LSU graduate comments on LSU conflict

By Ed Truth Staff

La Sierra’s quarterly paper just came out on campus, and can also be read on online here. The interview with Geoff Blake is of particular interest because of its references to the conflict at La Sierra University. Blake is a youth pastor for the Paradise Valley Adventist Church in San Diego, Calif. According to the article, Blake started a Facebook page called “La Sierra Loved Me (Testify)” in May 2009* to counter the negative attention LSU was receiving. While Blake credits Educate Truth’s “campaign” as “very organized and well orchestrated,” he thinks Educate Truth’s “campaign” is “fundamentally misguided,” but does not offer a reason why.

Blake weighs in on the conflict:

Well, I’m a pastor and not a scientist, so I won’t attempt to compare and contrast the details of various theories of origin. However, being an Adventist pastor, I can’t help but look at how our Fundamental Beliefs start: “Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed…” Now, if you take that to heart and believe the Adventist founders’ concept of “present truth,” then it seems like an ideal, faithful Adventist academic community would take present-known findings and realities (i.e., science), hold them next to the Bible in a back-and-forth kind of conversation, and explore the implications.

The problem with this idea of “present truth” that our church founders’ put forth is that it’s a really dangerous and difficult task, full of disagreements and wrong turns. Searching for “present truth” means there is always more to find, and there’s always more to learn. It would be much easier to just spoon-feed concrete truths and amazingly simplistic facts to students. Just “educate truth”? For that matter, why can’t we just have church leaders come in and have all LSU professors sign off on what they can and cannot teach, then have the professors transmit the pre-determined information to students?

Well, for one, if that kind of thing was happening, our Bible wouldn’t be our church’s only creed anymore, and two, our search for present truth would be over. Luckily, those aren’t the kinds of principles our church was founded on, and that’s not what LSU is doing. La Sierra isn’t supposed to “educate truth,” it’s supposed to educate a process of searching for present truth.

In response to a question about his motivation, Blake said, “I actually had the same purpose in mind that the main website for the negative LSU campaign states as one of its purposes: ‘So potential students and their parents could make informed decisions.'” He states that parents need to hear from a broad range of “real students” that have or are attending LSU as opposed to just a “couple of loud and disgruntled” voices.

In conclusion, Blake encourages the faculty and staff at LSU to “keep up the good work” and the Seventh-day Adventist Church to “go back to our roots to move forward! We need to continue to keep our founders’ principles in mind and encourage our colleges and universities to have the freedom to search for present truth and educate that process.”

Blake ignores the primary contention though that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has with La Sierra University–LSU professors undermining biblical doctrine by promoting blatantly contradictory theories as truth. In addition to this, these professors ignore opposing evidence to the theory of evolution and only present students with one side of the story. Paul Giem makes this very clear in his Sabbath School presentation “What is being taught about creation/evolution in our schools?” While bias cannot be avoided, it appears these professors are not interested in even presenting students with any of the evidence that contradicts what they promote in their courses. One might wonder if they’re even aware of any of the evidence for short age etc. Phillip Brantley‘s recently publicized donation of a $1,000 to La Sierra for “professional development and continuing education opportunities for [LSU] teachers in the biology department” could be used to help bring awareness to LSU professors of the plethora of evidence out there that contradicts the theory of evolution and confirms the Bible.

*UPDATE 11/1/2010: The Facebook page was started in May 2010.

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17 thoughts on “LSU graduate comments on LSU conflict

  1. I find it interesting that liberal progressives cling to the term “present truth.” From my understanding, EGW used this term to describe that truth that a believer needed to be ready for Jesus’ second coming. Specifically, that included the understanding of prophecy, the books of Daniel and Revelation and the like that deal with the current unrolling of the prophetic scroll. IMO she never intended to use the term to describe our slow abandonment of our distinct beliefs and acceptance of societies sins and political correctness. Nor do I believe she intended it to mean that we must abandon our Biblical truths for a scientist’s opinion.




