WASC considers outside efforts ‘threatening’ to LSU’s autonomy

By Shane Hilde

This press release from La Sierra University confirms earlier claims that WASC is taking note of the controversy over evolution and has concerns about “institutional autonomy, the appropriate role of the board and faculty, and academic freedom.” WASC will return in the spring of 2011 to review this situation, because it “sees the efforts of some outside the university as threatening to La Sierra’s institutional autonomy.”

August 20, 2010
Larry Becker
Director, University Relations

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has reaffirmed the accreditation of La Sierra University for eight years. This important milestone is the outcome of a multi-year effort by the university, which included a series of proposals, reports, and self-studies, culminating in a March 2010 campus visit by a team of peer reviewers. WASC accreditation means that the university has been judged to be operating at a high level of quality consistent with its mission.

In a letter sent to La Sierra University President Randal Wisbey, the WASC team commended La Sierra for “its commitment to marketing, its continued progress on student support and retention, its hard work and progress on assessment, its work on faculty effectiveness, and the faculty’s engagement with active student learning.”

“Accreditation is one of the most important marks a university can earn. It is a measure of excellence in education,” said Wisbey. “Accreditation is earned following a rigorous assessment of the processes within La Sierra University, and the ways in which all members of the university family help fulfill the mission of Seventh-day Adventist higher education through their participation in the academic, financial, and planning aspects of the university on a daily basis.”

WASC evaluators determined that La Sierra is making sustainable and authentic progress on developing a comprehensive assessment system, including program review. During the new accreditation period, WASC will be looking for La Sierra to continue refining its assessments efforts, with particular emphasis on aligning them with the university mission statement, strategic plan, budget, and student learning outcomes.

“We are grateful for this strong affirmation from WASC,” said Provost Steve Pawluk. “There are, of course, some matters that will require our prompt and careful attention. Our university will focus attention on strategic planning, assessment efforts, enhancing student success, and instructional technology innovations. We will work diligently to enhance the university’s ability to serve our students and community in the best ways possible.”

While finding many positive attributes at La Sierra, the evaluation team also noted the 15-month controversy surrounding allegations of how biology department faculty members present the theory of evolution to students. The controversy touches on several basic principles that form the foundation of WASC standards, including institutional autonomy, the appropriate role of the board and faculty, and academic freedom. WASC clearly understands that this is a denominational issue, but it also sees the efforts of some outside the university as threatening to La Sierra’s institutional autonomy. WASC will continue to closely observe how the controversy is resolved, and plans to send a team back to campus in Spring 2011 to review the situation.

“We value WASC’s interest and peer support,” said Wisbey. “We appreciate the commission’s reaffirmation of our accreditation which allows us to fulfill our mission to seek truth, to know God, and to serve others.”

PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)

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72 thoughts on “WASC considers outside efforts ‘threatening’ to LSU’s autonomy

  1. I think LSU could use this WASC concern to leverage their continuance of teaching evolution the way they want to. Basically they could say, “You can’t pressure us into teaching what you want because you’ll jeopardize our accreditation.” Of course they have been accredited for the next 8 years, so this might not be the best argument now. I image though that LSU could use this to their advantage.




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  2. I think LSU could use this WASC concern to leverage their continuance of teaching evolution the way they want to. Basically they could say, “You can’t pressure us into teaching what you want because you’ll jeopardize our accreditation.” Of course they have been accredited for the next 8 years, so this might not be the best argument now. I image though that LSU could use this to their advantage.  

    Exactly correct Shane. LSU will gladly follow any humanistic “law” rather than follow God’s Law.

    However, this “outside the university” stuff appears to be pure posturing. Since when are the constituents and Board “outsiders?” Does WASC believe that the university should be controlled solely by its faculty and administration? If so, why do we even have a Board or have constituency meetings?

    As we have asked before, WHO exactly “owns” LSU? Does anyone know?




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  3. No doubt about it. LSU will probably attempt to manipulate WASC into being an unwitting accomplice in the hijacking of academic freedom at LaSierra. But then again, as someone who has worked with WASC rather extensively, it’s clear that they are not “into imposing” belief systems on any university. WASC just wants to know if an institution of higher learning actualizes what they claim to be in bulletins and other communications. But again, of course, LSU could “stage a show” that portrays all the recent hoopla as an imposition on their right to “do school.”

    Funny thing.

    This whole shebang would never have ignited if a teacher hadn’t publicly demeaned his “customers”; indeed, while some in the biology department might have leanings toward “Evolvement Stuff”, things would have essentially remained unnoticed except for this one aberration—loss of academic freedom for certain lowly students, that is, the freedom to just be a plain ole’ Adventist in an Adventist university. It was the public and academic humiliation from the pontifical platform of “professor” that created the firestorm. And it is just this issue that ought, at some point, to be addressed.

    Maybe when the spin machine exhausts it’s fuel?

    Hopefully!




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  4. Perhaps we should just get used to the idea that LSA will become ‘dis-affiliated’ with the SDA church, since there is no doubt that the board will consider WASC accreditation more valuable than the financial or philisophical support of the SDA church. Autonomy from the church has less appeal than autonomy from the big market place out there in the world of commerce and academia.




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  5. The concept of academic freedom and autonomy is not in line with the purpose of the institution in the first place, they are not an autonomous institution, they are subordinates of the Churches mission to reach the lost by equipping members to be effective Christians and to also make a living while doing it; the original mission is obviously not the focus of our institutions and has not been for many decades, the real focus is what then?




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  6. I am a strong proponent of Creation. I believe it is impossible to be a Christian and deny it since Jesus taught that it was the origing of marriage. I believe that Creation is also the basis for the Sabbath, which is at the heart of being a Seventh-day Adventist.

    My concern is for the tone and character of your group. Jesus went to the lost sheep of Israel in order to show them the way to the Father. Jesus also instructed us to love our “enemies” and to pray for those who make our lives difficult. I am sorry to say that I do not see, in the writings of those who participate in this site, a spirit of love, compassion or a desire to bring the lost sheep home. “let him who is without sin” be the one to cast stones. I have no stone in my hand. What is in yours?




