@Kevin Paulson: And once again you give evidence of your …

Comment on Former LSU student letter reveals professor’s agenda by Sean Pitman.

@Kevin Paulson:

And once again you give evidence of your embrace of the false dichotomy so popular in modern and postmodern Adventism between “Christ” and the “doctrines.” You insist that correct doctrine will save no one. And you are wrong. Over and over again, in Holy Scripture, truth is declared to be the means of salvation (Hosea 4:6; Matt. 4:4; John 8:31; II Thess. 2:13; I Tim. 4:16). Such truth must be internalized within the heart, to be sure, but it is still the means by which God saves men and women.

Internalization is key. Knowledge of the truth, by itself, is powerless to save. After all, Satan has more knowledge of the truth than all of us put together. Therefore, one must have a love of the truth which allows one to internalize the truth and make it part of one’s self in order for the saving power of Jesus to become effective within the heart.

It is for this reason that even the heathen who are honestly ignorant of the life of Jesus, the Plan of Salvation, the Bible, or the Gospel message of hope can be saved – by living a life according to the Royal Law written upon the hearts of all mankind. However, they will have missed out on the blessings to be had by knowing and accepting the Gospel message of hope here in this life…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Former LSU student letter reveals professor’s agenda
@Professor Kent:

I wrote, “The SDA Church is God’s appointed vessel to bring salvation through Jesus Christ to the world…Jesus is what saves and Jesus alone; the SDA Church and all it represents (“truth”) can never save a soul who does not reach out to Jesus.”

And you graciously corrected me: “Last I checked, the Church has no power to save at all. The entire purpose of the Church is not to save, but to spread the Gospel message of hope to those for whom salvation has already been purchased.”

You have suggested I need to do more thinking on my own, but somehow you are always one up on me.

This wasn’t a correction professor. I was actually agreeing with you on this particular point. My disagreement with you is over the importance, or lack thereof, of knowledge of the truth. Just because empirical knowledge doesn’t have the power to save, in and of itself, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important or vital to the Gospel’s message of hope…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Former LSU student letter reveals professor’s agenda
@Professor Kent:

Sean Pitman

The SDA Church is God’s appointed vessel to bring salvation through Jesus Christ to the world–not salvation through 28 fundamental beliefs, FB#6, physical evidence for a young earth and the flood, and the like. Jesus is what saves and Jesus alone; the SDA Church and all it represents (“truth”) can never save a soul who does not reach out to Jesus.

Last I checked, the Church has no power to save at all. The entire purpose of the Church is not to save, but to spread the Gospel message of hope to those for whom salvation has already been purchased.

Remember now, knowledge, in and of itself, doesn’t save. However, knowledge does have the power to give people hope here and now…

When was the last time you got an empirical hug from Jesus, Sean?

Every time I see the evidence of Design in nature I know that there is a God. Every time I read the Bible and see the empirical evidence supported by historical science, I know there is a personal God who loves and cares for me. If that isn’t a “hug from Jesus” I don’t know what is…

God didn’t have to give us any evidence whatsoever. He didn’t have to tell us anything about why we are here or any reasons for sin and suffering or anything about what He plans to do about it or our bright future in Heaven with Him for eternity. He didn’t have to tell us any of that. He didn’t have to give us any evidence for the reliability of the Bible vs. other flights of fancy – like the Book of Mormon. The righteous could have been saved without any knowledge, in this life, of the Gospel hope. Yet, I’m so glad that I do have this knowledge here and now. How much better this life when one has a knowledge of the Gospel message of hope and the evidence supporting its credibility as a true story of history and of our future life…

Why is it that you don’t speak of Christ, love, forgiveness, or the cross?

I do speak of Christ’s love, forgiveness, and the Cross all the time. It is just that without evidence of the reality of these things, they’re just a bunch of just-so stories that have no more power to give people hope than a Santa Claus story told to gullible children.

I think you’re so stuck on your superior knowledge of “evidence” and so hypercritical of the simple faith of others, which you mock, that you have lost grasp of the source of your salvation. It is written, “the righteous shall live by faith.” Tell us once again that I’m teaching falsehood, Sean. Warn us all!

Faith is based on the evidence of things unseen professor. Without this evidence, one may be saved, but one will not have a solid conscious realization of this future reality here and now.

For example, did the disciples of Jesus have more or less faith in the Gospel message after they saw Him raised from the dead? Think about it…

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us… We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 1 John 1:3 NIV and 2 Peter 1:16 NIV

Clearly, it was the evidence of their senses, the empirical evidence itself, that gave them their hope and confidence in Jesus as the true Savior and Redeemer.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Former LSU student letter reveals professor’s agenda

False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.

