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

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

  1. Nic Samojluk: 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.

    So, when God asked Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit, they were expectly to trust God’s word implicitly? They did not understand the consequences of disobecience? I can guarantee you Sean Pitman will disagree with you.

    By the way, I find the philosophical gymnastics to distinguish between “blind faith” and “faith informed by evidence” silly but also highly entertaining. I’m glad that so many of you feel so smug about elevating your faith above everyone else’s (Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Adventists who humbly submit themselves to God’s Word), which justifies the belittlement of others here at Educate Truth. I consider this an excercise in Seventh-day Arrogance.

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  2. Sean Pitman: 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.

    Here are your own words to Phil Brantley: “When I’ve asked you this question before you eventually cited prophecy and your own experience with God and his Word as evidence that is undeniable to you.

    Sean Pitman: 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.

    We have simply articulated and defended the official position of the SDA Church, voted by the General Conference in session, and elaborated further by the SDA Biblical Research Institution. Neither Phil nor I have the power to change the theology of the SDA Church. If you are so determined to belittle us, and the Church’s official position in the process, you are addressing the wrong guys. You need to take this up with the big boys at the GC. I’ve had enough of your jeering and disrespect.

    By the way, they are less inclined to listen when you continue to badmouth the Geoscience Research Institute. I understand you’ve created quite the impression.

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  3. Sean Pitman: 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

    Your argument and Bob’s argument suffer from the same Pickle. You have insisted repeatedly that claims in scripture of a flat earth, or a square actually being a circle, would invalidate scripture because we know these to be empirically false. When I point out that the claim of resurrecting a long-dead human body is also empirically false, you then argue there is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot do it. Brilliant.

    Let’s go back, then, to your original argument. There is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot make the earth flat, or a square into a circle. God could do either one of these in an instant, and then return them to the current, empirically known state. Through lack of consistency, you’ve destroyed your own argument.

    I suggest you devise some fresh arguments that aren’t languishing in a bottle of preservative. Cucumbers are bottled for good reason–they don’t fare well for long.

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  4. @Professor Kent:

    Sean Pitman:

    “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.

    Prof. Kent:

    Here are your own words to Phil Brantley:

    “When I’ve asked you this question before you eventually cited prophecy and your own experience with God and his Word as evidence that is undeniable to you.” – Sean Pitman

    And how did Brantley respond? Do you remember? I couldn’t believe it myself. But, this is what he said:

    “Practitioners of the historical-grammatical hermeneutic do not object to documenting fulfillment of prophecy by reference to external data, because in so doing one is not necessarily putting Scripture to the test. This is because the prophecy is considered true and correct, irrespective of whether it has been fulfilled…

    Dr. Pitman, you correctly note that the authority of Scripture and its various authors is validated by numerous authorities within Scripture itself. But you then smuggle in the notion that because Scripture is validated in this way, we can also put Scripture to the test by reference to extrabiblical empirical data.

    Let me broaden my previous point. Not only science data (Gen. 3:17-18, Rom. 8: 20-21), but the counsel of other spirits (Is. 8:19; 1 John 4:1-3); tradition (Matt. 15: 3, 6); human philosophy (Col. 2:8); human knowledge (1 Tim. 6: 20), reason and emotions (Gen. 3: 1-6, Prov. 14:12), miracles and fantastical occurrences that we observe (Rev. 13:13, 16:13-14), the inspired writings of Ellen White (Matt. 7:15-23, 1 Thes. 5:20-21 and her own testimony), fulfillments of extrabiblical prophecies that we document and verify (Matt 7: 15-23), the voice of God as we preceive it (Is. 8:20), the counsel of the Holy Spirit as we perceive it (Is. 8:20), etc., all must be held subservient to the authority of the Word of God.

    We are not at liberty to put Scripture to the test by reference to any extrabiblical empirical data…

    I am sorry Dr. Pitman, but the sixteen evidentiary items that I list arise out of Scripture and are not dependent upon external data in such a way that such external data puts Scripture to the test…”

    http://www.old.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2011/04/26/open-letter-educate-truth

    So, there you have it. According to Brantley the Bible is true irrespective of if its prophecies or any other statements regarding the empirical world are or are not fulfilled in reality. How is this not the very definition of empirically-blind faith?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  5. @Professor Kent:

    Your argument and Bob’s argument suffer from the same Pickle. You have insisted repeatedly that claims in scripture of a flat earth, or a square actually being a circle, would invalidate scripture because we know these to be empirically false. When I point out that the claim of resurrecting a long-dead human body is also empirically false, you then argue there is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot do it. Brilliant.

    Beyond this, there is good empirical evidence that the greater the intelligence the greater the creative potential when it comes to producing functionally complex machines.

