Ricardo Graham clarifies LSU Board releases

1296683645_ec8cdb882bMany of you had questions in regard to the release documents from LSU Board. We contacted Ricardo Graham and asked him to clarify the intent of the documents.

The Board passed two resolutions. The first one was a “Statement of Support for the Adventist View of Creation” specifically fundamental belief # 6. This is the resolution that is intended to speak to the context and commitment to teaching of the Adventist belief in creation on campus. This resolution is being implemented.

The second resolution speaks to the Church’s expectation that “students receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation” as set out in the General Conference’s response to the “Affirmation of Creation” that was issued after the 2004 “Faith and Science” Conference. This resolution calls for an effort by the Adventist Church, its colleges and universities and the Geo-Science Research Institute to develop curriculum in the earth and life sciences that will meet the stated expectation of the General Conference on every campus. This resolution calls for curriculum development. It does not call for a new study of the fundamental belief #6.

The implementation of the first resolution does not depend on the fulfillment of the second. The two resolutions are complimentary, but independent.

Ricardo Graham
Pacific Union President
La Sierra University Board of Trustees Chair

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35 thoughts on “Ricardo Graham clarifies LSU Board releases

  1. How about the request of the General Conference that all teachers and educators teach and support the stated SDA position on origins in all SDA schools? It is this particular request that was in question from the beginning of this issue with LSU. It is quite clear that many if not all of the science professors at LSU support and promote the modern synthesis view of evolution as the most likely account of origins in their classrooms.

    This is the important issue here, and I don’t see that LSU has yet tried to substantively address this problem. As we speak LSU science professors are telling their students that life on this planet has existed and evolved, in a Darwinian manner, over the course of hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, they are actually telling their students that the idea of a literal 6-day creation week is ludicrous nonsense given the vast amount of scientific evidence, as they see it anyway, to the contrary.

    Is this what the SDA Church has asked for? Of course not. The SDA Church has made it very clear that all educators should be in full support of the SDA fundamentals. Why then is LSU so clearly opposed to this legitimate request of its employer?

    We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.

    http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat55.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  2. Ricardo Graham said –
    The Board passed two resolutions. The first one was a “Statement of Support for the Adventist View of Creation” specifically fundamental belief # 6. This is the resolution that is intended to speak to the context and commitment to teaching of the Adventist belief in creation on campus. This resolution is being implemented.

    I see tiny glimmer of “hope” in the “This resolution is BEING implemented” comment – as perhaps being a “subtle hint” that maybe the board might actually be considering a “change” at LSU to bring it in line with belief #6.

    That would be wonderful! However the severity of the problem would require at some point – having the LSU board or LSU administrators “admit that the problem exists” in a way substantially beyond talking about “the problem of people complaining about the problem“.

    Were they to actually state the problem of the incursion of the origins doctrines central to evolutionism so far as they have taken over the LSU science (and yes even theology) facutly – fully admitting to seeing the problem – and then either print the solution or print their firm commitment to implementing some unstated solution it would have been more
    reason for “hope”.

    To solve a massive problem as serious as this one – you have to meet it head on — a glancing blow comprised of “solution by implication, nod, and a wink” will not suffice.

    Sean
    How about the request of the General Conference that all teachers and educators teach and support the stated SDA position on origins in all SDA schools? It is this particular request that was in question from the beginning of this issue with LSU. It is quite clear that many if not all of the science professors at LSU support and promote the modern synthesis view of evolution as the most likely account of origins in their classrooms.

    It is that kind of direct response to direct question that the “nod and a wink” hint does not address. And it leaves the fate of the university itself on perilous grounds — some brave sole in LSU leadership must answer the call to stand up and be counted – demonstrating a firm all-or-nothing commitment to solving the problem.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  3. “Why then is LSU so clearly opposed to this legitimate request of its employer?”

    Because it is not a legitimate request. It is not consistent which the our Adventist commitment intelectual honesty and Present Truth.




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  4. Did Jesus say something about “hearers of the word” rather than “doers of the word”? The board has made a statement for hearers, but not for doers.

    By their fruits you shall know them.

    Or, all blow and no go?

    May be an attempt to blow the opposition away with words; only the persistent and patient will stick around to push for action. Here is the patience of the saints . . .

    I hope the push continues to “evolve” the science department into truth educators. With the revelation of the climate change scientists’ actions/methods, we have a right to probe/question the scientific community’s collusion regarding evolution. And, therefore, every right to insist that creation science be taught.

    JoAnn 😉




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  5. Ron: “Why then is LSU so clearly opposed to this legitimate request of its employer?”

    Because it is not a legitimate request. It is not consistent which the our Adventist commitment intelectual honesty and Present Truth.

    I didn’t say “correct” request, but “legitimate” or “legal” request. In other words, this request isn’t against the law. Therefore, there seems to be no moral ground for an employee to take money from an employer who has specifically asked the employee to do something which the employee isn’t about to do. Yet, the employee still expects to get paid by the employer in this case? How is this not outright theft on the part of the employee?

