Comment on Perspectives from alleged LSU students by F. Weber.
Whatâ€™s all the fuss about LSU? Theoretically and technically the Church is in no position to urge LSU to teach a recent six-day Creation, if the teachers there claim and endorse the notion that the strongest scientific evidence points to life being on the earth for millions of years. Why? The answer is simple, but disturbingly profound. The problem is not so much with LSU. The real problem lies in the present wording of Belief 6 that makes it a good, but incomplete definition of Creation as historically understood by Adventists as shown below. LSU is not teaching anything explicitly prohibited by Belief 6 which definition of Creation LSU states is the one and only definition of Creation by which LSU will be guided in its teaching of Creation on campus. This limitation of the definition of Creation acceptable to LSU is key. This fact is very important in light of the fact that LSU has not explicitly and formally affirmed through Board action LSUâ€™s support and acceptance of the definition of Creation given in â€œA Response to an Affirmation of Creation.â€ This fact, combined with the present wording of Belief 6, constitutes the entire problem at LSU and places the Board in a very difficult situation.
The wording of Belief 6 may be a description of existing beliefs in the Church. This is helpful if the Belief is describing existing historic Adventist understandings regarding Creation. However, parts of the language of Belief 6 can be theologically fatal if the Belief on Creation is so worded as to permit the Belief on Creation to be interpreted in pluralistic ways in order to accommodate pluralistic positions on Creation existing in the Adventist Church. This is particularly important in light of the commonly known, published facts, that leading, current voices of LSU articulated the basic wording of Belief 6. Consider the following four examples about the present wording of Belief 6. One: the Seventh-day Adventist Church in General Conference session, 1980, placed no language into Belief 6 regarding when the Creation week occurred. This means that this important issue is not address in the only Church definition of Creation by which LSU will be constrained. In other words, this leaves the question open whether Creation may have been recent, or whether Creation may have been millions of years in the making. Belief 6 is silent on the issue. Moreover, to add insult to injury, the official, printed list of texts supporting Belief 6 appearing in the Yearbook does not even mention one of the well-known short chronology texts such as Gen 5; 11; 1 Chron 1; Matt 1. The shocking absence of these famous passages can only be interpreted by laypersons and scholars alike as meaning that the Adventist Church does not think that these passages can be properly used to support the occurrence of a Creation a few thousand years ago. Surely, if the Church thought that the Creation is recent the Church would have said so and would have listed the biblical passages in its support. In the case of LSU, because the Church in General Conference session says nothing about when Creation occurred, nor listed any texts saying when Creation happened, and because the only formal definition of Creation which LSU says it will be guided by is Belief 6, one can properly conclude that LSU is legally not doing anything prohibited by the Churchâ€™s only formally voted, General Conference Session definition of Creation.
Two: while Belief 6 mentions â€œthat first week,â€ no language in Belief 6 describes this week as a â€œliteralâ€ or â€œhistoricalâ€ week. The absence of these important qualifier terms means that the week of Creation and its days mentioned in Belief 6 can be theoretically and technically interpreted as only symbolic or mythical days, or as having only some theological meaning and so on. This appears to be precisely the position favored at LSU.
Three: when Belief 6 states that â€œfor in six days the Lord â€˜made heaven and the earthâ€™â€ what is the extent of the biblical phrase â€œheaven and the earthâ€? Belief 6 does not tell us the extent. Does the phrase mean, as most creationists other than Seventh-day Adventist creationists think it means, that God created everything other than Himself, including the angels, in six literal days a few thousand years ago? Adventists do not believe that everything, but God, including the angels were created a few thousand years ago. We believe in the Great Controversy worldview in which an already existing heaven with angels existed before the six days of the Creation week. However, the present wording of Belief 6 gives the impression that we do. This needs to be fixed.
Four: The global Flood is not mentioned in Belief 6. However, in any contemporary discussion of a Creation a few thousand years ago it is important to mention the Flood and its role in addressing the fossil-filled geologic column, thereby making a recent Creation possible. Do the leading scientists and theologians at LSU endorse a global Flood?
Of the four key points missing in Belief 6 noted above, points 1, 2, and 4 are present in the definition of Creation provided by â€œA Response to an Affirmation of Creationâ€ wisely voted by the General Conference Executive Committee in 2004. Because these four points are disputed at LSU, no wonder LSU is careful to endorse explicitly and formally only Belief 6 and not the â€œA Response to an Affirmation of Creation.â€ The two resolutions made by the LSU Board and the explanations given concerning these separate but related resolutions help to make this point clear.
The Church has been struggling with a good, but incomplete GC-session-voted definition of Creation for 30 years. We now see the results.
Positive action needed: It is imperative that positive action be taken in General Conference session as soon as possible to reword Belief 6 to reflect the complete Seventh-day Adventist definition, teaching, and belief regarding Creation as is now present in â€œA Response to an Affirmation of Creationâ€ which, as mentioned above, has already been voted by the General Conference Executive Committee in 2004.
Recent Comments by F. Weber
Enjoy your victory with smugness and righteousness. I quit. No more from me.
Having never said anything positive, I say good bye enjoy the summer and don’t get sunburned.
GC document holds LSU professors accountable
Let me make it absolutely clear to everyone who has weighed in on the issue of the current F.B.#6, it’s theistic evolution teaching at L.S.U., and the G.C. accountability document.
We need to go back to 1980 when F.B.#6 was implemented by the G.C. at it’s session in Dallas TX. The authors of the current wording of F.B.#6 were Fritz Guy and Larry Geraty. These two individuals intentionally changed the wording and omitted correct wording as voted by the G.C. committee prior to final approval at the G.C. session in 1980. Both men were employed by the Andrews University seminary at that time. Their intent was to re-write and word it in such a way which left the door open for own interpretation. Shortly thereafter their employment took them to L.S.U. which is the center of controversy in their teaching of evolution. It is clearly seen that the teaching of Evolution at L.S.U. is real and has been going on for some time, and intensifying year after year. So what does all this really tell us.
In June of 2009 Fritz Guy specifically stated that the current wording of F.B.#6 (which he was an author of) is open for own interpretation, teaching of evolution, and therefore daring anyone to take on the University. President Wisbey is well aware of this and feels very strongly that the school is not violating F.B.#6 as currently written. The G.C. I believe has been aware of this for some time and therefore has not enforced it’s Accountability Document by disciplining all those at L.S.U who are in violation. It was well stated by Ron Stone, when he says “L.S.U administrators received the G.C. document, and simply tossed it in the trash can”. It is all the more reason and urgency that F.B.#6 be re-written, voted and implemented at the G.C. in Atlanta. The current wording as voted on at Andrews University Seminary which I read on this web-site is the one urgently needed. It is my earnest hope and prayer that church leadership at this coming G.C. session will rise up, step up to the plate and deliver. That certainly would be good news for all of us.
Also I personally respect the many positive responses of many Godly men who respond on this web-site. The Lord bless each one of you for your courage and Christ-like spirit the way you respond. Forward in prayer and always be of good courage.
GC document holds LSU professors accountable
Why has not the G.C. President and North American Division President stepped up to the plate. Silence seems to be their motto. Have they been totally naive of this document or simply hoped for the issue to resolve itself. Interesting!