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  7. The accrediting assn may have been tipped by LSU in order to get leverage against the church to do what they want to retain accreditaiton. Our biggest mistake in education was to submit to accreditation, wanting approval of the world instead of the approval of God. The University of Chicago was one of the most enviable universities in the US and never were accredited. Their repuatation was all they needed. LSU is worth many tens of millions and is owned by the church but some apparently want the money to keep pouring but ignore the right of the church to guide it. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. The golden rule is that he who has the gold is the one who rules.




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  8. The problem here seems to be bigger than the discussion. Teaching against Adventist beliefs in an “Adventist” institution is definitely in poor taste, at the least. Some cherish academic freedom over responsible instruction (responsible to the Parent and Founders).

    But what about the maxim that we should raise our children to be thinkers and not mere reflectors? Here we have a student which is actually daring to think–even against the “instructor authority.” At Berkely U there are many FREE THINKERS. Not every thought is valuable; some are right, others not. Why does the LSU leadership and board make such an issue over a student who writes his own conclusions? Doesn’t the student have the right to his opinions, without parroting the teacher (right or wrong)??




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  9. Wisbey stated:

    “Accreditation is earned following a rigorous assessment of the processes within La Sierra University, and the ways in which all members of the university family help fulfill the mission of Seventh-day Adventist higher education through their participation in the academic, financial, and planning aspects of the university on a daily basis.”

    According to Wisbey, therefore, the WASC should have threatened to revoke LSU’s accreditation because certain teachers have been working against the mission of Seventh-day Adventist higher education by teaching evolution as fact.

    Therefore, according to Wisbey’s own statement, the WASC wasn’t doing its job when it failed to take LSU to task over the matter.

    I prefer to think that Wisbey has misstated the facts.




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  10. #1. LSU is not even remotely an autonomous institution from the Seventh-day Adventist church. In fact the religion department and deans of students are paid directly from Church tithes.

    2. Those who have sent gifts to LSU have done so under the pretense that this is an actual Seventh-day Adventist institution rather than an independant ministry or organization. If they try to make the claim that LSU has not been an SDA institution for as long as WASC has been approving accreditation – there are going to be some financial records and legal agreements to be resovled.

    3. The SDA church has a number of other teaching institutions in that same area including LLU and PUC. The same requirement to support Fundamental Belief #6 is applicable there as well. Legal documents will show that these schools did not start up as independant ministries. If charters have changed such that they are now considered autonomous and no longer a part of the Adventist Church – someone needs to let Seventh-day Adventists know about it.

    I am wondering if maybe WASC is not being “played” by someone who wants to bluff their way through the problem at hand.

    4. On the other hand – if the WASC is in fact trying to tell LSU and LLU and PUC that they need to look for another accreditation body that is willing to allow for the concept of a privately held University that is owned and operated by a specific denomination – then so beit. Maybe now is a good time to start looking.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. The concept of academic freedom and autonomy is not in line with the purpose of the institution in the first place, they are not an autonomous institution, they are subordinates of the Churches mission to reach the lost by equipping members to be effective Christians and to also make a living while doing it; the original mission is obviously not the focus of our institutions and has not been for many decades, the real focus is what then?  (Quote)

    Precisely Vincent. We only begin to worry about accreditation when we begin to be confused or vague about the fundamental mission of all Christian Seventh-day Adventist schools K-21.




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  12. @Frank Haynes: I’ve not seen or heard from Frank for thirty years, but I recognize that gentle spirit. However, I think hard speach is warranted my old friend, as it was back in the days of Paul and Jesus who were patient with those who did not know better, but not so much with those who should have known and practiced the truth but instead perverted it. (Matthew 18:17; I Cor. 5:9-13; and especially Gal. 1:9) Grace and peace to all the saints of God!




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  13. Having just read this information, I can clearly see what is going on at LSU. It seems that the University is courting worldly approval rather than that of the Lord. I think it would behoove them to realize that the reason for the University’s existence is to prepare workers for the church. No outside institution will value that mandate, so why are we worried about what they (the members of WASC) think about our institution in the first place? Why work so hard for the approval of the world when they (those running LSU) should be most concerned about what the Lord thinks about the way they are discharging their duties and responsibilities to Him and His people? There is a much more important examination coming, and if they do not correct the situation at LSU, its faculty will be facing the Great Judge of the Universe trying to explain why they were more interested in some useless worldly approval rather than His, and why they led so many of His young people out of the church as a result. Really, how very adolescent it is to worry about peer approval. It is this very mentality that leads to apostasy–as LSU has patently proven.

    And they needn’t try to make those of us who have called them on this heresy feel guilty about “interfering” in their schemes. We are not outsiders and have every right, as SDAs to raise the alarm on this subject. They are answerable to the church for what they are doing as well as to the Lord Himself. I think it’s time they had a reality check and figure out just who they owe their allegiance to.

    To Frank Haynes:
    So are you suggesting that we should just smile and pat their heads and let this alarming situation go unchecked? These people have made it obvious that they fully intend to continue in this sin. When sin is involved we need to call it by its right name and deal with it. Love doesn’t involve tolerating sin. Jesus has made that very plain. Don’t you think we need to show our love to the young ones who are being led astray by those they trust to steer them correctly and who are, in fact, leading them to perdition. Where is the love and concern for them? This is an emergency situation and should have been nipped in the bud years ago. I believe this is a time for the soldiers of Christ to arise and do battle to defend the Faith, don’t you?




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  14. So who needs WASC anyway. Wouldn’t our students and Church be better served if we formed no affiliations with this world? What possible good could ever come of accreditation? Why should we conform to this world?




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  15. The concept of academic freedom and autonomy is not in line with the purpose of the institution in the first place, they are not an autonomous institution, they are subordinates of the Churches mission to reach the lost by equipping members to be effective Christians and to also make a living while doing it; the original mission is obviously not the focus of our institutions and has not been for many decades, the real focus is what then?  

