Comment on NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science by Sean Pitman.
Did Jesus never call anyone out by name who was actively and publicly opposing his people or his message? What about the Biblical authors in general? – the Bible never calls anyone out, who held a position of high public responsibility, by name, for millions to see over thousands of years, for attacking God’s people or his truth? What about the founding fathers/mothers of the SDA Church? – they never called anyone out by name who was actively and publicly and beligerantly attacking the church from within? – especially when it came to those who held positions of high responsibility within the church? And, what about you? Again, are you not publically calling out and reprimanding the efforts of specific individuals? You could contact me privately about your concerns. But no! You evidently feel the need to make public statements against me and my efforts? – without even identifying who you are? How is this not inconsist with your own advice?
Look, I appreciate your motive. I think your motive here is pure and noble… highly commendable in fact. And, if there had been any other way I would have been glad to keep this thing at LSU as low key as possible. It is just that everything else I could think of had already been tried over many years of effort. Nothing helped. It also would not have helped to simply publisize the fact that science and even religion professors at LSU were/are attacking the Adventist position on origins without producing any specific evidence to this effect. Without presenting detailed evidence, nothing would have happened.
I’m sorry, but when you or anyone else takes on a public position of responsibility and you act in that position in a very public manner against the organization that hired you, you must be called out in like manner if you refuse to listen to any efforts of the leadership to reform your actions in line with the wishes of the organization you were hired to represent.
The Adventist Church at large needs to become aware of issues like this so that the decades of subversive activity against the church by one of our schools can finally be dealt with. And, if not effectively dealt with, at least generally publisized so that potential parents and students considering LSU will not be deceived into thinking they are purchasing one thing when they are actually recieving something very different for their money.
If LSU and/or the Adventist Church leadership cannot or will not provide this information to our church family at large, or act in a decided manner to address such problems, I will at least sound the warning to all who are willing to listen… to the very best of my ability (Ezekiel 33:6).
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Sounds more circumstantial than factual to me. I was hoping for something a bit more specific…
I actually agree with you on one level. I most certainly agree that a public forum is not the most ideal place to air any form of the church’s dirty laundry. However, at some point for certain important issues one is left with little choice but to use less than ideal methods to address very important issues within the church. For example, I’m sure Martin Luther wished there were some less public way to effectively address the significant problems of the church of his day rather than to nail his 95 Theses to the most public forum available – the front door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. Likewise, I very much wish there were some much more private and inconspicuous way to effectively address the active and long-standing attack on the church from within one of our own universities. Unfortunately, I was unable to think of any other way (which had not already been tried).
If you know of another way, by all means do share it with me…
You’ll have your reward one day.
You certainly sound gracious and Christlike to me 😉
How about at least giving me the benefit of the doubt as far as my motive and possible ignorance is concerned before passing moral judgment? How about at least pardoning me as far as Jesus did when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”? – Luke 23:34
But, perhaps, I’m beyond all hope? My doom is sealed? – for trying to protect Adventist young people in our own schools from the unending attacks on Adventism from within – from our own hired professors?
Oh, and by the way, while I get many anonymous E-mails and even hand written letters on occasion (which I do not read unless they are signed) I’ve only been privately contacted by a handful of individuals who’ve identified themselves and who’ve expressed concerns about the effect of this website. As far as the one’s who’ve actually identified themselves, all have been male (as far as I recall). So, I assume your private message must have been anonymous?
Also, you should know as well as anyone (and should explain to your friend in case she is not aware) that public comments to the articles posted to any discussion website like this do not necessarily represent the perspective and/or goals of the managers/owners of this website. The attitudes of many commenters certainly do not reflect my own positions or attitudes. What then should I do? – block all comments with which I personally disagree? – including yours?
Also, you’ve failed to respond to my most sincere question as to how the issue at LSU should have been dealt with? How would you have dealt with the problem? What, specifically, would you have done? I’m really interested in any useful advice along these lines…
Do you not see a difference between strongly disagreeing with the actions and/or public statements of a person and “ridicule” or a pejorative attack?
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…