A little-known history about Belief 6

By Educate Truth Staff

This forty-eight slide presentation briefly outlines the history of fundamental belief six. It sheds light on why La Sierra University can accept Belief 6 and still continue to endorse long ages of life on earth. It is also noteworthy that two of LSU’s previous presidents were key players in the wording of Belief 6.

Belief 6 needs to be amended in General Conference Session as soon as possible to reflect the four historic Adventist landmarks on creation which were recently affirmed in “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation“.

History of Belief 6

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241 thoughts on “A little-known history about Belief 6

  1. George:
    What if one has God’s Word but doesn’t rightly understand it? Are they lost?

    Warren:
    I can only let God be the judge of that. However, each must check his motives. Is is truly a search for truth, or is it an effort to harmonize human opinion (e.g. modern science) with truth?

    Can/should the SDA church accept someone who is sincerely searching for truth, wants to be in the SDA church, yet sees the evidence for an old earth as reasonable (even if that evidence is ultimately groundless)?

    Or, is it that they can be saved and join another denomination, we just shouldn’t accept them into the SDA denomination?

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  2. Warren:
    “Friendship of the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4)

    On a side note, it is interesting that James says this, and John says “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” I guess one can love the world but not be friends with the world?

    And, the Gospels say that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. So he loved them, but he wasn’t friends with them.

    Jesus says “Come unto me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest”, and “my yoke is easy”. But, if you think evidence for an old earth is reasonable, stay away from the SDAs.

    No offense intended. I’m just trying to figure it all out. If you can help me fit these together, my mind is open.

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  3. George, if someone is seeking a way to combine pagan and atheistic theories of origins with a Biblical world view, that person should find, and will have no trouble in finding, another denomination. The Adventist Church must stand for and defend a purely Biblical world view.

    Even if we wanted to try to combine the pagan with the Biblical, we’re so many centuries behind other denominations in this project that it is pointless to try to catch up. We’ll never be able to compete on the basis of “Join our church; you won’t have to forsake any of your pagan beliefs and practices” because we’re just too far behind other churches, e.g., the RCC.

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  4. Warren:
    We must keep “The Bible and the Bible Only” as our creed

    I wonder if it might be helpful to identify Essential Fundamental Beliefs (something like “Humanity is sinful, God came to save us”), and Distinctive Fundamental Beliefs (that include creation, EGW, 2300 days, Sanctuary, Sabbath, State of the Dead, Fate of the Dead, 3 Angels Messages, eschatology).

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  5. @George,

    Can/should the SDA church accept someone who is sincerely searching for truth, wants to be in the SDA church, yet sees the evidence for an old earth as reasonable (even if that evidence is ultimately groundless)?Or, is it that they can be saved and join another denomination, we just shouldn’t accept them into the SDA denomination?  

    I’m happy to let someone searching for truth attend our church. That is the point of our church. They just should not be a member, if they don’t agree with what the Bible teaches. Membership is not just a change in status; it gives you rights and responsibilities (like any organization).

    Regarding rights, as a member, you are able to be a teacher in Sabbath School. You may be asked to speak in Church meetings. You will now have more influence than you would as just another person attending. So you should hold to the Bible truths we agree on as a church, if you want to be a member.

    In addition, as Christians, we all have the responsibility to share the Gospel. As an Adventist member, you should realize that the Gospel includes Revelation 14:6-7. This passage contains a clear quote from Exodus 20:8-11, which in turn references the Genesis account of creation. As Robin Lewis mentions, this includes Judgment as well as the call to give the God of creation glory. To glorify Him as Creator, we must accept His account of creation as reliable and accurate (though of course, we don’t know all the details we would like to know).

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  6. The reason we don’t baptize people into the Adventist church with the basics of “somehow mankind has found itself to be in a sinful condition and also in some other rather vague way God is not the author of sin – but has offerred to help us out of the sin problem” is that God’s Word has a bit more to say about the “Good News” than that. (But there ARE possibly one or two other denominations that may have that as one of their stopping points – that they do not get much beyond)

    I hope that helps.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  7. Then Ellen White gives us a list of wild crackpot errors that even in her day called for a UNIFIED statement on proven validated doctrine.

    1. Bro. Arnold held that the 1000 years of Rev. xx were in the past;
    and

    2. that the <b.144,000 were those raised at Christ’s resurrection.

    3. And as we had the emblem of our dying Lord before us, and was about to commemorate his sufferings, Bro. A. arose and said he had no faith in what we were about to do; that the Sacrament was a continuation of the Passover, to be observed but once a year. {2SG 97.2}

    These strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially as

    4. Bro. A. spoke of the 1000 years being in the past. I knew that he was in error, and great grief pressed my spirits; for it seemed to me that God was dishonored.

    Thank God we are not left in that “every wind of doctrine quagmire”

    I fainted under the burden. Brethren Bates, Chamberlain, Gurney, Edson, and my husband, prayed for me. Some feared I was dying. But the Lord heard the prayers of his servants, and I revived. The light of Heaven rested upon me. I was soon lost to earthly things. My accompanying angel presented before me some of the errors of those present, and also the truth in contrast with their errors. That these discordant views, which they claimed to be according to the Bible, were only according to their opinion of the
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    Bible, and that their errors must be yielded, and they unite upon the third angel’s message. Our meeting ended victoriously. Truth gained the victory. {2SG 98.1}
    From Volney we went to Port Gibson. The meeting there was held in Bro Edson’s barn. There were those present who loved the truth, and those who were listening to and cherishing error, and were opposed to the truth. But the Lord wrought for us in power before the close of that meeting. I was again shown in vision the importance of brethren in Western New York laying their differences aside, and uniting upon Bible truth…. {2SG 99.1}

    Unity in a common faith – is critical to the success of the church. HENCE the “existence” of the 28 FB – voted statements by the denomination.

    @David R.:

    Brother Bob,
    I appreciate your opinions but you are living proof to my whole case. You actually believe that if we didn’t have the 28 Fundamentals book we would be blown around by every wind of doctrine and fall apart.

    I gave a case point in my post (as repeated above) showing exactly that. Showing a state of confusion where EVERYONE in the room had a different spin – and then showing a 28-FB style “conclusion” where everyone was united upon a common statement of faith.

    That is pretty hard to miss in that illustration.

    My argument is not that we do not study the Bible – my argument is that what Ellen White stated about the voted positions of the church when representatives of the world church meet and work through a given doctrine – is valid.

    We see the same thing in Acts 15 in the early church.

    Amazing!!! Well please look around – there IS so much doctrinal confusion (and more so than at any other time in the history of Seventh-day Adventism) within the church and we HAVE the Fundamentals book.

    We also have a growing and successful denomination with a stable and well grounded set of Bible based Fundamental beliefs. The offshoot efforts to chip away or propose some new doctrine – does not change the voted set in the least.

    Going to a condition of LESS order and continually undermining the progress already made – would have the dog chasing his tail endlessly.

    You “claim” that the pioneers were only against certain creeds that didn’t allow advancement. I noticed that you did not (and I will say cannot) produce any inspired statements to back up your claim.

    Indeed I did not – for the sake of brevity – but there are a list of statements showing that the concern was over the use of a creed to limmit doctrinal progress rather than letting our understanding of truth continue to grow.

    But suffice it to say that in the context of the discussion on evolutionism it is “enough” just get the cards out on the Table enough to show that a direct assault on the very IDEA of a 28 FB document is “required” to sustain a realistic promotion of evolutionism inside the SDA church.

    That fact, as you seem to be very willing to affirm – is instructive all by itself.

    But a large problem with your argument is that the quotes you give to support NOT having a set of doctrines that define the Adventist Church (thus leaving us to every wind of doctrine) – is that your sources specifically speak to “a Church Manual” being opposed — one that deal with “defining every point in the church management and church ordinances” RATHER than a statement regarding ” a list of doctrines of the Seventh-Day Adventist church”.

    The quotes you give repeatedly condemn the idea of “ONE Man” (a pope or a king etc) or even “A small group of men” — Administrators of the General Conference Assoc, ruling over the rest of the church.

    Not once do your sources condemn the voted representatives of the world wide church – meeting to vote on and approve official Adventist doctrine.

    And by contrast to that – I did offer a quote regarding that very point.

    We are told that God wants us to take those voted statements as authorotative.

    At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise
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    plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. {9T 260.2

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  8. @George,

    On a side note, it is interesting that James says this, and John says “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”I guess one can love the world but not be friends with the world?And, the Gospels say that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors.So he loved them, but he wasn’t friends with them.Jesus says “Come unto me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest”, and “my yoke is easy”.But, if you think evidence for an old earth is reasonable, stay away from the SDAs.No offense intended.I’m just trying to figure it all out.If you can help me fit these together, my mind is open.  

    This bit of confusion (pitting James against John) was dealt with in a recent adult Sabbath School lesson. The same John states in 1 John 2:15-17 that we should not love the world or the things in it. The context makes it clear that “the world” refers to three things:

    1. Lust of the flesh
    2. Lust of the eyes
    3. Pride of life

    These encompass every kind of temptation known. In our context, the “pride of life” includes the pride of human opinion over God’s clear statements in His Word. That was what I meant by “friendship of the world”– following the world’s way of thinking.

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  9. Shane Hilde said:

    “Yes, the church should, and I believe they do, require new members to believe in all our fundamental beliefs before baptism. The church manual speaks strongly on this.”  

    Sounds great in theory, and I’m all for it, but it just does not happen all that often. We have far too many new Theology pastors, weak vacillating conference presidents leading the charge of the heretic light brigade. We live in a time of unparalleled church growth and unparalleled apostasy. Satan wants nothing more than to fill the ranks of Adventism with unconsecrated church members, and New Theology pastors.

    If Ellen White had the same problem back in her day, its far worse now.

    The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism, there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates. Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism.

    One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress. Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress (Evangelism, pp. 311, 312).

    Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts.

    Many of those whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians. They have not a genuine experience (Review and Herald, May 21, 1901).

    If you lower the standard in order to secure popularity and an increase of numbers, and then make this increase a cause of rejoicing, you show great blindness. If numbers were evidence of success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for, in this world, his followers are largely in the majority. It is the degree of moral power pervading the College, that is a test of its prosperity. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our churches, not their numbers, that should be a source of joy and thankfulness (Counsels on Education, p. 42) .

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  10. Sean,

    In my opinion there really are shades of gray. The truly talented politician knows how to find his way through this fog of competing demands. This is a talent that I do not have. The really great and talented politicians do not lose their moral compass in the process of doing their work.

    There are many people who can play the piano, but only a handful that can become concert pianists. Genius is rare. The present administrators of the SDA church are not geniuses, but neither are they incompetent or morally deficient.

    To bring up an issue for debate is often useful. To force the administration of a large and complex organization to act is frequently counterproductive.

    Political geniuses seem to know intuitively that slowness and inefficiency in politics is not only desirable but, essential.

    Compromise is not lying. If it were, it seems to me, we would only need one word.

    Lynn

    Hi Lynn,

    Claiming that you’re doing one thing while you’re really doing something completely different, even the complete opposite, is not “compromise”, but deception. That’s lying. It is claiming to provide a product that you’re not really providing. That’s stealing from the client.

    Honest compromise, as I see it anyway, is where you would like to do W instead of Y, but end up in between doing X. Compromise isn’t telling everybody that you’re doing W while you’re actually doing X or Y. Compromise is telling everybody that while you would rather do W, you’re actually doing X or Y. Compromise, therefore, does not require deception…

    So, you see, my problem isn’t so much with compromise within the Church, but with real deception within the Church… claiming to give people something that you know you’re not really giving them…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  11. Why then do they also choose to burden themselves by staying in the Adventist church which has officially voted so many beliefs (28)?

    But one thing we do applaud our evolutionist brethren for – is transparently and openly “going after” the voted doctrines of the Seventh-DAY Adventist church as in the following [see above]

    Bob,

    Why do you lump me in with “our evolutionist brethren”? I clearly stated at the beginning of my post that I believe in a literal six-day creation. Your words are very sharp against me, and I find it difficult to harmonize the spirit of your comments with the statement on your signature line. If we should meet in heaven, as I pray is the case, will you still be bitter toward me? Will you still speak like the piercings of a sword?

    Am I a burden to you or my church (whom I love, else I would not be here discussing this issue) because I don’t believe our Savior commanded us to write down our doctrines and enforce them for membership? It is no burden for me to remain an Adventist. No, and I seek to lighten the burdens that we have brought on ourselves, which Christ did not burden us with. Shall I leave the people I love because I don’t agree with all of them? Does everyone who agrees on the 28 fundamentals agree on every other point? Why then don’t we make those into big issues, and add them to the 28? If you take this reasoning to its logical end, you may find yourself the only member of the “true church”!

    I do not doubt God’s leading in the development of these beliefs, but I fear they are more of a limitation than an edification. Instead of studying the Bible for myself, I grew up “knowing” the truths of the church. Why do we need to write them down and teach doctrines instead of leading our children to the living Word, who will Himself teach them His doctrine through His Spirit? That is my question. Let us live what we believe rather than enforce legalistic obedience to words! I am not casting doubt on the validity of the principles the doctrines convey. I simply believe we must graduate from written law to the Spiritual law of faith, written in our hearts (though there is no disagreement between the two).

    Ray,
    I can’t understand how you could feel that our origins are not important or how they are separate from our belief in Christ and our salvation. … Whether you realize it or not, you are actually allying yourself with the enemy when you belittle the importance of our origins and take away the glory due to Christ for His wonderful creative powers.

    Faith,

    My point was simply that salvation is about Christ and Christ alone. I personally find great awe and worship in the praise of God for His creation, which is far beyond anything man even yet conceives! Far be it from me to take away His glory! But what if He receives even greater glory from the salvation of a soul than from all His creative work? I recognize the interrelationship between salvation and creation, but I also believe that many will be saved who, though they believed many falsehoods, including an evolutionary concept of origins, yet whom God was leading on their journey. Who am I to tell God that He must correct one’s erroneous beliefs before He may save them?

