Sean said….. “As I’ve already explained, the SDA Church takes no …

Comment on New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues by Bill Sorensen.

Sean said…..

“As I’ve already explained, the SDA Church takes no official stand on the existence of the basic material of the Earth, or of the universe, before creation week. Therefore, this is an open question from the Church’s perspective…”

Sean Pitman

In other words, Sean, “the church” does not endorse EGW’s understanding of the 6,000 year period. And in this light, let’s list other things “the church” does not endorse or demand as a “test of faith” to be a SDA. Things EGW specifically writes about.

The investigative judgment
Health reform
Dress and jewelry
Theater going and drama in church……etc.

So, for you, when the bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, the “beginning” refered to, is not the beginning of creation week.

Maybe the bible should have said, “In the beginning of this world, God altered the things He created eons before and formed what we now see as the result of His alterations.”

I don’t see this as the biblical intent. You must use your imagination and considerable speculation to conclude such an idea.

Of course, this would explain why “rocks” were millions of years old on day one of the “alteration”.

The first five verses are written in a continum that allows for no such intepretation, and all that is stated is on the first day.

The alteration theory can only lead to more and more confusion. Let the bible speak for itself, and we need no educated scientist to tell us something different from what is clearly stated.

So, when you stated, “….the SDA Church takes no official stand on the existence of the basic material of the Earth, or of the universe, before creation week.” you are saying the SDA church has abandon the clear biblical revelation and is leaving open human speculation to determine something already clearly stated in the bible.

I reject your affirmation of what the church affirms and what it does not. And I think more than a few SDA would agree with EGW as I do.

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues
Some of us have been around the church for a long time. I’m in the middle of 5 generations of SDA’s. Many seem to feel that for sure, now something positive will happen in defense of bible Adventism. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but when you have been around as long as I have, you know that “talk is cheap”.

Like some of you, I am “optimistically hopeful” but I don’t hold the same assurance that some of you seem to exude. The line between politics and truth is often blurred with politics winning out. Again, I hope this is not the case with LSU and our responsible leaders.

Just a parallel that may be relevant. After Jesus death, the political elements in the Jewish society realized a significant split was developing in the nation. A politician has far less interest in what is right and wrong, than in holding unity and harmony for the sake of their own influence and power.

The Judaizers who followed Paul all over the world were a part of this scenario. The purpose was to hold “the kingdom” together. And if Christanity could be initiated into historic Judaizism, their goals would be accomplished.

Paul believed in unity. But it was to unite both Jew and Gentile into a true biblical Christ centered religion. In this context, Paul had no interest in political unity and “truth” stood head and shoulders above being “nice” and patronizing and telling everyone “I love you.”

As Christians, we should and do love all mankind with the goal of being redemptive to bible truth.

So, as you can see, I am optimistically hopeful that our leaders will hold truth above any political expediency. But having experienced and witnessed the past, I am not holding my breath.

We should all continue to pray for our leaders that they will stand up and discipline where discipline is necessary. But a split is coming, (it is already here) and nothing in heaven or hell will stop it.

If God sending His Son could not heal the apostacy in Judaism, it seems more than likely that such will not happen in Adventism. In fact, we are told it will not. “Two parties will be developed”, EGW. And it seems likely the majority will abandon the true bible faith and only a “remnant” will remain.

I did not post to discourage anyone who hopes and prays for a true and viable biblical outcome. But don’t put your head in the ground and “over-expect”. It could lead to a more discouraging experience than being ready for a more realistic outcome.

Keep the faith

Bill Sorensen

New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues

“The same thing is true of prophecy. Just because one can demonstrate very accurate foreknowledge doesn’t mean that this individual is really God. It just means that we can’t tell the difference between someone with such power and what we would recognize as “God”.” – Sean Pitman

Obviously, Sean, no one can know everything in the bible or everything the bible claims is true in and of itself. And we both agree that science and nature are “evidence” of certain biblical claims.

I guess my main concern is how I understand your whole theory of faith and evidence. This is what I hear you saying, “If and when someone can prove the bible isn’t true, then I will reject it.”

In this creation/evolution debate, those who oppose the bible appeal to nature and science to invalidate the bible. It would seem you are willing to meet them on their own terms, and then try to prove the bible is true by the means they claim it is not. All for the purpose of supporting your faith in the bible. I think you are in a losing battle. And if so, then you are walking on thin ice concerning your own faith.

You don’t meet the devil on his own ground, nor argue with him on his stated basis for a conclusion. He is the master of his art and used this method to deceive Eve. Logic and human reasoning apart from divine revelation is a losing game.

As bible Christians, we start with God’s revelation and then use reason to understand what He communicates.

Logic tells us God created us and is solely responsible to give and maintain life. No amount of “logic” could understand why God would create us and then put us on trial. And then threaten us with destruction if and when we rejected His test. But this is exactly what the bible teaches us. And this is exactly what Satan opposed in heaven and continues his attack on God here on earth.

Who is responsible for sin? Satan says it is God. God, in the end, accuses Satan. We see from the bible account, few in this world side with God.

So, the argument goes, “God created me, He is responsible for me.” And not a few “so-called” Christians take this position. But God has delegated authority, and to this extent, we are responsible for ourselves. And our eternal life is dependent on the right decision in this controversy of good and evil.

My point is this, we start with God’s self revelation and then use reason to affirm His claims. If we use reason first, we will reject God’s claims about Himself and His kingdom.

For example, the teaching from the bible on forgiveness and how it is available is not rational. The human mind could never rationally accept the fact that an innocent man can be charged with guilt in behalf of another. There is no justice in it. Biblical revelation alone can explain in what way it can be just. Love is the key, isn’t it? But love is not logical nor rational by pure human reason.

At any rate, Sean, you won’t beat the devil on his own ground. And as for myself, I wouldn’t even try. And as a church, I doubt we have much real success in debunking evolution by nature and science. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” This goes beyond nature and science. Ask Nicodemus.

Bill Sorensen

New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues

Dear Bill

“Naturally I am not a biblical scholar. But I wonder when you leave out a key word of a phrase, or interpret it to mean just our atmosphere: (‘heaven’) if you are not engaging in as much creative, versus literal, biblical interpretation as Sean.”

your agnostic friend

Well, Ken, I was not trying to be ambiguous. Here is how it starts. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth……”

Here is how it is interpreted in the 4th commandment…..”For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth…..”

It seems more than obvious “the heavens” in Gen. 1:1-5, are same that fall within the “six days” explained in the 4th commandment.

What do you think?

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Sorensen

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

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

[Oh please…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Sorensen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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