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  2. It never ceases to amaze me that pastors, so called, can be so confused. Blake throws around the term, “present truth” in such a twisted way. Present truth was never intended to defend a drawing away from truth but instead to enhance Biblical truths. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than the short age of our earth and that God created it in six days, resting on the seventh. I am saddened to learn Blake is a youth pastor. How many young minds is he left to influence with error?




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  3. AMEN! D.Fender! I agree with you 100%.

    Neither did she even imply that we should abandon our common sense!

    No “scientist” in their right mind would ever try to convince us that the magnificent buildings,computers, cell pones, etc. we have today just “evolved” with no intelligent mind behind them–but they want us to believe that the magnificent trees, the lovely flowers,the eyes of every living creature (all exactly formed to fit the individual needs of the creature that has them),etc.–were the product of a mindless evolutionary processes?

    A person can have every degree offered by mankind behind their name–but if they toss their common sense into some “evolutionary garbage can” their opinions and their “degrees” are worthless in my humble opinion! I’ll take God’s Word for it every time!




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  4. Present truth = Truth that holds up to the test time…it’s always current/present
    Because we are so used to computers/phones/science being updated with more current information, because we didn’t know “back then” what we know now, we often confuse this term. This is why God says He never changes. He never needs to because He’s always current, always present, always up to date.




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  5. We were warned our problems would come from “inside the church” more so than from outside. We all know what to expect from the world….it needs our prayers.

    However, it is hard to swallow when the “reality” of earlier warnings catch up to us IE…heresy as now at LA Sierra. The guilt these people are racking up…the weak minds they are corrupting….it is frightening.

    I am so relieved we sent our kids to Southern….I would not put one dime of money into La Sierra….how sad it is to say that of an Adventist institution….

    As one converted from being a catholic to SDA…it just verifies everything God has warned about.

    God Keep Us Safe
    Deborah




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  6. Present Truth. Of all people bearing the name of Christ, Seventh-day Adventist know (or should know) what Present Truth for our time is:

    “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” Rev. 14:7.

    There’s no need to get confused with the issues.

    We’re living in time of judgment, and we should be foremost in proclaiming the message given us to worship God as CREATOR.

    It is the Bible that identifies God as the Creator. This is not something that anyone (including the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers) came up with. This is Bible truth; this is present truth. God is now graciously granting everyone the time to understand and appreciate what this means.

    The Bible also gives further detail when it says “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6 And verse 9 of that Psalm adds: “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”

    “Evolution” has never graduated from being recognized as a “theory.”

    The platform upon which Bible believing Christians stand will remain strong and unmovable and will continue to stand just as much as Truth is eternal, while a false premise will crumble into sinking sand.

    I too graduated from La Sierra, and I too have fond memories of the faithfulness of my Anatomy & Physiology teacher who dedicated the first 5 minutes of class to a devotional reading and to prayer.

    Jesus is coming soon. Our allegiance must be to Him; He’s given us enough information in his Bible for us to get it straight. There’s only two ways: the way of Truth and the way of error. A death with no resurrection is not very attractive, at least to me. Let us not be found following man instead of God (Proverbs 16:25).

    Olga Sanchez




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  7. It seems Pastor Blake wants to preach present truth and go back to the denomination’s roots without upholding the teaching at LSU that Genesis 1 and 2 are truth. Or am I missing something? When I was a biology major at La Sierra campus of LLU in the early 70’s the science professors were very clear about the truth of Genesis 1 and 2 and I also learned to think on my own and search for present truth. SO why not go back to teaching the truth of Genesis 1 and 2 at LSU?

    It is the preaching of present truth that brings on the shaking and eventually results in changing the denomination from a church militant to a church triumphant. I think we are already on this path and what has been going on at LSU is an example of this struggle. Our members are choosing sides. Whether they are tares or wheat is becoming more and more evident as the days go by. We all need to pray for and witness to each other including for and to the tares as well. We all need to examine our own motives to be sure we are not tares.