    It doesn’t matter if you, as the employee, think that you are correct in your views and that your employer is wrong. Even if you are right, you are morally wrong in taking money from your employer while doing exactly the opposite of what your employer lawfully asked you to do…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. If you build a house and you own the house then it is my your house. What happens in your house is my your say-so. For this house, the owners of the house (constituents and SDA church) have unclearly defined what will be done.

    The author makes the rules, called authority. I should take-over build another house if I don’t like your authority so I can make my own rules.

    You’ll ask me to stay show me the door if I don’t.

    The Bible says, “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
    God bless,

    Rich




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  7. God deserves worship on the basis of His authorship of us in six days.
    (Cf. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 14:7; Exodus 20:11; Psalms 95:6; Psalms 96:5; Psalms 100:3; Isaiah 40:25-26; Isaiah 45:18)

    Unwise for the authored to assume the stance of the first rebel in denying their Author. (Cf. Isaiah 14:14)

    In response to the original question often repeated in this forum, “has God said?” the answer is quite clear. Yes, God said. Genesis 3:4




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  8. Sean,

    You have over-emphasized your point. I can agree with you up to a point, but you go too far in saying everyone should obey the edicts of the church. It is as if you are saying, “The Church is infallible. Even if it were to fall, it is still to be obeyed. We ought to obey the Church, rather than God or conscience.”

    Skip that. I will obey God, rather than the church. Our church was not built upon the same authoritarian plan that many organizations operate under.

    Jesus referred to the common practice in the world of rank under which “their great ones exercise authority upon them” (Mark 10:42). However, His response called for a difference: “But so shall it not be among you: but…whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (verses 43-44). Other biblical injunctions counsel Christ’s followers not to be respecters of persons, nor to treat people differently based on their wealth or lack of it (James 2:1-9). So much for the theory that “he who has the gold makes the rules.”

    Mrs. White, speaking of managers in our Adventist institutions, says they “should not be governed by the principles which control other institutions of this kind” (4T 550, 1948). She also declares that “in our institutions, where many persons of varied temperaments are brought together, it is necessary that each should cultivate a spirit of unselfishness. Let no one feel that it is his place to mold others to his individual mind or opinions” (COH, 1923).

    So much for the “church” playing conscience for its “underlings.” Paul asked the question thus: “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” (1 Corinthians 10:29).

    Now, I agree with you, Sean, that Biblical truth, instead of worldly, godless farce should be taught in our schools. But I think instead of appealing to the authority of the “Church,” we should appeal to the authority of God. We need look no further than Judgment Day to have something upon which to reflect. At that time, every man’s work will be brought into judgment, with every secret thing. Do you suppose God will give His approbation for those who destroyed their students’ faith in His Word, in His Creation of the world? I don’t.

    Don’t get me wrong, here. I think the “church” needs to purge out these heretical teachings from our institutions. However, it should not be done with an attitude of “do as I say, or else!” Every individual is a free moral agent. No one should serve as conscience for another. Just give them their walking papers, and let them serve their conscience in another place. Those who do not teach their students to respect the Bible, “every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God,” should be immediately released from their labors in our schools. Those administrators who allow error to grow and prosper will be held accountable. Ezekiel 3 and 33 apply to this situation. God has set watchmen among His people whose work it is to sound the note of alarm, of warning, when dangers approach and when the deceitfulness of sin has blinded the people.

    This website is helping to serve as a “watchman on the wall” in this very sense.

    Erik




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  9. Jesus rejected the idea of earthly empire. Since Jesus didn’t provide this, the Jewish people forsook, rejected and killed him. (John 6:15, 66; John 18:36)

    Mark 10:42 speaks of lordship and authority exercised by Gentile nations. (Cf. Daniel 7.) It was, “You don’t like the way we do things then we will overcome, occupy and if you resist, kill you.” Cf. Josephus.

    “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship (κατακυριεύω) over them; and their great ones exercise authority (κατεξουσιάζω) upon them.” Mark 10:42

    “κατακυριεύω (Katakoreeyoo): lord against, that is, control, subjugate: – exercise dominion over (lordship), be lord over, overcome.” Strong

    “κατεξουσιάζω (Katexsooseazdo): to have (wield) full privilege over:” Strong

    Jesus’ reference in Mark 10:42 was to pagan government and directed to the disciples’ attitude representative of the Jewish nation wanting to physically destroy their enemies. (John 6:15, 66)

    “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” Luke 9:54-55

    Such ideology is falsely projected on those who request transparency and fidelity. Teachers should follow Jesus’ words and submit to duly constituted authority.

    Ultimate authority is with God. However, duly constituted authority is God-ordained. (Cf. Romans 13.) Stealing and lying is stealing and lying. It is unacceptable. If someone pays for Adventist education at a school which carries the name “Seventh-day Adventist” duly constituted, they should receive the same.

    Those that discourage others talking about this should themselves keep silence and logically follow their own advice. If the Holy Spirit is on their side who thinks everyone should “hush”, they may be quiet and let God tell the ones speaking about it.
    God bless!

    Rich




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  10. Does God appoint the leaders of His church? Is that Scriptural? I believe it is, and that those who speak ill of His appointed leaders do so to their great peril.




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  11. @Bravus: Does God appoint the leaders of His church?

