Mrs. White: “Don’t send your children to…”

Memory, Meaning & Faith is a blog covering Christian history – including Adventist studies, the church and society, historical theology, biblical backgrounds, history of interpretation, and archaeology in light of contemporary issues. They are sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

“Our College” Today
By Nicholas Miller

It is not news that there is a public controversy regarding the teaching of life’s origins at La Sierra University (LSU). The matter has kept websites and blogs buzzing and been commented on by official church publications, most notably, to the surprise and dismay of some, the Adventist Review.

The latest volley in the controversy came in a statement recently released by the Michigan Conference. The statement revealed that the executive committee had removed LSU from the approved list of Adventist colleges to which the Michigan Conference would apply conference employee education benefits.

The conference leadership warned its members of “apostasy” at the California university, and advised them not to send their children to LSU for study. The reason for this was that the conference leaders did not believe that “La Sierra can currently be trusted to be supportive of Seventh-day Adventist spiritual values especially in reference to faith in the biblical understanding of creation, and thus the authority of Scripture in the life and practice of the believer.”

Reaction to the Michigan Conference action has been swift and predictably mixed. Some have applauded it as a strong stand for truth. Others have attacked the decision as “shocking, insulting and a basic denial of educational options.”

Historical Precedent?

On his blog, Advent Hope, Pastor Bill Cork agrees with the Michigan Conference’s basic concerns, but questions whether a public statement is the appropriate response. He also raises the question as to whether there is any historical precedent for church leaders publicly criticizing an institution that was considered to be straying from church teaching.

This is a good question to consider on a church history blog. History cannot provide precise parallels. (History never entirely repeats itself.) But a number of incidents surrounding Battle Creek College offer some insights into the question. Ironically, the story also involves the Michigan Conference, this time on the receiving end of concern.

1881 Battle Creek Curriculum Crisis

Established in 1874, Battle Creek College had undergone some challenges in its leadership. In 1881, a new president was installed who was new to the Adventist church. A greater emphasis was placed on the study of both the classics and the sciences – to the detriment of Biblical instruction.

During the summer of 1881, Ellen White wrote a testimony regarding the College to be publicly read at the Michigan Conference camp-meeting. Instead, the testimony was read at the even more public venue of the General Conference session in December of that year. Relevant portions of that testimony can be read at my earlier posted quote. (The full message can be found at Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 21-36.)

A main concern of Ellen White was the emphasis on the sciences at the expense of the Bible. She showed a special interest in maintaining a clear teaching on creation. “In God’s word alone,” she asserted, “we find an authentic account of creation” (5 Test., 25). She displayed a willingness to both publicly rebuke the leadership of the college and to warn church members of the problems at the College. “We can give,” she memorably warned, “no encouragement to parents to send their children to Battle Creek College” (5 Test., 21). She proposed that if the College was not returned to the Biblical-centered model, that the church should “sell it out to worldlings” and “establish another school upon the plan which God has specified” (5 Test., 25-26). (Read more)

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67 thoughts on “Mrs. White: “Don’t send your children to…”

  1. Agreed.

    As Protestant sunday keeping denominations and churches in the U.S. clamor for their purpose and an understanding of the Bible and the times in which we live, they are reaching out to each other for a stronger more cohesive understanding of where we came from and where we are going in the very near future. The Baptists know there isn’t a heaven just for the Baptists, the non-denominationals know there isn’t a heaven just for the non-denominationals, the Presbyterians know there isn’t a heaven just for the Presbyterians. We all know there’s only 1 of 2 places in which we are all headed.

    If indeed the Seventh-day Adventists have a special message for the world, now is the time for the United States to hear about it, rather than keeping its stands hush hush.

    As the youngest member of the Bible-based Protestant churches, the brothers and sisters of the Seventh-day Adventist church need to hear your voice and leadership on these issues of origins and faith in the Bible loud and clear. This is about every single person on the planet, not just a few. Whether the stand for the Bible and Creation come from only a few regions of the country and/or the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist church, it is indeed a stand for God and truth and is undoubtedly a practice run at the very minimum for things to come. For the saved will be called in their heart of hearts to stand together for God and proclaim as loud as they can from the highest mountain top so that as many as possible will know and be saved.

    The General Conference needs to make a stand on this and not just for the sake of its own body.




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  2. If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our universities or begin tellling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?




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  3. At least we have that one example of precedent. (I wonder what precedent THAT was based on?)

    Our denomination hasn’t had so many wayward universities in its short history denying basic tenants of Christianity. So I’m not sure looking for precedent is really that important. But it’s nice we can find one example that drew out a response from Ellen White.

    All I can think of is Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door, basically saying, “Your whole church is bogus!”




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  4. RE: Geanna Dane’s comment “If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our university or begin telling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?” Quite easily, Geanna. If we were following the guidelines, we’d now actually have a message worth proclaiming — a message different from what is dished out at a secular/public school. It is much less confusing, if not significantly less expensive, to attend a public school where one expects to be taught the latest Darwinian surmised permutations, then to be inundated with the same at a Bible believing SDA denominational tuition-supported school. If we are not teaching the SDA message anyway, there is no reason for the school.




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  5. Susie, I have attended both private and Adventist colleges. I saw a huge difference in the message proclaimed.

    I took a couple of classes at LSU including one from a teacher accused of being a theistic evolutionist. I learned some useful things about evolution as well I should have but I never heard any negative comments on young earth creationism or the Bible. I don’t think “millions of years” even came up (apart from the textbook). I guess I took the wrong class. I remember a distinct Adventist message.

    All of this contrasted greatly with my experience at public colleges (several that I have attended). Even a literature teacher totally derided the Bible. There was never any positive mention of the 10 commandments, the sabbath, the creation or even Jesus in the many classes I took there to save some money. The faculty there are not allowed to support Christian faith, much less Adventist faith. I don’t see how you could equate our current universities, even LSU, with public schools.




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  6. I took a couple of classes at LSU including one from a teacher accused of being a theistic evolutionist. I learned some useful things about evolution as well I should have but I never heard any negative comments on young earth creationism or the Bible.

    I’m thankful that the instances some of these professors have felt the inclination to ridicule creationists has been rare. There have been some extreme cases, but for the most part this unprofessional behavior does not take place in the classroom or else where on LSU campus that I’m aware of.

    Also, not every biology class pushes life on earth for millions of years, common ancestry, etc. There are at least 4 classes that do. That is 4 classes too many.




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  7. Dear Geanna:

    I hsve little doubt that your experience at any Adventist college or university would be better than your experience at an outside school. Even with the major departures from faithfulness we have seen on our campuses in recent decades, I would still not send a child of mine to an outside institution. Most assuredly, however, I would be selective in which of our Adventist institutions I would send a son or daughter to.

    Frankly, until and unless church leaders and laity rise up to cleanse our schools of the present apostasy, faithful Adventist parents will have to be very selective. I appreciate my friend Nick’s comments, and I pray many more will follow, from him as well as others.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  8. If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our universities or begin tellling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?

    Valid Question. I believe the answer is simple. Obeying what we believe to be God’s word is what we are asked to do. God will grant supernatural power to proclaim the message loudly. We actually stand in the way when our message is mixed and we permit it to go on without taking care of the problem. I always remember that it is the Holy Spirit that will accomplish this work of proclamation. Our job is to obey. And thank God we have the guidance of the Spirit of Prophecy that has gone before us and has already addressed similar situations and by so doing has laid down a shining example for us to follow. We are not left without a sure Word of Prophecy to guide us. We are not to worry, we are to follow.




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  9. Thanks for the excellent article about Ellen White’s travails with Battle Creek College. Were she alive today she could have written identical comments about LaSierra” “I was bidden to warn our people on no account to send their children to [LaSierra University] to receive an education, because … delusive scientific theories would be presented in the most seducing forms.”

    I feel some synchronicity about this article, because the weekend before last (12th) I was at the Idaho Conference camp meeting and preached about the LaSierra situation. Over lunch, I discussed the issues with Don Mackintosh of the Amazing Facts College of Evangelism, and he mentioned the specific chapter of “The Later Elmshaven Years” that Nicholas Miller references in the article.

    The subject moved to Madison College, where I attended an alumni reunion this past weekend (19th), because my parents are Madison College alumni who met and married there. Don Mackintosh pointed out that it was right in the middle of the controversy with Battle Creek College–1904–that Ellen White selected the location of Madison College and served on its governing board. She clearly wanted more educational options for Adventist students, and particularly a college modeled upon the educational principles revealed to her. The model she advocated was a work-study model in which the school would be supported by its own industries, and the students could work their way through school by working at those industries. This was the Madison College model, and it was adopted to a lesser extent by all of our colleges. Unfortunately, our schools have moved away from that model and toward the worldly model, and our students now graduate with ever-increasing loads of student loan debt. This is not as God would have it.

