Honest thieves

By Sean Pitman

Is it possible to be honestly wrong, to be ever so sincere and yet be completely off base?  Is it therefore fair or even accurate to refer to such a person as a liar? I think not.

Regarding the issue of promotion of evolutionary theories at LSU and the opposition to the SDA notion of a literal creation week by several of LSU’s science and even religion professors, I am personally convinced that these professors sincerely and honestly believe what they are teaching regarding the “truth” of the modern mainstream evolutionary story of origins and their skepticism regarding the SDA concept of a truly literal creation week.  Therefore, they are not “liars.”  I believe that they are in error in what they believe to be true, but they are not deliberately teaching error or “lying”.

However, the professors are knowingly undermining the SDA church for whom they work while on the dime of the church. Even though this isn’t lying, per say, it is, in my book, a clear moral wrong. It is a form of stealing.

The LSU administrators and PR staff, on the other hand, are not in the same boat as the LSU professors. They are in a worse position compared to the LSU professors. They know what is really being promoted as the truth at LSU. They know that their science professors believe in and actively promote long-age evolutionary ideas while discounting the SDA position on a literal creation week. Yet, these administrators and representatives of LSU are going around telling everyone that this is not the case, that everyone at LSU is in full support of the SDA church and all of the church’s fundamental doctrines. This, as they full well know, is a bold faced lie. There simply is no other word to describe what they are doing. They are deliberately lying to us, the parents and guardians of the children of the church.

Why are the LSU representatives deliberately lying to us? Do we not have the right to know the truth as to what is really being taught to our young people? Why all this deception? Why not at least be open and honest with people about what you really stand for and about what each one of their professors really believes and promotes?

I just don’t get it. I don’t understand all this deliberate deception and I don’t understand why some people are getting angry with those who are striving to produce real openness, honesty, and transparency on this issue.

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23 thoughts on “Honest thieves

  1. Sean

    Why are the LSU representatives deliberately lying to us? Do we not have the right to know the truth as to what is really being taught to our young people? Why all this deception? Why not at least be open and honest with people what what you really stand for? – about what each one of your professors really believes and promotes? I just don’t get it. I don’t understand all this deliberate deception and I don’t understand why some people are getting angry with those who are striving to produce real openness, honesty, and transparency on this issue…

    It’s like the Pharisees. They prefer a lie…for what ever reason. What I read from your strongest opponents on Educate Truth is not a search for truth, but rather, again like the Pharisees, a never-ending quest to “trap’ you or misconstrue everything you say. If Jesus had spoken as plainly as He did BUT given the Scribes and Pharisees free license to continue in their erroneous teachings they would have joined His followers in proclaiming Him the Messiah. But they couldn’t corner Him and He continued to point the people to the truth and clear meaning of the Scriptures and it drove them to madness…so much so they ended up murdering Him in order to silence His voice.

    The points you’ve made have been extremely clear and intelligent but the opposers motor right over it and keep going around on the same track. One even admitted on a post to “not bothering to read your ‘drivel'”. Now there’s a teachable spirit. And this AFTER a tirade accusing “Educate Truthers” as using heartless, unChristlike comments—-then, of course, followed by (her) heartless and unChristlike comments. They don’t see because they don’t want to see.

    I truly appreciate your God-given insight……thank you. There’s a remarkable difference to the casual observer between the tone coming through in your comments and those of your opponents. I doubt they can even discern it.




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  2. [Sean] said……

    “Why are the LSU representatives deliberately lying to us? Do we not have the right to know the truth as to what is really being taught to our young people? Why all this deception? Why not at least be open and honest with people what what you really stand for? – about what each one of your professors really believes and promotes? I just don’t get it. I don’t understand all this deliberate deception and I don’t understand why some people are getting angry with those who are striving to produce real openness, honesty, and transparency on this issue…”

    There are more than a few reasons why these individuals are less than open and above board in their communication. Financial consideration is one. And maybe the main one. Another is reasoning that the ends justify the means. Lying is acceptable if the purpose is to arrive at an end that is advantagous to the benefit of all.

