Comment on Summary and commentary of LSU Board releases by Wayne Matlock.
To the board:
It doesn’t matter how strong the evidence is for evolution of life on earth over a long period of time, the Bible says it was done in six literal days. Therefore, the evidence for anything different is false.
The church’s statement of belief on this is very plain. There shouldn’t be any question what you have to do. The church’s belief has to be taught as THE TRUTH. That does not mean that the evolution belief has to be ignored.
The late Willis Hackett, former associate director of the BRI, put it this way: He drew two circles on the chalk board – a large circle with a smaller circle inside it. He represented the inside of the smaller circle as the place for the fundamental doctrines of the church. All members are free to teach and preach those at will. He represented the outside of the larger circle as the place for all obviously false doctrines. No one should be teaching or preaching those. The area in between the two circles was represented as the proper place for everything that had more than one possible interpretation. He said it was also OK to teach and preach your own beliefs on these points. However, he pointed out that it was wrong to teach your belief on these points as being THE TRUTH. His counsel was that BEFORE you make your presentation, you should tell your listening audience that you are going to present a different view on the subject and then share your own views on it. Make sure they know that it is “your view” or “some view other that what the church believes.”
To teach anything other than a literal six day creation as being the truth would be outside the larger circle in the place for false doctrines. No teacher or preacher should be allowed to hold their license as an Adventist instructor if they do that. It would seen appropriate to allow the opposing view to be presented in the area in between Bro. Hackett’s two circles, as long as you tell your listeners that this is “your view” of this matter and the church’s view is in the inner circle.
Elder Hackett said that when he wanted to present something that belonged in between the circles he told his listeners that it would be his personal view and they could believe it or just call it “Hackett heresy!”
After hearing that, I adopted his suggestion and, when teaching between the circles, I told my listeners that they were about to hear some “Matlock malarkey.” Others adopted the idea and we heard some “attention commanding” labels that others put on their views. The listeners remained free to believe, or not believe, what they heard.
May God’s blessings be with you as you deal with this problem.
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,
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Hello again Professor Kent, Ron Stone and all who may read this,
I wanted to respond back right away, but, although I am retired, life is still very busy. About the only difference I can tell in being retired as opposed to holding a job for pay is â€“ when I get tired, I can stop and rest without getting fired for loafing on the job.
Professor Kent, I would like to apologize to you. If I had been thinking I wouldnâ€™t have suggested that you post a copy of the rules and bylaws for all of us to see. If you are one of the LSU employees (which I am assuming you are?), in view of the problems certain others have brought upon themselves for revealing information about the school, that action would probably have brought the same upon yourself. That certainly wasnâ€™t my objective.
Brother Kent (again I am assuming you are a member of the S.D.A. church? If not, then you are still a Brother if you are a Christian? In fact, for me, just being another member of the human race makes you a Brother.) I appreciate your experience very much and itâ€™s my own fault that I have perhaps missed much of what you have had to say about this issue. I went for quite some time without taking time to follow the dialog.
In response to your statement:
August 29, 2010
@ Wayne Matlock
If so, you should have access to a copy of the rules and bylaws. Could we get you to obtain it and post the reality here for all of us to see?
Iâ€™m sorry, but I donâ€™t think you have a clear picture of academia. Iâ€™ve taught at a handful of private (including church-owned by several denominations) and public universities. Universities have many, many layers of policies, most of which are developed by and remain within various university entities (e.g., central administration, various administrative units such as finance and academics, separate â€œschoolsâ€ when they exist, individual departments). Board members do not take the time to examine every policy, and neither would the sponsoring Church. Iâ€™m sorry to disappoint, but I will not be getting my hands on LSUs rules and bylaws. (Quote)
Letâ€™s focus on this: Iâ€™m sorry, but I donâ€™t think you have a clear picture of academia.
Granted, there is much I donâ€™t know. What I experienced though was not make believe. I have been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for fifty-eight years. During that time I have served in many positions in the local church and served on various boards and committees, both local and on the conference level. I have served on the school board on the local church level and both the nominating committee and the rules and bylaws committee on the conference level. I also sat in on both those committees as an observer (no voice â€“ no vote) and for the learning experience. I have also served as a voting member on both those committees. On the local level, any baptized member who wanted to was permitted to sit in on any board or committee meeting, including the school board (no voice unless granted by the officially elected members of said board or committee and no vote in either case.). I never had occasion to even find out if anyone could sit in on the Conference Board of Education as an observer. I do know it was done on a local level. If it isnâ€™t permitted on the university level, I have an idea the next constituency meeting, in the conference that owns LSU, will probably fix that. The sisterhood of churches there has been given plenty of reason to want that privilege in order to monitor the boardâ€™s actions.
