LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued

Educate Truth shares the following news from McCuneWright, LLP.

On July 28, 2011, the law firm of McCuneWright, LLP, on behalf of Dr. Jeffry Kaatz, Dr. James Beach, and Dr. Gary Bradley, filed a complaint against all responsible parties as a result of actions taken against them and La Sierra University in a June 10, 2011 meeting, in which these three long-time and dedicated employees were forced to sign resignation letters.

Read Filed Complaint
Press Release

From a subsequent article by The Press Enterprise dated July 28, 2011:

Richard McCune, the attorney for the three plaintiffs, said his clients are worried that the forced resignations are “not only hurting them personally but harming the university they have devoted their lives to.”

The ironic thing about this statement is that LSU is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.  If these men are so concerned about any harm that may come to LSU, why then are they suing LSU itself?

It seems also like Dr. Gary Bradley, one of the plaintiffs in this case, changed his mind about how to proceed:

Bradley, the biology adjunct, said in his e-mail that he was devastated by the turn of events that has led to his resignation, though he gave no explicit indication that he plans to fight the termination on legal grounds. “I’m not ready to quit…. I have many important projects underway here now and many other people will be inconvenienced by my sudden departure,” he wrote.

“If you are among those who welcome this transition, I request that you celebrate with dignity,” Bradley added. “If you are among those who find this transition upsetting, I ask that you not turn it into a war.”

From Inside Higher Ed, June 15, 2011

Please follow and like us:
8
37

218 thoughts on “LSU, Pacific Union Conference and North American Division Sued

  1. Jim:

    For yet one more time, the contents of the recording are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, ….

    I believe you are incorrect.

    Kaatz, Beach, and Bradley have filed a public lawsuit in a public court in the United States of America, and have put at issue the recording in question. Here in the U.S., with a few exceptions, cases are tried in the public arena for all to observe who want to.

    If Kaatz, Beach, and Bradley wanted to ensure that the contents of the recording would never be the business of the public, they would never have sued, correct?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  2. Jim: In what possible way would it glorify God, or advance His message that we’re supposed to be taking to the rest of the world, to unnecessarily drag the recording out for everyone to hear

    Jim argues that nothing on that recording glorifies God, edifies the church or reflects well on the faculty and staff of LSU. He seems to say that the less it is heard – the less damage is done to the church, the school and the name of Christ.

    From all that has been said about the recording so far – it appears that Jim is correct in regard to that part of his post.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  3. Why don’t you simply accept reality, rejoice in it, AND MOVE ON to something more productive — like maybe something that God may want each of us to be doing with our lives to actually help spread His message of love and redemption to a fallen world . . .

    Although I am a neophyte in the law, I can read the law, and it says “intentionally” thus I believe the recording is not illegal. Anyone with a different view may give their interpretation if they wish. But, so far, nobody has given a different interpretation.

    I am also doing what you say we should do–helping spread the Gospel over the world. I can do both at the same time.

    Please be sure that I will not be moving on, as I am being very productive in what I am doing here and in other places.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  4. OK, so the LSU-4 have been semi-dealt with. The work at LSU is not finished yet. The religion department needs some sprucing up too. And let’s not forget that Wisby was President and gave his blessing to all of this apostasy. Doesn’t that make him just as guilty for failure to lead and failure to take action?!

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  5. Jim, My neophyte brain can certainly read the word “intentional.” Has anyone, on either side, even implied it was intentional? I didn’t see it on the legal document submitted to the court. Did I miss it?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  6. Sorry, Bob Pickle, but you are simply not correct with your assertions.

    Yes, an initial complaint was filed, and that complaint is now a public document, but that does not make any potential evidence in the lawsuit automatically ‘public’ in nature.

    You are correct that the plaintiffs “have put at issue the recording in question”. But unless or until a trial actually occurs, and the judge (or jury) makes a finding that the recording is not private (or in the interim, if a defendant convinces a judge in pleadings to find that the recording should not be considered private), then and only then would it be legally safe for it to be accessed in the manner Holly and a few others have been demanding.

    In other words, at some point it’s possible that it may be found to be public in nature, but until then the only safe legal position to take is that it is a private recording under California and Federal law. There are numerous California and United States legal codes, as well as significant common law rights under California law, that appear to govern the facts in this case — notwithstanding the ‘legal findings’ of Holly, and perhaps a few other amateur ‘lawyers’. And if those laws are found by the court to apply in this matter, then anyone accessing, listening to, or disseminating the recording would incur significant legal liability (that means getting sued for money damages).

    At this point, the issue has not even been argued by either side, let alone settled by the court, and it would be very irresponsible, and potentially very expensive, for non-parties to have anything to do with the recording. Again, why do you think Shane abruptly pulled down every direct reference to the recording, once he received professional legal advice?

    That said, while I do teach law for a living, I am not about to argue the case one way or another here, and my main point to Holly was not a legal argument at all.

    It was exactly what I said: the situation has already been dealt with by the Pacific Union Conference president, in close consultation with the North American Division president, the NAD Higher Education vice president, and General Conference and LSU legal counsel — and anyone accessing the recording, whether done in breach of or in accordance with the law, is not doing so FOR ANY USEFUL PURPOSE. What possible good can be achieved for the university, the church, or God, for non-parties to spend time dissecting and discussing all the minuscule specifics of the private recording?

    Whatever was said, it was sufficient for the Union president to feel justified in demanding their resignations. Why shouldn’t that fact be sufficient for the rest of us? Are you really that much of a busybody and a meddler that you have to know all the specifics of the recording?

    Explain to me why any of you think God would want people–individuals who have nothing directly to do with the situation–to pour over every tiny detail of the recording, and then discuss all the sordid details out in public for everyone to see.

    Please, people–fellow church members–you’re a little better than that, aren’t you? Shouldn’t the rest of us be more about our Father’s business, and leave those entrusted with authority in this matter to deal with it, AS THEY ALREADY HAVE??

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  7. Javier,
    And yet I think of God letting Ellen White listen in on a meeting Satan had with his angels WHEN HE WAS PLOTTING AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
    The parallel is at once both exact and sad.

    Javier wrote:
    ” I’m not about to listen to the recordings. I had the opportunity but decided it was completely unethical to do so. The recordings are of a private conversation that was inadvertently made without the intent of others listening. At Spectrum a while back several SDA lawyers were discussing the recordings when a former SDA pitched by saying he had the opportunity to listen and refused to because it was highly inappropriate, and asked his partners if they would, and they said no. It’s sad that non-SDA’s have higher ethical standards than SDA’s.”

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  8. Jim said…..

    “Please, people–fellow church members–you’re a little better than that, aren’t you? Shouldn’t the rest of us be more about our Father’s business, and leave those entrusted with authority in this matter to deal with it, AS THEY ALREADY HAVE??”

    Jim, it seems you fail to see reality in this situation as well as others in the church.

    It would have been nice if our leaders had dealt with this issue years ago. They didn’t, and wouldn’t, if some people like Shane and Sean did not “force” them by way of public opinion.

    Just like the “tea party” in civil politics has acted. Apparently leadership in the secular world has a reflection in much of the religious world as well.

    To assume lay members of the church have no responsiblity to demand accountability of their leaders seems less than “Christian” in my opinion.

    The leaders are accountable to the members and open disclosure is how God’s government works in heaven and should work on the same principle here on earth.

    God is no “elitist” who demands of His created beings something He will not do Himself. The whole controversy between Christ and Satan is concerning this very issue.

    So Galatians 4:4 gives us God’s answer to the charges of Satan. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,……”

    God subjects Himself to His own law that we might see that He not only rules, but serves humanity with a just and true purpose.

    Yes, we have a right to demand accountability and open disclosure of what our leaders do, and then ask why and how they have made their decisions.

    Especially in situations like LSU.

    Bill Sorensen

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  9. @Holly Pham:

    Jim, My neophyte brain can certainly read the word “intentional.” Has anyone, on either side, even implied it was intentional? I didn’t see it on the legal document submitted to the court. Did I miss it?

    It doesn’t matter if the recording was not intentional. The deliberate publishing of the recording once its contents are known, without the consent of those who were recorded, seems to be illegal in California.

    What seems to cloud this particular case just a bit is that Lenny Darnel (the one who accidently recorded and distributed the private conversations) sent these recordings to several people and evidently knew that one of these individuals published the entire recording on the internet for several weeks. This recording was referenced numerous times on the Spectrum blog before it was suddenly pulled off the internet. Evidently this happened once the LSU4 had been asked to resign over the recordings.

    So, given the rather common knowledge of many as to what was on the recordings prior to the actions of the church in this case, and the publishing of these recordings on the internet for quite some time before hand, I’m not sure what the legal implications of these events may be?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  10. Jim: “In what possible way would it glorify God, or advance His message that we’re supposed to be taking to the rest of the world, to unnecessarily drag the recording out for everyone to hear (let alone listen to again, for people like you who seemed to think it was their business in the first place to eavesdrop on a private conversation)?”

    Well, Jim, I think the eavesdropping charge is a bit much considering this was already posted publicly–and by one of the parties involved.

    I have heard the tape. I feel Holly is right to be concerned about what is on it, considering the parties involved were basically plotting to take LSU out from under the church. I think that is pretty serious business, considering that the church established this institution and considering the many, many years the church has supported LSU, not to mention the sacrifices that take place every day when parents put their children’s education before everything else.

    Unlike you I don’t think this is due to “unholy and prurient interests.” As a lawyer you should know better than to accuse someone of that when you don’t know their motives.

    Jim: “Holly, I’m pretty sure you know by now that La Sierra is being run by those who have already forced the resignation of those four individuals. In other words, IT’S ALREADY BEEN DEALT WITH, and presumably in a way in which you and others should approve.

    Ok, Jim, you seem to think that this situation has been dealt with. I am afraid I don’t agree. It seems that some of the 4 still hold some sort of employment at LSU. Perhaps they have lost some of their positions, but not all. So, what is stopping them from continuing to spread their heresy in the church-owned institution?

    You may not see this as a serious situation, but I do–and I believe Holly and others on this site take it very seriously.

    As usual, the law seems to protect the criminal instead of the victims. My major concern here is the souls of the young people who trusted in their professors and were led straight out of the church because of it. If, as you say, you are interested in spreading the gospel, shouldn’t you also be concerned about which gospel is being spread?

    Another thing–I don’t think you need to shout at Holly. She is trying to stay informed of the facts. I don’t see that as such an awful sin.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  11. Sean:

    You correctly raise one of the very real and valid legal questions in this lawsuit, and point out at least one of the reasons why a naive and simplistic reading of the law by some is simply that, naive and simplistic–and quite wrong.

    I am certainly aware that some ET readers don’t apparently believe anything that I–a lowly law professor–write, and prefer to get their legal advice from Holly and a few of her supporters, but perhaps, Sean, your voice will cause them to think again . . . perhaps . . . ah, but now I’m probably the one being naive!

    Your penultimate paragraph also accurately reflects the facts, although it does leave out several events that are key to a full understanding of the chronology leading up to the forced resignations.

    However, it is not correct to state that it was “rather common knowledge of many as to what was on the recordings prior to the actions of the church in this case”. That is not accurate.

    The only people who were aware of the full contents of the recording (i.e., the private conversation) prior to the forced resignations were Larry Blackmer, Dan Jackson, Karnik Doukmetzian, Ricardo Graham, Kent Hansen, and possibly one or two other individuals at the GC and/or NAD (some may notice the list does not include Randal Wisbey).

    That was it; while others may have had a copy of the recording, they were not aware of the second half of the recording. And that includes Shane Hilde and Bonnie Dwyer, among perhaps others.

    That said, though, Sean’s final question is still quite valid. At this point no one who is actually knowledgeable of the law can really be sure what the legal implications are, and won’t fully know until the legal case unfolds further. To rush ahead of the legal process and presume to know and understand how the law will be applied to the facts is, to put it charitably, childlike — besides being flat-out wrong.

    And, for the third time, that’s why Shane pulled all direct references to the contents of the recording, once he received professional legal advice.

    Again, though, the primary intent of my earlier posts was not to comment on the legal aspects of the private conversation. No one has yet said how knowing, and then publicly hashing through the details on a private conversation, serves any legitimate public purpose, let alone helps to advance the kingdom of God in any positive way.

    Yes, it has taken a very long time for some sort of action to be taken, BUT THAT ACTION HAS NOW BEEN TAKEN. If you punish your child for misbehaving, do you then keep insisting on dragging out and incessantly rehashing all the details of the particular misbehavior, or do you focus on moving forward, with the expectation that a lesson was learned, and the hope that positive growth will occur as a result?

    Is knowing, and then interminably discussing the details of a private conversation in public and on the internet really where you want to spend your time and efforts?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  12. @Jim:

    The only people who were aware of the full contents of the recording (i.e., the private conversation) prior to the forced resignations were Larry Blackmer, Dan Jackson, Karnik Doukmetzian, Ricardo Graham, Kent Hansen, and possibly one or two other individuals at the GC and/or NAD (some may notice the list does not include Randal Wisbey).

    That was it; while others may have had a copy of the recording, they were not aware of the second half of the recording. And that includes Shane Hilde and Bonnie Dwyer, among perhaps others.

    Before the news hit about the resignations of the LSU4 there were several on the Spectrum blog who referenced the recordings and cited the private conversation in particular. I know this because the private conversation part of the recording was referenced to me directly by an anonymous individual I was debating on the Spectrum blog (this individual also listed off the online link to the full recording for me and recommended that I listen to the entire thing). This is the first time I became aware that such a recording existed – well before the resignations were announced.

    It seems to me, therefore, that more people knew about what was on the entire recording for quite a while longer than you are suggesting – and that this might have some legal implications for the case.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  13. Sean makes a good point. Apparently the guy who made the recording was very well inclined to get “the word out” in regard to the first part of the recording. He apparently wanted his friends and family to know about the LSU meeting with Jackson and Blackmere because he apparently felt that Jackon’s slamming the Michigan Conference and slamming Pastor David Asscherick was a feather in his cap so to speak.

