Susie, every conflict between good and evil is a reflection …

Comment on Elder Graham: “Why I Support La Sierra University” by Bill Sorensen.

Susie, every conflict between good and evil is a reflection of the controversy that began in heaven. Lucifer did not simply “pull out of heaven” and start his own church. Issues had to slowly develop to a point where all could see and understand the implications of the points he had made against God and His government.

The present conflict over creation vs. evolution in the church is simply typical of this heavenly controversy. While we defend the true bible faith, sometimes we must be careful to let others come to a clear understanding of the implications of this issue. Some of the angels understood almost immediately the issues in heaven, some did not.

We agree that this issue seems obvious to us as well as many issues. It is true that in some cases, people act like they are more forgiving than God. That is, they apply the “gospel” in such a way, that even God would not apply it. So they claim to “forgive” and have a forgiving spirit that is not in harmony with the true spirit of Godly forgiveness.

Such individuals attain positions of trust, influence and authority and undermine the true biblical context and meaning of forgiveness and preach and teach a view of tolerance that is more in harmony with Satan’s kingdom than the kingdom of God. We know it is a “false gospel” for its fruit is not unto holiness but more akin to an easy believism that tolerates sin and actually advocates and advances its principles.

At some point in heaven, Lucifer began an open rebellion. And of course, he was expelled. Have we reached this point here on earth in the church? Maybe. Even probably. None the less, God will no doubt create the scenario in this world where individuals must necessarily decide if they will follow the bible, or human ideas and concepts.

So, we need to “blow the trumpet in Zion”. And make it clear where each of us stands on these important issues. Many leaders would like for us to “get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on” so they can continue their present agenda. This we can not do, nor will we do so.

And finally, persecution will no doubt come more from within than without. You will eventually not be a very popular person in your church. If you are now. The fine line between defending the faith and defending ourselves is not so easily discerned. The prophets had to struggle with this reality and sometimes failed. We need to take care and not needlessly cause contention while standing up for truth. Not an easy issue, to be sure.

Much prayer and careful consideration is needful.

Keep the faith

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

Elder Graham: “Why I Support La Sierra University”
It seems more and more evident the church has no control over LSU. In the future, more and more spiritual minded SDA’s will cease to send their young people to this institution.

Some liberals could care less, and will continue to support the institution. The conflict must increase until the majority of SDA church members are aware of this situation and see the need to carefully evaluate the situation.

It must not simply “blow over” as LSU would like it to. Some high level accountability is required and some people must be let go.

So now, we must ask, “What are the legal implications involved in cleansing the school?” “Can individuals sue the University if they are terminated?” “Is LSU in too deep to be restored?”

If so, who is accountable for allowing this to happen?

The Southern Cal. conference is culpable for what has developed. So is the General Conference. Nobody is that dumb. They have known for years of this development and done nothing about it. Who is responsible?

Will this affect the whole church structure? Why are the leading men in the GC sitting on their hands and doing nothing dynamic? Aren’t they simply hopeing the whole thing will blow over and they can continue “business as usual”?

Is this the beginning of the final shakeing? If so, a lot of other issues will surface big time in the near future. Aren’t the conferences for the most part controling their pastors with intimidation and threats to keep them in line? What pastor who wants to keep his job would dare challenge their conference leaders on any issue?

Will some pastors now come forward and put their jobs on the line to defend the traditional faith? If so, how many? Not many, I would suggest.

This situation at LSU is only the tip of the iceberg of the corruption in at least some, if not most of the SDA church. Decisions have been based on political expediency instead of pure bible truth for years.

Many new pastor are novices in scripture and have little understanding of basic historic Adventism. It would seem they are taught to avoid any dynamic discussion on doctrine and/or theological issues.

We are living in interesting and perilous times. The spiritual preception of many is at an all time low. The world has marched into the church with little protest, or no protest at all.

“Unconditional election” for the church breeds this kind of attitude with no accountability demanded. Massive doses of self affirmation are passed around generously and no one dare call it apostacy. The words of Jesus come clearly to mind in this situation…..

“Ye compass sea and land to make one convert, and when he is made, he becomes two fold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

Hopefully, the agitation will continue until the whole church is involved. And LSU is only a small part of the controversy.

EGW calls the shaking a “terrible ordeal” and obviously, few really believe her. It would seem few even believe in a shaking. And if they do, they think it will be one or two here and there. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, will simply walk away when the time comes. And many will say, “I didn’t really believe in Adventism anyway, especially now that I understand the true teaching of the pioneers.”