    Do you honestly believe this church, my beloved Seventh-day Adventist church, has or even can espouse a set of beliefs that define truth 100% accurately and completely? Did not Christ say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”? And can we define Christ with words? The whole heavens cannot contain Him, much less a feeble set of doctrines!

    If you don’t fully believe that our church has the right doctrines, you err, and you had best look to your own salvation, my brother. This is the remnant church, and we have been instructed by God that it will go through to the end.

    My dear sister, your view of the church sounds more like a legal structure than a people. God’s bride is the church, not any earthly organization. The boundaries of God’s church do not follow any denominational lines! Many within this blessed body of believers will be weeping and gnashing their teeth. Many Hindus, Muslims, Sunday-keepers, and yes, even some evolutionists, though not blessed with the light we have been blessed with, will enter in before us, because they, unlike we, have lived in their little light through faith, while we, in our great light, have sought to walk according to mere doctrine, rather than faith in the Doctrine-Giver.

    I believe this church will yet be saved, but not without a terrible shaking, the results of which will not be what we expect. If we do not hold onto the living Christ alone by faith, but rather choose to trust in written doctrines to save us, we will be shaken out. And many from other religions will be shaken in, because they are following a living Savior, though they may not have known it. Salvation is not a subscription, it is a relationship!

    My contention is not with doctrine, it is that we exalt doctrine over Christ. Should we not let Christ work out the doctrinal errors for each individual as only the Holy Spirit can? Must we do His work for Him? He will not do a poor-quality work! It may not be in our time or in our order, but He will do it and do it well. Many Seventh-day Adventists, including myself, will be corrected, because we misunderstood certain points of Scripture.

    The pioneers believed probation had closed, but they were corrected. Why then should we think ourselves beyond correction? Have we arrived? Are we in heaven? No, but what does Jesus say? “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” We are not beyond correction, my sister! Job thought he was without fault before God, but thankfully, God corrected him, and to His delight, he repented.

    I love my church dearly, but I fear for her. I fear that she has become so heady in her knowledge of truth that she has forgotten her First Love, her Savior, her Creator. She has brought the glory of salvation, which shall be sung throughout eternity, to the dust by reducing it to a mere subscription to a set of beliefs, truthful though they be. She believes Christ is her Creator, yet she has forgotten that He is alive and well; perfectly able to give appropriate instruction to the seeking soul. God is not dependent on the doctrines He has given us to save His people, any more than He is dependent on extra wheat to multiply bread.

    “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the Lord require of you
    But to do justly,
    To love mercy,
    And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8, NKJV

    Any mention of origins? No. Why? Because He will take care of those details (false beliefs) in His own time and way if we walk humbly with Him.

    May that be the rule of our lives always.
    Sincerely,
    Ray

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  12. We have already presented the case for how effectively evolutionism’s atheist doctrinal core – specifically destroys the gospel.

    @BobRyan:

    And so far we have no “solution” for that problem posted here – coming from our evolutionist friends.

    So why are evolutionists willing to let their narrow, and unwittingly atheist views of origins, make “total mush” of the Gospel and thus hinder their efforts to reveal the loving God to His people. Why do they choose to embrace “the worst kind of infidelty” — and so fight against God? The great plan … was a plan of how He would restore that which was lost — Paradise restored. Recall that in the Paradise of God, man was in perfect and full sinless, harmless, peaceful fellowship with God and with life on earth. Thus the promise of God that the saints “shall inherit the earth” just as we see in Daniel 7 and in Heb 11 and in Matt 5.

    Why then do they also choose to burden themselves by staying in the Adventist church which has officially voted so many beliefs (28)? Beliefs which more times than not – run counter to the atheist core of evolutionism’s doctrines on origins? Pushing their evolutionist agenda inside such a group has the tendency to separate, (albeit in the name of unity and pluralism?)

    But one thing we do applaud our evolutionist brethren for – is transparently and openly “going after” the voted doctrines of the Seventh-DAY Adventist church as in the following

    @Ray Dickinson:

    Why do you lump me in with “our evolutionist brethren”? I clearly stated at the beginning of my post that I believe in a literal six-day creation.

    Sorry about that Ray – it was my mistake.

    But the point about the gospel being “turned into mush” by evolutionism (and even shown in detail by the link I provided) remains.

    And the point that our evolutionist “plurality” promoting brethren are on record as going after the 28FB in their defense of the case for including evolutionism within the Seventh-DAY Adventist church — also remains.

    And could use some kind of answer.

    The pioneers believed probation had closed, but they were corrected. Why then should we think ourselves beyond correction? Have we arrived? Are we in heaven? No, but what does Jesus say? “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” We are not beyond correction, my sister! Job thought he was without fault before God, but thankfully, God corrected him, and to His delight, he repented.

    There are “no” voted statements by the Seventh-DAY Adventist church that .. “Probation has closed”. And BTW – the 50,000 millerites that did teach this at one time – would not want to be labeled as Seventh-day Adventists since only about 50 of them went on to start the SDA church.

    There are “no” voted statements of of this denomination against the Trinity, or against Righteousness by Faith etc.

    In Fritz Guys efforts to gloss over the details and argue for a deconstruction of our 28 FB – he simply appeals to fiction via the fallacy of gross equivocation between historic incidents that had no support at all – of a voted position of this denomination – in general session in order to go after what actually IS such a position.

    Far be it from the rest of us to use such methods.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  13. @Ray Dickinson:

    I do not doubt God’s leading in the development of these beliefs, but I fear they are more of a limitation than an edification. Instead of studying the Bible for myself, I grew up “knowing” the truths of the church. Why do we need to write them down and teach doctrines instead of leading our children to the living Word, who will Himself teach them His doctrine through His Spirit? That is my question.

    Why is that in the form of an “either OR” instead of a both and?

    IF you believe God is directing us to these truths – where is your “sola scriptura” argument for God saying “never write down the truths that I reveal to you through scripture”??

    It is like saying “Why teach our children that we believe that God is love instead of having them study the Bible?”.

    Why would we do that “INSTEAD”? Why not do as most of us do – who teach that to our children WHILE we study the Bible?

    Why fear “writing down” that God is Love or God is Creator or Christ came in real flesh and died for our sins…

    What is the fear of writing down what we have found to be true according to our strict “sola scriptura” Bible study and testing methods?

    In this context – only the evoloutionist evangelists have that to “fear” and as you point out – you are not one of them.

    So what is the problem?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  14. @BobRyan:
    Hi Bob Ryan,
    Please re-read all the statement I gave where Ellen White said over a succession of years about the voice of the GC being the voice of God. She says in one of the statements “that is past”. She said what she did in the statement you are quoting at a time when the current GC was is harmony with God. But soon after things started to change.
    You have NO basis other than human wisdom to uphold a man-made creed. You are putting ideas into her writings that are not there. How is unifying on the Fundamental Beliefs helping us when the book is so unclear on many points of our doctrines. Jesus said in John 17 that we can only unify on truth.
    As for offshoots – I’m not sure exactly what you mean – but I am not or even part of an offshoot just because I don’t accept a man-made book. By your own definition who is really the offshoot? The one who is planted on the firm foundation or one who is steering off and upholding man-made books as equal as or better than the Bible or SOP? Who would be considered shooting-off – the one who stays with the Bible and SOP or the one who goes to Willow Creek to learn how to do church? Who is the off-shoot – the one who preaches the Three Angel’s Messages or the one who has forgotten about them and shuts their mouth when a major event happens confirming that Jesus is about ready to come.
    Read in the Great Controversy about the Waldenses – they did not leave the church – it was Rome who left. The Waldenses stood right where they were. Martin Luther (and others like him) did not leave the church – Rome did. But yet most would say these people left the church.
    Like the Reformers – I will stay put on a firm foundation. I’m not leaving historic Adventism.
    God Bless,
    David R.

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  15. @David R.:

    Hi Bob Ryan,
    Please re-read all the statement I gave where Ellen White said over a succession of years about the voice of the GC being the voice of God. She says in one of the statements “that is past”. She said what she did in the statement you are quoting at a time when the current GC was is harmony with God.

    Hi David –

    No – actually the quote I gave from her is immediately FOLLOWING her statement about the GC no longer being the voice of God.

    She is AFFIRMING the world-church voting idea by comparison to a GC president or a GC Exec Committee simply making something up as though those small groups or that one man is “the voice of God”.

    (Hence all the references in the quotes even you give – that speak of “Popes” and “Kings”).

    At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise
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    plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. {9T 260.2

    David R.
    How is unifying on the Fundamental Beliefs helping us when the book is so unclear on many points of our doctrines.

    Because the evolutionists here have admitted that it opposes them.

    Because during the Des Ford crisis – the only question asked of ministers was “can you in good conscience support and teach the voted 27 Fundamental Beliefs of this denomination”.

    Because – it is the BEST way to convey the actual beliefs of Adventists both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the church – to avoid the “everyone at the meeting had an odd idea” scenario that Ellen White provided for us in the quotes above.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  16. I wonder whether any of you believe that a profession of faith in a 6-day creation week, an age of the universe less than 10,000 years, a flood covering all land masses, and no new species ever evolving should be required as a test of fellowship for anybody to become baptized as SDA or to worship with SDAs in Sabbath School or church.

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  17. “I wonder whether any of you believe that a profession of faith in a 6-day creation week, an age of the universe less than 10,000 years, a flood covering all land masses, and no new species ever evolving should be required as a test of fellowship for anybody to become baptized as SDA or to worship with SDAs in Sabbath School or church.” (Eddie)

    I dont.

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  18. I wonder whether any of you believe that a profession of faith in a 6-day creation week, an age of the universe less than 10,000 years, a flood covering all land masses, and no new species ever evolving should be required as a test of fellowship for anybody to become baptized as SDA or to worship with SDAs in Sabbath School or church.

    You go a bit beyond the SDA fundamental position on origins which simply says that God created all life on this planet in 6 literal days. Also, we aren’t talking about preventing anyone from worshiping with us. All who actually wish to worship with us should always be welcome. We are simply suggesting that paid representatives should actually represent what they are being paid to represent. In other words, paid representatives should be held to a higher (or hire 😉 ) standard…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  19. Sean Pitman said

    We are simply suggesting that paid representatives should actually represent what they are being paid to represent. In other words, paid representatives should be held to a higher (or hire 😉 ) standard…

    You said that well, Sean.

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  20. Eddie: “no new species ever evolving”??? Didn’t you read any of my long exchange with Geanna Dane on this point?

    Almost all creationists believe in a period of rapid post-Flood diversification and speciation. This has been a mainstay of creationist thinking for at least 80 years. Please do not confuse the issue by implying that creationists believe in fixity of the species.

    I would agree that no new Genesis “kinds”, or baramin, have ever evolved, but that is a very different category from any of the multiple definitions of “species.”

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  21. Sean, I agree wholeheartedly with you. But I’m not so certain that everybody who posts here would agree with you.

    David, I wish I could agree with you that “Almost all creationists believe in a period of rapid post-flood diversification and speciation following the Flood,” but Geanna wasn’t treated particularly kindly here when she brought up evidence of VERY RAPID evolution of new species, such as rattlesnakes, Caribbean frogs and some South American birds, and Bravus was treated even less kindly when he stoked the issue with a few additional questions. I can’t help but wonder if some of you would exclude Geanna and Bravus from worshipping with you. And if you read what I wrote in an earlier message somewhere here, I could name (but won’t) a couple of SDA biologists with PhD degrees who still believe no new species has ever evolved–if THEY can’t accept speciation, you’ll have a hard time convincing me that “almost all” SDA members who lack a doctorate degree in the sciences accept speciation.

    The vast majority of published research on evolution provides evidence for MICROEVOLUTION–not macroevolution. Repeatedly dismissing evolution as “junk science”–as often happens at this forum–is disrespectful to those who are honest with the data. I think we need to be more careful in how we treat people whose views differ from ours.

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  22. Eddie: I remember your post about the two Adventist profesors you talked to. So you obviously did read the long exchange about speciation and rapid speciation. Then why did you put “no new species ever evolving” into your caricature of young earth creationism? Why do you seem to want to confuse the issues, when I was very patient with Geanna (and anyone else who was reading) in explaining what the true creationist position is?

    I don’t think anyone at this site has dismissed micro-evolution as “junk science” and I agree that we need to be careful in how we treat people, but, speaking for myself, it is just appalling that we are having this debate inside the SDA church, when there should be a settled belief among Adventists in a six-day creation in the fairly recent past.

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  23. David Read was indeed quite patient with me,, Thank you David. I will say that I know a fare number of Adventists who beleive firmly that evolution in any capacity is untenable. To dare mention what you have stated David would get these people extremely upset toward me. I’ll guarntee you that there are people here reading your remarks who are quite unhappy with your concession even if you are on “thier side” for most other issues.

    For the most part many of you have been gracious to my questions and inquiring mind. Thank you..

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  24. @Eddie:

    Geanna wasn’t treated particularly kindly here when she brought up evidence of VERY RAPID evolution of new species, such as rattlesnakes, Caribbean frogs and some South American birds, and Bravus was treated even less kindly when he stoked the issue with a few additional questions. I can’t help but wonder if some of you would exclude Geanna and Bravus from worshipping with you

    1. I don’t recall anyone resorting to the ad hominem name calling that Geanna used when responding to some people who happened to differ with her opinions.

    2. It is not “mean” to differ with someone – nor is it “mean” to point out areas where someone is making an accusation that is not backed up by any facts.

    3. It is not “mean” to point out that “more snakes come from snakes” stories do not support “birds come from reptiles” kinds of stories.

    4. It is not “mean” to point out that the Bible concept of speciation within the genome of what the Bible calls a “kind” is only in the context of a perfect sinless (vegetarian) creation that is instantly altered by sin, and by it’s creator, and by other intelligent beings capable of manipulating the genome. That context does not even exist for the atheist centric ideas of speciation and higher orders evolving from lower orders of life. Thus equivocating between the two very different models can be compared the “crossing the ocean” illustration we already gave –

    Natives in a canoe cross the ocean slowly as compared to an astronaut in the space shuttle. But that space shuttle scenario cannot be equivocated to “a canoe crossing the ocean very fast”. You cannot mix the contexts without getting to a meaningless conclusion.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  25. @Geanna,

    David Read was indeed quite patient with me,, Thank you David. I will say that I know a fare number of Adventists who beleive firmly that evolution in any capacity is untenable. To dare mention what you have stated David would get these people extremely upset toward me.