    I doubt that he was trying to hide the audio at any point – right up until some one among his friends and/or family reported back to him that the audio covered more than just the meeting with the LSU faculty.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  14. Sean, thanks very much for that information. That particular Spectrum thread has been combed over quite thoroughly by legal counsel, but I’m not aware that the private conversation between the four individuals was ever referenced in any way prior to the forced resignations. It would be very interesting, and very helpful, if you could recover the specific debate you referenced above (or any other references to the private conversation between the four individuals prior to the June 10 forced resignations, on Spectrum or elsewhere).

    I note that you made a somewhat similar reference on the Spectrum thread titled “On the La Sierra Resignations: The Privacy Issue (i)” on 06/21/2011 – 20:54. You stated the following: “The problem here is that this became general knowledge, with many referencing these recordings here on Spectrum in several blogs – – well before anyone was asked to resign. The recordings were posted online for quite some time. I wasn’t aware of them until someone here in a blog pointed out to me that these recordings existed and suggested to me that I listen to them (even though by that time they were no longer available online and I had yet to hear anything else about these recordings). I was told that these recordings were evidence against what the AAA had accused various professors of LSU saying during certain interviews – which the recorded individuals evidently denied.

    “In short, these recordings seem to have been common knowledge and were, evidently, already widely distributed well before the GC or the Division leaders became aware of them. By the time these leaders, to include the leadership of LSU, did become aware, so many people had heard these recordings and had referenced them publicly that it was most likely very difficult to simply ignore what was said and done by those involved. The LSU board was, perhaps, forced to act since those involved had lost too much credibility in such a public manner, to remain effective in their positions of responsibility (as these recordings are now all over the internet yet again).”

    In that post, you don’t explicitly reference the private conversation portion of the recording, although you appear to be referring to it indirectly.

    However, to my knowledge no evidence of your claim (regarding the private conversation portion of the recording) has yet been uncovered. Yes, a link to the recording was posted on Spectrum on or about May 27, and yes, there were ongoing references to the semi-public meeting on the LSU campus between Jackson/Blackmer and the LSU faculty/staff prior to June 10. But that’s different than the private conversation portion of the recording.

    If you are able to recall and recover any evidence of your claims, it would be most useful. It is my understanding that Spectrum has only deleted the one post that had the actual link to the recording; as far as I know, all other posts should still be available.

    If you prefer to continue this offline, that is certainly understandable, and in fact preferable from my perspective. You should already have my email address, as it is required in order to post on your site (but I’ll also send it to your ‘Contact Us’ feature as well). And feel free to delete this post as well. Thanks.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  15. @Jim:

    If you are able to recall and recover any evidence of your claims, it would be most useful. It is my understanding that Spectrum has only deleted the one post that had the actual link to the recording; as far as I know, all other posts should still be available.

    I’ve looked for my discussion with someone that I remember going by the moniker “Annon”, but I can’t seem to find this conversation on Spectrum. I remember having the conversation, and Annon telling me about the recording and suggesting to me that I look it up to confirm what he was saying about the AAA report, but I can’t find this conversation anywhere on the blogs now.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  16. Professor Kent: You said: (7-30-11): “How would the fossil record and geological column look any different today, Sean, if a flood covered, say 65% or 85% or 95% of the earth’s surface instead of 100%? Does size really matter?
    ***
    My response:The thing that matters (to me anyway)is not what the man-made geological column or fossil records says–it is what GOD says in His holy Bible. GOD says it covered the earth and that settles it for me. As I see it, anyone who can predict the future centuries in advance with unerring accuracy can be trusted to tell us what happened in the past–or don’t you believe that?

    As far as I am concerned, anyone who cannot accept ALL of the Bible just as it reads has absolutely no business teaching in one of our institutions or preaching in any of our pulpits. (And I do not believe it is being “intolerant” or “unChristlike” to take this stand.) We are either absolutely “the people of the Book” or we are not. There is no middle ground! You (and others) may consider this “unChristlike” if you wish but I consider it to be the only way a genuine, Bible believing Christian can operate. We are either FOR God 100% or we are AGAINST Him 100%. Again, there is no middle ground.

    God is the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe. He is the Creator of TRUE science and TRUE science will ALWAYS agrees with the Creator God! And, again, there is no middle ground!

    There is no way we mortals can always clearly understand every single thing in the Bible this side of eternity. Then, and only then, will all things be made fully clear so there are a lot of things we simply have to take by faith–but that faith has many things we can understand to enable us accept it by an intelligent faith and leave it in God’s hands until that time comes. That’s what Joseph did, that’s what Moses did, that’s what many other Bible characters did–and that’s what we will have to do. We must never forget that all of us are fallen human beings and as such very prone to make many mistakes. I don’t care how many degrees a human being has after his/her name they are still fallen human beings and none of us are infallible. Only God is–that is the one and only unshakable “fact” we can accept and believe in this old sinful and suffering world. And, you know what, that is enough!

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  17. “Adventist Kid:” Believe it or not a LOT of us old folks were “Adventist Kids” at one time–and., yes, some of us were also rather “cocky” ourselves back then.. We “knew” how to “save the world” and we were the generation that was going to do it–no questions allowed. But, guess what! Afer graduation we entered the “real world” and had to sink or swim on our own. Then we began very rapidly to learn that we weren’t as brilliant as we thought we were. And we rapidly learned that some of the older folks “out there’ were a whole lot smarter than we gave them credit for! Many were even smarter than we were. (Unthinkable but, alas, very true.)The world you will face is, in many respects, a lot worse–and harder to survive in–today than it was then. Technology has increased but morality has decreased much faster. The world is no longer the relatively safe place we grew up in. There are good people out there but today there are far more “not so good” ones.

    After graduation we entered what my Dad use to call “the University of Hard Knocks.” The class motto was “HELP! The class colors were “black and blue” and the class “yell” was “ouch!!!” It didn’t take very long for most of us to learn that we weren’t as smart as we thought we were and the “real world” wasn’t waiting with bated breath for our appearance.

    Many wonderful adults gave a big sigh, took us under their wing and proceeded to try to knock some common sense into our heads. (There were some who never learned it and most of them had a miserable life.) There are a lot of “smart” people out there but very few human beings are “smart enough” to really realize how small and ignorant we really are.

    So calm down, Adventist Kid, Read your Bible with prayer and an open mind and God will give you the wisdom and strength to become a truly noble person who will make the world a better place to live in and be ready to meet Jesus when He returns and that just may be a whole lot sooner than you think!

    (We love you–we truly do, and want the very best in life for you and your young companions! But–sigh!–you have to give us a chance to help you grow up and see life as it really is.)

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  18. Greg: This appears to be an issue regarding compliance with civil law. I don’t think any church should be above the law.

    Great point! And this is why this case has to go to court and get a final word. We all knew it since the beginning. There are two parties claiming that they are right and the opposite part is wrong. Let see what the law of the land says. This is what the courts are for. This should be the end of the drama.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  19. Lydian Belknap: Professor Kent: You said: (7-30-11): “How would the fossil record and geological column look any different today, Sean, if a flood covered, say 65% or 85% or 95% of the earth’s surface instead of 100%? Does size really matter?
    ***
    My response: The thing that matters (to me anyway)is not what the man-made geological column or fossil records says–it is what GOD says in His holy Bible. GOD says it covered the earth and that settles it for me. As I see it, anyone who can predict the future centuries in advance with unerring accuracy can be trusted to tell us what happened in the past–or don’t you believe that?

    I totally agree with you that what matters is what God says. Sean’s position is that we can’t believe what God says unless science backs it up; otherwise, it’s “blind faith” and useless. Yet I’m in complete agreement with you that, based on what God told us, He created a human from a pile of dirt; that a metal axe head floated in water; that a virgin gave birth to Jesus; that more than one decomposing human body (including that of Jesus) came back to life; and that Jesus ascended heavenward without benefit of jet or rocket propulsion.

    Phillip Brantley and I (as well as David Read) have repeatedly pointed out that we accept these claims from scripture on faith because there is ZERO evidence from science to support them. In fact, science actually refutes these possibilities. Moreover, there is no shred of physical evidence that 100% of the earth’s ground, rather than say 90% or 80%, was covered with water. Yet Phillip and I are treated as heretics and declared liars when we insist we believe in these things despite evidence. And there is not one word of condemnation from EducateTruthers for Sean Pitman’s assertions that science trumps faith.

    Why are YOU silent?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  20. Lydian Belknap: As far as I am concerned, anyone who cannot accept ALL of the Bible just as it reads has absolutely no business teaching in one of our institutions or preaching in any of our pulpits. (And I do not believe it is being “intolerant” or “unChristlike” to take this stand.) We are either absolutely “the people of the Book” or we are not. There is no middle ground! You (and others) may consider this “unChristlike” if you wish but I consider it to be the only way a genuine, Bible believing Christian can operate.

    Here we go again. I have written repeatedly–dozens of times–that SDA professors MUST teach SDA interpretations of the Bible. I have never suggested this is unChristlike; where did you get such a strange idea? I’ve only stated that the TREATMENT of those who disagree with Educate Truth’s views is unChristlike.

    I suspect you genuinely misunderstand me because you don’t pay close attention to what I write, but your treatment of me exemplifies what I deplore. You have joined Bob Ryan, Ron Stone, Rich Constantinescu, David Read (who I think has backed off), Wesley Kyme, Sean Pitman, Shane Hilde (who I think feels bad about it), and others who continue to misrepresent my views–often deliberately and with intended malice–and accuse me of lying about my beliefs. These actions represent a complete lack of integrity and honesty on their part. They are mad that I disagree with the public lambasting of fellow Christians; that I defend faith (like you) in God’s word without science to back it up; and that I believe something has actually been done to address the LSU situation. As a consequence, they resort to lying and spin of their own by saying, “Professor Kent, you’re a spin artist and a liar.” It’s not just unChristlike; it’s disingenious. However, I have to admit I enjoy it because other readers recognize what I continue to maintain: Educate Truth is not about Truth.

    Write me privately, Lydian, and I will gladly repeat to you what I truly believe: ProfessorKent@gmx.com.

    Professor Kent
    Professing Christ until the whole world hears

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  21. “As far as I am concerned, anyone who cannot accept ALL of the Bible just as it reads has absolutely no business teaching in one of our institutions or preaching in any of our pulpits. (And I do not believe it is being “intolerant” or “unChristlike” to take this stand.) We are either absolutely “the people of the Book” or we are not. There is no middle ground! You (and others) may consider this “unChristlike” if you wish but I consider it to be the only way a genuine, Bible believing Christian can operate. We are either FOR God 100% or we are AGAINST Him 100%. Again, there is no middle ground.”

    On another blog on another web site, there are arguments being presented that the contemporary Tea Party movement in American politics and fundamentalist elements of Adventism have significant similarities on the family level. There has been a challenge to provide examples. The above quote from Ms. Belknap provides an elegant example of a classic Tea Party Adventist. Thank you Ms. Belknap

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  22. Well, Lydian, “Adventist Kid” represents the results of modern education. The liberal agenda.

    We were taught the SDA heritage and its historic spirituality. And yes, we were also to some degree rebellious, but none the less, we “knew” the truth as advocated by the church and found in the bible.

    Today, doubt, skepticism, and unbelief are often the norm in SDA education. Especially in the higher schools of learning.

    EGW is often undermined along with the bible itself. Not only that, few really study either one. So our young people and even our church members are “spoon fed” what to believe.

    And far too often, they believe it, too. And why is this happening? Because people are persuaded “the leaders” will tell us what to do and what to believe and we should never challenge their decisions or what they teach. And if you do, you are labeled some kind of rebel and they will undermine your influence in the church. Especially if you “press the battle to the gate.”

    Shane and Sean could oppose some things and it would be OK. But if they “make waves”, look out. And people like “Adventist Kid” would say, “get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on.” “The ‘leaders’ will handle the problem.”

    So, Lydian, it is a “God size problem” and how it will eventually play out in the church itself, we don’t know. We do know the basic historic message God gave our pioneers will triumph and those who advocate it and act in harmony with it will “go through to the end.”

    As EGW said….

    “Today, Sunday, I have not attended meeting, but have had to visit considerably. I am grateful to God for the strength and freedom and power of His spirit in bearing my testimony, although it has made the least impression upon many minds than at any period before in my history. Satan has seemed to have power to hinder my work in a wonderful degree, but I tremble to think what would have been in this meeting if we had not been here. God would have worked in some way to prevent this spirit brought to the meeting, having a controlling power. But we are not the least discouraged. We trust in the Lord God of Israel. The truth will triumph and we
    179
    mean to triumph with it.” {3SM 178.3}

    “The church” is not always equated with “the truth”. But in the end, we can know “the truth” will eventually create “the church”.

    “The deputies had admonished the councillors to continue in the church, out of which, they declared, there was no salvation. Zwingle responded: “Let not this accusation move you. The foundation of the church is the same Rock, the same Christ, that gave Peter his name because he confessed him faithfully. In every nation whoever believes with all his heart in the Lord Jesus is accepted of God. Here, truly, is the church, out of which no one can be saved.” As a result of the conference, one of the bishop’s deputies accepted the reformed faith.” {GC88 181.1}

    It may be possible, even likely, that each of us will have to oppose “the church” as a corporate structure before the end. And even more likely that “the church” will get smaller before it accomplishes its task. “The church” we all want to be sure that we are members of is the one in heaven that all the loyal angels belong to. And when “the church” on earth reflects “the church” in heaven, Jesus will come and take us home. Rev. 14:1-5

    Keep the faith,

    Bill Sorensen

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  23. I am disgusted by the whole affair. Those in charge of LSU exalt Darwinism by paying evolutionists good money to teach a morally offensive heresy but then the heretics offend a few carnal churchian criminals in the hierarchy and the whole church is looking to the world to validate their original stupidity.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  24. Ervin Taylor: The above quote from Ms. Belknap provides an elegant example of a classic Tea Party Adventist

    I like the idea that some of our Lib posters argue that anyone who believes the Bible cannot possibly be a democrat.

