His 2004 statement was that the SDA church “does not …

Comment on Jan Paulsen: 2004 vs 2009 by BobRyan.

His 2004 statement was that the SDA church “does not have the mechanism” that would be needed for him to dictate a limit beyond which our Universities cannot go. Paulsen states that this is the “price we pay” for our freedom. Paulsen argues that for him to dictate what may and may not be taught we would need the Roman Catholic Papal model — investing him with that kind of absolute authority – which he says the church certainly does not want to do. He even starts off with the fact that this is a system of “distributed responsibility” (as opposed to central role of a dictatorship).

Paulsen concludes as Ron states with the ultimate “fix” which is “why don’t students stop attending those (SDA) schools” where they know there is a problem. (And he specifically cites the problem of institutions promoting evolutionism as a prime example of this.)

Thus he has washed his hands of the problem in 2004 – under the excuse that the Adventist system by definition is one of distributed authority and therefore (he appears to claim) distributed responsibility as opposed to centralized responsibility.

Paulsen argues that while the GC is adamant about SDA Fundamental Beliefs — all it could really do was make private appeals to university boards and church administrators begging them to do the right thing, begging them to please implement the Church’s distinctive beliefs.

This was exactly the kind of carte blanche “open door” that devotees to evolutionism would have been looking for. As of that point – we were apparently under the rule – caviat emptor arguing that conscientious SDA students should “leave” when they see the “disguised infidelity” of evolutionism adopted by this or that SDA institution.

As the denominational figure head Paulsen declared that nothing actually stopped our institutions from sowing to the wind – so it is not too surprising that we were about to reap a whirl wind. If all that was true just as he said – then “katy bar the door” my friends.

What he was careful not to state – is that as the figurehead of leadership in our church Paulsen and NAD presidents had a huge degree of influence with church members and by voicing their outright dissapproval of this or that institution – they could “clarify the issue” for would be parents and students of those institutions, AND he could influence constituent voters associated with the various unions that were mismanaging their duties. Saying any of that would be “the rest of the story” and would be laying at least “some” of the responsibility at his own door.

But on the up side – it would have been a shot across the bow for universities poised on the brink of that all-for-disguised-infidelity moment of truth.

in Christ,


BobRyan Also Commented

Jan Paulsen: 2004 vs 2009

BobRyan said –
“What he was careful not to state – is that as the figurehead of leadership in our church Paulsen and NAD presidents had a huge degree of influence with church members and by voicing their outright disapproval of this or that institution – they could “clarify the issue” for would be parents and students of those institutions, AND he could influence constituent voters associated with the various unions that were mismanaging their duties. Saying any of that would be “the rest of the story” and would be laying at least “some” of the responsibility at his own door.”


I firmly believe that both the GC President and NAD President could, thru their influence, cause the University to take the necessary action to insure that evolution is not given a favored position in any of the curriculum.

Agreed. So I don’t think he has the option of justifying innaction regarding this gross level of crisis – that has continued under his presidency – that some of his comments would suppose.

He is at the top Administrative position and “the buck stops here” is the sign that should be sitting on his desk.

in Christ,


Jan Paulsen: 2004 vs 2009

@Victor Marshall:

Victor Marshall says:
March 10, 2010 @BobRyan:

I knew that you would respond with a more thorough and articulate research analysis of the tithe issues. I have to confess that applying the term ‘independent ministry’ to pastors wives strikes me as pushing it a bit. My own wife is my co-laborer in every aspect of pastoral/evangelistic ministry, and she would never use that term to describe what she does. I do think that many pastors wives should be paid from the tithe resources for what they do(of course Ellen White taught that). That would not make them an ‘independent ministry.’

Is your wife listed as an empoyee of the church simply by virtue of marriage – does she get a W2 or does she take “assignments” from the conference or the Union? Is it ok for church members to redirect their tithes directly to paying “your wife”?

Suppose for example she were to start a bible study group with the women in her neighborhood, or start publishing a Christian magazine, or a TV program or a Radio “Bible Answers” program – all on her own. Could we then divert tithe funds directly to her and not call that an “independent ministry” simply because she is also your wife?

In any case – you see the sticky wicket this creates.

My point is not to argue for tithe funds sent to this or that independant ministry.

It is simply to point out that the problem is not the tiddy little thing that is sometimes presented.

The term that is often preferred for para-church organizations who conduct themselves in harmony with the main church’s policies is ’supporting ministry.’ Many of these organizations belong to umbrella groups such as ASI and OCI. The reception of tithe is not acceptable for membership in either of these organizations. Ex.
“OCI members refuse to solicit or to accept tithe from Seventh-day Adventist church members.”