Back to my unclear picture of academia â€“ Granted again, my time of service was in the past. Times change and rules change as experience teaches us how to do things better. As older persons fade from the scene, new younger people with fresher, younger, and in many cases more alert minds with new insights, come to the forefront to carry the torch.
When my own usefulness declined to the point that I felt a younger person should be doing what I had been doing, I asked the nominating committee to pick a younger person. I gave him the up to date church manual I had been using. That was several years ago. The manual I still have is twenty years old. It is all marked up like my Sabbath School Quarterly was when I taught a class. I wanted to know how the church was governed and about its functioning â€“ and just how and where I fit into the picture as well as what my responsibilities were. The following is what I was going by when I said that the school was subject to the conference and that the conference has the authority and responsibility to remove anyone who refuses to follow the conference â€˜s instruction.
All conference workers â€“ ministers, Bible instructors, departmental directors, et cetera â€“ are under the direction of the conference committee. —– Should such a situation develop in which the worker refuses to cooperate with the committee and declines to work in harmony with its decisions, his conduct may be regarded as insubordination and be dealt with as such (emphasis mine).
This passage was taken from The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1990 edition, page 120 & 121. The entire context can be read there. I would recommend comparing it with a current edition.
The following passage, taken from the same book, seems to indicate that the foregoing identification of conference workers includes educational personnel on all levels. The entire context can be read on page 107. I would also recommend comparing this with a current edition of the church manual. I will explain further on why I have not done it.
The church operates a school system to ensure that its youth may receive a balanced physical, mental, spiritual, social, and vocational education in harmony with denominational standards and ideals, and with God as the source of all moral value and truth. —– The church conducts its own schools, kindergarten through university, (emphasis mine)
Brother Kent, I have a strong feeling that the closed School board meeting and the bringing in of an attorney in an attempt to silence the board members is illegal. I donâ€™t have to worry about that though. The GC also has attorneys who will deal with that should such an action become necessary.
For the next thought letâ€™s focus on these questions: How did we arrive at the point where any employee working for any employer is ever permitted to discard his/her official job description and write his/her own without employer permission? Isnâ€™t that the proverbial â€œtail waging the dog?â€ If you were in business for yourself, would you permit it? Think it through!
For everyone reading this: If you believe God is leading our church, is it unbelievable to think that what LSU administration and its teachers (who apparently HAVE written their own job description) are experiencing by the delay of the world church to do something about this situation, is nothing more than the exercise of Godly compassion? And, that it has now become quite clear that nothing is going to dissuade them? Which means that we can look to the world church to indeed do something about it? Can we not look to Ted Wilsonâ€™s speech at the General Conference session as the beginning of it?
Let us also be aware that many in the world, both religious as well as secular, have announced an expectation of the end of the world as we know it in December of the year 2012. That could very well mean that the second coming of Christ will occur before anything can be done to correct this problem – due to the slowness of the system?
For those of you who believe you have indisputable evidence that your views on creation by evolution are correct, you do have to recognize that the Bible says â€œ—for in six days God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, —â€œ (Ex. 20:11) and that this is what the world church believes.
The Bible account is simple. At the creative command of God, the â€˜â€˜â€˜heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in themâ€™â€™â€™ (Ex. 20:11) appeared instantly. A mere six days saw the change from â€œwithout form and voidâ€ to a lush planet teeming with fully mature creatures and plant forms. Seventh-day Adventists Believeâ€¦27(now 28). page 69 par. 1.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Ps 33:6&9.
Once again I present this challenge to you:
Regardless of how strong you feel that you are right I have to believe that (because you are obviously intelligent, reasonable people) if Jesus Himself should appear to you, and you knew without doubt that it really was Him, and He told you that what He put in the Bible was correct, you would believe Him and comply with His wishes. Here is the challenge:
While following this please remember that your motive for doing it is very important!
Set aside thirty minutes a day to spend reading the Bible. Choose a quiet time and place where you wonâ€™t be disturbed. Go there at the chosen time. Donâ€™t let anything interfere and never skip. Start each session by talking to God (whether you believe in Him or not). Tell Him that you honestly believe you have been following the truth, but if you are wrong, you sure donâ€™t want to continue to be wrong. And please God, if You are really there and the Bible is Your Word for we humans, would You please reveal Yourself to me and let me know what You want from me?