    My comments that follow are not directed at Eld. Graham, but simply to clarify the above statement of Bravus which has some elements of truth, but is often misunderstood or misused. This comes down to the ancient arguments in favor of the divine right of kings, is a completely irrelevant argument in this context.

    Of course, God appoints all the leaders of His church just as He appoints all leaders of all churches and nations. He is sovereign. But we must understand what this means. God rules. He has never abdicated His throne. The Scripture is clear on this. But in this earth He often rules by overruling. Jesus replied to Pilate, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” John 19:11.

    He “appointed King Saul.” This anointed leader went on to seek the life of David, sought instruction from a witch, and ultimately committed suicide. He was appointed because of the demand of the people. Though Saul was the Lord’s anointed He had neither authority nor commission to do any of these mentioned deeds. His citizens had no justification in following any of his commands contrary to God’s word. Indeed, to obey the Lord’s anointed here would be to disobey God and incur his displeasure.

    No leader of God’s people has any authority whatsoever to go outside of the the word of God. It is God’s word that gives the leader his authority and it is God’s word that limits this authority.

    A lieutenant has no authority to circumvent the commander. No angel from heaven has authorization to direct God’s work outside of God’s commands.

    No leader or teacher has the slightest authorization to say one word or take one step outside of strict obedience to God’s word in every detail. Man is to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    It doesn’t matter if the leader or teacher is a Catholic or atheist or Adventist. It doesn’t matter if the leader or teacher lives in Bulgaria or the United States. It doesn’t matter if they profess to believe God’s word or if they don’t. All alike will be judged on faithfulness to God’s word. That is the issue, there is no other issue.

    To differ from God’s word is merely show to all our ignorance of or contempt for God’s word. It matters not whether we are peasant, priest, or king.




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  12. Erik: Sean,

    You have over-emphasized your point. I can agree with you up to a point, but you go too far in saying everyone should obey the edicts of the church. It is as if you are saying, “The Church is infallible. Even if it were to fall, it is still to be obeyed. We ought to obey the Church, rather than God or conscience.”

    I never said that the church was infallible – just the opposite in fact. what I said is that any organization that wishes to remain viable must have internal rules, order, and discipline when it comes to paid representation. If you freely take on a position of a paid representative of any organization, to include a church organization, you also freely take on the responsibility to do what your employer asks you to do. If you cannot do this in good conscience, don’t join that organization.

    Your first duty is indeed toward God. And, part of that duty is to be honest toward your employer. Taking money from someone who is paying you to do one thing while you are doing exactly the opposite is stealing of both your employer’s time and money. This is a moral wrong that is also against God’s Royal Law.

    Skip that. I will obey God, rather than the church. Our church was not built upon the same authoritarian plan that many organizations operate under.

    I’m not asking anyone not to following God or their own consciences. What I’m asking is that one not steal money or time from anyone. It is right of the Church to only hire those who accurately represent those positions that it considers to be fundamentally important to present to the world as an organized body. If you disagree, leave and go somewhere else to be paid by those who consider your ideas worthy of payment. That would be the only honest thing to do.

    Jesus referred to the common practice in the world of rank under which “their great ones exercise authority upon them” (Mark 10:42). However, His response called for a difference: “But so shall it not be among you: but…whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (verses 43-44). Other biblical injunctions counsel Christ’s followers not to be respecters of persons, nor to treat people differently based on their wealth or lack of it (James 2:1-9). So much for the theory that “he who has the gold makes the rules.”

    The fact of the matter is that Jesus Himself gave authority to Church leaders to govern the internal workings of the Church – an organization that receives God’s highest regard on Earth. The organization itself is important – not just the individual. If you decide, of your own free will, to join this organization, you take on certain responsibilities which you did not have before.

    Although originally opposed to such constraints, it was John Loughborough, together with James White, who first started to realize the need for some sort of enforcement of SDA Church order and discipline – i.e., a Church government.

    Consider the following comments and quotes by JN Loughborough in his The Church, Its Organization, Order and Discipline (1907):

    “When those who back in the “sixties” [1860s] witnessed the battle of establishing church order now hear persons, as conscientious no doubt as those back there, utter almost the identical words that were then used by those opposing order, it need not be wondered that they fear the result of such statements as the following: “Perfect unity means absolute independence, – each one knowing for himself. Why, we could not have outward disorganization if we all believed in the Lord. . . . This question of organization is a simple thing. All there is to it is for each individual to give himself to the Lord, and then the Lord will do with him just what he wants to, and that all the time. . . . Our only safety, under God, is to go back to the place where God is able to take a multitude of people and make them one, without parliamentary rules, without committee work, without legislation of any kind.” – General Conference Bulletin of 1899.

    God Requires Rules:

    “Superficially considered, this might seem to be a blessed state, a heaven indeed; but, as already noted on a preceding page, we read of heaven itself and its leadings that “the god of heaven is a god of order, and he requires all his followers to have rules and regulations to preserve order.”
    “As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization, there would be great confusion, and the work could not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying on the work in new fields, for protecting both the church and ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for other objects, organization was indispensable.”
    – Testimonies for the Church, No. 32, page 30.