    This is typical of political and policy tactics. As I have mentioned before, there is a clear parallel between what is happening in secular politics and the SDA church.

    And again, we should see the principles of how Satan implemented his agenda in heaven. Lying is often the last resort and only after insinuation has failed to produce the desired effect.

    In attacking Jesus, the religious leaders did not begin by lying at the outset. It became necessary after all other avenues had failed.

    And besides, lying is an “easy out”. We have all done it at one time or another and avoided a difficult situation. And since they have established an agenda as LSU and carried it out for a number or years without confrontation, it is hoped that the issue can be avoided by any confrontation and they can continue “business as usual.”

    And again, this is only the tip of the iceberg of issues that must be resolved before “the church” can be truly effective in fulfilling God’s commission ordained for the SDA church. I doubt many understand the real and full implications of what has transpired in the church for the last few decades and the methods necessary to correct the issues.

    If the OT is any indication of the present blindness, we can be sure that not many will really take seriously the corrective measures. In which case, God Himself may well take some action that will force the confrontation necessary.

    We must remember this, the devil has no interest in any confrontation as long as things are going his way. So I doubt that even much of modern SDA evangelism is of serious concern to Satan. Only when his kingdom is really threatened by all the truth, will he act in any dynamic way to bring it to an end. And since most people see little to be concerned about, neither does the devil.

    Bill Sorensen




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  3. There seems to be prior evidence from this website that some of the teachers of evolution at LSU are less than forthcoming and open about what they teach; but certainly not all. Still, obfuscating is not the same as lying. And it is worth pointing out that it was never the original argument that they were a bunch of lying liars. The original argument was that people teaching millions-of-years evolution have no place teaching that in an SDA university, and that remains the major point today. Although it was first strongly argued that only a lunatic fringe of SDAs would insist that a literal reading of Genesis 1 is important to the church’s beliefs, the recent GC session votes clearly indicate that an overwhelming majority support this view, which is, despite what some revisionists say, the long-standing prevalent view in the church.

    The LSU PR campaign has taken obfuscating and masquerading to a whole new level. “What a lovely bunch of Christian teachers and students we have here at LSU! Behold all the wonderful things they do! And we’re all creationists, too! *wink, wink*” Everything true, in a fashion, yet irrelevant to our concerns. It may be “millions of years” before LSU leadership will come out and admit that any theory of origins apart from the literally understood, historical account of Genesis was actually taught there — nor can we get them to say today in such clear language that the voted SDA belief is what they are committed to teach throughout their courses. All of which sets us up for an interesting ride ahead.




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  4. Well, one can mince words, sir. But basically, yeah, the biology and faculty at LSU have been called liars elsewhere and above. Sir, you’ve just contradicted yourself in the above post, between the first and last paragraphs, I presume intentionally. But I don’t get it. Are you being humorous? See excerpts below.

    Paragraph 1: “Is it therefore fair or even accurate to refer to such a person as a “liar’? I think not.”

    Paragraph 2: “I am personally convinced that these professors sincerely and honestly believe what they are teaching regarding the “truth”….Therefore, they are not “liars”.”

    But then you said:

    Paragraph 4: “This, as they full well know, is a bold faced lie….They are deliberately lying to us”

    Paragraph 5: “Why are the LSU representatives deliberately lying to us?… I don’t understand all this deliberate deception.”

    I am not understanding the transition in your argument from saying that LSU is honestly mistaken to then calling them liars and thieves. That is very strong language. I presume that you will pay a visit to LSU and tell the Biology faculty that to their face, in person?




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  5. @Greg:

    I am not understanding the transition in your argument from saying that LSU is honestly mistaken to then calling them liars and thieves. That is very strong language. I presume that you will pay a visit to LSU and tell the Biology faculty that to their face, in person?