    By the way, Sean Pitman, your father, Tui, introduced himself to me at the Madison reunion. He is a very kind man, and justly proud of the work you are doing on the crucial issue of origins.




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  10. @Shane Hilde:

    Also, not every biology class pushes life on earth for millions of years, common ancestry, etc. There are at least 4 classes that do. That is 4 classes too many.

    It seems as if you’re being overly protective here. Are you conceding that belief in young earth creationism is so fragile, or so easily dis-proven that simply being exposed to a profession espousing the opposite viewpoint is going to cause its supporters to deflect to the other side?

    Or, perhaps you are suggesting that college students are so unintelligent, that simply being exposed to more than one viewpoint in classes will so confuse them that they will not know what to believe?

    At least that’s how it’s sounding to me.




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  11. If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our universities or begin tellling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?  

    Geanna, are you suggesting that the theory of evolution IS science? LOL That’s funny.

    The science classes that just deal with science, without all the bogus evolutionary story telling, are the best science classes for those wanting to be truly scientists only. Any of the other Adventist Universities, and they all have Bachelors and Masters degrees in some form of advanced science, would be better for anyone receiving an education in the field of science than at La Sierra University.

    What happens before your very eyes under the microscope is true science. Assumptions and theories are talked about and surmised, but true science is not based off of assumptions or theories, because that would be unscientific. To date, science has not fundamentally supported the theory of evolution. In fact science has had to be stopped, ignored, or falsely lied about to allow for the theory of evolution to exist. This has happened many many times. So to be a true scientist you need to get rid of the theory of evolution. Evolution is counterproductive to science. Which is why, from a professional scientific standpoint, La Sierra is the worst University to attend to understand uninhibited science. Do you want to be a scientist or an evolutionist? They are not the same.

    Wait, did you mean to say Political Science instead of science?
    😉

    Very timely and relevant comments from the ATS blog. I especially appreciate the references to the struggle of Mrs. White against similar problems at Battle Creek College during her day and her public recommendations for action in such situations…

    Yes indeed, and this precedence made by Ellen White not only provides support for action by the SDA church but following in the footsteps of this precedence in today’s political evangelical world climate would have an even greater impact for good I believe for some of the reasons that I touched on in my earlier comment above. I believe NBC News did a survey poll of Americans about 5 years ago and over 70% of Americans believed in God. I think today that number would be even higher. I wouldn’t hesitate to share the url of this website with other Christians in the southwestern United States region… Just a thought.




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  12. @Adventist in High School: You’re missing the point. The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that God created the heaven and earth in six days, within the recent past (about 6,000 years). They believe Genesis gives an accurate depiction of this event. So the problem isn’t that our youth are merely being presented with a false theory, it’s that they’re being presented the theory as if it were truth. I would also add that the biblical/church position is not promoted at all, if it’s even mentioned at all.

    These professors are taking our money and misrepresenting our faith to hundreds, thousands of students. When an employee finds that he can no longer uphold the beliefs of the institution and teach them properly, he should consider teaching for an institution that is more conducive with his belief system or be fired.




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  13. You’ve gotta love it when a high school student sees through the political rhetoric.

    Also, it is interesting that Nick Miller has to go back to Spiritual Gifts to find a supporting quote. Having read through all four volumes when I was in high school, I can see why most church leaders prefer to circulate the later versions of her writings.

    The shouting, heresy-obsessed, pre-scientific worldview that is expressed in those early volumes are more significant as history than as strict guides on contemporary educational philosophy and science.

    Interesting that Nick doesn’t continue his Spiritual Gift quoting with this:

    “Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 75)

    Hmm. . .what could those post-flood amalgamated races be? Ellen White herself matured beyond these views. But it is telling that Nick has to go back to those early days to support his “infidelity” attack on contemporary Adventist education.

    One can’t read Science or Nature journals and not have some questions vis-a-vis the sort of enforced literalism presented above. But this small crowd is not interested in science facts, as they don’t actually show up at science conferences and present research. This is just about politics, using power and extreme marginalizing rhetoric like “infidelity” because they can’t keep up intellectually in the halls of Adventist academia.

    You don’t have to agree with the stated position of the SDA Church as an organized body regarding the Pillars of the SDA Faith. The fact remains that certain doctrines that are unpopular with many in mainstream and even Adventist “academia” are still Pillars of the SDA Faith. Teachers who go about teaching contrary to these Foundational Pillars on the Church’s dime are not doing right by their employer… regardless of how sincere you or they may be.

    One more point, Mrs. White never did “mature” in her thinking regarding the literal creation week or the idea that humans and animals have been corrupted from their intended state by both human and supernatural agencies. Even Jesus gives credit to the “Enemy” for the corruption of various features of nature – “whence come these tares?”

    By the way, what is your science background?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  14. Amalgamation:

    Not one noxious plant was placed in the Lord’s great garden, but after Adam and Eve sinned, poisonous herbs sprang up. In the parable of the sower the question was asked the Master, “Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? how then hath it tares?” The Master answered, “An enemy hath done this.” All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares.–Selected Messages, book 2, p. 288.

    In this light, the light of Satan as the “enemy” who has corrupted God’s creation through “ingenious methods of amalgamation”, consider one of Mrs. White’s comments regarding the “amalgamation” of man and of beast:

    But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before him.–Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 64.

    Consider this comment in light of Mrs. White’s commentary on what did corrupt the antediluvian worshipers of God – intermarriage and close association with non-believers (the sons and daughters of Cain).

    The result of the breaking down of the marriage institution, and particularly the intermarriage between the children of God and the heathen, was to “deface the image of God in man.” – according to Mrs. White. Further, “Unhallowed marriages of the sons of God with the daughters of men” carried mankind irresistibly forward in increasing iniquity “which ended in the destruction of the world by a flood.” Substituting the word “amalgamation” for “marriage” in the above quotations, note the striking parallel to the following statements in the disputed passage: “The base crime of amalgamation . . . defaced the image of God”; and, “God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before Him.”

    In none of the parallel passages quoted, or in any others that might be cited, does Mrs. White speak of the cohabitation of man with beast as being a feature of the gross and dismal picture of antediluvian wickedness that precipitated the Flood. On the contrary, it would appear that she speaks of intermarriage of the race of Cain and the race of Seth, with its inevitable train of idolatry, polygamy, and kindred evils, as the cause of the Flood. And all this harmonizes with the earlier quoted statement that contains the passage in question.

    As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry.–Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, pp. 60, 61.

    This introduction to the chapter “Crime Before the Flood” is followed by a recital of the idolatry that grew rampant, the denial of God, the theft, the polygamy, the murder of men, and the destruction of animal life. Then comes immediately the disputed passage, as though summarizing:

    “But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the Flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.”

    One apparent stumbling block in the way of accepting this interpretation of the passage as an intermarriage of races of men and a crossing or other attempts at aberrantly mixing different species of animals is the construction of the statement: “amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God.” How could the crossing of species of animals do this?

    But look more closely at what she says. Two results follow from the “amalgamation of [1] man and [2] beast”: It (1) “defaced the image of God,” and (2) “caused confusion everywhere.” We have seen how the marriage, the amalgamation, of the races of men produced the first of the results. Why could we not properly consider that the amalgamation of the races, or species, of animals produced the second, that is, “caused confusion everywhere”?

    So, while the amalgamation passages in the writings of Mrs. White are admittedly confusing and could have been more clearly written, there simply is no obvious requirement to interpret these passages as being significantly unique to the many other statements she made regarding the reason for the destruction of the antediluvian world or God’s current warnings against mixing believers with unbelievers in unholy association, such as marriage, to deface the image of God upon the heart. The same thing is true of her statements regarding the corruption of animal and plant life in nature – right in light with Jesus’ own statements attributing at least some of these aberrant features to Satan’s own designs and evil creativity…

    For further discussion see:

    http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/amalg.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  15. “This is just about politics, using power and extreme marginalizing rhetoric like “infidelity” because they can’t keep up intellectually in the halls of Adventist academia.” Alexander Carpenter wrote in part.

    How far from a true characterization of what Miller wrote for a person who apparently believes he can keep up “intellectually.” And he teaches at an SDA college. Does disparaging Miller’s very timely observations without real facts indicate desperation”

    Thanks, Nick Miller for your salient and very appropriate comments.




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  16. @Alexander Carpenter:
    Alexander, the quotes from Spiritual Gifts are very similar to quotes in Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 111:

    “Like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.”

    “But the assumption that the events of the first week required thousands upon thousands of years, strikes directly at the foundation of the fourth commandment. It represents the Creator as commanding men to observe the week of literal days in commemoration of vast, indefinite periods. This is unlike His method of dealing with His creatures. It makes indefinite and obscure that which He has made very plain. It is infidelity in its most insidious and hence most dangerous form; its real character is so disguised that it is held and taught by many who profess to believe the Bible.”

    This statement is just as strongly worded as the one in Spiritual Gifts.