    IF we remain tares for a little longer now it will be too late to change course. Our deadline is when the National SUnday law is passed in the US and that could be any day now. The seal of God is placed along with the mark of the beast based on our decision in response to the NSL. Every day now our decisions that we make nudge use in one direction or the other and form us into a person who will receive one of these eternal marks at the time the NSL test comes to us.

    Do our colleges teach our young people to make the eternal decision we want or do they not is the question. Do our youth pastors teach our young people how to make the best eternal decision now? Is pastor Blake in the right profession? It is difficult to understand that he is based on what it appears he is saying above, because it appears he is saying it is appropriate for LSU to teach error as truth on at least one classroom every week so the students will be taught how to search for present truth. Does this idea really make logical sense to anyone? Sure does not make logical sense to me.




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  8. Blake said –
    being an Adventist pastor, I can’t help but look at how our Fundamental Beliefs start: “Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed…” Now, if you take that to heart and believe the Adventist founders’ concept of “present truth,” then it seems like an ideal, faithful Adventist academic community would take present-known findings and realities (i.e., science), hold them next to the Bible in a back-and-forth kind of conversation, and explore the implications.

    Blake’s understanding of exegesis “appears to be” that we take whatever atheist evolutionists say happened in nature as “present truth” when it comes to a doctrine on origins – then we try to find creative ways to “bend the bible” to fit whatever the evolutionists are saying.

    That is a kind of “present truth” that no Adventist in the 19th century was even aware of –

    Ok so lets leave it to a youth pastor for the Paradise Valley Adventist Church in San Diego – to figure that one as a “good idea”.

    All have free will. To each his own.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  9. When Man’s wisdom–however intelligent it may sound, or how many “letters” there are behind someone’s name (or even a lot of “someones”) that proclaim it–if it contradicts a single plain “Thus saith the Lord” it is NOT “present truth!” however much it may appeal to the liberal minds of millions who may wish an easier way to get to heaven.

    I fear we are a long way from being the “people of the Book” we once were! But, guess what!–God knew this would happen and He called the last of the seven churches “Laodicea.” Truly, we are saying, “I am rich…and have need of nothing.” (After all, folks didn’t have the brilliant scientists such as we have today when You told Moses–and even our Adventist pioneers
    –You did it is six literal days and rested the seventh!)

    I am NOT against true science or scientists! There definitely is a real place for it (and them) and I truly believe it is “God given.” I have a LOT of respect for true science and true scientists but when someone–anyone–goes against a plain “Thus saith the Lord” they lose me. (Not that these folks really care if a very “ignorant”, very “old lady” doesn’t believe them!) But God does and that’s enough for me!

    As Bob said–“All have free will. To each his own.” I agree! (But I still tremble for those who believe ideas contrary to what God says–even if it comes from the mouth of a renowned scientist, an “Adventist” teacher or an “Adventist” preacher. (Please forgive me if I have misunderstood or misjudged anyone.)




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  10. Lydian – well said! Happy Sabbath!

    We need to keep our church in prayer as the leaders have a lot to carry on their shoulders when dealing with this issue.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. Present Truth. Of all people bearing the name of Christ, Seventh-day Adventist know (or should know) what Present Truth for our time is:
    “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.” Rev. 14:7.

    How can you worship the Creator if he is no longer creating?
    How can the Creator still be creating if things have stopped evolving?




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  12. early 70′s

    The trouble is that the 70’s are ancient history when it comes to biology.
    In the 1970’s they used to talk about “Gaps” in the evolutionary tree as proof that the species were fixed. Those “gaps” no longer exhist. We now have fossils that show the evolution of mammals from land, back to the sea, and dinasaurs to birds, and we have several species of homminids.

