider the following portion of an abstract from the original paper:

      “A built-in (genetically determined) about-7-day (circaseptan) period comes to the fore as a desynchronized feature of human time structure in the urinary excretion of 17-ketosteroids by a clinical healthy man: during several years following an endocrine intervention (the self-administration of testosterone suppositories), a circaseptan rhythm (which during the preceding decade had revealed a period of precisely 7 days) deviated slightly, yet with statistical significance, from the environmental week. A second line of evidence for an intrinsic circaseptan component stems from the demonstration of statistically significant differences in timing of a circaseptan rhythm in springtail oviposition. A third line of evidence documents prominent circaseptan rhythmicity after the application of a single stimulus (devoid in itself of any circaseptan information). Such single stimulus induction, amplification and/or synchronization also documents the clinical and biologic importance of built-in circaseptan rhythms that were previously often misinterpreted as being purely reactive.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7111982

      Interesting… wouldn’t you agree?

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  68. Hello Sean

    Another quote from the research you referred:

    “Circannuals, circaseptans and circasemiseptans are found (along with circadians; not shown) in morbidity/mortality statistics of human sudden adult death, myocardial infarctions and strokes, among millions of other emergency situations (Figure 9/III). These circaseptans and circasemiseptans retain stable phase characteristics over time (Figure 9/II, middle) and represent a rather general feature, as suggested by a worldwide summary of the incidence of myocardial infarctions (Figure 9/II, bottom). Circaseptans and circasemiseptans are also prominent features of likely underlying mechanisms such as the glutathione content of human platelet-rich plasma in vitro (Figure 9/IV).”

    Sean, notice here the evidence of circasemiseptans, a half week. Yet there is no mention of a half a week in Genesis is there?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  69. Re Brazilian bees observing the Sabbath

    Hi Sean

    I looked at this link. Doesn’t look like this was a repeatable scientific experiment at all. The guy noticed the bees weren’t active on one Saturday and were active the next day. Doesn’t look like he even waited another week to test his theory!

    Who knows, maybe they were Adventist bees. If so they should be captured and brought back to Loma Linda for a show. 🙂

    By the way I still haven’t found anything on a circaseptan cycle tied to six days of work and one day or rest. Can you? That is what would would mirror the biblical seven day cycle which includes the Sabbath right?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @ken:

      The bees had been reported to Dr. Lee to take a break on Sabbath. Granted, Dr. Lee did not perform a real scientific investigation to confirm what he was told, but what he was told is interesting as just another observation to add to the list.

      As far as circaseptans tied to work and rest, I never said that they were. What I said is that some of them seem to be entirely intrinsic and suggested that living in harmony with such intrinsic patterns may prove helpful to ones’ overall well being.

      Of course, this particular hypothesis of mine has yet to be subjected to directly specific and rigorous scientific testing. It is only a working hypothesis based on the existence of such apparently intrinsic 7-day rhythms…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  70. Re Sabbath Bees

    Hi Sean

    Here is the article you were referring to:

    “SABBATH KEEPING BEES
    I first heard about it on a NEWSTART health Program Lecture. Anyway, do you know Dr. Sang Lee? He goes to Brazil often as he has good friends there. He talks about these bees in his health lectures. Apparently these bees live in very remote areas, never touched by man or any civilization living even near to these places. So it’s almost like it is preserved and Man’s influenced did not penetrate there.

    These bees living there are stingless. There are Bee keepers who lives in little huts alone with their family who keeps the bees in the forest in stumps where they close both ends with clay. Anyway, those families who have been keeping these bees for years and some for generation, knows very well that they don’t work on the 7th Day Sabbath. The bees stay in the hives and rest.

    When Dr. Lee heard of that, he had to go and see it for himself it it were true. Sure enought, on Sabbath there were no activities and the bees didn’t go out of the hive to gather nectar. Dr. Lee ask to open one of the hives for he wanted to see if the Bees were really in there. The Bee Keeper cracked open one and sure enough the Bees were all in there.

    Then Dr. Lee stayed over and wanted to see if the Bees would work on Sunday. Sure enough, all the hives were busy going in and out resuming their usual BEEing activities.”