    Do you not understand the difference between the professors and the administrators of LSU? The LSU professors are not lying (though they are robbing us), but the LSU administrators and PR staff are deliberately lying to us…

    I have spoken at LSU twice now and pointed out to them, face to face, how they are misrepresenting the SDA Church on the Church’s dime…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. @Greg:

    Greg, Don’t let Sean pull the wool over your eyes. He thinks the administration IS lying, but the profs are NOT! Even thought Shane admits ONLY Darwinian evolution was taught, without mention of any other ideas.

    Please read Shane’s original letter to LSU from 2009. It speaks for itself. The professors taught evolution as fact, since no other ideas were permitted to be taught, even those presented from the bible! [edit]




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  7. Going with what is “Self-Evident” over the “Bible and the Bible only”

    In response to a sermon by John McLarty on July 3 at the North Hill Adventist Church located near Seattle, Washington, published by Adventist Today entitled, “Answering Fundamentalists:

    http://www.atoday.com/answering-fundamentalists#comment-8569

    On July 10th, 2010 Seanpit says:

    I’m just wondering: What kind of government will there be in heaven?

    The most ideal government, obviously, is a theocracy where God is in total control. Human governments, without God’s control, are always less than ideal and become less and less ideal as God’s “self-evident” laws are removed from government.

    Yet, what should be “self-evident” to the sane mind is not always so self evident to the sinful mind. The civil aspects of the Ten Commandments should have been so self-evident that they need not be spelled out by God in stone. Yet, because of the insanity of our sinful hearts producing a curious inability to recognize the “self evident” any more, God had to make clear to us in writing our own insanity in how we treat each other. This is why sin is in fact a form of insanity…

    Therefore, contrary to your assertion, all “good” governments are based on “self-evident” laws because those things that are “self evident” to the sane mind all come from God. Therefore, such governments are, in fact, nothing more than a form of theocracy.

    Also, you assertion that the concepts of “all being created equal” or even “demoncratic ideals” are not promoted in the Bible is mistaken. It is a Christian ideal that all are of “one blood” and equal before God – that God is “no respecter of persons” and that there is “no slave, no free, no man or woman” when it comes to recommending one’s self before God. And, the early Christian Church was largely democratic – even socialistic. So, in this sense, the origin of US Government is largely based on very Christian “self evident” ideals and principles that are self evident to many in this country only because of the Christian influence on and God still being involved in the conscience of this society.

    Beyond this, the SDA Church, as with all other unique organizations, goes beyond mere civil government. We have a very good civil government here in these great United States of America. The uniqueness of independent organizations within civil government is and must be based on additional internal rules of organization, order, and government. This is true of organizations as diverse as Nike, Rebook, Coca Cola, Republicans, Democrats, Catholics, Hindus, or SDAs. All such unique organizations require unique goals and ideas and that these goals and ideals be maintained by internally enforced rules that cannot be trespassed by paid representatives who wish to remain long employed…

    For the SDA Church, in particular, this means the upholding of unique Pillars of the SDA Faith. If one cannot do this, in good conscience, one should move on to work for or start a new organization that is in fact willing to pay for this or that individual perspective.

    Remember that in free civil society freedom works both ways. One is free to do and say many different things. However, people are also free to provide, or not to provide, financial support. To demand that people financially support your “academic freedom” or “freedom of speech” is just as wrong as stealing money from those who do not freely wish to give it to you…

    One more thought. At the very least a group who expects to get paid by a client should be open and honest with the client about the true nature of the product that is being sold. In the case of LSU, this is not being done. The client is being sold a product which does not match the LSU advertising – specifically with regard to the issue of creation vs. evolution and support for the literal six-day creation week in LSU’s science classrooms. LSU is being deliberately deceptive by advertising that all at LSU are in full support of the SDA Fundamentals when they know that this is not the case…

    Sean Pitman

    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  8. The basis of McLarty’s sermon is this…..

    “Did you understand what God said? Are you sure?”

