Professor Kent said…… “Why the cowardly silence? If you are angry …

Comment on LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’? by Bill Sorensen.

Professor Kent said……

“Why the cowardly silence? If you are angry that LSU administrators were silent about the heresy at LSU, why are you silent about the glaring heresy here at Educate Truth? Is it because the wolf is wearing sheep’s clothing?”

I disagree with Sean, as I have said. But to classify him and his statements with the same influence and authority as LSU is absurd. In the first place, Educate Truth is an independent ministry not sanctioned or supported by the denomination. If it was, then we might want to officially protest what we may think is “heresy”.

If you want to demand accountability of our church leaders, you might want to start with why they allow A-today and Spectrum to have a high level of influence in our church when they have a booth at the GC meetings. And there are a lot more areas of accountability within the church itself that should be addressed.

As for Shane and Sean, for the most part, they are like you and me when it comes to some level of influence. Our influence is not “officially” sanctioned or endorsed by the church. Neither are they paid to express their views by tithe and offerings from the church in general.

So to equate the differences here on this forum with the differences at LSU vs. the church, is hardly worthy of a consideration. Some are just glad they are willing to take their own personal time and effort to inform the church community of the duplicity going on at LSU and other institutions of learning.

Professor Kent, you and I seem to agree on the position and authority of the bible in relation to science. And I understand why you would challenge and oppose Sean. I simply don’t agree with the level of opposition you would create in the parallel with LSU.

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?
Exactly what we mean by what we say is not so easy in a paradoxical discussion. Sean comes off saying some things that we may interpret differently than he intends.

We see that “words” are not totally adequate as a form of communication. And in this light, we must allow a person to explain and qualify as many times as necessary to make any given point.

None the less, if and when a person explains and re-explains a postion again and again in the same light and same context, we must conclude our understanding and evaluation is reasonably accurate as to the meaning and idea being communicated.

Also, if and when a view we express is opposed and/or mis-understood, we tend to repeat the same position again and again, even if and when we use a different format to make our point.

When I say the bible is self validating, I do not mean there is no exterior evidence to support its claims. I do mean that any exterior evidence can not deny and/or contradict what the bible has already stated and/or explained about itself.

In this context, science does not “prove” the bible, even if it is some evidence of what the bible affirms. Neither can we accept any scientific “evidence” that opposes or dis-proves the biblical affirmations. So, in the end, we must accept the bible as a self-affirming authority that does not allow for any disagreement by any outside source or “evidence” that may be produced to challenge its self affirming authority.

And even this statement may need some qualifying, but I think it pretty well explains my own personal understanding and conviction.

Bill Sorensen

LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?
Professor Kent said…..

“Bill, I respect what you have to say. I can’t tell whether you are unhappy with my defense of the SDA hermeneutic, but what could possibly be more fundamental to the Church than the approach we use to interpret and understand Scripture? Do we really want to undermine that?”

I believe your defense is reasonably accurate. I don’t agree with Sean. I think his point is this, “God does not bypass our reasoning powers to understand truth.” But I think he goes beyond this simple assumption and tries to use science and other “evidence” as some sort of “proof” of what the bible teaches.

We agree that science does not contradict scripture. None the less, science is totally inadequate as “proof” of what the bible teaches. Miracles are beyond human explanation. Did Jesus heal the blind man in John 9? Yes. And there was clear “proof” the man was healed.

How did Jesus heal the blind man? We don’t know. It was a “miracle” beyond human comprehension. And this is the same with creation. We know that creation exists and we have “proof” of this by experience and reason. None the less, we don’t know how God can create “by the word of His mouth.”

Obviously, we don’t know, and we don’t need to know how God can do this. But it is equally obvious that we must accept it as reality simply because the bible says so.

“Proof” of the bible and its authority is prophecy. It is self validating in this regard. Thus we use Daniel and Revelation to not only affirm the validity of the bible itself, but to affirm basic SDA truths concerning the second coming and other eschatological events.

In the end, about creation, we have no idea how old anything was when God created it. Can God create a rock a million years old? of course He can.
We do know that many things created were already mature in some degree. Adam was not a new born baby. Neither was Eve. How old were they chronologically? One day. How old were they in maturity? We don’t know.

The same with trees and other animals and plants. So it is a useless argument to “prove” anything time wise by science. We do know there were six literal days (evenings and morning) and the seventh day Sabbath that makes up a literal week. And this is all we need to know about that because the bible does not give us futher information.

Some speculation is not wrong to do. But when it challenges and/or denies the biblical account, it must be rejected by any bible believing Christian.
And neither is the bible obscure on this issue. This is the devil’s play ground. He wants to obscure the obvious and then say, “Are you sure you know and understand what this is saying?”