Were our pioneers called “legalists”? Then you can count on being called the same if you defend the historic faith. We are thankful some are willing to speak out, and would pray many more will join the ranks to expose this apostacy in the church.

Keep the faith

Bill Sorensen

Elder Graham: “Why I Support La Sierra University”
Well, it is certain some people are “deluded”. Apparently each side considers the other side the ones afflicted with this blindness.

Each scenario of conflict reflects the “war” in heaven. Those who cry “love, love, love” coupled with tolerance and acceptance with out demanding accountability are reflecting Lucifer’s reasoning and arguments in his opposition to God’s government.

True love calls for discipline in a biblical context. God offers responsible freedom. But the world and some of the church want an irresponsible freedom.

LSU may be doing some good. This is not the point. Notre Dame is no doubt doing some good as well. Just like many other institutions of learning. The purpose of Satan is to mingle good and evil until they can not be distinguished.

But we have the bible. And only those elements that support all the scripture are to be commended. LSU must be exhorted to repentance, or they must be censored. This is a Christian duty and obligation.

Creation vs. evolution is no minor offense. It calls for and demands accountability. Can and will the church demand accountability of LSU? In my opinion, it is doubtful, but I am still optimistically hopeful and like many continue to pray that this issue will be resolved in a way that the University can and will be useful to the advancement of God’s kingdom. There can be no compromise if this is to take place.

It would seem that politics have taken the place of pure bible truth in many instances where difference of opinion has arisen in the past. Our schools, hospitals, and even churches are being affected by political manuevering and compromise more and more. It seems apparent that “the church will get smaller, before it gets bigger.”

Keep the faith

Bill Sorensen

Elder Graham: “Why I Support La Sierra University”
WM says:
June 28, 2010 Wow! Awfully one-sided here. Does anyone here truly belive LSU has some master-plan to change the church?”

When the early church changed the day of worship, it was not some “master plan” to attack God and His kingdom. It was sincerely deluded individuals who thought they were doing God a favor and advancing His kingdom in the name of “love and the gospel”.

The “master plan” is not LSU. It is the devil, who will use any and every means available to advance his agenda. And if LSU will cooperate with his agenda, then he will use this avenue to dis-credit the bible and bible Adventism.

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” That’s what I’ve been saying (and what Morris Venden and MacCarty have been saying)”

Well, I did not do a complete search on all the MacCarty says or believes. But in the case of Venden, I did do such a study and Venden had a doctrine of “sanctification by faith alone” that was totally outside the bible teaching.

“Faith alone” by definition means we play no part in it. If so, it is not “faith alone”. But Venden’s view of sanctification was definitely “faith alone” and we play no part in it but believe. At any rate, there is more confusion than bible definition in his definition of sanctification, and I think this applies to MacCarty as well. Like I said, I read his book a couple years ago and it was circular with no real definition of what he meant.

But basically, he equated the old covenant with legalism which is bogus. We agree a misapplication of the old covenant is not the same thing as a clear understanding of the old covenant and its purpose. So let’s not take a misapplication of the old covenant, and then claim this is the old covenant.

As you have defended the Sabbath against a misapplication of the new covenant and not called it the new covenant we must do the same with the old covenant. Our conclusion should be that a misapplication of any truth does not equate to the truth that is being misapplied. The confusion continues on many levels in the SDA community today.

Your defense of creation against the liberal agenda is a classic illustration of how the liberal agenda misapplies the new covenant on every level from false teaching to simply denying the bible outright. And all this from a misapplication of the new covenant that creates a false “spirit ethic” that takes the place of the bible and the ten commandments.

I appreciate the dialogue. Some may see the point eventually and some never will. Since we don’t know who’s who in this context, we leave it up to God to sort out the various issues and determine who “gets it” and who don’t.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

I never said any such thing or even suggested it. Did you even read what I wrote. If so, you decided to impute to me something I never said or suggested. Let’s at least try to be objective in our evaluation of what the other person said.

I said the Holy Spirit liberates the will and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to believe, repent and obey. How then is this your false claim that I think “You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

You rightly point out that without the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know God’s will, let alone do it. And yes, Jesus “puts enmity between sinful beings and the kingdom of Satan.”

But “putting the enmity by Christ” will save no one until and unless they choose to respond in the God ordained way He has stated in the bible. Each individual must choose to first accept the atonement, then repent, and then obey the law. Thus, the Holy Spirit empowers the will, but it is the sinner who must respond. And this is not “doing it on their own” as you seem to imply. Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” But as Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which stengthenth me.”