I believe it is a matter of record that as of the 1970’s all of the major SDA supporting ministries (Faith for Today, It is Written, Amazing Facts, VOP) were accepting Tithe dollars. The “policy” of the GC Exec Committee adopted in 1980 was directly opposed to the practice that Ellen White had not only of redirecting her own tithe funds – but also of accepting tithes of other members for the specifically stated purpose of redirecting them and also defending other contemporaries who sent their own tithes directly to unfunded Adventist ministries – not even going through Ellen White to do it.

in Christ,


Jan Paulsen: 2004 vs 2009


From the Spalding and Megan collection we learned that Ellen White gave a portion of her own tithes to independant ministries and also defended the right of other contemporary Adventists who did the same thing.

Some have argued that these were special cases – but Ellen White was clear on one thing “the storehouse of the Lord” was not limited to the conference treasury.

I don’t say this to discourage anyone from giving to their conference or Union as the Lord leads them. I am just stating a fact of history.

Having said that – I repeat – I am not arguing for anyone to send tithe dollars to this independant ministry or to that one. I am just pointing to a historic fact.

@Victor Marshall:

You need to stop listening to independent ministry propaganda. Ellen White did not give tithe to ‘independent ministries.’ Her special use of tithe was applied to denominationally recognized ministers who were poverty stricken and destitute because conference administrators(who had been notified by her)were not responding to their needs.

You are right to observe that some of those that Ellen White gave both her tithe dollars – and other people’s tithe dollars — to, were in fact retired ministers – licensed by the Adventist church.

Many of the independant ministries today – are also staffed by licensed SDA ministers.

Other projects that Ellen White devoted tithe dollars to – included unfunded missions in the South, as well as independant missionary and evangelistic work done by pastor’s wives without pay.

@Victor Marshall:

She did not encourage anyone else to follow her example On the contrary she discouraged others from following her special emergency example(‘I would not advise that anyone should make a practice of gathering up tithe money… I write to you so that you shall keep cool and not become stirred up and give publicity to this matter, lest any more follow their example.’Watson Letter). This was ‘Her special work.’ Not the special work of others.

It is odd that you would quote that – because that same letter includes specific examples of other Adventists asking Ellen White to help them redirect their tithes outside of the conference treasury.

Some cases have been kept before me for years, and I have supplied their needs from the tithe, as God has instructed me to do. And if any person shall say to me, Sister White, will you appropriate my tithe where you know it is most needed, I shall say, Yes, I will; and I have done so. I commend those sisters who have placed their tithe where it is most needed to help to do a work that is being left undone; and if this matter is given publicity, it will create knowledge which would better be left as it is. I do not care to give publicity to this work which the Lord has appointed me to do, and others to do .

I send this matter to you so that you shall not make a mistake. Circumstances alter cases. I would not advise that any should make a practice of gathering up tithe money. But for years there have now and then been persons who have lost confidence in the appropriation of the tithe who have placed their tithe in my hands, and said that if I did not take it they would themselves appropriate it to the families of the most needy minister they could find. I have taken the money, given a receipt for it, and told them how it was appropriated.

Thus Ellen White indicates that this mechanism involved redirecting not only her own tithes – but the tithes of others as well.

As for ministries not funded by the conference –

Dear Brn. Evans, Smith, and Jones: —
I received your letter, and will write a few lines now. . . . . . . . . . {SpM 117.2}
There are ministers’ wives, Sisters Starr, Haskell, Wilson and Robinson, who have been devoted, earnest, whole-souled workers, giving Bible readings and praying with families, helping along by personal efforts just as successfully as their husbands. These women give their whole time, and are told that they receive nothing for their labors because their husbands receive their wages. I tell them to go forward and all such decisions shall be reversed. The Word says, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” When any such decision as this is made, I will in the name of the Lord, protest. I will feel it in my duty to create a fund from my tithe money, to pay these women

As for Ellen White standing in bold defense of others who were redirecting tithe dollars to unfunded ministries in the south.

In regard to the colored work in the South, that field has been and is still being robbed of the means that should come to the workers of that field. If there has been cases where our sisters have appropriated their tithe to the support of the ministers working for the colored people in the South, let every man, if he is wise, hold his peace.

@Victor Marshall:

She made no clear statements that the storehouse also represented independent ministries. She does equate the ’storehouse’ with the conference treasury and refers to it as ‘God’s treasury.’

I agree that Ellen White clearly identified the conference treasury as one of the valid examples of the “Lord’s Storehouse” – but she explicitly stated it was not the ONLY example of it.

I have myself appropriated my tithe to the most needy cases brought to my notice. I have been instructed to do this; and as the money is not withheld from the Lord’s treasury, it is not a matter that should be commented upon; for it will necessitate my making known these matters, which I do not desire to do, because it is not best.

Thus Ellen White argues that tithe funds redirected to unfunded ministries in the South, and to minister’s wives who elected to conduct their own independent ministries, and to retired ministers who were not being funded by the conference – none of those examples of “redirection” was a case of money not going to the Lord’s Storehouse according to Ellen White.

in Christ,


Recent Comments by BobRyan

Academic Freedom Strikes Again!

By definition, I don’t believe in miracles or apocryphal, anthropomorphic stories about same.Why aren’t scientists observing them today if they occur?

