Comment on Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism by George Hilton.
This unfolding drama never ceases to amaze me! There are several common themes that are particularly surprising. There is the common theme among those who agree with what LSU is doing that those who don’t agree with them are mean-spirited and unChristian. I’ve been following this with some care and for the most part I don’t see it. Since when is it mean-spirited to believe that employees are obligated to support their employer?
It is not up to anyone but God to judge the eternal salvation of anyone, but that is not at all equivalent to judging who is right for employment. The employer does have this right.
Clearly, what is going on here is more painful to face than many of us have been willing to admit before now. There are two “churches” within the church. The liberal “church within the church” is no longer a minority in some places, and it is no longer safe to assume that it does not involve at the very least a significant minority of leadership in some Conferences. The employees of LSU don’t buy our “you must be loyal to your boss” arguments simply because from their point of view they ARE being loyal to their boss. The lack of decided action on the part of anyone with real jurisdiction over them gives some credence to their viewpoint. Until their Board of Trustees does something substantive to stop this they will continue to have some reason to feel justified in their current course.
Because the supporters of LSU’s form of “progressive adventism” feel so firmly that someone has their back, their openness is my other source of complete surprise. While LSU’s public statements have largely dodged the issue, Dr. Garrety is completely open in his denial of what heretofore has been accepted Adventist doctrine! I never thought I’d see the day!
The sad fact is that within the SDA church we have a clash between two mutually exclusive and antagonistic world-views. Those of us who wish our institutions to be loyal to what seems to us the clear teaching of Scripture cannot even relate to the arguments of Dr. Garrety. I suspect that he feels the same about mine. The arguments he gives in favor of LSU could equally well be given in favor of the Salvation Army. While I have immense respect for their work, I still believe that I must help the world not only be merciful, but also to understand present truth for present peril.
No matter how hard we try to deal with this “one problem,” it is becoming increasingly clear that ultimately this will be decided on a much bigger playing field. As we all know, while this is perhaps the most shocking, it is only one of many examples where the two “churches within a church” are diametrically opposed. I understand and agree that any reform movement must start somewhere, but this can only really be settled on a more global scale. What is really happening here is a struggle to decide which paradigm will be dominant in the church of the future.
The one thing that keeps me joyful is the knowledge that no on can compel the conscience. No matter what happens politically I am still able to read my Bible and believe. I know that God still rules and He can take care of me and His church. What hurts me most are the impressionable young minds that in the meantime are being turned from the God for Whom “all things are possible.”
Our prayers must be constant.
Sincerely, and with no thought of mean-spiritedness,
Pastor George Hilton, PhD
Recent Comments by George Hilton
One must be careful in using the loyalty to your employer argument. Before using this argument we must first determine who LSU really answers to. Do they answer to the world church, the NAD, the Pacific Union, their board, their constituency? It certainly should be the case that no matter which of these groups they answer to, what they teach should be the same. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this is the case.
While the Board and the Union pay lip service to traditional SDA beliefs, their lack of concrete action says they either don’t want to rock the boat, or they don’t really disagree with LSU. Their enrollment is at a historical high point — not much evidence that their constituency is in disagreement.
The bottom line is this. Until it is clear what the people calling the shots at the Board, Union, and higher levels of the church structure really believe about this it is going to be difficult to make progress. Strange that it was a conference almost 2,000 miles away that spoke up. None of the constituent conferences have said anything that I’m aware of.
It’s no wonder that Wisbey might not be so sure that the university is showing disloyalty to its boss. It has hurt me deeply to arrive at this conclusion.
Pastor George Hilton
Michigan Conference takes substantial action in LSU conflict
This is truly a great day! I now for the first time have real hope that the GC session will take this up. It seems to me that they almost have to. I am now praying that the Central California Conference will be the next to stand up. That will take real courage, but it would send even greater shock waves into the bastiens of apathy.
It is very sad to have seen “peace and safety” take priority over fidelity for so long, and it is equally exciting to see someone willing to stand. Thanks Michigan!
Video show LSU undermining church doctrine
I just wanted to let all know that there is definitely one more pastor who is appalled by what is going on at LSU. Furthermore, as someone who taught there from 1984 to 1989 it is not at all surprising to me. Things were already heading in that direction then. Most of my career was spent in SDA higher education, but I am now in pastoral ministry partly because of the way much of SDA higher ed is going.