    I wasn’t part of the discussion referenced here, but if I may, let me help you understand “the other side” of the coin. There are usually at least two sides to any issue, and if you truly want to understand others, you must look at things through their eyes.

    This was probably mentioned in the discussion (I haven’t checked) but the word “evolution” has many definitions. Most often the controversy is over whether “macro” evolution (changes between kind) can occur (and then you must define “kind” as well). You would do well to be patient with others who may not be clear on all the definitions, and may suspect you of defending “macro” evolution. Their desire to defend the Bible is commendable even if the zeal is somewhat without knowledge.

    Secondly, as was probably also mentioned, we only see the end result, and there are many theories as to how the changes commonly known as evolution occur. The common atheistic assumption is that the changes take long ages of time (without any creator to design the ability to change into the organism). Keep in mind that many small types of “evolution” have been observed to occur rapidly.

    A Creationist would probably prefer to avoid the word evolution, because of it’s loaded meanings, and focus on the known causes of change– e.g., mutations and natural (or even human assisted) selection. And if you want to have a meaningful discussion with less heat and more light, it would probably be helpful for you to stick to those well understood terms as well.

    God bless,
    Warren

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  26. Eddie,

    1. Bob has failed to back up his claims that I resorted to name calling.

    2. It is not “mean” to differ with someone – nor is it “mean” to point out areas where someone is making an accusation that is not backed up by any facts.

    3. I never suggested that “more snakes come from snakes” stories support “birds come from reptiles” kinds of stories nor has anyone else to my knowlege at this website. It IS mean of someone to purposefuly miscontrue my statements.

    Even moderates and obviously weel educated people like you get this patronizing treatment. That amazes me.

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  27. Warren I think you should go back a re-read the comments. They were in the “Board Request Progress Reports” thread. We were all talking about microevolultion, macroevolution and even megaevolution. I know what the words mean and “macroevolution” IS the evolution of entirely new species,. I have my facts straight thank you. Everyone in the discussion including David Read, Shane Hilde and Bob Ryan agreed that Adventist creationsists not only believe in MACROevolution but at rates like 1000 times faster than any evolutionists. Many thousands of species have evolved since the flood in just 4000 years. There are dramatic examples of entire groups that may have evolved without any easily understood connection between their present location and Mt. ararat. What we really object to is MEGAevolution even though complex structures like heat sensing predatory structures like viper facial pits and python labial pits posse some difficulties. Eddie is right to point out that many Adventists cannot even consider much less accept any kind of speciation, or even use of the word “evolution”.

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  28. Warren is right that using the word “evolution” without more context will often cause alot of confusion. Because anyone’s model of earth history, whether Darwinist or creationist, or anything in between, will include alot of evolution.

    To describe the idea that all on earth life descended from one or few “simple” organisms, I use the term “Darwinism.” Leonard Brand uses the term “mega-evolution.” The Answers in Genesis ministry likes to use the phrase, “from goo to you via the zoo.” Some use the term “macro-evolution”, some use the term “evolutionism.”

    All these terms are used because participants in the conversation understand that anyone’s model of earth history must include a great deal of evolution, and you can’t simply say, “I don’t believe in ‘evolution'” and expect to be taken seriously. Conversely, when a creationist says, “I believe in evolution” he has to immediately make clear that he is speaking of “micro-evolution” or diversification, modification and speciation within the Genesis kinds or baramin, and that he does not accept the Darwinian/Lyellian origins model.

    A further complication arises because the term “evolution” evokes not just the concept of organic change over time, but also current theories as to the mechanism of such change. Currently, the term “evolution” evokes the neo-Darwinian synthesis, which proposes natural selection of random, undirected DNA copying errors. But I personally do not believe that this mechanism can explain either the speed or the extent of the rapid post-Flood micro-evolutionary changes that most creationist models incorporate.

    So tossing around the term “evoluton” without immediate and extensive definition and context is certain to cause misunderstandings.

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  29. Do you think that this article, which advocates for a revision to FB6 because it is missing 3 Adventist Historical Landmarks, is an appeal to “tradition” in the codifying of belief?

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  30. Sean,

    Compromise has been said to be the art of keeping everyone moderately unhappy.

    Honest compromise as I see it, is where X wants A and Y wants N but what they both get is P. Thus all are “equally” unhappy.

    Or to put it another way:

    The conservative scientists, theologians and church members want the everyone fired who doesn’t uphold, in both belief and practice, SDA Fundamental #6. The liberal scientists, theologians and church members want Fundamental Belief #6 removed. What they are getting is: #6 is left as it presently is but no one will get fired at this time.

    I’m willing to live with that because over time things change…the debate continues, as it should, without harsh measures being taken and without anyone being labeled a lair or a deceiver and without anyone getting fired.

    Some situations are win-win and some are lose-lose. It all seems to me to be part of the art of administration and politics, in neither of which do I have any expertise. So I could be wrong.

    Lynn

    Hi Lynn,

    I agree. It is just that there’s a difference between being unhappy about compromise and feeling that one is being deliberately deceived. There’s simply no excuse for the deception taking place in this case with LSU.

    Again, the problem with the LSU situation is not so much the compromise that is taking place (which I obviously don’t like), but the fact that this compromise is not being acknowledged for what it is. People want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to act as if they are not compromising when they really are. They therefore deceive others about their compromise.

    LSU is acting and extensively, even desperately, advertising as if it is full support of all of the fundamental pillars of faith of the SDA Church. It is not acknowledging that it has compromised in this regard to an almost unrecognizable level when it comes to an “SDA” institution, allowing pretty much its entire science department to directly oppose key SDA pillars of faith in the classroom in a very decided manner. This fact of so-called “compromise” is not advertised or clearly presented to the church membership. Great effort is being expended to cover up this compromise, misdirect those interested in discovering the truth, and to act as if it isn’t really taking place. LSU is also threatening concerned students with permanent negative comments on their transcripts, potential expulsion, and a lack of letters of recommendation if a student thinks to reveal what is actually taking place in the classroom to the church membership at large.

    In my book this is going beyond compromise, adding obfuscation, strong arm tactics, and deliberate deception on top of compromise. That’s not right. This is lying to and ultimately stealing from the client – hardly to be described as simple “compromise”. Lying is not the definition of compromise. Again, honest compromise is not dependent upon deception…

    So, at the very least, it seems self-evident, to me at least, that LSU and even the SDA Church at large need to be more transparent and honest about what they are doing. Clearly, all Church membership and potential LSU clients have a right to know the truth as to what they can expect to receive for their time, money, and general support of LSU and the Church organization. If a person likes the compromised situation at LSU regarding its decided undermining of certain historically “fundamental” SDA doctrinal positions, they have all the right in the world to promote such an institution or organization – a right which I fully support and find most vital to any free civil society. However, if a person does not like what is really taking place at LSU, that individual also has a right to know the truth and to remove their support as well.

    There simply is no good argument to be made in favor of deliberately deceiving or lying to anyone about the actual truth of the situation however. That isn’t honest compromise. That’s just plain old-fashioned lying…

    Sincerely,

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  31. David Read was indeed quite patient with me,, Thank you David. I will say that I know a fare number of Adventists who beleive firmly that evolution in any capacity is untenable. To dare mention what you have stated David would get these people extremely upset toward me. I’ll guarntee you that there are people here reading your remarks who are quite unhappy with your concession even if you are on “thier side” for most other issues.

    For the most part many of you have been gracious to my questions and inquiring mind. Thank you..

    Most SDAs that I have met who are interested in the issue of origins are not at all opposed to the idea of limited evolutionary changes over time.

    The fact is that there are real examples of evolution in action. Of course, most of the examples that most people give for “evolution in action” are really nothing more than Mendelian variation in action – to include almost all of Darwin’s own examples (ironically). But, to say that there are no real examples of evolution in action is to be quite misinformed. There are many real examples of evolution in action.

    The problem for mainstream evolutionists isn’t a lack of real examples, but the fact that these examples demonstrate a clear limit, at very low levels of functional complexity, beyond which evolutionary progress does not and is statistically unlikely to proceed this side of trillions upon trillions of years of time. That’s the problem…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  32. Do you think that this article, which advocates for a revision to FB6 because it is missing 3 Adventist Historical Landmarks, is an appeal to “tradition” in the codifying of belief?  

    Yes! Hence my disapproval of it. Because we have distilled our study of Scripture into nice bits of truth, we feel justified in holding those bits of truth as the standard, in essence transferring our loyalty from God’s spoken word to our diligent study of that which was written, which was to lead us to Him.

    But in making this transfer, we hold man’s authority as the standard. Some claim that because Ellen White said that the voice of God is heard in the GC session, that apparently anything that they vote is then infallible. Yet they fail to note the spirit of her statement. She indicated that she had not confidence in certain individuals of authority in the church to reveal the will of God, but that, in a greater assembly, she would be confident. Yet the principle remains: if the leaders are not setting their own ambitions and motives aside, God’s will will not be accurately revealed through them, whether few or many.

    To make the church’s voted statements while in GC session an infallible revelation of God’s will, is eerily reminiscent of papal infallibility. The only difference being the number of individuals involved.

    Let us use the Bible as our creed, and yes, hold our educators accountable to it. We should not be teaching Evolution as fact, not because it conflicts with the voted “Belief #6,” but because it is contrary to the teaching of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Why do we need the authority of the church to define our beliefs, when we have Jesus’ authority?! The authority of the church is in the pay stub, and they thus have the right to specify that the professors teach according to the teaching of Scripture, just as my employer has the right to specify the nature of what I am to do for them.

    It is clear from the Scripture that God created in six literal days, as has been brought out in this forum. This should be the standard for our professors, not “Belief #6,” as endorsed by the church.

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  33. Dear Ray:

    No one, certainly not Ellen White, has stated that if the General Conference in global session votes for doctrinal error, that we are to accept this as infallible truth. But this does not mean that such voted statements should not exist, or be set aside as some kind of human tradition or man-made creed. So long as such statements are strictly faithful to the written counsel of God, they can safely function as an authority for the church.

    Belief No. 6, so far as I’m concerned, is completely accurate in what it says. But it could and should be made plainer, so as to eliminate reasonable misunderstanding. The church has been constrained to offer such progressive clarity throughout its history, due to the emergence of various crises and issues. Early editions of the Church Manual, for example, made no reference to drug trafficking or homosexual practice as reasons for church discipline. Now the Manual makes explicit reference to these problems, obviously because they are visible issues in our society just now. This certainly doesn’t mean the earlier editions of the Manual permitted these practices. But it does mean that with modern societal trends, such clarity became essential.

    The same is true with the issues raised by the theistic evolutionists among us.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson

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  34. Kevin Paulson said:

    No one, certainly not Ellen White, has stated that if the General Conference in global session votes for doctrinal error, that we are to accept this as infallible truth.

    How might it come to pass that the GC would vote for doctrinal error? If it was voted for, how would anyone know it is doctrinal error? Would there be a majority that supports what was voted for? Since it went all the way to a vote, would they consider it a deeply held belief? Would there be a minority that considers it to be error? Since they are opposing something that was voted by the world body, would they consider their objection to it to be a deeply held belief? Both groups would probably have what they consider to be a solid Biblical case, combined with their experience. Would the two groups have a different interpretation of the Bible? Perhaps one group would take a more literal interpretation of the Bible, and the other group would take a less literal interpretation of the Bible. How would an SDA who is not well versed in the issue know which group is correct? How would one know which interpretation is correct? How would we know?

    Fundamental Beliefs go through a process that ends with a majority vote at a GC session, right? What if it is mistaken?

    What if a potential new member believes all the FBs before the vote of a new FB, but can’t accept the new one after the vote? Do we deny this person membership? It seems we must.

    What if a potential new member believes 27 of the 28 FBs? Do we deny this person membership? It seems we must.

    There’s plenty of other denominations they can go to, right?

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  35. Dear Kevin, George and others,
    George, you have touched on a very important point – we do not yet understand Truth in its fullest sense. As a church we as pastors, scientists and members have to walk by faith that God had created everything as He said. But as knowledge increase, so will our understanding of Creation.

    To believe in Jesus as my Saviour is a faith in progress. The understanding of the Plan of Salvation as presented to us readers from Genesis 3 “your seed” to Leviticus’ “Tabernacle and sacrifice,” to Jesus’ “death on the cross” and Revelation’ King of kings on a white Horse” has taken many years. It is only as knowledge increased (Daniel 12:4)that our understanding of Jesus as our Saviour and subsequent High Priest became clearer.

    In the same way the time has come for us to know Him better as our Judge and Creator (and Re-Creator). The last three warning messages from God (also known as the 3 Angels’ Messages) contain a call to Creator worship. Revelation 14:6, 7 makes it clear that God calls the world (every nation,tribe, language and people to fear (respect / give honour and glory) to Him Who is now judging the wicked powers deceiving the world (Dragon, Sea-beast & Beast from the earth, Revelation 13). According to Acts 17:30, 31, Jesus is the Judge that will judge the affairs of this world in righteousness. It is only after the disappointment in 1844 that our understanding of that Judgement as a Christian Church has become clearer (not perfect).

    In the same breath the 1st angel calls the world back to Creator worship with a direct reference to the 4th commandment where the Sabbath is mentiontioned to be remembered. Why? Because people would forget that God is the Creator. Isn’t it amazing then that is only since the 1800’s that the attack upon God as man and nature’s Creator has gone into full swing.
    It is only now that we are able to understand the severity of the attack that is being made on Jesus’ status as our Creator.