    But I am wondering why they feel inclined to go down that road – saying it “out loud”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  25. On another blog on another web site, there are arguments being presented that the contemporary Tea Party movement in American politics and fundamentalist elements of Adventism have significant similarities on the family level.There has been a challenge to provide examples.The above quote from Ms. Belknap provides an elegant example of a classic Tea Party Adventist. Thank you Ms. Belknap

    Erv, America is a country in decline. The evil liberal policies of taking without giving back have created an entitled population that is living beyond its means and is ruining our country. The Tea Party is comprised of patriots to try to bring it back (although I think it is too late). Many of those that write on this blog are true religious patriots that are trying to save our church from the likes of you who promote a bankrupt theology of do as you please and discard what you don’t like. LSU is a prime example of an uncontrolled liberal agenda with PhD’s who don’t believe in our Fundamental Beliefs, who poison the minds of our young people, and live personal lives contrary to the code of ethics that they signed when they were hired, all the while unethically taking a paycheck from the church that they are trying to ruin. So I agree with you, many of the bloggers here are great people who are doing a great work of bring our church back on track to get people ready for Jesus’ soon coming.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  26. @Ervin Taylor: “Ms. Belknap provides an elegant example of a classic Tea Party Adventist. Thank you Ms. Belknap.”

    And thank you, thank you, professor “not-for-Tea Party” T. So another blog, another site, sounding curiously like moveOn.org, likens elementary Adventistism, aka “elements of fundamentalist Adventism,” to the classic Tea Party? How very so-what-else-is-new, the Independent Mind comes through on cue, again. Meanwhile in another galaxy at another time emergent missional Libventism is likened, with equal credence, unto classic Marxism gone to the pews.

    Drop by any time. You must. For tea. And crumpets. Thank you in advance.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  27. George Tichy: Great point! And this is why this case has to go to court and get a final word. We all knew it since the beginning. There are two parties claiming that they are right and the opposite part is wrong. Let see what the law of the land says. This is what the courts are for. This should be the end of the drama.

    George, you represent much of what is wrong at LSU. At LSU when there is a question of what is right or wrong, they take it to the world. After all, the world has the answers, right? Creation-evolution, homosexuality, alcohol, suing fellow Christians in a court of law, etc, the world’s prevailing view trumps the Bible, right? At least that is what liberals think.

    The “Truth” in Educate Truth is the Holy Bible as our reason for faith, not the world. The world does not have the answers to the questions that people have. The answers that this world gives brings eternal destruction.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  28. Faithful Disciple: George, you represent much of what is wrong at LSU.

    I verbalized my opinion. This is what I think.
    I didn’t attack anyone personally who thinks different than me. Making personal attacks is just ignorance and inability to stay on the higher sphere of discussing just ideas. I prefer discussing ideas than people – especially those I don’t even know.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  29. Faithful Disciple: At LSU when there is a question of what is right or wrong, they take it to the world.

    Are you kidding? You have things turned completely upside down. Educate Truth takes it to the world. That’s why, after all, you are here now and how you learned about the issues in the first place. Get a clue. And hundreds of thousands of southern Californians have now laughed at and mocked the Infighting Adventists because of Educate Truth’s commitment to cyberharrassment.

    We have lost our mission. It’s no longer a fervent “take the gospel unto the ends of the earth.” It’s now “believe and act like we tell you to or we will find something to get you. We will hold you up to public ridicule and character assassination, without an advocate, for the whole world to see. We don’t need courts; we don’t need Church committees; we don’t need Matthew 18. We have God’s ordained power in the might of our own judgment, the internet, and the local press. And we can quote the Bible and Ellen White to defend our holy position.”

    The LSU employees (not LSU per se) simply sought what the Church refused to offer: a fair hearing.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  30. Faithful Disciple: The “Truth” in Educate Truth is the Holy Bible as our reason for faith, not the world. The world does not have the answers to the questions that people have. The answers that this world gives brings eternal destruction.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. You have completely misunderstood Educate Truth. Have you not read the hundreds of posts from the Educate Truth editors (Sean Pitman and Shane Hilde) and supporters (e.g., Bob Ryan, Wesley Kyme, Oink, Rich Constantinescu and others) who insist that faith without scientic evidence–obtained from humans operating in the world–is “blind” and therefore as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster? The Bible and God’s word, according to Educate Truth, can only be trusted if modern science can show support it (or at least portions of it, according to Sean Pitman*).

    You are at total odds with the ownership, editors, and most ardent supporters of this website. Actually, I’m pleased if you are in agreement with those of us who put faith and God’s word ahead of human reason, empirical evidence, and science.

    ——–

    *Of course, by this reasoning all historical novels are also correct if portions can be shown to be historically accurate.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  31. George said……

    “I verbalized my opinion. This is what I think.
    I didn’t attack anyone personally who thinks different than me. Making personal attacks is just ignorance and inability to stay on the higher sphere of discussing just ideas. I prefer discussing ideas than people – especially those I don’t even know.”

    While there is an element of truth to what George is contending for, in one sense, it can simply be a “cop out”.

    What we say and what we believe is who and what we are. To pretend we are not what we say and believe is really quite silly.

    Even some of our evangelism is missing the point when they will continually repeat to the people, “We are not opposing the members of any organization, just the organization itself.”

    So in attacking the Catholic church, we assume we can avoid “insulting” those who firmly believe in this system by trying to seperate people from what they believe as defining who they really are.

    In the end, it is a superficial seperation that simply will not fly to any rational thinking person.

    I am a SDA and who I am is defined by what I believe and say. I am not something different from my confession of faith. So, to insult my belief system, is to insult me.

    We need not apologize for “attacking” what people believe, even if it is who they are. We do need to be very gracious and tactful in the way we point out why someone’s belief system is wrong in our own evaluation. And if we use the bible, the bible will do the job for us in the end. (That is, if we are using the scripture according to its own meaning.)

    Then if there is not agreement. We can only go on our way and allow “the truth” to speak for itself.

    Still and all, we are “attacking” people when we point out what we believe is their faulty belief system.

    Bill Sorensen

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  32. So, let me get this straight…three professors are clearly wronged by the GC, and they are derided even further for daring to take it to the courts when their attempts to handle it “in-house” were obviously and publicly rebuffed? Do we need any further evidence that the internal court that passed the initial judgment was indeed a kangaroo court?

    There is nothing in the recordings that was sensitive or damning. The resignations were not made to “prevent the recordings from going public.” The resignations were part of a largely selfless plan to save LSU from the GC and the lynch mob at places like ET.

    The SDA church needs the intellectuals (improperly labeled “liberals” by many on this board) to function; without them, our church would devolve into organizational chaos and even greater financial ruin – not to mention cease to remain a viable educational option for our youth, SDA or otherwise. Those who believe as the majority on ET seem to (i.e., that the three professors somehow truly did something wrong by drinking a bit of wine in private, or that there is something wrong with teaching a scientific and rational explanation of our origins alongside our institutional creation myth), are a dead-end for this church. To persecute respected professors for doing the jobs we hired them to do – namely, to teach students rather than mislead them — is a high-point of absurdity. It just so happens that the “intellectuals” that the church needs have a tough time keeping up the façade that literal creationism makes any sense. If the church were to purge everyone who believes that evolution is the real mechanism by which the world we know today came about, the church would face a dramatic loss of resources that would likely prove fatal. This is the road ET is shoving the church down, with pitchforks waving and torches ablaze.

    Graham stepped in and fired the professors when the board wouldn’t do it by themselves – a clear violation of appropriate procedure, and one over which WASC is rightfully concerned. If the church truly believes LSU is a den of iniquity (LSU and Loma Linda have long been considered “Sodom and Gomorrah” by most SDAs living more than 100 miles from an ocean), then it should have yanked funding years ago. The GC hasn’t been that stupid, however, until now. As it is, the church is becoming frighteningly insular and suspicious of divergent viewpoints, and appears willing to uncritically defend a fundamental belief that is simply untenable. Many seem to understand that this position will marginalize those who remain in the church, almost welcoming the fact that they are pushing the church one step closer to those cabins in the mountains where they will ride out the end times.

    The SDA church must accept that our fundamental beliefs may just be flawed, and, well, evolve – just as EGW told us to. There is nothing “un-SDA” about accepting that the theory of evolution makes sense, and that scientific evidence supports it (something that cannot be said for any construction that relies on the literal six-day creation affirmed by our 27FB). There is likewise nothing un-SDA about drinking a bit of wine in private. There is nothing un-SDA about going out to eat or handling money on Sabbath, or swimming after you eat, or bowling or going to a movie (unless it is “Smurfs 3D”). The only un-SDA thing occurring here is to destroy the lives and careers of dedicated church members (and, in fact, an entire institution) for doing the right thing by their students.

    And every time some ignoramus says “you represent what is wrong with LSU,” there is truly no greater validation that LSU is doing the right thing by its students, in service to our church and the Lord. Unfortunately, the opinions of the uneducated and ignorant still do matter, and as long as they do, those of us with the desire to discourse intelligently and in the interest of ALL church members – not just those who agree with our narrow opinions – must speak even more loudly. It would be easy to try to “split” from the church – many of my generation have already – but I intend to remain as an agitator for truth and reason, as I love my church, and want it to survive and thrive.

    Finally – please, please, people – somebody restore my faith in our church by disavowing the absurd notion that if you do not beleive 100% in the Bible than you are against God.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  33. Sean Pitman:
    It doesn’t matter if the recording was not intentional.The deliberate publishing of the recording once its contents are known, without the consent of those who were recorded, seems to be illegal in California.

    I am interested in knowing which California statute makes use of the recording illegal. Penal Code 631 says, “or who uses, or attempts to use, in any manner, or for any purpose, or to communicate in any way, any information so obtained,” but 631 concerns wire taps, and we aren’t talking about a wire tap.

    Penal Code 632 is the statute that was referred to in the complaint, and it concerns recording a conversation. But I can’t find any wording in that statute like the above.

    Perhaps Jim can tell us: Is there a different statute that applies? Or is this some sort of common law thing that hasn’t been codified? Or am I overlooking something in 632?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  34. Jim:
    Yes, an initial complaint was filed, and that complaint is now a public document, but that does not make any potential evidence in the lawsuit automatically ‘public’ in nature.

    You are correct that the plaintiffs “have put at issue the recording in question”.But unless or until a trial actually occurs, and the judge (or jury) makes a finding that the recording is not private (or in the interim, if a defendant convinces a judge in pleadings to find that the recording should not be considered private), then and only then would it be legally safe for it to be accessed in the manner Holly and a few others have been demanding.

    Since you teach law, perhaps you could tell us, in some jurisdictions at least, isn’t it the other way around? That the plaintiffs who want the recording kept secret would have to get the defendants to agree to such, or would have to get the court to issue a confidentiality order, in order to prevent the defendants from sharing the recording with anyone?

    I realize that, at least in some jurisdictions, evidence becomes part of the public record at trial, not during the discovery phase.

    Would a worldly court think that drinking and cussing was so sensitive that the recording would have to remain forever sealed even at trial? Seems like a stretch to me, but I don’t know.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  35. George, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. There is no personal attack. You do a lot of defending of LSU and align yourself with them. I have followed your posts on Spectrum for awhile. I get your push for the liberalization of the SDA Church and your desire to let LSU continue its wayward course of apostasy from the Church.

    Bring on the ideas! Let’s discuss ideas. Do you support evolution as the explanation of our origins? [edit] Do you support our 28 Fundamental Beliefs? Do you believe that faculty have an obligation to be loyal to the church’s beliefs and follow the contract that they signed that states that they will adhere to the church’s belief on abstaining from alcohol (among other requirements)? If you do not support the church’s stance on any of the subjects, why do you stay? Why don’t you go to another denomination that believes like you do? There are other “Christian” denominations that believe in evolution, [edit] etc. Why not join them? Why not go to any of a number of Sunday churches in your Riverside area?

    And believe me, I am not ignorant. I see what is going on. I see how the liberals/progressives have been unethically taking over LSU for a long while. They thought they were not being watched, and for much of the time the gatekeepers were asleep. We are wide awake now! We are not going to stand for heretic professors to lead our young people astray any longer. Our church has great Bible based beliefs that were given to us as a gift from God Himself. We are going to get our church back on track!!!!

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  36. Bob Pickle:

    You pose some interesting questions. However, you will have to find someone else to answer them (perhaps Holly will decide to chime in again), as under the current circumstances, I have decided to no longer participate in any way on this board.

    On August 5 at 4:27 PM, Sean posted some information on this thread that I believe was, and is, incorrect. However, when I questioned the accuracy of his statements in a fairly detailed post a few hours later, and asked him to provide some evidence for his claims, he (or Shane) decided to delete my post, yet they have so far refused to either provide any evidence, or retract what I believe to be a false allegation, and one that can have significant bearing on pending legal action.

    I have already communicated my concerns directly to Shane, but have yet to receive the courtesy of a reply, although he did reply to me Sabbath afternoon on a different matter.

    Since Shane and Sean obviously run this board, and can arbitrarily post, edit, alter or remove any and all information at will–and in this instance have, leaving a false impression for all who may be innocently reading the thread–it would be particularly unwise, at least for me, to continue to participate here on any level.

    I happen to be in a position to know more than most about the LSU situation, and Shane knows this, as we have had extensive private communications over the past year or so. But it would be sheer idiocy to continue to post here, or to continue to communicate with Shane privately, when Sean and/or Shane are willing to be so disingenuous and unethical in how they handle information.

    I’m pretty sure any further so-called ‘insights’ into the LSU legal situation on this board will have to come from the likes of Holly, Faith and InChristBob, as I sincerely doubt that anyone who is actually involved in the case and truly knows the facts will come anywhere near EducateTruth, knowing the potential for misrepresentation and outright manipulation of information.

    Again, Bob, I am sorry that I am not responding substantively to your questions. Best of luck in finding answers . . . and then trying to figure out if they are accurate or not.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  37. Faithful Disciple: George, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. There is no personal attack. You do a lot of defending of LSU and align yourself with them. I have followed your posts on Spectrum for awhile. I get your push for the liberalization of the SDA Church and your desire to let LSU continue its wayward course of apostasy from the Church.
    Bring on the ideas! Let’s discuss ideas. Do you support evolution as the explanation of our origins? [edit] Do you support our 28 Fundamental Beliefs? Do you believe that faculty have an obligation to be loyal to the church’s beliefs and follow the contract that they signed that states that they will adhere to the church’s belief on abstaining from alcohol (among other requirements)? If you do not support the church’s stance on any of the subjects, why do you stay? Why don’t you go to another denomination that believes like you do? There are other “Christian” denominations that believe in evolution, [edit] etc. Why not join them? Why not go to any of a number of Sunday churches in your Riverside area?