    The real focus of LSU, at least the Biology Dept.is to further the humanistic philosophy of Darwinian Evolution. The university administration has gone along with it, as well as the Board. Who will step up to the plate on this problem. Nobody yet!




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  16. I am a strong proponent of Creation.I believe it is impossible to be a Christian and deny it since Jesus taught that it was the origing of marriage.I believe that Creation is also the basis for the Sabbath, which is at the heart of being a Seventh-day Adventist.My concern is for the tone and character of your group.Jesus went to the lost sheep of Israel in order to show them the way to the Father.Jesus also instructed us to love our “enemies” and to pray for those who make our lives difficult.I am sorry to say that I do not see, in the writings of those who participate in this site, a spirit of love, compassion or a desire to bring the lost sheep home.“let him who is without sin” be the one to cast stones.I have no stone in my hand.What is in yours?  

    Frank, I looks like you need to take a seat and let those who have some backbone handle this matter.




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  17. It is quite probable that the SDA denomination has no authority over LSU. And if so, we don’t need to speculate why our church leaders have done nothing substancial in correcting the errors of LSU.

    All they can do is “threaten” and conjole and chide with the hopes that LSU will be responsive. At this point, it’s not likely LSU will do anything substancial to correct the situation. They will likely continue to “blow a lot of smoke” in the hopes it will all eventually pass over and they can continue “business as usual”.

    Concerned SDA’s will simply withdraw support and the school will drift into the world as a lost cause. And this is only the beginning of many such scenarios in the near future. Schools, hospitals, and even churches will slide into the world and perhaps whole conferences in the near future.

    The denonination has been embracing apostate elements for many decades and the fruit is showing more and more. We can’t be too far from the final shaking and the “terrible ordeal” EGW foretold would come to pass before Jesus comes. “Everything that can be shaken, will be shaken.” EGW

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  18. @Sybil: It is not available. My understanding is that this letter or any other letter from WASC to LSU would not be public information. There is a man who has made the claim that he has read this letter to WASC. He was featured in Paul Giem’s Sabbath School video in the answer and question section at at the end of the video. Also, Warren L. Johns (not to be confused with LLU Warren Johns) mentions this letter and appears to have knowledge of its contents.

    http://www.educatetruth.com/featured/la-sierra-and-battle-creek-college/

    On June 29, WASC reported it will be returning to the campus in 2011 to review “teaching evolution in the science curricula.” -Warren L. Johns

    http://www.educatetruth.com/letters/accreditation-letter-to-lsu-provost/




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  19. Hello to Frank and thanks for your instructive counsel! Of course, to those who “disagreed” with Frank I think I grasp what you’re seeking to convey; that is, that the calling of some of our fellow churchmembers just may well be to ask the “hard questions”—all in the right spirit—so that the original purpose of our colleges might be maintained and strengthened.

    With your counsel in mind, Frank, you can mentally delete my question at the end of my earlier post, as it is really unnecessary. While it is true that tactful, yet focused and blunt rebuttals to the Evolution Solution are essential to the spiritual health of the church and it’s entities, it’s also true that we must be (as you say) kindly disposed to others, without rancor, even in the midst of clashing philosophies.

    One last little vignette: Maybe those of us who contribute to this site should emphasize a bit more often that indeed there are top-notch believing professors who fully support the Genesis Creation Story and who teach at La Sierra University. I know this is true and that it might be the better part of valor to guard against carelessly using too wide a paintbrush…

    Just a thought…




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  20. All they can do is “threaten” and conjole and chide with the hopes that LSU will be responsive. At this point, it’s not likely LSU will do anything substancial to correct the situation.

    Maybe things have been corrected.

    The only substantial “evidence” from last year–nearly 12 months ago–was a set of videos from a single class that had one questionable guest speaker and three religion faculty who gave relatively benign talks. Curiously, we saw no videos whatsoever from the biology faculty.

    Yet, we’re told over and over that the problem continues…but where is this evidence?




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  21. David Grams said…..

    “Maybe those of us who contribute to this site should emphasize a bit more often that indeed there are top-notch believing professors who fully support the Genesis Creation Story and who teach at La Sierra University.”

    We might wonder, David, why these “top-notch believing professors” are not demanding accountability of those who do not teach the biblical creation account? Have we come to the place where “Am I my brothers keeper?” has now become the norm so we can shirk our responsibility to demand accountability?

    There is a false application of “judge not that ye be not judged” being used in the church today. And the fruit of this false application is becoming more and more evident as many things are tolerated with no real accountability being called for. It is all part of the modern liberal agenda, isn’t it?

    Cain hated Abel because he reminded Cain of his accountability to God. It was not Abel who said “Am I my brothers keeper?” Abel understood his responsibility to his brother and desired his brother’s salvation. We can not ignore our brother’s need to repent along with our own need to repent. And we confess, “We are our brothers keeper.” Love always seeks to do the right thing for everyone concerned.

    So some of believe a calling of LSU to accountability is the only “loving” thing we can do. Anything less is indifference and “non-loving”. It would parallel Cain’s response, “Am I my brothers keeper?”

    Bill Sorensen




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  22. Some have been asking why we need accreditation at all. Why not just dispense with it? Of course then the graduates would not be accepted into medical school at Loma Linda etc. etc. The whole history of how we got into this situation as presented by Dave Fiedler in his book “Hindsight” makes a very interesting read.




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  23. #1. LSU is not even remotely an autonomous institution from the Seventh-day Adventist church. In fact the religion department and deans of students are paid directly from Church tithes.2. Those who have sent gifts to LSU have done so under the pretense that this is an actual Seventh-day Adventist institution rather than an independant ministry or organization.

    Well stated Bob, This is the reason my wife and I pay no money directly to the Pacific Union Conference. We do pay to the SDA Church, so some might get to them “under the table.” All bible-believing SDA’s should take a hard, thoughtful look at where their tithe money is going and what humanistic philosophies it is paying for.




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  24. Shane, is the full accreditation report available?  

    Yes, we should print it online, if we can get it, so everyone can “interpret” it and see what it actually says.