    As I said earlier, I can not believe in Jesus as my Saviour and then reject as Israelite myth what He has taught about Creation, the Fall of Man, the Flood and the 2nd Coming, because it does not fit my modern “scientific” understandanding of the origin of life. The time has come for the church to be more clear on what we believe on the origin of life. We have to go back to Scripture and study deeper and pray harder for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in these things. Why? So that we have a clearer understanding of who Jesus really is.

    It is easy to say that we must rather have a stronger relationship with Jesus and not to worry about our beliefs in Creation, the Flood, etc. To better understand Jeus as my Saviour and to have a better relationship with Him will neccessitate time in Bible Study and prayer. Everything we know about Jesus Christ has its origin in the Scriptures. All other books about Jesus are derived from there.

    The apostle Peter said that we have a prophetic word given unto us “as a light shining in a dark place, leading us toward dawn.” (2 Peter 1:19,20)
    It is the prophetic word that tells us that there will be an apostacy (falling away from biblical truth – from Jesus, see 1 Timothy 4:1; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, etc). People will reject the basics of Scripture (God is the Creator, Man is a sinner in need of grace, Jesus is man’s only Hope on Salvation, etc. – all part of the simple Gospel). It is because of sin and the distortion of truth that people turn away from God and follow the pleasures of the world.

    It is only as we study Scripture that something else becomes a reality – the “Morning Star,” which rises up in our hearts! (Jesus Christ – Revelation 22:16). Allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret Biblical truths (2 Peter 1:21) from Scripture, bringing forth a fuller understanding of the prophecies about Jesus, that He is being formed in our hearts. Jesus does not only become the “Head of the church” because the Bible says so, but He becomes the “King of my heart” through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit by conviction through the Scriptures. And this by itself is a life long process.

    The better we understand Jesus as our Saviour, the more we study about His life, work, death, ascention and ministry in heaven,the clearer our understanding of Him becomes as the Creator (Hebrews 1:1-3)of the universe.

    As a special Movement of the last days, the Adventist Church (you and me) have to sound the trumpet clearer also. First we have to preach that Jesus did come as a fulfilment of a promise – He became man’s Messiah (Saviour)by the love of God for His creatures. Secondly we have to tell people that this same Jesus who died on the cross will be the Judge of the world (for the good and the bad guys) and He will be fair in His judgement. This judgement will be in favour of the saints – those who have accepted the invitation of His grace toward us as sinners.
    Thirdly, all of mankind is called to worship this same Jesus as Creator of everything, who is also man’s Saviour and Judge.

    Dear brothers and sisters, and those who are likeminded, let us all humble ourselves before our great God. Pray with me that God will send His Spirit to enlighten our minds with His truth as it is in Jesus. May He help those who together with us sit around the boarding tables and who are fighting a spiritual battle against the powers of darkness. Let us uphold our leaders’ hands. Let our discussions speak the truth in all humility and may the character of Christ shine through our words as Jesus is being formed in our hearts. Truth has never been won by argument, but “by my Spirtit, says the Lord.” Soon He will come, not only as the Saviour, or the High Priest, or Judge, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

    At last my prayers have been answered. The church is moving forward. This discussion forum and others like this one are bringing God’s people closer together. Those who hear the voice of Jesus as the Shepherd, as presented to the world in our discussions will come out of Babylon and will join God’s remnant people of the last days. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to Him and to those who not yet have this revelation of Him as our Creator, and Re-Creator.

    Pastor Robin Lewis

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  36. In the post at this link below – I show where “Bible as my only creed” was being used as a shield to unleash a 100 discordant errors.

    @BobRyan:

    It should be noted that evolutionists have come here using that same excuse by arguing that any appeal to the Bible that is not pleasing to the doctrines of evolutionism is “just your view – and my view of the Bible is every bit as valid as yours”.

    The unity in Doctrine – principle revealed there came from intense sola-scriptura based efforts. Which is exactly how we got the 28FB.

    @Ray Dickinson:

    To make the church’s voted statements while in GC session an infallible revelation of God’s will, is eerily reminiscent of papal infallibility. The only difference being the number of individuals involved.

    Let us use the Bible as our creed, and yes, hold our educators accountable to it. We should not be teaching Evolution as fact, not because it conflicts with the voted “Belief #6,” but because it is contrary to the teaching of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Why do we need the authority of the church to define our beliefs, when we have Jesus’ authority?! The authority of the church is in the pay stub, and they thus have the right to specify that the professors teach according to the teaching of Scripture, just as my employer has the right to specify the nature of what I am to do for them.

    It is clear from the Scripture that God created in six literal days, as has been brought out in this forum. This should be the standard for our professors, not “Belief #6,” as endorsed by the church.

    1. In the case of evolutionists arguing Bible alternatives in the form “well that is just your interpretation not mine” (though it is explained in triplicate that the bible supports no other) the point of then directing them to the voted positions of the church – is that we have an actual Denomination that has voted doctrines and has real schools. Thus going off the reservation in areas so central to our voted doctrinal statements and then asking to get paid BY the denomination for doing it – is not a case of “well that is one man’s opinion” and is ethically questionable.

    2. In my link above – I also point to he fact that God HAS determined that those voted statements should have “authority”. Nothing we can do about that. So it is not a matter of “well that is just your opinion” in cases like that.

    Ellen White was firm on the fact that we are not to circle back and destroy the foundational doctrines that have been firmly established. Rather new light BUILDS — it does not destroy.

    3. And lest we carry opposition to an extreme – remember “in context” that the evolutionists are not actually known for making a Bible case here. If anything they are “known” for “Bible avoidance”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  37. @Robin Lewis:

    In the same way the time has come for us to know Him better as our Judge and Creator (and Re-Creator). The last three warning messages from God (also known as the 3 Angels’ Messages) contain a call to Creator worship. Revelation 14:6, 7 makes it clear that God calls the world (every nation,tribe, language and people to fear (respect / give honour and glory) to Him Who is now judging the wicked powers deceiving the world (Dragon, Sea-beast & Beast from the earth, Revelation 13). According to Acts 17:30, 31, Jesus is the Judge that will judge the affairs of this world in righteousness. It is only after the disappointment in 1844 that our understanding of that Judgement as a Christian Church has become clearer (not perfect).

    In the same breath the 1st angel calls the world back to Creator worship with a direct reference to the 4th commandment where the Sabbath is mentiontioned to be remembered. Why? Because people would forget that God is the Creator. Isn’t it amazing then that is only since the 1800’s that the attack upon God as man and nature’s Creator has gone into full swing.
    It is only now that we are able to understand the severity of the attack that is being made on Jesus’ status as our Creator.

    Exellent Point! How shocked and amazed would those Millerites and then later the Seventh-day Adventist have been were they to be informed of Christian churches promoting the atheist-centric doctrines on origins we know today as evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  38. @George:

    How might it come to pass that the GC would vote for doctrinal error?

    Good question – especially since God has given a message saying that the voted statements of the denomination are to be accepted as having authority.

    Maybe God just “didn’t see it coming”?

    If it was voted for, how would anyone know it is doctrinal error?

    All of our doctrines are tested “sola scriptura” and it is the responsibility of each individual to learn to do it.

    Would there be a majority that supports what was voted for?

    As usual — (remember this is not a case of “imagining” how a doctrine might get voted by the GC session – we need not imagine how it is done. It is a matter of history).

    Since it went all the way to a vote, would they consider it a deeply held belief? Would there be a minority that considers it to be error?

    Again we need not “imagine” because in fact we already have a minority that believes our stand on the Godhead – on the Trinity – is “in error”.

    Not something we need to imagine to see it in real life.

    Since they are opposing something that was voted by the world body, would they consider their objection to it to be a deeply held belief?

    Indeed – as it turns out over the decades of time – one or two Adventists have chosen to differ on one doctrinal point or another and have already left. And were we to summ up all the variant views that they took out with them – and group them all into one pluralistic morass – we would have “mush” for a doctrinal statement.

    We have Shepherd’s Rod, we have the Ford groups, the Davidians and others.

    How would an SDA who is not well versed in the issue know which group is correct?

    How do non-SDAs study the Bible and join the church today?

    Turns out that this sola-scriptura exercise is another example of what is not simply a hypothetical exercise – it happens every day — and the church is growing rapidly because of that Acts 17:11 principle.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  39. My problem with trying to tighten up a credal statement is that (1) it isn’t necessary, and (2) it won’t work.

    It isn’t necessary because everyone knows that Adventists believe in a recent creation in six literal days. There’s never been any “wiggle room” on this point, and if there were, numerous statements from Ellen White have made it perfectly clear where we stand. You can only get to some sort of theistic evolutionary position by utterly rejecting the view of Scripture that all Adventist doctrines are based upon–rejecting the entire biblical word view that Adventism arose out of–and utterly rejecting the prophetic authority of Ellen White. This isn’t a close question at all. People who claim that theistic evolution is compatible with Adventism are either insane or are acting in bad faith. Clifford Goldstein is right about this and the way he expressed himself is appropriate.

    It won’t work because the situation at LaSierra got the way it is despite the fact that the Adventist position on a recent creation in six literal 24-hour days is clear beyond cavil to any sane, honest, rational individual. Do you really think the Seventh-day Darwinians are going to accept and respect a new, tightened up credal statement when they reject the biblical wordview that Adventism is founded upon and reject the prophetic authority of Ellen White? Who has more authority, the Bible and Ellen White, or some creed writing committee? Ask yourself whether, if you rejected the church’s foundational view of Scripture and its founding prophet, you’d have any compunction or hesitation in also rejecting a credal statement cooked up by a bunch of church bureaucrats?

    It isn’t necessary and it won’t work. The bad faith of those who want to accept church money while tearing down church doctrines is manifest, and those in positions of authority need to act.

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  40. It is clear from the Scripture that God created in six literal days, as has been brought out in this forum. This should be the standard for our professors, not “Belief #6,” as endorsed by the church.

    The problem with this argument is that there are many Christian denominations that do not interpret the Genesis account literally. It is the literal interpretation of the Genesis account that is specifically upheld by the SDA Church, as an organization, as being the “correct” biblical interpretation.

    So, you see, it just isn’t enough to simply argue that “It is clear from the scripture…” when it comes to a basis for paid SDA Church representation because many will argue saying, “No, it is not clear from the scripture! That’s just your interpretation of scripture…” When such a disagreement cannot be resolved on an issue considered to be “fundamental” for one or the other or both groups of people, a person from one group simply cannot effectively represent the opinion of the other group in their organization…

    This is the current situation within the SDA Church. There are different factions where some believe that the Bible is clearly in support of a literal creation week while other factions do not believe this at all or do not believe that the Bible says anything definitive regarding emprical reality whatsoever – that the Bible is only useful when it comes to giving moral meaning to our lives, but says nothing about how to interpret physical reality or empirical truth.

    This is why a clear statement of fundamental beliefs as to what the Scripture is likely trying to say is helpful, even necessary, to a viable Church organization as a basis of official or paid representation…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  41. “. . . or do not believe that the Bible says anything definitive regarding emprical reality whatsoever – that the Bible is only useful when it comes to giving moral meaning to our lives, but says nothing about how to interpret physical reality or empirical truth.”

    This is not even a Christian view, much less an Adventist view. People who hold this view should not be allowed to become members, or should be disfellowshipped if they already are.

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  42. Sean Pitman said:

    This is the current situation within the SDA Church. There are different factions where some believe that the Bible is clearly in support of a literal creation week while other factions do not believe this at all or do not believe that the Bible says anything definitive regarding emprical reality whatsoever – that the Bible is only useful when it comes to giving moral meaning to our lives, but says nothing about how to interpret physical reality or empirical truth.

    This is why a clear statement of fundamental beliefs as to what the Scripture is likely trying to say is helpful, even necessary, to a viable Church organization as a basis of official or paid representation…

    Well stated, Sean.

    If one faction wins out of the other in terms of revising or not revising FB6, what happens to the losing group? Should they be disfellowshipped? Should they be shamed into withdrawing? Or is it not really an issue of membership, but rather an issue of establishing church policy so that church employees (faculty) can be required to promote (teach) fundamental beliefs?

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  43. Regardless of any future – additional changes – Church employees are already required to uphold the voted and confirmed doctrines of the Seventh-DAY Adventist church to the extent that their employment requires them to speak on one of those doctrines.

    So for a tiny example – you cannot hold the office of President of our Conference, or Union, or Division and go around bashing the doctrine on the Trinity.

    This has come as a bit of a surprise to some of our evolutionist friends – but even so – we have had that particular practice for quite some time.

    That does not mean that the small splinter factions that hold to one view or another – are being asked to go somewhere else – but they are never asked to promote “anti-Trinitarian” views from the pulpit or from Church office where a statement on that doctrine is to be expected.

    Not all that surprising then — that our stand on the issue of Christ our Creator in Belief #6 is “no change” from our position on the Trinity.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  44. @George:

    If one faction wins out of the other in terms of revising or not revising FB6, what happens to the losing group?

    Indeed a number of our Fundamental Beliefs have associated with them “someone who differs” – be it the Trinity or Creation or …

    Suppose we do away with all of that – (since your question brings up the what-if scenario sandbox anyway) and we actually only have 1 voted doctrine. That doctrine is “thou shalt not insist that something is true – if it is not popular”? In other words as long as “Someone objects” to a given doctrine — then that doctrine cannot be voted denominationally as something we as a church stand for.

    That surely solves the problem of the “7 billion” because there could be nothing we hold as true – that anyone might object to.

    However we would run into the problem that the church that approves ALL views stands for nothing. And as it turns out – we already HAVE a “Unitarian Universalist” denomination filling that “All-views welcomed” role.

    But even so – if we did that, we would have our universities competing to be the “best public university that SDA tuition, tithe and offering dollars can buy” and we would have our churches striving to be the “best Unitarian Universalist congregation that an all-views-welcomed open door policy can generate”.