    Moreover, the evidence with regard to the “amalgamation” statements is that although EGW did not use the term “amalgamation” in later writings, she never abandoned the concept, as can be seen from a quote in Great Controversy about the resurection of the unsaved antediluvians. If you look on the “Yes, Creation” thread, I pointed this out to Pauluc.




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  17. Amalgamation:

    Good comments Sean. Not to contradict you, but it just might be that EGW was also writing before her time, so to speak. This maybe something that was impossible in her day but very possible now or in the near future (and might have been going on before the flood among a race that according to EGW was much more advanced than ours). Anyone can easily do a little study on the current issue of “Chimeras,” (the amalgamation of different animals or man and animal), and will find a lot of current information on this, not in the “National Inquirer” but mainline news sources and medical journals. Following are just a couple found in a quick qoogle search. The ethics of creating chimeras, even talk of human/chimpanzee (humanzee), is being discussed in many countries around the world. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2005/04/19/from_myth_to_reality/

    As far as Nick having to “go back” to Ellen White’s comments in Spiritual Gifts in order to find supporting evidence that students shouldn’t be sent to schools teaching “delusive scientific theories” (what Alexander calls the “pre-scientific worldview”), a simple search shows that counsel didn’t change. Science falsely so called will raise a dreadful harvest:

    “Some Points to Guard.–We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service.”–RH, Mar 1, 1898. (7BC 916.)

    “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.
    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 the darkness of error.
    The youth who go to Ann Arbor must receive Jesus as their personal Saviour or they will build upon the sand, and their foundation will be swept away.”–Letter 26, 1891, pp. 1, 2, 3-6. (To Leon Smith, son of Elder Uriah Smith, October 9, 1891.) {4MR 50.3}

    “The general method of educating the youth does not meet the standard of true education. Infidel sentiments are interwoven in the matter placed in school books, and the oracles of God are placed in a questionable or even an objectionable light. Thus the minds of the youth become familiar with Satan’s suggestions, and the doubts once entertained become to those who entertain them, assured facts, and scientific research is made misleading on account of the way its discoveries are interpreted and perverted. Men take it upon themselves to rein up the word of God before a finite tribunal, and sentence is pronounced upon the inspiration of God according to finite measurement, and the truth of God is made to appear as a thing uncertain before the records of science. These false educators exalt nature above nature’s God, and above the Author of all true science. At the very time when teachers should have been firm and unwavering in their testimony, at the very time when it should have been made manifest that their souls were riveted to the eternal Rock, when they should have been able to inspire faith in those who were doubting, they made admission of their own uncertainty as to whether the word of God or the discoveries or science, falsely so called, were true. Those who were truly conscientious have been made to waver in their faith because of the hesitation of those who were professed expositors of the Bible when they dealt with the living oracles. Satan has taken advantage of the uncertainty of the mind, and through unseen agencies, he has crowded in his sophistries, and has caused men to become befogged in the mists of skepticism.” {YI, January 31, 1895 par. 2}

    “Drifting Away From Bible Landmarks.–Many know so little about their Bibles that they are unsettled in the faith. They remove the old landmarks, and fallacies and winds of doctrine blow them hither and thither. Science, falsely so-called, is wearing away the foundation of Christian principle; and those who once were in the faith drift away from the Bible landmarks, and divorce themselves from God, while still claiming to be His children.”–Review and Herald, Dec. 29, 1896.

    “Conflict Between False Science and Religion.–I have been warned that henceforth we shall have a constant contest. Science, so-called, and religion will be placed in opposition to each other, because finite men do not comprehend the power and greatness of God. These words of Holy Writ were presented to me: ‘Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.’ This will surely be seen among the people of God, and there will be those who are unable to perceive the most wonderful and important truths for this time, truths which are essential for their own safety and salvation, while matters that are in comparison as the merest atoms, matters in which there is scarcely a grain of truth, are dwelt upon and are magnified by the power of Satan so that they appear of the utmost importance.” {Ev 593.1, 1890}




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  18. I would like to suggest to the Adventist in High School that backsliding and infidelity do not come overnight. When seeds are sown they stay in the ground and after a while plants appear. By now all biologists can explain what they believe took place in between.

    But such plants could not spring up if they were not planted.

    The less we hear and see of evolution, the more likely we are to believe in creation. People believe what they are taught. Even Eve.

    It is the duty of the elders to guard the flock and protect it from the savage, ravening wolves that Paul wrote about

    Acts 20:28-30 (NKJV): “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.'”

    If the elders of the church do not act on this responsibility they will be charged with the crimes attributed to the evolutionists. Judgment begins at the house of God (and starts with the elders).

    We are sanctified by the truth and God’s word is truth. Man shall live by every word of God (Luke 4:4). There is no place in the Bible for a toleration of or exposure to evolution. We cannot be all things to all people but we can be faithful to God.

    Student, modern world views and modus operandi may seem sophisticated and wise etc. to men but such are abhorrent to God when they seek to diminish God’s word. Prov 30:5, 6) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

    That is what evolution does.

    The Scriptures are our only safeguard. Do not worry if you are treated with contempt for wanting to walk narrowly in God’s way. Read Hebrews 11 again. Peter reminds us we are a peculiar people. Rejoice in that and be not friends with the world.




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  19. Sean,

    Your post represents some of the more racist thoughts I’ve seen represented on this site, and I would encourage you to rethink what you have said and offer an appropriate apology. Ellen White did not support the type of racism that you have tried to use her statements to support. Nor did she ever say what you have made it appear. I understand that you may not be aware of some of her statements on the topic, and I understand that several of the statements, when taken singly, can be ambiguous. But looking at all of the relevant statements collectively (of which I can only present a few here), I hope you will see what she is saying, and what she is not saying.

    “Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood, there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.” {1 SP 78.2}

    In this statement it is clear that “amalgamation” caused new “confused” species to exist, but these species were not preserved in the ark. Following the flood, she says, more amalgamating occurred, and this even among men. The statement clearly establishes that certain races of men came about by “amalgamation” which would not have otherwise existed.

    Now, was that “amalgamation” which caused new races of men the result of intermarriage of the lines of Cain and Seth? Two points: 1) she is talking about post-flood events, so the “amalgamation” occurred entirely with the line of Noah; and 2) she does not equate the marriages of the “sons of God” with the “daughters of man” to be on par with the sin of “amalgamation.” See the following quote.

    Every act, however small, has its place in the great drama of life. Consider that the desire for a single gratification of appetite introduced sin into our world, with its terrible consequences. Unhallowed marriages of the sons of God with the daughters of men resulted in apostasy which ended in the destruction of the world by a flood. The most trifling act of self-indulgence has resulted in great revolutions. This is the case now. There are very few who are circumspect. Like the children of Israel, they will not take heed to words of counsel, but follow their own inclination. They unite with a worldly element in attending gatherings where they will be brought into notice, and thus lead the way and others follow. What has been done once will be done again by themselves and many others. Every step these take makes a lasting impression, not only on their own consciences and habits, but upon those of others. This consideration gives awful dignity to human life. {5T 93.1}

    Notice in the statement above that she never uses the term “amalgamation” to refer to those intermarriages. Nor does she speak in such strong terms as to call them “abominable.” What she seems to imply instead is that these marriages represented a “trifling act” which led to much greater apostasy down the line.

    Let’s face it: if it were the abominable and “base crime” of “amalgamation” for the descendants of Seth to marry those of Cain, we are facing a tremendous apostasy in our church today, far more extensive than this little issue of teaching evolution at LSU. We have thousands of mixed-race marriages, and many Adventists “unequally yoked.” And why would not Mrs. White have verbalized the same rhetoric toward these types of marriages today if these were truly the cause of the flood? The answer is simple: Ellen White taught no such thing as some people in our church today may claim. Truly, this would be racism at best, and a “hate crime” at worst.

    Regarding the “amalgamation” defacing “the image of God,” I would remind you that only mankind was created in God’s image. “Let us make man in our image…” There is no such statement regarding the animals. Therefore, the only way to deface that image would be to involve man. In fact, Mrs. White supports the fact that it was man, and not animals, which were made in God’s image.

    The spies upon our Saviour’s words dared not, in the presence of the multitude answer this question for fear of involving themselves in difficulties. They knew that while they would leave men to suffer and die rather than to violate their traditions by relieving them upon the Lord’s day, a brute which had fallen into danger would be at once relieved, because of the loss that would accrue to the owner if he was neglected. Thus the dumb animal was exalted above man, made in the image of God. {2SP 198.3}

    Beings formed in the image of God are dragged down to a level with the brutes. {PP 458.1}

    The spies dared not answer Christ in the presence of the multitude, for fear of involving themselves in difficulty. They knew that He had spoken the truth. Rather than violate their traditions, they would leave a man to suffer, while they would relieve a brute because of the loss to the owner if it were neglected. Thus greater care was shown for a dumb animal than for man, who is made in the image of God. This illustrates the working of all false religions. They originate in man’s desire to exalt himself above God, but they result in degrading man below the brute. Every religion that wars against the sovereignty of God defrauds man of the glory which was his at the creation, and which is to be restored to him in Christ. Every false religion teaches its adherents to be careless of human needs, sufferings, and rights. The gospel places a high value upon humanity as the purchase of the blood of Christ, and it teaches a tender regard for the wants and woes of man. The Lord says, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” Isaiah 13:12. {DA 286.4}

    The evidence is strong that “amalgamation of man and beast” was a reference to either bestiality or purposeful genetic mixing between human and animal DNA.