    As it turns out, the leaders of the early SDA Church at first thought that no enforcement of any kind was needed to keep the Church from fragmenting. This was true as long as the Church was small and made up of originally like-minded people. However, as the Church grew larger, this view soon became obviously untenable. Loughborough was one of the main proponents of this sort of church order and discipline – along with James White. Very quickly all of the early Church leaders changed their minds regarding Church order and discipline when they saw that their original ideas of completely hands-off freedom of Church representatives were quickly failing to do what they thought they would do. So, the leadership started issuing cards of commendation signed by James White or John Loughborough.

    Of course, those who were not considered to accurately represent the views of the Church did not receive these cards of commendation. And what was the attitude of such persons? – according to Loughborough?:

    “Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”

    One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc. Upon this point, when church order was contested, we read: “Satan well knows that success only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. . . . He deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course. . . . All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.”
    – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. I, page 650.

    I think you are in danger of falling into this same mindset… of thinking that imposed order and discipline within the Church is somehow evil or against the plan of God. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God is a God of order, of rules and regulations, and of government.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  13. My point may not have been clearly made. I did not mean that the church leaders are infallible, or cannot make mistakes. I simply meant that correcting their mistakes and challenging them ought to be done with respect rather than abuse. Someone may be dead wrong, but calling an ordained minister of the Lord “A do-nothing, know-nothing, head-in-the-sand pseudoleader” reflects on the abuser rather than the abused, IMO.




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  14. @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    December 6, 2009 Does God appoint the leaders of His church? Is that Scriptural? I believe it is, and that those who speak ill of His appointed leaders do so to their great peril.

    The Jews tried that same solution with Christ and with Paul.

    The RCC tried that same approach with the Protestants during the time of the reformation.

    Today – that line of thinking is not as compelling as you might have at first imagined.

    Having said that – I am not pointing to Graham as someone who deliberately placed LSU on this downward spiral. But the issue has to be decided on some basis other than the one you seem to be selecting above.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  15. Sean, you said, “Therefore, there seems to be no moral ground for an employee to take money from an employer who has specifically asked the employee to do something which the employee isn’t about to do.”

    If the employer is asking for something that is legitimate, I would agree with you, but when an administrator is asking a science teacher to lie and teach, false, or incomplete data because it happens to be theologically inconvenient, then that is an illegitimate request. As I recall, there is something in the 10 Commandments about “Thou shalt not lie”. As Adventists, we don’t need to shade the truth, or lie. We can afford to let the evidence lead where it will because we believe that nature is God’s first book, revealing himself. Didn’t Mrs White say something about what this world needs is men who will stand for the truth though the heavens fall? I want to support La Sierra, and any other University in their academic freedom to pursue truth no matter where it leads. Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” To deny scientific truth is to deny Christ Himself. What you are asking for is nothing different in principle than the Spanish Inquisition. As a Seventh-day Adventist, I want nothing to an inquisition.




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  16. Ron: … when an administrator is asking a science teacher to lie and teach, false, or incomplete data because it happens to be theologically inconvenient, then that is an illegitimate request.  

    How easy it is to rationalize stubborn persistance in error and self-justification as “loyalty to the truth.” Self-delusion is the most common of delusions. But, a genuine commitment to truth is a commitment to God’s word.

    There is no need for any confusion on the issue of truth. When teachers are coerced to teach evolution we can be sure they are being asked to participate in a lie, and teach false and incomplete data. How can we be sure that this is so? Because God tells us with clarity the truth about the origin and history of the world. When teachers are loyal to truth they will refuse to teach evolution.

    Truth is not simply a matter of opinion, one person holds this view and another holds that view. There is a great war raging in this world. Truth is a matter of choosing sides in the war.

    Truth is not divided up into little compartments such as a “scientific truth” compartment and a “theological truth” compartment. There is only truth or there is falsehood. If it is really “scientific truth” it is truth. But we must not confuse opinion, myth, dogma, and tradition held by people labeling themselves as scientist as somehow “scientific truth.” Nor must we bow at the shrine of theological “scholarship” to determine truth.

    Those bowing before the God of truth and listening as He gives the truth will not be confused by the chatter of foolishness trying to masquerade as truth all around them. Misplaced confidence and unwise certainty is always the companion of scam artists.




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  17. @Ron:

    Ron says:
    December 7, 2009 Sean, you said, “Therefore, there seems to be no moral ground for an employee to take money from an employer who has specifically asked the employee to do something which the employee isn’t about to do.”

    If the employer is asking for something that is legitimate, I would agree with you, but when an administrator is asking a science teacher to lie and teach, false, or incomplete data because it happens to be theologically inconvenient, then that is an illegitimate request.

    That is true Ron – we all agree on that point.

    But you have unwittingly negated your own argument in so saying because as it turns out —

    1. God’s Word is Truth.

    2. Evolutionism is merely a junk-science form of bad religion.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  18. @Phil Mills:

    Truth is not divided up into little compartments such as a “scientific truth” compartment and a “theological truth” compartment. There is only truth or there is falsehood. If it is really “scientific truth” it is truth.

    Well said.