    Our new guiding principles would be very careful to never advance beyond a warm-fuzzy statement something like this –

    •The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
    •Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
    •Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
    •A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
    •The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
    •The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
    •Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

    Since there is already a group today staking out that territory – we need not imagine what a church like that would be like — we can already see it in real life.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  45. @BobRyan:
    Hi Bob Ryan,
    Again you are completely speculating (and not even a good speculation). Those quotes are about the leaders of this church. You prove my point even further by stating over and over that the 27 FB is always the book to ‘unify’ on. This is all that you say every time. What a shame. Don’t you want to unify on what the Bible says? Again the 27 FB is confusion. Our pioneers were right when they said people would look to books like these (creeds) for insight, etc… I’m sorry that you cannot see this.
    God Bless,
    David R.

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  46. @David R.:

    Hi Bob Ryan,
    Again you are completely speculating (and not even a good speculation).

    Speculating about what?

    David R. Said:
    Those quotes are about the leaders of this church.

    My reference was to members of the church that were off on wild tangents – everything under the sun — all of them claiming “my view is from the Bible”.

    Ellen White was very clear that chaos of that order was not pleasing at all to God.

    David R said:
    You prove my point even further by stating over and over that the 27 FB is always the book to ‘unify’ on. This is all that you say every time.

    1. I always argue that the 27 FB are confirmed established Bible doctrine defended and proven “sola scriptura”. And remember, the evolutionist case is NOT a Bible argument. Nobody is coming here saying “I studied my Bible and suddenly found out that Moses was a darwinist”

    2. I always argue that “tearing down” what has been established is not a funny kind of “progress”. However let’s keep this in context – our evolutoinist friends are NOT making a Bible case here!

    This is not a case of being closed off to some “better form of exegesis” – these guys can’t get away from the Bible fast enough or long enough. Just watch guys like Evr Taylor scamper off every time the Bible or Ellen White comes up.

    In this particular example – there really is no “counter” coming from the standpoint of inspired text – authored by God.

    David R. Said:
    What a shame. Don’t you want to unify on what the Bible says?

    That is a straw man imagining that the 27 FB are simply random statements on doctrine – instead of the sola-scriptura grounded Bible doctrines that they are.

    Every Baptist, Methodist, Branch Davidian and JW on the planet claims that their views are nothing but “what the Bible teaches”. That claim alone is not sufficient to make anything they say “valid”. At some point they have to MAKE Their case.

    And as we keep pointing out here (and you keep ignoring for some reason) the evolutionists are not even TRYING to make a Bible case.

    David R. said:
    Again the 27 FB is confusion.

    That is a matter of subjective opinion on your part. you are welcome to it.

    If you have a Bible point you want to make showing the 27 FB to be wrong – that would be a different thing altogether.

    David R. Said:
    Our pioneers were right when they said people would look to books like these (creeds) for insight, etc… I’m sorry that you cannot see this.

    I have shown that wild diversity in doctrine was NOT approved by Ellen White or the SDA leadership.

    I will now show just how far this 28FB idea was embedded in 19th century SDA leadership.

    Diverting Minds From Present Duty

    The enemy is seeking to divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days. His sophistries are designed to lead minds away from the perils and duties of the hour. They estimate as of little value the light that Christ came from heaven to give to John for His people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to receive special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin, and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science. “Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye in the ways, and
    307
    see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.” [JER. 6:16.] {GW 306.2}

    Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith,–the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work, by prayerful study of the Word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building for more than fifty years. Men may suppose that they have found a new way, that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid; but this is a great deception.

    Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid.” [1 COR. 3:11.] In the past, many have undertaken to build a new faith, to establish new principles; but how long did their building stand? It soon fell; for it was not founded upon the Rock. {GW 307.1}

    Did not the first disciples have to meet the sayings of men? did they not have to listen to false theories; and then, having done all, to stand firm, saying, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid”? So we are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. {GW 307.2}

    Words of power have been sent by God and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world, point by point, into the clear light of present truth. With lips touched by holy fire, God’s servants have proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the truth proclaimed. {GW 307.3}

    A Renewal of the Straight Testimony

    The Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a renewal of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of His people
    308
    have long been torpid, but there is to be a resurrection from apparent death. By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King’s highway. As we do this, the power of the Spirit will come to us. We need the pentecostal energy. This will come; for the Lord has promised to send His Spirit as the all-conquering power. {GW 307.4}

    Perilous times are before us. Every one who has a knowledge of the truth should awake, and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the Spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church, and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer? {GW 308.1}

    I beseech those who are laboring for God not to accept the spurious for the genuine. Let not human reasoning be placed where sanctifying truth should be. Christ is waiting to kindle faith and love in the hearts of His people. Let not erroneous theories receive countenance from the people who ought to be standing firm on the platform of eternal truth. God calls upon us to hold firmly to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.
    309
    {GW 308.2}

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  47. For those who would use the FBs (or any other thing) to separate brethren, advocating, in its purest form, disfellowshipping those who do not believe given doctrines, what do you have to say regarding these scriptures?

    (Mouse over each to view the text.)

    Matthew 13:24-30, NKJV
    (Note: the tares were allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Matthew 13:30, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:37-42, NKJV
    (Note: the angels are the ones who gather out those who offend. Matthew 13:40-41, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV
    (Note: the separation happens at the end of the age. Matthew 13:49, NKJV)

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  48. Ray Dickinson said:

    For those who would use the FBs (or any other thing) to separate brethren, advocating, in its purest form, disfellowshipping those who do not believe given doctrines, what do you have to say regarding these scriptures?

    (Mouse over each to view the text.)

    Matthew 13:24-30, NKJV
    (Note: the tares were allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Matthew 13:30, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:37-42, NKJV
    (Note: the angels are the ones who gather out those who offend. Matthew 13:40-41, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV
    (Note: the separation happens at the end of the age. Matthew 13:49, NKJV)

    These texts have to do with Church efforts to control those outside of the Church or to remove all who are sinful from the Church. In other words, the Church should never think to take on civil powers of government to enforce its views on society at large. Also, the Church should not think to remove all who are sinful from the Church or there would be nobody left inside the Church. However, the Church can and must control its own internal government with careful effort and discipline that entails the use of specifically defined boundaries or requirements for official paid representation. In other words, the Church cannot tolerate open, deliberate, decided rebellion of its own leaders and paid representatives against its very clearly stated goals and ideals. There is a big difference between keeping and working with the sinful who are trying to change and improve compared to trying to work with the openly rebellious who feel no need for change or improvement…

    Consider the advise of Paul to the Corinthians in this regard:

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” – 1 Cor 5:12,13

    In this passage Paul is not suggesting that all of us who are sinful have no place in the Church. That isn’t what he is saying at all or else none of us could step on even the parking lot of the local Church. What Paul is saying is that the Church organization must make judgments regarding those who are openly in opposition against the stated positions of the Church in various moral and even governmental issues.

    Those who are openly rebelling against the order and government of the Church organization, an organization that Paul claims was Divinely appointed, need to be removed from at least their paid positions of official Church representation (and Paul uses even stronger language than this). If they see no need for help or a change in their ideas, and they are directly and decidedly undermining the stated ideals of the Church, despite sincere efforts to turn them aside from their course of opposition, they simply cannot be maintained in leadership positions within the Church.

    People like this are not coming to the Church to gain any sort of help to overcome what they know are defects in their ideas or characters. The Church’s doors should always be open to all those who are actually coming to the hospital for help with what they know are their own sicknesses. However, the Church cannot accommodate those in leadership positions who see no need to change their views or actions; views and actions that are directly opposed to the clearly stated ideals and goals of the Church organization.

    In fact, no organization could long tolerate a complete lack of true internal governmental control and discipline without an eventual meltdown of the organization into complete anarchy and chaos…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  49. you have nicely equivocated between “not paying to promote error” and “disfellowship”.

    1.No text in your list deals with the problem of paying professors to teach heresy.

    2. Conference after conference has been held in an effort to patiently explain to the evolutionist evangelists that they are in error.

    3. So since you ask that we look into the counsel we get from the Gospel of Matthew on this subject — (Matt 18 in this case) would mean that we now must disfellowship them — and this is not a direction that most of those who object to evolutionism on this web site have ventured into – but now that you point to the book of Matthew. When we combine the Matt 18 process details with the fact of the faith and sciences conferences in 2003-2005 designed to confront evolutionist with the information about the bible denying position they were taking “in the nicest” way imaginable — I guess we have exhausted a key ” Matt 18 step before disfellowship” that you have asked us to look into.

    My guess is that this is a case of backfiring in regard to your intent.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  50. Ray Dickinson said:

    For those who would use the FBs (or any other thing) to separate brethren, advocating, in its purest form, disfellowshipping those who do not believe given doctrines, what do you have to say regarding these scriptures?

    (Mouse over each to view the text.)

    Matthew 13:24-30, NKJV
    (Note: the tares were allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Matthew 13:30, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:37-42, NKJV
    (Note: the angels are the ones who gather out those who offend. Matthew 13:40-41, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV
    (Note: the separation happens at the end of the age. Matthew 13:49, NKJV)

    These texts have to do with Church efforts to control those outside of the Church or to remove all who are sinful from the Church. In other words, the Church should never think to take on civil powers of government to enforce its views on society at large. Also, the Church should not think to remove all who are sinful from the Church or there would be nobody left inside the Church. However, the Church can and must control its own internal government with careful effort and discipline that entails the use of specifically defined boundaries or requirements for official paid representation. In other words, the Church cannot tolerate open, deliberate, decided rebellion of its own leaders and paid representatives against its very clearly stated goals and ideals. There is a big difference between keeping and working with the sinful who are trying to change and improve compared to trying to work with the openly rebellious who feel no need for change or improvement…

    Consider the advise of Paul to the Corinthians in this regard:

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” – 1 Cor 5:12,13

    In this passage Paul is not suggesting that all of us who are sinful have no place in the Church. That isn’t what he is saying at all or else none of us could step on even the parking lot of the local Church. What Paul is saying is that the Church organization must make judgments regarding those who are openly in opposition against the stated positions of the Church in various moral and even governmental issues.

    Those who are openly rebelling against the order and government of the Church organization, an organization that Paul claims was Divinely appointed, need to be removed from at least their paid positions of official Church representation (and Paul uses even stronger language than this). If they see no need for help or a change in their ideas, and they are directly and decidedly undermining the stated ideals of the Church, despite sincere efforts to turn them aside from their course of opposition, they simply cannot be maintained in leadership positions within the Church.

    People like this are not coming to the Church to gain any sort of help to overcome what they know are defects in their ideas or characters. The Church’s doors should always be open to all those who are actually coming to the hospital for help with what they know are their own sicknesses. However, the Church cannot accommodate those in leadership positions who see no need to change their views or actions; views and actions that are directly opposed to the clearly stated ideals and goals of the Church organization.

    In fact, no organization could long tolerate a complete lack of true internal governmental control and discipline without an eventual meltdown of the organization into complete anarchy and chaos…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  51. @Ray Dickinson:

    Mouse over each to view the text.)

    Matthew 13:24-30, NKJV
    (Note: the tares were allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Matthew 13:30, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:37-42, NKJV
    (Note: the angels are the ones who gather out those who offend. Matthew 13:40-41, NKJV)
    Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV
    (Note: the separation happens at the end of the age. Matthew 13:49, NKJV)

    When we look at the hover text that appears in response to the mouse-over event as you suggest above for Matt 13:37-42, we find the explicit statement “the field is the world” – but you have positioned this as “the field is the church” such that the church is not “allowed” to remove the leaven as in the 1Cor 5 case where Paul insists that the leven of sin be removed in the form of Church discipline that expells a member of the church who is in sin.

    As Sean pointed out already – the Matt 13 text deals with the world and clearly God “is not willing” (and obviously the Church “is not able”) to remove the wicked from the world prior to the 2nd coming.

    Thus the only context for the church taking action is seen in Matt 18 and 1Cor 5… and sure enough – the church is actually told to take action — long before the 2nd coming.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  52. Note the following comments from Mrs. White in this regard:

    “Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes. Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself. Were we to deal with these souls according to our imperfect judgment, it would perhaps extinguish their last hope. Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. Many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never enter there. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart. The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 71-72).

    Note that there is a very clear difference between judging open rebellion against the standards of the Church and judging motive or supposedly hidden sins… a very big difference…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  53. Ray’s comments here illustrate a good point regarding the list of reasons presented for opposition to the actions being suggested by this web site.

    1. Some people actually want to evangelize for evolutionism and so they oppose this web site. (Obviously Ray is not one of those).

    2. Some people personally prefer not to “believe in” evolutionism – but they have many other items on the liberal-agenda list and so they want a push for more “plurality” and less focus on our Fundamental Beliefs. This topic then appeals to a part of their agenda – and so while not actually believing in evolutionism themselves – they defend it as a valid form of Adventism (as if that made any sense at all).

    3. Ray points out the existence of a third form of opposition – which comes from those who strongly oppose evolution, agree with the Bible on creation – but for whatever reason they do not believe that the church discipline doctrine that we see in Matt 18 and 1Cor 5 should be considered valid — and opt instead of extending the Matt 13 teaching on the fact that the world has wicked people in it until the 2nd coming – means that the church should not engage in the Matt 18 and 1Cor 5 form of action.

    They also view the 28 FB as a “creed” the kind of which they suppose that the early Adventists of the 19th century (including Ellen White) would strongly oppose.

    My guess is that Ray’s oppositon to evolutionism would include removing teachers from paid positions that advocate evolutionism – but would not include removing them from the books of the Adventist Church.

    ===========================

    I have not been arguing that we should remove them from membership in the church so far. But in responding to Ray’s point – as I look at the texts involved – I am starting to wonder if maybe I should not be urging for disfellowship in the case of those who have indeed gone through the Matt 18 steps – being confronted by church leaders with the error of their position and who still choose to promote it.

    Still thinking about that one.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  54. Ray Dickinson states:

    Why do we need the authority of the church to define our beliefs, when we have Jesus’ authority?!

    In light of Ray’s understandable concern, all of us in the discussion of the needed amendment of FB6 can take courage at the extraordinarily significant preamble to our statement of Fundamental Beliefs voted in 1980. Its powerful language shows that our statements are not creedal, can be revised, and that the Bible is our only creed:

    “Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understaning of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God’s Holy Word.”