    It’s like LSU Alumnuns 1996 wisely said, “And every time some ignoramus says “you represent what is wrong with LSU,” there is truly no greater validation that LSU is doing the right thing…”

    What is this Mr “Faithfull Disciple”, an inquisition?
    First of all, do you have a name? Why do you hide yourself behind a pseudonym?
    Second, you are not behaving as a “disciple”; in your statements above you sound as trying to be GOD to us! But let me remind you, Who are you to ask me all those questions? None of your business! Don’t you get it yet? None of your inquisitive effort and accusations against people who are independent thinkers will ever do anything but reveal your bias, total lack of respect for others, arrogance at worst, and a profound lack of human sensitivity. But, sure, you probably call it Christian Attitude, or Adventist Ethics, right? Yeah, right!!! Heathenism is more moral than this!!!

    Thus, I recommend you to keep verbalizing all your intolerance and anger (and passing judgement!) against those who think different than you. It’s a good way to moraly destroy yourself in an idiotic way. Go ahead, we will all be looking at you! (Just kidding I guess because, actually, Who wants to waste time with this type of retrograde mentality?)

    This is my position, my opinion. Now you can have the last word after this, because I am done with your limited/biased/intolerant/persecutory/worthless thinking.
    Good luck!

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  38. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I totally agree with you that what matters is what God says. Sean’s position is that we can’t believe what God says unless science backs it up; otherwise, it’s “blind faith” and useless. Yet I’m in complete agreement with you that, based on what God told us, He created a human from a pile of dirt; that a metal axe head floated in water; that a virgin gave birth to Jesus; that more than one decomposing human body (including that of Jesus) came back to life; and that Jesus ascended heavenward without benefit of jet or rocket propulsion.

    Phillip Brantley and I (as well as David Read) have repeatedly pointed out that we accept these claims from scripture on faith because there is ZERO evidence from science to support them. In fact, science actually refutes these possibilities. Moreover, there is no shred of physical evidence that 100% of the earth’s ground, rather than say 90% or 80%, was covered with water. Yet Phillip and I are treated as heretics and declared liars when we insist we believe in these things despite evidence. And there is not one word of condemnation from EducateTruthers for Sean Pitman’s assertions that science trumps faith.

    The Sean Pitman and Educate Truth you describe are stranger than fiction to me. You either have never taken the time to comprehend what Sean and Shane are teaching or else are purposely disfiguring their true views.

    If you are doing this out of ignorance, I would suggest that you take the time to read what they have been teaching. Nevertheless, in the event you are twisting their real view, then I would suggest that you change your tune if you want to preserve your credibility.

    Both Sean and Shane believe in the Virgin birth, that the iron ax did float and that Jesus and Lazarus did come back to life after their bodies were decomposing in the tomb for several days. This has nothing to do with their rejection of blind faith in other areas of faith.

    They believe that there is plenty of scientific evidence favoring the story of the Bible regarding origins. If blind faith is all human beings need, then explain to me why Jesus performed so many miracles as evidence of his power over nature and disease.

    If the Lord demands blind faith from human beings, then tell me why did God provide Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, so much evidence of his sovereignty over nature and the gods of Egypt.

    Tell me also why the Lord gave Gideon the evidence he requested before accepting the mission assigned to him.

    Blind faith is dangerous. Without evidence, we should perhaps accept the claims of charlatans and the believers in so many false religions like Mormonism and Islam.

    Our faith needs to be based on solid ground and not on quick sand.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  39. @Jim:

    On August 5 at 4:27 PM, Sean posted some information on this thread that I believe was, and is, incorrect. However, when I questioned the accuracy of his statements in a fairly detailed post a few hours later, and asked him to provide some evidence for his claims, he (or Shane) decided to delete my post, yet they have so far refused to either provide any evidence, or retract what I believe to be a false allegation, and one that can have significant bearing on pending legal action.

    Oh please Jim. You’re the one who specifically asked that your post be deleted. You said, “Feel free to delete this post as well.” I thought I was doing what you wanted. Evidently I was mistaken. So, I’ve re-posted your comment.

    It is for such reasons that I haven’t responded to you before. You accuse me of being “unethical” for presenting my own experience and for deleted posts of yours that you asked to be deleted? Because I can’t actually prove my memories to you at this point in time I am therefore unethical? Maybe my memory is faulty here? – perhaps (especially since I can no longer find the conversation I remember having on the Spectrum blog). It has happened before…

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  40. LSU Alumnus 1996:
    …. Finally – please, please, people – somebody restore my faith in our church by disavowing the absurd notion that if you do not beleive 100% in the Bible than you are against God.

    LSU Alumnus 1996, from an “ignoramus” to an enlightened progressive (you) I bring you bad news. It is not going to happen that anyone is going to “restore (your) faith in our church by disavowing the absurd notion that if you do not beleive 100% in the Bible than you are against God.”

    The line in the sand has been drawn. It is coming down to one vital question, whether we as a church believe in the Bible – God’s Holy Scriptures, as our reason for faith, or modern society/science. I choose to stay with the Good Book! I feel sorry for you and George Tichy, and the rest who already have, or are ready to abandon our beliefs. You are in a boat without any rudder. Fortunately, EGW saw what was to happen in this time and what you and your liberal/progressive cronies would do to try to destroy the church. But you guys don’t have that benefit because you throw her out too. Listen to what she says.

    “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, pages 204, 205.

    “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to “science falsely so called” will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the day time we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.”

    “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” Ellen G. White, 5 Testimonies pages 80-81

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  41. George Tichy: It’s like LSU Alumnuns 1996 wisely said, “And every time some ignoramus says “you represent what is wrong with LSU,” there is truly no greater validation that LSU is doing the right thing…”

    What is this Mr “Faithfull Disciple”, an inquisition?

    George, I’m sure Lucifer thought he was an independent thinker too. In the case here on ET, it is a euphemisn for rebellion. Be careful who you associate with!

    I hear you about what you believe. Nice try. We all know that if you told us what you believe, it would show us that you are in rebellion just like the LSU4.

    Pseudonyms provide necessary protection for those of us who are long-time workers in the church who have to protect ourselves and our families from unfaithful administrators.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  42. @Faithful Disciple

    Whoa there, cowboy – I never said anything about “not believing in the Bible.” I personally believe in the Bible. I simply don’t believe in 100% of the Bible. It would require a borderline-pathological avoidance of the obvious (not to mention impressive mental gymnastics) to believe each and every instruction and historical account. Rather, I – like other modern Bible-trusting followers of our and other denominations — understand that we must place the Bible within historical context (both ancient and contemporary) in order to derive God’s message to us, independent of the specific words written centuries ago. To clarify – yes, I believe in the Bible. I just don’t believe in the absolute literal validity of the specific words written in the “bibles” (lower-case intended) we carry with us to church.

    I furthermore consider nature to be as important to understanding God and His place in our world as the Bible, and consider those who refuse to study it to be remiss in their spiritual duty to our Creator (yes, I do believe God created us). Even worse are those who twist God’s second book (nature) to fit their interpretation of the first, refusing to allow for a human failure of understanding somewhere along the way. I believe honest study of God’s second book leads to only one conclusion – gradual evolution, roughly as Darwin and the scientists after him proposed, from simple life forms to the biological complexity we see today. I freely admit that I do not understand what role God played in this transformation, but I believe He had to. But I consider it significant heresy (not to mention illogical hypocrisy) to misrepresent the natural evidence God has granted us in order to feel secure in our false “understanding” of the Bible.

    I respect those who disagree with me and present evidence to support their claims, provided they do so in the interest of genuine scientific inquiry (rather than religious crusade) and derive their findings through rigorous scientific method. I believe that a university such as LSU is precisely the place where we should be teaching our youth to explore nature and find ways to reconcile all of God’s gifts to us, not necessarily to arrive at complete understanding (which, in our imperfect state, is impossible) but rather to better understand Him and, of equal importance, to better know how to treat our fellow human beings with appropriate respect, kindness and understanding.

    You seem to commit the SDA fallacy of placing EGW and the Bible on an equal plane, while simultaneously assuming both are infallible. This commits you to a path of ignorance. EGW had many, many valuable things to say, and I would never suppose to “abandon” either her or our fundamental beliefs. I instead believe the only responsible route is to take the sum total of that which we understand and can determine to be Holy and Godly, and use that knowledge to define our religion. I understand that you disagree. That is your right. Just know that the SDA church, as an entity, does not share your steadfast and strict adherence to either the Bible or EGW’s message, as evidenced by the fact that we no longer excommunicate our members for going to the movie theater, we allow ketchup on our tables and we prescribe pharmacological drugs at our respected (and cherished) medical institutions.

    I can hear the wheels grinding in your skull – “ketchup on a vegeburger is not the same as drinking wine,” I can almost hear you frantically typing , “and watching a movie is not the same as claiming birds evolved from reptiles.” If your point is that we shouldn’t place into context (and therefore “adjust”) ANY of what EGW (or God) has said, then isn’t the toppling of one domino just as heretical as another? Do you not claim that once we open the floodgates to “contemporization” of our church, we risk losing our soul completely? This fear of the slipperly-slope results in a unworkable standard, and I argue that a more measured and rational approach is called for. With this, I am sure you also disagree. You may be disheartened, then, to realize that the SDA church we have today is, thank the Lord, much closer to my position than yours.

    If it has done anything positive at all, this controversy has galvanized me (and many like me) to work tirelessly to purge this vindictive, narrow-minded, ignorant cancer from our church. It is now my mission to give our church the last two nudges I consider it needs – one because it is a moral imperative (the elimination of our decidely un-Christ-like institutional discrimination against homosexuals) and one because it prevents us from conducting true scientific examination of our world (a re-framing of our belief in a literal six-day creation week and young earth, both of which are an insult to God). Anyone here care to join me?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  43. Quoting LSU Alumnus 1996:

    “t is now my mission to give our church two nudges I consider it needs – one because it is a moral imperative (the elimination of our decidely un-Christ-like institutional discrimination against homosexuals) and one because it prevents us from conducting true scientific examination of our world (a re-framing of our belief in a literal six-day creation week and young earth, both of which are an insult to God). Anyone here care to join me?”

    Lead forward. Many are with you.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  44. LSU Alumnus 1996:

    [edit] You might flatter yourself that you are an SDA, but you are not. Whether your name is on the books or not, when you are actually opposed to SDA theology, you are not really an SDA. And don’t plan on changing the church from the inside–God will not permit it. He will say, “Thus far, and no further.”

    Which really makes one wonder exactly what LSU is teaching in its Religion dept. Obviously they are not doing their job properly if they are graduating people with your beliefs. Shame on them and shame on you.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  45. LSU Alumnus 1996:

    If it has done anything positive at all, this controversy has galvanized me (and many like me) to work tirelessly to purge this vindictive, narrow-minded, ignorant cancer from our church.

    Wouldn’t it be more simple and less stress for everyone if you just joined a church that believed the same way you do?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  46. Jim:
    Bob Pickle:

    You pose some interesting questions. …

    Again, Bob, I am sorry that I am not responding substantively to your questions.Best of luck in finding answers . . . and then trying to figure out if they are accurate or not.

    I would much have preferred that you had spent some of the words of your reply answering my questions. The one about Penal Code 632 was one I asked long ago, and have yet to see a reply which explains the matter adequately for me.

    But of course, it’s a free country, and it is your choice as well as anyone else whether or not to answer these questions.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  47. @Lou:

    Isn’t there a saying about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater? The SDA church (of which I am a member of good standing, considering our church does not excommunicate simply because a member is uncomfortable with a belief or two), generally, believes as I do – especially if you further limit the pool to the educated and intellectually honest church community. If the SDA church refuses to advance, then I may be forced to leave it – but it is my duty to try and help my church to grow before abandoning it. Should those who agitated for equal pay (and equal status) for women have simply “left to find a church that believed the same way” they did? Fortunately for us all, not all of them did, and we have a stronger, more moral church because of it. [edit] Creation vs. evolution? I my crystal ball’s a bit murky on that one, but I can hope that this debacle can shove us into the 21st century soon. I propose that those who do not see a need for an evolving church (you know, the type of church EGW started) should in fact leave to stagnate without dragging the rest of us down with them.

    @Faith:

    The faculty at LSU (including those in the religion department) taught me that thinking for myself was not heretical, and for that, they deserve every accolade I can bestow. If you believe the job of an SDA university – even only the religion department — is simply to enforce SDA dogma, you are more dangerous than I first imagined. Again, condemnations and shame from those who feel as Faith do only support my point that LSU is doing a spectacular job of educating our young SDAs and preparing them for a world where they will be attacked not only from the outside world, but from those inside the church as well. I rest assured – and advise those with attitudes similar to mine – that the bigoted, narrow-minded ignorance spewed at them comes only from the a few loud and generally impotent parties. I intend to do all in my power to push those parties back into the obscurity they crawled out of, and allow the rest of us a church that we can be proud of.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  48. LSU Alumnus 1996: @Faithful Disciple
    Whoa there, cowboy – I never said anything about “not believing in the Bible.” I personally believe in the Bible. I simply don’t believe in 100% of the Bible.

    They don’t call it “Compromised Christianity” for nothing.

    The atheist position “does not believe the Bible at all”.

    The “disguised position” fully described in 3SG 90-91 — claims on the surface to accept the Bible in some way.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  49. LSU Alumnus 1996:
    Just know that the SDA church, as an entity, does not share your steadfast and strict adherence to either the Bible or EGW’s message

    That was the “old song and dance” the evolutionists were singing about how evolutionism was “in” and only a small faction of SDAs actually believed the Bible instead of “believing Darwin”.

    Then the GC2010 session came along and wiped out all that sound-and-furry in their story telling so they had to retire that form of storytelling – at least for a while.

    “and watching a movie is not the same as claiming birds evolved from reptiles.” If your point is that we shouldn’t place into context (and therefore “adjust”) ANY of what EGW (or God) has said, then isn’t the toppling of one domino just as heretical as another?

    Your argument appeals to the “power of compromise over time”. If the nation of Israel or the Catholic Church is any indication of validity — then certainly your argument that we will compromise over time – to lower and lower levels has a good basis in historic examples.

    Who could argue with your “I will win through compromise over time” claim?

