EducateTruth.com promoted on 3ABN

3abn picDavid Asscherick and Sean Pitman appeared on 3ABN Today Thursday 29, 2009. In a two hour special, “The Science of Faith–Seeing God Through His Creation,” they discussed questions regarding creation and evolution. This clip is of Asscherick and Pitman responding to a viewer’s question about EducateTruth.com and their petition.

This is the whole program.

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159 thoughts on “EducateTruth.com promoted on 3ABN

  1. Re: Pittman and Asscherick Appear on 3ABN to Address …

    http://www.atoday.com/content/pittman-and-asscherick-appear-3abn-address-evolution-teaching-sda-campuses

    On December 4th, 2009 Seanpit says:

    Before I respond to Burdette’s most interersting insights, here’s a link to the entire two hour 3ABN program (for those who are interested):

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Science

    On December 2nd, 2009 mattburdette says:

    The irony in this cannot be overemphasized. Asscherick and Pittman are correct in saying that employees of Adventist institutions are ethically responsible to do what they are paid to do; they forget, for some peculiar reason, that scientists are paid to do science (and not theology). Science, by its very nature, cannot and must not begin with any cosmological presuppositions (whether evolution or creation). To expect scientists to teach what the church teaches is to ask them to have a conclusion before doing science. Any scientist who is willing to affirm a religious dogma as a starting point of scientific inquiry is not a scientist, and does not deserve a paycheck from anyone.

    You forget that the SDA Church has in fact directly asked all teachers and school boards to actively support the stated SDA position on origins.

    “We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.”

    http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat55.html

    So, at the very least, any school that decides to go against this request by their employer, the SDA Church in this case, should be open and honest about the fact that its science teachers are openly undermining the stated SDA position on origins in their classrooms, calling the idea of a literal 6-day creation week “ludicrous” given the enormous weight of the scientific evidence, as they see it anyway, to the contrary.

    Beyond this, your argument here highlights a common yet fundamental misunderstanding of how science actually works and operates. You argue that science cannot begin with presuppositions. Yet, it is impossible to do science without beginning with presuppositions and basic beliefs about what certain kinds of data or experiences are most likely to mean. Science is not purely and objective practice because of this. There is a great deal of subjectivity in science. This is why different scientists looking at the very same data can come the very different conclusions on how to interpret the data. This is also why some people are better at producing more accurate/reliable predictions than are other people. This is also why, ultimately, everyone must come to their own “scientific” conclusions. The notion that mainstream scientists are most likely to be correct in their interpretations of the data is itself a prediction of the future based on past experience – on the individual level.

    In short, there is a great deal of potential for bias in science, as has been recently illustrated by the whole global warming E-mail scandal where it was shown that certain groups of scientists were suppressing other groups of scientists and even fraudulently manipulating the data itself.

    One more thing on this particular point: It is erroneous, in my opinion, to suggest that science and religion are inherently separate enterprises. The conclusions of science do in fact have religious implications and religion, if it is based on anything more than wishful thinking and blind faith, can be very scientific. Certainly the Bible advises us to test all things and hold even religious ideas up for potential falsification under reasonable analysis.

    Burdette:
    Second, Asscherick and Pittman are ignoring a rich history of Adventist anti-creedalism. When a person is baptized in an Adventist church, and welcomed in as a member of our community, they take a baptismal vow. This is what Adventists are held to theologically. Nowhere in that vow is the doctrine of creation (any interpretation of it). They have no right in this community to deny anyone’s Adventist identity based on a belief that no one is asked to affirm as a test of fellowship.

    The baptismal vow asks one if they believe in and uphold the stated SDA fundamental beliefs. Beyond this, you don’t seem to be well informed on early SDA history. While it is true that the early SDA Church tried to avoid creedal statements, as the church grew bigger, a statement of faith became unavoidable. The same thing is true of a basis of paid representation.

    Although originally opposed to such constraints, it was John Loughborough, together with James White, who first started to realize the need for some sort of enforcement of Church order and discipline – i.e., a Church government.