Paul states what he can do by the power of God. And it is not God doing the believing, or repenting or obeying. It is Paul. EGW makes this very clear to refute the mystics who try to claim that Jesus or the Holy Spirit gets in them and does the willing and doing.

” While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” THE YOUTH’S INSTRUCTOR
August 20, 1903
Lessons From the Life of Daniel—9
This concerning Daniel and his friends.

She refutes the modern day mysticism that would destroy the will of man and interpret “Christ in you, the hope of glory” totally outside the biblical context.

But “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the same thing reflected in the words of Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” Meaning, I love Jesus so much my whole life is dedicated to His glory and will.

Our “own works” that she refers to, are those people do outside a biblical relationship with Christ. It does not refer to the works of a true believer who conforms his life to emulate the life of Christ. Where does Skip MacCarty point out this difference?

Much, if not most of modern spirituality in Adventism is pure mysticism that convolutes the identity of Christ and the believer to the point the believer has no identity. It was highly stimulated by Morris Venden who tried to show that “faith alone” applies equally to sanctification as it does to justification. It was and is totally bogus. But it has infiltrated the church by him and others to the point that mysticism is rapidly becoming the major spirituality of the church.

You may mean well, Sean. But like so many others, you don’t take the time to carefully consider the implications of what you say nor explain it is a clear definitive way so that it fits the bible context. If the true bible position on sanctification is clearly presented, then it is obvious we “save ourselves” by the way we respond to the word of God. In which case, the law is salvational, but only in the biblical context. Simply put, we are “saved” by doing what God says and this includes faith in the atonement.

Many are so “hell bent” to avoid what they think is legalism, they wrest the scriptures to their own destruction and not only deceive themselves, but others who do not carefully consider the implications of the conclusion of their false idea and theory.

But to claim that those who reject your view think they can “do it on their own” is a false representation that prejudices others who don’t carefully follow the conversation. Having said all this, I am more than willing for anyone to explain and qualify and re-qualify as many times as necessary to make it very clear what they mean by what they say.

So I agree, sanctification is by faith, but not by “faith alone” in the same context that justification is by faith alone. Without a clear explanation, all we have is ongoing confusion on sin and salvation and the divine factor vs. the human factor in a full and complete view of what the bible teaches about the issues.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“We “work out our own salvation” by simply opening to the door the Spirit of God. That’s our only “work” to do here. That’s the only “work” we can do. The rest is beyond human power.”

Your whole theory is pure mysticism as the rest of your explanation affirms. The purpose of sanctification on the part of God is to liberate the human will for self government. It is the believing sinner who chooses to have faith and repent, and obey the law of God.

Neither is it “automatic” but by careful evaluation of the will of God and the implications of the outcome if we chose not to accept the free offer. You undermine and in the end, destroy the human factor in salvation and the moral accountability of man.

So when we are confronted by the gospel, we must choose to believe, choose to repent and choose to obey. God will not do this for us. Neither will the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “holy motive” as He inspires and empowers us to “save ourselves” by responding to the word of God exactly as it is stated in the bible.

Much of the SDA church has opted for some mystical non-biblical explanation of the plan of salvation that has no affinity to the true teaching of the bible.

So sanctification is not “just give yourself to Jesus and He will do the rest.”

Basically, you convolute the divine factor and human factor in such a way that you end up negating the human factor altogether.

I doubt anything I would share with you would challenge your thinking, since in the past you have rejected other clear biblical concepts on sin and salvation like the doctrine of original sin. At any rate, if you post my response, perhaps one of your readers will actually see the point and consider the implications of our dialogue.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Yes, as EGW and the bible affirm, we are justified by obedience to the moral law. Not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense. And this is what the Investigative judgment is all about. The word “justification” in the bible has a more comprehensive meaning than people perceive today. Like the word “atonement” and “salvation” the word “justification” has been limited to a non-biblical meaning and application that foreign to the bible and the full meaning the bible gives to these words.

And yes, we save ourselves by the way we respond to the word of God. No, we don’t save ourselves by meriting heaven and earning the favor of God. “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus

This is too plain to be misunderstood except by those who convolute the bible to support their false doctrine. No one is justified by “faith alone” except the special context used by the Reformation to oppose Rome when Rome taught legal merit in the believer’s response to the conditions for salvation.