    So let us sweep away the cobwebs of evolutionism’s many-storied fictions from the term “science” and see the “big picture”.

    What IS Science?

    A. God is Creator of all – He CREATED the design parameters found in nature

    B. Pure science – is able to produce consistent, verifiable results when devoid of speculation that goes outside the design criteria for nature.

    Therefore – science INSIDE the fixed context of God’s design parameters – can appear agnostic.

    i.e. – Both Bible believing Christians and devoted atheists get the same results when they conduct science within God’s design criteria for nature.

    EXAMPLE: Science WITHIN Design Parameters:

    Sodium bicarbonate and Hydrochloric acid:
    NaHCO3 + HCl –> NaCl + H2O + CO2

    Sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid
    Hcl + NaOH = Nacl + H2O

    By contrast we have that which is beyond pure science.

    EXAMPLE: concepts OUTSIDE of Design Parameters

    NaHC03 + HCL -> PbSo4

    NaHC03+HCL -> Plastic Lego Block

    Primitive eukaryote genomes evolving into more complex higher genomes

    abiogenesis

    God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life.

    Creating and expanding the fabric of spacetime from nothing.

    Bringing the ordered universe from the quantum flux of spacetime.

    Forming all distinct Genomes from the dust of the ground. (life from rocks, liquids and gas)

    If we declare that the boundary of pure science includes verifiable provable concepts and so precludes stories about ways to exceed God’s design criteria – then evolutionism “by definition” is not science at all – it is simply “stories easy enough to make up”.

    The art of telling stories (easy enough to make up) for the purpose of “bending science” beyond God’s design criteria in a transparent effort to “factor out God” from what He alone can do – is a distinctively atheist exercise resulting in the junk-science religion we sometimes call evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  19. @Ron:

    Didn’t Mrs White say something about what this world needs is men who will stand for the truth though the heavens fall? I want to support La Sierra, and any other University in their academic freedom to pursue truth no matter where it leads. Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” To deny scientific truth is to deny Christ Himself. What you are asking for is nothing different in principle than the Spanish Inquisition

    Your slash-and-burn approach to your all-for-darwinism solution is a fundamental flaw in your argument Ron.

    You “assume” evolutionism doctrine on origins is true — and then proceed to argue that the Bible and wrong.

    Thus your argument is much closer to the man-made-traditions imposed during the dark ages than you seem willing to admit.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  20. Ron: Sean, you said, “Therefore, there seems to be no moral ground for an employee to take money from an employer who has specifically asked the employee to do something which the employee isn’t about to do.”

    If the employer is asking for something that is legitimate, I would agree with you, but when an administrator is asking a science teacher to lie and teach, false, or incomplete data because it happens to be theologically inconvenient, then that is an illegitimate request.

    The SDA Church isn’t asking anyone to lie or to teach what a person believes is false or weak. The Church is asking only for those teachers and pastors who actually believe that the evidence in strongly in favor of the Church’s position to accept Church employment. Obviously, if someone believes that the Catholic position was the strongest theological position after much training in theological issues (and there are many such people), that person would not be qualified to be a paid SDA representative – no matter how sincerely and honestly he/she held his/her views.

    For example, if I were to accept the position of a paid representative of the SDA Church, as either a teacher or a pastor, I could do so in good conscience because I would not be lying in presenting the SDA message as the truth as I see it. I believe it is the truth and that it does in fact have the backing of the signficant weight of available evidence – even when it comes to the stated SDA position on origins.

    Therefore, when you argue that a science teacher hired by the SDA Church isn’t really under any moral obligation to do what the SDA Church has specifically hired him/her to do, in no uncertain terms, you are mistaken. The SDA Church is not asking anyone to perform a civil crime or even to go against his/her conscience. The SDA Church is, however, asking those who accept a paid position to actually believe in and support the stated SDA ideals in their paid capacity of an offical SDA representative.

    It just amazes me that this concept is so difficult for some to grasp! It is so obvious if actually considered with a candid mind. You just don’t steal money or time from people – even if you think those people are crazy.

    As I recall, there is something in the 10 Commandments about “Thou shalt not lie”. As Adventists, we don’t need to shade the truth, or lie. We can afford to let the evidence lead where it will because we believe that nature is God’s first book, revealing himself. Didn’t Mrs White say something about what this world needs is men who will stand for the truth though the heavens fall? I want to support La Sierra, and any other University in their academic freedom to pursue truth no matter where it leads. Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” To deny scientific truth is to deny Christ Himself. What you are asking for is nothing different in principle than the Spanish Inquisition. As a Seventh-day Adventist, I want nothing to an inquisition.

    I’m not asking for the Spanish Inquisition – despite this commonly used strawman argument. There is a key difference between expecting an employee to actually do what you are paying him/her to do and expecting everyone to do what you want them to do regardless of their own free will to join or to leave your organization – on pain of civil penalties. The SDA Church is not and should not be involved with civil government. All are free to take on or to leave off a paid position within the SDA Church free of all civil penalties or consequences of any kind.

