Comment on Ricardo Graham clarifies LSU Board releases by Phil Mills.
@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.
Phil Mills Also Commented
Ron: â€¦ 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.
Recent Comments by Phil Mills
Back to Square One…
David, here is a familiar statement I like with instruction for what I can do AT THIS TIME:
“At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason” (5T 136).
If apostates are fearless about trumpeting their apostasy, why should I not be even more emboldened with the truth. Error has no future. Gaddafi was a strong man yesterday, where is he today?
What we sow we reap (Gal 6:7) is a law throughout the universe. Sow faith, reap faith. Sow hope, reap hope. Sow love, reap love.
There are two sources of seeds to sow. One source is the word of God. The other is the enemy. One sows good seed, the other tares. By the command of God, the tares must grow till harvest (Mt 13:30). The fruit alone can expose the seed for what it is. The seeds of darkness and doubt that have been sown for 6,000 years must fully ripen.
We are not surprised by anything today, because the harvest is near and the fruit is ripening. But though there will be a pitiful harvest of evil, I rejoice that there is a much more abundant harvest of righteousness. We can see it by faith. The word of God is not going to return void. The weeds of sin are not sufficient to crowd out the harvest of righteousness. The death of Christ, his mediation in heaven are not in vain. Sin, and those who insist on clinging to it, will be destroyed, while those who cling to Jesus have a sure refuge.
It is interesting how easily three can be dropped from the board when leadership decides to act.
How wise God is. As He has done in the past, so He works in the present. He removes our excuses and lets us reveal reveal our true character by the varying circumstances of life.
We could multiply examples. The Cain that was too kind to “cruelly” kill a lamb for a sacrifice in obedience to God’s command, could easily kill Abel in defiance of God’s command. King Saul, who was too merciful to execute Agag in obedience to God’s command, could kill the high priest in disobedience to God’s command.
Thus it has been through history. Ellen White makes insightful observations about Uriah Smith’s being too weak to provide energetic leadership for right, yet being plenty strong to provide energetic leadership for wrong in the original Battle Creek College crisis of the early 1880’s.
We have certainly seen this same pattern at La Sierra. The same leaders that could not seem to act decisively and firmly when God’s character and truth were under attack, suddenly found the decision and firmness to fire the four men who attacked their own character.
Now other LSU leaders who can’t act decisively in the face of rebellion against the church can suddenly act decisively against those who are seeking harmony with the church. All this reveals that these leaders could have acted decisively and firmly all along, IF THEY CHOSE.
Of course, it should help us reflect on our own lives. What are we revealing by our own inconsistencies?
Former board member never talked with biology faculty
I wonder if “due process” was afforded those who were dropped, since that is very important for accreditation. I wonder if this is being explored.
ken: If I understand Phil correctly, the SDA church is a form or a representative democracy where each local church gets to vote upon and elect its delegates to the GC
No. That is not true. Each local congregation votes it’s representatives to a conference constituency meeting. The constituency votes the conference officers. Conferences then may vote representatives for unions and union constituencies. Unions and division organizations then have representatives at the general conference. At the general conference level it is quite removed from the local church representative. But I am still over simplifying.
Ken, you couldn’t be farther from understanding me.
This is NOT doctrinal change, it is merely attempting to better express the doctrine that has always been taught in the Bible and generally held by the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist church. There isn’t a marginal doctrine in the lot of the 28 fundamental beliefs.
The church doesn’t make doctrines only the Bible can make doctrine. Bible truth and Bible doctrines don’t care a straw about committees or majorities, neither does it change regardless of the views and votes of others.
To understand the phrase commonly used by Adventist “truth is progressive” is to understand that a first grader learns simple truth, then building on the truths he moves to second grade and continues to add to the basic truths and how to apply them to life.
1. Truth is objective, not merely subjective. Truth has evidence. The best possible evidence of truth is that God says it. But other evidence, such as the evidence of science, while weaker, is available. Science cannot “prove” God’s word, but when properly understood, will always provide documentation to the truthfulness of God’s word.
2. Progression is not a rejection of old truth, but a building on, an amplification of previously discovered truth.
Error never will evolve into truth, it simply mutants into greater and greater error.
Truth never changes. It remains far more stable than the Rock of Gibralter. God creates in my heart a love for the truth. As I investigate more and more carefully the word of God, my understanding of life becomes more and more accurate. I can change, but truth does not.
In the area of doctrine: Only the Bible can make true doctrine. The church can only express a summary of key Bible doctrines in a statement of belief.
There is no contemplation of changing doctrine in the modification of the wording of the churches belief. It is simply clarifying its original intent.
And if the church abandoned its fundamental beliefs, as the Jews did, and many Christians did, the truth has not changed. Because truth and doctrine is not democratically determined, all that has happened is that a group of people have united to leave the truth. We call it apostasy. Sadly it has happened to groups in the past (see John 6 and the multitudes leaving Jesus) and sadly it happens sometimes to individuals even within the Seventh-day Adventist church today.