So I don’t agree with Sean. And a few other things he believes as well.

But I read most of the dialogue on this forum. I wonder if Goldstein is aware of this forum? I never see him here. I guess I can ask him…..

Bill Sorensen

LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?
Professor Kent said……

“By the way, I have no problem with whatever belief Dr. Pitman subscribes. I am doubtful he will concede any form of error. However, when he declares others to be undermining official SDA beliefs, he ought to take a more careful look at his own position. I think it’s unfortunate that so many have been led astray by his vigorous arguments.”

While it is commendable to carefully affirm what we believe in a biblical context, there is nothing more devastating and counter-productive in a discussion than incessant bickering on any given subject.

The bible speaks for itself, and in many ways, needs no comment. It is self affirming and more than adequately clear in its affirmations of what it means, affirms and/or condemns.

Often times, we “over-explain” the bible to the point that people may well wonder if we really believe it ourselves and if we are really convinced of what we affirm. Sure, people will ask legitimate questions that need some answers and so some discussion is healthy. But in many, if not most cases, ongoing dialogue is not really productive.

We can readily see that Eve “over-dialogued” with Satan and lost the argument. She “over-explained” the obvious and Satan continually challenged her understanding on the issues. We can hear his questions….

“Are you sure you have understood what God really meant?”

“Maybe you did not clearly understand what He has said.”

“In fact, this is what the real truth of the matter is.”

So, this creation/evolution discussion is following the same format. And it applies to every clear bible teaching including the SDA view of 1844 and the pre-advent judgment. The state of the dead. And the second coming scenarios.

I have a bible study every Sabbath afternoon at the county jail. There is usually 15 to 30 people that attend. Many see the bible teaching clearly and of course, there are always some questions. I don’t EGW to affirm our 1844 time prophecy.

We must conclude in the end, that either God will affirm by the Holy Spirit the clear truths of His word, or, the world is doomed to continual on going confusion with no hope of any consistent conclusions.

The devil has done a marvelous job of obscuring the bible in a variety of ways. He well knows he must discredit scripture by way of Babylon confusion before he can “deceive the whole world”.

The liberals in the church have been his “helping hands” and often serve his purposes without really knowing what they are doing or the final outcome. For the most part, people generally want to be right. But the conlusion is often more akin to hopeing they are right than a real careful biblical conclusion.

If we take the position, “the bible speaks for itself” we can limit “bickering” to a minimum and quit “over-explaining” what we believe to the point that our own faith is undermined by the continual unbelief of those who attack the bible.

As some of you know, they run me off all the liberal forums simply because I expose their duplicity and accuse them of being non-supportive of the SDA biblical message. I occasionally read some the dialogue, but really have little interest in their discussions. It’s always the same people with the same lame arguments and positions. That’s my opinion, anyway.

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” That’s what I’ve been saying (and what Morris Venden and MacCarty have been saying)”

Well, I did not do a complete search on all the MacCarty says or believes. But in the case of Venden, I did do such a study and Venden had a doctrine of “sanctification by faith alone” that was totally outside the bible teaching.

“Faith alone” by definition means we play no part in it. If so, it is not “faith alone”. But Venden’s view of sanctification was definitely “faith alone” and we play no part in it but believe. At any rate, there is more confusion than bible definition in his definition of sanctification, and I think this applies to MacCarty as well. Like I said, I read his book a couple years ago and it was circular with no real definition of what he meant.

But basically, he equated the old covenant with legalism which is bogus. We agree a misapplication of the old covenant is not the same thing as a clear understanding of the old covenant and its purpose. So let’s not take a misapplication of the old covenant, and then claim this is the old covenant.

As you have defended the Sabbath against a misapplication of the new covenant and not called it the new covenant we must do the same with the old covenant. Our conclusion should be that a misapplication of any truth does not equate to the truth that is being misapplied. The confusion continues on many levels in the SDA community today.

Your defense of creation against the liberal agenda is a classic illustration of how the liberal agenda misapplies the new covenant on every level from false teaching to simply denying the bible outright. And all this from a misapplication of the new covenant that creates a false “spirit ethic” that takes the place of the bible and the ten commandments.

I appreciate the dialogue. Some may see the point eventually and some never will. Since we don’t know who’s who in this context, we leave it up to God to sort out the various issues and determine who “gets it” and who don’t.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

I never said any such thing or even suggested it. Did you even read what I wrote. If so, you decided to impute to me something I never said or suggested. Let’s at least try to be objective in our evaluation of what the other person said.