    It is just nonsense therefore for you to compare the request of any organization for an employee to do what they are being paid to do with the Spanish Inquisition! That’s an idiotic comparison! According to this logic the SDA Church would have to pay anyone and everyone for every idea out there! Don’t you see this argument as just a little bit strained?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  21. Bravus: My point may not have been clearly made. I did not mean that the church leaders are infallible, or cannot make mistakes. I simply meant that correcting their mistakes and challenging them ought to be done with respect rather than abuse. Someone may be dead wrong, but calling an ordained minister of the Lord “A do-nothing, know-nothing, head-in-the-sand pseudoleader” reflects on the abuser rather than the abused, IMO.

    I agree with this comment. It is fine to take the position that an ordained church leader is wrong or mistaken, or even needs to be removed from office, but this should be done with the greatest respect for his/her office and for the individual directly as a servant answerable to God as well as to the church.

    Remember David when he showed the greatest respect even for Saul both during and after Saul’s life because King Saul, though clearly evil, was God’s anointed.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  22. Gentlemen, it is always right to stand for Bible truth, and we should, and never back down. However, let us also remember these times in which we live;just before the close of probation. In the light of the LSU dilemma:

    Ordeal of the Sifting Time.–Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. . . . The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy (Letter 55, 1886). {7BC 911.6}

    We will see much worse than this happening in our schools and churches.

    Let us be strong in the Lord’s might!

    God Bless, Steve




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  23. Ricardo Graham is new to his position. As has been stated, while he has primary responsibility today, that was not so while this problem was festering. It may be that he has taken steps to change the curriculum at La Sierra. Let’s hope so.

    In case he does nothing and the professors remain teaching error, then what? There is a line drawn in the sand. If he stands on God’s side, praise God. If he stands on the other side, then it is more serious than his position as chair of the board of trustees at La Sierra. And, he is not the only ordained minister who holds a conference position that is on that board.

    Is there a concern about how long it takes to make the necessary changes? How valuable is a soul? How long does it take to destroy faith in the Bible? I know of a young man who was taught evolution at the academy level and left the faith because of it. It will happen as a result of the rebellion at La Sierra. Is this an emergency? Does God require an action on our part as well as from His ordained ministers who sit on the board?

    Our part is to call for reform. We know the truth and we have discerned the lie. We are to continue to ask that evolution will not be taught as truth to our young men and women. I do not know what Elder Graham will do, but I know this, the teaching of evolution at La Sierra is only the tip of a very large iceberg. 🙁

    The fact that it has continued for many years at La Sierra and other schools including academies is a sign that there is sickness in the system. Let us pray that God’s Spirit will work to guide and direct those involved to make correct decisions. The judgment of the living has already begun or soon will. Therefore, these “ancient men” who have stood on vantage ground are deciding from which resurrection they will come forth. And it may be that some will not taste death. This is our prayer for Elder Ricardo Graham.




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  24. @Erik: Erik, while you are certainly correct as to your views that God and His Word are our ultimate authority in the matter of LSU and the teaching of evolution, the SDA church is still God’s remnant church and still has His approval if they do not stray from his Word. In this matter, in my opinion the church itself has not departed from Gods Word, but certain individuals it seems have.

    SDA belief # 6 says:

    6. Creation:
    God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

    So Sean is correct in saying the professors should comply with the teachings of the church as the church owns LSU. If the professors do not teach the doctrines of the church and instead teach something opposing that, they should be given their walking papers. So in the matter of the 28 beliefs, the church speaks with God authority.

    Ellen White says;
    This statement holds its force in all ages. On the church has been conferred the power to act in Christ’s stead. It is God’s instrumentality for the preservation of order and discipline among His people. To it the Lord has delegated the power to settle all questions respecting its prosperity, purity, and order. Upon it rests the responsibility of excluding from its fellowship those who are unworthy, who by their un-Christlike conduct would bring dishonor on the truth. Whatever the church does that is in accordance with the directions given in God’s word will be ratified in heaven. {7T 263.3}

    This does not mean the church is infallible, we are only to comply with the church as it complies with God.
    God Bless, Steve




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  25. Some may not understand the authority involved at this school. Elder Graham as the president of the Pacific Union Conference chairs the board of trustees at La Sierra. As the chair, here are his stated duties as specified in the school’s by-laws:

    “The president of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists shall serve as chair of the Board of Trustees. It shall be the function of the chair:
    a. To preside at meetings of the Constituent Membership of the University and of the Board of Trustees.
    b. To ensure that all actions of the Constituent Membership and all actions of the Board of Trustees are carried into effect through the University president.”

    Therefore, Elder Graham is the man to “ensure” that the lie is not taught at La Sierra. Unless of course the board did not intend to stop the lie from being taught. If the president does not stop the false teaching, then we can assume one of three things. a) He is not following the directives of Elder Graham. b)Elder Graham has not directed him to halt the false teaching, or c) The trustees did not intend that the false teaching stop.

    If the teaching of evolution as truth continues at La Sierra, it appears that the president of the school, the president of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, or the board of trustees have failed to respond to the message from GC President Paulson. Or worse, one of the three have failed to follow Bible truth and will surely cause the loss of souls.

    The three involved entities are facing the decision as to which side of the line they will stand. The line will not disappear.




