La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction

Educate Truth shares the following article from Adventist Today as a service to readers.

Submitted Jul 1, 2011
By Atoday Editorial Team

On June 10, 2011, three La Sierra University (LSU) faculty members and a board member resigned. News of their resignations set off a storm of rumor and speculation.

The stranger-than-fiction saga came to the attention of the general Adventist public with a short announcement by a LSU administration. Four individuals — Jeff Kaatz, Vice President for university advancement; Jim Beach, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; Gary Bradley part-time contract biology professor; and Lenny Darnell, member of the Board of Trustees — had been asked to resign. The announcement specifically stated the resignations were not connected to the on-going controversy over the teaching of evolutionary biology at LSU, a claim that was initially doubted by many.

Central to the resignations was a digital recording made by one of the four affected individuals. Within hours of the announcement, Adventist Today received a copy of the recording from an anonymous source.

The first part of the recording was of a meeting, held in a public hall on campus and called by North American Division leaders. This was to discuss the likelihood the church’s accrediting association would probably not re-certify the university for a maximum five-year term. There was a perception, reported the leaders, that LSU was ‘deviating’ from standards of instruction expected of Adventist universities. It was clear from the recording, the word ‘deviating’ was generally held to refer to LSU’s approaches to teaching biology.

Prominent speakers at the meeting were Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division (NAD), and Larry Blackmer, NAD vice president for education.

After the meeting, the digital recording device/telephone, operated on his person by one of the four men, was left running. This appeared unintentional while the four men went to a private home to discuss the meeting and watch a basketball playoff game between the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks.

Apparently unaware the follow-up discussion was part of the recording, one of the men forwarded a copy of the recording to various individuals, so they could hear the meeting with the church officials. This digital file was forwarded by someone else to the General Conference. When Larry Blackmer listened to the recording he discovered it contained more that just the meeting at which he had been a principal presenter. After listening to the entire recording, including the conversation during the basketball game which contained some rather inflammatory rhetoric, he had the recording transcribed and sent a copy of this to the leadership of LSU. In light of that transcript, the four men were asked to resign, and they complied.

What was so inflammatory about the recording that the men agreed to resign? (Read more)

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92 thoughts on “La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction

  1. Personally, I did download and listen to the tape and the article describes it pretty accurately.

    However, I don’t think any of the four should retain any kind of employment at LSU even if that is based purely on the drinking of alcohol. If it had been four students caught like that they would have been expelled. And why should the faculty be treated any differently? They, after all, should be more culpable than the students, not less.

    I also remember them talking about going to the upcoming meeting in Banff and talking about taking the wife and “a good bottle of wine.” I fail to see the value of paying for anyone who is going to attend a meeting while under the influence.

    I do feel for these guys, but if they hadn’t been drinking, they wouldn’t have needed to worry about getting caught, would they?

    As to their comments, they led me to believe that the TEs were trying to put people into authoritative positions so that they would support their side of the controversy. They basically stated it was them against the church. That tells me that they are not to be trusted as they are determined to go ahead with their agenda no matter what the church position is.




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  2. This incredible irony of 4 liberal California “Adventists” getting caught doing what their liberalism says is oh so “right in their own eyes” – serves as a sobering and humbling reminder to us all:

    Gal 6:7,8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

    The mocking of God the Creator that has gone on at LSU…the mocking of God’s humble servant, Ellen White…the mocking of God’s chosen leaders (reminds me of the fate of some boys mocking Elisha)…the mocking ridicule of our special health message by their drinking…the mocking of the Bible truth that we will all be held accountable for every idle word that proceeds from our mouths….

    God is absolutely IN CONTROL! He mercifully allows His law of cause –> effect to play out time and again. No one wrestles against mere flesh & blood. We reap what we sow, end of story.

    Let us pray for these who’ve been so self-deceived, lest any of us also fall. Let us pray for our church leaders that they will draw courage to make righteous decisions surrounding this. Let us pray for the students & faculty of LSU, that somehow a revival of true Godliness will sweep the enemy back in California. Before probation closes and all mocking ceases…all reaping commences.




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  3. Former Student: “Let us pray for these who’ve been so self-deceived, lest any of us also fall. Let us pray for our church leaders that they will draw courage to make righteous decisions surrounding this. Let us pray for the students & faculty of LSU, that somehow a revival of true Godliness will sweep the enemy back in California. Before probation closes and all mocking ceases…all reaping commences.”

    Beautifully put…however, it is not only in California that prayers are needed. It seems there are problems in just about all the SDA institutions to some extent or another. And we can extend those prayers for all of us in the SDA church. We need to sweep the worldly rubbish out of our church and return to the true worship. Then the mocking will cease and we will be ready for the latter rain to fall. By all the signs (earthquakes, floods, fires,and even the condition of the global money systems,) we should look for the Second Coming soon. Praise the Lord!

    Happy Sabbath.




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  4. Faith said…..

    “We need to sweep the worldly rubbish out of our church and return to the true worship. Then the mocking will cease and we will be ready for the latter rain to fall.”

    This is idealistic. I don’t believe it will happen, although, I don’t know it won’t.

    When you invite the devil in, he does not leave simply because you invite him to do so. History shows that once he obtains a good foothold, he remains. History also teaches us that God Himself can not, in harmony with His own priciples, force anyone out or change their “theology” against their will.

    If He could, rebellion would have been dealt with in heaven in such a way that all would have been convinced and harmony would have been restored.

    Jesus could not persuade the people of His day. Luther could not persuade “the church” of his day. We can not persuade apostate Protestantism.

    How then do you think modern Adventism will somehow “repent” and do something that is totally foreign to the lessons of history?

    It is true that God “forced” Lucifer out of heaven. The majority sided with God. Do you think the majority will side with the true believers in the church of today?

    Again I say, probably not. People are more easily duped than we may think. After all, the infallibility of the church has been its downfall again and again. All the way back to the Jewish nation to the present SDA church.

    Perhaps the name Seventh-day Adventist will yet preserve us. Because the name is an offense to unbelievers.

    WDYT?

    Bill Sorensen




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  5. Bill:

    I fully agree with all you have said, however, according to the SOP the shaking is going to shake the unbelievers out. We are told to stay with this church because it will go through to the end. Whether or not that will come at a time when we are still an organized church I cannot say. There will be a time when God’s people will have to stand on their own and we will be scattered over the world in various hiding places, or even in prisons. I do know, however, that the church–the term used for God’s people–will be purified. That is what I am looking forward to.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised that we will be purified while still in the organized state, as I believe that is what will happen just before the final thrust, bringing in God’s people from other churches. (EGW says that these people from the other churches will come in to fill the places of those who leave.) We will just have to wait and see, won’t we. I pray it will all happen very soon. I am weary of the strife.




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  6. Faith, most people either do not know of this quote, or perhaps they don’t believe it. It clearly states that “the church” may fail in the end and be cast off.

    Judged by the Light Bestowed

    In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . {LDE 59.3}

    She is not talking about individuals. She is talking about the SDA church.

    Bill Sorensen




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  7. What this proves is that the failed solution that is of the form “make the wolves more presentable and less offensive” is not a sound solution when it comes to the forces at work within LSU leadership.

    The result of that decision is that over time “wolve behaviors” will keep “leaking out” – destroying the reputation of LSU and give the SDA denomination a black eye.

    Decisive action needs to be taken if this problem is to be solved vs “enabled over time”.

    The details in the incident show that the four people in question are not the whole problem at LSU – they are simply 4 who happened to blunder their way into the light of day.

    It shows a sharp contrast between leaders that see a problem and know that clear leadership needs to be demonstrated to fix the problem – vs leaders who choose to continue playing denominational politics same-as-usual.

    Even the four guys in question seem to think that the only way for the LSU board to actually fix the problem – is to address all of the faculty at LSU. (Likely an exaggeration on the part of these four – but still ‘instructive’ in that it is an indication that the problem goes deep into the faculty pool).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. Faith: If it had been four students caught like that they would have been expelled.

    Huh? Four students would certainly NOT be expelled for simply drinking a little liquor. At Southern, they will not do anything about it unless you are caught drinking, in public, on campus, if you are drunk on campus, or there is some sort of brush with the law while drunk.




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  9. SAU Student Handbook, p. 53

    Alcohol and Other Drug Use
    An alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle is fundamental to Southern’s safe
    and healthful university environment. Manufacturing, distributing, possessing,
    and using alcohol and illicit drugs are strictly prohibited. Serving
    alcohol is regarded as inappropriate and this should be considered
    when seeking employment. Illicit drugs include substances such as opium
    derivatives, hallucinogens (such as marijuana, mescaline, peyote,
    LSD, psilocybin), cocaine, amphetamines, codeine, heroin, methamphetamines,
    morphine, and other drugs prohibited by law. Lawfully prescribed
    drugs being taken under a physician’s directions are permitted.
    By enrolling at Southern, all students agree to submit to drug testing.
    The vice president for Student Services and residence hall dean
    may require a chemical screening when evidence or a reasonable suspicion
    of alcohol or drug use exists. The student is obligated to pay the
    expenses of the C.A.D.A.S. assessment and any mandated screening.
    Violations constitute grounds for disciplinary action, which may include
    permanent dismissal. Applicable federal, state, and local laws related to
    alcohol and drug use apply. A student convicted in a court of law of a
    drug violation may lose eligibility for federal financial aid.




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  10. Charles: SAU Student Handbook, p. 53
    Alcohol and Other Drug Use
    …Violations constitute grounds for disciplinary action, which may include
    permanent dismissal.

    I have known a handful of individuals who were at Southern Adventist University over the past three decades, including relatives who attended there more recently. Some interesting stories pieced together from emails shared with me the past year:

    1. The men’s dean once got an anonymous phone call that 20 or 30 students were in a local bar, so he rounded them up. The Student Association president was among them. Final decision: if the S.A. president resigned, there would be no discipline for him or the other students. Done deal. (Other students were much less fortunate for milder “sins,” such as wearing earrings.) I’m told this was the early 1990s, and that Sean Pitman himself might have been there at the time.

    2. The Student Handbook declared that rock music of any type was not tolerated (does it still say this today, Charles?). However, one could eat at two different locations on campus while listening to it, and it was blared loudly at all Student Association functions.

    3. Church attendance was not required, but students were kicked out of the dorms on Sabbath mornings. The local theater loved this policy because it filled with SAU students on Saturday mornings, in spite of the fact that theater attendance, according to the handbook, was not permitted.

    4. The Handbook said that shorts could not be worn on the campus. Of course, there was never discipline for the many who wore them.

