Letter to Wisbey from Carlos Cerna

Carlos Cerna sent this letter Randal Wisbey after he had spoken with Wisbey in his office. This letter was also sent to the Southern California Conference, Southeastern California Conference, and the Arizona Conference. Cerna graduated from La Sierra June, 2009.

June 1, 2009

Dr. Wisbey,

I’m sorry that our discussion was cut short. I will appreciate a few more minutes of your time for a couple of more things I need to say.

My first point I already briefly mentioned in our conversation, but I did not emphasize the point as I should have. Dr. Wisbey, I was born in the Seventh-day Adventist church and in the home of a pastor. Therefore, I was reared by my parents with a strong faith and belief in our Creator.

When I came to La Sierra University and began studying evolution, my thinking was, “yeah right, this ridiculous theory that I’ve heard about all my life, that we all come from monkeys, junk that is plain ridiculous.”

Well, Dr. Wisbey, it’s hard for me to admit it, and I don’t even like talking about it, but when I studied the theory as it was presented in class plus the studying of the books for the class, I actually started questioning Creation myself. I’ll never forget it. I would say to myself, “now Carlos, you know that this is all junk,” but at the same time Dr. Wisbey, I was reading the data from the Biology book, and getting indoctrinated by the faculty so much that I genuinely and sincerely had started to question Creation.

I also remember asking myself that if Creation was in the Bible and it didn’t actually take place the way it’s written, then what else could there be in the Bible that is also false. To put it bluntly, I questioned the Bible, religion and the existence of God.

It was only until I went to other sources outside of the teachings that I received here at our beloved La Sierra University, that I was able to realize the fact that science does point to a Designer, and I am thankful for that.

Dr. Wisbey, I know that I expressed to you that I, as well as others (including other pastor’s kids) that I personally know, have had this same confusion at our Adventist institution. Like I mentioned in our conversation, I don’t think it is coincidence that you, being an ordained minister, are in the position that you are at La Sierra University at this point in time. You and I know that if a student comes into our school as a believer and leaves as a nonbeliever, it would be totally unacceptable for it would be a result that is contrary to the purpose of our school.

Dr. Wisbey, the heart of my letter is this: I realize that you are aware that I personally, as well as others have been extremely affected by this problem here at La Sierra University pertaining to this issue. I know that you told me that you have also spoken with many students that have said that everything is ok in that class and that they don’t feel as if anything is being pushed on them. Good for them! but these are not the people I am concerned about. The fact that some students may leave that class and say they didn’t have a problem with it is not what I’m focusing on. What I believe should concern us is the one student that abandons his Christian faith because of the teachings that he received here in our school.

Like I mentioned, I personally could have been one more lost soul for leaving as an atheist after the teachings I received. I am deeply concerned, Elder Wisbey, I have friends who HAVE abandoned their faith because of the teachings they received here at La Sierra University.

As I said to you, perhaps it should be considered taking the teaching of the theory of evolution out of the science classroom, and put it in the Senior Capstone class, along with the theory of Intelligent Design. This way we have two philosophical ideas in a philosophy class, and then in our actual science classes, such as General Biology and others, we can teach actual science which is testable, observable, and repeatable.

Dr. Wisbey, I firmly believe that as an Adventist institution, we should make debunking this theory of evolution a challenge for our young scientists. We as Christians should seek to find the truth that science holds which points nowhere else but to our Creator. Just like Adventists are blessed with the task of spreading the three angels message, I believe this too can be a pleasant task for our young scientists to look for the signs in nature and molecular biology that point towards our Creator.

In closing, I would just like to leave you with a Bible passage that I found in 1 Timothy 6:20,21. I have written the text and have also included Ellen White’s Bible commentary pertaining to this text:

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called; Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:20, 21

bible-1God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with His works; all true education leads to obedience to His government. Science opens new wonders to our view; she soars high and explores new depths; but she brings nothing from her research that conflicts with divine revelation. Ignorance may seek to support false views of God by appeals to science; but the book of nature and the written Word do not disagree; each sheds light on the other. Rightly understood, they make us acquainted with God and His character by teaching us something of the wise and beneficent laws through which He works (ST March 20, 1884). {7BC 916.7}

Sophistry of False Science.–We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so-called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service (RH March 1, 1898).


Carlos Cerna

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