    But the question for you is “do you have enough time?”.

    In Rev 12 the devil comes down to the earth – in a rage knowing that HE has but a short time.

    What about the compromise-over-time guys? Are they too not just a little concerned that just maybe,, this late the game… they too have “but a short time”.

    If it has done anything positive at all, this controversy has galvanized me (and many like me) to work tirelessly to purge this vindictive, narrow-minded, ignorant cancer from our church. It is now my mission to give our church the last two nudges I consider it needs – one because it is a moral imperative (the elimination of our decidely un-Christ-like institutional discrimination against homosexuals) and one because it prevents us from conducting true scientific examination of our world (a re-framing of our belief in a literal six-day creation week and young earth, both of which are an insult to God). Anyone here care to join me? LSU Alumnus 1996(Quote)

    Well I was going to compliment you on your opening statement claim (at least in half a sentence) to believe the Bible – as that clearly put you in the “disguised” camp.

    But there in that last paragraph you seem to have just abandoned your disguise altogether.

    Ok – have it your way.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  50. Frankly – I am waiting for one of the non-stop nay-sayers who claim that Educate Truth posters should NOT claim that LSU is promoting what LSU-ALUMNUS-1996 is suggesting here — to SPEAK to LSU-ALUMNUS-1996 here and tell him just where his views actually are contrary to those LSU taught him.

    Where are they?

    They can often be seen slamming the conservatives who claim the VERY thing that LSU-ALUMNUS-1996 is claiming about LSU. So why do we never seem them address the LSU-ALUMNUS-1996 posts??

    Why so silent when it comes to the real proof of their argument?

    As it is now the whole thing is transparently obvious to the unbiased objective reader.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  51. @Ervin Taylor:

    Join the millions who believe as you describe. There nothing SDA about those positions. But perhaps such talk is needed to galvanize the faithful to better appreciate the truth of their knowledge.

    – most respectfully – but in total disagreement.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  52. Nic Samojluk: The Sean Pitman and Educate Truth you describe are stranger than fiction to me. You either have never taken the time to comprehend what Sean and Shane are teaching or else are purposely disfiguring their true views.

    Oh please. Read for yourself the huge volume of denigrating remarks on faith, not just from Pitman (especially) and Hilde, but also from Ryan, Kime, Constantinescu, and others here. And now you have simply added to them. And, concerning priority of human reason and science ahead of God’s word, Sean has said repeatedly, and I quote one instance, “I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well.” [http://www.educatetruth.com/theological/the-credibility-of-faith/]

    Nic Samojluk: Both Sean and Shane believe in the Virgin birth, that the iron ax did float and that Jesus and Lazarus did come back to life after their bodies were decomposing in the tomb for several days. This has nothing to do with their rejection of blind faith in other areas of faith. They believe that there is plenty of scientific evidence favoring the story of the Bible regarding origins.

    Blind faith is dangerous. Without evidence, we should perhaps accept the claims of charlatans and the believers in so many false religions like Mormonism and Islam. Our faith needs to be based on solid ground and not on quick sand.

    So Nic, if I understand correctly, you have graciously drawn a line in the sand. Here is the dichotomy we need to establish valid “faith”:

    ———-

    BIBLICAL CLAIMS OKAY TO BELIEVE WITHOUT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE…AND EVEN WITH CONTRADICTORY EVIDENCE

    – Iron axe head floated in water
    – Jesus was born of a virgin woman
    – Jesus and Lazarus came back to life after bodily decomposition several days

    Nic Samojluk apparently accepts these Biblical claims, and insists that Pitman and Hilde do as well. Ironically, the available physical evidence ABSOLUTELY REFUTES these possibilities, yet these gentlemen believe it’s okay to accept these Biblical claims purely on faith, even to the point of setting human reason and science aside. (Okay, to clarify, Sean Pitman has stated that he has seen an axe head “appear” to float on water, which he therefore qualifies as empirical evidence. And I’m not making this stuff up.)

    ———-

    BIBLICAL CLAIMS APPARENTLY NOT OKAY TO BELIEVE WITHOUT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, BECAUSE “BLIND FAITH IS DANGEROUS”

    – God created all life forms in a mere six days
    – God created all life forms approximately 6000 years ago
    – A flock of sheep can appear instantaneously on a verdant mountain pasture
    – God created a living breathing human from a pile of dirt
    – All or a large portion of the earth was engulfed by a vast and violent flood

    The New Testament authors and early SDA Church leaders had no knowledge or understanding of the geological column, radiometric dating, sedimentation rates, mutation rates, molecular systematics, and other “overwhelming” evidences of a recent fiat creation. None of these individuals are considered dangerous, but those, like me, who accept these Biblical claims today on faith are now deemed dangerous. How ludicrous! We are so dangerous, in fact, that Sean Pitman publically ridiculed and called repeatedly for the firing of a Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) scientist who did nothing more than declare that he accepted these claims on faith. Now THIS is, without question, the basis for the “lunatic fringe” in our Church. And by the way, NONE of these scriptural claims are backed by “overwhelming” physical evidence. And, ironically, the first set of claims that are okay to accept on faith are on shakier ground empirically than the second set of claims. Abundant science shows that iron axe heads cannot be made to float by throwing a stick in the water; that women never impregnated by sperm cannot give birth; and that humans dead for several days can never, ever come back to life. So how dangerous, really, is YOUR “blind faith?”

    ———-

    Maybe this dichotomy is not what you meant to imply, Nic. Perhaps you think Sean Pitman actually WAS out of line for publicly ridiculing the GRI scientist for upholding our faith, elevating God’s word above the science and reason of men, and exercising the SDA hermeneutic of Sola Sciptura. But I don’t think you are honest enough, courageous enough, or man enough to speak out in defense of those who are singled out for public character assassination.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  53. LSU Alumnus 1996, Let’s see if I can summarize your long response to me. I believe the Bible 100%, but I don’t believe it 100%…and it is all subject to my flawed sinful human thinking, the whims of a politically correct society and scientists who claim to be the most open minded, but aren’t. How screwy is that?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  54. I have asked this question before, but nobody has answered it. Since the 632 statute says, “intentional” and nobody, on either side, has said it was intentional, why would this recording be “illegal?” And if the recording isn’t illegal, why would listening to it, talking about it, or even sending it to someone be illegal?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  55. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “Oh please. Read for yourself the huge volume of denigrating remarks on faith.”

    *********
    I don’t think you accurately represent the views of Educate Truth. There is a difference between denigrating Faith and denigrating Blind Faith.

    The Lord did not demand blind faith from Pharaoh or the Israelites when he sent Moses on his mission. The miracles performed by Moses were designed to provide a solid foundation for faith.

    The children of Israel did believe when they saw the powerful manifestation of God power, but the king of Egypt did not.
    The same is true about the dealings of God with humanity in all the recorded history found in Scripture and especially in the way Jesus dealt with the Jewish nation and his disciples.

    The miracles he performed were designed to establish a firm basis for their faith in the Jewish Messiah. Jesus showed ample evidence of his divine power over disease, nature, and even death. His disciples did believe in him on the basis of solid evidence, but the Jewish leaders rejected him in spite of the evidence.

    Read the Bible and you will discover that this is the way the Lord has dealt with humanity. He does not expect us to believe him on the basis of Blind Faith, but rather on the basis of evidence he has provided as a sure foundation for our faith.

    Paul argued that Abraham believed and God declared him to be righteous on the basis of Faith. Was that Blind Faith? If blind faith was all Abraham needed to be declared righteous, then he would have declared him righteous in Chapter 12 of Genesis.

    He did not, but waited a couple of decades until his incipient faith grew and strengthened through his interaction with the Lord.

    Educate Truth does not denigrate true Faith, but only Blind Faith.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  56. @Nic Samojluk:

    Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “And, concerning priority of human reason and science ahead of God’s word, Sean has said repeatedly, and I quote one instance, “I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well.” [http://www.educatetruth.com/theological/the-credibility-of-faith/]”

    *********
    You can interpret the above statement by Sean as placing empirical evidence above faith or else see it as evidence that his faith in God’s Word is supreme and impregnable in spite of any scientific evidence to the contrary.

    The Lord has provided us with biblical truth and the evidence from nature. At the beginning there was a perfect harmony between the evidence from the Word of God and the evidence found in nature. Sin did mar this harmony.

    Nature no longer speaks in unison with divine revelation. Whenever there is discrepancy between these two sources of knowledge, Sean gives precedence to the Word of God. His strong reliance on divine revelation moved him to go on a limb with that statement.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  57. @Nic Samojluk:

    Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “BIBLICAL CLAIMS OKAY TO BELIEVE WITHOUT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE…AND EVEN WITH CONTRADICTORY EVIDENCE

    – Iron axe head floated in water
    – Jesus was born of a virgin woman
    – Jesus and Lazarus came back to life
    after bodily decomposition several days

    Nic Samojluk apparently accepts these Biblical claims, and insists that Pitman and Hilde do as well.

    Ironically, the available physical evidence ABSOLUTELY REFUTES these possibilities, yet these gentlemen believe it’s okay to accept these Biblical claims purely on faith, even to the point of setting human reason and science aside.”

    *********
    Believing that the axe did float, that Jesus was born of a Virgin, and that Lazarus was resurrected by the power of God was not based on Blind Faith but rather on evidence.

    The same can be said about all the miracles performed by Jesus and the miracles described in the Bible. Evidence is what strengthened the Faith of Moses and all the men of God instead of Blind Faith.

    Evidence led the disciples of Jesus and the early Christian martyrs to choose death rather than denying their Lord. Likewise, evidence has lead Sean and Shane to rely the on trustworthiness of God’s Word.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  58. @Nic Samojluk:

    Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “Abundant science shows that iron axe heads cannot be made to float by throwing a stick in the water; that women never impregnated by sperm cannot give birth; and that humans dead for several days can never, ever come back to life. So how dangerous, really, is YOUR “blind faith?””

    *********
    Perhaps we need to define Blind Faith. For me BF is believing the claims of someone who has not given you any prior evidence that he/she can be trusted. The Sons of the Prophets did believe that the axe would float because they had prior evidence that the word of the prophet could be relied on.

    The same can said about the virgin birth and the miracles of Jesus. Those who believed in Jesus were not acting on the basis of BF but rather on the abundant evidence he provided of his power over nature and disease.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  59. Holly Pham:
    I have asked this question before, but nobody has answered it. Since the 632 statute says, “intentional” and nobody, on either side, has said it was intentional, why would this recording be “illegal?” And if the recording isn’t illegal, why would listening to it, talking about it, or even sending it to someone be illegal?

    Holly, the liberals will continue to beat the drum that it is illegal and time will tell if we get to hear it. They don’t want it out there because it shows the world that their side is bankrupt. They don’t want any of us to see that not only are their favored professors off on the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs, they are also off on their personal lives. They signed a contract. Actually they have probably signed many contracts over the years since they are at the level of full professor, saying that they would follow the church’s beliefs on alcohol use and their personal behavior.

    WE send our young people to study under these people. In addition, we have administrators to oversee these professors and to institute and uphold SDA beliefs and practices at our schools. THEY FAILED TOO. And a Board of Trustees is elected to make sure that the school is on track and oversee the administrators. THEY FAILED TOO! Do we think that this is all going to go away without new loyal administrators and professors to start anew and get LSU back on track and for those problem professors and administrators going away?!

    Does it bother anyone else that the Department of Religion had been silent throughout this process? We are talking about our church’s Fundamental Beliefs here. Shouldn’t the religion faculty be up on the front line defending the church’s FB’s? If they aren’t, WHY NOT? They are paid to study, teach, and promote/educate our young people in the SDA religion. Is that happening? Is the Department of Religion an equal or worse problem to the Department of Biology?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  60. Nic Samojluk: Educate Truth does not denigrate true Faith, but only Blind Faith.

    Nic, here is what Sean Pitman teaches and preaches, in his words. As you read it, there is one obvious conclusion: it doesn’t matter to Sean what God said if the empirical evidence cannot back it up.

    “I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well…” [http://www.educatetruth.com/theological/the-credibility-of-faith/]

    Now to the distinction between “faith” and “blind faith.” Sean Pitman (a.k.a. Educate Truth) accepts the resurrection of the decomposing bodies of Lazarus and Jesus even though science and all available evidence reveals these claims of scripture to be IMPOSSIBLE. Regarding these beliefs, has Sean gone with the empirical evidence, as he claims he does, or with faith in God’s word? Would you call this “faith” or “blind faith” on his part? Has Sean adhered to what he preaches?

    Sean also claims that he accepts a recent, 6-day creation based not on faith, but on science and empirical evidence. If anyone admits or teaches that they accept this on faith, he declares it to be “blind faith,” and he will persecute that person in the public arena if you are a Church employee. He did EXACTLY this to a GRI scientist, calling for his termination.

    Perhaps you can help me understand why belief in the resurrection of Jesus is “faith” when absolutely no physical evidence supports it and, in fact, science clearly refutes it, whereas belief in a recent fiat creation is “blind faith” when only some evidence supports it. How can you not see hypocrisy in this?

    Even David Read, one of the most articulate defenders of young earth creationism, has criticized Sean Pitman and Educate Truth for disrespecting faith. Why are you defending their actions?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  61. Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    “But I don’t think you are honest enough, courageous enough, or man enough to speak out in defense of those who are singled out for public character assassination.”

    *********
    You don’t know me yet you are already questioning my honesty and you are talking about character assassination? Honesty is rooted in the motivation behind our actions which only God can read accurately. Are you a clairvoyant who con compete with the Lord in this?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  62. Faithful Disciple: Does it bother anyone else that the Department of Religion had been silent throughout this process? We are talking about our church’s Fundamental Beliefs here. Shouldn’t the religion faculty be up on the front line defending the church’s FB’s? If they aren’t, WHY NOT? They are paid to study, teach, and promote/educate our young people in the SDA religion. Is that happening? Is the Department of Religion an equal or worse problem to the Department of Biology?