    Your argument is like arguing that there is no scientific explanation for the existence of chocolate cake. That’s only true if you’re trying to find a mindless non-intelligent origin for the chocolate cake.

    Let’s go back, then, to your original argument. There is no empirical evidence that an intelligent mind cannot make the earth flat, or a square into a circle. God could do either one of these in an instant, and then return them to the current, empirically known state. Through lack of consistency, you’ve destroyed your own argument.

    That’s not the argument Professor. The argument is that it would be illogical of God to say that what is obviously a square to us is really a circle or that what is obviously a sphere is really a flat pancake. The argument isn’t if God could turn a square into a circle or a sphere into a flat disk.

    I can turn a square into a circle myself. However, I would be hard pressed to convince a first grader that what looked like a square was really a circle or that a circle was really a square. Such is based on redefining terms so that they are meaningless to others using a given language system. God must speak to us in our language if He wishes to be understood.

    The argument isn’t if God could make the Earth flat as a pancake. Of course He could. That’s not the question. The question is if God called something flat that wasn’t flat from our perspective, it wouldn’t make any sense to us in our language and from our understanding of things.

    Consider that God could suddenly make the American Indians have DNA from the lost tribes of Israel! – a seeming confirmation of the claims of the Book of Mormon. Of course, that would be deceptive on the part of God now wouldn’t it? – changing things to match a historical prediction that didn’t really happen?

    That’s why empirical evidence really does play a role for many people in what is or is not rational to believe. Are there leaps of faith that are required to believe anything? Sure. But, evidence makes the leap more trustworthy and less blind.

    So, God is consistent with us in that He appeals to our minds in ways that are consistent with how He programmed us to think… i.e., rationally.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  6. Holly, Erv is a member of the club, in fact he is probably a charter member and Emeritus head of the organization. Larry is a member too. How laughable that he calls himself a conservative. Does he think we are stupid? The club has existed for decades and has tons of members and LSU faculty would constitute a Who’s who of the club’s membership.

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  7. @Professor Kent:

    Professor Kent August 18, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “So, when God asked Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit, they were expected to trust God’s word implicitly? They did not understand the consequences of disobedience? I can guarantee you Sean Pitman will disagree with you.

    By the way, I find the philosophical gymnastics to distinguish between “blind faith” and “faith informed by evidence” silly but also highly entertaining. I’m glad that so many of you feel so smug about elevating your faith above everyone else’s (Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Adventists who humbly submit themselves to God’s Word), which justifies the belittlement of others here at Educate Truth. I consider this an exercise in Seventh-day Arrogance.

    *********

    Adam and Eve did not understand the full extent of disobedience. They should have trusted on God’s word implicitly, but the faith the Lord required from them was not Blind, but rather solidly based on what God had done for them.

    He had given them life, a perfect environment and supplied all their needs. Trusting in God’s warning would not have been blind faith.

    I do not think that we are elevating our faith above that of others. If our faith is genuine, it is a gift of God, which should preclude us from being arrogant about what we have received; and if it is false, then there is no basis for being proud about it.

    Only God can judge the genuineness of anybody’s faith. The faith of everyone is measured against the backdrop of the light a person has received.

    The faith of a pagan who has been deprived of spiritual knowledge might be greater than that of a believer who has received great light but is not living according to his great knowledge.

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  8. Sean Pitman: So, there you have it. According to Brantley the Bible is true irrespective of if its prophecies or any other statements regarding the empirical world are or are not fulfilled in reality. How is this not the very definition of empirically-blind faith?

    You’re over-reaching once again. But more important, you’re picking a fight with the wrong person. Phil Brantley is articulating the Church’s official, voted-in-session position. You need to wage a campaign with the powers that be to convince them how stupid the Church’s official beliefs are, and why Sean Pitman’s heterodox theology is the only sane position.

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  9. Sean Pitman: The argument isn’t if God could make the Earth flat as a pancake. Of course He could. That’s not the question. The question is if God called something flat that wasn’t flat from our perspective, it wouldn’t make any sense to us in our language and from our understanding of things.

    No kidding. And that’s why the argument isn’t whether God can restore a long-dead human to life, as you and Bob Pickle tried to make it. The reality is that Scripture makes many claims that are NOT backed up by empirical evidence and naturalistic science, and therefore one must make a choice as to whether they believe GOD or SCIENCE. You can’t serve both. The reality is that GOD CAN BE BELIEVED EVEN WHEN HIS WORD AND ACTIONS DEFY EMPIRICAL REALITY. Virtually all Seventh-day Adventists acknowledge this. Why can’t Educate Truth and its supporters acknowledge it?