    Surely that is not science you are relying to support your position is it?!!!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @ken:

      Again, this observation wasn’t intended to be taken as a rigorous scientific investigation, but as simply another interesting report of observation among many similar observations. It is obviously coincidental that these particular stingless bees observe a particular day of the week. I’m not arguing that intrinsic circaseptan rhythms will be in sync between individuals. That’s not realistic for many different reasons.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  71. Hi Sean

    Intresting indeed. I went to the link and read the abstract on circaseptan cycles on various phenomena. Here it is:

    ” Differences in response, and susceptibility of cells and tissues at different stages of their circadian and circaseptan (about 7-day) rhythms”

    Notice the reference to (about 7 day) sic. Just like a lunar cycle is about 7 days.

    In fairness there seemed to be one case that was exactly 7 days which is definitely interesting. But if most circapeptan cycles are not exactly 7 days may not have any statistical significance in relation to their relevance to the biblical week.

    But I was pleased to see you were only suggesting a hypothesis In any case. Nothing wrong with that.

    I also appreciate your clarification on the ‘Sabbath’ bees.

    Have a good Sabbath.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      While all circadian rhythms (circaseptan rhythms included) can be affected by external environmental clues or “zeitgebers” (from the German, “time-givers”), they are also intrinsic rhythms as well that can function independent of external influences. It is therefore thought that these rhythms are somehow genetically programmmed and are tuned to each other with the primary influence on tuning being the circaseptan rhythm.

      Although circadian rhythms are endogenous (“built-in”, self-sustained), they are adjusted (entrained) to the environment by external cues called zeitgebers, the primary one of which is daylight.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm

      Consider, as examples briefly mentioned in my article, that the life spans of the face fly Musca autumnalis or the springtail Folsomia candida are markedly longer when oviposition shifts are allowed to be carried out at intervals that are 7 days apart (Link).

      The existence of such precise endogenous circaseptan rhythms (to include the precise 7-day excretion of 17-ketosterone in healthy men) suggests that all circaceptan rhythms are actually endogenous – described by the authors of the NCBI article as a “built-in (genetically determined) about-7-day (circaseptan) period. It does seem, however, that these endogenously derived rhythms are able, at the same time, to respond to external influences (such as circadian influences of day and night or the lunar-induced tides).

      This suggestion seems more likely considering that there is nothing apparently special about the quarterly divisions of the lunar 29.53 day cycle of ~7.4 days (especially for species that cannot see or respond to the light of the moon as it changes during it’s monthly cycle). One might argue that a creature may still be able to sense the cyclical tidal actions of the moon on a daily basis, but why would that have anything to do with a noticable circaseptan rhythm? Why then is there a strong and generalized circaseptan cycle in every living thing analyzed if there weren’t also an intrinsic, endogenously generated, circaseptan rhythm pre-programmed from the beginning of essentially all forms of life?

      “In Franz Halberg’s view, a central feature of biological time structure is the harmonic relationship that exists among the various component frequencies. A striking aspect of this relationship is that the components themselves appear to be harmonics or sub harmonics, multiples or submultiples, of seven…

      Circaseptan and circasemiseptan rhythms are not arbitrary, even though they seem to lack counterpart rhythms in the external environment.”

      Jeremy Campbell, Winston Churchill’s Afternoon Nap, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 30

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  72. Hi Sean

    That is indeed intersting and I will take some time to read and think a bit more about the ‘intrinsic’ element.

    However if these intrinsic cycles don’t match the biblical week- six days of work (activity) and one day of rest – is the comparison really that relevant? If you have seven apples and seven oranges aren’t you still comparing apples and oranges?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      Consider that I’m presenting three different arguments at the same time. One argument is that there appears to be this intrinsic genetically-coded rhythm in all living things that is based on a 7-day cycle. That, by itself, is quite surprising and non-predictable form a naturalistic perspective – but not from a Biblical perspective.

      After all, it was only the Bible that proposed, long before the circaseptan science came on the scene, to explain the origin of this 7-day rhythm as a creative act of God. The Bible also tells us how to best take advantage of this 7-day pattern by working six days and resting on every seventh day (my second argument) and that this work/rest cycle was given to us for our benefit (“The Sabbath was made for man”). In addition to this, the Bible claims that the original order of the days is important to God as a symbol between him and his people of their allegiance to God and he promises an additional supernatural blessing on those who strive to keep holy the true Sabbath day of his original blessing (my third argument).