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  26. Stone wrote: “I have even spoken with some conference leaders, but they are “afraid” of saying anything themselves, especially to those “above” them on the conference hierarchy.”

    Unfortunately, this statement is probably true throughout SDA hierarchy. Where are the stalwarts who will stand for right no matter what? It is my view that the Board, its chairman and the President are using delaying tactics and attempting to put a spin on the matter. Heaven help us.




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  27. I agree with GMF – we need “leaders that LEAD” rather than self-serving politicians that “greet and are popular”.

    In a time of crisis in the church – we need men and women of faith, of action, men of conviction, men and women who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. @Richard Myers:

    Richard Myers says:
    December 8, 2009 Some may not understand the authority involved at this school. Elder Graham as the president of the Pacific Union Conference chairs the board of trustees at La Sierra. As the chair, here are his stated duties as specified in the school’s by-laws:

    “The president of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists shall serve as chair of the Board of Trustees. It shall be the function of the chair:
    a. To preside at meetings of the Constituent Membership of the University and of the Board of Trustees.
    b. To ensure that all actions of the Constituent Membership and all actions of the Board of Trustees are carried into effect through the University president.”

    Therefore, Elder Graham is the man to “ensure” that the lie is not taught at La Sierra.

    There is another way to read that job description.

    1. Graham’s job is to follow whatever direction the board members vote – even if it is evolution friendly — even if many board members are open to evolutionism. He must make sure the LSU president follows the directives of that board — no matter which direction the board takes.

    2. Graham is also the marketing “face” for the board. He needs to put a good spin on whatever they decide so that the most number of customers will show up at the school.

    So to really know Graham directive you have to know whether the majority of board members are in Group-I or Group-II below.

    Group-I
    Those truly opposed to support for evolutionism, those that know that evolutionism is “pure poison to SDA key doctrines”, to the Bible and poison even to Christianity itself.

    Group-II
    How likely is it that a clear majority of the board either support evolutionism as the “best science on origins” or at least they view it as “a valid option within a pluralistic church and academic environment” such that allowing evolutionists to pedal their doctrines at LSU is simply a statement in support of “academic freedom”.

    My guess is that a large number of LSU board members fall into that second group. But are they in the majority or are they likely to become the majority based on expected changes in board membership in the near future.

    Knowing this – would tell you much more about Graham’s true objectives and mission (even if he himself is in Group-I as a best case scenario).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. Imposing discipline, for deviations of faith or practice, is an extremely unpleasant prospect at any level of church organization, from the local congregation to the GC president. I feel for any administrator, including Ricardo Graham, who finds himself in the position of having a duty to impose discipline.

    Nevertheless, it has to be done. It seems that for a long time now, our clergy, from the Pacific Union President on down to the local pastors, have taken a very laissez-faire attitude toward both faith and practice within the church, and it has resulted in a whole generation that has no concept that, to pick one issue among many, Darwinism is inconsistent with Adventism. As I dialog with liberals on websites like Atoday and Spectrum, I find many people who, when I challenge them that their beliefs are contrary to long-established and accepted Adventist positions, say something like, “(1) This is a perfectly acceptable position, I’m an Adventist and I hold it, (2) we will always have a great deal of diversity of opinion within the church, and (3) we are an anti-credal church.”

    Honestly, I think the whole educate-truth effort may be too little, too late. There is the distinct possibility that LaSierra is the way it is because it accurately reflects its lukewarm, increasingly corrupt constituency.




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  30. David – you bring up good points that show a deep rooted systemic problem.

    Which is why I would be surprised if Graham’s board is really opposed to evolutionism being taught as “the best answer for the diversity of life we see around us today”. Given your findings above – The ones that actually do believe in creationism would not know enough about their own faith to challenge the doctrines of evolutionism being promoted at LSU and many others would actually favor it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    “Request” sounds too weak to me. Since when does an employer “request” his employee to correctly do his job? Never. It can be nicely stated and should be; “please” is an excellent word to get familiar with. Does administration continue to let the professors ignore the “requests?

    Did God request the children of Israel to keep the commandments? Was there accountability? Of course.Did Jesus make requests or give commands?

    What good will it do to give years to develop curriculum; has not this gone on for ten years already? One cannot teach the Bible correctly if that truth is not written in their hearts. There must be committed professors.

    To many of our youth there is great danger in listening to the discourses that are given by those who in the world are called great men. These discourses are often of a highly intellectual nature, and prevailing errors of science falsely so-called and of popular religious doctrine are mingled with wise sayings and observations, but they undermine the statements of the Bible and give the impression that there is reason for questioning the truth of the inspired Word. In this way the seeds of skepticism are sown by great and professedly wise men, but their names are registered in the books of record in heaven as fools, and they are an offense to God. They repeat the falsehoods that Satan put into the mouth of the serpent, and educate the youth in delusions. {3SM 232.3}

    This is the kind of education the enemy delights in. It is sorcery. The great apostle inquired, “Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?” Those who receive and admire the sentiments of these so-called great men are in danger, for through the subtlety of the enemy the sophistical reasoning of these false teachers takes root in the heart of our youth, and almost imperceptibly they are converted from truth to error. But the conversion should be just the other way. Our young men who have seen the evidences of the verity of truth should be firmly established and able to win souls to Christ from
    233
    the darkness of error. {3SM 232.4}




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  32. @David Read: Leaders are put in position to lead, to make decisions, to implement the policy of the board or the trustees of the organisation.