— Testimonies to Ministers, page 55


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Response to a comment of a friend of mine posted in another forum:

    “Before the way of FAITH IN CHRIST was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, UNTIL the way of faith was revealed. The law was our guardian UNTIL Christ came; it protected us UNTIL we could be made right with God through FAITH. And now that the way of FAITH has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” Gal3:23-26

Faith is certainly what saves. This has always been true since the very beginning. Even those righteous persons who lived before Jesus was born into this world as a human being, even Moses or David for instance, were not saved by the works of the Law, but by Faith. The purpose of the Law was never to save, but to convict the sinner of a need of a Savior – since all have sinned against the “Royal Law.” It is faith in the Savior that saves. The work of the Law, carefully considered, is to lead us to know that our only hope of salvation is faith in what Jesus, our Savior, did for us and is doing for us. Yet, this faith does not nullify the Law or make the Law pointless when it comes to its job to constantly remind us of our need of a Savior – a saving Power outside of ourselves. Rather, the Power realized through this faith actually enables us to keep the Spirit of the Law as it was originally intended to be kept – through selfless love for God and for our neighbors.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, makes this point particularly clear:

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. – Romans 3:31

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts… If a man who is not circumcised keeps the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? – Romans 2:13-15, 26

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! – Romans 6:15

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” … So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:7, 11, 22-25

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. – Romans 8:3-4, 7

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10


Christians and the Sabbath
Response to a comment of a friend of mine posted in another forum:

    “Before the way of FAITH IN CHRIST was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, UNTIL the way of faith was revealed. The law was our guardian UNTIL Christ came; it protected us UNTIL we could be made right with God through FAITH. And now that the way of FAITH has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” Gal3:23-26

Faith is certainly what saves. This has always been true since the very beginning. Even those righteous persons who lived before Jesus was born into this world as a human being, even Moses or David for instance, were not saved by the works of the Law, but by Faith. The purpose of the Law was never to save, but to convict the sinner of a need of a Savior – since all have sinned against the “Royal Law.” It is faith in the Savior that saves. The work of the Law, carefully considered, is to lead us to know that our only hope of salvation is faith in what Jesus, our Savior, did for us and is doing for us. Yet, this faith does not nullify the Law or make the Law pointless when it comes to its job to constantly remind us of our need of a Savior – a saving Power outside of ourselves. Rather, the Power realized through this faith actually enables us to keep the Spirit of the Law as it was originally intended to be kept – through selfless love for God and for our neighbors.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, makes this point particularly clear:

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. – Romans 3:31

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts… If a man who is not circumcised keeps the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? – Romans 2:13-15, 26

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! – Romans 6:15

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” … So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:7, 11, 22-25

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. – Romans 8:3-4, 7

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Again, most people, including most non-Christians, consider late-term abortions (abortions within the third trimester of otherwise healthy viable babies) to be murder. There is relatively little argument about this. One doesn’t have to know the “precise point” to know that, after a certain point, abortion is clearly murder. The argument that a baby isn’t alive or really human until the moment that it is born is nonsense in my opinion.

Of course, before the third trimester, things start to get a bit more grey and unclear. Some define the beginnings of human life with the full activity of the brain’s cortex. Others define it with the earliest activity of the brain stem. Others define it as the beginnings of fetal movement or the fetal heartbeat. I might have my own opinions here, but the question I ask myself is at what point would I be willing to convict someone else of murder? – and be willing to put them in prison for it? For me, I wouldn’t be willing to do this until things are overwhelmingly clear that the baby is functioning as a full human being and is viable (which would include full brain activity).

As far as rape or incest is concerned, the resulting pregnancy should be terminated as soon as possible within the first trimester. Waiting for the third trimester is simply not an option because, at this point, it would still be murder to kill a fully-formed baby regardless of its origin…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
I agree with you up until your last sentence. It seems very very clear to me that a baby becomes human before it takes its first breath. A baby born at 40 weeks gestation is not somehow inherently “more human” than a baby that is still inside its mother at 39 weeks gestation. At 39 weeks, such a baby is indistinguishable from a baby that has already been born. The location inside or outside of the mother makes absolutely no difference at this point in time and development.

I think, therefore, that we as Christians should avoid both obvious extremes here in this discussion. There are two very clear ditches on both sides of the road here. We should avoid claiming that a baby is not really human until it is actually born at full term, and, at the same time, we should also avoid claiming that full humanity and moral worth is instantly realized at the moment of conception…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Most would agree with you that the baby John the Baptist, before he was born, was, at some point, a real human being who could “leap for joy” (Luke 1:44). Even most non-Christians would agree that a third-trimester abortion is murder. However, this isn’t the real problem here. We are talking about if a single cell or a simple ball of cells is fully “human” and if ending a pregnancy at such an early stage of development is truly a “murder” of a real human being. After all, when conception first takes place a single cell cannot “leap for joy” – or for any other reason. It’s just a single fertilized cell that cannot think or feel or move and has no brain or mind or intelligence of any kind. The same is true of an embryo that consists of no more than an unformed ball of cells for quite some time. Upon what basis, then, is it “murder” to end a pregnancy at this early point in embryological development?