    I don’t know of any comparable issues at La Sierra, but there will be discipline inconsistencies on any Christian or secular campus. That’s life. Far as faculty are concerned, I know of colleagues at Christian universities who have had affairs with or even sexually harrassed students. Some with milder offenses were immediately fired. Others with much worse offenses were mildly reprimanded or outright ignored (the latter putting the university at risk of a major lawsuit). Today, California law requires that any university employee in a supervisory position must participate in a sexual harrassment education seminar–a very good idea.

    Alcohol was not the real reason these men were forced to resign. If you believe that, I could sell you property adjacent to a nuclear facility in Japan.




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  11. I personally appreciated Dr. Sean Pitman’s frank assessment of the benefits of alcohol consumption at Spectrum (http://tinyurl.com/3vcllj6):

    From my own experience as a pathologist I can tell you that those who are heavy alcohol drinkers tend to have very clean arteries at autopsy. They may have had terrible liver disease, horrible diets rich in trans fats, have been very overweight, feeble, and in general poor health, but their coronary arteries and aortas in particular are very clean and healthy looking at autopsy. Given this personal observation, it is fairly easy for me to believe that moderate alcohol consumption may actually reduce overall atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Several long-term studies seem to have confirmed this observation. Of course, the risk of alcoholism and the resulting dangers seem to outweigh this particular health benefit for many people. – Sean Pitman

    I concur with Sean that there may be benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, but that the risks can also outweigh any benefits. Perhaps Sean imbibes on occasion, but the last sip of alcohol I had was more than a decade ago while on a SCUBA expedition with a student. (Somewhat ironically, I was actually a contract employee that summer with the SDA Church–the last such contract in my career–and my student was also an SDA). Perhaps Sean, leading by example, could declare his complete abstinence from alcohol, and how long it’s been since his last drink.




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  12. You have three or more thousand people on a campus – there will be problems and it takes prayerful judgement to make the best decision in each individual case. The regulation as stated in the handbook allows for flexibility in cases of broken rules. One who shows contrition should be given another chance. One who is defiant should maybe go.

    As far as the resignations? I’d guess that alcohol was not the ONLY reason….

    Think any of this is “funny”? I haven’t laughed. The church as well as our schools have generally grown much more “liberal” than they were 30 years ago. That is very sad indeed.

    Is there a place to go where the true historic SDA standards are observed? Things like modest dress, guarding the edges of the Sabbath, embracing the miraculous literal seven-day creation? Many of the “self-supporting institutions” still do.

    After that last paragraph, I am braced for a barrage of ************?

    Folks: Jesus is coming back very soon. If you don’t recognize that, you are in serious danger. There is a work of preparation to be done and it is described as a “narrow path”. We are IN the time of the end.




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  13. Charles said…..

    “Jesus is coming back very soon. If you don’t recognize that, you are in serious danger.”

    Charles, I think most SDA’s are aware of the second coming and its relative nearness. But most SDA’s assume they are somehow immune from the spiritualist final deception simply because they accept and believe in the Sabbath. Sad to say, most of us have a very superfical view of law and grace, but assume we are clearly enlightened.

    If you read the liberal forums like A-today and Spectrum and such like, you will see that more than a few who had previously “thought” they knew the issues of law and gospel are now “opting out” of the SDA spirituality in favor of what they consider a “higher enlightenment” concerning the law and grace issues.

    Remember, A.T. Jones opted out of Adventism after his “higher enlightenment” and EGW wrote him a letter on this issue. He did not benefit by her council and more than a few of today do not and will not either.

    Many seem to think Satan’s deception is easily discerned and such individuals are his prime target. In the end, this includes the whole SDA denomination who in general feel rather smug and secure from his delusions. Thus, they spend little time in any intense investigation of EGW and the bible as well.

    Theories are presented in modern Adventism by influencial leaders who are respected and who the people assume are clear thinking bible students. The line between truth and error is much thinner and finer than many suppose.

    The bible is undermined by half truths and false conclusions. Isn’t this the reality in this evolution vs. creation debate and discussion?

    The devil’s real and final argument with Eve was this, “Are you sure you understand the issue and are you sure you know exactly what God said and meant?”

    He convinced her that she really did not know for sure what God meant and that he did, and wanted to share with her the real understanding and implications of what she thought she knew.

    If our understanding is superfical, and it is in many, if not most cases, we can be led into discussions that we are ill prepared to deal with. In some cases, our present “certainty” becomes a tool the devil can use against us.

    How many today who are “certain” about the Sabbath issue will readily abandon the Sabbath in the near future? More than we suppose I suspect. And why could and will this happen? Because much of the modern spirituality in present day Adventism is undermining the law, and to undermine the law in any degree will be reflected in the abandonment of the Sabbath.

    Satan does not necessarily attack the Sabbath directly. He’s much too smart to do that. It is more effectual to introduce a false spirituality concerning the gospel and its application knowing that in the future, the priciples will also be applied to the Sabbath issue.

    The celebration movement in Adventism is the celebration of the law being done away at the cross. Whether you believe that or not will not change the reality. The fruit of it is obvious to any spiritual minded Christian, even if they do not necessarily see the reason for it.

    Simply put, when the church advocates and teaches you don’t have to keep the law to be saved, they have advocated the devil’s doctrine and no doubt perverted the mind and teaching of Paul and the new testament.

    Yet this is taught by the liberal agenda in Adventism and even advocated by many conservative independent ministries. It is ignorance of the bible and its teaching on law and grace.

    Bill Sorensen




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  14. I don’t know, Bill, Darwinism seems like a very direct attack on the Sabbath. Contrary to what Jeff and Phil contend, moreover, widespread acceptance of Darwinism within the church will eventually force adoption of theological liberalism, which will moot the whole law grace issue.




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  15. David said…..

    “I don’t know, Bill, Darwinism seems like a very direct attack on the Sabbath.”

    Yes, it is. But this came about by way of the Dr. Ford apostacy. And more than a few still believe Dr. Ford is a great reformation theologian. It is true that today few in the pulpit even know who Dr. Ford is, and could care less.

    None the less, they have been affected by his false theology and continue to be affected by it.

    And how many realize Dr. Ford and Morris Venden have a very close affinity in their final conclusions about salvation?

    Dr. Ford diminishes human accountability by pointing to the finished work on the cross. He attack the IJ and calls it legalism.

    Venden claims Jesus gets in you and keeps the law for you. Either way, human accountability is undermined by some form of spiritualistic mysticism.

    How many remember Venden’s illustration of the truck driver who is messing up until he lets Jesus get in the drivers seat and drive him to heaven as he simply sits in the other side and rides along?

    And this he calls “righteousness by faith alone.” or Sanctification by faith alone.

    He uses an illustration that may apply to justification, but could never apply to sanctification. Yet his books and false spirituality were and are spread all over the church like “the frogs of Egypt.”

    At any rate, novices in theology formulate mystical concepts that are well suited to confuse and deceive even honest people who expect our church leaders to publish material that truly represents a biblical position.

    So now we have “the moral influence theory” that denies the real implications of the vicarious atonement. We have a false doctrine of “sanctification by faith alone”. We have the 1888 Message Study Committee that claims everyone is already saved and we can only be lost if we reject Christ like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

    Meaning, we don’t have to accept Jesus to be saved, but if we reject Him, we can be lost. A convoluted theology to say the least.

    And of course, there are more than a few who think God does not act against sin. Sin simply runs its course by way of natural law, and people will die because of sin. God is love, so God can never punish sin. Ty Gibson advocates this false teaching.

    Now I know that Christanity is on the job training. We need not expect perfection in every view presented. But the church is nearing 200 years of existence. I suspect we are hardly the “pure church” described in Rev. 14:1-5.

    And I also suspect that no one can go through the time of trouble without an intercessor who is holding some false doctrine. False doctrine always undermines the high level of motivation necessary to remain faithful under extreme duress.

    So, yes David, many can see how evolution undermines the Sabbath. But maybe this is simply a diversion of the devil to lull people to sleep on many other more subtle issues that will eventually accomplish the same ends that are not discerned.

    And by the way, we both know the agenda of the liberal movement is to convince people that sound doctrine and theology have no bearing on salvation. So what you believe about creation and/or evolution can never be a determining factor concerning salvation. And not a few in the church today believe the same thing about Sabbath vs. Sunday.

    So as a church, we “rock and roll” around the golden calf, wear what we please in clothing and jewelry, and ordain women in the name of a non-biblical gospel. Not to mention the homosexual movement that some believe is not a salvational issue either.

    Remember the words of Solomon. “The curse causeless shall not come.”

    If we don’t discern the reason for the curse, it is because our spirituality is out the window and no doubt, TV reigns.

    By the way, David, I enjoy your educated comments on the issues on this forum and the others you post on like A-today and Spectrum. Even though I am not allowed to post on those forums, I can read what is posted.

    Same-o same-o month after month. They see themselves as the “highly enlightened” and affirm and confirm each other in their ignorance and apostacy. It is sad, really.

    EGW once said to Kellogg, “I would help you if I could.” But she couldn’t and I am afraid many on those forums may well be beyond any help either. Neither am I suggesting they are all ipso facto lost.

    I am sure the early church could never visualize Saul becoming the apostle Paul. None the less, we know he was an exception to the majority and are glad and grateful for his conversion and ministry.

    Have a happy fouth and a good week.

    Bill Sorensen




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  16. BobRyan: What this proves is that the failed solution that is of the form “make the wolves more presentable and less offensive” is not a sound solution when it comes to the forces at work within LSU leadership.
    The result of that decision is that over time “wolve behaviors” will keep “leaking out” – destroying the reputation of LSU and give the SDA denomination a black eye.

    In this case the wolves were apparently trashing the denomination, the board and also Christian standards of behavior as well as indicating that they are not in favor of our statement of beliefs and are hoping that the WASC will help them push their agenda through with the help of Wisbey.

    It is almost as if they think LSU is WASC owned and operated – and not SDA owned and operated.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  17. Bill Sorensen: By the way, David, I enjoy your educated comments on the issues on this forum and the others you post on like A-today and Spectrum. Even though I am not allowed to post on those forums, I can read what is posted.

    I believe Ron Stone also stated that he was not allowed over on the left.

    Oh well – they don’t call it “the big left tent” for nothing.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  18. Rev 2:

    7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Revelation 3

    5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    Seems that to “overcome” is quite important. Let’s pray for each other and for our church.




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  19. BobRyan: I believe Ron Stone also stated that he was not allowed over on the left.Oh well – they don’t call it “the big left tent” for nothing.in Christ,Bob

    Yes, Dr. Stone has been banned by AT, Spectrum, and ET. None of these places apparently are interested in truthful, factual statements, no matter how difficult they may be to accept.




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  20. The “big left tent” turns out to have only a small amount of room in it – “for the right”.