    In view of this valuable preamble, it is important to note that in 2004 the Holy Spirit led the General Conference Executive Committee to vote clearer language, than now exists in FB6, by which to express the church’s understanding of the teaching of the Bible on this key biblical truth. Placing this helpful, Bible-honoring language into FB6 at a General Conference session is actually encouraged by the preamble of the church’s statement of beliefs. Doing so would not only bring honor to God in the church’s witness to the world regarding origins, but would also enable church members, students, teachers, administrators in the church’s schools and church structure to understand more clearly, endorse and support the the Holy Spirit-guided position of the church on origins.

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  55. George,

    You have also asked several times for an explanation regarding why a six-day Creation is said to be so important to the gospel. You wonder why do we not simply emphasize that humanity is sinful and that Jesus’ death on the cross saves us. In other words, you seem to be asking what does a six-day Creation have to do with these central facts of the gospel?

    The following consideration is only one among several which have been of assistance to me in grasping why a six-day Creation is vitally important to the gospel. If the claim that life has been on earth for millions of years truly reflects earth history, then a six-day Creation cannot be a true earth history model, and the fossilerous geologic column indeed has taken millions of years to form. This would mean, of course, that human beings have allegedly made their appearance only recenlty in earth history. Above all, if the long age of life on earth model is true, this would show that life and death have been going on for millions of years before the existence of humans and before the first human sin. If this consequence is true, human sin in this case is no longer responsible for death either for humans or for the lower creatures. However, the Bible clearly teaches in Genesis 2-3; Romans 5 and 8 that by one man sin entered the world and death by sin. Even the lower creatures, that cannot sin, were subjected to corruption or to death not of their own will but by the Creator (Romans 8:20-23) because of the first human sin. Thus, accoridng to the Bible there should not be death in the animal kingdom or in the geologic column before the sin of Adam and Eve. But the geologic column, if interepreted by conventional geology, counters this biblical truth by having animals and even proto humans dying for millions of years before the first human sin.

    Now, if physical death exits before human sin, what effect does this have upon the gospel, i.e., upon the substitutionary atonement, upon the cross of Christ, upon the heart of the gosepl? Nigel Cameron pinpoints the effect which death before sin has upon the gospel. He states that were Adam from the beginning under the effects of the curse of physical death as implied in evolutionary theory and in theistic evolution, “this overthwors the sin-death causality, and in so doing pulls the rug from under the feet of the evangeilical understanding of the atonement” (Nigel Cameron, EVOLUTION AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE [Greenwood, South Dak: Attic Press, 1983], p. 60).

    Cameron is indicating that if true, long ages of life on earth before the sin of Adam and Eve show that death is not the wage of sin. However, that death is the wage of sin is the biblical foundation of the substitutionary atonemetn. This means that if the geologic column indeed shows that death is not the wage of sin, then the geologic column, interpreted conventionally, implies that the death of Christ is not the wage of sin and that, therefore, the blood of Christ no longer forgives sins. This means, George, that we have no gospel if death has been around for millions of years before human sin because there allegedly is no six-day Creation. How does a six-day Creation enter the picture with hope?

    The answer is that a six-day Creation places the first appearance of death after the first human sin, thus rendering the death of Christ indeed the wage of sin. This means that with a six-day Creation the blood of Christ does indeed still forgive our sins. This shows how that without a six-day Creaiton we have no gospel, but how that with a six-day Creation we the gospel. This helps me to see why a six-day Creaiton is so important to the gospel. I hope, George, that you find it useful as well.

    One additional point. The conclusion above also shows why a global Flood is so important in any acount of a recent six-day Creation model of earth history and how the Flood is important to the gospel. In ways that continue to be studied, many stata, not all, were deposited during the global Flood, thus accounting for the deposition of basic portions of the column during the Flood, and, thereby, making possible a recent, six-day Creation. In this fashion the Flood safeguards the gospel, because without the Flood, death would exist in the geologic column before the first human sin. But with a Flood the basic column with its death is formed after the first human sin, thereby preserving the essential sin-death causality, which, as notd above, is the basis of the biblical, evangelical understanding of a Calvary able to forgive sins.

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  56. We should hold this doctrine because this is what a straight reading of the Bible says about a literal creation week.It is very clear, from a straight reading of the text of the first two chapters of Genesis, that the author(s) of this account intended to describe real historical events that took place in a week of six literal days.Consider the following comments from James Barr, Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford:
    Consider that Prof. Barr did not believe in a literal creation week.But, he did believe that the writer(s) of Genesis believed in a literal creation week.So, it is not us “historical” Adventists who are trying to alter the obvious intent and meaning of the biblical authors.We believe that their understanding was correct.Those who think that they didn’t understand what they were talking about are the ones who wish to take the Church away from a truly biblical basis of belief.Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com  

    Dr Pitman

    I appreciate that you hold strongly to a straight reading of scripture. It is easy to claim that you are consistent in your straight reading of scripture but a little more difficult to deliver. According to your premise I presume then that you as an MD will frequently diagnose devil possession as described in Mark 9:14 and Luke 9:37. Here the signs of spirit possession are very clear as is the appropriate treatment. If you hold to this treatment as described by Jesus then I think your argument is at least consistent though I think you a fool. If you do, as I suspect, use anticonvulsants to treat what the Bible describes as spirit possession then you yourself are performing something other than a straight reading of scripture. Furthermore you are using a naturalistic interpretation and explanation in your medical practice. Something that you condemn in those that would read Genesis and see it as an inspired document meant to teach us something about the creator but not meant to be a exhaustive in describing mechanism.

    I do not know anything about you expect as much as I can glean from your public writings. I am afraid they strike me as altogether more negative and destructive than I would expect of someone claiming to have accepted the Grace of God and following the admonition of Jesus in Matthew 13:24.

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  57. @pauluc:

    Dr Pitman
    It is easy to claim that you are consistent in your straight reading of scripture but a little more difficult to deliver. According to your premise I presume then that you as an MD will frequently diagnose devil possession as described in Mark 9:14 and Luke 9:37. Here the signs of spirit possession are very clear as is the appropriate treatment. If you hold to this treatment as described by Jesus then I think your argument is at least consistent though I think you a fool. If you do, as I suspect, use anticonvulsants to treat what the Bible describes as spirit possession then you yourself are performing something other than a straight reading of scripture.

    Again I have to say it is refreshing the way the “all for evolutionism” group is willing to come up front and say that they really don’t know what the Bible teaches – and then show us how being in that position is so necessary to accepting evolutionism as the right answer for the doctrine on origins.

    (Of course they do believe the wild myth that “birds come from reptiles” so not sure how much of that should have been a surprise above).

    but here are a few hints for the Bible students.

    1. Scripture indicates that some cases are physical sickness and others were demon possession. There is no detail in scripture to give you “signs” for which is which – as if people have some kind of neon sign above their head when it is sickness vs demon possession. But the Pauluc comments above appear to be “unninformed” on that point.

    2. It is instructive that the “take the Bible as it reads” is considered to be “foolish” by a certain group of “all-for-evolutionism” evangelists.

    This is helpful for the general reader as well – because it tells them just how far this “don’t believe what you find in the Bible” argument goes. And the fact that it does NOT stop with the first two chapters of Genesis! No nor even the first 7 chapters of Genesis!

    3. In the 3SG91 statement – we are told that theistic evolutionism is “infidelity in disguise” because it is preached by those who pretend to believe – or as Pauluc stated it “read Genesis and see it as an inspired document meant to teach us something about the creator but not meant to be a exhaustive in describing mechanism” – where “not meant to be a exhaustive in describing mechanism” is meant as a euphamism for “not meant to be trusted as a reliable record of past events”.

    Again – these statements by the all-for-evolutionism group are very instructive for the unbiased objective reader that wants to know just how far down that evolution-rabbithole goes.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  58. @BobRyan:

    Whoosh! There it goes. Completely missed that point. Perhaps I should try to spell it out a bit more simply.

    1] When we in 2010 see exactly the same events as described in Mark/Luke almost every fundamentalist/literalist would take the child to seek medical attention and expect a naturalistic explanation and diagnosis and a treatment based on current evidence based medical practice.

    2] This knowledge base was not available at the time of Jesus. There was no other explanation for any remarkable healing other than the actions of God.

    3] You may be able to tell what is spirit possession and what is illness but I do not believe I could and am not aware of any scriptural passage that gives that information. Please could you tell me.

    4] I cannot see any different between the event now and at the time of Jesus except in the interpretation. The unexplained at the time of Christ was considered of the Devil or the spirit realm. Now we would seek in the first instance a naturalistic interpretation and treatment.

    5] If you insist on interpreting physical illness such as epilepsy as the work of the Devil and treat by pray and fasting I would indeed consider you foolish and indeed so might the law of the land in filing criminal negligence charges against you.

    6] Whether we care to admit it or not we live in a world where most everything in our lives is based on naturalistic mechanisms yet we pretend we live in a world that is altogether what it was 4000 years ago. We pretend we have nothing to learn and nothing to unlearn.

    7] I should not have to spell out the implication for a reading of Genesis 1 and 2.

    It is remarkable that you should know without question that I am from the “all for evolutionism group” whatever that may mean.

    Some of us are acutely aware of our ignorance of what the bible is really saying and of science and the immensity of existing scientific knowledge and do not have the luxury of an intrinsic knowledge of every answer. We simply cling to what we do know, the saving Grace of God and the love, acceptance and fellowship of a community of saints who long for the coming Kingdom and practice kingdom principles daily. Unfortunately I do not see the call from this site for a purging of the Church as consistent with the teachings of Jesus or the apostles.

    Do you take Acts 5 or Matt 13:24-27 literally? Cannot the Church now like the early Church accept variance of opinion on major issues? Do you have the hubris to suggest you are the harvesters at the end of time and have the role of rooting out the “weeds”?

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  59. What we are doing here in the last days is diminishing the power of God through modern science. And this so called Theistic evolution is the ultimate put down of God, it’s saying we worship a very weak God, one who took millions of years of mistakes to Create man in His own image. One whose idea of “it was good” was a cave man grunting around a fire while gnawing on the thighbone of some creature that he had killed with a rock. Evolution I can understand, Creationism I believe, but Theistic evolution is just plain blasphemy. It’s an insult to God and Jesus. It’s saying that man essentially created himself with a weak gods help.

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  60. “It is remarkable that you should know without question that I am from the ‘all for evolutionism group’ whatever that may mean.”

    Pauluc, this is an exceedingly frequent ploy, especially Bob, to discredit others whose views differ. I’m a young-earth creationist myself, but I have been continually told otherwise. Actually, Bob would be loathe to admit it, but he himself is a Seventh-day Darwinist. See my posts at FORMER LSU PRESIDENT DENOUNCES…

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  61. It seems that the further we get away from the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible the closer we get to accepting man made theories as truth. [edit]

    If our church truly believes in “Sola Scriptura” then the teacher who is the “rotten apple in the barrel” needs to be given a janitorial job in place of continuing to “spoil the barrel”. If it does not accept the Bible only, then I for one shall renounce my association with the Seventh-Day Adventist church and refuse to hand out church literature or promote the Seventh-Day Adventist church as God’s remnant church in the future. [edit]

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  62. I am still amazed that the good people of Educate TRuth seems to ignore the truth. What? Are you folks so blinded that you can’t see through Goldstiens’s tricky? Coming out of the Catholic Chuch myslef this is tradtional”Bait and Switch.” Wake up people. Wake up! Wake Up.
    Have any of you ever heard of the Dialectic thinking?
    Now i know you guys are not going to print this comment either, but who ever is redaing it is now responsilbe and will have to ansewr to Almighty God. I pray you all get serious about the church of God and call a spade a spade. You see it is because of lpeopel like you all who are afrid to take a decisiev stand for truth, for God and would rather parley with the enemy. My God where are the real man of God? No wonder the Lortd Himself says he will soon take the reighns of this church back into His own hands. Those to whom He entrusted the guidianship of the church have betrayed their trust. So the word is that He would soon come and remove our CANDLESTICK OUT OF ITS PLACE. WE ARE LOST- AND IT APPERS THAT Truth Educate is not willing nor wanting to lay the plum line down. May God have mercy on your souls.

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  63. Don, You’re correct in saying we should not “promote” our SDA Church if it does not support the Bible. This type of apostasy is not happening everywhere, but out here in California, it is rampant!

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  64. @pauluc:

    Some of us are acutely aware of our ignorance of what the bible is really saying and of science and the immensity of existing scientific knowledge

    …Cannot the Church now like the early Church accept variance of opinion on major issues? Do you have the hubris to suggest you are the harvesters at the end of time and have the role of rooting out the “weeds”?

    First of all – cudos to those who are arguing for the inclusion of the evolutionist doctrine on origins out of a self-proclaimed position of ignorance about what the Bible says.

    At least we can all see that same problem with their argument.

    There is a “happy fiction” that to reprove error is to be “divisive” or “less than loving”.

    Christ firmly reproved error in Matt 23.

    Paul firmly reproved error in 1Cor 5

    And though Geraty imagines that neither Genesis 1-2:3 nor the Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 – are written well enough to support God’s summary of Genesis 1 ( given in Ex 20:8-11 stating that the creation of all life on earth takes place in 6 literal days), and though he apparently promoted that fiction while at LSU, the burden of proof rests with those who argue against the straightforward exegetically sound rendering of the text – as apparently Geraty would perfer to do.

    As for remaining neutral on this point –

    “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” {3T 280.3}

    “I have been shown that the most signal victories and the most fearful defeats have been on the turn of minutes. God requires promptness of action. Delays, doubtings, hesitation, and indecision frequently give the enemy every advantage. My brother, you need to reform. The timing of things may tell much in favor of truth. Victories are frequently lost through delays. There will be crises in this cause. Prompt and decisive action at the right time will gain glorious triumphs, while delay and neglect will result in great failures and positive dishonor to God. Rapid movements at the critical moment often disarm the enemy, and he is disappointed and vanquished, for he had expected time to lay plans and work by artifice.”
    {3T 497.4}

    Shake off your spiritual lethargy. Work with all your might to save your own souls and the souls of others. It is no time now to cry, “Peace and safety.” It is not silver-tongued orators that are needed to give this message. The truth in all its pointed severity must be spoken. Men of action are needed –men who will labor with earnest, ceaseless energy for the purifying of the church and the warning of the world. {5T 187.3}

    Many of us are inclined to stick with the teaching of Paul in Titus 1 and 1Cor 5 on this point of correcting error that arises within the church.