    Also, we have decoded the human genome and we know that the DNA is for lack of better words, “designed to evolve”.

    We have demonstrated evolution in the lab, and even created the nucleus of a living reproducing bacteria completely man made from scratch.

    Back in the 1970’s you could make a plausible argument against evolution, but that is impossible now. Back in the 1970’s you could talk about entropy and how everything decays, and only intelligence can create something highly organized, but now we have discovered the law of emergence and we know that is no longer true.

    Back in the 1970’s you could plausably talk about a world wide flood. Now we have enough geological evidence to know that it didn’t happen.

    The trouble with the GC’s pronouncement that the Biology teachers should present rigorous scientific evidence for a short creation is that there is no evidence. They are asking the impossible.

    The problem here is not what is happening in science, it is what is not happening in theology. We really need to go back to the Bible and reexamine our understanding of the Bible in light of the new evidence.




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  13. 11-11-10

    Oops!

    Ron, I posted my reply at the bottom of the preceeding section of this line of discussion. Please look for it there.

    After again reading what you wrote in the points you are making here I can’t help but wonder whether or not you have actually taken part in any experiments or “digs” that are you basing your convictions on or just what you have read or heard?

    2. Have you really studied your Bible enough to truly know the God of the Bible?

    3. Have you thoughtfully and prayerfully looked at the prophecies God has given us about things that didn’t actually take place ’till decades, or even centuries, later and have proven to be completely correct in every detail? If you haven’t how can you honestly evaluate the things mainstream scientists are flooding the world with?

    I’m not trying to be critical of you or anyone else but I just can’t help wondering about some of these things. After all, from my perspective, the God of the Bible has proven over and over by His foreknowledge of the future and that He really can be trusted. (And, on the other hand, much human wisdom in almost–if not all–areas has repeatedly had to “eat it’s own words” as time proves them wrong.)

    Lydian




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  14. 11-12-10

    A short while back a dear friend sent me an email with lots of beautiful pictures showing a garden (somehow I lost the site) in which every bush had been transformed into a bird, an animal–even a child. It was absolutely magnificent!

    As I looked at one of the amazing displays I started wondering what would happen if I was actually in that garden and approached a group of people who were also enjoying the beauty it held. And if after a few moments I said something like this:

    “This is so beautiful–and to think Nature did it all on her own! It is truly amazing of what she can do if people will just back off and let her do her own thing.”

    What would their reaction have been? (I suspect they would have thought I was somewhat deranged and slowly backed away and left before I became violent!)

    Obviously that garden had a lot of very talented hands (and minds) behind all of that beauty and I suspect they were there every day clipping away the stray twigs and leaves that started appearing here and there.)

    But is my disbelief in evolution unreasonable, and show my lack of knowledge (as some scientists contend), when I question that this beautiful world just “evolved” from chaos with no intelligent mind behind it? Why can’t we see it happening today? Who turned off the switch? And why?

    I’m not a scientist but if this isn’t a case of “The Emperor Has No Clothes” I don’t know what one would be. We are often overwhelmed with the many wonderful and useful things humans have come up with that makes our lives more livable but every new invention or other things ALWAYS have a creative mind behind them. Why is it so difficult to recognize that the wonderful world we live in HAD to have an intelligent mind behind it? What ever happened to common sense?

    Lydian




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  15. 11-13-12

    So far, I haven’t seen anyone use much of anything in this discussion except the “scientific” views on the subject. I think it is time for God to have a few words to say.

    Now I lay no claims to being a great Biblical expositor. I am just a very old lady that loves God and believes every word of the wonderful Book He has given us. I have no question but there are many out there who know far more than I do. But since, so far, I haven’t seen any comments pointing out what the God-inspired prophets have written I’m going to try to do my best to fill in the gap. I’ll try to keep my comments as brief as possible and still make the point. (And I‘ve used other sources (not just my own old brain for my information but haven’t given credit because most of my comments from other sources are “a little here and a little there” and it would be confusing to try to give credits on every comment I make.)