Persist in this for a minimum of thirty days and be prepared for the surprise of your life! I put this to the test myself. He did not appear to me in physical form but I could feel His presence and I knew without doubt that it was Him. Neither did I hear an audible voice, yet He spoke to me as clearly as if I had. I could hear Him inside my mind!
Please take note of this counsel from the late George Vandeman: Emphasis mine.
Truth, saving truth, changes men!
But truth changes only those who are willing to be changed.
And so it is with the Bible. If you read it hoping to find some discrepancy, to find some word whip to hurl at some opponent, to support some preconceived notion, to find a choice quotation for an after-dinner speech-you will come away unchanged.
But if you read it to find the truth, to find Godâ€™s plan for you—-you will close its pages never to be the same again. Hammers in the Fire page 32 par. 6 LP â€“ page 33 par. 1.
You will know – in your heart of hearts â€“ that it is God who speaks. Hammers in the Fire page 25 par 5 LP.
I would recommend that a copy of Brother Vandemanâ€™s book be obtained and read all of it. It was the instrument that was used on the atheist mentioned below. The man had six children who had already been educated in a university where evolution was taught. He asked for six more copies of the book for his children!
I have just a bit more to say. In explanation of my not going to the trouble to look up what is said in the current manual, due to age and health problems I have had to curtail my activities considerably. Locally the younger folks have stepped forward and have taken up the slack. As far as beyond locally, I know God will see to it that the same happens worldwide as we older ones fade out. For the sake of these younger folks I would like to outline what I would do if I were twenty years younger and had the means to do it.
1. I would move into the conference where LSU is located.
2. I would choose an Adventist church in the area and start attending.
3. After a reasonable amount of time I would ask for membership in that church. Joining would make me part owner of LSU along with every other baptized member belonging to any one of the sisterhood of churches in that conference.
4. I would accept any job the church asked of me and do the very best possible with the abilities God has blessed me with. The church manual along with local conference â€˜Rules and Bylawsâ€ would be a major point of study to enhance the possibilities of fulfilling the job as expected of me.
5. If given a chance I would try to become acquainted with the LSU personnel, hear their side of this issue directly from them. God would give me words to say in response. I have been instrumental in the conversion of one atheist and perhaps six more. I have also lost some â€“ as far as I know. The seeds got planted, but I had no further contact.
6. If the challenge above were to be accepted, there would be a good possibility that the problem would disappear. If not:
7. Work would begin to prepare for the next constituency meeting. If this is handled properly the GC will not have to be involved unless what is going on is a deliberate effort to bring a different belief to the world church through the educational system instead of the Biblical Research Institute. Theoretically this could happen if allowed to continue until enough people had been indoctrinated to control the vote from the laity in the local conference. In that case the General Conference of the world sisterhood of churches would be forced to act upon it.
8. After the house cleaning was over, I would do everything possible to maintain contact with the removed personnel and hopefully reach their hearts and keep them for the Lord.
Once again I make the plead, if this is not the correct procedure and a lawyer or someone who is qualified to know and state it as fact, would you please post it so all can see â€“ so these precious folks can see what is coming (It would seem that Matt. 21:33-41 would be appropriate for everyone to read right here.). The very fact that they are functioning on this level of society is proof that they are highly intelligent people. They have to know that this cannot last until the world church has been won to their way of thinking. It will be a shame if they are lost to the church and possibly to the Lord!
Unless the Lord does not come soon many of we older folks will be laid to rest. The final work will have to be done by younger people. I expect to be around long enough to see this problem corrected, but Iâ€™m not likely to be very instrumental in the effort myself. You younger folk take heart. Put the challenge to the test for yourself. No matter what your experience with the Lord is now, it will be better afterward. If God wants any of you to be more involved in this or anything else in His cause, He will enable you to do it.
Hoping to meet all of you in the Kingdom hereafter, including and especially the evolution teachers, I am
Sincerely your Brother in Christ
The rules and bylaws committee during the constituency meeting is the place to fix a lot of problems. It will take some effort but it can be done. If you would like more detailed information, my email address is email@example.com. Contact me if you like and I will share my own experience in serving on that committee.
This invitation on communication is extended to anyone who would like to talk, especially those of you who have been checking the ‘Dislike’ marker on my comments. I would be very interested in knowing what exactly did you disagreed with. I may be old but I’m not too old to learn. Let me hear from you. Perhaps you can supply information I don’t have that could change my conclusions?