    How “unsurprising”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  21. All who occupy positions in our institutions will be tested. If they will make Christ their pattern, He will give them wisdom and knowledge and understanding; they will grow in grace and aptitude in Christ’s way; their characters will be molded after His similitude. If they fail of keeping the way of the Lord, another spirit will control the mind and judgment, and they will plan without the Lord and will take their own course and leave the positions they have occupied. The light has been given them; if they depart from it, let no man present a bribe to induce them to remain. They will be a hindrance and a snare. The time has come when everything is to be shaken that can be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Every case is coming in review before God; He is measuring the temple and the worshipers therein. {7T 219.2}

    There is no hint in that statement above that the solution is to simply “make the wolves appear more presentable to the sheep”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  22. The “big left tent” turns out to have only a small amount of room in it – “for the right”.

    How “unsurprising”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    We can readily see the “liberal” is only liberal as long as there is no real challenge to their views.

    John MaCarther once said, “The only thing a liberal will not tolerate is intolerance.”

    Well, he wants to be “free” from any challenge and you can believe what you want as long it does not challenge and oppose him.

    We see that “liberals” are not liberal in the end. They are in fact, the most oppressive people in the world.

    Satan’s rebellion in heaven is classic. He wanted freedom from God’s rule so he could oppress any and all he could control. And those he can not control willingly, he will kill and destroy.

    Many modern “freedom movements” in the USA will be foremost in helping enforce the mark of the beast. And this includes those who embrace the liberal agenda in the SDA church such as Spectrum, A-today and others. Hopefully we are not deceived by their blow hard claims of liberality in and for the church.

    I personally have heard the dragon roar before, and it wasn’t Rome. Stand up for the bible truth in Adventism, and you will hear him soon, loud and clear.

    It is a wonderful challenging time to be alive. Some of us will no doubt see Jesus come. But the devil has a master plan and sad to say, some and perhaps many in the SDA church will help him carry it off.

    It seems apparent to me that the church God raised up to defend the faith and prepare people for Jesus’ soon coming has sided with the enemy in more than a few ways to help him deceive the world so he can personate the coming of Jesus.

    Truth is always radical to the sin loving mind of the world and a sin loving church. There will surely be a “final shaking” and only those who’s minds are fortified with bible truth will be able to stand.

    Hopefully, all of us “fear” like the apostle Paul who was afraid that after preaching Christ to others, he himself could be deceived and fall away at last. We can be sure the intensity of the conflict will not subside and any “peace and saftey” message is not in harmony with the reality of the near future.

    “Pray without ceasing” is no platitude or trivial exhortation. I love God and His truth and as EGW has well said, “Truth is more precious than all besides.”

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  23. Bill, thanks for your post. These are indeed exciting times. It is sad that this divide is happening in the church, but it is necessary.

    The Great Controversy is based on one theme, rebellion vs. obedience. What is happening today in the church follows the same theme. Most or all of the discussions on this, Spectrum, and other SDA blogs are about obedience vs. rebellion. Sadly the issues today are all about obedience and rebellion.

    As created beings we have the obligation to submit our clouded understanding for His clear truth, even when we don’t totally understand things completely and obey. Satan thought he knew better than God. Most or all of sin is our nature thinking that we know better than God, or that He does not really mean what He says. That is a dangerous territory to be in.

    I am really looking forward to the end of sin and being with God and each other for eternity. Maranatha!!




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  24. Bill Sorensen, thank you for your insightful comments. It is really sad to see these attacks against the doctrines of GOD’s remnant church from within. Why can’t these people who are trying to water down the standards of the church simply leave and form their own group. I have no problem accepting the creation account as clearly stated in Genesis chapter 1. After all if Jesus by word of mouth brought Lazarus out of the grave, then I have no problem accepting the fact that, he also created this world by word of mouth in SIX literal, contiguous days. Thank you also to Bob Ryan, Ron Stone, Faith, David Read, Shane, and all of you out there who are standing up to this assault from the enemy against the church.




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  25. Walter Veith’s latest series, Total Transformation, has helped me during this crisis in my thoughts and prayer life. He points out that none of us can judge whether a person will turn out like Aaron (who made the golden calf and then repented) or like Caiphas (the “good Adventist” with a murderous attitude). Also reading EGW writings during the Kellogg crisis have been a great blessing to me. May the Lord help us as a people to take a stand on His side, no matter the cost.




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  26. According to Professor Kent: “Perhaps Sean imbibes on occasion, but the last sip of alcohol I had was more than a decade ago while on a SCUBA expedition with a student. (Somewhat ironically, I was actually a contract employee that summer with the SDA Church–the last such contract in my career–and my student was also an SDA). Perhaps Sean, leading by example, could declare his complete abstinence from alcohol, and how long it’s been since his last drink.

    I am surprised that no one has called out Prof Kent on what clearly illustrates his intemperance with alcohol as a church employee. THis no doubts explains why he is so eager to support TE’s and homosexual’s and drinker’s in the church. I wonder if his student was drinking alcohol with him. Shame on the prof.

    I’m also disappointed that Sean Pitman has not responded by denouncing alcohol. If its true that Sean truly endorses alcohol consumtion as Professor Kent claimed then he needs to clear the air. Why the silence? We cant condemn alcohol consumption by the La Sierra employees unless we are willing to proclaim our own abstinence.

    I for one have never had a drop of alcohol in my entire life. What about you my friend?




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  27. Life-long SDA abstainer here. Never crossed that line. However my sins have been many and great and I repent daily.

    Anyone here remember the “Winner”? (A little pamphlet about temperance) The temperance movement in the SDA church used to be a big thing.




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  28. I would like to leave with this group of thinkers a spiritual lesson God has been trying to teach this hard head of mine….

    Recalling that clear text – “we will give an account for every idle word” – have we stopped to consider how much we ought to pray carefully & be exceeding cautious about what we put on down in WRITING on these internet sites? I mean, many employers now do Facebook / Twitter research before hiring folks; law enforcement is finding the internet to be one of their greatest resources for indictments & proof of law breaking…..

    How much more should we expect our loving, just, God who will by no means clear the guilty, to use these posts we place in cyberspace for all time & eternity!

    Sober food for thought. Reminds me of what CS Lewis said: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”

    Blessings to each one – we each are stewards of a life JESUS saw fit to die for. We will all answer for our stewardship…and that includes internet postings.




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  29. The longer a church denomination exists, the more likely it is to drift away from the truth and lose its true mission.

    It was so in the early church that eventually become the Papacy.

    Money, power, influence and politics can be an overwhelming temptation and compromise becomes an easy option with some credibility by way of the gospel.

    Non-negotiable givens in the bible become negotiable as humans rationalize for “the better good” to be derived by compromise.

    “Let’s do it for the children” supposedly trancends clear biblical mandates. The process continues until the obvious results are eventually manifested. By the time the obvious is discerned by many, it is often too late and most follow on until there is no turning back.

    Like in the heavenly rebellion, those who take the wrong side find it more than a little difficult to “repent” and return to loyalty to God and His truth.

    Today, human reasoning abandons the bible for what seems like a “good idea.” After all, Solomon married a heathen woman and she was converted to the true God. He continued the practice and was less than a wisker from committing the unpardonable sin. After all, if one woman was converted, why not assume that most would also “see the light” as she had done?

    But the opposite result transpired and the nation was corrupted with false worship in the end.

    It has been well said, “Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.”

    Perhaps we could add an even more profound conclusion which is…..”All we have ever learned from history is that no one has learned from history.”

    I guess we will see in the near future if any of the platitudes are relevant in the end.

    No doubt at least some are learning from history, and will benefit by the lessons.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  30. Former Student, you are right that we should guard our words. The Bible requires it and we are accountable for them. That should not be construed as your post seems to infer that we should not stand up against error. We MUST stand up against the evil that is creeping into our church. It could be deadly to our children. We are responsible to lead our children to salvation. Our church set up our educational system to help train our children in the ways of the Bible, and to serve humanity. Unfortunately evil and error has crept into our colleges and universities. As parents, we MUST clean up our educational institutions to protect our children. That might take some truthful, firm, and persuasive language. But it will be honorable and Biblical.

    We must not fall into the trap that says to follow the Bible means that we have to be silent and weak!




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  31. EGW said this about the early church….

    The apostles encountered those in the church who professed godliness while they were secretly cherishing iniquity. Ananias and Sapphira acted the part of deceivers, pretending to make an entire sacrifice for God, when they were covetously withholding a portion for themselves. The Spirit of truth revealed to the apostles the real character of these pretenders, and the judgments of God rid the church of this foul blot upon its purity. This signal evidence of the discerning Spirit of Christ in the church was a terror to hypocrites and evil-doers. They could not long remain in connection with those who were, in habit and disposition, constant representatives of Christ; and as trials and persecution came upon his followers, those only who were willing to forsake all for the truth’s sake desired to become his disciples. Thus, as long as persecution continued, the church remained comparatively pure. But as it ceased, converts were added who were less sincere and devoted, and the way was opened for Satan to obtain a foot-hold. {GC88 44.1}
    But there is no union between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness, and there can be no union between their followers. When Christians consented to unite with those
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    who were but half converted from paganism, they entered upon a path which led farther and farther from the truth. Satan exulted that he had succeeded in deceiving so large a number of the followers of Christ. He then brought his power to bear more fully upon these, and inspired them to persecute those who remained true to God. None understood so well how to oppose the true Christian faith as did those who had once been its defenders; and these apostate Christians, uniting with their half-pagan companions, directed their warfare against the most essential features of the doctrines of Christ. {GC88 44.2}
    It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed. {GC88 45.1}
    After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the Word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls, and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children’s children. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war. {GC88 45.2}
    Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God’s professed people. There is an alarming indifference in regard to the doctrines which are the pillars of the Christian faith. The opinion is gaining ground, that,
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    after all, these are not of vital importance. This degeneracy is strengthening the hands of the agents of Satan, so that false theories and fatal delusions which the faithful in ages past imperiled their lives to resist and expose, are now regarded with favor by thousands who claim to be followers of Christ. {GC88 45.3}

    How we respond corporately and individually is an obligation every true believer must consider. Leaving the church at this time may not be a good option or decision. None the less, we should all do something besides sit quietly in the pew while Satan continues to corrupt the faith of the church.

    We must assume the past history of the conflict between good and evil is just as relevant to us today as it was for past generations.

    Bill Sorensen




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  32. @Faithful Disciple:

    Absolutely Faithful Disciple. Thank you for clarifying that principle that we are each called to “stand up for Jesus” … I love the inspired words, “men who will not be bought or sold…as true to duty as a needle to the pole”.