      In my opinion, these are all testable statements. The weekly cycle, by itself, has been shown to have intrinsic elements or biorhythms within all living things (first argument). If certain things are done in accordance with this pattern, living things function better (to include a lengthening of life for different kinds of creatures). On top of this, adding a “Sabbath” day of rest every 7th day appears to be beneficial to mind and body regardless of the actual 7th day chosen for rest – be that day Sunday or Saturday or Friday or whatever 7th day is chosen (second argument). So far, I don’t think there is very much disagreement with these arguments – even within the scientific community at this point (given the new information on circaseptan biorhythms within humans and all other living things and the general benefits of resting mind and body one day a week).

      But, beyond this, it seems to me, from my own personal experience and the experience of certain key individuals that I have known, that if one strives to keep Holy the Biblical 7th day in particular (i.e., the Sabbath of the Jews or Saturday), that God actually gives such an individual an additional supernatural blessing (third argument).

      Now, I’m sure that many will scoff at my last proposal. But, don’t be too hasty if you haven’t tried it out for yourself… If you haven’t actually tried to keep the Biblical Sabbath, Saturday, holy as the Bible describes. I think that this element plays a role in explaining why Adventists, among all ethnically diverse peoples of the world (to include other groups of people who try to be religious, healthy, and even vegetarian) live the longest and are generally the most blessed ethnically diverse group of people in the world.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  73. Hi Sean

    Thanks for your thoughts. Interesting stuff.

    With the greatest of respect the permutations of all those factors seems quite overwhelming and probably pretty hard to test. For example the Japanese as a race appear to be the longest living people ( Island of Okinawa). I would guess very few of them, a statistically irrelevancy, would be Sabbath keepers. I suspect, but do not know, that Adventists live a long live because of their healthy lifestyles. I imagine the life span of Adventists varies a great deal depending on where they live – Haiti versus Loma Linda for example. We do now that everyone statistically can increase their longevity by living a heathier lifestyle. If Adventists drank, smoked, ate fatty foods, etc., would they statistically live shorter or longer than secular vegetarians that exercised who did not smoke and drink?

    Now don’t get me wrong I think it is great that Adventists live a healthy lifestyle, just like the Japanese. I just think it is likely that their respective longevities have nothing to do with observing a biblical week but rather their healthy living habits.

    Enough for now.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      I do not disagree that there are numerous factors involved, to include genetics and overall lifestyle. However, it is interesting to me that there are other healthy groups of people out there who are also ethnically diverse. Yet, Adventists, in particular, live the longest among such ethnically diverse groups of people (note that the Okinawans are not ethnically diverse).

      Again, all I can suggest is to try it out for yourself and see if you don’t notice a difference in your own personal experience…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  74. Re Sean’s Quote


    Again, all I can suggest is to try it out for yourself and see if you don’t notice a difference in your own personal experience…”

    Hi Sean

    Thank you for your kind suggestion my friend . I know you are very committed to your faith and concerned for my welfare. Most laudable.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  75. Ken: But it does raIse another issue that I have been curious about for a long time. With procreation, but no predation or death, how was God planning for a perfect planet not to overpopulate by beast and man alike? Where would we be today in a perfect world if all of Adam and Eve’s progeny were alive? Presumably there is a rational biblical explanation for this?

    Ken, This idea is not commonly held among Adventists so I think most on this site would object, however, I note in Genesis 3, that death is not strictly speaking, the result of sin, but of not having access to the tree of life. God strongly implies that even as sinners, if Adam and Eve continued to eat of the tree of life, that they would continue to live.

    While it is not explicitly stated, it is possible that there was only no death in the garden where humans and the animals (e.g. the snake in the tree) had access to the tree of life. Presumably animals too far from the tree of life to eat of it died the same way Adam and Eve died when they no longer had access to it. That assumes that the animal physiology in Eden was as close to that of Adam and Eve as it is to humans today.

    Assuming the story is not allegorical, then it also implies to me, that there was something physical in the fruit that extended life, and that conceivably we could find out what that substance was and make it in the lab.




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    • @ken:

      No, since the God of the Bible called everything “Good” at the end of creation week – which he would not have done if predation of sentient creatures existed on this planet before the moral fall of mankind. After all, the God of the Bible is pictured as experiencing pain in sympathy with animal as well as human suffering.