I said the Holy Spirit liberates the will and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to believe, repent and obey. How then is this your false claim that I think “You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

You rightly point out that without the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know God’s will, let alone do it. And yes, Jesus “puts enmity between sinful beings and the kingdom of Satan.”

But “putting the enmity by Christ” will save no one until and unless they choose to respond in the God ordained way He has stated in the bible. Each individual must choose to first accept the atonement, then repent, and then obey the law. Thus, the Holy Spirit empowers the will, but it is the sinner who must respond. And this is not “doing it on their own” as you seem to imply. Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” But as Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which stengthenth me.”

Paul states what he can do by the power of God. And it is not God doing the believing, or repenting or obeying. It is Paul. EGW makes this very clear to refute the mystics who try to claim that Jesus or the Holy Spirit gets in them and does the willing and doing.

” While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” THE YOUTH’S INSTRUCTOR
August 20, 1903
Lessons From the Life of Daniel—9
This concerning Daniel and his friends.

She refutes the modern day mysticism that would destroy the will of man and interpret “Christ in you, the hope of glory” totally outside the biblical context.

But “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the same thing reflected in the words of Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” Meaning, I love Jesus so much my whole life is dedicated to His glory and will.

Our “own works” that she refers to, are those people do outside a biblical relationship with Christ. It does not refer to the works of a true believer who conforms his life to emulate the life of Christ. Where does Skip MacCarty point out this difference?

Much, if not most of modern spirituality in Adventism is pure mysticism that convolutes the identity of Christ and the believer to the point the believer has no identity. It was highly stimulated by Morris Venden who tried to show that “faith alone” applies equally to sanctification as it does to justification. It was and is totally bogus. But it has infiltrated the church by him and others to the point that mysticism is rapidly becoming the major spirituality of the church.

You may mean well, Sean. But like so many others, you don’t take the time to carefully consider the implications of what you say nor explain it is a clear definitive way so that it fits the bible context. If the true bible position on sanctification is clearly presented, then it is obvious we “save ourselves” by the way we respond to the word of God. In which case, the law is salvational, but only in the biblical context. Simply put, we are “saved” by doing what God says and this includes faith in the atonement.

Many are so “hell bent” to avoid what they think is legalism, they wrest the scriptures to their own destruction and not only deceive themselves, but others who do not carefully consider the implications of the conclusion of their false idea and theory.

But to claim that those who reject your view think they can “do it on their own” is a false representation that prejudices others who don’t carefully follow the conversation. Having said all this, I am more than willing for anyone to explain and qualify and re-qualify as many times as necessary to make it very clear what they mean by what they say.

So I agree, sanctification is by faith, but not by “faith alone” in the same context that justification is by faith alone. Without a clear explanation, all we have is ongoing confusion on sin and salvation and the divine factor vs. the human factor in a full and complete view of what the bible teaches about the issues.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“We “work out our own salvation” by simply opening to the door the Spirit of God. That’s our only “work” to do here. That’s the only “work” we can do. The rest is beyond human power.”

Your whole theory is pure mysticism as the rest of your explanation affirms. The purpose of sanctification on the part of God is to liberate the human will for self government. It is the believing sinner who chooses to have faith and repent, and obey the law of God.

Neither is it “automatic” but by careful evaluation of the will of God and the implications of the outcome if we chose not to accept the free offer. You undermine and in the end, destroy the human factor in salvation and the moral accountability of man.

So when we are confronted by the gospel, we must choose to believe, choose to repent and choose to obey. God will not do this for us. Neither will the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “holy motive” as He inspires and empowers us to “save ourselves” by responding to the word of God exactly as it is stated in the bible.

Much of the SDA church has opted for some mystical non-biblical explanation of the plan of salvation that has no affinity to the true teaching of the bible.

So sanctification is not “just give yourself to Jesus and He will do the rest.”

Basically, you convolute the divine factor and human factor in such a way that you end up negating the human factor altogether.

I doubt anything I would share with you would challenge your thinking, since in the past you have rejected other clear biblical concepts on sin and salvation like the doctrine of original sin. At any rate, if you post my response, perhaps one of your readers will actually see the point and consider the implications of our dialogue.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Yes, as EGW and the bible affirm, we are justified by obedience to the moral law. Not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense. And this is what the Investigative judgment is all about. The word “justification” in the bible has a more comprehensive meaning than people perceive today. Like the word “atonement” and “salvation” the word “justification” has been limited to a non-biblical meaning and application that foreign to the bible and the full meaning the bible gives to these words.