    I believe that our loving & just God, who will by no means clear the guilty, is at this special before probation closes moment, looking deep into current beating hearts for motive, for loyalty, for intent. We too must examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith – a genuine / authentic to the bone loyally loving commitment of purposeful obedience to Jesus Christ & genuine cherishing of & joining with His most precious possession on fallen Earth – His Church.




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  33. @Former Student: I’m looking at the thumb icons for this post and see that as of this moment there are as many dislikes as likes.

    Now that’s startling. Most of the posts on this blog evoke dislikes, as well they should, pretty heartfelt dislikes, and why is obvious. But not here. This post strikes me as so generic, so totally inoffensive, un-disputative, un-belittling; ringing with the sweetest of tones, the tone of homilies once so familiar and dear. (By the way, I LIKE. Thanks. Blessing on thee.)

    I’m downright nonplused: what’s to dislike? Could it be the concepts, so familiar and here so simply stated that, to an old Adventist, they don’t seem like concepts at all, contentious or otherwise, but, well, street greetings, like “have a good day”? Like the part about God not clearing the guilty? Or His examining motives? Or probation closing? Could be: these seem to grate nowadays, even among our own. Or – I’m really groping – maybe it’s just the idea of a “faithful disciple,” and that somebody would write under such a name? Or maybe it’s not the words, but the implications? Just the implications, and good grief! those implications.

    Dislike of what is said here is downright flabbergasting! Please, would a disliker explain, just hint, why this particular post is to be disliked? Not to satisfy curiosity, hardly a reason to bother, but to give a clue, a bit of core insight at last, as to why we are so polarized nowadays. LIKE? DISLIKE?




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  34. Wesley,

    I note that you have one each of the likes and dislikes as I respond. I am right “with you” on your comments.

    I think there is simply another spirit at work on this BB. It is one that opposes truth and right. If Satan can discredit the miraculous creation of this earth (by God), then he has a more legitimate-sounding claim to sovereignty here. God’s claim to sovereignty is based in the fact that He (God) is the Creator. Without God’s Creatorship, it is simply a battle of opposing forces.

    Let’s not forget, Satan is a master deceiver. The BEST there ever was!




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  35. @Charles: Anent spirits at work hereabout, I sense both kinds, a consummately righteous and truthful one as well as the “best” (award-winning?) deceiver. That’s a given. What I still want to know is what specifically, in detail, doctrine implied or specified, word or concept, tone or mood, is dislikable about former student-faithful disciple’s post? (As of this moment, it’s 3 likes to 2 dislikes, but even 2 dislikes need to be explained, I think.)




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  36. Wesley,

    I did cast a “like” vote for the “Former Student” comment. But it is a “vote” based on my human understanding and perception of what he or she meant. I cannot understand the mind that would vote “dislike” for the comment.

    But then, neither can I understand the mind that NEEDS to explain in “scientific” terms (or any other terms of rationality), the existence of life – particularly human life – on this planet. We know that we exist and have “life”. Beyond that, we are trying to uncover the mysteries of God in a supposition that we can define how life came to be here. No person (or “scientist”) has ever given life to anything nor can they understand what constitues “life” beyond observing that it is there and then it is gone.

    The comments by “Former Student” are good as you point out. They point to Jesus – the giver of “LIFE” and thus the enemy of Jesus is enraged. It would be most likely that enemy who inspired some human participant here to mark the comments for a “dislike”.

    Whatdayathink? (I don’t think there is a really rational answer to your question. But then your question could be rhetorical anyway, huh?)




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  37. @Bill Sorensen:

    One should be careful about comparisons to the first century church; there was wide variance in belief and practice. Thomas, Paul and Peter varied in their teachings. It took 300 years for the Bishops to cosolidate canon, practice and belief while excluding Christian sects which failed to conform. A few of these sects persist in the middle East. Arians, who deny the divinity of Christ, come to mind.

    Unfortunately we do not teach church history widely in our colleges. EGW touches on this in Great Controversy.




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  38. re: comment by “David Bee” above.

    I have never seen a basis for such a comment or conclusion. Certainly individuality is evident but the NT writers were all in agreement as to the gospel.




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  39. And, of course, I as well, disagree with David Bee’s implication that we can not draw a parallel of the past to our present possibilities. And then imply the apostles did not agree with each other on the basic application of the truths concerning the Christ event.

    There was, of course, a transition from the ceremonies of Judaism which were to be abandon in time. And so Paul reproves Peter concerning this issue. But this does not imply the early church was a collection of different ideas concerning Jesus and the meaning of His ministry.

    Over the centuries, the church did retain some basic fundamental truths and we know that God still used the church, even after the initial apostacy. People were still being converted to Christ and bible Christanity. In some cases, not because of the church and its teaching at that time, but in spite of it.

    So, once again I draw a parallel concerning the early church and modern Adventism. Although modern Adventism has in some cases begun to abandon clear bible mandates, God is still using Adventism to enlighten thousands concerning some basic bible truths. Namely, the Sabbath, state of the dead and issues concerning the second coming.

    This does not prove, nor mean, the present day Adventism has not begun the possible process of emulating the early church and could also commit the unpardonable sin and be cast off like the early church that eventually became the papacy.

    God creates the Christian community by way of the bible as the Holy Spirit works in harmony with the scriptures. To abandon the bible in any particular, limits the influence of the Holy Spirit, and sad to say, increases the influence of the spirits of darkness. The church then becomes weaker and weaker until the Spirit of God can no longer use the testimony of the church. In which case, God will raise up other instrumentalities by way of the bible, and thus, God will still eventually finish His work using “the church” to accomplish His goal.

    “The church” then, is a group of individuals who defend the bible in every particular and band together in unity to advance the kingdom of God. And this is “the church” the Holy Spirit uses to finally and ultimately accomplish Gods final goal.

    Can Seventh-day Adventism be that “church”? Yes, but only if enough people repent and demand accountability of themselves individually and the body of believers corporately.

    We can only wait and see if and when this possibility becomes a reality.

    Hope you all had a happy Sabbath in Christ.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  40. @Wesley Kime:

    A brother to brother thank you to both Charles & Wesley for your encouragement…by the way, you two together makes “Charles Wesley” who happens to be a great historical soldier of Christ!

    Well…the likes & dislikes…I know it’s a somewhat limited communication medium here, no non-verbal, no feedback. So perhaps folks don’t fully understand what’s being said, in some cases.

    Nevertheless, it really goes back to “the heart” of the matter…which is our loving + just Savior is examining ALL hearts to ascertain who truly wants to be with Him in Paradise…and who truly will be happiest there and not allow iniquity to rise up a second time.

    So in my humble estimation, even our simple “clicks” of like / dislike here on Earth register our moment by moment choices that resonate through the Most Holy Place to help make the ultimate case of our total life choices, all overseen by our dear Jesus who sees our true intent & motive behind even simple “clicks”, and is still interceding for a little while longer….




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  41. @Bill Sorensen:

    Bill

    I think you are so on target in your comment. We as SDAs must remain faithful to the pure message that we were given in our beginnings – including his servant E G White.

    The end is near and we can see God’s working in the raising of other ministries who are vigorously proclaiming God’s final messages to the world. At this moment, I especially appreciate David Asscherick and the ARISE ministry. But there are an abundance of others who are faithfully promoting God’s final message to a doomed world.

    I know there will be “dislikes” for what I post here. If it is because I reject the ideas of teaching evolution related to our origins, then I welcome the “dislike” checkmarks.




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  42. “Bill

    I think you are so on target in your comment. We as SDAs must remain faithful to the pure message that we were given in our beginnings – including his servant E G White.

    The end is near and we can see God’s working in the raising of other ministries who are vigorously proclaiming God’s final messages to the world. At this moment, I especially appreciate David Asscherick and the ARISE ministry. But there are an abundance of others who are faithfully promoting God’s final message to a doomed world.”

    Thanks, Charles. It is always a blessing and an encouragement to know there are kindred spirits who know and understand the same spirituality we hold in common.

    And yes, there are many in the SDA church who still think like we do, yet make no comment and are not sure what they should do, or could do. Many are bewildered by the events and teachings of some in the church today.

    No doubt, in the near future, God will rally His loyal people by various means that only He knows about. In the mean time, we must continue to pray for our own personal spirituality as well as the whole church.

    We must also keep in mind that this is a “God size problem” and no human devising will solve it. None the less, God has used and will use individuals like David Asscherick, Doug Batchelor, Walter Veith and others to defend bible truth and there will certainly be a spiritual unity based solely on the bible.

    So we appreciate Educate Truth’s effort to keep us informed on some of the key issues in the church today, and hope those in responsible positions will act in harmony with the bible duty to discipline false doctrine and deal in a Christian way those who depart from the faith and teach others to abandon the bible.

    Thanks again for the fellowship we enjoy in dialogue and affirmation in harmony with God’s word.

    Bill Sorensen




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  43. @Bill Sorensen:

    Bill

    It is interesting you mention Walter Veith. I first learned of him a few years ago when someone shared the DVD of his conversion story. Outstanding!

    There may be some fairly ardent evolutionists visiting this board and/or teaching in some of our schools. Dr. Veith made no claims to believing in God or miracles. The story of his conversion is inspiring.

    I’ll never forget the sharing of his story where he emotionally slaughtered one of his students who believed in God and Creation. Talk about a turn-around! His experience is a testamony to the miracle-working power of God in one’s life.

    I too enjoy the dialog.

    Charles




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  44. re: Comments by Bill Sorensen and Faith.

    Will the SDA denomination be the end time “Church”?

    1. Consider that in the book of Revelation God calls His people out of Babylon.

    2. These are already His people. They do not have to be converted.

    3. There is no mention of any of God’s people being outside of Babylon.

    4. Though His people are called out of Babylon,they are not told where they should go, such as to Jerusalem, Zion, His Holy Mount, or to join “the remnant” or the 144,000, etc.

    To me this implies that an organized “church of God” will not exist. This also would mean that the SDA denomination will have been driven out of existence as a functioning unit or will have fallen away from following the Lord (because of item #3 above, this seems the most likely outcome).

    IMHO




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  45. Bob –

    I have thought quite a lot about this. I don’t think we can know just how organized “the church” will be at the very end. Jesus compared “the end” to the days of Noah. They all entered the ark in an orderly fashion. But we also know that many will be hiding for their lives – on the basis of a death decree. But then, again, the unsaved will be having their own struggles and God will have His protecting hand over his redeemed.

    I understand the true church to be God’s people: Those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.” I think at the very end, it will be difficult to meet at the big university church on Sabbath if it is against the law of the land. People will probably be meeting in small groups. We cannot know how this all actually plays out, but those who have studied, will recognize it as it happens.

    ASI is an SDA associated organization and does a wonderful work in helping associated SDA organizations to network and coordinate efforts. I think it is just an example of the way we will be going forward.