    It bothers me…especially since reading The Omega Rebellion. I have a sneaking suspicion that the teaching of evolution in the biology dept has a great deal to do with the teaching of spiritual formation in the religious dept. Once the door is open to error, it comes in like a flood. The religion depts in our universities are not upholding our SDA beliefs but are teaching our young ministers that the Bible can’t be taken literally, that the Creation story is just that…a story, and that we need to practice contemplative prayer–which is nothing less than old-fashioned transcendental meditation–a direct tool of the devil. Given that these ministers are going to be teaching the church at large very soon, we all need to be very aware of what is coming and be thoroughly grounded in the real SDA beliefs, or we will be deceived by our own sheperds.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  63. Faith:

    Faith, there is a very sad reality playing out here. This whole problem came to light as a result of the problems with the Department of Biology and its teaching on origins. The discussion has mostly centered around evolution/creation, but are the discussion rounds out and fills in all of the gaps, we find out that this problem is much worse than we first thought. There are problems with professors teaching beliefs contrary to our FB’s, and not just on creation/evolution, but now we find out that they are not good role models because they deny our beliefs on lifestyle. What kind of role models are we sending our children to? AND, now we find out that the church at large mimics what is happening at LSU. We know that by the bloggers that post at this site and on the supposedly SDA sites like Adventist Today and Spectrum that spew hatred at all things SDA.

    Certainly we are in the shaking that was predicted by Sister White. The sides are being defined very quickly. The problem is that administrators don’t know what to do. Most administrators don’t want to upset the apple cart, so they do nothing, as they have always done. Other loyal administrators see the immensity of the problem and are not sure how to fix such a huge problem. Certainly some really bad times are coming right around the corner.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  64. Nic Samojluk: Professor Kent August 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm
    “But I don’t think you are honest enough, courageous enough, or man enough to speak out in defense of those who are singled out for public character assassination.”
    *********
    You don’t know me yet you are already questioning my honesty and you are talking about character assassination? Honesty is rooted in the motivation behind our actions which only God can read accurately. Are you a clairvoyant who con compete with the Lord in this?

    If you can criticize the faith of others (like me) in the public, then you can defend the faith of others in the public. So be honest: was it okay for Sean Pitman to single out a GRI scientist for proclaiming his faith in a young earth creation, for believing that what God said was true?

    I’m not a clairvoyant; you simply haven’t shared an honest opinion yet on this, and so I’m inclined to think you cannot do so.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  65. Kent,

    I wonder if you are misinterpreting the real situation.

    For certain you are incorrect about Jesus’ body being in a state of decomposition when it was resurrected, since Scripture explicitly states that He was resurrected before there was time for decay to occur.

    “All available evidence” says that the resurrection of Jesus and Lazarus is impossible? That simply is not true.

    You seem to be equating evidence for the resurrection with being able to reproduce in the laboratory the raising of a decayed corpse back to life. If that must be the standard, then Sean believes without such evidence that God created life out of nothing, something not reproducible in the laboratory. And evolutionists are the same, believing in the spontaneous generation of life and that invertebrates became vertebrates, without being able to reproduce such in the here and now.

    But that’s not the kind of empirical evidence I hear Sean talking about in your quote. It seems to me he is more talking about the historicity of events and the history of things rather than being able to reproduce the actual historical events in the laboratory.

    I can’t put it into words real well, but it seems to me you’re talking about apples and oranges.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  66. Bob Pickle: “All available evidence” says that the resurrection of Jesus and Lazarus is impossible? That simply is not true.

    The science is crystal clear: a human being that has been clinically dead for more than a few minutes cannot come back to life except under unusual conditions. The clinical criteria for death are cessation of breathing and blood circulation. The critical limit for resuscitating life is damage to the brain, which accumulates oxygen-deprivation injury faster than any other organ. Under some conditions, hypothermia can postpone brain death up to an hour or more…but there was no hypothermia reported with the deaths of Lazarus and Jesus.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that modern science rejects the claims of Scripture that Lazarus and Jesus were resurrected several days following their death. All empirical evidence and human reason declares Scripture to be FALSE with these claims. And yet you, and I–and Sean Pitman, I can only presume–all agree that these resurrections took place. We accept these miracles for one reason and one reason only: faith. And this because we know with certainty that faith in God’s Word is superior to faith in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (although Sean Pitman claims there is no distinction).

    Do you, like Sean Pitman, have a problem with faith? Do you endorse his persecution of those who accept the supernatural events of scripture on the basis of faith? If you have physical, scientific evidence that supports the Bible’s claim that resurrections like these are possible, we’d all love to hear of it.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  67. Bob Pickle: You seem to be equating evidence for the resurrection with being able to reproduce in the laboratory the raising of a decayed corpse back to life. If that must be the standard, then Sean believes without such evidence that God created life out of nothing, something not reproducible in the laboratory. And evolutionists are the same, believing in the spontaneous generation of life and that invertebrates became vertebrates, without being able to reproduce such in the here and now.

    Careful now. Are we who believe in the resurrection of Jesus as irrational and stupid as those who accept “reptiles to birds happy fiction” (a la Bob Ryan) on faith?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  68. Kent,

    Professor Kent: The science is crystal clear: a human being that has been clinically dead for more than a few minutes cannot come back to life except under unusual conditions.

    I beg to differ. Science has never demonstrated that God cannot resurrect a decayed corpse. I believe you are wrong in your assertion.

    I think you are talking apples and oranges when you compare scientific evidence for or against the resurrection with Sean’s statements. And yet you appear determined not to back down from your position, even using derogatory language.

    You seem to be insisting that the issue is whether man can bring a dead person back to life, rather than whether God can resurrect a decayed corpse. But that wasn’t the issue as you framed it before. You framed it as being whether the resurrections of Lazarus and Jesus took place, and that is clearly whether God resurrected them, not whether man brought them back to life.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  69. You are being ridiculus, Bob. Sean Pitman denounces any faith lacking empirical evidence as “blind”. This is why Pitman rejects Mormonism, not because God cant accomplish what Joseph Smith claims but because they emperical evidence for those claims is lacking. Similarly Pitman rejects theistic evolution not because God couldn’t create life through such a process but because he sees no empirical evidence supporting it.

    Professor Kent is right in his comparisons. Lets face it, Sean Pitman really does put evidence ahead of faith and this really is contrary to Adventist faith.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  70. @Anonymosity: I think you too are talking apples and oranges.

    Regarding Joseph Smith, we are explicitly told to test the spirits, to believe not every spirit that comes along. Therefore, one must look at the empirical evidence regarding Smith’s claims.

    As far as theistic evolution goes, that is a theory that directly contradicts what God Himself has said in His Word and through the Spirit of Prophecy. For any Seventh-day Adventist to believe the false claims of theistic evolution on the basis of faith would be blatant apostasy.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  71. Bob Pickle, I don’t believe in theistic evolution so I don’t understand why you are giving me this lecture.

    Professor Kent stated that the church belief in a literal creation and the ressurection of Jesus were both grounded in faith. He pointed out the lack of empirical evidence for human beings coming back to life. You insisted he is wrong, that both are grounded in physical evidence. And then out of the blue you stated that theistic evolution is grounded in faith as if we dont alreay know that. Your intent is to smear faith further as if its a bad thing.

    You have now joined the chorus of faith haters at Educate Truth. Shame on you. Those of you who attack faith are not Seventh-day Adventists. You’re nothing but Seventh-Day Empiricists and you are not any better than Seventh-day Darwinists.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  72. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    “So be honest: was it okay for Sean Pitman to single out a GRI scientist for proclaiming his faith in a young earth creation, for believing that what God said was true?

    I’m not a clairvoyant; you simply haven’t shared an honest opinion yet on this, and so I’m inclined to think you cannot do so.”

    *********
    Can you provide some context to help me understand what you are referring to? What did Pitman say about a GRI scientist? Who did he criticize? Can you provide me with a link so I can learn what took place?

    Regarding your comment about honesty, I believe that we need to clarify the true meaning of the term.

    Here is my understanding: If I believe that my son broke my neighbor’s window but pretend that he didn’t, that would be an example of dishonesty. But if I am convinced that he is innocent, alleging that I am being dishonest would be wrong.

    If you agree with my understanding of what being dishonest means, then let me know, or else share with me your understanding of honesty and a lack of it.

    If you still believe that I have given you evidence of having acted in a dishonest manner, please give me the evidence in support of your allegation.

    By the way, you have no need to ask me to be honest, since I always try to be honest when blogging. I don’t like to play games and pretend to believe what I really don’t.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  73. @Anonymosity:

    You are being ridiculus, Bob. Sean Pitman denounces any faith lacking empirical evidence as “blind”. This is why Pitman rejects Mormonism, not because God cant accomplish what Joseph Smith claims but because they emperical evidence for those claims is lacking. Similarly Pitman rejects theistic evolution not because God couldn’t create life through such a process but because he sees no empirical evidence supporting it.

    Why then don’t you believe the Book of Mormon to be superior to the Bible? Do you have any reason for your belief in the superiority of the Bible’s claim to be the Word of God? – and not the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an? After all, my LDS friends tell me that the Holy Spirit tells them that the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible as the real Word of God. How do you know that my LDS friends are mistaken? That the spirit speaking to them really isn’t the Holy Spirit that is speaking to you?

    Professor Kent is right in his comparisons. Lets face it, Sean Pitman really does put evidence ahead of faith and this really is contrary to Adventist faith.

    Rather, I put evidence-based faith ahead of blind faith…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  74. Anonymosity:
    Professor Kent stated that the church belief in a literal creation and the ressurection of Jesus were both grounded in faith. He pointed out the lack of empirical evidence for human beings coming back to life. You insisted he is wrong, that both are grounded in physical evidence.

    I am fairly certain that you are twisting my words. For what purpose? And then you launch into a caustic attack.

    Kent stated that science and all available evidence says that the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus are impossible. That is a false statement, and I think a recklessly false one at that. It is not true that there is no available evidence whatsoever that supports the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus.

    Kent also falsely stated that Jesus’ body was decomposing before He was resurrected, and Kent has yet to retract his false statement.

    Just because there is evidence does not mean that there is no faith whatsoever involved. It isn’t an either/or situation.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  75. Nic Samojluk: Can you provide some context to help me understand what you are referring to? What did Pitman say about a GRI scientist? Who did he criticize? Can you provide me with a link so I can learn what took place?

    Fair enough, Nic. Consider this thread: http://www.educatetruth.com/theological/sda-darwinians-compromise-key-church-doctrines/

    At the GC Convention in Atlanta last year, Dr. Ben Clausen of the GRI spoke, along with his peers, of some of the limitations of science. One report that stirred the passions among faith bashers was this: “In conclusion he [Clausen] urged us to place our faith in the Bible because there is not enough support from science.

    Infuriated by this, Sean Pitman wrote, “Because of this weight of evidence [Sean’s insistence that the evidence for fiat creation in 6 days 6000 years is overwhelming], I think that Ben Clausen has done and is doing the Church a disservice in his employment with GRI…If Ben cannot recognize this evidence, then he should be asked to move on and get his paycheck from some organization that is more in line with his personal views and blind faith.

    He then went on to criticize the remarks of other GRI scientists, including Ronny Nalin and James Gibson, calling their faith “blind” (of course) and useless. This is Sean’s style–rather than sit down and have a lengthy chat with those he disagrees with, he takes a few statements from a person, posts them online, characterizes the person as dangerous and unfaithful to the Church, and tries to destroy them through public ridicule and pressure. You know exactly what I’m speaking to.

    More details of Clausen’s comments, and those of the other GRI scientists, were reported at Spectrum. The bottom line: they pointed out some of the weaknesses in scientific support for our SDA position, and urged constituents to place their faith in God’s Word rather than in science. There was no sin in this. Pitman, Bob Ryan, and David Read have made additional denigrating comments about the GRI elsewhere, but this thread should suffice to get you caught up.

    I hope you have the courage, honesty, and integrity to say to Pitman and other EducateTruthers, “stop the unnecessary and belittling attacks on our faith!”

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  76. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    “There is no doubt whatsoever that modern science rejects the claims of Scripture that Lazarus and Jesus were resurrected several days following their death. All empirical evidence and human reason declares Scripture to be FALSE with these claims. And yet you, and I–and Sean Pitman, I can only presume–all agree that these resurrections took place. We accept these miracles for one reason and one reason only: faith. And this because we know with certainty that faith in God’s Word is superior to faith in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (although Sean Pitman claims there is no distinction).

    Do you, like Sean Pitman, have a problem with faith? Do you endorse his persecution of those who accept the supernatural events of scripture on the basis of faith?”

    *********

    Yes, we accept the fact of Jesus’ resurrection based on faith, but said faith rests solidly on all the miraculous events connected with the life of Christ and the testimony of all the witnesses who saw him and talked to him following his resurrection.

    This is not Blind Faith, but rather faith based on solid evidence. This is the kind of faith Educate Truth defends.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  77. Nic Samojluk: Yes, we accept the fact of Jesus’ resurrection based on faith, but said faith rests solidly on all the miraculous events connected with the life of Christ and the testimony of all the witnesses who saw him and talked to him following his resurrection.

    This is not Blind Faith, but rather faith based on solid evidence. This is the kind of faith Educate Truth defends.

    I get it. So long as there are eyewitnesses to a Biblical claim, then it is based on “solid evidence” rather than “blind faith.”

    Let’s see now…there are probably millions of Mormons who have witnessed the experience of a burning bosom while learning the “truths” of their religion. And there are thousands, perhaps millions, of people testifying that they have seen images and statues of Mother Mary weeping tears (try Googling this should you doubt me). By your criteria, you would disagree with Sean Pitman and Educate Truth in accepting these miraculous claims. By virtue of eyewitnesses, these Mormon and Catholic claims would be “faith based on solid evidence” rather than “blind faith.” But I don’t think you’re willing to go there. This is why Sean Pitman (aka Educate Truth) insists that physical, empirical, falsifiable evidence (science) is the gold standard by which we judge our beliefs, using human reason to decide whether God’s word is real and can be trusted. And again, you and he are bereft of any such evidence for explaining the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus. Your level of evidence is no better than that for a statue of Mary weeping physical tears.