    This is the same question Satan asked Eve in the garden. If someone can create doubt as to the clarity of the bible and the word of God, it is only a step to abandonment of any solid understandable communication from God to man.

    And this is exactly what John wants to do. From there, we simply wander into oblivion with no assurance of what God said or meant.

    Then we can substitute science, or any other “expert” source of truth to guide our thinking and set the bible aside as we opt for other sources of authority.

    The reformation not only claimed the bible as the only rule of faith and practice, it also affirmed the bible was clear to any honest student who desired to know and understand its message. The Holy Spirit working through the bible creates the Christian community. And unity is possible because of its clarity.

    Undermine this confession of faith, and you have substancially nothing left.

    Bill Sorensen




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  9. Bobbie Vedvick wrote to Sean Pitman:

    One even admitted on a post to “not bothering to read your ‘drivel’”. Now there’s a teachable spirit. And this AFTER a tirade accusing “Educate Truthers” as using heartless, unChristlike comments—-then, of course, followed by (her) heartless and unChristlike comments. They don’t see because they don’t want to see.

    I truly appreciate your God-given insight……thank you. There’s a remarkable difference to the casual observer between the tone coming through in your comments and those of your opponents. I doubt they can even discern it.

    Hello, Bobbie. I think you’re speaking of me but you have most certainly misquoted me when you said I admitted to “not bothering to read your ‘drivel’”.

    I did some searching for “drivel”. Perhaps you had in mind this statement from the always respectful Bob Ryan:

    Is there any evidence at all that the LSU board of directors considers this drivel to be even remotely a form of compliance with the directives they have given regarding the restoration of the idea of teaching actual Adventist positions at an Adventist institution like LSU?

    Or maybe this interesting question from Phil Mills wrote (directed toward me, by the way):

    And frankly, though you have been bashing the sponsors of the site, without them you wouldn’t even have a platform in which to spout your drivel.

    I disagree strongly with Sean’s opinions on many manners, but I never called his writings “drivel”. Now here is something that I actually did write to Eddie:

    Eddie, thank you for defending me. Actually I had not read Sorensen’s diatribes and don’t plan on doing so. I’ve made my positions clear enough and owe him no explanations.

    I’ll tell you what: I will apologize for describing Bill Sorensen’s posts as “diatribes.” It was not very charitable of me. And because you could have been much harsher in condemning me, I thank you for you offering your own version of Christian charity. I apologize for offending you so deeply.

    God bless!

    Geanna Dane




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  10. God had to make clear to us in writing our own insanity in how we treat each other

    Well state, Sean. No “drivel” here in my unesteemed opinion.




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  11. On this thread, Sean made this comment to begin the discussion…..

    [Edited: As previously noted, this forum is not for debating the morality of honestly believing or not believing in various evolutionary theories or other doctrinal “errors”. – sp]




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  12. The following quote, Sister White (Maranath, p. 204) is something I read for worship this morning, and so accurately depicts our current dilemma. I pray each day that the Lord will keep the church strong, focused, and never failing in its faithfulness to His word.

    “Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths…. The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy.

    I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to naught.

    I am encouraged and blessed as I realize that the God of Israel is still guiding His people, and that He will continue to be with them, even to the end.

    We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.

    The church, soon to enter upon her most severe conflict, will be the object most dear to God upon earth. The confederacy of evil will be stirred with power from beneath, and Satan will cast all the reproach possible upon the chosen ones whom he cannot deceive and delude with his satanic inventions and falsehoods. But exalted “to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins,” will Christ, our representative and head, close His heart, or withdraw His hand, or falsify His promise? No; never, never.”




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  13. The organization that writes the check is the one to make the rules for employment. Employees who disagree are free to believe anything they choose. They also have the freedom to move on to an organization that reflects their personal opinions. The purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist Educational system is to propagate Seventh-day Adventists beliefs – to do anything less would negate our reason to exist.