And yes, we save ourselves by the way we respond to the word of God. No, we don’t save ourselves by meriting heaven and earning the favor of God. “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus

This is too plain to be misunderstood except by those who convolute the bible to support their false doctrine. No one is justified by “faith alone” except the special context used by the Reformation to oppose Rome when Rome taught legal merit in the believer’s response to the conditions for salvation.

“Faith alone” in this context was “Christ alone” who stands in the presence of God in our behalf as the meritorious cause of salvation and eternal life. This is not sanctification nor is sanctification “by faith alone” as some faulty teachers try to present and defend. Sanctification is always by faith and works on the part of the believer as we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”

And justification by faith in the bible, is the believer’s faith in Christ, not Christ’s faith in the believer. This subject is so confused and warped by SDA scholars it has no affinity to bible teaching and doctrine. So it is the believer’s faith in Christ that justifies. This is the whole theme of Paul and the new testament emphasis and message.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” “All that the Lord has said, we will do.” (Exodus 19:8).”

That’s right Sean. And the Lord said, “The people have well spoken there commitment.” But then added, “Oh that there was such an heart in them to do it.”

The issue was proper motivation based on a clear understanding of sin and all that this implies. God never chided them for their statement of faith but their lack of understanding the sinful human heart.

How is that any different than today in the new covenant era? How many are baptized making the same valid commitment and confession of faith only to find the difficulty of living out the Christian experience.

Neither will Jesus get into anybody and obey the law for them. The motivation will ratchet up as our understanding is increased and the love of God that motivates works in a more dynamic way with the increased knowledge.

But many assume the old covenant was a system of legalism and then contrast the new covenant as a true system of faith. This is bogus. True believers in the old covenant era trusted in Christ. These are the old covenant experience people and not Cain or anyone else in that era who either refused the offer God provided or convoluted it. So those who imply that the old covenant was in and of itself a system of legalism like MacCarty does, have a false idea of old and new covenant that is simply not biblical. And then they try to explain how in the new covenant God writes the law on our heart and not in stone.

God wrote His law on the heart of Abel, Noah, Abraham and every true believer in the old covenant era as Jesus “put enmity between Satan and man” by a revelation of the love of God in His willingness to make atonement for fallen man. The new covenant era simply means God will finish writing His law on the heart of every true believer and this is not some “new” covenant different than the old.

Only in the sense that the atonement promised in the past is now a reality in the present. And this ratchets up the motivation in harmony with the life of Jesus more fully revealed by way of the new covenant writers. It is false doctrine to present the idea that no one had the law “written on their heart” during the old covenant era. Did you ever read the words of David in the Psalms, “Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me.”?

This is not the new covenant in the old covenant era. There is no “new covenant believer” in the old covenant era. This is impossible. The new covenant is after the fact of the atonement and is based on the time element of the two covenants. The first covenant (old covenant) is based on a future event. The new covenant is based on a past event. This is the whole spirituality of Paul and repeated and affirmed in the book of Hebrews. What God had promised during the old covenant era, He has done.

There is certainly an affinity in both covenants as both are based on Jesus and His sacrifice. Everyone in heaven will have trusted in the atonement of the cross whether it was before Jesus made the atonement or after He made the atonement. Again, I say it is bogus to claim Cain represents an old covenant experience and Abel a new covenant experience. And it is equally false to claim anyone who is a legalist in the new covenant era is an old covenant experience. Namely this, the old covenant is not legalism and never was. Just because people corrupt the old covenant does not equate to claiming they were legalists by virtue of being in the old covenant era.

This is MacCarty’s error and he speaks for more than a few SDA scholars who are as confused as he is. God made no legal covenant with anyone with the exception of His Son. God’s covenant with all is based on the moral law and this is not legalism unless, like the Catholic church, you think you can merit heaven by keeping the moral law.

The moral law, like I said, is a family law and those who refuse to enter into this moral covenant to “obey and live” will never be in heaven. Children in a loving home don’t obey their parents to merit and earn the favor of their parents or earn a place in the family. None the less, they are in covenant relationship with their parents and if they rebel enough, can be disinherited, just like Adam and Eve who rebelled against the family law.

Adam and Eve in a state of sinlessness were not meriting the favor of God. Nor do the sinless angels merit the favor of God. Nor do the redeemed in heaven merit the favor of God. None the less, all are under obligation to obey the family law of God or forfeit eternal life like Adam and Eve in the garden. Love for God never releases anyone from the moral obligation to do God’s will and submit to His authority. This issue is so intense even in the SDA church that many now assume if you love God you have no obligation to obey and that you simply do God’s will because “you want to, not because you have to.” This is bogus and the lie of Satan that he advocated in heaven. We better get it straight and if not, “Spiritualism is at the door deluding the whole world.”
Bill Sorensen