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  25. I have heard from my relatives attending PUC and others that PUC does not teach “evolution as fact.” Have they had a problem with accreditation? I’ve never heard anything. Then, why would LSU? Something doesn’t sound right. This needs to be fully investigated.




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  26. Looks like I just saw you throw a stone a Educate Truth.  

    Yes, Frank doesn’t like our “tone and character!” He wants us to sit down, shut up, and quit rocking the LSU boat. Well, I won’t be doing any of that. How about the others?




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  27. Evidently WASC is not interested in how Wisbey and LSU treats its students!
    “Excellence in education” is the goal, but LSUs intimidation tactics towards its students and faculty who stand up shows their confusion between
    autonomy and authoritarianism!




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  28. @Bill Sorensen:

    Bill Sorensen says:
    August 22, 2010 David Grams said…..

    “Maybe those of us who contribute to this site should emphasize a bit more often that indeed there are top-notch believing professors who fully support the Genesis Creation Story and who teach at La Sierra University.”

    We might wonder, David, why these “top-notch believing professors” are not demanding accountability of those who do not teach the biblical creation account? Have we come to the place where “Am I my brothers keeper?” has now become the norm so we can shirk our responsibility to demand accountability?

    Curious that they do not come here and voice their concern about evolutionism being taught at LSU.

    Recall that in the evolutionism defense league there is more than just diehard evolutionists. There are also people who “prefer” to believe in the actual Bible account – but who also believe that evolutionists professors are equally entitled to evolutionist doctrines for origins instead of the Bible and nobody should make evolutionists feel “less than” for strictly promoting their own faith at SDA teaching institutions instead of the Bible.

    And there self-titled “creationsts” who do not believe the Bible is actually the “Word of God” but rather is the Word of “man” (ignorant and living in a non-science culture) borrowing ideas from Egyptians when it comes to key doctrines and trying to give their own spin on what God may may not have said – with the result being “the Bible”. And they are often unhappy with our Fundamental Beliefs as voted doctrine – preferring to refer to them as “descriptive” – as in a News Paper story about “a culture” at some point in time — rather than an affirmation that doctrine of that sort is actually correct.

    There are self-styled creationists of the Kent variety who think that science SHOULD always present belief in evolutionism as if it were proven fact – because for them – by definition -belief in evolutionism IS science and believing FSM cultural myths is just a personnal choice in conflict with science – believe it “if you like”.

    Bill – in your statement above – you appear to refer to faculty at LSU that would be conservative to the point of believing the Bible as the Word of God, believing that neither the bible nor the Fundamental Beliefs cannot be bent to support doctrines on origins found in evolutionism, and then “silent” as they support their faith in spite of the host of variations above that oppose them at LSU. (Much like many of the Bible-believing SDA students who unwittingly selected that campus without knowing what they were getting in to. I.e those 300 students that complained in 1998).

    I too am wondering if that segment exists at LSU and if so – do they feel so threatened by the pro-evolutionist and also the protect-evolution crowd at LSU that they dare not speak out?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. Somebody help me. I’m trying to remember when we started running public schools?

    Seems once upon a time Dr. James Harvey Kellogg stated something like the institution he was heading in Battle Creek was the property ‘of the people’ or something of the sort–maybe my recollection of past history and the underlying principles is growing hazy. Maybe nothing is as it seems and soon all will be well as we settle into the long millennial tranquility of the ‘kingdom’ finally come to the waiting masses joined in the final secular and all absorbing ‘remnant’–but I forget, trying to reconcile scripture with education and life in general doesn’t work any more, the world has moved on…




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  30. Somebody help me.I’m trying to remember when we started running public schools?

    When did our schools start becoming “public?” Well, out here in California, it was decades ago that our SDA Church started following the world’s philosophy, which is epitomized at LSU. LSU is not the only place, however. Even many of our SDA Churches are “not recognizable” by those outside the Left Coast!




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  31. When La Sierra’s PR Department comes out with definitive statements apologizing to everyone concerned, specifically the students who’ve signed petitions, including a very specific apology to Louis Bishop clearing his record, and lists corrective, “falsifiable” — to borrow a favorite word from this site — measures that will be instituted immediately, then there is reason to believe La Sierra is correcting the problems. Until then, it is all smoke and mirrors.




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  32. When La Sierra’s PR Department comes out with definitive statements apologizing to everyone concerned, specifically the students who’ve signed petitions, including a very specific apology to Louis Bishop clearing his record, and lists corrective, “falsifiable” — to borrow a favorite word from this site — measures that will be instituted immediately, then there is reason to believe La Sierra is correcting the problems.Until then, it is all smoke and mirrors.  

    Susie, Do you actually think LSU is going to issue an “apology” for anything? The “smoke and mirrors” will continue until someone, not LSU, decides to actually stand up for God’s Truth! Who will that be?




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  33. Ron, I’m not holding my breath. Thought I’d make an attempt to call their bluff. When I stopped by the La Sierra booth at the GC session, I was first given the line that LSU’s teaching of evolution was just like all our other schools (with SAU’s creation exhibit immediately across the aisle, that was too ironic), when I questioned further, then I was told there was a new class that now addressed the faith/science concerns; I was handed Ricardo Graham’s “Why I Support La Sierra University” la, la, la. Whenever I’d bring up some contradictory facts, I’d be given another prepared line. It was a very interesting experience. If I hadn’t been well-informed prior to stopping by their booth, I would have gotten only propaganda version one, but by raising questions and objections I was given additional layers of spin. A slight admission that was given was that the situation with one student had not been handled as well as it should have been. I am willing to believe good faith efforts, if there’s any evidence to support those efforts. Sometimes “spin” can sound pretty convincing, especially when a gullible person (like me) tends to take people at their word unless there’s strong evidence to the contrary. That is why I am convinced that LA SIERRA CAN MAKE NO CREDIBLE CLAIMS OF CHANGE UNTIL APOLOGIES TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS, PARTICULARLY LOUIE BISHOP, HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED.




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  34. Susie, are you related, per chance, to the famous Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue who my kids used to listen to on the radio? Those were the good ol’ days when we occupied ourselves with faith- and church-building. For some reason, everytime I see your name these two wonderful storytellers come to mind!