    If you mix human species with human species you get human species. “Amalgamation” yields new species, “confused species.” You cannot get a “confused species” simply from people marrying their own species. If you could, God would be to blame, for He it was who invented our DNA and made such confusion possible. There seems only one way to have introduced this “confusion,” and not by means of ordinary human marriages.

    Erik




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  20. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna Dane says:
    June 20, 2010 Susie, I have attended both private and Adventist colleges. I saw a huge difference in the message proclaimed.

    I took a couple of classes at LSU including one from a teacher accused of being a theistic evolutionist. I learned some useful things about evolution as well I should have but I never heard any negative comments on young earth creationism or the Bible.

    1. It is easy to see that any given LSU history, chemistry, biology, math, Bible class would not need to go on an evolutionist rant about “birds coming from reptiles”. This or that evolutionist evangelist may choose to insert that fiction into his lecture – but would not need to do so to teach actual science, history or Bible.

    2. But it would be difficult to imagine listening to Bradley speak as he did to the press in his own free will inititated statements about the Bible statement on creation being nothing but trash – and come out of that lecture imagining that Bradley strongly endorsed the SDA doctrine on origins.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  21. If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our universities or begin tellling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?  

    What I want to know is;just like it’s problematic for offshoots to call others out of Babylon, and into what; how do we explain to the new member that we are the true remnant church-yet teaching evolution at our colleges?

    Usually what I try to do for those that stumble is present the parable of the wheat and tares in Matt.13, and COL p.70-76.

    We need to just cut back on the evolution course material and those that teach it-problem solved!




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  22. It seems as if you’re being overly protective here. Are you conceding that belief in young earth creationism is so fragile, or so easily dis-proven that simply being exposed to a profession espousing the opposite viewpoint is going to cause its supporters to deflect to the other side?

    Or, perhaps you are suggesting that college students are so unintelligent, that simply being exposed to more than one viewpoint in classes will so confuse them that they will not know what to believe?

    At least that’s how it’s sounding to me

    Adding to what Shane said; not only should anti-Biblical positions and error not be taught in our schools but the fact of the matter is that not all, or even most of the students in any class are going to be well-grounded and unshakable in Adventist faith. Many will be struggling with their belief system and commitment to Christ. Then when the error comes, it can be the dividing line between real faith that leads to eternal life, or weak, doubting faith making the difference for the future life.




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  23. Narrow is the gate and few there be who find it..wide is the road to perdition. Sister White was correct, and we look so much like the world that God is going to spew us out of His mouth. We need to chose whose side we are going to be on the world and its views or God and God alone.




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  24. @Erik:

    In this statement it is clear that “amalgamation” caused new “confused” species to exist, but these species were not preserved in the ark. Following the flood, she says, more amalgamating occurred, and this even among men. The statement clearly establishes that certain races of men came about by “amalgamation” which would not have otherwise existed.

    Now who is being “racist”?

    It seems far more consistent from the writings of Mrs. White that she viewed all ethnic groups of humans as one blood and as brothers and sisters before God. She simply did not buy into the racism of her day thinking the caucasian race inherently superior in mental capability or moral worth.

    The passages in question do not really refer to the mixing of man with beast, but some sort of unauthorized mixing of man and of beast (at least that is implied by her other writings on this topic). She does not buy into the idea in any of her other writings that there were any successful attempts to mix man with beast – though this is certainly happening today with the formation of chimeras between man and beast in the lab.

    Now granted, the word “amalgamation” is largely ambiguous as she uses it. Again though, it does not necessarily mean the same thing for animals as it does for humans in her understanding. She may actually have used this term to refer to the amalgamation of religious ideas or cultures which deface the image of God in the lives of his people within certain cultures and “races of men” – before and after the flood. She clearly refers to such intermarriages and close relationships over and over again as a grave mistake – even evil. This was the basis of the success of Balaam against God’s people when he was not allowed to curse the people of God. Oh no, Mrs. did not consider the intermarriage of God’s people with unbelievers the “trifling” matter that you suggest. Quite the contrary…

    Beyond this you can speculate all you want, but the issue of what Mrs. White was really trying to say with the use of this word will not be definitively settled until the end of time…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  25. @ Erik
    While I agree that the amalgamation certainly appears to be between man and beast, I believe your accusations of racism against brother Sean to be without grounds; that is, unless you consider it racism for a believer to refuse to marry an unbeliever. That was the issue between the sons of God and the daughters of men. It was not a race issue. In the same manner, only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham… the Jews turned it into a race issue.

    The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.




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  26. To clarify, I think it is racist to call any form of inter-human marriage (if you wish to call it inter-racial, so be it) equivalent to the “base crime” of “amalgamation.” That is what Sean and some others have offered us as their interpretation of the events. If “inter-racial marriages” constitute a crime before heaven, God should have said so somewhere in the Bible, and such a law would still be valid today. However, it is not there. There is a reason it is not there.

    @Lee, that is what I see as racist — forbidding interracial marriage, as if the several races were not equal or of the same “species.” Which of us can say “such and such a race is not fit to marry my children” without being racist?

    Erik




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  27. LSU is no longer a sda university in my book. So how can we say ‘we will proclaim our message loudly’ The best way ‘we’ as sda’s should proclaim it-get out now! Now if a sda decides to go to a secular school, then you could say, we can be a good example to others. LSU is not setting the example any longer.




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  28. Billie says:
    June 23, 2010 “LSU is no longer a sda university in my book. So how can we say ‘we will proclaim our message loudly’ The best way ‘we’ as sda’s should proclaim it-get out now!”

    This is one possible solution, Billie. But probably not the right one. Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah and all the prophets condemned the apostacy in the church community. But they did not say, “Get out now”.

    Even Jesus was well aware of the deep apostacy in the church in His time. But He did not “call out” people to abandon the Jewish historical faith and start a new church.

    After they killed Him, then and then only was it declared the time to abandon apostate Judaism. The point is this, God may yet purge the church of unbelievers if and when we stand up and demand accountability of the church leadership.

    In this scenario, the true church remains while unbelievers are “shaken out”. At some point, they may run you out as they did the prophets. But you will find others who will support the true faith if you wait patiently for things to develop.

    If we cling to the name “Seventh-day Adventist”, and defend the historical faith, some will eventually abandon the church. Our goal is not to drive people out, but bring them to a realization of the necessity of a commitment to the truth as clearly stated by EGW and others.

    LSU like many of our institutions, will no doubt abandon the name SDA because it is not popular when the true doctrines are advocated. If we continue to present the truth, the shaking is inevitable.

    Here is what EGW has said…


    I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people. {CET 176.1}
    I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it, and be purified. {CET 176.2}
    Said the angel, “List ye!” Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, “Look ye!” My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude, and holy, sacred joy. {CET 176.3}
    177
    The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks.”

    This statement needs no explanation. And its reality is apparent to many who are observing the present situation.

    Bill Sorensen




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  29. I’ve thought long and hard about Ellen White’s amalgamation statements, and the result of my thinking about these statements is in my book, “Dinosaurs — An Adventist View” which is available at Amazon.com and at your local ABC. I’ll try to summarize my thinking here.

    There is no question that the Bible consistently frowns upon marriages between believers and unbelievers, as does Ellen White. However, I don’t think she would call such unions a “crime.” Moreover, the first amalgamation statement (“But if there was one sin above another . . .”) comes at the end of a chapter dealing with the sins of the antediluvians. One of the issues White had already discussed, earlier in the chapter, was intermarriage between the godly line of Seth and the rebellious line of Cain:

    “The descendants of Seth were called the sons of God—the descendants of Cain, the sons of men. As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry. Many cast aside the fear of God, and trampled upon his commandments.”

    Having adequately treated the intermarriage issue just four pages earlier, Ellen White would not have revisited, in a vague and inscrutable fashion, an issue that she had just treated so clearly and explicitly.

    Second, the second amalgamation passage makes clear that “amalgamation” was something that happened primarily to animals:

    “Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood.”

    Amalgamation has to do with animals. The intermarriage of the line of Seth with the line of Cain has nothing to do with animals. There were two classes of animals in existence at the Flood: those that God created and those that were the result of amalgamation. Amalgamation has to do with animals.