    Evadeane Peters




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  14. Ever since the French Revolution, people with the same ideology have been on these shores trying to infiltrate the colleges of our land. This began in the early 1800’s, and is probably resposible in part of the fall of Babylon as we understand it. Bacause of the fact that colleges and universities in the US were all Christian at that time, they no doubt had to pose as Chrisitain or at be least amenable to Christian like beliefs. So today, people who worship the “godess of reason” are in our churches and institutions trying to lead the innocent and uninformed astray. Is it any wonder that you almost never hear anyone teach about Revelation 11 anymore? When I attended AFCOE (Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism), they taught that Revelation 10 and 11 are in contrast to each other. Chapter 10 being God’s movement for the last days, and chapter 11 being one of Satan’s movements for the last days. I am afraid that we have become so focused on the sea beast of chapter 13, that we have about totally forgotten about the beast that rises out of the bottomless pit, whose movement is still alive and well today. I believe that these people who are teaching error at LSU share that same ideology as those who we are warned aganst in Revelation 11.




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  15. As a member of the SDA church since 1977, I have seen many disturbing things happen, and have heard some shocking things said by supposed members of the church. However, the fact that evolution, in any form, is being taught at a church-supported institution of higher learning pretty much “takes the cake!” If my opinion carried any weight, I would call for an immediate “house-cleaning” at LSU, beginnig with the [edit] President, Ron Wisby and including all instructors guilty of teaching anything which is contrary to the Word of God. All the signs are being fulfilled and Christ’s coming is ‘at the doors.’ God help those who have been responsible for corrupting the minds of our youth.




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  16. As a member of the SDA church since 1977, I have seen many disturbing things happen, and have heard some shocking things said by supposed members of the church.However, the fact that evolution, in any form, is being taught at a church-supported institution of higher learning pretty much “takes the cake!”If my opinion carried any weight, I would call for an immediate “house-cleaning” at LSU, beginnig with the [edit] President, Ron Wisby and including all instructors guilty of teaching anything which is contrary to the Word of God.All the signs are being fulfilled and Christ’s coming is ‘at the doors.’God help those who have been responsible for corrupting the minds of our youth.  

    Karen, I agree with you completely, including the {edit}! Will Wisbey and his buddies be fired? I have my doubts. Why?

    From Ricardo Graham, (AR, June 10, 2010 p8,9) “The biology course, which has come under attack…did not really have the results we desired…I think there will be some adjustments,..”

    The Board and its Chairman have no backbone to actually change anything, as can be seen here. Just “adjust” until we shut up. If the first “adjustment” does not work, we’ll try another, then another, ad infinitum, until eons of time have passed, and nothing still has been done.

    Which is why I believe Graham should be fired along with the Bio profs and Wisbey, along with any others who have been involved in this ridiculous charade!




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  17. The basis of McLarty’s sermon is this…..“Did you understand what God said? Are you sure?”This is the same question Satan asked Eve in the garden. If someone can create doubt as to the clarity of the bible and the word of God, it is only a step to abandonment of any solid understandable communication from God to man.And this is exactly what John wants to do.

    Exactly Bill, The basis of most liberal “theology” is doubting what God “really” said. Check it out for yourselves.

    I’ve been an SDA over 40 years, and the deterioration of many pastoral sermons out here in California at least, is shocking. Mainly psychological theories, current cultural ideas, the latest “guru’s” philosophy, etc.

    I’m proud to say I belong to an SDA Church that still preaches God’s Truth every Sabbath–Sacramento Central. Not just Doug Batchelor either–all the pastoral staff.




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  18. @Bill Sorensen: This is a prime example of the “NLP” garbage that our confeances are requiring our pastors to be preaching now !!  

    Nanci, What’s NLP? No ‘Literal’ Propaganda? Nonsensical Liberal Philosophy? Non-biblical Liberal Platitudes?




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  19. Sean,

    I’m in perfect agreement with you on this issue. We know from the Bible itself that some who believe lies, reject the Holy Spirit’s pleading for a certain time, and then God just gives them over to the lies they love.