    If leaders cannot expect to do as required they can be described as renegade, pathological or useless. In all of these cases they must be changed.

    In my line of work my report to the board would recommend the immediate removal of the president of LLU and the evolutionist professors.

    Should the board or trustees fail to act, then such must be immediately dissolved and reconstituted and another more responsive put in place.

    Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.




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  33. @David Read:

    Darwinism is inconsistent with Adventism. As I dialog with liberals on websites like Atoday and Spectrum, I find many people who, when I challenge them that their beliefs are contrary to long-established and accepted Adventist positions, say something like, “(1) This is a perfectly acceptable position, I’m an Adventist and I hold it, (2) we will always have a great deal of diversity of opinion within the church, and (3) we are an anti-credal church.”

    Honestly, I think the whole educate-truth effort may be too little, too late. There is the distinct possibility that LaSierra is the way it is because it accurately reflects its lukewarm, increasingly corrupt constituency.

    The question at this point is — are you simply hearing from a highly outspoken fringe or possibly a small Biblically-apathetic section of the denomination or do they really represent main stream SDA thinking that is of the form “why sure our doctrines and the Bible are all wrong”?

    I know that the door that says “ENTER” is typically our revelation seminar style door – and those materials are all endorsing a literal 7 day creation week.

    And as we saw here – even extreme left groups like Steve Daily’s “Celebration Center” have the presence of mind to see that evolutionism is nothing less than the primary foundation for atheism.

    So as much as I dissagree with almost everything Daily believes – the fact that even he can still see this false religion of evolutionism as “a bad thing” – gives me hope that the LSU administration does not in fact represent the church in general.

    I pray that this means that – their numbers are not yet what they seem to imagine them to be.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. “The second resolution speaks to the Church’s expectation that “students receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation” …..

    It must be assumed that the LSU board was more than aware of the storm of controversy surrounding any capitulation to any theory of macro-evolution; yet it is painfully evident that in its statement of rebuttal, no mention is made of any such recantation of ‘a’ evolutionary creation of any stripe.

    A “thorough” and may I say a “rigorous exposure” of the evolutionary position, theistic or otherwise, only reinforces the speculative base on which the evolutionary theory rides….ie since natural selection has its inherent problems re its own claims re one species changing and or being made better to the end of being different over many generations….and its proponents not being able to provide any intermediate fossilized remains to support millions of years re the macro-evolution of hundreds of living animals, ie including humans;that the proponents of evolution by natural selection has so failed in proving its own version of creation, has led to the next possible leap in the dark….God started it….

    Such a leap puts God as the absented-minded scientist who started a complex chemical reaction; but who also knew the outcome, and could have come to the end product without starting the reaction, but chose to go through the motions…for what purpose?! That, in my mind should be the first question any theistic evolutionary proponent ought to ask.

    Either God could have done the whole creation by the “word of His mouth” or He could not. If the scriptures claim that indeed “by the word of His mouth” all things were created…then either they were as the scriptures say, or the scriptures are in error. This provides a dilemma for the theistic evolutionary proponent…the very God to whom he ascribes supernatural powers; is yet limited…and mispeaks His own words; and may I say mispeaks His own infallible words?

    Surely despite the need to pursue a “balanced” look at this controversial subject..yet the pursuit of a blasphemous denial of the powers of our Creator God is by no means a “balanced” quest as to our origins. And any cursory inclusion of himself by fallible humans into an unsupportable theory is nothing but His insincere inclusion, just because He says He is out there somewhere!

    Again the dilemma remains the same for those proponents of the evolutionary theory….since you cannot provide any intermediate fossilized specimen…fossils speculated to being in the milions of years in the making…neither can you prove that there is a God out there who started it!…no human has ever ‘set eyes on Him’. But if you believe that indeed God did start it…you but make God only of limited powers…which, incidently,is not how God describes Himself.

    Whose description of God should one accept…that made of Himself by the Creator or that made of Him by that which He created?

    bevanton




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  35. Thank you all so much for your insight. I cannot write so elequently and knowledgeably. I so much consider it a priviledge and appreciate reading the comments posted by Bob Ryan, Johnathan Smith, and Sean Pitman. I guess Johathan summed it up in the fewest words – meet the criteria demanded or get out. I’ve been so upset to hear about this happening to the students of faithful SDA parents. This is much more than an outrage – it is totally satanic. However, who is more in league with Satan – the instructors that teach their own version of the ‘truth’ instead of the SDA belief – or those who turned a blind eye to them doing so? All should be trembling since Christ would have died for a single soul and how many souls will be lost because the persons in positions representing the Church did not take an immediate and decisive stand against this action.

    What I noticed today is how many people voted in favor or against the many postings here. Has anyone else noticed that many of them are about 50-50. That fact in itself is very telling, don’t you think??? Noticing this really made me tremble.

    DS




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