    But we do see signs that the organized church is addressing the important issues related to purity of Adventist belief and doctrine. (example: LSU issues) And I think we see God’s hand at work as well.

    The important thing is that in the end, we do not “go through” as a group. Ultimately we are accountable to God individually. The second coming was described by Jesus as a “harvest” where the wheat is separated from the tares.

    THere is a relationship for each of us to cultivate with God through the Holy Spirit (oil in our lamps). Those who do not do this individual work will be lost, sadly lost…

    When Jesus comes (and I believe this to be in the very near future) there will be a great many who were in the SDA church and heard the messages over and over again, who will not be “caught up…” Sadly it will these who will be “wailing and gnashing…” the greatest – for what they have spurned.

    That is the way I understand…




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  46. It looks like old error is still being recycled.

    Bob Orrick: To me this implies that an organized “church of God” will not exist. This also would mean that the SDA denomination will have been driven out of existence as a functioning unit or will have fallen away from following the Lord (because of item #3 above, this seems the most likely outcome).

    No need to rely on mere speculation and twisted Scripture when we have the testimony of Jesus that couldn’t be more plain to anyone who loves truth more than some favorite error.

    9T 258.1 Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.




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  47. @Phil Mills:

    Very good point. We must trust in God to protect his church. I think we can see His working in the LSU situation, as well.

    Our mission individually and as the SDA organization is to proclaim ALL THREE of the angels messages of Rev 14: 6-9. And it is happening.

    The “END” is more than a century nearer now than it was in the days of Ellen White when she said it was near. How close does that make it today? Look to the signs that Jesus gave us and respond in kind.




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  48. Thanks Phil! We do need to draw together right now, but not under the banner of error. It is time for the nonsense to stop. None of us are the judges, so we cannot kick anyone out of the church, but we can discern truth from error and LOUDLY AND UNAPOLOGETICLY proclaim truth. I am pretty sure the shaking part will take care of itself. It is our job to study and share the truth with others, dedicate our lives to Jesus, and serve. I believe that conditions will cause the rest to happen automatically. Those who are “culturally” or only half dedicated to the truth of Adventism will run like marathon runners when it is politically incorrect to be an SDA.




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  49. Ellen White made many comments in various situations. They would even contradict each other if the situation was not different. So she said during the 1888 fiasco and her ministry was being threatened and undermined……

    ” I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavor to keep the “unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen or voice cease to protest against bigotry.–EGW’88 356, 357 (1889). {LDE 48.1}

    She did not believe in an “unconditional election” for any church community. She was never one sided with out a counter balanced statement depending on the circumstances. She understood the possibility of the SDA denomination becoming apostate and cast off in the end.

    So, she made this statement…..

    Judged by the Light Bestowed

    In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
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    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . {LDE 59.3}

    We must take all her statements seriously and consider the circumstances in which they were made.

    In the early years, some were attacking the church with false ideas and false doctrine and calling people to come out of the SDA denomination as Babylon. Also, we must consider the fact she did not realize at that time the long extended period of time from her early days to ours.

    Satan uses time to his own advantage and historically, the longer “the church” existed in some form, the more certain it was that he could infiltrate the church and corrupt its teachings.

    All these things must be taken into account when we consider any statement in any given situation.

    I am not advocating a “coming out” today. I am saying it is still a possibility and with this in mind, we must understand that unless there is a real dedicated effort to define and preserve the historic faith, history will surely repeat itself.

    So, we must also understand that God will not preserve His church with some “hocus-pocus” magic. He always uses sanctified and dedicated people who demand accountability of themselves personally and the whole church corporately.

    If the church does not fail, it will only be because people understand that it can and will unless something is done to prevent it. If enough people understand this principle, then the church can and will be victorious. As long as people preceive some kind of “unconditional election” for the church, it is doomed to failure.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  50. Simply –

    In the end, we are responsible individually.

    I believe that the SDA church (as an organization)continues to embrace truth and God’s final warning to the world. Sadly it must deal with situations such as the problems at LSU – and I believe they are doing that in a responsible way.

    Meanwhile, God is raising up other ministries such as Amazing Facts, Amazing Discoveries, 3ABN, GMI, and many others. These are all important ministries filling a function for God’s work. Indeed, some of them have been attacked by the enemy as well. The struggle will continue until the very end. I think that as time passes, there will be many more and they will work hand in hand with the official SDA organization.

    All of these organizations are staffed with people. And people make mistakes and even deliberately do things that are wrong. AND, I don’t doubt that some have infiltrated our church with no other purpose but to corrupt it from within. (Yes, I do think it is possible we have some Jesuits.) If indeed the SDA church is the “apple of God’s eye”, then we should expect such attacks from outside. And probably the reverse is true: If we are not being attacked, then that could indicate that we have grown too lax in practicing what we believe and in passing God’s final warning message to a doomed world.




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  51. Charles said…..

    “I believe that the SDA church (as an organization)continues to embrace truth and God’s final warning to the world. Sadly it must deal with situations such as the problems at LSU – and I believe they are doing that in a responsible way.

    Meanwhile, God is raising up other ministries such as Amazing Facts, Amazing Discoveries, 3ABN, GMI, and many others. These are all important ministries filling a function for God’s work. Indeed, some of them have been attacked by the enemy as well. The struggle will continue until the very end. I think that as time passes, there will be many more and they will work hand in hand with the official SDA organization.”

    In the past, some of these “other ministries” were at odds with the official denomination. And we may well see this happen again in some of the more accepted ministries of today.

    If you remember, Joe Crews was not very popular when he started Amazing Facts. He accepted tithe and I suppose many independent ministries still do. No one discusses this issue today. 3ABN probably accepts tithe. As well as others.

    The political structure of modern Adventism has a less than dynamic view of doctrine and its interpretation and application in todays church. So the celebration movement is not opposed nor condemned nor the things this movement stands for. Music, dress, jewelry, women elders, etc, are all a no-no in the context of discussion as to right or wrong.

    In the mean time, liberals use this to their advantage to promote their liberal agenda with no discipline from the organized church.

    We see a parallel in the Catholic church where the political structure of the church dominates with little discussion on doctrine and specific teaching. Even the final authority of the Pope is not pressed too much in todays agenda. Yes, it is an official position, but necessarily in the practical application of church politics.

    After Christanity began to spread into the world, The political structure of Judaism had more interest in holding unity than preserving any specific doctrinal truth. If they could unite faith in Christ with historic Judasim, they would. And this is one reason the Judaizers followed Paul and advocated ceremonial aspects to unite with faith in Jesus.

    What we should see is that true bible spirituality is not so important to those who control church politics. Their interest is more in how to function in the world on a common social level and money is no small factor in decision making concerning the church and its identity.

    Wealth and power impede the spirituality of the church, historically and in our present day.

    Make no mistake, the prophets vs the civil government is repeated again and again in the O.T. Elijah against Ahab. Samuel against king Saul. Jeremiah against the king of Judah. The false prophets always sided with the king and civil authority. It was far more popular and the king controlled the army, money and civil law.

    So, today, Adventism is being divided in to two basic groups. Those who are interested in preserving the kingdom of God and bible Christanity. Their interest is in doctrine and a pure biblical emphasis in law and gospel.

    The other group are using the gospel to down play doctrine, law, and specific spiritual issues for popularity with the world with far less “cross bearing” in the spiritual experience of these advocates.

    The issue with LSU in the creation vs. evolution discussion is classic. Popularity vs bible spirituality. Unity for the sake of unity at the expense of pure bible doctrine.

    Remember the words of Solomon, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    The devil may be more subtle in his attacks and methods, but anyone who carefully considers how he has worked in the past will readily see how he is working today.

    The political power in the church is over running bible doctrine and on the surface, Satan is winning. How Adventism will turn out is yet to be seen.

    Bill Sorensen




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  52. Bill

    In many ways I agree with you.

    I can still recall attending SMC and there was a bit of an “understanding” about the “modest” dress of those who attended Wildwood, nearby. In the end, I believe that those at Wildwood (a “self-supporting ministry”) were more in line with the historic values of our church. How to deal with the problem of “Creeping Compromise”? (to use the words of Joe Crews) Each person must support that which he knows to be right. Those with the most influence on others will also be accountable to God where they lead astray.

    The issues are not just about life or death – they are about eternity.

    Persecution has always been the “refiner’s fire”. I tremble for what we may have to endure as these final events progress.




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  53. A follow up on civil loyalty vs. bible spirituality. Unless we see and understand that thousands who were members of the family of Israel were not necessarily spiritual minded people. They were patriots and were loyal to their country and homeland. So the armies of Israel were composed of both types of people.

    Some fought for spiritual reasons and were defending the kingdom of God. Other fought for carnal reasons and simply to defend their country. And of course, some discerned the implications of both. King David for example.

    When Jesus came, both groups existed on various levels. For some, the desire to be free from Roman rule had little to do with religion. And yet some understood the spiritual implications and desired to serve God in spirit and in truth.

    Jesus had to deal with both types of people, but mainly with those who sought freedom for secular reasons. And they were not above using religion to obtain their goals. We should see this same mind set in America where it is becoming more and more popular to assume loyalty to America is equal to being a “Christian” and being loyal to God. Carnal and secular people sing “God bless America” with little concern for any real spirituality other than loyalty to their country.

    Thousands have died to preserve the American way of life with no real conviction of what it is to be a Christian. And they are not Christians just because they fought for their country.

    In this, we parallel the Israel of old. As we near the end of time, it is more and more apparent the devil will use this ploy to convolute true bible spirituality. And EGW points out that the laws of the land will be equated with the law of God.

    This has all started in the church today where it is assumed that loyalty to your church is ipso facto loyalty to Jesus. And we can see how this false idea has corrupted and perverted true worship again and again in the past. When this assumption becomes a part of the church’s confession of faith, either in fact, or implied, we can see the result as lay people follow “the church” with no better reply as to why except, “The church has decided.”

    So the false mingling of church and state, or a false loyalty to the church can and will produce the same results. If and when the SDA church as a corporate body declares the necessity to keep Sunday or even play down the difference, how many members would simply say, “Well, the church has decided” and go along?

    Maybe more than we would presently think. And if so, the why should be obvious. As an example, how many are actively involved in demanding a high level accountability for their church leaders?

    And at least some would say, “God is head of the church and He will take care of any problems that would impact the final outcome of the church’s spirituality.”

    If this is true, Why did He allow apostacy in heaven? Why did He not preserve the old covenant people? Why did He not preserve the early church from apostacy? What is the point of the existence of Seventh-day Adventism?

