Well, I guess it is normal that most will not …

Comment on La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction by Bill Sorensen.

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

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction
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

La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction
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
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

La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction
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

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Sean Pitman:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

Paul says, “Sold in in.” and “Children of wrath just like everyone else.”

You may not like this biblical reality, but it is true none the less.

And yes, God has also provided a way of escape so that all who He has created “in sin” can be “born again” spiritually and escape their heritage of sin and shame.

I know a lot of people don’t like this idea, but it is true anyway. We are born lost with the potential to be saved if we accept Jesus and His atonement that is provisional for “whosoever will may come.”

Cain didn’t like it either and resisted the exhortation of his brother, Abel, to offer a sin offering because he was a sinner. Cain says, “No, I’ll bring a thank offering, but no sin offering. Sin is not my fault. God created me this way.”

Most people will be outside looking in because they agree with Cain but a few will be inside looking out because they agree with Abel.

Bill Sorensen

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

Well, Sean, I was not as confrontational as Wesley who said, “Those who deny the doctrine of original sin are heathen still.” … [deleted]

[Oh please…

If you want to have a real conversation, great. However, unless you actually respond substantively to the questions and counter arguments posed to you, without your needless pejoratives, I’m not going to continue posting your repetitive comments on this topic in this forum…]

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
And the topic at hand is “What does it take to be a real SDA?”

It takes someone who is willing to follow the bible and its teaching in every particular. If you don’t believe this, you are not a “Protestant” SDA.

You then bring up the Trinity. Which is fine. But that is certainly not the only thing that qualifies for the topic of your thread.

So, here is what you stated to me…..”To be morally “guilty” of something, however, requires that one is consciously aware of what is right, but deliberately chooses to do what is wrong instead (James 4:17). Without the interplay of free will, there is no moral “guilt”.”

So a person is “born” selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc, but not “guilty” of being, selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc. Your limited view of “guilt” is not biblical. Half a truth is equal to a lie. There is certainly conscience guilt. But guilt is more than awareness of right and wrong. “Sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know. If you break the law, you are guilty of breaking the law.

Just admit the truth, Sean. But don’t accuse me of going outside the intent of this thread when it was not specifically stated as a thread about the Trinity.

Just “man up” once in a while and admit you are wrong. We are all born guilty in the eyes of God. And our ignorance does not free us from this fact.

Bill Sorensen

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Well, Sean, this article is about Dr. Taylor and his argument to negate the bible. Maybe you and Goldstein can persuade him with your arguments.

The evidences of nature function as a “law that is a schoolmaster” to lead us to the bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God…….” but still does not tell us who God is nor the function of His government concerning the moral law.

In fact, natural law is so convoluted by sin that “survival of the fittest” is the only logical conclusion.

At any rate, I wish you well in your endeavors to support the creation account in scripture.
Take care.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

I read Kevin Paulson’s article and he “double talks” around the obvious to deny and/or ignore the reality of what the bible teaches and EGW confirms.

Babies are born guilty of sin because they are born with the spirit of sin. They have no power to do anything but sin unless and until by the special grace of God, they are given the ability to “choose”.

If you add God’s grace to the bible definition of original sin, you can make man free to act all you want. Original sin has to do with the fall of Adam and the results. It is not about God’s grace that has been added by way of the cross. So EGW has stated clearly in support of the fall and its effects on Adam’s children.

” God declares, “I will put enmity.” This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason, fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.” {GC88 505.2}

Those who deny original sin and its effects on the children of Adam always appeal to the atonement and the grace of God. But we see that God “put” enmity between Satan and the human family.

As Luther said to Erasmus in their discussion on this matter when Erasmus claimed the will was free by way of grace,
“Once you add grace you can make the will as free as you like.”

Original sin is not about grace nor what man can do once grace is implied and involved. Original sin is about what man is after the fall apart from grace and/or God’s special action super-imposed in the situation. So, if there is no original sin, neither is there any need for grace.

Kevin Paulson convolutes the issue just like other SDA scholars by making no distinction between how man is after the fall with or without grace.

So, in light of original sin, David says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Ps. 58

David knows apart from God’s grace, no one can do anything but sin. Original sin highlights the necessity and value of the atonement and what it truly means to be “born again.”

Hear the words of Jesus, “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit, ye must be born again.”

Original sin is exactly why Jesus made this comment. No one can read and understand the bible who denies the reality of original sin and its effects on all the children of Adam. We are all born guilty of sin, even before we act. So Isaiah says, “Write the vision and make it plain, that wayfareing men, though fools, need not err therein.”

In closing, original sin is not about the atonement nor its meaning and application to humanity. It is about man as he comes from Adam lost and without hope, power, choice or any ability to do anything about his situation.