    Third, in another usage of the term, amalgamation has to do with plants:

    “Christ never planted the seeds of death in the system. Satan planted these seeds when he tempted Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge, which meant disobedience to God. Not one noxious plant was placed in the Lord’s great garden, but after Adam and Eve sinned, poisonous herbs sprang up. In the parable of the sower the question was asked the master, “Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?” The master answered, “An enemy hath done this” (Matt. 13:27, 28). All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares.” SM v. 2, p. 288.

    So amalgamation was a method Satan used to create noxious herbs and tares. Amalgamation can be done on plants.

    Finally, let’s take a look at that troublesome sentence that Adventist racists love so dearly:

    “Since the flood, there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.”

    Here, amalgamation is something associated with the very rapid post-Flood speciation and diversification that is part of every creationist model of earth history. Amalgamation apparently led to or facilitated: (1) an “almost endless variety of species of animals,” and (2) the racial diversification of humanity. Here, just as with the poisonous herbs and tares that Satan made, and just as with the species of animals that the antedilvuians made that were not taken on board the ark but destroyed in the Flood, “amalgamation” has nothing to do with the intermarriage of the sons of Seth with the daughters of Cain.

    What the three uses of the term amalgmation have in common is that in every instance the subject is biology, more specifically, genetics. Amalgamation is always a biological, genetic phenomenon that makes, or helps to make, new species. Satan used amalgamation to introduce tares, nuisance species of plants, into the world. The antediluvians used amalgamation to make a class of animals that was destroyed in the Flood. After the Flood, amalgamation is something that facilitated an explosion of diversification and speciation, creating “an almost endless variety of species of animals” and also creating racial diversity in the human family.

    The exact technology of amalgamation cannot be determined from the statements, but I would argue that in the cases of Satan and the antediluvians, amalgamation was at type of genetic engineering that enabled them to design and produce species that were not part of God’s original creation and that God never intended. With regard to post-Flood amalgamation, I would speculate that lateral gene transfer among species played a very large large role in the rapid post-Flood speciation that is part of all creationist models. One example is that I think there was probably a gene for marsupialism that spread rapidly among species in Australia, causing animals that were placental in other areas to reproduce using the pouch method in Australia. Just an idea to run up the flag pole.

    By the way, the use of the phrase “in certain races of men” is indefensible. According to Ellen White’s own prophetic writing, none of the modern races is anything like how God created Adam and Eve; all have substantially changed, and in fact degenerated, from what humans were originally like. And yet all races still reflect the image of God. Those who are constantly harping that Ellen White never claimed inerrancy can point to this phraseology as a clear case of error, and totally out of character with the general tone of her writings on race and race relations. Yet the concept of amalgamation—particularly the idea that we should expect to find animals in the fossil record that God did not create and that were not preserved on the ark and thus brought into the modern world—is clearly inspired and is of enormous value in rightly interpreting the fossil record.




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  30. Alex, I’m always ready for a good history observation, but I’m afraid that your claim that Mrs. White shifted in her views on creation and evolution just does not stand up to scrutiny. Yes, I did quote from Spiritual Gifts (1864) as the original source of the statement, but the statement was republished in Signs of the Times fifteen years later (1879) and again in Spirit of Prophecy Vol. IV, five years later (1884). Furthermore, she made virtually identical statements regarding the creation week being literal days in the book Education (pp. 128-129) published in 1904. I am one who accepts that Mrs. White’s personal views matured and even underwent change over the years, with these two caveats: 1. earlier inspired statements of truth are clarified, but not contradicted, by later statements, and, 2. that one must show evidence of the claimed change, not just assume it. You offer evidence of neither qualification. Until you do, I think that the halls of Adventist academia are unlikely to find your arguments either credible or meaningfully intellectual.




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  31. David,

    Your logic is sound regarding what amalgamation cannot be properly applied to. Such applications as forbid certain inter-human marriages are racist, as you have said, and as I have attempted to express. I almost fully agree with your reasoning on this. However, I will differ slightly on one point, and that is that since we do not know how the amalgamations occurred, we cannot rule out the possibility of men tinkering with plant, animal, and human genetics by means of cross-breeding (as opposed to a more “laboratory” approach). They were very intelligent. Perhaps they knew ways of intermixing species which we would never guess could be mixed with any survivable result, including humans with animals.

    So, on the lighter side, if evolutionists like to think they have descended from apes…maybe we should give them a fair hearing (and a DNA test)!

    Erik




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  32. @Erik:
    Erik, I think we are basically on the same page. I agree that the amalgamation statements have nothing to do with one human marrying another human. They do not refer to the sons of Seth/daughters of Cain issue.

    As to how amalgamation was accomplished, at least by the antediluvians, I think our current techniques in the areas of molecular genetics, genomics, genetic engineering, and cloning probably provide the best indication. Cross-breeding by itself was probably not involved as the primary mechanism, because breeding is not viable except as between “species” that are already very closely related. (Indeed, for some purposes, animals are defined as being of the same species if they can breed fertile offspring.) If animals can naturally inter-breed, it probably was in God’s plan that they would, and hence the products would not “deface the image of God and cause confusion everywhere.” Only genetic manipulation of a radical character would cause God to want to wipe out the world and make a fresh start. But extremely radical genetic manipulation is exactly what we see in many of the extinct vertebrates found in the Flood-laid fossil record.




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  33. @David Read:

    It is interesting and even entertaining to make such speculations about what animals were or were not genetically manipulated or what may or may not have been involved in such manipulation – or even exactly what type of mixing or “amalgamation” Mrs. White was referring to in certain passages (the White Estate seems to favor the mixing in marriage idea regarding human “amalgamation”, which seems at least plausible given what little there is to work with).

    Note that, for example, Mrs. White specifically uses the word “amalgamation” metaphorically in the following passage describing the union of God’s people with the world:

    “Those who profess to be followers of Christ, should be living agencies, cooperating with heavenly intelligences; but by union with the world, the character of God’s people becomes tarnished, and through amalgamation with the corrupt, the fine gold becomes dim” (Review and Herald, Aug. 23, 1892; see also The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 144 and The Upward Look, p. 318).

    The problem is that we just don’t have a very reliable way of determining the answers to these questions with high predictive value. As things currently stand, all of these thoughts are heavily based on a large dose of speculation without much solid evidentiary basis. I think this should be admitted up front. It does our position no service to claim too much or to base too much on such large leaps into very thin air… claiming that this or that animal within the fossil record was the clear result of human genetic manipulation before the flood and for that reason was not saved on the Ark (esp. given that we have some pretty terrifying animals that evidently did make it onto the Ark (crocodiles, for example, can get pretty huge and ferocious you know – and seem very ideally designed as cold-blooded predators).

    Just be careful in how you come across and how much weight you give to such speculations…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  34. It does our position no service to claim too much or to base too much on such large leaps into very thin air… claiming that this or that animal within the fossil record was the clear result of human genetic manipulation before the flood and for that reason was not saved on the Ark….

    Sean,

    It seems like Ellen White said “Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark” (1 SP 78.2). Therefore, any species which became extinct at the time of the flood must necessarily have come about via amalgamation. That seems fairly clear. So we know where T-Rex came from, right?

    Erik




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    • @Erik: While it may be that T. Rex came by means of amalgamation, the Brachiosaurus was Not an amalgamation. We know this from Job 40: 15-24. It is possible that the form of dinosaur that God created became extinct after the flood, as is indicated in the Cambodian and early American Indian images of the dinosaur. Perhaps the dinosaurs who stood on two legs were the amalgamated form. God mentioned the Behemoth in the Bible in order to let us know that He did, in fact create at least one variety of dinosaur.




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  35. Sean, I agree that my interpretation of the dinosaurs and the amalgamation statements is speculative. In fact, in my book I call it “very speculative.” Frequently, however, a scientific hypothesis is accepted on scant evidence if it solves many difficulties. Darwinism is a good example. I think you would agree that the idea that every living thing evolved from one or a few single-celled organisms is supported by no evidence that cannot be otherwise interpreted. Yet this idea was adopted by the scientific community because it solves an enormous problem, to wit, how to account for the creation along strictly naturalistic lines. It was so important to solve this huge problem that very little evidence was needed to convince the scientific community of the truth of mega-evolution.

    Likewise, we have a huge problem in creationism, in the fact that we are told that all the animals were gathered up in the ark, and yet the fossil record is full of animals that don’t exist in the modern world and never existed at any time following the Flood. In fact, much of the sub-tertiary vertebrate fossil record is composed of just such animals. That’s a stupendous problem with the creationist worldview, which is solved by my interpretation of the amalgamation statements. Admittedly, the amalgamation statements are vague. That being the case, why not interpret them in a way that solves serious problems for our view of earth history?