    Adventism must necessarily acknowledge the possibility of a final failure and in so doing, be motivated to see that the success God has in mind for the church is carried out by careful evaluation of the message and mission. If not, then I can only conclude the final doom of Adventism as God will not “force” the church to do what is right anymore than He will “force” an individual to do His will.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  54. There has been much discussion on the church and whether or not it will, as an organization, go through to the end. In reading the various posts I have come to the conclusion that we seem to be using different definitions of ‘the end’ and thus are not in agreement on this topic. I would like to clarify, if I may, what I believe concerning the church and the end of time.

    I do agree with many of you that there will be a time when the church will not be operating as a physical organization. That will be the time when we are scattered in various hiding places over the earth, or in prison, as the Lord sees fit–and this will happen after the close of probation with the entrance and enforcement of the International Sunday Laws. However, I don’t think that this negates the church being alive to the end. No, we won’t be meeting in churches, or paying our tithes and offerings to the organization just before God comes. But the church–the people and her doctrines–will survive to the end.

    In the book Messenger of the Lord by Herbert E Douglass, he points to a statement that E G White made in 1908, “I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over, God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time.”18

    The book goes on to say:

    “Revelation 3 depicts no last-day church beyond Laodicea, thus giving hope that some day many of them will repent, overcome, and fulfill God’s plan for the last-day church (Rev. 3:18-21). No other subject for any church-related agenda, either for individuals or institutions, can be more urgent or important to implement.”

    My beliefs agree with these statements. We have been given no other counsel to leave the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Since Ellen White was a prophet for the last days–to the very end of time, I think she would have made it crystal clear–abundantly clear–that we would have to leave this church if, indeed, we would. I remember a statement saying to the effect “Stay with the church for she will come into port.” So, I will not be looking for another church.

    I do know it is possible for the church to become Babylon. The possiblity exists as long as there is sin on this earth. However, I think that if this is going to happen to the SDA church, it would have been prophesied for us, so that we would be prepared to leave the church. I also realize that new light may yet come to us…but I sincerely doubt that, in the light of the shaking (which is a reformation), we need to worry about this. I fully believe the church will be cleansed to allow the work to be finished. From what Sister Ellen says, those who come into the church will fill the places of the ones who are shaken out. This will happen before probation ends, or else there would be no way anyone could change.

    Hopefully this makes my stance more clear on this subject. Sorry if I have misled anyone with my earlier posts.




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  55. Faith, great post, thanks. Let’s not forget that at the time of Jesus’ first advent, there were faithful church members who were studying and waiting for the messiah (Simeon and Anna). And let us also not forget the parable of the 10 virgins where half of the virgins were prepared with oil, but asleep (connected but distracted). They entered into the wedding feast because they had made the necessary prior preparation and could enter the feast when the bridegroom came.

    Let’s not suggest that there are not prepared people. God always has a remnant (even if liberals/progressives hate the idea). The vast unprepared multitude (those on the wide road to hell) cannot eclipse the bright shining few (on the narrow upward road). God’s church will win, just as the Bible predicts. I’ve read the end of the Book!




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  56. And remember that although (in Matt 23) Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees…” seven times, it was still his custom to go to the temple on the Sabbath…

    I believe that God will guide this church through – even through the rough seas.




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  57. Well, I guess it is normal that most will not really take the lessons of history seriously. Nor the clear quotes of EGW that do not go along with the conclusion many formulate.

    The Jews had all the promises of a certain victory for the Jewish nation. Of course, they seemed to miss the conditions on which these promises were predicated. So they simply refused to believe the outcome could possibly be different than they intended for it to be.

    If Jesus Himself could not persuade them of their mis-understanding of bible prophecy, God had no other means to convince them. And thus, the results were certain and the outcome sure.

    Namely, Failure.

    At this point, all the evidence of any real repentance is slim and none. All you have to do is visit churches all over the USA and then ask yourself, “What will change the attitude and actions of these churches?”

    Pastors certainly do not preach and teach the “straight testimony” from the pulpit. If they did, they could easily lose their job, and they know it. So they preach generic sermons that avoid any mention of sensitive issues in the church.

    I do not know if and when and how the church could eventually repent. I mean as a denomination. Certainly, individuals can and will repent, just as they did in Jesus’ day after His death and resurrection. But “the church” developed an even stronger opposition to truth and I doubt that human nature has changed since then.

    And yes, the disciples even after His death and resurrection still went into the temple. This did not validate the church as God’s instrumentality to present His message. They went to share Christ and the truth of His ministry. Not to validate the idea that the Jewish nature was still God’s church.

    Now we know there has always been a church within the church. But the church within the church does not validate the denomination when it is wandering into apostacy. Even the Catholic church has true followers of Christ. Does this validate the Catholic church as God’s instrumentality? You know it does not.

    In the end, the only “church” that will “go through” is made up of bible believing Christians who are loyal to Christ and His word over and above any “church” organization.

    EGW describes the shaking from two perspectives. One, when the truth is presented, people raise up and oppose it. And two, error and heresy will enter the church, and this will cause a shaking in the church.

    So, this confession of faith, “I believe that God will guide this church through – even through the rough seas.” can become a “cop out” for a do nothing response to the evil coming in more and more.

    The statement can motivate to a high level of accountability and action, or, it can motivate the opposite conclusion. Depending on how you interpret its meaning.

    I am not accusing anybody of anything, but I preceive that many if not most use the statement as an opiate to simply sit down and do nothing.

    This is how many view this creation/evolution discussion. Not all, of course. Unity for the sake of unity without a solid biblical base is worthless to God and His kingdom. And “Unity” is the modern watchword advocated by many church leaders. No real definitive content, just “unity”. It is a delusion that wins many into a carnal security that will be exposed for many only when it is too late.

    Bill Sorensen




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  58. Jerusalem was still Jerusalem even when the Babylonians marched into the middle of it and took control. There was still a remnant there and even over in Babylon where Daniel prayed toward and for it.




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  59. As the future unfolds, we will see clearly what parallel fits the SDA denomination. Perhaps EGW will be more clearly understood as well. Here is an interesting vision she had and the angel’s comment.

    “As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, “They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.” The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts. {EW 254.1}

    Notice especially…..”The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary.”

    The angel does not point to the SDA church, does he? Where does he point? To the heavenly sanctuary.

    The final saints gather by faith in the MHP in heaven and join the church of heaven. We would hope this is the main message of Adventism today. But it is not.

    Once again, the angel does not point to the church on earth. When the church on earth again places the emphasis on the necessity of being in the heavenly sanctuary (the true place of refuge when the plagues come) the message will not be “church centered” but Christ centered.

    People will not be looking to the church on earth for salvation, but seeking earnestly to join the heavenly church, out side of which, no one can be saved.

    There comes a time when loyalty to the church on earth is not, ipso facto, loyalty to Christ. That time may or may not be now. But it certainly could be in the future, and may be so, even now.

    Each individual must consider the possibility and make a moral decision based on this spiritual reality.

    All we hear today is how easy it is to be saved. What did the angel say?

    “A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, “They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.”

    Easy to be saved? Apparently, the heavenly angel didn’t think so.

    The line between faith and presumption is being obscured more and more in the SDA church of today. A false gospel always undermines the dynamics of God’s law. Isn’t this modern Adventism?

    Bill Sorensen




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  60. Universalism and “easy to be saved” have an affinity for each other. If you have any awareness of the issues of the Great Controversy, you will recognize that from the beginning of rebellion in heaven to this very day, it has been Satan’s agenda to hold God solely accountable for the final outcome of the controversy.

    This means human accountability and creature accountability is minimual or even non-existent. It is God’s responsibility to save everyone. Any failure on our part is God’s fault. And finally, if there is such a thing as sin, this is also God’s fault.

    More than a few in heaven “bought” this theory and more than a few today on earth are “buying” it as well. So we hear various ideas such as “let go, and let God” with the implication we have nothing to do, and if we do anything, we are hampering God in not allowing Him to do as He pleases in your life.

    In the book “The Great Controversy” EGW deals with this error and places it along side spiritualism and spiritual delusions.

    The chapter entitled “Facing Life’s record” sweeps away this delusion and shows clearly the biblical concept of human accountability in the salvation process and how it is applied to each individual case in the final judgment.

    “The Center of Christ’s Atoning Work.–The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position
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    and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days. {Ev 221.3}
    All who have received the light upon these subjects are to bear testimony of the great truths which God has committed to them. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time, and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects, and be able to give an answer to every one that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them.–The Great Controversy, pp. 488, 489. (1888) {Ev 222.1}

    Notice especially….”Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God.”

    Small wonder Satan hates this book and has worked endlessly to undermine EGW and her ministry. Where? In the SDA church.

    Just a final word of exhortation that will help you understand bible Adventism.

    The atonement on the cross is universal and includes all men. “The final atonement” in the heavenly sanctuary is solely and only for the church. It is not universal for the whole world.

    To claim the “final atonement” was made on the cross is the mother of Universalism and negates human accountability along the concept of probation. We are “saved” by obeying God’s law. Not as a means of meriting heaven, but by accepting the responsible freedom God has offered.

    And finally, Satan holds out to us an “irresponsible freedom” that we see the fruit of in the world and even in the SDA church today. God offers us a responsible freedom where human accountability is preserved and the value of life is increased continually as we appreciate the true meaning of the cross day by day.

    Keep the faith and have a happy Sabbath.

    Bill Sorensen




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  61. Bill:
    I think there is a slight misunderstanding here. I can only speak for myself, of course, but there is no question in my mind that the main work of the church is taking place in the heavenly sanctuary and that we follow Jesus, not the GC.

    In my mind, the SDA church is the earthly representation of God’s church in heaven. And, because human beings are running this church, and because all human beings are fallible, there are things that go on in the church that shouldn’t–case in point the issues we are here to protest.

    However, that doesn’t mean we should leave the church and close it down. To paraphrase what Peter said, “To whom would we go?” There is no other church on earth with the pure Bible-based doctrine that has been given to the SDA church.

    These liberals are striving to change our doctrines–it is up to us, the conservatives, to see that our precious doctrines are preserved. And, frankly, I believe we have Jesus on our side, so I don’t see how we can fail. Now perhaps that is a childish faith speaking–but aren’t we supposed to have the faith of a child?

    Even with all the problems we are having to deal with, there is no thought in my mind of ever leaving the church. God will have to plainly show me if He wants me to leave this church. I have no doubt that He can do that if that is what He wants. And until then, I will remain faithful to the doctrines of this church as I have been taught them from the cradle.

    I have not, nor will I (God willing), ever subscribe to the liberal sect that has crept into this church and is trying to sully our doctrines and our faith. I raise my voice against the wretched music they are playing, against the idea that the commandments are no longer valid, against evolution being taught in our schools, against night club churches, against contemplative prayer, and any other heresy that raises its ugly head. I believe we are soldiers of Christ and need to do our best (with His help of course) to save His church from Satan’s assaults, not just turn and run from the enemy.

