Comment on Open letter to General Conference by Doug Carlson.
I finished reading the book of Judges last night. The conditions that gave rise to the terrible ending of that book didn’t happen overnight. They were arrived at step by step.
And sodomy and rape are not more serious in nature than teaching evolution and my implication there is no Sabbath and no real Creator. The end result of that kind of thinking is the book of Judges and the world at the end of time.
But it is important for us to recognize no SDA embrasses evolution overnight. There has to be a process that changes the thinking, like layers of an onion. One of those layers is entertainment. Many of our members watch movies like Star Wars and Star Trek that are based on the premise that there is no Creator God and all the universe is in the same mess as we are. Some may have heard the song by one of the Beatles “Imagine there is no Heaven,” well, I for one can not imagine anything more frigthening than that, but that is what entertainment is largely built on. My point is, while we demand accountability of our leaders and educators we ourselves need to be sure we are not planting the seeds that give rise to evolutionary thinking by the things we do on the local at home level of of our religious life.
In the book of Judges the tribes came together and lamented the conditoins that gave rise to those events at the end of Judges. So we also need to be sure we are living the truth as it is in Jesus. “Lord, is it I?”
I was on a nature walk one Sabbath afternoon that was oranized by a well respected local elder in a Michigan church. He was well educated and somewhat of a naturalist and early in the walk he stopped to show us a plant and began talking how some 10,000 years ago…. As a visiting pastor on that hike I challenged his comment and asked him to stay within the bibical account as given to us in the Bible and SofP. We had some new members in the group and I did not want them confused on the issue and to be silent on the issue would have been the same as giving my consent to his comments. He was startled-I think it was the first time anyone had challenged him on his presentation or views- but that local elder has had influence over the years spreading the seeds of what we are seeing today.
What we see in high places is often seen in low places too. That is why I suggest we all need to examine ourselves to be sure we are in the truth as much as we want our leaders to be in the truth. It does not good to point the finger at LSU professors and then watch movies at home based on the same lies.
-Doug Carlson, MI Conf. pastor.
Correction to my post above: I meant to say “Not limited to” in regards to the areas on our college that need to be looked at. And I must add, it is getting very difficult to encourage our SDA youth to go to our colleges these days.
Doug Carlson Also Commented
Open letter to General Conference
I wish this discussion was before more of our church members, it is getting very interesting and insightful. I interviewed at a church that only wanted their new pastor to do evangelism and leave the home church to their care. I told them I could not do that because a pastor is charged with the care of the church and it is one of his most serious responsibilities to guard the flock from grevious wolves. That charge, BTW, comes from pretty high up the chain of command. And the final “examine” question for all pastors will be about the welfare of that flock.
That is a good question. To answer it very well could make one appear unChristlike and therefore it is better to avoid the issue than to have that thought of you. Often Christlikeness is used as a cloak to cover a host of sins, but who can call it for what it is? The entanglements that we as humans get ourselves into can be so complicated that only Divine wisdom can undo the knot anyway. That is why I see a need to cry out to the Lord right now for His help. Who else can untie this mess and set it straight?
I missed that statement, I’ll will have to listen again.
Personally, I think this issue is important enough that I wanted to attach my name and position to this effort.
Recent Comments by Doug Carlson
It is my opinion, that if one teacher on staff held to a non-biblical view of origins, that would be too many on that staff. I have seen young minds rally around the outcast rebel teacher. Such will always have a following; that following should not be from SDA youth at our colleges/universities. Let the rebel teach elsewhere- he has a world ready to embrace him as he strengthens its reasons for rejecting the Savvoir of the world who preached boldly, “Repent, for the kingdom of God ia at hand.” A sin-loving world is working hard to get out from under that commanding voice of Jesus. We as SDAs should not make it easier for the world to quiet that only voice that can save them from real sin.
Pastor Doug Carlson
Associate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
Battle Creek, Michigan
Michigan Confernce of Seventh-day Adventists
It is just increasingly sad looking at this site. After revealing their shoddy journalist ethics and having to apologize to PUC, Educate Truth has been posting very old bits and pieces trying to keep this little witch hunt going. Now their dwindling readership is treated to year old comments regarding a visit to PUC that took place more than four years old. (Thatâ€™s a president and an entire student body ago!) Next, will Educate Truth be alerting the denomination to the fact that a dangerous seducer of the brethren teaches at PUC and who goes by the name: Desmond Ford?The denominational accrediting body has completed its visit at LSU and approved the university for another 8 years. Itâ€™s time to face that facts that if Educate Truth cannot get the church laity (and denominational leaders) to join their tired crusade against La Sierra University. . .it wonâ€™t work anywhere. If only more people would show this much dedication imitating Christ. . . (Quote)
In living a life imitating Jesus one would have to both follow that life in acts of kindness AND in theological belief. Anything less would be imitating the life of someone else, not Jesus. Maybe Jesus was a fool? After all, He believed in both the literal creation and the great Flood.