    I think Ellen White’s statements have a good deal of predictive value. She stated that two classes of animals existed at the Flood (1) those that God created, and (2) those that God did not create, that were amalgamated. She stated that the created animals were preserved in the ark and the amalgamated animals destroyed in the Flood. The amalgamated creatures were numerous and widespread enough to “deface the image of God and cause confusion everywhere.” Based upon these statements, we can predict that there will be many animals in the Flood-laid fossil record that exist only as fossils, and that do not exist as living creatures in the modern world nor in the post-Flood fossil record. This prediction is more than amply fulfilled by the data of the fossil record.

    I think we can also predict that the “amalgamated” creatures would show signs of mixing of elements of classes of animals that are now distinct. This prediction is also amply born out by the fossil record. There are a few examples in the modern world of class-crossing creatures (e.g., the monotremes). But on the whole, modern vertebrates seem to fit well within their classes. Not so with sub-tertiary vertebrate fossil record. The dinosaurs’ mixed-class characteristics are defining; they really do seem like mixtures of birds and reptiles, and yet the stratographic order of the fossils seems to rule out the hypothesis that dinosaurs evolved into birds. The mammal-like reptiles really do have characteristics of mammals and of reptiles; how does one explain this without recourse to Darwinism or mega-evolution? The answer lies in Ellen White’s inspired statements regarding amalgamation. Oh, yes, there is predictive and explanatory value aplenty in EGW’s amalgamation statements.




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  36. @Sean Pitman:

    You say with uncharacteristic candour

    “As things currently stand, all of these thoughts are heavily based on a large dose of speculation without much solid evidentiary basis. I think this should be admitted up front. It does our position no service to claim too much or to base too much on such large leaps into very thin air… claiming that this or that animal within the fossil record was the clear result of human genetic manipulation before the flood and for that reason was not saved on the Ark (esp. given that we have some pretty terrifying animals that evidently did make it onto the Ark (crocodiles, for example, can get pretty huge and ferocious you know – and seem very ideally designed as cold-blooded predators).”

    This is certainly not something I have seen before and I suspect I may have iminterpreted a quote or missed the sarcasm markup. Apropos of this statement I note my previous request for real testable hypothesis and some real science to test your proposal that there was vastly higher genetic complexity 4000 years ago seems to have disappeared from this site without any opportunity to see your response.

    The amalgamation statements seem fairly simple to me compared to the issue of the Nephilim. In a plain reading of this statement in Genesis 6.

    ” 1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal [b] ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

    4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. ”

    The statement sons of God (bene Elohim) seems to have been used in 4 other passages
    Daniel 3:25
    He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
    Job 38:7
    while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels [bene Elohim] shouted for joy?
    Job 1:6
    6 One day the angels [bene Elohim] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [b] also came with them.
    Job 2:1
    1 On another day the angels [bene Elohim] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.

    These statements are often interpreted in the same way as you interpret intermarriage between believers and unbelievers as . This is a convenient interpretation but I find it difficult to diregard the other 4 passages for conveniences sake. I would have to suggest that not only were there amalgamations of beast and man but by the plain reading you advocate the clear intention of the genesis passage is that the angels mated with the daughters of men to generate the Nephilim or giants that EG White suggested was the heroes and great men of the antedeluvian world.

    I presume Nephilim this was an important component of David Reeds book. The last pseudoscience book I bought from Amazon by Sanford was underwhelming so I may may have to try to borrow it.




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  37. The descendants of Seth were called the sons of God–the descendants of Cain, the sons of men. As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt, and by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry. Many cast aside the fear of God, and trampled upon his commandments. But there were a few who did righteousness, who feared and honored their Creator. Noah and his family were among the righteous few. {3SG 60.2}

    After the translation of Enoch to heaven, the sons of men that were set against the worship of God were drawing away the sons of God. There were two parties in the world then, and there always will be. The worshipers of God called themselves the sons of God. The descendants of Seth went up into the mountains and there made themselves homes separate from the sons of Cain. Here in their mountainous homes they thought to preserve themselves from the prevailing wickedness and idolatry of the descendants of Cain. But after the exhortations and the influence of Enoch were removed from them, they commenced to unite with the descendants of Cain. {CTr 39.2}

    That should help clarify the identity of the “sons of God.”

    Erik




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  38. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the fact that you actually brought up the idea that [Angels] could have mated with humans. Did you not know that angels are “neither male nor female”? Therefore they could not procreate, end of fantasy.

    2Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”




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  39. @David Read:

    Likewise, we have a huge problem in creationism, in the fact that we are told that all the animals were gathered up in the ark, and yet the fossil record is full of animals that don’t exist in the modern world and never existed at any time following the Flood. In fact, much of the sub-tertiary vertebrate fossil record is composed of just such animals. That’s a stupendous problem with the creationist worldview, which is solved by my interpretation of the amalgamation statements. Admittedly, the amalgamation statements are vague. That being the case, why not interpret them in a way that solves serious problems for our view of earth history?

    Because of the very reason you listed for the problems created when mainstream scientists do this very thing to support their own ideas on naturalism. The use of such vague “evidence” to support a particular view simply isn’t valuable beyond just-so story telling. It has very little clear predictive value beyond those already convinced of a given perspective. It also raises as many problems as it “solves”. There are many extinct creatures in the fossil record that are not clearly problematic – at least not as obviously problematic as many animals that were evidently saved on the Ark (like the crocodile for example).

    Anyway, I do think such stories and ideas are interesting, but I do not think they should be used as statements of what clearly happened. They should only be used as points or questions to ponder, but given no more weight than that given the significant vagueness of the statements upon which they are based.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  40. Sean, I’m afraid we can’t go back and create a world in which no one speculates about origins. We have Darwinism and we have creationism, and they are both based upon faith, not certainty. I choose to contribute to the world that actually exists–in which people theorize about origins–rather than live in an imaginary, speculation-free world.

    The evidence I’m using to support my view is not vague, but crystal clear. The evidence is literally overwhelming that the sub-tertiary fossil record is full of class-mixing animals that no longer exist and that never existed in the post-Flood world. There’s a huge forest here, and we must not miss it for the trees. My interpretation of the amalgamation statements has very clear predictive value, in that it predicts and explains all these extinct, mixed-class fossil creatures.

    You and I may be troubled by the fact that something as creepy as a crocodile was preserved in the post-Flood world, but it isn’t “problematic” in terms of being a mixed-class creature. It is a reptile, pure and simple. I’m not suggesting that predation itself was a result of pre-Flood antediluvian amalgamation (although I do suggest that amalgamation worsened the problem). Predation apparently came in right after the Fall, so wiping out the amalgamated creatures in the Flood would not solve the problem of predation, as exemplified in creatures like crocodiles that are unusually well adapted for predation.




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  41. @pauluc:

    Yes Sean I am guilty of being too hopeful and of trying once more to respond to an intelligent person who I cant help but think has the best intentions for the Adventist community. I keep thinking that you must know what effects your words and agitation are having on the community of God.

    As you are likely aware I do feel I have some personal connection to you even though I have never met you. I am currently the subject of a local church discipline because I do not believe in biblical inerrancy. You indeed are the hero of the main protagonists in this action so you can take comfort in the fact that you have been the instrument of expanding action to purge the Adventist church worldwide.

    Further at the time of the action against me a long time member of the church resigned in response to the suggestion that one had to accept YEC or else one could not be an Adventist. He had been spending his retirement investigating the claims of YEC such as yourself and had come to the conclusion that the creation story was a myth and that evidence for evolution was overwhelming. Taking the same position as yourself, that Richard Dawkins is in fact correct and that if you do not believe in YEC then you had to be honest and reject all of Christianity. He is now progressively rejecting the basic tennants of Christianity. I see he is, in following your suggested trajectory, now investigating the history of the Church and the historicity of Jesus and is fast becoming agnostic if not atheistic. I have up to recently spoken to him little of issue of faith and science and his heritage is very much a 3ABN monolithic view of the church and of the truth that is extremely brittle, black and white and intolerant of any ambiguity. It is difficult to overcome 40 years of indoctination in this all or nothing view that sees God either as a God of Grace or he is a liar.

    I am afraid you may naively assume that you are just trying to get official church structure cleaned up and that you do not see this as a moral issue but your followers do not see it that way and like the taliban are bent on universal doctrinal purity starting with their own community.

    When in the Kingdom you are called to account and asked “what have you done with my sheep?” will you proudly point to all the trusting souls with a brittle faith that have become atheist in response to your call for purging and purity and say; these I have faithfully excluded from your Grace and compassion.




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  42. @Nathan:

    I am only suggesting that faithful reading of the text would indicate the intention of the writer of this passage was to convey the idea that Nephilim were the result of supernatural beings mating with humans.