    2Th 2:10 “And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
    2Th 2:11 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
    2Th 2:12 “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

    It certainty appears that these biology professors and those administrators who condone them at LSU have rejected truth and now believe lies.
    Perhaps since the lies they believe really does appear to be truth to them, they can then justify the dishonesty involved in getting a paycheck that they do not deserve as they work at cross-purposes to the Adventist Church; their own employer and God’s true remnant prophetic movement. After all, to them, what’s a couple of lies anyway? It’s just one more day at the office.




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  20. Nanci, What’s NLP?No ‘Literal’ Propaganda?Nonsensical Liberal Philosophy?Non-biblical Liberal Platitudes?  

    Nuero Linguistic Programming: a form of hypnotism that was going around the Oregon conference especially in the 80’s and 90’s.

    Nuero-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. NLP is a form of hypnosis that can be done without the knowledge and consent of the subject, or victim. Operators that are trained can use techniques including the telling of boring stories to make the subject much less alert and susceptible to sub-conscience programming. Those who maintain a vibrant connection to Jesus and stay alert will not fall victim. There has been some talk that pastors or speakers may be able to do this from the pulpit.

    These training systems known as Labs 1-1V, were going around the Oregon Conference of SDA’s back in the 1990’s or so. Conference leaders and pastors and other church workers were being trained in these systems and using them.

    Here is one link that informs upon this subject. http://www.remnant-prophecy.com/topic-Library/Life-Death/You're-Growing-Sleepy.pdf

    Here is another link to the book the Structure of Magic This shows the occult/witchcraft connection to NLP.
    http://www.generalsemantics.org/gsb/articles/gsb46-johnson.pdf




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  21. THEY CLAIM

    “La Sierra University is an integral part of the Church’s shared endeavor to educate our young people to think well and to believe well.” “And we affirm, as consistently declared by our university and by our Board, our strong belief in God the Creator and Redeemer, as revealed in our Church’s Statement of Fundamental Beliefs.” (Dr. Randal Wisbey, La Sierra University President, Open Letter of 28 May 2010, http://lasierra.edu/index.php?id=3183)

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

    If words were enough, President Wisbey’s would have the gold medal.
    http://herrensbud.blogspot.com/2010/06/la-sierra-university-emergence-of.html




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  22. The most pernicious of attitudes promoted on this site is the idea that biologists who teach college level biology in Adventist universities are thieves. I beg of you to stop these accusations. You are free to disagree with the conclusions of the biologists, and if their expertise is valid they will be able to present a cogent defense of their point of view. Alternatively they may not have a cogent defense, in which case students will see the fallacy of their position. And hopefully, they also will see the error of their views and repent. For God’s word on how to handle this kind of issue, please see 2 Timothy 2. In particular:

    24And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

    I know that some students have been shaken by the information taught and faculty must be very careful about how they present the information. There is a great need for faculty to be able to demonstrate how they integrate commitment and faith with the seeming contradictions of their discipline. Nevertheless, if a student chooses to gain a collegiate education in biology, they NEED to understand and think through the data about evolution. Everyone will need to be convinced in his/her own mind about this issue. We should not kid ourselves, young people will get this information and decide on their own anyway. Rather than letting NOVA indoctrinate our young people, it is far better for these questions to be handled respectfully by faculty who acknowledge the dilemmas the data present, yet choose to be faithful and committed to the church. If they see things slightly different than you, then respectfully present your point of view, but don’t character assassinate them or call them “thieves”! If this approach cannot be done, then Biology should be withdrawn as a collegiate major and the entire structure of Adventist higher education will be at risk as other disagreements boil over.

    Again, please stop demonizing our biology professors as “thieves”. This is patently false and is the classic tactic of the ad hominem fallacy (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html). Disagree respectfully all that you want. Present your data and arguments, but stop attributing scurrilous motives to those with whom you disagree.




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