    “This is Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue saying good-bye everyone; see you again next week!”




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  35. Ron, I’m not holding my breath. Thought I’d make an attempt to call their bluff.When I stopped by the La Sierra booth at the GC session, I was first given the line that LSU’s teaching of evolution was just like all our other schools (with SAU’s creation exhibit immediately across the aisle, that was too ironic)…

    So you’ve been given the full spectrum of LSU’s baloney! I believe every word you said. I tried to speak to Graham personally, but I was given the old “heave ho!” and he sped off in his car! As I’ve stated, the Board, including Graham himself is a BIG part of this problem.

    I’m sure the LSU “spin doctors” have all been given a major seminar on how to boondoggle anyone trying to ask the “tough” questions, and how to give useless, vague, avoidance type answers.




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  36. Professor Kent, I too have fond memories of Uncle Dan & Aunt Sue’s stories that I listened to as much as my kids did. No, I’m not related, although my parents were friends with Aunt Sue–back in the good old days.




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  37. @Ron Stone M.D.:

    Hi Ron, and everyone else who are concerned about this situation:
    It has been awhile since I took time to see what is going on with this issue. I am surprised that no attorney has come forward – or has he/she and I just missed it?
    The following is my understanding of just who has the authority and responsibility to correct this situation. As you read it I expect you will realize that you already knew this?
    One point should be made for the sake of the tender-hearted, of which I am one. Even with Satan and his followers, there came a point in time when it was too obvious to mistake that they were never going to follow their Creator and God (how painful it must have been for God) was left no choice but to remove them from heaven.
    Now for what I understand about ownership, authority, and responsibility as pertaining to LSU and its roll in the church. If there is a lawyer who is keeping up with this will you please grade this and tell all of us what the real legalities are?
    Ownership; LSU belongs to the Local Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in which it is located. The conference is made up of baptized members of the Seventh-day-Adventist Church. That means any one who holds membership in any Seventh-day Adventist church in that conference is part owner.
    Governed by: A board of Directors who has the authority and responsibility to hire the School’s staff. The Board also has the authority and responsibility of removing any staff member, including the president, who does not follow the Conference’s school policies – Yes, the Conference. The school itself does not make the policies. The Conference ‘Rules and by-laws’ should tell just how the policies are formulated.
    The Board of Directors: How is the Board of Directors selected? The procedure probably varies from conference to conference. It is likely to be done at a constituency meeting when the conference officials are hired for the next term.
    The constituency meeting; It is attended by delegates from the various church congregations in the conference. Committees (nominating committee, rules and by-laws committee, etc.)do work and make recommendations to the total body of delegates just like in your local church. The total body then votes to accept or reject the committees recommendations. The results becomes the guide for the conference until the next constituency meeting. The school board is likely to be selected at this meeting. So! If the board is not doing its job? At the next constituency meeting, vote them out and select someone who will follow God’s directions rather than the world!! The school administrator is supposed to correct the problems as they surface. Whenever it becomes obvious that he/she cannot correct a problem any other way, the offending staff is supposed to be removed. If he/she don’t do so, then he/she should be replaced themselves along with the offending staff.
    That leaves one BIG question: Suppose the constituency base in a given conference has drifted so far from the world church’s beliefs that it refuses to correct the problem? Now that’s a real touchy situation. I’m sure the General Conference would become involved and do everything God would have them to for a long time. However, if after it becomes obvious that the constituency in question is never going to re-align with the world church, and appears bent on changing it to fit their own way of thinking, then the unthinkable must happen. Any members who are still faithful to God and His world church would be the sole owners of all church property while the rest would have to be declared to have gone into apostasy and would have their names removed from the books (see your Church Manuel under ‘church discipline’.
    Sincerely, your Brother in Christ.

    Wayne Matlock
    waymat@swbell.net or prodnew@swbell.net




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  38. Wayne, I doubt whether the Pacific Union Conference delegates have the backbone to “vote them out.” The Board, as we are seeing, will drag its feet as long as it can, to AVOID doing anything. Why do they believe they can “get away” with this? It’s simply because its members don’t really believe enough of the constituents will actually say or do anything, except a few of us “bigoted, noninclusive fundamentalists” over here at EducateTruth.com

    And we’re marginalized as “outsiders!”




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  39. I remember a few years ago when Mariam Wood retired from doing her column in the Review. Does anyone else remember the content of her farewell article? Sometimes you don’t have to be a prophet to see the end from the beginning. The sad part is that young people are being hurt, perhaps some irreparably.

    Almost thirty years ago one of our progressive educators informed me the church had changed, perhaps I should leave. It’s an interesting thing, he started keeping Sunday soon after, the church didn’t change fast enough I guess. Took his whole family with him. I’m still here, along with my wife and children and a whole lot of people we taught in Sabbath School, youth groups and churches over the years. Still here, scratching my head and trying to figure out on what basis I should start to disbelieve the Word that recreated my broken life. Maybe I need some of that new math? What is it we learned from Orwell classic ‘1984’..2 + 2 = 3? After all, this stuff is subjective isn’t it?




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  40. Wayne Matlock wrote

    The school itself does not make the policies. The Conference ‘Rules and by-laws’ should tell just how the policies are formulated.

    I don’t think so. I’d say the chances of this being true and between nil and none.




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  41. Aaron, The liberals within our SDA Church will tell you that you need to learn some “present truth” of their own imagination. Throw out all of that Ellen White garbage and come aboard the “truth train” of inclusiveness, ecumenical brotherhood, and humanistic philosophies.

    Think I’m crazy? Then read Steven Daily, Ryan Bell, Erv Taylor, Dave Larson, Alexander Carpenter, Etc. Etc. Etc. Mainly from California!




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  42. Ricardo Graham really does not have much of a backbone in dealing with any controversial issues. He hopes to retire before any change has to take place in any of the Pacific Union departments that are on the brink of failure.