    You may believe that this is preposterous because you are seeing the world from a modern naturalistic perspective but the issue is was it preposterous to the mind of the person writing this passage? If you think it was you have not been paying attention to much ancient or indeed more recent literature. What precisely were the centaurs and medusa in greek mythology? What of the animal human hybrids that we have captured in stone from the egyptian empire that were likely part of Moses heritage? Have you not read Miltons Paradise Lost a book with many parallels to the great controversy; what was the provenance of the guardian of the pit into which the Devil was cast after the war in Heaven? How did the devil look upon the first woman?




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  43. @David Read: Sean, the platypus is a monotreme. I mentioned them already, in a previous post. To deny that the mammal-like reptiles, for example are more class-bending than modern animals seems to me obtuse, but to each his own.




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  44. Should I wait to be disciplined before I face any conscientious unwillingness to keep a baptismal vow of SDA church membership head-on, which includes the fourth commandment? Does not honest difference lead me to a resignation of church membership as cheerfully as I am now inclined to stand and advance under its standard?
    God bless,

    Rich




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  45. @pauluc: Yes I have read the text, what about the others you left out that affirm that angels are neither male nor female? Matt 22:30? How did you get around that one? “sons of God” is not used exclusively of angels—the children of Israel are called “the sons of the living God” in Hosea 1:10.
    Now dont get me wrong I believe that everything we have on planet earth today has already been done before. The Bible backs that up as well in Ecc 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: AND THERE IS NO NEW THING UNDER THE SUN.” We are not even comparable to the men prior to the flood as far as brain usage, size, age, etc. To them we would be monkey’s with sticks. As the human race we have “devolved”, if you will, because of sin. I believe that mythical creatures were not myth but real prior to the flood that would explain amalgamation, man/beast genetic mixing explains all the mythical creatures we have seen throughout history. God destroyed everything because man was defacing His creation.

    I still dont buy the idea though that fallen angels could mate with women, only by possession of a man could I see that happening and it still is not the same thing. To each their own, but this is what I believe to be true according to what I have prayed about and studied according to scripture and the SOP.




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  46. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

    “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

    “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)

    We are the sons of God if we receive Christ and follow Him. The line of Seth did this, and were, therefore, called the sons of God. Cain’s descendants did not follow God, and were not called His sons.

    Erik




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  47. @pauluc:

    Nathan try to follow the logic. Sean Pitman you say;

    “The notion of human-animal hybrids and even hybrids between humans and “the gods” is certainly part of mythology, but it is clearly not part of the thinking of the Biblical authors.”

    Are you really certain of that?

    1] I have frequently seen on this site the contention that in quoting the old testament the new testament writers and Jesus himself validates them as being entirely true. In addition it is proposed that the canonical writings and the writings of Ellen White are inerrant. I believe this does make it difficult to be consistent. Regarding the angels and the humans mating;

    2] Look in your Bible to Jude 1:14-15.

    14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

    Is not this a reference to Enoch the antedeluvian prophet who is held responsible for the books of Enoch which are accepted as canonical by only the Ethiopic church but which was certainly part of the Dead sea scrolls.

    3] This quote is taken from 1 Enoch 1:9

    9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
    To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly:

    According to the prevailing logic at this site this would validate the writings of Enoch as being inspired.

    4] What else does this inspired man say about the time before the flood?

    1 Enoch chapter 6 onward goes on to say

    [Chapter 6]

    1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto 2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not 4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations 5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves 6 by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn 7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, 8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.

    [Chapter 7]

    1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms 2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they 3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed 4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and 6 fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

    ………………………

    [Chapter 10]

    1 Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, 2 and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come 3 upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape 4 and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’

    What do we do with this account of the situation immediately before the flood and the precise reasons for needing to destroy the world?

    Is Enoch inspired or not? Like Ellen White he is not Canonical except among a small subset of Christians. Might we conclude that the text of the canonical writings is correct and Enoch is not. This however would leave you in somewhat of a bind as you have already assumed inerrancy of the Bible and it is very clear that Jude regarded Enoch as a prophet otherwise why would he say he “prophesied”?

    If you accept Enoch as a prophet however you have like Ellen Whites account of the creation a whole other account of the reasons for the flood and need to seriously consider the textual context of Genesis 6 to indicate that the writers of Genesis may well have been talking about angels mating with the human offspring that is the clear implication of the Hebrew words used. Indeed if you accept that Satan became a serpent to deceive the woman could not the evil angels have become human to mate with and deceive mankind? A recent commentary on Genesis by Laurence Turner indeed draws this comparison between the original deception and the fall and the new deception of the supernatural seeking to subvert the human as the basis for the destruction of the world in the flood. Why else would there need to be global destruction? Your interpretation of the sons of Cain and daughter of Seth intermarrying really seems apretty paltry basis for global destruction. Have not the people of God corrupted themselves throughout the history of Israel by intermarrying without ocassioning global destruction?

    For me, I think it much more satisfying to accept the nature of inspiration as expressed in FB#1 that clearly teaches that the bible is inspired and is infallible for instruction in righteousness but does not claim inerrancy of the Bible in all areas of history or science. I can then accept that Jude can take the writings of the book of Enoch and use them to convey an important truth and allow him to consider Enoch was a prophet without accepting that everything Enoch wrote was absolutely correct.

    I can also say that the writer of Genesis 6 indeed meant to convey that evil angels mated with the humans and created a cosmic crisis in the world and believe they were conveying a spiritual lesson on the spiritual interactions of the divine with the human without accepting this has to be absolutely factually correct. But then again more likely any attempt to have a coherent view of God and science would likely be dismissed by the prevailing group think as unAdventist and driven by the Devil.




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  48. Pauluc wrote:

    Is Enoch inspired or not? Like Ellen White he is not Canonical except among a small subset of Christians.

    In this question, Pauluc assumes that the biblical Enoch who lived before the world-wide flood was the author of the book of Enoch. (By the way, there are a number of different books of “Enoch.”) This is not a little far-fetched, seeing that the Jews did not regard the book as inspire, nor did the early Christians. And we cannot be certain of its origin earlier than two centuries before Christ — thousands of years after Enoch lived on this earth.

    It is likely that some of the prophecies of Enoch were extant among Jewish oral history. The author of the book of Enoch — whoever he might have been — would have incorporated these into the book. Thus the quotation in Jude is just as likely to have come from the common oral tradition, rather than the pseudoepigraphal book of Enoch.




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  49. Why base our doctrine on the Bible when we could base it on the “Book of Enoch” instead ?? Is that really your solution Pauluc?

    OR are you saying that we should not trust the Bible anymore than we can trust every word in the book of Enoch.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  50. Pauluc, I discuss the Genesis 6 statement in pages 399 to 404 of my book, “Dinosaurs–An Adventist View.” I won’t reproduce all five pages here, but I will reproduce the footnote (FN 26, ch. 18) that deals with the book of Enoch:

    “Proponents of the theory of breeding between angels and humans draw support from the pseudepigraphal book of 1 Enoch and from an interpretation of verses in Peter (1 Peter 3:18-20, 2 Peter 2:4, 5) and Jude (verses 6 and 7) that is influenced by 1 Enoch. Although Jude quotes from 1 Enoch, Enoch contains a mixture of truth and error. Pseudepigrapha means ‘falsely superscribed,’ meaning falsely titled or attributed. The book of Enoch was written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 50. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, had nothing to do with writing the book. Moreover, the Book of Enoch makes bizarre and incredible assertions. For example, it claims that the Nephilim were 300 cubits tall (450 feet tall), that the antediluvians exhausted themselves trying to feed these outsized giants, that the giants turned on the antediluvian men and started eating them, and that they then started eating each other and drinking blood. (1 Enoch, chapter 7.) The Book of Enoch was never included in the Hebrew canon, and although the book was well known to the early Christians, they did not include it in their canon, either—the Ethiopian church being a notable exception. After the Council of Laodicea in A.D. 364, the church banned 1 Enoch and suppressed it so vigorously that most copies were destroyed. It was thought to be a lost book until the Scottish explorer James Bruce found a copy in Ethiopia, written in Ethiopian, in the early 1770s. Copies were also found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. For the views of supporters of the theory of breeding between angels and humans, see, e.g., James Montgomery Boice, Genesis, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998); Henry J. Morris, The Genesis Record, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1976); Chuck Missler, Textual Controversy: Mischievous Angels or Sethites?; Ray C. Stedman, Signs of Collapse; Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology, (Chicago: Scripture Press, 1952); John Fleming, The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology, (Dublin: Hodges, Foster & Figgis, 1879).”