Sincerely your Brother in Christ,
Thanks for responding. I have supported many of those ministries you mentioned. There are some really good works going on with them. I always use offering money for them. I could never feel right about using the tithe money for anything except to support our regular and faithful pastors. We have had some really good ones! We have one of those now.
Only the tithe will be put in savings. Any other funds will be used for the local church needs and/or for those ministries. The tithe will not be withheld very long. I know our GC leaders are good faithful people. I am satisfied they are trying to figure out what the best way is to correct this problem now and have been all along. We can’t judge the honesty of heart of those we are opposed to. I know you know that. I’d say the GC is simply following the instructions of Jesus Himself concerning uprooting wheat along with the tares.
I know they (the GC) do need some time, but I do believe they will get the job done. That’s why I haven’t stopped turning in the tithe already. There was another incident some years back that gave me an occasion to communicate with them. When they examined the information I sent, the reaction was immediate and swift. It’s un-related to the issue we are dealing with here so I must not talk about that. If Brother Bob Spanglar is still serving in the GC, he could tell you about it.
I keep referring to the GC. I know the Pacific Union leadership are responsible for this, but the GC can have great influence on them.
I am truly an organization man. I will be supporting it till the day I die. My reaction to this problem is not to put undue pressure on our Brothers in the GC or the PU, but to let them know that there are a lot of us who want our church to stay pure with the teachings it was presenting when we joined it. If something is to be changed, the framework for doing so without dividing the denomination is built into its existing rules and bi-laws (See my posting on Dec. eight above).
However, I do not want another school year to start with the same problem. I just couldn’t bear that! It would be so very re-leaving if they could correct it in time for second semester this school year. May God bless everyone involved.
Sincerely your Brother in Christ,
La Sierra “outraged” over Educate Truth article
@Sean Pitman M.D.: Wouldn’t it be helpful if the church leadership, meaning the General Conference, would post, for the benefit of all, the proper procedure for dealing with ‘new’ ideas? I have never seen it in writing but had it explained to me by a pastor many years ago. Your ‘new’ idea, meaning something that is different than what is found in the 28 fundamentals, should be studied with the local pastor first. If he cannot explain it to your satisfaction he is to send it to the local conference. There a committee will be selected to study it.
Failure to come up with a clear explanation then results in it being sent on up-line to the Division Conference and finally to the General Conference who will turn it over to the Biblical Research Institute. They will do an exhaustive search on the issue and bring their findings to “The General Conference in session.” There the duly elected representatives from all over the world will hear ‘the findings’ and either vote it up or down. Then the ‘settled issue (as for as the church in general is concerned)’ is announced to the church laity worldwide.
The individual with whom the ‘new’ idea originated has to make a choice. He/she will either accept the BRI findings or reject them. Either way, would not a truly born again individual grant the rest of the church the right to continue to believe like they always have? just as the rest of the church grants that individual the right to live their on convictions? as long as it doesn’t require them to embrace the ‘new idea’ whether or not they agree with it?
It has been a long time since I heard that procedure. If it is incorrect I would appreciate hearing the correct procedure – with the source of your information, meaning anyone reading this that believes you have the right information. A direct posting from the General Conference would be preferred, then there couldn’t be any question about it.
This would not, and does not remove the responsibility of the school administration to remove the teachers AND other staff who are not teaching and/or supporting the churches stated beliefs. All SDAs voiced the embracing of all Seventh-day Adventists fundamentals upon interring the church. How anyone can believe they have a right to make their own personal decision to insist that the church as a whole should embrace a ‘new idea’ without it being first cleared through the proper procedure is just impossible for me to understand. All the people I have known who come to disagree with what they originally (upon entering the church)believed, simply withdrew their membership.
To those of you who are in opposition to the church in general: If you were in my employ you would not be very long. However, someone in an earlier posting recommended against using a harsh approach. That I agree with. I have been through this and I did use a very gentle approach. That gentleness saved most (they did conform to what the company needed from them) and some just left. In a period of nine years dealing with some four hundred and fifty employees, I experienced a turnover of less that twenty.
In my last job I did not work in management. That company had about four hundred employees. They turned over one hundred plus in the first nine years I worked for them. I highly recommend using the gentle approach, but you do have to get compliance or give up your own job.
To all who read this posting: Do not let this problem blind you to the storm clouds gathering around us in the political world! The time of trouble is fast approaching. Hope to see you in heaven.
Sincerely, your Brother in Christ.