Comment on “Autonomy and Academic Freedom”: WASC’s 2010 Review of LSU by Phil Mills.
Clearly very few posters here have served on accreditation survey teams. I served as a surveyor for rehab hospital accreditation for several years. I observed that accreditation committees may occasionally respond to an internal request for help on a particular issue.
This item may have been generated by requests from administration or interviews with certain teachers. This section of the report may have been written as desired by administration or certain departments for leverage to “push back” against pro-creation forces.
Of course, academic autonomy and freedom is a “straw” man. There is actually no such thing. The Animal Farm with its final rule of “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” comes to mind. No teacher is unconstrained. No school is unconstrained. Far from it. Education, by its very nature, is intolerant. All answers on tests are not regarded as equally valid.
The very fact of an accrediting committee shows that academic autonomy and freedom is merely a pretense, an empty conceit. Does the accrediting committee want schools to be autonomous from them? Does the accrediting committee want schools to be free of accrediting control?
From the beginning of sin, there has been a continuous war between truth and error, righteousness and sin. The one cannot tolerate the other. Cain will slay Able, but Abel will not cooperate with Cain in his apostasy. They cannot harmonize. Nothing new here, this is simply more of the same. Shallow minds will be inclined toward harmony with the world. They will be in the majority. They will be confident, demanding, and demeaning toward different views. Those who are highly critical of Educate Truth and call it a critical site are unable to see their own attacks as critical. Those so dismissive of thoughtful arguments made here, are unable to see their own superficial thinking.
These things neither surprise nor alarm us. We desire to remain both calm and kind. Truth will always triumph. Our confidence is in the word of God and in the blood of the Lamb. When a case goes to court, victory seems to alternate from side to side as the case is appealed up the legal chain. But it is premature to rejoice until it is decided by the supreme court. The real Supreme Court is sitting now. The decisions are even now in process. The day hastens when teachers, administrators, “accreditators”, boards, will be suddenly humbled. And those of us writing are going to be suddenly humbled as well. Lying lips will be hushed into silence.
Recent Comments by Phil Mills
Back to Square One…
David, here is a familiar statement I like with instruction for what I can do AT THIS TIME:
“At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason” (5T 136).
If apostates are fearless about trumpeting their apostasy, why should I not be even more emboldened with the truth. Error has no future. Gaddafi was a strong man yesterday, where is he today?
What we sow we reap (Gal 6:7) is a law throughout the universe. Sow faith, reap faith. Sow hope, reap hope. Sow love, reap love.
There are two sources of seeds to sow. One source is the word of God. The other is the enemy. One sows good seed, the other tares. By the command of God, the tares must grow till harvest (Mt 13:30). The fruit alone can expose the seed for what it is. The seeds of darkness and doubt that have been sown for 6,000 years must fully ripen.
We are not surprised by anything today, because the harvest is near and the fruit is ripening. But though there will be a pitiful harvest of evil, I rejoice that there is a much more abundant harvest of righteousness. We can see it by faith. The word of God is not going to return void. The weeds of sin are not sufficient to crowd out the harvest of righteousness. The death of Christ, his mediation in heaven are not in vain. Sin, and those who insist on clinging to it, will be destroyed, while those who cling to Jesus have a sure refuge.
It is interesting how easily three can be dropped from the board when leadership decides to act.
How wise God is. As He has done in the past, so He works in the present. He removes our excuses and lets us reveal reveal our true character by the varying circumstances of life.
We could multiply examples. The Cain that was too kind to “cruelly” kill a lamb for a sacrifice in obedience to God’s command, could easily kill Abel in defiance of God’s command. King Saul, who was too merciful to execute Agag in obedience to God’s command, could kill the high priest in disobedience to God’s command.
Thus it has been through history. Ellen White makes insightful observations about Uriah Smith’s being too weak to provide energetic leadership for right, yet being plenty strong to provide energetic leadership for wrong in the original Battle Creek College crisis of the early 1880’s.
We have certainly seen this same pattern at La Sierra. The same leaders that could not seem to act decisively and firmly when God’s character and truth were under attack, suddenly found the decision and firmness to fire the four men who attacked their own character.
Now other LSU leaders who can’t act decisively in the face of rebellion against the church can suddenly act decisively against those who are seeking harmony with the church. All this reveals that these leaders could have acted decisively and firmly all along, IF THEY CHOSE.
Of course, it should help us reflect on our own lives. What are we revealing by our own inconsistencies?
Former board member never talked with biology faculty
I wonder if “due process” was afforded those who were dropped, since that is very important for accreditation. I wonder if this is being explored.
ken: If I understand Phil correctly, the SDA church is a form or a representative democracy where each local church gets to vote upon and elect its delegates to the GC
No. That is not true. Each local congregation votes it’s representatives to a conference constituency meeting. The constituency votes the conference officers. Conferences then may vote representatives for unions and union constituencies. Unions and division organizations then have representatives at the general conference. At the general conference level it is quite removed from the local church representative. But I am still over simplifying.
Ken, you couldn’t be farther from understanding me.
This is NOT doctrinal change, it is merely attempting to better express the doctrine that has always been taught in the Bible and generally held by the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist church. There isn’t a marginal doctrine in the lot of the 28 fundamental beliefs.
The church doesn’t make doctrines only the Bible can make doctrine. Bible truth and Bible doctrines don’t care a straw about committees or majorities, neither does it change regardless of the views and votes of others.
To understand the phrase commonly used by Adventist “truth is progressive” is to understand that a first grader learns simple truth, then building on the truths he moves to second grade and continues to add to the basic truths and how to apply them to life.
1. Truth is objective, not merely subjective. Truth has evidence. The best possible evidence of truth is that God says it. But other evidence, such as the evidence of science, while weaker, is available. Science cannot “prove” God’s word, but when properly understood, will always provide documentation to the truthfulness of God’s word.
2. Progression is not a rejection of old truth, but a building on, an amplification of previously discovered truth.
Error never will evolve into truth, it simply mutants into greater and greater error.
Truth never changes. It remains far more stable than the Rock of Gibralter. God creates in my heart a love for the truth. As I investigate more and more carefully the word of God, my understanding of life becomes more and more accurate. I can change, but truth does not.
In the area of doctrine: Only the Bible can make true doctrine. The church can only express a summary of key Bible doctrines in a statement of belief.
There is no contemplation of changing doctrine in the modification of the wording of the churches belief. It is simply clarifying its original intent.
And if the church abandoned its fundamental beliefs, as the Jews did, and many Christians did, the truth has not changed. Because truth and doctrine is not democratically determined, all that has happened is that a group of people have united to leave the truth. We call it apostasy. Sadly it has happened to groups in the past (see John 6 and the multitudes leaving Jesus) and sadly it happens sometimes to individuals even within the Seventh-day Adventist church today.