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  51. Pauluc, I just wanted to add that although I agree with the Adventist and EWG interpretation of Genesis 6:4 as referring to the Sethites marrying Cainites, I thought you raised an excellent point regarding the ubiquity of chimerical or mosaic creatures in ancient statuary and mythology. I mention this same phenomenon in my book, but attribute it not to the products of sons of God/daughters of men but rather to the amalgamation phenomenon:

    “Mixed creatures such as chimeras and griffins are prominently featured in ancient mythology. On a trip to the Getty museum in Los Angeles, I was struck by how pervasive is the griffin—a mythical beast that was part eagle and part lion—in ancient Greek art and artifacts. Combinations of humans and animals are also common in ancient mythology, which features centaurs (half horse), harpies (half bird), minotaurs (half bull), satyrs (half goat), and mermaids (half fish). One wonders why human/animal combinations are so common in mythology. Could it be that the ancients had a dim collective memory of a time when human and animal combinations existed? Perhaps Noah and his children told stories of human/animal combinations that existed before the Flood, and, over the millennia, elements of these stories worked their way into the mythologies of the ancient nations. ‘With the revolution in recombinant DNA,’ writes Michio Kaku, ‘we have to re-analyze many of these ancient myths from an entirely different perspective. The ancient dream of being able to control life is gradually becoming a reality via the bio-molecular revolution.'”




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  52. @Inge Anderson:

    i agree entirely and am sorry I may have been a little too subtle on this one.

    I am suggesting that it is no more logical to interpret Genesis 6 through the lens of a 19th century non-canonical writer [though you may indeed think her inerrant] than it is to interpret Genesis 6 in the light of another non-canonical text [albeit one that is indeed regarded by some Christians as canonical] that probably dates from the 3rd century BC.

    At least the lens of Enoch whatever its timeline compared to the writing of genesis does do justice to the clearly implied and languistic identification of the sons of God as the angels or supernatural beings that mate with the humans that is present in genesis.

    BobRyan and his ilk seem to imagine that there is no alternative but that the bible as we know it fell from heaven in the Kings English without spot or blemish and had no provenance or cultural context. I am suggesting that the context of genesis 6 is much closer to the account of the antideluvian crisis in Enoch than is to the 19th century world of EG White influenced as she likely was by Milton and others. But then again it is always a good policy not to spoil the good notion of inerrancy with consideration of any facts.




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  53. @Erik:

    It is far more racist to argue or even to suggest that any ethnic group of humans living today was ever the result of human-animal hybridization of any kind. Certainly Mrs. White spoke against such an idea in her dealing with various ethnic groups during her day noting that all peoples are of “one blood” and are brothers and sisters before God. – Education, p. 67 ( http://www.whiteestate.org/books/ed/ed7.html )

    Therefore, it seems far more consistent with her known views on “race” to suggest that her use of the world “amalgamation”, with specific regard to different groups of humans, was in reference to mixing those people who acknowledge God with unbelievers in marriage and other close human associations. This concept is far more in line with her known views on these various topics.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  54. @Erik:

    I never said that interracial marriages were a problem at all. After all, we are all brothers and sisters before God – being of “one blood”. However, it is a problem when the people of God marry unbelievers… regardless of their ethnicity. It is just that in biblical times ethnicity and belief were much more closely tied together…

    I’m very surprised that you took away anything else from what I said. Some of my very good friends are in mixed marriages between different ethnic groups and they are very happy with each other. My own father-in-law is from a different ethnic group from my own ethnic background – and so is my brother’s father- and mother-in-law.

    You see, the problems come when a couple is “unequally yoked” in their relationship with God… (i.e., marriage between believers and unbelievers). – 2 Corinthians 6:14

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  55. @pauluc:

    I thought you were leaving this forum? It seems like many who make this claim simply can’t pull themselves away ; )

    In any case, where did I say that genetic complexity of living things was “vastly higher” 4000 years ago? It wasn’t vastly higher. Gene pools were functionally superior, but not on a vastly higher level of functional complexity compared to today.

    As far as the “sons of God” comment, you have to interpret many types of words in the context within which they are used. It is common in the Bible for those who worship God to be called by His name – as in “the people of God” or “the children of God” or even the “sons of God”. It is in the context of a clearly rebellious group of people before the Flood that the statement is made that the “sons of God” married the “daughters of men”. Given this context and the resulting increase in the rebellion against God over time because of such activity, the meaning is quite clear in context – especially given the other biblical assurances that all human beings are of “one blood”. There has been no human hybridization or genetic mixing of any kind with any other type of living thing according to the biblical authors.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  56. @pauluc:

    The context and the consistency of other passages is much clearer regarding the origin and ancestry of the “Nephilim” compared to Mrs. White’s particular meaning when she uses the word “amalgamation”. The consistency just isn’t there in the second case since she uses this particular word to apparently mean different things in different contexts when all the rest of her statements regarding the origin of human ethnic groups are very consistent – all are of “one blood” as brothers and sisters before God.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  57. @David Read:

    But it is also quite hard to make a clear argument that many types of “dinosaurs” that evidently did not survive the flood were “mixed class” since they are no more obviously mixed class than is the crocodile.

    It is also quite hard to define exactly what is meant by a “mixed class”. There are today animals and plants that are more like each other in various ways than are other animals and plants. Those creatures that are more similar are classified in more closely “related” taxonomic groups while those that are less similar are classified in less “related” groups. Are those that are more similar “mixed”? What about the platypus for example? – see the problem?

    I’m simply saying that you’re going to far beyond what the available evidence seems to clearly support from my own perspective. I just don’t see this sort of thing as being very effective or convincing beyond interesting conversations and conjectures around a campfire chat…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  58. @pauluc:

    It is not my job to convict a person of moral truth or error. That is God’s job and God’s job alone. It is my job to present the truth as God has given me the ability to see the truth and to deliver it as effectively as I can to those around me.

    Now, you may agree or disagree, but your moral condition before God is between you and God. I’ve done my duty before God and I can in fact stand in a clear conscience before Him regarding my actions in this particular effort.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  59. @pauluc:

    A faithful reading of the text requires that one read in context – something you are not doing. The Bible is its own interpreter. You are placing an interpretation onto the text which is contrary to the clear context in which it was written and contrary to how the biblical writers themselves interpreted all mankind as being of “one blood”.

    You may believe that this is preposterous because you are seeing the world from a modern naturalistic perspective but the issue is was it preposterous to the mind of the person writing this passage? If you think it was you have not been paying attention to much ancient or indeed more recent literature. What precisely were the centaurs and medusa in greek mythology? What of the animal human hybrids that we have captured in stone from the egyptian empire that were likely part of Moses heritage? Have you not read Miltons Paradise Lost a book with many parallels to the great controversy; what was the provenance of the guardian of the pit into which the Devil was cast after the war in Heaven? How did the devil look upon the first woman?

    What are you talking about? The notion of human-animal hybrids and even hybrids between humans and “the gods” is certainly part of mythology, but it is clearly not part of the thinking of the Biblical authors. Also, Milton’s Paradise Lost, while certainly having many parallels, is not supported in many details by the writings of Mrs. White who very clearly explained the whole concept of “sons of God vs. daughters of men”. Did you not read the above-listed commentary in this regard?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  60. @David Read:

    There are degrees of “class-bending” I suppose. Simply giving a creature with features usually associated with different groups of animals the name “monotreme” does not change this. Looking only at fossils makes this job all the much more difficult and subjective. I may be “obtuse” in my reticence to declare an obvious blurring of boundaries between most animals in the fossil record vs. living animals, but so be it. I think it contrary to the cause I stand for to be too overzealous with theories that you yourself describe as being “highly speculative.”

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  61. For further clarification:

    I’m not saying that David Read is wrong. I’m just saying that his theories aren’t based on very solid evidence as far as I am able to tell. As such, they don’t seem to me to be all that much more reliable that just-so stories or conjecture (similar to the just-so story telling used to back up popular evolutionary theories). However interesting, they simply don’t have all that much predictive value. While certainly within the realm of possibility, the likelihood that these stories are true cannot be determined with any significant degree of accuracy nor can they be clearly tested in a falsifiable manner.

    Even the SoP statements he uses aren’t very clear as to what, exactly, Mrs. White was actually saying with regard to what she meant in different contexts by the word “amalgamation”. We can surmise all day long, but even David admits that his conclusions are dependent upon a great deal of conjecture. For me, this isn’t very useful as anything to base much on beyond whimsical stories about what might have happened on the level of a novel or some other such fanciful story that is very loosely based on real life.

    In short, I think there is far better scientific evidence upon which to base our faith than these just-so stories and large leaps of imagination…

    Hope this helps.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  62. Geanna Dane: If we begin to cut back on or shut down our science programs and our universities or begin tellling Adventist students to go to school at other colleges, how does that help us proclaim our message more loudly?

    On the one hand we have the principle that every course of action cannot possible be “good”.

    If every course of action results in “no change” in terms of support and promotion – then a few people in university leadership may be tempted to take the university down a road totally foreign to the principles, mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

    And on the other hand we have the actual concern that parents might have for their students. I for one would not have sent my college age students to an LSU runaway situation.

    Why pay a premium to send them to a school that is broken only to “reap the rewards” when students come home opposed to the mission, beliefs and message of the Seventh-day Adventist church??

    Where is the “up side” to that for the parent or the student?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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