    First, let’s talk about Tyre. Probably the vast majority of our readers never heard of it but it was a very important city in Bible times. For 2,000 years Tyre grew in importance till she was the mistress of the sea and the commercial center of the world. She was beautiful, she was rich and she was very “learned.” She was the maritime equivalent of Babylon when Babylon was at the height of her glory under King Nebuchadnezzar. Anyone looking at her when Ezekiel prophesied her utter destruction would have considered him crazy and his prophecy doomed to failure.

    Here is what Ezekiel said: “They shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: . . . they shall lay thy stones AND thy timber AND thy dust in the midst of the water . . . And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 26:4, 12 ,14).

    The destruction of Tyre could have been understandable. However, the prophecy that said Tyre would be thrown into the midst of the sea, and its former location be scraped like the top of a rock and thrown in with? That sounded flat out unreasonable! Yet both of these prophecies were fulfilled–although centuries apart.

    Not too long after the prophecies were given Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon besieged the city and conquered it. The inhabitants of Tyre, however, escaped to a nearby island. Nebuchadnezzar then reduced the city to ruins and for two and-a-half centuries, these ruins were a mute contradiction of what the Bible said about all of its ruins being cast into the sea and the very dust of the ground being thrown into the sea also . Obviously this challenged the accuracy of the prophecy and made the skeptics laugh.

    Then, long after Nebuchadnezzar’s siege, Alexander the Great came along. He conquered the Medo-Persian empire, then turned his eyes toward the “new” city of Tyre which resisted his onslaught. Alexander then ordered his troops to build a causeway to the island by throwing the ancient ruins of mainland Tyre into the midst of the sea, and using even the dust to create a way for his troops! Then the complete prophecy that Tyre would be thrown into the midst of the sea was also fulfilled! You notice that God did not say that both things would happen at the same time–just that they would happen. In God’s own good time the prophecy reached it’s full fulfillment!

    Further, God said it would never be rebuilt. Since many ancient cities have been rebuilt there seems to be no reason for Tyre not to be rebuilt–after, all it is in a very desirable location. If skeptics want to disprove the Bible it really wouldn’t take a lot of money from a few wealthy people to build at least a small city there. (One dollar from every skeptic would easily do it) and so forever disprove God’s ability to foretell the future. But it hasn’t been done–and it never will be! (And fishermen still dry their nets there just as the prophecy said they would!)

    Surely the God of the Bible still shows His power, His wisdom and His foreknowledge!

    Lydian




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  16. In the past we have seen examples of science contradicting man’s literal interpretation of the Bible. For example the belief in a flat earth and a geocentric universe. Even though science is wrong at times, the very nature of true science requires that it constantly improves itself. And science is the very best tool we have to know the truth about our physical world. Not the Bible. That is not the purpose of the Bible. It’s only a matter of time before humanity looks back on this time in history and can’t believe how silly people were for rejecting the theory of evolution. The great thing about La Sierra (and the teachers within) is that instead of spoon feeding their students prepackaged and outdated dogmatic information, they teach their students how to think critically and give them the tools to find truths, that they might be led by God, not man. Shame on all of you criticizing a man (Pastor Blake) who you have never met and are judging on a single interview which “educate truth” has twisted as they do with everything. You sit there pointing at the splinters in everyone’s eyes. Have you forgotten we are all brothers and sisters in Christ? Have you any idea how many people whose fire for God has been re-ignited thanks to Pastor Blake? I personally have been influenced by Pastor Blake to continue in my quest for understanding of God when I was on the brink of atheism. No one is perfect but Pastor Blake is certainly working for the good of God with a good and true heart. No matter what we disagree on I think people should be weary of any source that is out to divide us (educate truth). And we should be drawn to sources which are upholding truth and love; such as La Sierra and Pastor Blake.




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