And if I remember correctly, Christianity is the name of a faith that is centered in following Jesus- the Christ. I’m not sure what some are advocating here. It certainly looks to me like they have a new messiah that is fossil based and not Bible based. I do know its a Something-anity that isn’t Christian, its not bibilical, and it will not save a person in sin from sin.
As Jesus believed and taught, so do I.
Pastor Doug Carlson
Associate Pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
Battle, Creek, Michigan
Bill,As you are well aware, Ellen White wrote:Sean Pitman has made clear that he does not believe any straightforward reading of her words. He insists that she cannot be referring to the age of the earth, but instead is referring to the age of life on the earth. Shane Hilde says he leans toward taking Ellen White at her words, but he does not think the SDA Church has an official position. I assume Bob Ryan believes she is correct, because he has cited this passage a hundred gumpteen zillion times.What about you. Do you believe that Ellen White was correct in stating the world is now only about six thousand years old, or do you, like Sean Pitman, think she was simply wrong? Do you believe Adventists generally dismiss her statement as wrong? Iâ€™ve been an SDA most of my life, and I am discovering there is a lot more subjectivity in interpreting inspiration than I had realized before. (Quote)
In response to the question, ” do ou believe Ellen White was correct…” I do simply state and declare, I do believe in a 6 literal day creation as described in Genesis and by Ellen White. I believe our earth is about 6,000 years old as chronicled in the Bible. These things are not difficult for me to understand
I do believe in the GAP theory, too. That human reasoning and knowledge has lots of GAPS in them that confuse amd lead many away from God. I believe Deut. 29: 29 gives us more answers then we generally give it credit for answering on this subject being duscussed here. Not familar with this verse? It lets us know that God has given us enough knowledge to get us through this world of sin and misery that is plagued by a literal fallen angel identifed as Satan.
And how is science doing on that- explaining the reality of demons and unfallen angels? A team of scientists from Central Michigan U came out to a house trailer in the area I once pastored in central Michigan in the late 80s- early 90s to investiage, scientificly a reported haunting. These scientists wired the house trailer all up to their instruments (yes, they had instruments for measuring this kind of thing- science is so, well, scientific these days!) so they could take a reading to see if the “spirit” manifestations in the house trailer where “positive” or “negative.” After their scientific work was done they told the lady living in the trailer “not to worry- the spirits in your house are positive spirits.” She was thrilled to know the spirit manifestations in her house trailer were positive and she had nothing to be concerned about. It made a nice converstaion piece, too, I”m sure, and after all, it was all very scientifically explained. Who can argue iwth science these days?
I think it is time to let grown men haggle over their scientific stuff. But some of us should gather our children around us and hold them close under the cloak of simple faith in God until the indignation is past.
BTW, Mt Everst is actually growing in height.
Pastor Doug Carlson
Associate Pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle, Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
LSU responds to Michigan Conference
I note my response above was edited. Sins that will keep a person out of the church were deleted and replaced the statemnt in . I feel sorry this was done. There is nothing wrong with calling sin sin, and there is still a standard within the SDA church that does exclude those who practice certain sins like….. Yes, I know I should not list them. But my church is not BIG enough to take in those living in those sins into its membership and embrace them.
The steps to acceptance- That’s right, there is no such thing as unconditional acceptance- must first go through the process of repentance, confessoin, forsaking and following as demonstrated by a life of himility and obedience before they can have eternal life.
It is true, a spade is always a spade, but a Christian has been born again and is no longer a spade. Spades can attend church, but they are not qualified for baptism or membership. And if spades what to openly advocate certian unchristian practices it is altogether fitting and proper to ask the spade to leave and not come back. Shepherds protect the flock, not the wolves, er, spades.
And I would also like to add, we as a church do not have to accept spades as students (or teachers) in our schools. On that point we are allowed to discriminate and protect the flock.
Associate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
Battle Creek, MI: A Michigan Conference church
I believe the Michigan Conference is saying they will no longer subsidize tuition to LSU. They are certainly within their rights to take that position. The Mich Conf does not subsidize university tuition for our workers whose children are attending state universities. Also, as a pastor in the Michigan Conference other shortcomings have been noted in our academies and universities. I guess there is a line drawn in the sand and when the line was crossed by some of our teachers and leaders Michigan Conference has decided not to cross that line, too. They are the spiritual guardians of seventh-day Adventists in the State of Michigan and they are making a statement that they consider LSU is no longer a safe school for Michigan SDA students to attend.
There is nothing wrong in that position. Elder Gallimore has the heart of a true shepherd of the flock and I know he wants to give a good answer when asked by the Great Shepherd, “Where is my flock, my precious flock?” I know Jay personally. True to principle, yes, but he is very kind and gentle, too, and he wants to give a good accounting to Jesus someday when he is asked. We are blessed here in Michigan.
Pastor Doug Carlson
Associate Pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle, Battle Creek, Michigan,
Michigan Conference of Seventh-day (literal creation taught there) Adventists