“Faith alone” in this context was “Christ alone” who stands in the presence of God in our behalf as the meritorious cause of salvation and eternal life. This is not sanctification nor is sanctification “by faith alone” as some faulty teachers try to present and defend. Sanctification is always by faith and works on the part of the believer as we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”

And justification by faith in the bible, is the believer’s faith in Christ, not Christ’s faith in the believer. This subject is so confused and warped by SDA scholars it has no affinity to bible teaching and doctrine. So it is the believer’s faith in Christ that justifies. This is the whole theme of Paul and the new testament emphasis and message.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” “All that the Lord has said, we will do.” (Exodus 19:8).”

That’s right Sean. And the Lord said, “The people have well spoken there commitment.” But then added, “Oh that there was such an heart in them to do it.”

The issue was proper motivation based on a clear understanding of sin and all that this implies. God never chided them for their statement of faith but their lack of understanding the sinful human heart.

How is that any different than today in the new covenant era? How many are baptized making the same valid commitment and confession of faith only to find the difficulty of living out the Christian experience.

Neither will Jesus get into anybody and obey the law for them. The motivation will ratchet up as our understanding is increased and the love of God that motivates works in a more dynamic way with the increased knowledge.

But many assume the old covenant was a system of legalism and then contrast the new covenant as a true system of faith. This is bogus. True believers in the old covenant era trusted in Christ. These are the old covenant experience people and not Cain or anyone else in that era who either refused the offer God provided or convoluted it. So those who imply that the old covenant was in and of itself a system of legalism like MacCarty does, have a false idea of old and new covenant that is simply not biblical. And then they try to explain how in the new covenant God writes the law on our heart and not in stone.

God wrote His law on the heart of Abel, Noah, Abraham and every true believer in the old covenant era as Jesus “put enmity between Satan and man” by a revelation of the love of God in His willingness to make atonement for fallen man. The new covenant era simply means God will finish writing His law on the heart of every true believer and this is not some “new” covenant different than the old.

Only in the sense that the atonement promised in the past is now a reality in the present. And this ratchets up the motivation in harmony with the life of Jesus more fully revealed by way of the new covenant writers. It is false doctrine to present the idea that no one had the law “written on their heart” during the old covenant era. Did you ever read the words of David in the Psalms, “Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me.”?

This is not the new covenant in the old covenant era. There is no “new covenant believer” in the old covenant era. This is impossible. The new covenant is after the fact of the atonement and is based on the time element of the two covenants. The first covenant (old covenant) is based on a future event. The new covenant is based on a past event. This is the whole spirituality of Paul and repeated and affirmed in the book of Hebrews. What God had promised during the old covenant era, He has done.

There is certainly an affinity in both covenants as both are based on Jesus and His sacrifice. Everyone in heaven will have trusted in the atonement of the cross whether it was before Jesus made the atonement or after He made the atonement. Again, I say it is bogus to claim Cain represents an old covenant experience and Abel a new covenant experience. And it is equally false to claim anyone who is a legalist in the new covenant era is an old covenant experience. Namely this, the old covenant is not legalism and never was. Just because people corrupt the old covenant does not equate to claiming they were legalists by virtue of being in the old covenant era.

This is MacCarty’s error and he speaks for more than a few SDA scholars who are as confused as he is. God made no legal covenant with anyone with the exception of His Son. God’s covenant with all is based on the moral law and this is not legalism unless, like the Catholic church, you think you can merit heaven by keeping the moral law.

The moral law, like I said, is a family law and those who refuse to enter into this moral covenant to “obey and live” will never be in heaven. Children in a loving home don’t obey their parents to merit and earn the favor of their parents or earn a place in the family. None the less, they are in covenant relationship with their parents and if they rebel enough, can be disinherited, just like Adam and Eve who rebelled against the family law.

Adam and Eve in a state of sinlessness were not meriting the favor of God. Nor do the sinless angels merit the favor of God. Nor do the redeemed in heaven merit the favor of God. None the less, all are under obligation to obey the family law of God or forfeit eternal life like Adam and Eve in the garden. Love for God never releases anyone from the moral obligation to do God’s will and submit to His authority. This issue is so intense even in the SDA church that many now assume if you love God you have no obligation to obey and that you simply do God’s will because “you want to, not because you have to.” This is bogus and the lie of Satan that he advocated in heaven. We better get it straight and if not, “Spiritualism is at the door deluding the whole world.”
Bill Sorensen