    We can’t seem to get beyond the bias of declaring one’s own beliefs “informed evidence” and anyone else’s beliefs “blind faith.” It’s arbitrary. It’s arrogant. It’s absurd. It’s abominable. And it’s wrong to use it as a pretext for publicly persecuting and smearing other individuals. Especially our brethren in Christ.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  78. By the way, Nic, I do agree with you that our belief in the resurrection of Jesus “rests solidly on all the miraculous events connected with the life of Christ and the testimony of all the witnesses who saw him and talked to him following his resurrection.” However, I find it ludicrous for someone (Pitman) to insist from a position of superiority that they would reject Scripture if its claims did not bear up to scientific scrutiny, when the resurrection of Jesus has absolutely failed his test of human reason. How can you continue to defend him?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  79. Bob Pickle: Kent stated that science and all available evidence says that the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus are impossible. That is a false statement, and I think a recklessly false one at that.

    SHOW US YOUR SCIENCE–YOUR PHYSICAL EVIDENCE–THAT A HUMAN CAN BE RESURRECTED AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF DEATH. I stand by my claim: there is NO such evidence to support a naturalistic resurrection of Jesus. It can only happen by a miracle–a supernatural event which we both believe happened. Now prove your claim otherwise, Bob, or stuff it. Prove me to be recklessly wrong, as you insist. (This is becoming entertaining!)

    Bob Pickle: Kent also falsely stated that Jesus’ body was decomposing before He was resurrected, and Kent has yet to retract his false statement.

    Sure, Bob, the New Testament authors declared that Christ’s body did not see “corruption.” If the Greek word “”diaphthero” meant it did not have time to return to dust, in contrast to King David’s body, then Jesus’ body did not see decay. If it meant that his brain cells and other body tissues did not begin to experience breakdown, which is synonymous with dying and decomposition, then He simply did not die after all and there was no point in comparing His body to that of David. You are welcome to impose whatever literal meaning you wish on “diaphthero.” I’m not going to engage you further in a trivial word game.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  80. Sean I do not understand what you mean by “blind” faith.

    When I say I believe the creation account in Genesis I accept it by-INTELLIGENT faith because my God has proven over and over and over again that He knows what He is talking about. Anyone who can give prophecy after prophecy after prophecy and have it come about with 100% accurateness every time when it came time for the prophecy to be fulfilled–unless it was conditional prophecy based on the action of the people it was talking about–such as Nineveh.

    He told Abraham to circumcise all the male babies when they were 8 days old. (Gen.17:12) Abraham did not have one shred of “scientific evidence” to to back up this command–but he did know his God and by faith (INTELLIGENT faith)he did what God told him to do. And orthodox Jews to this day still do it.

    But you know what–it took science up until a few years before I was born in 1924 before they figured that one out. That’s several thousand years, Sean. Meanwhile millions of women died from cervical cancer–but this didn’t happen to Jewish women whose husbands had been circumcised even tho they lived in the same neighborhoods and pretty much lived the same life styles.

    But what if Abraham has said, “Well, I believe you God–but since science hasn’t OK’ed it yet I’m not going to put these innocent little boys through all that pain just yet.” But he believed God and “it was accounted unto him for righteousness.”

    The plague of leprosy that swept through Europe in the 1600’s was finally brought to an end when some monk (probably in reading his Bible) learned that God had told Moses to put people with that terrible disease “out of the camp.” Then the church stepped in and did just that and the plague came to a halt. And that’s not even prophecy. I could go on and on and on about God’s superior wisdom but space prohibits and we can never plum the depth of it–not even in eternity, although we will understand a lot more than we can now.

    Believe what you want to and why you want to “But as for me and my house” our intelligent faith is NOT “blind.” It is firmly rooted in the vastly superior wisdom and knowledge of our God and that will NEVER change–regardless of what may or may not be said by modern scientists!

    I hope I haven’t misunderstood your true position. If I have, please forgive me.

    Lydian

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  81. Professor Kent: At the GC Convention in Atlanta last year, Dr. Ben Clausen of the GRI spoke, along with his peers, of some of the limitations of science. One report that stirred the passions among faith bashers was this: “In conclusion he [Clausen] urged us to place our faith in the Bible because there is not enough support from science.”

    Enough support from science for what?

    Was he saying that the weight of scientific evidence is against the biblical account of creation? If so, then his statement was false, in my opinion.

    Was he saying that there is not enough support from science to answer every last question some critic may bring up? If so, then his statement was true.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  82. Bob Pickle: Enough support from science for what?
    Was he saying that the weight of scientific evidence is against the biblical account of creation? If so, then his statement was false, in my opinion.
    Was he saying that there is not enough support from science to answer every last question some critic may bring up? If so, then his statement was true.

    I was not there to hear the talk. Neither, apparently, was Sean. I believe all we had to go by were second-hand reports at Spectrum and copied at ET. You’re welcome to fish the details out for yourself and decide whether it was okay to publicly ridicule a brother in Christ for professing his faith in the Word of God (based on a sketchy second-hand report, absent the context of the entire talk, rather than a personal conversation).

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  83. @Lydian Belknap:

    When I say I believe the creation account in Genesis I accept it by-INTELLIGENT faith because my God has proven over and over and over again that He knows what He is talking about. Anyone who can give prophecy after prophecy after prophecy and have it come about with 100% accurateness every time when it came time for the prophecy to be fulfilled–unless it was conditional prophecy based on the action of the people it was talking about–such as Nineveh.

    I agree. Such empirical arguments are a basis for a rational faith in those metaphysical claims of the Bible that cannot be directly evaluated and tested.

    Prof. Kent and Phil Brantley, on the other hand, tell us that we should have faith in the claims of the Bible even if all of its prophetic statements were proved false and all of its other claims regarding empirical reality happened to be falsified.

    In other words, they claim that the credibility of the Bible needs absolutely no support from empirical investigations or testing against perceived reality. That is, of course, the very definition of blind faith.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  84. Educate Truth represents a surreal world in which supporters indicate by “thumbs up” the shrill criticism of others for simply saying, “God said it and so I believe it.” I cannot fathom why such a profound profession of faith–the basis of our submission to and worship of God–becomes the fodder for public ridicule and scorn, and for the harsh accusations that such submission is “blind” and “useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” This place has become a hotbed of one-upsmanship: “my faith and beliefs are superior to yours because mine are backed by evidence–and yours are blind.”

    Do the most “faithful” Seventh-day Adventists frequently weigh the beliefs of others to determine whether they are “blind” or “informed?” Is this skill taught or encouraged in our school system (it certainly wasn’t in my 16 years of SDA education)? Do these SDAs truly applaud the stance, “your faith is blind so we are going to out you, heap scorn on you, and get you fired from your job?” Do they seriously believe that miracles can all be explained by science; that God never works in mysterious ways that we cannot fathom; that God has given us all answers so that we don’t really have to trust Him at His Word?

    I’m sorry, but I don’t recognize much of this dialogue here as Seventh-day Adventist. THERE IS NO NEED TO BELITTLE THE FAITH OF ANY BELIEVER–WHETHER CATHOLIC, MORMON, OR MUSLIM…OR AN SDA WHO HUMBLY SUBMITS TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD AND HIS WORD. It’s time to stop lobbing the “blind faith” grenades at anyone who disagrees with you.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  85. @Professor Kent:

    There is no doubt whatsoever that modern science rejects the claims of Scripture that Lazarus and Jesus were resurrected several days following their death. All empirical evidence and human reason declares Scripture to be FALSE with these claims.

    Modern science has shown, pretty convincingly, that no known mindless mechanism or even a modern human-derived mechanism can raise a dead man to life again. That much is true.

    However, modern science has not shown, and in fact strongly suggests, that given much superior knowledge and technology that the production of a living thing from scratch might not only be possible, but is pretty much a certainty.

    For example, using just modern human technology the first fully synthetic working genome has been synthesized from scratch. Of course, this required a high level of intelligence and precisely designed engineering – which is predictable from modern science. It’s “Turtles all the way up” you know…

    Now, if the Bible had claimed, in no uncertain terms, that the Earth was flat like a disk or that the Sun orbited the Earth, such claims would clearly be false given direct observations – regardless of if they came from God Himself.

    How is that? Would it be possible to prove a statement coming directly from God wrong? Absolutely. If God said that a square was really a circle, He’d be wrong by definition. If God is to speak to us in a language that we can actually understand, He must use our understood definitions for words and phrases.

    It is for this reason that questions like, “Can God make a square circle?” are nonsensical – by definition.

    So, if God were to say, “The Earth orbits the Sun in a perfect square”, one would rightly challenge God and say, “What are you talking about? The Earth orbits the Sun along and elliptical path.”

    This is why God must appeal to our own God-given rational minds and abilities to comprehend the world in which we live. If He speaks contrary to what our rational minds are telling us is true, upon what basis should we believe Him?

    After all, given your arguments for the virtues of untestable, unfalsifiable, empirically-blind faith, why wouldn’t you believe me if I told you I was God?

    You laugh, but it’s a serious question. Are you going to base everything on your own equivalent to a “burning in the bosom”? or some sort of direct communication with the Holy Spirit? If so, why the need for the Bible since the Holy Spirit will tell us the right answers anyway without any need to search out with careful investigation and research what is and what is not most likely true?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  86. Sean Pitman: Prof. Kent and Phil Brantley, on the other hand, tell us that we should have faith in the claims of the Bible even if all of its prophetic statements were proved false and all of its other claims regarding empirical reality happened to be falsified.
    In other words, they claim that the credibility of the Bible needs absolutely no support from empirical investigations or testing against perceived reality

    No, no, no, no, NO. We both have upheld prophecy as evidence for the trustworthiness of Scripture. I am certain you recall our statements to this effect (if not, you can refresh your selective memory using Google). We simply argue that Seventh-day Adventists officially accept Scripture as the Word of God; that human reason is inferior to and subject to God’s Word; that God’s Word is trustworthy regardless of what modern science and human reason have to say about (otherwise, it could not be from God); and that subjecting God’s Word to external tests of validity shows ultimate disrespect toward God. Our arguments are not the least bit complex, and are backed up by the Rio Document approved via vote by the General Conference in session, so why can’t you get them straight? (Actually, the answer to this is clear enough.)

    As you will recall, I posted my beliefs once before, and will do so again below. Please tell me which one in particular supports your assertion that I advocate “we should have faith in the claims of the Bible even if all of its prophetic statements were proved false and all of its other claims regarding empirical reality happened to be falsified.”

    What Professor Kent Believes

    1. The 28 SDA Fundamental Beliefs. All of them.
    2. SDA FB #6, to include the proposed modification that the creation week was 6 contiguous 24-hour periods.
    3. That the Bible is God’s Word, which can be trusted at faith value ahead of human reason and science.
    4. That a few LSU biologists in times past have been disrespectful of SDA beliefs.
    5. That all SDA employees should treat SDA beliefs with respect.
    6. That the LSU and SDA Church leadership has made a sincere effort to address the LSU situation.
    7. That the LSU biologists have not indoctrinated theistic evolution in the past 1.5 years.
    8. That there is evidence for a recent supernatural creation, but also prickly and difficult contradictory evidence that cannot simply be swept under the carpet.
    9. That the evidence supporting a recent supernatural creation is not supported by “overwhelming evidence” unless one cherry-picks the evidence.
    10. That it is appropriate for SDA biologists to teach the basics of evolutionary theory as well as the evidences that oppose it and support fiat creation.
    11. That it is preferable for an SDA biologist to share one’s personal convictions and faith regarding the SDA position, but also acceptable for the professor to refrain from doing so and allow the student to form their own opinion.
    12. That the mark of good SDA professor is not so much what they believe, but how they witness to their love and passion for Jesus Christ.
    13. That the large majority of SDA biologists are faithful to the SDA position on origins.
    14. That the few individual SDA biologists who accept theistic evolution must be instructed not to indoctrinate it upon risk of losing their employment.
    15. That 3SG 90-91 declares theistic evolution to be the worst form of infidelity.
    16. That the majority of non-SDA Christians are theistic evolutionists; that many of these individuals have deep respect for the Bible and love their Savior; and that some among them will be in heaven, just like the many of us who are guilty of a diverse range of sins–-all of which are very serious.
    17. That Seventh-day Adventists officially reject criticism of scripture in any form, as voted and published by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in session.
    18. That spelling “Church” with a capital “C” is probably unnecessary, but I respect the institution too much to force myself not to.
    19. That Seventh-day Adventists who accept Biblical claims which cannot be supported by empirical evidence (e.g., instantaneous appearance of a flock of sheep on a verdant pasture; the formation of a living, breathing human being from a pile of dirt; an axe head that can float on water; the virgin birth of Jesus; the resurrection of an human being who was dead three days) should not be belittled by comparing their faith to belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This is disrespectful in the extreme.
    20. That an SDA employee should not be held up to public ridicule for telling students or Church members that they accept the creation account on faith.
    21. That Christian decency, the principles set forth in Matthew 18, and the SDA Church Manual encourage SDAs to keep their differences within the Church, rather than broadcast the perceived “sins” of others to all interested parties.
    22. That the Los Angeles Dodgers have had better days, thanks to the current ownership debacle.
    23. That apologetics encourages SDAs to place their faith in so-called evidence-–and in those who provide the evidence–-rather than in a personal, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. The latter should be promoted to a far greater extent.
    24. That Christians should be the very last individuals to engage in cyberbullying and cyberharrassment, especially involving rumormongering, gossip, and character assassination, and particularly of those not participating in or even aware of the online discussion.
    25. That it is wrong to make sweeping claims about a person’s beliefs based on hearsay.
    26. That websites like Educate Truth, Spectrum, and Adventist Today too often air the very worst of Seventh-day Adventism; I wish the harsh dialogue on both sides (progressive/conservative) would disappear, as it tends to polarize and divide the Church.
    27. That Paul Giem has quite the entertaining mustache, and means well in his Sabbath School classes.
    28. That origins issues are highly divisive and excessive focus on them can do more harm than good to the Church membership and perception of the Church by outsiders.
    29. That the SDA Church leadership is very flawed and very human, but deserves our support, prayers, and respect.
    30. That I am a sinner, having no intrinsic capacity to live a sin-free life. I am utterly dependent on my close friend and confidant, Jesus Christ, for any hope of eternal life.
    31. That Jesus has called true Christians to lovingly embrace and befriend sinners of all forms, including theistic evolutionists, homosexuals, prostitutes, alcoholics, Sabbath breakers…and even cyberbullies. I pray that I can do better myself in this regard.
    32. That Jesus Christ will soon return…which couldn’t be soon enough, far as I’m concerned.
    33. That we should pray for our enemies.
    34. That I need to get completely away from this website.