    Never forget, Bill, that Christ is keeping His watchcare over the church whom He loves so much He refers to her as His bride. I believe He will see her through to the very end. As I said before, I don’t think we will be a physical organization right to the end, but I believe we will be for some time during the process. I wouldn’t be surprised that after the people from the other churches take the places of those who are shaken out, the movements will be very rapid and the church as a physical organization will not exist very long after that event.

    We have been given a bit of an insight into the future events that we face at the end of time, but the details have yet to be revealed. Our only safety is to fill our lamps with the Word of God so that we may know with certainty what we believe and why, and so that we can light our lamps and let them shine forth to the world–both for their benefit and our own. We need it also to show us the way to go.

    I seem to remember that Ellen White says the church will appear about to fall, but it will not. Perhaps we have now arrived, or soon will arrive, at that point.

    Happy Sabbath Bill and all.




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  62. Faith commented…..

    ” To paraphrase what Peter said, “To whom would we go?”

    I find it interesting, Faith, that you would use this analogy which supports my position and not your own.

    Jesus holds out Himself as the only way of salvation and asks if His follows would leave Him.

    Did Peter say, “Oh, we have ‘the church’ and we know the church can not fail?” NO….At least on some level, Peter began to understand the conflict between “the church” and Christ demanded a decision. And so, in this contrast, he affirms his decision to follow Christ.

    The problem Jesus had to deal with in His day and down through history was always, loyalty to “the church” vs. loyalty to God and His word. How many times must history repeat itself before we learn the lesson?

    The SDA denomination in some respect is in the process of commiting the unpardonable sin as a “church”.

    “For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel’s message, in clear, distinct lines.–Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91-93. (1896) {Ev 191.3}”

    We see the fruit of it today when more than a few will say, “Well, the church has decided.”

    And I am not saying, Faith, the church can not succeed. It can. But only if enough people begin to demand accountability of themselves individually and “the church” corporately.

    I also think the name, Seventh-day Adventist, will be the final offense to the unbelievers in the church and in the world. Many of the present day institutions simply call themselves “Adventists” and avoid the seventh day part.

    Do you like to quote EGW? How do you interpret this statement?

    In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
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    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . {LDE 59.3}

    “Found wanting” means cast off and rejected. Just as it has always applied to every other situation from Belshazzar to every individual who works against God.

    And I am not suggesting we should leave the church today. But unless we really take seriously the quote above and hang endlessly on the counter quotes, we can only repeat the history of God’s people in the past.

    When they threaten to throw you out of the church for standing for truth, you may develop a different attitude than you have now. More than a few in the SDA church have heard the dragon roar, and it wasn’t Rome.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  63. Bill said,”I find it interesting, Faith, that you would use this analogy which supports my position and not your own.”

    How do you figure that? I think it supports my position beautifully.

    I don’t get why you think we would have loyalty to Jesus VS loyalty to the church. Jesus is the head of the church. Loyalty to Him entails loyalty to His church. I am rather confused with your line of reasoning.

    Do I think all that is going on in the church today is right? Would I be here on this site if I did? Have I not spoken out plainly regarding the error that has crept into our church?

    I think, if I understand you correctly, where we differ is that I think the Lord will cleanse His church and you think that we may be called to leave the church. The quotation you keep writing out doesn’t say to me what it apparently says to you. Because of this, I fail to see how we will come to agreement on this topic. I think maybe it would be best to just leave it. God will lead us in the way He wants us to go.

    Have a great Sabbath, Bill, as well as everyone else.




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  64. Bill said:”Unity for the sake of unity without a solid biblical base is worthless to God and His kingdom. And “Unity” is the modern watchword advocated by many church leaders. No real definitive content, just “unity”. It is a delusion that wins many into a carnal security that will be exposed for many only when it is too late.”

    Hi again, Bill. In an effort to understand what your concerns are, I have reread some of your postings.

    I think, really, we are in agreement on many points. It may be our definition of ‘church’ that is at the crux of the problem.

    I understand what you are talking about in the above quotation from your previous posting. I know many people who won’t hear a word against the corporate church structure. They believe we should never criticize the church. I have to shake my head at this. When I told our then pastor about this cuffuffle in LSU, he cut me off immediately and wouldn’t hear a word about it. He said he simply didn’t believe it. (Well, you have to admit it is an incredulous travesty of church policy, so I can’t blame him in many ways.) In any case, if we all bury our heads in the sand and do nothing, how will all this heresy be remedied?

    I agree that we need to be united–but only if it is in truth.

    Gotta go to church, Bill.

    Again, Happy Sabbath.




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  65. Faith said this…..

    “I don’t get why you think we would have loyalty to Jesus VS loyalty to the church. Jesus is the head of the church. Loyalty to Him entails loyalty to His church. I am rather confused with your line of reasoning.

    Do I think all that is going on in the church today is right? Would I be here on this site if I did? Have I not spoken out plainly regarding the error that has crept into our church?”

    In one sense, Faith, your reasoning is exactly like a Roman Catholic. You stated,

    “”I don’t get why you think we would have loyalty to Jesus VS loyalty to the church. Jesus is the head of the church. Loyalty to Him entails loyalty to His church.”

    When Luther began his studies into church abuses, it was his intent to reform “the church”. He had no desire to split the church. Not only that, more than a few agreed with him on the necessity of reform.

    As the situation developed, it eventually become apparent to Luther that such a reform as he had invisioned was impossible. When he “pressed the battle to the gate” and demanded accountability, we are aware of the outcome.

    Many who agreed with him initially, soon saw what the result would be and more than a few declared with Father Staupitz who said, “I can not choose to destroy my church.”

    Loyalty to “the church” and loyalty to Christ is not, ipso facto, one and the same thing.

    Now, if you use the generic meaning of “the church” as all who seek and desire to be in harmony with the bible regardless of their denomination, then, yes. Loyalty to the church is equated with loyalty to Christ.

    I don’t think this is the use of “the church” in definition that you have been using in our dialogue.

    If so, then yes, we are in agreement.

    Will the SDA denomination fail and be cast out? I don’t know. I am not a prophet. But I am well aware of not only the possibility of such an end, but the certainty of it unless enough responsible individuals actually do something about the ongoing situation.

    Remember this, sin does not heal itself.

    and Jesus said, “While men slept, the enemy sowed tares.”

    The situation at LSU is the result of the false spirituality that has griped the SDA church for the last few decades. We need not be shocked nor amazed by the surfacing of this blatant attack on the bible. And to treat the symptom with out identifying the spiritual disease will not cure the problem in the end.

    The Michigan conference president acted in a responsible way. More and more who hold authoritive and influencial positions need to stand up and be counted.

    And some may have to put their job on the line to advocate loyalty to Jesus and His word. We are hopeful that more and more will realize their duty and act accordingly. In this way, the church may yet accomplish all that God has in mind for the SDA church. If not. Well, I think the outcome is less than encouraging.

    Bill Sorensen




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  66. Bill:

    Your clarification above helps me see that, yes, we are basically in agreement. When I refer to the church it is the SDA church, but it is the church with the pure doctrine that I was raised in that I refer to. I believe the SDA church is God’s church but that right now it is not itself–it is sick, if you will.

    I totally agree that the church has many things in it that are worldly. I daily pray for the leaders of our church that God will give them the strength and courage to make the right decisions to cleanse this church of the worldliness that is in it.

    I am so interested in this site because here I see an opportunity for the church to begin this process at one of the well-springs of error.

    Like you, I know that if there can be no change, the church will not be fit to represent God faithfully. However, I am not ready to give up on her yet. I have great faith in the refining process before us–the shaking.

    In Elijah’s day, that prophet was so discouraged with the church that he thought he was the only person in it that did not worship Baal. Yet God told him that He had many faithful worshippers yet.
    I hold to that hope…but the bottom line is that we are to worship Christ according to the way God laid out the principles He gave the SDA church through His prophet and His ministers. I know there was a growth and maturing process that God led them through, but I believe that by the time Ellen White died, the church was firmly established on the right principles. If it was not, I believe God would not have taken Ellen until her job was finished. Since He did take her, I believe her job was finished and that the church has now obtained, in her writings, all the principles necessary to see her through to the end. And, yes, this means we, as the members of the church, have to comply with these principles in order to keep the SDA church God’s church. We should never blindly follow any organization vs following Christ. That said, I think this church, the SDA church, will be purified and will be the last church on this earth before the end of time that is truly God’s church.

    Hopefully we are all straightened out now, Bill. Thanks for the discussion.




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  67. Faith –

    I do appreciate your posts. But remember, this battle is the Lord’s and no one is a match for Him.

    The great revealed “accidental” recording wherein the professors implicated themselves for who they really are: Think that was really an accident? Is there any way that any person could have ever accomplished what was accomplished by that little snafu?

    The battle is the Lord’s. We should be focused on witnessing for Him concerning the soon-coming “end of the world”. I am trying to pull away from so much debate with these guys. They are better than me at arguing – and few if any have ever been won to the Truth by losing an argument anyway.

    There is a benefit from all of this. It gives me reason to treasure even more deeply what I know to be the truth about how we got here, why we are here, and where we go from here.




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  68. Sorry, Charles, I don’t understand where you think I don’t feel the same way as you about this topic. I said in one of my earlier posts that I think God was instrumental in the posting of the “accidental recording”. I believe every word of what you posted above and, since I don’t see any difference between us, I am a bit puzzled why you directed this to me like I am in opposition to you. Or am I reading this wrong? Perhaps you could explain this to me? What did I say that upset you?




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  69. Martha Kay: I am surprised that no one has called out Prof Kent on what clearly illustrates his intemperance with alcohol as a church employee. THis no doubts explains why he is so eager to support TE’s and homosexual’s and drinker’s in the church. I wonder if his student was drinking alcohol with him. Shame on the prof.

    Just now saw this post from Martha Kay. Sadly, her comments exemplify the unfounded conclusions that many EducateTruth supporters reach from just a wee bit of information.

    Yes, as touched on in my July 3 post above, it’s true that I consumed alcohol while on a SCUBA trip in Mexican waters with an SDA student–and while I was technically an SDA employee. However, this was nothing more than a sip. My first drink aboard the boat was an apple juice from a large cooler. Upon grabbing another bottle later in the day, I was shocked by the horrible taste with the first swig and spit it into the sink. A number of divers began laughing at me, and asked if I had not realized it was beer. I took a closer look at the label, and someone kindly explained to me that “cerveza” was the Spanish word for “beer.” This was only my second sip ever, both times unaware of what I was drinking. So far as I know, my student at the time had no interest in alcohol either.

    Sorry, Martha, but your conclusions, so typical of what I read here at Educate Truth, fall well short of reality.