Circular argument. If they were naturally occurring we would expect scientists to see that they are still occurring today. If they are singular events caused by an intelligent being – that being would be under no obligation to “keep causing world wide floods” as if “to do it once you must continually do it”. Armstrong went to the moon.. shall we argue that unless he keeps going to the moon so each new generation can see it … then it did not happen?

Your argument is of the form “all eye witness evidence to some event in the past is no evidence at all unless that event keeps repeating itself so we too can witness it”. Seems less than compelling.

“Could it be that science is better able to detect hoaxes and false claims?” As a rule for dismissing every eye witness account in the past – it is less than compelling. (even when that event cannot be repeated)

Evolutionists “claim” that dust, rocks and gas (in sufficient quantity and over sufficient time and a lot of luck) self organized into rabbits via prokaryote-then-eukaryote-then-more-complexity. But such self-organization cannot be “observed” today.

(What is worse – such a sequence cannot even be intelligently manipulated to occur in the lab)

By your own argument then you should not believe in evolution.

Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
@Sean Pitman:

Suppose you were at a crime scene … there is a tree limb on the ground and a bullet hole in the victim — “all natural causes”? or is one ‘not natural’? Those who say that nothing can be detected as “not naturally occurring in nature” – because all results, all observations make it appear that every result “naturally occurred without intelligent design” seem to be missing a very big part of “the obvious”.

Academic Freedom Strikes Again!


What just God would allow an innocent child to be born guilty for the sins of a distant ancestor? …What if there was only One Commandment? Do Good. ‘Kant’ see a problem with that.

An atheist point of view is not often found here – but this is interesting.

1. God does not punish babies for what someone else did – but I suppose that is a reductionist option that is not so uncommon among atheists. The “details” of the subject you are commenting on – yet according to you “not reading” – is that humans are born with sinful natures. A “bent” toward evil. That is the first gap right out of the gate between atheism and God’s Word..

2. But still God supernaturally enables “free will” even in that bent scenario, the one that mankind lives in – ever since the free-will choice of the first humans on planet earth – was to cast their lot in with Satan and rebellion..(apparently they wanted to see what a wonderful result that poor choice would create). John 16 “the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and righteousness and judgment”. And of course “I will draw ALL mankind unto Me” John 12:32. (not “just Christians”). Thus supernatural agency promotes free will in a world that would otherwise be unrestrained in its bent to evil.

3.God says “The wages of sin is death” — so then your “complaint” is essentially “that you exist”. A just and loving God created planet Earth – no death or disease or suffering – a perfect paradise where mankind could live forever … and only one tiny restriction… yet Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be duped by Satan… tossing it all away. The “Just God” scenario could easily just have let them suffer the death sentence they chose. He did not do that… hence “you exist” – to then “complain about it”.

4. Of course you might also complain that Satan exists – and Satan might complain that “you exist”. There is no shortage on planet earth of avenues for complaint. But God steps in – offers salvation to mankind at infinite cost to himself – – and the “Few” of Matthew 7 eventually end up accepting that offer of eternal life. The rest seem to prefer the lake of fire option… sort of like Adam and Eve choosing disease and death over eternal life (without fully appreciating the massive fail in that short-sighted choice).

In any case – this thread is about the logic/reason that should be taken into account when a Christian owned and operated institution chooses to stay faithful to its Christian mission — rather then getting blown about by every wind of doctrine. Why let the alchemy of “wild guessing” be the ‘source of truth’ when we have the Bible?? We really have no excuse for that. As for science – we can be thankful that it has come as far along as it has – but no matter how far back you rewind the clock of our science history – we should always have chosen the Bible over wild guessing.

Newly Discovered Human Footprints Undermine Evolutionary Assumptions

Ervin Taylor:
Perhaps Dr. Pitman would enlighten his readers what on earth “the neo-Darwinian story of origins” might be. Darwin did not address origins.

Origins of what?? the first eukaryote??
Or “origins of mankind”??

Darwin himself claimed that his own false doctrine on origins was totally incompatible with Genesis and that because of this – Genesis must be tossed under a bus.

hint: Genesis is an account of “Origins” as we all know — even though “bacteria” and “amoeba” are terms that don’t show up in the text.

The point remains – Darwin was promoting his own religion on origins totally counter to the Bible doctrine on origins. He himself addresses this point of the two views.

Newly Discovered Human Footprints Undermine Evolutionary Assumptions

Ervin Taylor:
Here we go again.If the footprints upon close examination, are determined not to be from a hominim/hominid, I wonder if Educate Truth (sic) will announce that determination.Or if the date of the surface is determined to be much younger, will there be a notice placed on fundamentalist web-sites.If you believe the answer to these questions are yes, I have a big bridge that I would like to sell you for pennies on the dollar.

Here we go again … hope piled upon hope…no matter the “observations in nature” that disconfirm the classic evolutionary hypothesis

Reminds me of “What we still don’t know” by Martin Reese and Leonard Suskind