    Christ was pretty direct on that point in Matt 23 – and I think the other quotes given above indicate a “direct approach”.

    BTW – Question on Doctrines pg 44 and 45 has an interesting perspective on this idea as well. Might want to read it when you get a minute.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  65. @BobRyan:

    OK you would like a direct approach. First some chastisement and then some comment that I unfortunately have not much hope you will read or comprehend despite your protestations that you are interested in educating truth.

    1] You show a gross inability to parse the meaning of a simple comment on a blog so I am not surprised you are unable to provide any sound and convincing exegesis of scripture. A failure to understand the nature of inspiration of either the bible or inspired writers such as EG White is really the basis for the lack of any comprehension of a non-literalist understanding of scripture.

    2] If you had parsed my comment properly you would recognise that I was not suggesting I was totally ignorant of the content of scripture nor of the writings of Ellen White but I am aware that there is much much more to scripture than is ascertained by your hokey and beloved plain reading. This is an inspired document that I believe was written by men as they were moved by the very spirit of God. It is the message of God written by human hands. It was written in a time and place with a primary audience and to gloss over this is to fail to even attempt to understand the plain meaning let alone the nuances of what is there.

    3] Lets get down to specifics. I believe that you and Darwin would totally agree on a number of critical points. At least Major Pitman would appear to do so in that he suggests that evolution is a process that is continuing to occur and a mechanism that he sees as the the explanation for the diversity of species that exist in the post-deluge world today.

    This question of the origins and source of the vast diversity seen in the worlds extant creatures was precisely the point that Wallace and Darwin sought to answer in the early 19th century. To understand Darwin you must have context and a minimal grasp of history. After Carl Linnaeus began a systematic classification of species in the 18 century there was a rapid expansion of the number of recognized species. Much of this was achieved through travel and exploration and it is not surprising that both Wallace in his travels to Borneo and Darwin with his voyage on the Beagle to the Gallapagos were in the first instance primarily concerned with documenting diversity and collecting specimens.

    In doing so one could not help but ask the question where did this diversity come from? By the time of Darwin and Wallaces description of natural selection, the idea of fixity of species and the possiblity of all the existing species on the earth having been housed for 6 months on an ark as rendered in detail by Kircher was in serious doubt. Not surprisingly some mechanism of continuous creation was proposed by Aggaziz at that time. The alternative however was that there was some natural mechanism for the creation of new species from pre-existing species.

    Why a natural mechanism? I might ask you and Pitman the same question. Which do you prefer? God is continually miraculously creating new species for the last 4000 years to occupy all the ecological niches on the earth since all of the lifeform on the earth were taken on an ark and would likely be insufficient to account for the present species? Or there has been diversity of lifeforms albeit within strict boundaries or kinds over that period of time from a limited number of ancestors.

    Why if you choose the second option do you then criticize Darwin and Wallace and the majority of life scientists since then for taking that same option?

    The second point that should be stressed that influences this decision is the argument from the rest of science including physics and astronomy. The nature of the heavenly bodies had been described by natural law and understandable predictable forces from Newton onwards. If miracles were no longer needed to describe the nature of mechanics and astronomy why should not the natural living world be subject to the same laws?

    Just as you would for the sake of parsimony accept a natural cause for the diversity of life after the Ark, there is no need to invoke miracles when you can explain the world in terms of natural processes. This is the magasteria of science the explanation of the physical world by natural process. As a Christian I would readily claim that there are limits to this endeavour but it is foolish to pretend it has no explanatory role. I refer back to my earlier comments on epilepsy natural explanation and the spirit world.

    Up to this point from what I can glean from Major Pitmans publications he believes that micro-evolutionary processed have been responsible for much of the diversity we see in the world today. I can only assume you agree with him. If so you and Darwin would then totally agree on both mechanism and process for his primary observations and explanations.

    I freely admit that where you would disagree is on the limits of that process. You would arbitarily and without any compelling evidence suggest that there is some magical limit to the ability of natural mechanisms to make changes in life forms. Darwin saw no reason for any limits on this process and suggested that the same process that gave rise to the myriad extant species could in fact be the same process that lead to diversification of all living species from some distant common ancestors.

    The ark and deluge account however does have some problems without significant miraculous interventions. These include 1] the nature of genetic bottlenecks and the minimal population required to avoid extinction which is significantly more than 2 or seven. 2] The issue of biogeogrphic diversity and dispersion.

    I personally think that a literalist must invoke a 3rd universal post-flood creation to be compatible with the geology and distribution of life we see now. I am surprised that this is not recorded in the bible. Perhaps taking a plain reading we are not to assume this third creation but that does create problems as we would then have no alternative to the slippery slope of 4000 years of hyper-evolution.

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  66. @pauluc:

    Lets get down to specifics. I believe that you and Darwin would totally agree on a number of critical points. At least Major Pitman would appear to do so in that he suggests that evolution is a process that is continuing to occur and a mechanism that he sees as the the explanation for the diversity of species that exist in the post-deluge world today.

    I do not believe that Darwinian-style evolution is responsible for the phenotypic variation that has taken place since the Noachian flood. Rather, I believe that such rapid variation was made possible because of pre-loaded or pre-existing information within the gene pools of living things. Mendalian variation is a well-known example of the potential of pre-loaded information to produce very rapid phenotypic variation.

    I freely admit that where you would disagree is on the limits of that process. You would arbitarily and without any compelling evidence suggest that there is some magical limit to the ability of natural mechanisms to make changes in life forms. Darwin saw no reason for any limits on this process and suggested that the same process that gave rise to the myriad extant species could in fact be the same process that lead to diversification of all living species from some distant common ancestors.

    Darwin saw no reason for any limits to RM/NS because Darwin didn’t have the information we have today. There are very clear limits to evolutionary progress based on RM/NS. If you think otherwise, please show me an example of evolution in action producing any qualitatively novel system of function which requires at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acids at minimum to work (single or multi-protein system). As far as I’ve been able to tell, there are no such examples. Why not?

    The answer is because of an exponential decline in the ratio of potentially beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences in sequence space with each step up the ladder of functional complexity. As this ratio declines exponentially, the average time necessary for RMs to find the next beneficial sequence via a random search of sequence space increases exponentially as well…

    This is the basic problem for the evolutionary mechanism of RM/NS in a nutshell. It just doesn’t work beyond very low levels of functional complexity even given trillions upon trillions of years of time.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  67. @BobRyan: OK you would like a direct approach. First some chastisement and then some comment that I unfortunately have not much hope you will read or comprehend… (obligatory rant deleted)

    Skipping forward to some point where Pauluc might have content in his post…

    Pauluc said … You show a gross inability to parse the meaning of a simple …

    Nope – not there yet. Surely there is some point at which Pauluc makes a point in that post… fastforwarding… please wait.

    If you had parsed my comment properly you would recognise that I was not suggesting I was totally ignorant of the content of scripture

    I will admit thatin your prior claim to be ignorant of scripture – you had a bit more credibility as demonstrated in your post. I was inclined to believe you having demonstrated the point beyond reasonable doubt.

    After all – you said…

    Pauluc said:
    Cannot the Church now like the early Church accept variance of opinion on major issues? Do you have the hubris to suggest you are the harvesters at the end of time and have the role of rooting out the “weeds”?

    And as of this point in your post – you have given no reason at all for us to doubt your word regarding what you apparently claim not to know about the Bible or inspiration.

    Pauluc said:
    Lets get down to specifics. I believe that you and Darwin would totally agree on a number of critical points.

    No question about that. Darwin admitted that there is no way to marry the Bible to Darwinism.

    Darwin said:
    I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation…. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans… which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct.

    . Why a natural mechanism? I might ask you and Pitman the same question. Which do you prefer? God is continually miraculously creating new species for the last 4000 years

    1. Irish Wolf Hound -> Chihuahua … variation within a static genome (static in terms of coding genes present – not coding genes activated) — over a very short period of time.

    2. hint: Not the act of God in making the variations.

    3. This does nothing for your opening “I said I was ignorant” of the Bible but then hopefully “not really”?? –

    Pauluc
    Why if you choose the second option do you then criticize Darwin and Wallace and the majority of life scientists since then for taking that same option?

    You miss two key points.

    1. Darwin postulated long ages of time between the origin of the first cell to the origin of man – ages the he had no way to mashup into scripture.

    2. Darwin’s natural selection proposed a method entirely foreign to “God spoke” and “evening and morning where the 5th day”.

    Thus just stating the obvious at this point.

    Pauluc
    The second point that should be stressed that influences this decision is the argument from the rest of science including physics and astronomy. The nature of the heavenly bodies had been described by natural law and understandable predictable forces from Newton onwards. If miracles were no longer needed to describe the nature of mechanics and astronomy why should not the natural living world be subject to the same laws?

    A nice fiction. At no point did newtonian physics of Darwin’s day predict how the universe formed or how the solar system came into being. The fiction that knowing the inverse square law for energy somehow “negated the Bible” on God forming the sun on day 4 – is a persuit of a rabbit trail that can hardly be taken seriously.

    This is the magasteria of science the explanation of the physical world by natural process. As a Christian I would readily claim that there are limits to this endeavour but it is foolish to pretend it has no explanatory role.

    Obviously the acceptance of the Bible has never required that we ignore the fact that “weeds grow in the yard” nor did it stop Christian scientist from inventing the radio, flight, calculus … though some evolutionist like to imagine an “either-or-fallacy” that would do just that.

    Pauluc
    I freely admit that where you would disagree is on the limits of that process. You would arbitarily and without any compelling evidence suggest that there is some magical limit to the ability of natural mechanisms to make changes in life forms.

    Ok so the obvious point is reached.

    But the alchemists “birds come from reptiles no matter what the Bible says to the contrary” is the point you are still dancing around… and it is THE point of the LSU doctrine on origins.

    The ark and deluge account however does have some problems without significant miraculous interventions.

    At what point does the text of Genesis say “and so a world wide flood just so-happened. It was not a direct act of God – rather it is something that just occurs on its own from time to time”.

    What did I miss??

    The “proof by puzzle” argument against the Bible that is of the form “yes – but how did God do…” is a pointless exercise if the conclusion is “I refuse to Believe the Word of God on subject-A until I know what God knows about this topic”.

    Everyone sees it.

    Why is this point so difficult for our evolutionist friends and those that suppose that evolutionism is just a great “big tent idea”??

    At this point 3SG 90-91 is “instructive” to the unbiased objective reader that also accepts the Ex 20:8-11 tieback to Genesis 1:2-2:3.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  68. @Sean Pitman:

    “I believe that such rapid variation was made possible because of pre-loaded or pre-existing information within the gene pools of living things”.

    1] I think you better explain the science behind that statement to me as I am just a simple scientist with a PhD in immunogenetics and I have never read anything about this in the scientific literature.

    What is the precise mechanism for this? By way of background I presume in your 10 years of intense study on this topic you have become aware of some of the issues in population genetics and the critical effect of population size on survival?

    Lets imagine we have 2 animals on the Ark.
    Lets just pretend that they have the extremely unlikely fortune or design to be heterozygous at every loci.
    That make 4 possible alternatives in the population for a gene.
    Lets pretend that the mRNA and ncRNA world of regulation and SNP do not exist to make it simple.
    Lets also pretend that crossover events are much much more frequent than currently observed.
    Lets just image for one moment that the immune response genes with 4 alleles in the total population can effectively respond to the myriad of insults they are likely to encounter in a new expanding biosphere.
    Do you seriously expect us to believe that these 4 alleles allow enough variation to respond to the other similarly highly variable organisms that fulfil this same criteria of huge genetic potential?

    2] Perhaps you are thinking that there is gene duplication and expansion of the repertoire through multiple different copies of each of homologous genes and there has been loss of much of these since the flood? Is that the scenario you are proposing?

    3] Indeed gene families as you will know are important components of the genome but you are running a risk here as I am usually told by experts such as yourself that random mutation is the only basis for evolution and this mechanism of genetic evolution through gene duplication and independent selection cannot occur or account for any variation or new genetic information. You of course would have to make an exception and suggest that it cannot occur except when it does by God’s hand.

    4] Perhaps if you really were a scientist you could test this hypothesis. How would you do it. Perhaps you could take a bristle cone pine that was alive at the time of the flood and take some DNA and test its genome directly? You can get a total genomic sequence for about $4000 so I sure the readers on this site would contribute a few dollars to perform this critical test.

    6] Maybe that wouldnt work for any of a number of reasons but perhaps you could compare pollen from the Greenland ice cores? According to your model the pollen in the deep cores would be older and those more than 4000 years old [wherever you might decide that is since you probably do not accept any of the ice core data] would have great genetic variations. Indeed according to your model they would have maybe 20x the genetic variation to compensate for the small population size. This is assuming that the minimal viable population size is around 30-35 as it is at present.

    7] Maybe you dont think plants would be worth looking at since you may think that they would have survived by some mechanism outside the ark. I have heard you on 3ABN indicating that there was terrible destruction and the foundations of the deep were broken up and that the Devil feared for his very life so perhaps it was no simple flooding of a delta so I am inclined to the view that plants perhaps only survived in the ark.

    5] Alternatively if you think this is not a good experiment you could take some DNA from an animal that died at the time of the flood. T Rex is obviously a candidate as you are again on video as saying that Mary Schweitzers data really does suggest that they were very recently present on the earth I can only presume less that 6000 years ago. That should give good DNA samples but I do note that there has been no sequencable DNA and Schweitzer et al are arguing against the odds for collagen sequence. So failing that the Mastadon that was also used as the comparator in her 2009 paper did at least fulfill the criteria set by others that were very critical of her work and suggested that the protein sequence data is bogus. That does seem to have some DNA.