    Consider the following comments and quotes by JN Loughborough in his The Church, Its Organization, Order and Discipline (1907):

    “When those who back in the “sixties” [1860s] witnessed the battle of establishing church order now hear persons, as conscientious no doubt as those back there, utter almost the identical words that were then used by those opposing order, it need not be wondered that they fear the result of such statements as the following: “Perfect unity means absolute independence, – each one knowing for himself. Why, we could not have outward disorganization if we all believed in the Lord. . . . This question of organization is a simple thing. All there is to it is for each individual to give himself to the Lord, and then the Lord will do with him just what he wants to, and that all the time. . . . Our only safety, under God, is to go back to the place where God is able to take a multitude of people and make them one, without parliamentary rules, without committee work, without legislation of any kind.” – General Conference Bulletin of 1899.

    God Requires Rules:

    “Superficially considered, this might seem to be a blessed state, a heaven indeed; but, as already noted on a preceding page, we read of heaven itself and its leadings that “the god of heaven is a god of order, and he requires all his followers to have rules and regulations to preserve order.”

    “As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization, there would be great confusion, and the work could not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying on the work in new fields, for protecting both the church and ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for other objects, organization was indispensable.”
    – Testimonies for the Church,” No. 32, page 30.

    As it turns out, the leaders of the early SDA Church at first thought that no enforcement of any kind was needed to keep the Church from fragmenting. This was true as long as the Church was small and made up of originally like-minded people. However, as the Church grew larger, this view soon became obviously untenable. Loughborough was one of the main proponents of this sort of church order and discipline – along with James White. Very quickly all of the early Church leaders changed their minds regarding Church order and discipline when they saw that their original ideas of completely hands-off freedom of Church representatives were quickly failing to do what they thought they would do. So, the leadership started issuing cards of commendation signed by James White or John Loughborough.

    Of course, those who were not considered to accurately represent the views of the Church did not receive these cards of commendation. And what was the attitude of such persons? – according to Loughborough?:

    Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”

    One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc. Upon this point, when church order was contested, we read: “Satan well knows that success only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. . . . He deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course. . . . All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.” – “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. I, page 650.

    Burdette:

    They want people who “carry the company card” to say the “company line.” The Adventist company line is not dogma about a specific interpretation of the Bible; our company line is that Jesus is coming, and that all people are called to the obedience of the faith of Jesus. Perhaps Asscherick and Pittman have forgotten our other fundamental beliefs, such as Unity in the Body. Yes, that must be the one that they forgot. They forgot that unity assumes diversity, and never homogeneity.

    If our company line were in fact limited to these basic statements, which are very good indeed by the way, there would be no point in having a unique SDA Church. We could all simply join any old group that had nothing more to say than these basic points. But, the fact of the matter is, the SDA Church thinks more truths have been discovered beyond these two you’ve mentioned here – which are also important to spread as part of the Gospel’s Good News…

    Burdette:

    Asscherick laments critique from within the church. He said that truth can withstand scrutiny, but apparently doesn’t think it can do so from within the religious community. Strange indeed. We as a church have affirmed our belief in a growing understanding of truth, and said that we expect to refine our belief statements as we grow in understanding. Where else should we think critically about our own beliefs if not in our academic institutions? Critique from the academy is a service to the church, not a detriment.

    Asscherick and I simply think that it is pointless to be extremely schizophrenic as an organization that wishes to remain viable. Employees cannot be allowed to advance significantly faster or slower than the organization as a whole if the organization itself is to remain vaible and effective. If you have truth that goes fundamentally beyond the organization, perhaps you need to leave the organization in order to best present your truth.

    Certainly you shouldn’t expect the organization to pay you to go around telling everyone that the stated ideals of the organization are “ludicrous” – right? – Especially if that organization has specifically asked you not to do what you are in fact doing. Continuing to do what your employer has specifically asked you not to do, on the employers dime, is robbery of your employer’s time and money. How is this not patently obviously?

    Sean Pitman

    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  2. Not even mainstream science places everything on the footing of direct evidence. Science is based on a reasonable inference starting with very limited evidence – reasonable inference that produces a useful degree of predictive value.