    Sean, I don’t really care what you believe until you attack others for what they believe–especially when they are my colleagues and friends who love Jesus, I’d bet, every bit as much as you do. I don’t understand why it is so important to purify the Church of those who disagree with your views, some of which I believe to be heterodox. I’m very grateful that I, Phil Brantley, Pauluc, and others are not Church employees and therefore can defend other Church employees without fear of retribution.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  87. Sean Pitman: Now, if the Bible had claimed, in no uncertain terms, that the Earth was flat like a disk or that the Sun orbited the Earth, such claims would clearly be false given direct observations – regardless of if they came from God Himself.
    How is that? Would it be possible to prove a statement coming directly from God wrong? Absolutely. If God said that a square was really a circle, He’d be wrong by definition. If God is to speak to us in a language that we can actually understand, He must use our understood definitions for words and phrases.
    It is for this reason that questions like, “Can God make a square circle?” are nonsensical – by definition.

    Sean, you’re rehashing your same old arguments over and over. The Bible does NOT clearly articulate that the Earth is flat; it does NOT clearly articulate that a square is really just a circle. Sure, these would contradict empirical reality. But the Bible DOES clearly, unequivocally, and passionately articulate that a dead human body can come back to life, which DOES clearly and unequivocally contradict empirical reality. This is why God is worthy of our praise and worship, not because he conforms to our limited view of empirical reality, but because he TRANSCENDS it.

    So yes, a statement coming from God HAS been proven wrong by human reason and science. Your failure to acknowledge this strikes many as a strange contradiction on your part; as defiance and refusal to submit to the ultimate authority–which is nothing less than God’s Word.

    I wish this was coming from someone other than me, because I fear your personal loathing has interfered with your ability to see the obvious contradictions in your logic.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  88. Sean Pitman: Are you going to base everything on your own equivalent to a “burning in the bosom”? or some sort of direct communication with the Holy Spirit? If so, why the need for the Bible since the Holy Spirit will tell us the right answers anyway without any need to search out with careful investigation and research what is and what is not most likely true?

    I urge you not to diminish the capacity of the Holy Spirit to inform the heart and convict the soul. Our God can do far more for us than we can ever accomplish from our own careful investigation and research. The “right answers” become irrelevant when there is but one answer we need to get straight: we submit ourselves to God and His plan for us.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  89. Professor Kent: SHOW US YOUR SCIENCE–YOUR PHYSICAL EVIDENCE–THAT A HUMAN CAN BE RESURRECTED AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF DEATH.

    Why are you shifting the discussion? Is this bait and switch?

    You previously said that “science and all available evidence” showed that the resurrection of Jesus and the Lazarus was impossible. You now are narrowing the discussion to only physical, scientific evidence. Why the switch?

    Perhaps after you acknowledge that you misspoke, that there is evidence for the resurrection of Christ and Lazarus, we can proceed to narrow the scope of the discussion. But for you to narrow the discussion before doing that would be disingenuous.

    In the legal realm, the fact that something is missing is itself evidence. The body is missing, and I know of no one that disputes the fact that the body was missing 3 days after death. The only quibble I know of is regarding why the body is missing.

    That’s but one example of many that could be presented of evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Another would be the Psalm you refer to which predicted that Christ would be resurrected.

    As far as the resurrection in general goes, what Stephen said in Acts 7:5 is pretty powerful. “And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him.” Abraham will have to be resurrected in order for God’s promise of giving him the land to be fulfilled.

    And so there is lots of evidence to support the idea of a resurrection, even though an infidel might reject all such evidence, partly to protect his religious beliefs, and partly because he rejects underlying presuppositions.

    But I remind you of what I said before, that no laboratory experiments have ever demonstrated that God cannot resurrect a decomposed corpse. And that is a principal issue.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  90. @Professor Kent:

    Professor KentAugust 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I get it. So long as there are eyewitnesses to a Biblical claim, then it is based on “solid evidence” rather than “blind faith.”

    Let’s see now…there are probably millions of Mormons who have witnessed the experience of a burning bosom while learning the “truths” of their religion.

    And there are thousands, perhaps millions, of people testifying that they have seen images and statues of Mother Mary weeping tears (try Googling this should you doubt me).

    By your criteria, you would disagree with Sean Pitman and Educate Truth in accepting these miraculous claims.

    By virtue of eyewitnesses, these Mormon and Catholic claims would be “faith based on solid evidence” rather than “blind faith.” But I don’t think you’re willing to go there.

    This is why Sean Pitman (aka Educate Truth) insists that physical, empirical, falsifiable evidence (science) is the gold standard by which we judge our beliefs, using human reason to decide whether God’s word is real and can be trusted.

    And again, you and he are bereft of any such evidence for explaining the resurrection of Lazarus and Jesus. Your level of evidence is no better than that for a statue of Mary weeping physical tears.

    We can’t seem to get beyond the bias of declaring one’s own beliefs “informed evidence” and anyone else’s beliefs “blind faith.”

    It’s arbitrary. It’s arrogant. It’s absurd. It’s abominable. And it’s wrong to use it as a pretext for publicly persecuting and smearing other individuals. Especially our brethren in Christ.

    *********

    Mormons and Catholics base their beliefs on evidence as well. Is it solid evidence? Yes, it might be up to a point. It is like skating on thin ice. The ice may be thick enough on spots and you may think that there is no danger to you, but you are not safe. This is why there is a need to weigh the evidence.

    Consider the case of Moses when he demanded the freedom of the Israelite slaves. He provided solid evidence that he was acting on the authority of Almighty God. The Egyptian magicians duplicated some of the miracles Moses performed in the presence of Pharaoh.

    The problem came when the serpent of Moses devoured the serpents made by the magicians. The contest between Moses and the magicians continued until Pharaoh’s magicians were forced to admit “This is God’s finger.”

    Both sides did produce evidence which seemed solid on first sight, but eventually the difference became clear. This is why Satan deceptions are so dangerous.

    Ellen White tells us that when Eve was tempted to eat the forbidden fruit, she watched as the serpent was eating it without any noticeable effect and deduced that she was probably safe in eating it too.

    Likewise Adam could not discern any change in the way Eve looked after eating the forbidden fruit, and he figured that based on the evidence perhaps he could do the same with a certain degree of safety.

    I conclude that Adam and Eve’s faith in what the serpent had said was Blind. They could not foresee the terrible consequences of disobedience.

    Pharaoh, by rejecting the solid evidence presented to him by Moses, demonstrated that his faith in the testimony of his magicians was blind. He could not see the far reaching consequences of his disobedience.

    The king and his people paid a terrible price for rejecting the solid evidence of God’s power and authority.

    The same can be said about the miracles performed by Jesus which climaxed in his resurrection. The Jewish leaders were blind to the consequences of their Blind Faith in their traditions.

    They were provided with solid evidence, but they elected to rely on their blind faith in their twisted doctrinal views.

    This is why Jesus cried over the city of Jerusalem and lamented: “If you had only known what pertains to your peace!” Their blind faith paved the way for the final destruction of their Holy City by the Romans.

    This tells me that Educate Truth’s faith is neither blind, “arbitrary,” “arrogant,” “absurd,” or “abominable;” but rather based on solid evidence rooted in biblical truth which you seem to ignore and reject.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  91. @Professor Kent:

    Professor KentAugust 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    “By the way, Nic, I do agree with you that our belief in the resurrection of Jesus “rests solidly on all the miraculous events connected with the life of Christ and the testimony of all the witnesses who saw him and talked to him following his resurrection.”

    However, I find it ludicrous for someone (Pitman) to insist from a position of superiority that they would reject Scripture if its claims did not bear up to scientific scrutiny, when the resurrection of Jesus has absolutely failed his test of human reason. How can you continue to defend him?”

    *********

    Pitman’s claim that he would reject Scripture and leave Christianity in the event it could be proved that sin and suffering existed for millions of years, contrary to what is found in Genesis, can be interpreted as favoring his strong faith in the reliability of divine revelation.

    You should not fault him for this. His firm faith in divine revelation is shared by the majority of Adventists, especially outside North America. Most Adventists in the rest of the world do not believe in the theory of Darwinian evolution.

    This morning I read an article describing how Lamarckism is staging a comeback and challenging slow Darwinian evolution.

    There seems to be scientific evidence favoring fast adaptation to the environment which would negate the claims made by Darwin. Time will tell who was right.

    My personal view slightly differs from that of Pitman. In the event it could be proved beyond any doubt that life on earth did exist for millions of years, I would not reject Scripture, nor would I leave Christianity.

    I would merely reinterpret the way I read Genesis and would probably adopt Dr. Jack Provonsha’s alternative theory that suffering and evil were the results of Lucifer’s rebellion instead of Adam’s sin.

    But I would never blame Sean Pitman for his strong faith in divine revelation.

    The story of creation we find in Genesis can be interpreted as a result of a visionary experience by Moses or else knowledge he received directly from God.

    It can also be explained as the result of the rich tradition he received from his ancestors. Internal evidence seems to suggest that the second alternative might be quite reasonable given the fact that Moses did not document the source of his information.

    This fact contrasts with the way he treated everything else he received from the Lord. Elsewhere in the Pentateuch, Moses had the habit of documenting the source of the information he was receiving from on high.

    There is a chance that the Information we have in Genesis follows the Lucan model of inspiration. We do not have any basis for believing that what Luke wrote was the result of a visionary experience.

    Actually, he claimed that the information he was recording for posterity was the result of scholarly investigation. I believe that it is very likely that Genesis was the result of a similar type of inspiration.

    If this is correct, then I would be on safe ground allowing for Jack Provonsha’s suggestion that his explanation for origin might be an acceptable alternative in the event it could be proved that evil and suffering did actually exists for millions of years.

    In spite of all the above, I still believe that Pitman is probably safer in having a strong faith in the literal reading of Scripture.

    I am not ready to condemn him for relying on the traditional reading of the story of creation. I suggest that you treat him with Christian kindness. He might be right after all, and those who disagree with him wrong.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  92. @Professor Kent:

    Sean Pitman: Prof. Kent and Phil Brantley, on the other hand, tell us that we should have faith in the claims of the Bible even if all of its prophetic statements were proved false and all of its other claims regarding empirical reality happened to be falsified.

    In other words, they claim that the credibility of the Bible needs absolutely no support from empirical investigations or testing against perceived reality.

    No, no, no, no, NO. We both have upheld prophecy as evidence for the trustworthiness of Scripture.

    That’s not true. Phil Brantley, in particular, has argued that prophecy should not be used as an external evidence of the Divine origin of the Bible – that historical sciences cannot be used as a basis for testing the credibility of the Bible’s prophecies.

    In other words, Brantley argues that if known historical events happened to be completely different from the predictions of Biblical prophecy, that this should have no bearing on the Bible’s credibility or one’s faith in the Bible as the true Word of God.

    This is precisely what Brantley argues.

    We simply argue that Seventh-day Adventists officially accept Scripture as the Word of God; that human reason is inferior to and subject to God’s Word; that God’s Word is trustworthy regardless of what modern science and human reason have to say about (otherwise, it could not be from God); and that subjecting God’s Word to external tests of validity shows ultimate disrespect toward God.

    Exactly. Not even historical evidence can be used to test the validity of the prophetic claims of the Bible – because this would be “disrespectful” to God.

    In short, the Bible is true by definition according to you and Brantley. There is no possible way, even in theory, for the claim that the Bible is the Word of God to be tested or falsified. Even if nothing the Bible said about the empirical world turned out to remotely reflect empirical reality, you and Brantley would go around telling everyone that you still have faith that it is the Word of God.

    Why did you pick the Bible then? – when there are so many options out there claiming to be the Word of God? Oh, I know, the Holy Spirit told you the right answer – just like my LDS friends.

    For those of us who have not experienced such direct communication with God, we are left with having to think and study and learn the hard way… using our God-given minds to think and reason in order to come, slowly, to an intelligent appreciation of God’s Word.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  93. @Professor Kent:

    I urge you not to diminish the capacity of the Holy Spirit to inform the heart and convict the soul. Our God can do far more for us than we can ever accomplish from our own careful investigation and research. The “right answers” become irrelevant when there is but one answer we need to get straight: we submit ourselves to God and His plan for us.

    While the Holy Spirit does enable the mind to grasp truth, the Holy Spirit does not bypass our God-given abilities think and reason. Rather, the Holy Spirit enhances these abilities as we strive to use them to God’s glory.

    God does not expect us to turn off our minds or our abilities to think rationally and consider evidence. Rather, God enhances these abilities so that we can grasp the true meaning of the evidence that He has provided to us in abundance as a basis for an intelligent trust in His Word.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  94. @Professor Kent:

    Sean, you’re rehashing your same old arguments over and over. The Bible does NOT clearly articulate that the Earth is flat; it does NOT clearly articulate that a square is really just a circle. Sure, these would contradict empirical reality.

    And would undermine Biblical credibility at the same time…

    But the Bible DOES clearly, unequivocally, and passionately articulate that a dead human body can come back to life, which DOES clearly and unequivocally contradict empirical reality.

    The Bible doesn’t say that the dead can come back to life through any mindless naturalistic process. Such a claim would contradict known empirical reality. What the Bible says is that the dead can come back to life only if some extremely intelligent God or God-like being is involved in the process.

    There is nothing in science that challenges such a claim. On the contrary, science actually supports the idea that highly complex machines do not self-assemble themselves but require the input of an equal level of outside informational complexity.

    Again, I point out to you that the best available scientific evidence supports the “Turtles all the way up” concept… right in line with the Biblical claim that such demonstrations required the input of God-like powers of intelligence and creativity.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  95. Ervin Taylor: Quoting LSU Alumnus 1996:“t is now my mission to give our church two nudges I consider it needs – one because it is a moral imperative (the elimination of our decidely un-Christ-like institutional discrimination against homosexuals) and one because it prevents us from conducting true scientific examination of our world (a re-framing of our belief in a literal six-day creation week and young earth, both of which are an insult to God). Anyone here care to join me?”Lead forward.

    I’ll be the first to say I DON’T want to join an Adventist group that endorsed homosexuality and evolution. Do you have any members of your new organization in your LLU Church? If so, how many?

      (Quote)

    View Comment

Leave a Reply