    Obviously LSU is happy to report that WASC is somehow disturbed by the “outside influences” that threaten the institution’s autonomy. If LSU was truly bothered by it, they would suppress that news just like they tried to suppress Educate Truth. They would love to see Educate Truth disappear and that the spotlight leave their actions at LSU.

    It will be up to President Wilson to take a decisive action at LSU, or at least confront LSU. The Pacific Union president has no backbone (or does not care about anything other than that his own legacy is not tarnished).

    Wisbey does not care.

    The LSU Board does not care.

    The LSU Religion Department does not care.

    The LSU Science Department only cares because the spotlight threatens some jobs.

    No – this controversy has been stirring up and literally HUNDREDS of students have expressed concerns over the last TWO DECADES.

    The message to LSU and to Ricardo Graham is that this is not going away.

    GYC is coming this fall and I guarantee that this will be a big issue there amongst future students.

    LSU is not as strong an academic institution as University of California Riverside. If students want a good secular education, there are much better choices. They go to LSU looking for a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist education (or a backdoor feeder for Loma Linda University Med School).

    LSU is going to ultimately lose out unless it corrects its course and if it does ultimately have to close its doors, the blame will rest on LSU’s board members and chair who willfully ignored the plight of the institution and its students.




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  43. @Wayne Matlock:
    The LSU board has been silenced as our representatives because its attorney Kent Hansen attends the meetings
    at Wisbeys request. Board members are continually reminded they cannot speak outside of the board because of “attorney client privilege” thus silencing any representation. Notice three Board members are in trouble for speaking to GC officials. Watch and see what happens to any faculty who stand up, its already happening!




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  44. @Wayne Matlock:The LSU board has been silenced as our representatives because its attorney Kent Hansen attends the meetingsat Wisbeys request. Board members are continually reminded they cannot speak outside of the board because of “attorney client privilege” thus silencing any representation. Notice three Board members are in trouble for speaking to GC officials. Watch and see what happens to any faculty who stand up, its already happening!  (Quote)

    Thanks for the update on how the LSU Board is being intimidated by Wisbey and his boyz. Is President Wilson being updated and informed about these matters? No one in California is standing up for God’s Truth, so it looks like we gotta go “out of state.”




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  45. In 1943 Southern Publishing Association published a book titled “Facts of Faith” by pastor/evangelist Christian Edwards. In the first part of the book he briefly traces the history of ‘higher criticism’ as it impacted American education in the early 20th century. This is really the root of what the church is now dealing with in this particular circumstance. I’ve posted an excerpt from the book (pages 28-33) at:

    http://stuff.emeraldhef-ie.org/Higher_Criticism.html

    The only way the problem can really be addressed is by getting to the root of the thing, trying to clip back the branches only tends to keep the plant neatly pruned and growing strong. If we desired we could lead the world in the preparation of texts on the scientific aspects of creationism, ID, flood geology, etc. There are some fine scientists out there who are being boycotted for their work in the more truthful lines of science, while we try to use this stuff propped up by lies and the ancient Hindu and Egyptian philosophy (big bang, nature is it’s own creator, etc, etc). Where would we be if people like Newton and Galileo had caved in to the politically correct myths of their day? We should have good quality text books for our students starting from grade one presenting the real natural and scientific facts. We shoot ourselves in the foot by pretending there are none out there and saying the Christian view is only an ‘apologetic’ argument, while being driven by the politically correct philosophical agenda in our approach to the sciences. History is often taught from an evolutionary platform as well.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir, but using the educational momentum that the Lord has given us at this stage in earth’s history would seem to be in harmony with our mandated task of proclaiming: ‘Worship Him who made heaven and earth…’, etc.




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  46. LSU is not as strong an academic institution as University of California Riverside. If students want a good secular education, there are much better choices.

    For those of you unaware of California’s economic crisis, the UC system and its sister institutions (community college system, California State University system, the two Polytechnic institutions) have undergone dramatic cutbacks in acceptances, courses offered, and much more. Tuition has increased sharply, especially for the UC system. Getting into these programs has become considerably more difficult, with record LOW acceptance rates–especially for California citizens (out of state applicants are preferred because of the higher tuition they pay).

    In sum, private schools are benefitting from this economic crisis. Don’t be surprised if LSU grows this year, as they did last year.




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  47. Aaron wrote:

    If we desired we could lead the world in the preparation of texts on the scientific aspects of creationism, ID, flood geology, etc.

    Some months ago I bought a very nice creation/evolution textbook by one of the Church’s finest apologists: Dr. Leonard Brand of Loma Linda University. I take it SDAs don’t know of or appreciate this guy’s work. Overall, I think the book has considerable merit. There’s much more balance here than in most any other book I’ve seen on creation. And the guy publishes real research on his fossil studies.




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  48. Wayne Matlock wroteI don’t think so. I’d say the chances of this being true and between nil and none.  (Quote)

    It would be interesting to know for sure. I assume your membership is held in the same conference where the school is located? 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? Thanks in advance.
    Your friend and Brother in Christ

    Wayne Matlock




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  49. Looks like I haven’t posted enough on this to completely understand how it works. It was Professor Kent who wrote, “I don’t think so. I’d say the chances of this being true and between nil and none” in response to my statement that the school didn’t make its own policies.

    Here is my statement:
    “The school itself does not make the policies. The Conference ‘Rules and by-laws’ should tell just how the policies are formulated.”

    If we can have someone who has a copy of the rules and bylaws check this out and post it here for all to see it would be helpful. It doesn’t have to be Professor Kent, anyone who has served on that committee at a constituency meeting should have a copy. This is fact in the Conference where I lived. I have served on that committee and it had to be furnished to us in order for us to do the work.
    Once the truth of the legal procedure is known, your next logical step is to make it known to every baptized voting member in the conference. Then urge them to select delegates to the next constituency meeting who will vote for the right people to be put in office – people who will correct the problem. This worked on a different issue in our conference.
    If the above process fails, then God will have to move on the General Conference to arouse the World Church for support as they tackle this unpleasant task.
    Think it through! The school belongs to the church, not its employees. I’m not an attorney. However, if I were the one mentioned as keeping the lid on board information, I expect I would be looking for a way out. He/she already knows that it doesn’t take an attorney to realize that the board is responsible to the conference, not the school.
    May God’s blessings and guidance be on all
    Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,

    Wayne Matlock




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  50. @Professor Kent:

    Some months ago I bought a very nice creation/evolution textbook by one of the Church’s finest apologists: Dr. Leonard Brand of Loma Linda University. I take it SDAs don’t know of or appreciate this guy’s work. Overall, I think the book has considerable merit. There’s much more balance here than in most any other book I’ve seen on creation. And the guy publishes real research on his fossil studies.