    Of course, the scientific inference goes beyond what the evidence itself can directly support. This is why science requires a “leap of faith”, so to speak, that goes beyond what can be absolutely known. This is also why scientific conclusions are never 100% certain. The leap of faith is “reasonable” however, given the limited data available and the degree of predictive value that has been established for the leap of faith.

    The very same thing is true of reasonable “religious” faith. When you say that faith in this or that is “reasonable”, you are basically claiming that you have some sort of evidence to back up your leap of faith. In other words, the moment you argue that you have good reasons for your faith, you are no longer arguing for the value of completely blind faith. And, any logical reason you may have can only be useful for someone other than yourself if you can produce some sort of predictive value for your reason(s). What good are reasons if they can’t be tested in any sort of falsifiable manner? – if you can’t, even in theory, be wrong?

    For example, I might argue that I have good reason to believe that little green men live inside the moon. You might ask what my reasons are. I might tell you that reason tells me that all the UFO sitings are most likely explained by an alien outpost close by – why not the middle of the moon? Given this as my “reason”, you’d most likely just brush me off as completely nuts – I hope so anyway! But why? Because my reason here does not remotely resemble a testable potentially falsifiable hypothesis and therefore carries no useful predictive value.

    The very same thing is true of your “reasons” for believing in certain biblical interpretations or any other “reasonable” idea you may have. As far as I can tell, there simply is no way around this concept if a person really wants to be reasonable to a useful degree of predictive power. If your reasons have no useful predictive power, how do you know how reasonable you really are? – if you can’t measure or quantify your reasonableness?

    In short, the scientific method is a very basic method that can be used to approach all kinds of “truth” – from the very mundane, to the truly magnificent. I think it is nothing more and nothing less than the God-given basis of all logic and reason given to intelligent minds.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  3. If the seven day creation is only a “fable”, why would Jesus go to the synagog on the Sabbath? He also said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So, if creation did not happen in six days, then there is no foundation for the Sabbath. If this is so, then there is no reason for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Heaven forbid such thought!




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  4. Mary Schweitzer has made some amazing discoveries of soft tissues, blood cells, and intact proteins in dinosaur bones which are supposed to be 68-80 million years old! This finding flies in the face of everything science thought was impossible before now.

    I have a fairly detailed discussion of these dinosaur soft tissues and their protein sequencing at:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilizeddna.html#Fresh

    The full 60 Minutes video can be seen at:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5658449n&tag=related;photovideo

    Hope this helps.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  5. Foundational SDA Pillars of Doctrine to “Stand Forever”:

    Regarding the efforts of the professors and leadership of some in SDA schools of “higher education” to challenge and remove some of the fundamental “pillars of Adventism”, especially with regard to a literal six-day creation week, the following comments of Mrs. White are quite relevant:

    When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No aftersuppositions, contrary to the light God has given, are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit…

    [Satan] knows that if he can deceive the people who claim to believe present truth, and make them believe that the work the Lord designs for them to do for His people is a removing of the old landmarks, something which they should, with most determined zeal, resist, then he exults over the deception he has led them to believe…

    We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.

    — Ellen White, Preach the Word, p. 5. (1905); Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 31-32. (1946)

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  6. Here is the problem I have: I respect their advocacy of this issue (Assherick and Pittman), but the church is not a business neither is simply an ethical fraternal non-for-profit organization. The Church has been given a command by God to be faithful! We are expected to live and do according to the Bible and the Bible alone. Church policy is only of any value as it corresponds to the Word of God. Who cares about towing the company line or giving the same message!?! Our command is to follow Jesus and preach the Word of God. If we are not faithful to the Word of God a simple letter or “company” censure is meaningless. Our charge makes us personally liable to the Creator and destroyer the Savior and Judge of the whole world. This issue is about salvation, infidelity, apostasy, and destruction. I cannot imagine Elijah sitting back for an interview saying “well king Ahab, as king needs to tow the company line or resign his charge, because we are a world wide organization with a particular mission…” No Ahab has sinned against God and those who follow him will be destroyed. I like both of those men and commend what they are doing, but their attitude and argument strikes me as insipid. What is going on in our schools is rank apostasy and sin, no less. It is not a philosophical disagreement among friends or a dispute over the copy machine in a business. This is about the very Word of God and ultimately the direction of souls. The way we even talk about it betrays the worldliness of our own heart. To say that this is not a moral or sin/salvation issue is to regard such teachings not a God regards them. If these teachers were holding seances could we say the same thing? Yet the legacy of Darwinism has lead to the Nazi concentration camps, the Stalin death marches, the religious reprograming if N. Korea, re-educations centers in China for the deeply religious. Are we to sit back and say that those in our Church who accept such a God dishonoring message are members in regular and good standing? If the Bible is our only creed, how could we even fellowship? I cannot imagine that God looks upon those in our Church who believe and teach this apostasy with a smile, a nod, and and wink but only desires that tithe dollars be diverted else where. Make the stand for Jesus or make it not at all.