I noticed in the second posted lecture that the lecturer seemed well aware of most of the arguments against his positions. One I haven’t heard occured to me while I was at church. I wonder what these folks do with the new heaven and the new earth. Is that going to take a few billion years too? Does Revelation only speak of the “inauguration?” of the new heaven and new earth? If it weren’t so serious I would be amused. Very rarely, if ever, have I seen people work so hard to salvage any remnant of truth from their own attacks! After essentially tearing Scripture apart they bend over backwards trying to make it mean something after all. There’s only one problem. The Bible doesn’t say anything remotely resembling what they say it does.
It’s time all of us make a choice. Either we are going to believe the Bible or we are going to believe modern, humanistic, materialistic, darwinistic “science.” The Bible and the conclusions of the camp just mentioned are wholly incompatible. What amazes me most is that those trying to wed the two are in most endeavors people of tremendous intellectual ability and great logical acumen. When it comes to this subject, however, they take cognitive disonance beyond all sense. They simultaneously take two absolutely contradictory positions. Perhaps they should quit concentrating on “evidence” for a while and consider the implications of pure logic.
The bottom line is this. My heart broke as I watched the wide-eyed freshmen on these videos. I have stood in front of thousands of these in my career. How well I know how easy it is to wow them. When I was teaching Mathematics to them they never questioned me. I was the expert. The damage these teachers and this institution are doing is inestimable. It is very likely that the majority of these students will leave the university accepting most of what they heard.
On a happier note, let’s be certain of one thing. Whether our efforts to change things are successful or not, things will soon be put right. Even if leadership continues to watch with a blind eye, it will soon be put right. God Himself will only allow this for a while. But, if there is something that any of us can do, we’d better do it. I surely don’t want God to turn to me some day and ask why I didn’t speak out for Him.
Good point. Things have been downhill since sin, but of course that is a form of development. In answer to Lydian, the teachers in question are of course free to post here anytime. There’s no doubt they know the site exists. Gary Bradley certainly made his position known in the press already. Further, it is not in their best interest to post. LSU has a pretty effective PR machine to represent them. I wish I could share your optimism that these folks would even want to respond. The bottom line is this. The university is taking an incredible amount of heat. Any honest words from the folks involved would only make it hotter, and increase their probability of future unemployment.
LSU’s public relations man calls Educate Truth ‘attack website’
There is another part of the Blackmer transcript that I find disturbing. The notion that the General Conference session will not likely have open discussions regarding this issue. I find this sad on a three fronts.
First, if we did take this to the GC in session the rest of the world would quickly be willing to do what is not being done here.
Second, this is a world issue. The name of SDAs as people of the Book is being tarnished worldwide by this situation.
Third, the GC in session could take a big step toward resolution that would not be difficult or even specific regarding LSU. A fabulous first step toward helping the North American Division deal with this would be for the General Conference in session to rewrite Fundamental Belief #6. While everyone would know why this was necessary, it wouldn’t even have to mention LSU specifically. (It is no coincidence that two former LSU presidents were instrumental in the original writing of FB6.)
While the current wording of the belief sounds good to those who accept Adventist fundamentals, this is because of the assumptions that we bring with us. For most SDAs it goes without saying that the six days of Creation are literal. However, what we have done is give La Sierra (and others, as well) a road just wide enough to drive their truck through. It is true that we will not get straight answers from the folks at LSU. At the present time they can say they support the fundamental beliefs of the Church because they find room for “interpretation” in the wording of FB6.
For this reason I would love to see the GC in session vote on a new wording of the fundamental belief. A careful new wording might force teachers in question to admit that they are not in harmony with what Seventh-day Adventists stand for. This could in turn finally bring the necessary pressure to bear to actually do something about it. I have no ego invested in the wording I propose below. It is merely a suggestion. I have highlighted the additions with ***.
God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)
6. God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six ***literal, 24 hour*** days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. ***Death is the result of sin, and played no role in the development of life on this earth.***(Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; ***Matt. 22:32; Rom 5:12*** Heb. 11:3.)