    I agree. Dr. Brand is one of the best we have…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  51. @ 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?

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think you have a clear picture of academia. I’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 “schools” when they exist, individual departments). Board members do not take the time to examine every policy, and neither would the sponsoring Church. I’m sorry to disappoint, but I will not be getting my hands on LSUs rules and bylaws.




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  52. Aaron, Sam Pipim also has some great material, in his books, regarding “higher criticism” and how it is destroying our SDA Church.  (Quote)

    ‘Receiving the Word’, 1996 published by Berean Books is very good.




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  53. ‘Receiving the Word’, 1996 published by Berean Books is very good.  

    Yes, and “Must We Be Silent.” Both excellent and give a great background regarding the “bigger picture” that we are dealing with.




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  54. It is quite easy to access LSU bylaws from their online website. I have been going through the over 300 pages which includes their mission statement, their aims, the trustees’ powers, faculty tenure process, academic freedom, etc. My conclusion: academic freedom has been enshrined as the ultimate standard. The bylaws are carefully crafted to insulate and protect LSU from any and all “outside” interference. (Unless conference and union guidelines trump LSU’s bylaws?)

    My conclusion from reading through is that this is not a Seventh-day Adventist Christian institution at heart. The meager, token references to the church are couched very carefully with no real substance or admission of being true to the church’s standards. The only ties are the perfunctory constituency meetings, (nodding) conference officials on the board, and the willingly accepted financial benefits including tuition obtained under the guise of a SDA school. That’s my take. I would love to be proven wrong.




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  55. Susie, You’re correct in your analysis of LSU regarding their “carefully crafted” bylaws and even worse, their PR statements. The high number of non-SDA students is also downplayed, as it at some other SDA institutions.

    LSU needs a complete overhaul, but I doubt whether the Board or even the “constituency” will do anything. The Board does have the authority, but not the backbone or resolve to even attempt anything except Ricardo Graham’s “adjustments” which even he has said are failures!




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  56. My conclusion from reading through is that this is not a Seventh-day Adventist Christian institution at heart. The meager, token references to the church are couched very carefully with no real substance or admission of being true to the church’s standards. The only ties are the perfunctory constituency meetings, (nodding) conference officials on the board, and the willingly accepted financial benefits including tuition obtained under the guise of a SDA school.

    Susie, are you able to access the bylaws of other SDA universities and compare the language to those of LSU? With all due respect, I wonder to what extent “meager, token references to the church are couched very carefully with no real substance or admission of being true to the church’s standards” has been colored by your particular impression of the situation LSU.




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  57. Susie, are you able to access the bylaws of other SDA universities and compare the language to those of LSU? With all due respect, I wonder to what extent “meager, token references to the church are couched very carefully with no real substance or admission of being true to the church’s standards” has been colored by your particular impression of the situation LSU.  

    Prof, Simply to to Southwest Adventist University’s website and look at the home page. I think you’ll see a big difference. NO “couching” and “tokens” there. Or maybe I’m too “colored” also?




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  58. Susie, are you able to access the bylaws of other SDA universities and compare the language to those of LSU? With all due respect, I wonder to what extent “meager, token references to the church are couched very carefully with no real substance or admission of being true to the church’s standards” has been colored by your particular impression of the situation LSU.  

    Same goes for Southern Adventist University website–under “about us.”




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  59. LSU is not as strong an academic institution as University of California Riverside. If students want a good secular education, there are much better choices. They go to LSU looking for a Christian, Seventh-day Adventist education (or a backdoor feeder for Loma Linda University Med School).

    On what do you base this assertion? I have taught at both LSU and UCR, and can say with some certainty that the strength of the education depends largely on the program or course. UCR certainly has more money (though less and less lately) and support resources, but LSU does much better with small class sizes and student access to professors in general. At UCR, I have taught classes of 75-150 students, while at LSU I teach 10-20. This allows for the potential for much more personal engagement, which educators and students alike will admit is a distinct advantage. LSU’s School of Education, School of Business and Management, and many individual departments (such as Music, where I teach) are well-regarded regionally. Former LSU President Geraty is revered all over Southern California as well. The success that our graduates enjoy in professional life and/or further education speaks for itself. Unfortunately, many will take this quality and regional respect as a sign of worldliness. We who teach at LSU consider the quality of our instruction as an issue of stewardship of the Lord’s resources; we already know what happened to the wicked and slothful servant who buried his talent.

    Pax,

    David Kendall, PhD
    Adjunct Professor of Music
    La Sierra University




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  60. I have attended and taught at both private and major state universities. Big campuses and small. I can tell you with certainty that some of the worst science education, particularly for undergraduates, will be at the larger state universities.

    As Dr. Kendall has kindly pointed out, the student-teacher ratio is a huge issue that favors the smaller private colleges. I wouldn’t hesitate in making a choice between sending my grandkids to LSU or UCR: I’d pick LSU without hesitation, regardless of their degree.




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  61. @Professor Kent, I am quite aware of the differences between LSU and SAU in particular. I did compare those two (and there is a marked difference), but no, I have not had time to view all SDA college/university’s bylaws. Because I have family in the La Sierra area and LSU was considered as a school for my children—I admit I have a biased interest. The SIFE program in particular was a draw for LSU but that, or any of the other good aspects, I now know, would not have outweighed the very secular slant that I see embodied deeply in the fabric of LSU. There are constant influences in our society that pull us away from godliness. I don’t see any reason to pay tuition for an education that seems more focused on reflecting the current, politically correct agenda than it does in promoting fidelity to its founding Christian, SDA principles.