    T.R. PERENICH




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  7. @T.R. Perenich:

    I cannot imagine that God looks upon those in our Church who believe and teach this apostasy with a smile, a nod, and and wink but only desires that tithe dollars be diverted else where. Make the stand for Jesus or make it not at all.

    There have been a great many grievous errors in His people that God has in fact “winked at” throughout time because of their ignorance of the truth. God does not hold us accountable for knowledge of the truth which we could not have known or which we, for some reason, were unable to consciously appreciate. If he did, all of us would be a great deal of trouble…

    Motive is the basis of salvation, not knowledge. And, it just so happens that it is only the prerogative of God to judge the heart. Humans have a habit of looking on the outward appearance while completely missing the motive of the heart – something that may be hidden from all excepting God (1Samuel 16:7). It is living according to the Royal Law of Love that saves (James 2:8-12). It is because of this that even the heathen who have never heard the name of Jesus or of the plan of salvation can be saved according to their consciences – if they did in fact live according to the best light that was actually available to them while on Earth.

    In short, I advise you not to attempt to judge motive over such issues. It is fine to judge words and actions as being “correct” or “mistaken” within the Church, but leave the judgment of motive up to God. I dare say that God will save many evolutionists and even atheists – probably many more than some ever thought possible. If there is a way to do so, God will find it for He is out to save as many as will let him do so. Only those who are consciously and openly rebellious against what they know to be true in their hearts, despite the consistent attempts of the Holy Spirit to break through their hearts of stone, put themselves beyond the saving grace of God. God cannot do much with persistent open rebellion against known truth. However, God can do a great deal with those who are honestly ignorant of the truth or who have not yet appreciated the truth…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  8. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    Dr. Pitman,

    First of all while no one, not even the most preeminent psychiatrist, is able to discern the heart (Jer. 17:9), we are counseled to bring everything before the unerring standard of righteousness, which CAN discern the “thoughts and intentions of the heart…which no creature is hidden from it sight,”–the Word of God. Using this standard we are to judge a tree by its fruits, use Church discipline, warn of false teachers/false prophets, and condemn sin. As a matter of fact it is in this life time that our powers of discernment are to be shaped, for when get to heaven we will be in charge of judging angels.

    It is certainly one thing to be an atheist knowing nothing about God or the Bible and not fearing the Lord. It is entirely another to deliberately deceive and attack the teachings of the Bible, while holding yourself out as Christian educator. It is even more specious to claim fidelity to the authoritative writings of Ellen White while expressly running an institution in a manner that makes her writings of none effect. If we were given a inspired template for higher education don’t you think it is a sin if we fail to follow it? Compromise over the standards that God has given us is not a mere philosophical difference. When Hezekiah disagreed with his advisors in the kingdom who wanted to solicit Egypt for aid, it was not a simple disagreement it was sin. One side was in harmony with God’s will and one side was against it.

    This debate about supposed Adventist “scientists” teaching evolution is not example of poor work ethic or not being a team player, it is sin. To be honest, I don’t think it is too much to say that is an issue of unrighteousness and even a loss of eternal life. If it is an issue of sin is it judgmental or unloving to call these men and women out as workers of iniquity? Would we today condemn Elijah for not giving Ahab his due respect by calling him “the troubler of Israel.” Are we embarrassed of the conduct of John the Baptist who called the religious leaders of his day poisonous snakes? Perhaps Jesus overstepped his bounds too when he railed upon the religious leaders calling them hypocrites, blind, and foolish.