      Given this background, it is quite clear that the eating of the fruit was only symbolic of allegiance. God made the tree and the fruit on it after all. It had no inherent power of its own, outside of God’s will and creative power, to prolong life…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  76. Faith: It seems to me that there has been a great deal of emphasis on the prohibition of criticism of the church–beginning way back when the heresies began creeping in. The ministers have been indoctrinated with the thought that we are not to criticize the church ever for any reason–and other ministers likewise.This is not altogether wrong–but when error is seen in the church or the ministerial ranks, there should be no hesitation on the part of any of us to raise the alarm. There are ways outlined in the Bible and SOP to do just that, so we must be supposed to do it. It is my belief that Satan misuses the non-critical platform to stop us from nipping in the bud the heresy that has come into the church. There is a fine line to walk in this, but truth must be upheld no matter what. It seems to me that the general membership of the church should be a sort of check and balance to the leadership. They aren’t perfect and if they make wrong decisions, the membership needs to point it out before it goes too far. If this had been done decades ago we wouldn’t be here now.

    Refusing to criticize by name is not only found among SDA pastors, but is also found in general within the church. A recent example is Lincoln Steed’s comments on 3ABN recently about the “hate crimes” legislation in the House and how it was actually harmful to our religious liberty, but publicly supported by an SDA Congresswoman! He refused to give her name, and I don’t even remember if he used the term “man” or “woman” at all.

    Instead of saying Sheila Jackson Lee and telling the truth, Steed played the same criticizing without specifying who he’s talking about game. Shouldn’t we actually know the real names of those that are undermining our SDA Church? Especially if they claim to be members of our Church?




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  77. Holly asked…..

    “Shouldn’t we actually know the real names of those that are undermining our SDA Church? Especially if they claim to be members of our Church?”

    Well, Holly, evidently EGW thought so. She named anyone who she thought was doing just that. Namely, Kellogg, and a host of others and made this comment….

    ” A Time To Protest–When there are men in the church who love riches more than righteousness, and who stand ready to take advantage of their fellow-men by unjust dealings, shall we make no protest? And when men standing in the position of leaders and teachers work under the power of spiritualistic ideas and sophistries, shall we keep silent, for fear of injuring their influence, while souls are being beguiled? Satan will use every advantage that he can obtain to cause souls to become clouded and perplexed in regard to the work of the church, in regard to the word of God, and in regard to the words of warning which He has given through the testimonies of His Spirit, to guard His little flock from the subtleties of the enemy.–Manuscript 72, 1904, p. 6. {ChL 62.1}”

    I think it is true, especially when they keep trumpeting their false ideas all over the church community for years.

    Graham Maxwell was one. But was an “untouchable” because he was “in” and no one dare link him with his apostate teaching. Dr. Jennings is invited to different churches to speak, and teaches the same thing. The Moral Influence Theory.

    Some did challenge Bacchiocchi when he questioned the 1260 yrs prophecy. But he was more of an “outsider” from the statis quo.

    But if you are “in”, you are an “untouchable” and no one dare challenge or question what you say or teach.

    And it is more than an obvious certainty that our trained ministers are told to never touch any controversial subject, doctrine or theology especially within their individual churches.

    So, they don’t preach on dress, jewelry, music, women’s ordination, or other sensitive subjects. Rule of thumb, “Don’t divide your church no matter what.”

    EGW said this…..

    “Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.” {GC88 612.2}

    But today we have a new focus, “Unity is more important than truth, and we will do anything and everything to maintain unity at all cost, even if we have to ignore truth and condon error.”

    The issues at LSU are a classic illustration of this reality.

    Bill Sorensen




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  78. @Bill, Thank you for your reply. I agree completely. However, we have very few in our SDA leadership who have the backbone to stand up for God’s Truth, especially out here in California!




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  79. Holly said…..

    ” However, we have very few in our SDA leadership who have the backbone to stand up for God’s Truth, especially out here in California!”

    It can be very frustrating, Holly. Try to place things of today in a parallel to the rebellion in heaven and you may find some peace inspite of the situation.

    God was in control in heaven, yet He let Lucifer attack Him and His kingdom, and His Son, for what EGW calls a “long time.”