    I do not expect a money-back-guarantee for eternal salvation from any SDA school (or church). However, as a parent, I opt for the clearer, stronger, unashamedly SDA supportive school, rather than a school that idolizes “academic freedom.” All parents and prospective students have a right to know before they attend a school that calls itself SDA, that they are paying for a partial SDA education, at best.




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  62. @ Susie

    @Professor Kent, I am quite aware of the differences between LSU and SAU in particular. I did compare those two (and there is a marked difference), but no, I have not had time to view all SDA college/university’s bylaws. … as a parent, I opt for the clearer, stronger, unashamedly SDA supportive school, rather than a school that idolizes “academic freedom.” All parents and prospective students have a right to know before they attend a school that calls itself SDA, that they are paying for a partial SDA education, at best.  (Quote)

    Susie,

    From what I have read, LSU has made abundant statements about their affiliation and support of SDA beliefs, whether or not they are in the bylaws. I recognize that many individuals here dismiss those statements outright, but there have been numerous comments here by others, and on a Facebook account (something like Friends of La Sierra University), which describe an unashamedly SDA Christian environment there. I believe them.

    There is no question in my mind that LSU supports SDA beliefs and the SDA lifestyle. I believe they are addressing some of the thornier issues with several individual departments; I certainly hope so. I really don’t think, from your comparison, that SAU would want to sell itself short on academic freedom (though perhaps they do restrict it; I certainly hope not). Moreover, if by-laws are studied by an accrediting body, SAU and other SDA universities may be under different constraints regarding language and emphasis than LSU, depending on their accrediting bodies. Just some thoughts.




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  63. Kent said –

    From what I have read, LSU has made abundant statements about their affiliation and support of SDA beliefs, whether or not they are in the bylaws. I recognize that many individuals here dismiss those statements outright

    As already stated – and as you consistently ignore – in answer to Larry Becker’s wild claim that LSU does not promote theistic evolutionism in biology and religion departments as the “right answer for the doctrine on origins” – I said “well then all you need to do is have Randall Wisbey state that in public” – to which Becker said it could not be done until they got agreement from the faculty members that they can market such (fiction?).

    You conveniently ignored the details.

    Even your pretended lament above – is carefully crafted so as to not actually claims that LSU is denying its promotion of theistic evolutionism as the right answer for the doctrine on origins.

    Rather you “appear” to want to make that claim that belief in theistic evolutionism instead of the bible doctrine on origins is what Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs are teaching at least to the point of claiming that schools promoting theistic evolutionism are being consistent with ADventist Fundamental Beliefs. You appear to be making the case that as long as there is a Christian at LSU – the apostasy being promoted in the biology and religion departments (As 3SG 900-91 would label theistic evolutionism) should not be mentioned or called to attenion on a public forum — for lo these decades.

    I believe they are addressing some of the thornier issues with several individual departments; I certainly hope so.

    Can you bring yourself to state what you think the “thornier issues” are – or would that compromise your work here?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. The treatment that Louie Bishop received reveals LSU’s priorities. Allowing teachers academic license to promulgate against traditional SDA doctrines is not the way to be supportive of SDA beliefs and the SDA lifestyle. Unless students are either promoting something like homosexuality or singing LSU’s praises, they apparently don’t have an equivalent “academic freedom.” As I have stated before, until I read an official apology to Louie Bishop and that his record has been cleared, I will not be convinced by La Sierra’s fluffy window dressing (like the sticker handed out at the GC session which proclaimed “proudly Adventist.”) I ask myself, what if my children were there right now? Would my children have the fortitude to take a stand as Louie Bishop did, and endure the school’s severe disciplinary actions? Or the subsequent character slamming that I’ve read directed against him from the “enlightened” liberals? I would not want them to be placed in that position. For all the talk of love and tolerance, I’ve read more hate speech by liberals than I’ve ever heard from the only-perfect-vegans-in-heaven mind-set.




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  65. @ Bob Ryan

    Rather you “appear” to want to make the claim that belief in theistic evolutionism instead of the bible doctrine on origins is what Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs are teaching at least to the point of claiming that schools promoting theistic evolutionism are being consistent with ADventist Fundamental Beliefs.

    I’d say you’re letting your imagination run a bit wild. I’ve never remotely suggested anything of the sort. Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously? I don’t understand your paranoia with me.




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  66. One of my mentors has something to say, but I fear he is very politically incorrect:

    2 Peter 3:1-7

    Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
    NKJV




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  67. 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 – 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 wouldn’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 wasn’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 it’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:

    ProfessorKent says:
    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?
    I’m sorry, but I don’t think you have a clear picture of academia. I’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 “schools” when they exist, individual departments). Board members do not take the time to examine every policy, and neither would the sponsoring Church. I’m sorry to disappoint, but I will not be getting my hands on LSUs rules and bylaws. (Quote)
    Let’s focus on this: I’m sorry, but I don’t think you have a clear picture of academia.
    Granted, there is much I don’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 – 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 isn’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 board’s actions.
    Back to my unclear picture of academia – 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 – 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 ‘s instruction.
    All conference workers – ministers, Bible instructors, departmental directors, et cetera – 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 don’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 let’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? Isn’t that the proverbial “tail waging the dog?” 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 Wilson’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 “—for in six days God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, —“ (Ex. 20:11) and that this is what the world church believes.
    The Bible account is simple. At the creative command of God, the ‘‘‘heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them’’’ (Ex. 20:11) appeared instantly. A mere six days saw the change from “without form and void” to a lush planet teeming with fully mature creatures and plant forms. Seventh-day Adventists Believe…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 won’t be disturbed. Go there at the chosen time. Don’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 don’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 God’s plan for you—-you will close its pages never to be the same again. Hammers in the Fire page 32 par. 6 LP – page 33 par. 1.
    You will know – in your heart of hearts – that it is God who speaks. Hammers in the Fire page 25 par 5 LP.
    I would recommend that a copy of Brother Vandeman’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 ‘Rules and Bylaws” 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 – 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 – 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 I’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
    Wayne Matlock




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