    This is not about name calling to me. This is about serious sin in the camp of God. While we may shudder at the violent and severe methods in the Old Testament to root out sin, we have to consider due to our faith in the inspired record, that the same Jesus who died upon the cross commanded men like Achan to be stoned for sin. Would we today sit Achan down an point him to belief # 10 and review with him the code of conduct for living in the camp of Israel? There has to be a time when we call sin by its right name and judge men according to standards of scripture versus policy. We know that God’s mercy was manifested in the severe judgement upon Achan. For God knew that if such a sin were allowed to slide soon the whole camp would be infected. But cauterizing such behavior–rather painfully–making is disapproval known many were spared the same fate realizing that sin against God will be punished.

    While it is true no one knows the heart except for God, the darkness of the heart is often brought to light by the actions we commit. Thus God judges us according to our deeds and expects those who love His Word to discern the teachers of truth and error by the same process. Everything is Spiritual how many countless souls have been lost to this leaven which contradicts the inspired record? How many pastors looking up to such men (especially their colleagues in the Religion Dept.) are stationed in pulpits across the world sowing seeds of infidelity to unsuspecting masses who nod their heads during the sermon. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

    Though disciples loved Jesus it was their faith in the false teachings of the Jewish leaders that lead them to be deceived and reject Christ at his most trying hour. False doctrine no matter how small always produces a bitter fruit. Is it not our job as watchmen on the walls to warn of this delusive sin?

    T.R. Perenich




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  9. T.R. Perenich- Your mostly right, we should not allow this in our school. It is wrong and IF these teachers are going against what they know is right; they are sinning. BUT as Sean rightly pointed out, ONLY God can judge the heart. We have to assume they are misguided and in need of Loving Correction. This does not mean they should be allowed to continue this rebellion as a employee of the Church. We don’t need to know motive to deal with this situation. It doesn’t matter. All we need to know is the fruit of the tree. It’s a clear cut situation to many of us. They need to be removed from the staff if they are unable to align themselves with our held beliefs. All leaders including teachers and those who hold a office in the church should be held to a higher standard as God instructed.
    Our responsibility after that is to love them back to the truth as Christ loved us all.




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  10. T.R. Perenich-I posted before I saw your last response. Your last one sounds a lot better than you first post. I think you and Sean are basically in agreement once things are clarified. There always needs to be a balance between mercy and justice.




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  11. @T.R. Perenich:

    This debate about supposed Adventist “scientists” teaching evolution is not example of poor work ethic or not being a team player, it is sin. To be honest, I don’t think it is too much to say that is an issue of unrighteousness and even a loss of eternal life. If it is an issue of sin is it judgmental or unloving to call these men and women out as workers of iniquity? Would we today condemn Elijah for not giving Ahab his due respect by calling him “the troubler of Israel.” Are we embarrassed of the conduct of John the Baptist who called the religious leaders of his day poisonous snakes? Perhaps Jesus overstepped his bounds too when he railed upon the religious leaders calling them hypocrites, blind, and foolish.

    It is one thing to tell someone that their actions are causing trouble and are wrong or even hypocritical or equivalent to theft from the Church. It is quite another thing to tell someone that you know that they are deliberately in rebellion against what they consciously understand and know to be true. You might think the situation so obvious that no one could possibly not understand the truth. The problem with this notion is that it often happens. People can be honestly and sincerely mistaken and because of their lack of understanding they can act in a way that produces a great deal of pain to themselves and to others without being directly responsible in a moral sense.

    While it is indeed true that we will someday “judge angels”, we have not been given such a responsibility here on this Earth. The reason for this is because we simply do not have enough information to make truly informed judgments. We don’t actually know what people much less angels are thinking. When we are asked to make these moral judgments someday, we will be given a transcript of the thoughts as well as the actions of these individuals.

    Again, only God knows the thoughts and is able to correctly judge motive. We can judge actions as being right or wrong or in harmony with what we personally think is truly God’s Word, but this isn’t the same thing as being asked to judge motive. “Judge not lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:1). This isn’t a warning against the judgment necessary to run the Church organization. Such judgments are required for any viable organization. However, this is indeed a warning against moral judgment – especially against those whom you really don’t know on a personal level.