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  10. Nic Samojluk: Adam and Eve did not understand the full extent of disobedience. They should have trusted on God’s word implicitly, but the faith the Lord required from them was not Blind, but rather solidly based on what God had done for them.
    He had given them life, a perfect environment and supplied all their needs. Trusting in God’s warning would not have been blind faith.
    I do not think that we are elevating our faith above that of others. If our faith is genuine, it is a gift of God, which should preclude us from being arrogant about what we have received; and if it is false, then there is no basis for being proud about it.
    Only God can judge the genuineness of anybody’s faith. The faith of everyone is measured against the backdrop of the light a person has received.
    The faith of a pagan who has been deprived of spiritual knowledge might be greater than that of a believer who has received great light but is not living according to his great knowledge.

    Well stated, Brother Nic. I heartily agree. Blessings to you, my friend.

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  11. Professor Kent: No kidding. And that’s why the argument isn’t whether God can restore a long-dead human to life, as you and Bob Pickle tried to make it. The reality is that Scripture makes many claims that are NOT backed up by empirical evidence and naturalistic science, and therefore one must make a choice as to whether they believe GOD or SCIENCE.

    I still think you are twisting the issues. If you had said, “GOD or SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED,” then maybe you would have been correct.

    And the argument as you originally framed it was whether God could resurrect a decomposed corpse. You said that science and all available evidence showed that the resurrection of Christ and Lazarus was impossible. You never said you were only talking about Caiaphas or Herod or Pilate or Tiberias resurrecting Jesus or Lazarus. Anyone who read what you wrote would conclude that you were referring to God resurrecting them, not people.

    And thus your statement was indeed false. But you don’t appear to want to admit it.

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  12. Bob Pickle: And the argument as you originally framed it was whether God could resurrect a decomposed corpse.

    I never intended this; there’s no question in my mind that God not only could do so, but He did so. I don’t believe my wording so much as hinted of this.

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  13. I wonder what would have happened if the chairman of the board had quietly called each of the three men involved in this situation into his office, and tallked with them one by one, about their problems, with a redemptive prospective. Would they have seen their error, repented of their misdeeds, and avoided all this bad publicity? These men might still be loyal workers for the university. ASking them to resign immediately put them on the defensive.
    What we need is not only regulations to protect our worker’s rights, but our leaders, as well as pastors need training in how to meet situations, both in the church and among employees. We need to try to keep our workers in the straight and narrow way, and not look for an excuse to get rid of them. Often we can salvage workers and help them to become productive.
    In this case some workers might have been salvaged and a lot of bad publicity avoided.

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  14. Wayne A. Martin:
    I wonder what would have happened if the chairman of the board had quietly called each of the three men involved in this situation into his office, and tallked with them one by one, about their problems, with a redemptive prospective.Would they have seen their error, repented of their misdeeds, and avoided all this bad publicity?These men might still be loyal workers for the university.ASking them to resign immediately put them on the defensive.What we need is not only regulations to protect our worker’s rights, but our leaders, as well as pastors need training in how to meet situations, both in the church and among employees.We need to try to keep our workers in the straight and narrow way, and not look for an excuse to get rid of them.Often we can salvage workers and help them to become productive.
    In this case some workers might have been salvaged and a lot of bad publicity avoided.

    Wayne, these men are not just employees that were just a little off base who needed a minor course correction. LSU has arrived at the point where they are after DECADES of apostasy. There has been a concerted effort to take LSU to this place. The problem does not just include the biology department, but also includes the religion department and includes more of our fundamental belief on creation. The average church member who has not been around the Southern and Southeastern California Conferences/La Sierra University doesn’t not realize that we are at the brink of a HUGE problem in the church. The two sides cannot coexist any longer and neither side is going to acquiesce to the other.

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  15. The average church member who has not been around the Southern and Southeastern California Conferences/La Sierra University doesn’t not realize that we are at the brink of a HUGE problem in the church. The two sides cannot coexist any longer and neither side is going to acquiesce to the other.

    Faithful Disciple, I agree wholeheartedly. La Sierra has been led away from our SDA beliefs since its beginning, with Fritz Guy and continuing with Lawrence Geraty, and now Randall Wisbey.

    The La Sierra Board needs to put someone in charge who will actually follow our bible-based beliefs, instead of following the ideas of secular humanistic philosophers, such as we have in the Biology and Religion Departments.

    Will Ricardo Graham and the La Sierra Board do this. I believe they will not, since they are controlled by a majority of people who support this type of apostate leadership.

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  16. Holly, that is why the Bible days that the wheat and the rates grow together until the harvest. God separates them. Many of the half-hearted church members will run when the times get tough because they do not have a love of the truth. It will be uncomfortable to be connected to a church that follows God’s true Bible beliefs when the wicked world says do the opposite. The times sure are exciting!

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