    6] In passing I am not sure if you actually believe in an ice age or when it might have occurred within your 6000 year history but there are DNA samples have been obtained from other specimens preserved in ice. Even Tyrol man may be a candidate.
    According to your model you predict that there will be great genetic variation in the pre flood animals probably as a result of genetic engineering by the great antedeluvian minds. Do you think that the genetic engineering may have left some fingerprints in the sequence? Since your site is really dedicated to that task how do you propose that this design will be detected and what experiments are you planning to do in order to test it?

    This is great fun! Complete stream of consciousness I can see why you like your role as crusader against infidels. We can say whatever comes into our minds and those that know no better will give us accolades for holding firm against modernity. A real scientist however proposes an explanation and a model that is testable and is honest enough to actually test it.

    What you have proposed is testable. Do you have the integrity to actually test it? If you do not feel strongly about this particular model then perhaps you can propose a bit more explicit one that is testable. Until you do this it is just so much “lets pretend” and not at all science however you may dress it up.

    You can have any religious conviction you want but as soon as you propose some biological mechanism you are fair game for scientific enquiry and experimental invalidation.

    I would predict that your model is incorrect and that no matter where you look in the ice cores or in ancient animal remains as far back as you look and have extractable DNA you will get sequence that fits a phylogenetic analysis that is consistent with extant material. In contrast your prediction, unless you are so weazly as to resile from your stated position is that somewhere in the genomic history of life there is a point where there is great genetic potential. Do you really believe this and are you prepared to do an experiment.

    Pre-emptively, since I expect you to say I should the one to take on the experimental proof, I would state that I do not have the time or resources to do such an experiment and do not consider that it is any more likely that you are correct in this than that the myriad fringe medical cures I hear of every day are likely to withstand scrutiny.

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  69. @BobRyan:

    Thank you

    I think this has been a illuminating experience for me even if I have achieved nothing. It is so alien to both the academic environment I live in and my church fellowship. In one I have rigour of thought and a willingness to learn and in the other I experience people who accept the Grace of God and are interesting in knowing what the scripture mean in a post modern world and what the fellowship of the body of Christ means in practice. There is no greater that for Christians than understanding the meaning of pre-emptive grace and its consequent ethic.

    I am accomplishing nothing here and find neither of these characteristics. I apologize if I have offended in my responses and in trying to maintain some integrity in the dialogue.

    Now you can tear me to shreds as you are doing to those in the Church educational institutes that you cannot fathom. I remember with great sorrow the 1980’s and the loss of so many Godly people from the SDA community and am braced again for the same outcome.

    Christian regards

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  70. Pingback: Adventist Fundamental Belief on Creation – Update « Adventist Voice

  71. One thing that comes out in the slides within the opening article is that a large segment of religion departments on the west coast were spearheading the effort to reject the Bible account on creation.

    Biology departments at places like LSU could never have pulled that off by themselves. They needed cooperation from their respective university religion departments.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  72. BobRyan: One thing that comes out in the slides within the opening article is that a large segment of religion departments on the west coast were spearheading the effort to reject the Bible account on creation.

    Maybe they’ve been infiltrated by Jesuits.

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  73. Maybe the GC and Union Admin would have done well to watch their own religion departments for signs of “the worst form of infidelity” and then they would never have had any problems at all with the Biology departments.

    Maybe the Biology departments are now left “holding the bag” when in fact they only went down that road publically because they thought they had the support of the religion dept.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  74. BobRyan: Maybe the Biology departments are now left “holding the bag” when in fact they only went down that road publically because they thought they had the support of the religion dept.

    I know of only one biology department in which certain (not all) professors refused to present the SDA position, and I seriously doubt there was any collusion with their religion profs.

    The philosophy among certain LSU biology profs was to present only “science” and not to discuss anything about religion or philosophy, and it was often enforced by an individual who is now retired. The recent meeting with biology profs from other SDA campuses was meant in part to discuss how SDA beliefs should be presented in the biology classes at LSU.

    I suspect positive changes in the classroom will be made in the coming year. In the meanwhile, LSU’s administration as well as its biology department deserve at least a little bit of credit for working on resolving the problem. Accusing them of doing nothing is simply inaccurate.

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  75. Eddie, I’m getting very similar facts from my end of things. I don’t know why it actually angers readers that something is being done and change is happening.

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  76. BobRyan: Maybe the Biology departments are now left “holding the bag” when in fact they only went down that road publically because they thought they had the support of the religion dept.

    Eddie:

    I know of only one biology department in which certain (not all) professors refused to present the SDA position, and I seriously doubt there was any collusion with their religion profs.

    I know of three that have been in trouble in that area – two of them (one of which includes LSU) to the point of the Union having to step in and take action.

    In all cases — the biology department was not acting alone. They had the support of the religion department.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  77. Eddie: I suspect positive changes in the classroom will be made in the coming year. In the meanwhile, LSU’s administration as well as its biology department deserve at least a little bit of credit for working on resolving the problem. Accusing them of doing nothing is simply inaccurate

    I don’t recall a “they have done nothing” statement from me – if you have one, let me know.

    My point is that the LSU biology department is still in the tank for evolutionism idealogically, and as you can see in their actions as compared to the physics and chem departments – are still dragging their feet when they think they can get by with it.

    There has been no evidence at all that the biology profs so bought into evolutionism as being the right doctrine on origins – have changed their thinking one iota on that point.

    But we have plenty of evidence that they are looking for new improved ways to disguise that POV so as not to offend or draw undue attention to the fact.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  78. Professor Kent: Eddie, I’m getting very similar facts from my end of things. I don’t know why it actually angers readers that something is being done and change is happening.

    So, Prof, Please show us the “changes” other than your secret sources telling us “all is well at LSU.”

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  79. BobRyan: I don’t recall a “they have done nothing” statement from me – if you have one, let me know.

    Apologies if I falsely implicated you. I occasionally read such complaints here at Educate Truth.

    BobRyan: There has been no evidence at all that the biology profs so bought into evolutionism as being the right doctrine on origins – have changed their thinking one iota on that point.

    You’re probably right but secondhand sources indicate they’ve at least been more fair and respectful in the classroom this past school year.

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  80. BobRyan: There has been no evidence at all that the biology profs so bought into evolutionism as being the right doctrine on origins – have changed their thinking one iota on that point.

    Eddie:

    You’re probably right but secondhand sources indicate they’ve at least been more fair and respectful in the classroom this past school year

    I am inclined to believe that is true.

    However when an SDA parent decides to send their student to one of our universities – are they just look for SDA professors who will not overtly trash SDA doctrine from the white board? Is that the extent of our expectation these days?

    Is the “value added” goal for SDA education of the form “we will try not to insult or directly attack your SDA beliefs while you attend our classes even though we think SDA doctrines are wrong?”.

    In the case of Math and one or two other disciplines that may be something you can get by with – but in religion and biology you as an SDA parent may have had a slightly higher “expectation”.

    Or am I missing something?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  81. Bob, I agree with you. Evolution is only cursorily mentioned if at all in most biology courses (e.g., anatomy, physiology, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, etc.). The important thing is to make sure the courses in which it is covered more extensively are taught by professors who fairly present both views–and not by the professors who refuse to present the SDA view. I think that is what is being worked out.

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  82. Eddie: The important thing is to make sure the courses in which it is covered more extensively are taught by professors who fairly present both views–and not by the professors who refuse to present the SDA view. I think that is what is being worked out.

    Totally agreed. As Eddie remarked, well-placed secondary sources (which may differ from his) confirm this has been work in progress at LSU. The department faculty, the university administration, and the Church administrators are all engaged.

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  83. Professor Kent: Totally agreed. As Eddie remarked, well-placed secondary sources (which may differ from his) confirm this has been work in progress at LSU. The department faculty, the university administration, and the Church administrators are all engaged.

    Are these the “adjustments” Graham praised last year? If so, what ARE they?

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  84. Professor Kent: Totally agreed. As Eddie remarked, well-placed secondary sources (which may differ from his) confirm this has been work in progress at LSU. The department faculty, the university administration, and the Church administrators are all engaged.

    Other than being “engaged” in smokescreening the issue and trying to boondoggle the whole process, what actually are these groups doing?!

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  85. Ron Stone M.D.: Other than being “engaged” in smokescreening the issue and trying to boondoggle the whole process, what actually are these groups doing?!

    Here are the facts, most all of which have been presented here:

    * One professor was asked to retire.

    * The other professors got pressure to cool it.

    * The department created a new freshman course that didn’t go so well the first time, but went better the next time around.

    * The administration, the board, the SDA accreditating agency all told the department to address and continue addressing the issue.

    * A survey was undertaken to better understand the situation. The results were announced (and promptly criticized by all sides, of course).

    * An apology from LSU was issued.

    * A group of biologists from various SDA universities recently met with the LSU biologists to discuss how to better address the issues. I’m told the meeting went very well.

    * Any disrespectful teaching stopped nearly two years ago when the issue became big news, hit the local papers, went ballistic on the internet, and got you calling everyone working to address the issue “spineless.”

    * I have made a few friends who have intimate inside knowledge they have shared. I was upset with the situation myself, but have been pleased to learn of the improvement. I have grown closer to God and my Church in this process (in spite of the way folks are treated here).

    The faculty themselves, the university administrators, the board members, the local conference administrators, the union administrators, the NAD education department, the general conference leadership–all of these entities have addressed the issue. There’s a reason you are not reading headlines in USA TODAY at this point about the glaring defiance of LSU: because the issue has been addressed.

    You label everything as smokescreening. Bob Ryan labels everything as spin. None of us has been privy to the inner workings of these various groups, and all of them have been wise enough to stay away from this website, where anyone is subject to being labelled a “liar.” As much as you might like it to be, this website is not the official Church organization by which all personnel hiring and firing and discipline issues are cleared.

    This issue of teaching theistic evolution has been pounded into the earth and beat to death. Why aren’t you happy? You got the outcome you wanted! You should be celebrating! You give the impression that you really don’t want change to happen at all, perhaps because you enjoy so much declaring leaders to be “spineless.”

    Some people move on. Will you? Will Bob Ryan? Will David Read? Will Educate Truth? Will Sean Pitman? Will Shane Hilde? I think the answer is obvious.

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  86. Professor Kent: The faculty themselves, the university administrators, the board members, the local conference administrators, the union administrators, the NAD education department, the general conference leadership–all of these entities have addressed the issue

    My initial inquiry remains to be addressed. Is there any plan to have someone other than evolutionists teaching biology at LSU?

    I am ok with the same profs teaching – if they have indeed been enlightened to the point of seeing the problem with the TE position. But if their response to Veith is any indication as compared to the Chem and Physics dept’s – then the fundamental problem remains – (though made more bearable by asking that everyone be civil and respect the religion of the students no matter how the faculty differ with it).

    in Christ,

    Bob

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  87. Pingback: Reformulate Fundamental Belief on Creation? Yes! | Educate Truth

  88. My how time reveals truth and discards smoke and mirrors.

    Eddie said in 2010

    Eddie: I can’t help but wonder if some of you would exclude Geanna and Bravus from worshipping with you.

    And now in 2011 – Bravus declares himself to be “former SDA” because it is so obvious that belief in evolutionism is not consistent with being SDA.

    http://www.clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/491719/Re_Why_I_am_a_former_SDA.html#Post491719

    And it was not long before the big-tenting specs began to weigh in as Bravus noted about AToday… so I reasponded.

    [quote=BobRyan][quote=Bravus]Discussion of this post at Adventist Today: http://www.atoday.org/article.php?id=921 [/quote]

    In that post Taylor says

    [quote]
    believing is not the most important element in an identification with a particular faith
    tradition, including the Adventist version
    [/quote]

    “Big Tent-ism” is more concerned with plurality than with the actual beliefs of any given group. Its goal is “the bigger party” not “the Truth” as it is in Jesus who IS “the Way the Truth and the Life”.

    If Adventism were willing to sell its soul for popular votes – “big-tentism” would be the classic solution and “the only Faith” of the group would be “anything goes – because you’re ok I’m ok”. It is a view that states in effect “Nothing much is said in the Bible more important than everyone having fun together in the biggest party possible”.

    Matt 7 does not allow for that when speaking of “the MANY”.

    [/quote]

    Well at least the big-tent agenda is out in the open.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  89. Bob, your gloating about Bravus is thoroughly disgusting. You seem so delighted that you have helped push him away from the church. How many posts now does this make? Eight?

    Why is it only those who oppose Educate Truth express warmth, love and compassion toward others?

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  90. BobRyan: My how time reveals truth and discards smoke and mirrors.Eddie said in 2010And now in 2011 – Bravus declares himself to be “former SDA” because it is so obvious that belief in evolutionism is not consistent with being SDA.http://www.clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/491719/Re_Why_I_am_a_former_SDA.html#Post491719And it was not long before the big-tenting specs began to weigh in as Bravus noted about AToday… so I reasponded.[quote=BobRyan][quote=Bravus]Discussion of this post at Adventist Today: http://www.atoday.org/article.php?id=921 [/quote]In that post Taylor says [quote]believing is not the most important element in an identification with a particular faith tradition, including the Adventist version[/quote]“Big Tent-ism” is more concerned with plurality than with the actual beliefs of any given group. Its goal is “the bigger party” not “the Truth” as it is in Jesus who IS “the Way the Truth and the Life”.If Adventism were willing to sell its soul for popular votes – “big-tentism” would be the classic solution and “the only Faith” of the group would be “anything goes – because you’re ok I’m ok”. It is a view that states in effect “Nothing much is said in the Bible more important than everyone having fun together in the biggest party possible”.Matt 7 does not allow for that when speaking of “the MANY”.[/quote]Well at least the big-tent agenda is out in the open.in Christ,Bob

    Richard Rice, mentioned in the article, is one of left-wing theologians down in SoCal. He also denies that God is omniscient, among other things.

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