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  70. @Faith:

    I am sorry Faith. I did not intend to come across as upset. I was mostly commenting on your post and I think we are on the same page in our views of the issues. My point is that I was just sharing that I am coming to the conclusion that we are not accomplishing anything here.




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  71. Prof Kent: “Sorry, Martha, but your conclusions, so typical of what I read here at Educate Truth, fall well short of reality.”

    Sorry, Prof Kent, but you will have to shoulder part of the blame for this one.
    It was your lack of clarity that led poor old Martha down the garden path. If you had included the details you may not have been open to this kind of miscommunication.

    BTW, I have had a similar situation in my life. I was at a family reunion and they were serving apple juice and orange juice to the kiddies and us non-drinkers. Came time for the toast and my cousin comes to the table with a jug and says, “Would you like more apple juice, they are going to be doing the toast.” So I accepted. Unfortunately I was quite thirsty at the time and I took a really big gulp or two before I realized it tasted funny. I then found out they had made a mistake in the kitchen and they had been serving me and the kiddies white wine. I was devastated! I can no longer attend family functions without getting teased unmercifully about drinking. 🙁 However, what counts here is that in both these situations you nor I were intentionally drinking alcohol, nor have I (I can’t speak for you) had any alcohol subsequent to this incident. God does not hold us accountable for that.




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  72. Charles: “My point is that I was just sharing that I am coming to the conclusion that we are not accomplishing anything here”

    In one way you are right, Charles. As I have said in an earlier post, all this discussion on evolution vs creation hasn’t changed anyone’s viewpoint one iota. But don’t despair, Charles. One thing we have accomplished here is dragging the sins of LSU out into the open and light of day. It is no longer evil growing in the dark. I continue to hope that the leadership will yet make the necessary changes to bring this all to a satisfactory end.

    BTW I appreciate your posts as well. Keep up the fight of good faith.




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  73. I got home this afternoon from my jail ministry. Sometimes, we create a false dilemma by a misunderstanding of what someone else may be saying.

    Many on this forum believe that God raised up the SDA movement with a message and mission outlined for us by EGW and other pioneers concerning “present truth”.

    Some liberals have come over from other forums to challenge and even mock the SDA faith and message. The remnant church simply means “the church” in its final stage. Restoration is the theme of the bible. And the final spiritual restoration of “the church” is accomplished before the close of probation. There is no atoning blood after this final event. The mediation of Christ in the context of moral redemption is complete. “We are accepted in the beloved, we are complete in Him.” Paul

    God’s purpose is to restore man to a biblical unity to and with Christ. No one is “complete” in themselves. So, EGW can rightly say, “In ourselves we are sinners, but in Christ we are righteous.”

    This is an eternal principle and not some temporary inovation that no longer applies when we get to heaven.

    The angels who have never fallen can say the same thing. “In ourselves we are sinners, but in Christ we are righteous.”

    Happily for them, they have never been outside Christ and thus, have never experienced the terrible consequence of sin. None the less, the principle is validated by our experience, an experience they have avoided by remaining loyal to God and the principles of His kingdom.

    EGW has well said….

    As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence.”

    There is a real sense in which probation never closes for the saved. Only for the wicked. During the time of trouble, like Adam, we are still on probation to demonstrate and affirm our loyalty to God under extreme duress and difficulty. Like Jesus who was on probation to also affirm His loyalty to His Father. So, like Adam before his fall, and Jesus while He was on earth, the saints are being proved and tested.

    There is no arbitrary decree by God that could or would keep us from sin. It is by our own choice and free will. We can never come to the point where it is not possible to sin. We do come to the point where it is possible not to sin. And there is a world of difference in the two concepts.

    Responsible freedom is the essence of God’s government and kingdom. Sin never rises again. Not because it is impossible, but because all inlightened moral being understand their obligation to see that it doesn’t. And thus we are reminded continually by the nail prints in Jesus’ hands, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    The only arbitrary decree is this, “the door is shut and the wicked are out.” Just as in the days of Noah. Probation will close. And this is the essence of bible Adventism. That day is very close and we know it. Our witnessing obligations are intensified because of this historical event soon to transpire.

    The final Sabbath test is just upon us. And “every earthly support will be cut off.” No buying and selling. No home. No car. No grocery store. No job. None of us truly realize such a situation. We have never experienced it. For the most part, we don’t prepare for it in our spiritual lives. It seems far away, but it is not.

    I hope all of us listen more carefully and read the Spirit of Prophecy more often. She is in harmony with the bible and its clear testimony. And the straight testimony needs to be revived. Not ignored and passed over by the church as so many do today.

    Hope you all have a good week.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  74. Faith is right – having each of the sides bring out their best evidence may not change who is on what side in terms of those who are posting — but what about those who are reading “being informed” that the controversy is real?

    Many people simply “assume” that the issues are isolated to one or two bad apples in LSU and that the essentials being debated do not extend beyond the crumbling mess that was created out there.

    Others imagine that a mere token effort will solve the problem.

    others imagine that the SDA administrators like Jackson, Blacmer and Wilson are all on the same page – lockstep agreement in what to do about the problem.

    Others might assume that no SDA would dare come out against the element of Intelligent Design seen in nature (as even Romans 1 declares) because God says that even pagans and barbarians are “without excuse” when they pretend not to notice the I.D. element as demonstrated “in nature”.

    The discussions on this board – shed light on all of those points.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  75. Bill said: “I hope all of us listen more carefully and read the Spirit of Prophecy more often. She is in harmony with the bible and its clear testimony. And the straight testimony needs to be revived. Not ignored and passed over by the church as so many do today.”

    You are so right, Bill! And if we truly believed what we were reading, there would be no progressives or TEs among us.




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  76. Charles:
    Faith –

    I do appreciate your posts.But remember, this battle is the Lord’s and no one is a match for Him.

    The great revealed “accidental” recording wherein the professors implicated themselves for who they really are:Think that was really an accident?Is there any way that any person could have ever accomplished what was accomplished by that little snafu?

    The battle is the Lord’s.We should be focused on witnessing for Him concerning the soon-coming “end of the world”. I am trying to pull away from so much debate with these guys.They are better than me at arguing – and few if any have ever been won to the Truth by losing an argument anyway.

    There is a benefit from all of this.It gives me reason to treasure even more deeply what I know to be the truth about how we got here, why we are here, and where we go from here.

    Charles, Don’t you think we, as individual human beings, should be as active promoting Truth as are those who promote error?




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  77. Holly asks….

    “Don’t you think we, as individual human beings, should be as active promoting Truth as are those who promote error?”

    Often in promoting truth, you must necessarily expose and oppose error. People must see the contrast so they can make an intelligent decision.

    Jesus spent a good deal of time exposing error. And we must do the same.

    Bill Sorensen




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  78. Charles: “I think there comes a point of futility as well.”

    Come on, Charles, buck up. Don’t give in so easily. This fight is righteous, and if God is for us, who can be against us? In God’s own time this will be won. In the meantime, we need to continue to uphold God’s truth and stand firmly for the right. Courage, brother.




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  79. I would hope we don’t spend all our time on this forum and discussion. I know I don’t. But I think it is helpful to keep informed and comment about your own personal convictions concerning these issues and other issues as well.

    Charles: “I think there comes a point of futility as well.”

    And this is true. “Ephrim is joined to idols, let him alone.”

    Bill Sorensen




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  80. Charles: @Holly Pham: I would agree that we need to state the truth. Seems I am clearly on that side. I think there comes a point of futility as well.

    Charles, Why would you think defending Truth would be futile? If those who support Truth, as it’s stated in the bible, had as much or more enthusiasm as those who defend error, don’t you think our church would be better? With God on our side, won’t we be successful? Or am I wrong?

    Hasn’t God already shown He is aware of problems at LSU and has started to show His power in revealing it, although we may be surprised at how He does it?




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  81. @Holly Pham:

    Holly

    I think you misunderstand my point. The “futiity” I speak of is in changing anyone’s mind on this board. This board is highly polarized and I have not seen anyone change their mind. In fact, most are making increasingly stronger stands for what they advocate (on both sides of the issues). And maybe that is a good thing.

    As I see the historic treasures of our faith under fire, it makes me place a higher value on them. By “treasures”, I mean the positions of truth that we base our faith upon: The Sabbath, a literal creation and creation week, the soon coming of Jesus (and more). So I suppose I am “polarized” as well. Jesus’ message through his prophet John (Revelation) says of His church in our day:

    Rev 3 –
    14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

    15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

    18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

    20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    Sounds like our Creator does want us “polarized” -either hot or cold. Now is the time of final decisions. Jesus is coming soon.

    So, we do need to be witnessing and sharing our faith. But I am not sure how effective is a constant presence on this media. ANd that was my point.




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  82. @Faith:

    Thank-you, Faith.

    This battle is the Lord’s. My faith is strengthened as I view the things happening that I have been taught from my “church school” (SDA) upbringing. We are living the fulfillment of prophecy. Those who have studied it can clearly see it. I treasure what I learned as a child. And I’ll happily share it with those who will listen.




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  83. Charles: @Holly Pham: HollyI think you misunderstand my point. The “futiity” I speak of is in changing anyone’s mind on this board. This board is highly polarized and I have not seen anyone change their mind. In fact, most are making increasingly stronger stands for what they advocate (on both sides of the issues). And maybe that is a good thing.A

    I’m sorry that I misunderstood your point. Yes, I agree that not many if any minds will be changed. But, is that why this website was started–to change the minds of those who post here?

    I believe that Shane and Sean are trying to bring to the attention of more of our church members the problem of teaching evoluion as fact at La Sierra. And they have done a fantastic job! Spectrum and Adventist Today have actually helped them publicize this to thousands of our church members and to those in authority(thank you Dr. Taylor!).

    We have already seen how the General Conference and NAD have at least begun to look at this situation.

    And God has already had one professor removed as well as several others who appear to deserve being removed also. Some were surprise how it happened, but God has His own ways of handling things, if and when we don’t act ourselves. I don’t think He’s through yet, though!




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  84. This will probably be considered “off the subject” but it really bothers me….WHY do so many-and to me the majority of “posters” on these sites–almost consistently write “Bible” as bible?

    You never see a book (or even the name of a magazine or an article in a magazine) that isn’t started with capital letters unless the book or magazine deliberately chooses to use small letters for reasons of it’s own… And yet the Bible–the Word of the living God–is (at least on these comments)almost always started with a small “b.” Why? Have we no respect for the living Word of God?

    To me anyway this is plain sacrilegious and yet even folks with apparently excellent educations do this comment after comment on this site.

    Will someone please enlightenment me as to why this is done–and why it isn’t corrected by whoever is supposed to check each comment before it is allowed to appear on this site?




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