    At least some of the angels must have seen the picture clearly. Yet, for the sake of all, God let it continue. When God drops the hammer, it is all over. Until then, we don’t want to be like Judas who thought he could “force” the hand of God and make Him act in accordance with Judas’s understanding of the situation.

    This does not mean we do nothing. But a radical move at the wrong time can be fatal to ourselves as well as others.

    If you read some of the liberal forms like Spectrum and A-today, you know they are elated to have a man like Dan Jackson to carry the ball for their agenda.

    Unless God takes a postive and direct hand in the present situation, the church will surely split. And when it does, we want to be on the right side. Unlike heaven, we will probably be a minority if we stand fast for truth.

    How to use your influence best for the cause of truth, only you and God can determine. And I believe in protesting again and again if and when the time is right.

    “Point after point of truth should be investigated, for there is no limitation to the truth of God, and in its study a most lively interest should be felt by both teachers and pupils, that they may know what God hath said. For years the voice of God has been saying to us, “Agitate, agitate, agitate.” Study every point of truth, that you may know for yourselves what is truth in distinction from error. Let students search for themselves, that they may know the deep things of God. Let this work be done in the Spirit of Christ. Put no restriction upon the students. {SSW, April 1, 1892 par. 4}
    In searching the Scriptures there is need of great humility of mind and contrition of heart, of seeking earnestly unto God. Those who come in a lowly spirit, seeking for truth, will be aided in their search by the angels of God. {SSW, April 1, 1892 par. 5}
    The Lord will raise up men to bear the message of truth to the world and to his people. If those in responsible positions do not move onward in the opening providences of God, bearing an appropriate message for this time, the words of warning will be given to others who will be faithful to their trust. Even youthful Christians will be chosen to “cry aloud and spare not.” {SSW, April 1, 1892 par.

    As the liberals defend the ordination of women, they hold one main argument. “Spiritual manifestations”.

    So, if a woman demonstrates some spiritual gift of speaking, teaching, or communicating, they are ipso facto qualified to be elders, pastors and/or church leaders in any position.

    Thus, the bible is set aside for a “spirit ethic” that emulates Rome. The last fortress of “the bible only” has been abandon for spiritual delusions. God raised up Adventism to be the last defender of the bible and its final message. If the devil can undermine bible Adventism, and cause the church to abandon its biblical confession of faith, and opt for a “spirit ethic” instead of clear biblical exhortations, then Satan gains a great victory.

    I am cautiously hopeful with some reservations, that it will yet fulfill its mission and comission.

    We may well see more disappointments, but in the end, truth will surely triumph.

    Bill Sorensen




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  80. Over on Adventist Today, David Hamstra stated…..

    “For me it boils down to one issue: Spiritual gifts come with the authority to use them. If a woman has been equipped by the Holy Spirit for pastoral ministry, the church is poorer for not recognizing this…..”

    In other words, spiritual manifestations carry their own authority and we need not appeal to the bible to test their validity.

    I consider his statement to be made more in ignorance than rebellion. He thinks he is very “spiritual” by what he has stated to be the test. So, “Who could oppose or attack the work of the Holy Spirit?”

    I would guess he has no clue that his argument is in perfect harmony with Rome.
    Spiritual manifestations as the test of validity, leads to a “spirit ethic” instead of the bible.

    So, if a “healing” takes place, how dare we challenge this miracle that for many would be evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit?

    And if a person dresses like a heathen, sings like a heathen, and impresses the church with spiritual manifestations and a charasmatic personality, they must surely be “born again.” And of course, they bring like minded people into the church, so, the church growth must necessarily be “proof” and evidence of a growing spirituality.

    Never was there a more fatal deception than to evaluate spirituality by success and numbers. Any sign of a “blessing” is ipso facto, the blessing of God according to this formula. And so the bible is set aside for spiritual delusions.

    Hopefully, we can see now how the Sabbath was set aside for Sunday sacredness. And to this day, The Catholic church will affirm all their decisions were validated by the affirmation of the Holy Spirit who helped them make their infallible decisions. After all, the Holy Spirit decided, and “the church” simply carried out the will of the Spirit.

    But some of us realize that the will of the Spirit is always subject to the word. And thus, their “spirit” was an unholy spirit and not the Spirit of God.

    Bill Sorensen




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  81. Pingback: Creation Science Promoted at Two Adventist Universities | Educate Truth

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