    Again, I advise you not to take on the job that God has clearly reserved for himself…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  12. A classic case which should cause any Adventist to stop in their tracks when judging motive or destiny is the following one:

    “If William Miller could have seen the light of the third message, many things which looked dark and mysterious to him would have been explained. But his brethren professed so deep love and interest for him, that he thought he could not tear away from them. His heart would incline toward the truth, and then he looked at his brethren; they opposed it. Could he tear away from those who had stood side by side with him in proclaiming the coming of Jesus? He thought they surely would not lead him astray.
    God suffered him to fall under the power of Satan, the dominion of death, and hid him in the grave from those who were constantly drawing him from the truth. Moses erred as he was about to enter the Promised Land. So also, I saw that William Miller erred as he was soon to enter the heavenly Canaan, in suffering his influence to go against the truth. Others led him to this; others must account for it. But angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God, and he will come forth at the sound of the last trump.” – EW 258




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  13. I take back my earlier 2nd comment. I now have to disagree with both of you to some degree.
    T.R. Perenich- as Sean pointed out, we can’t call out people the same way Jesus did. He knew their hearts,we can’t. We should always correct others with a deep humility and with much prayer. While I agree with much of what you said, I seems your going a bit too far with the name calling which is personal rather than correction of a action seperate from motive.

    Sean, your showing a very Christian side that I’m glad to know is lurking behind your sometimes overly direct comments(my problem too). However,everything your doing hinges on the fact that there is a right and wrong in scripture and that God has directed our church to know it. It seems your using some of the same comments people use against you. That we can’t know truth for certian.




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  14. @Doug Kendall:

    Sean, your showing a very Christian side that I’m glad to know is lurking behind your sometimes overly direct comments(my problem too). However,everything your doing hinges on the fact that there is a right and wrong in scripture and that God has directed our church to know it. It seems your using some of the same comments people use against you. That we can’t know truth for certian.

    We cannot know truth with absolute certainty. That’s why faith is involved. We are subjective human beings who are dependent upon our own subjective often erring interpretation of the information that comes to us through our senses.

    This isn’t to say that I don’t believe in absolute truth. I do. I just don’t believe that we can comprehend it absolutely.

    Also, I don’t think that a personal belief in what is or is not true, and telling someone else that they are mistaken, is the same thing as making a moral judgment. I think that the LSU science professors are clearly mistaken and are stealing money and time from the Church. I think they are causing serious injury to students. However, I am not saying that I know the motives of these professors. I don’t know their hearts or that they have a clear understanding of the damage that they are doing. They are wrong, at least I personally think they are, but they may not consciously realize it… and therefore may be innocent of a moral wrong.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  15. Sean, there are serious holes in your statements. We are given the Bible as the measuring stick of truth. This is not some nebulous area like the Godhead which is not explained. We are talking about obedience. What is the point of commandments if not to obey them or point out sin?

    There are tons of examples in scripture that show what disobedience to the truth bring. Even Tim Perenich shared some to which you have avoided.

    It is a sad day when we equivocate over behavior and fail to call sin what it clearly is. We have come a long way in our church; days when things were pointed out and rebuked are long gone, replaced by needmeeting and sin imbibing men and women who do not have a love of the truth. Where is the accountability? Where have guidlines laid by the scriptures and even the spirit of prophecy gone?

    I am well aware that we live in an age where accountability is gone. I am also aware of the insidious deceptions of the psychological society and their robbery of accountability and truth. You can say this is gray area and further say that we do not know their heart, however scripture condemns their actions as wickedness and that should be good enough for any professed Christian.

    Just a quick question. Would you call an adulterer a sinful man or would you tell us we do not know his heart? This limpwristed need meeting “dont judge me” theology is going to pave the roads to hell and those helping it are going to act as the pied piper leading souls down that very road.

    How do you reckon the words of Peter in his second epistle, particularly chapter 2?

    4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

    Yet Peter takes it even further:

    12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, cloudscarried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

    And finally:

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped[d] from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

    How do you reckon this? These are not my words, nor Tim Perenich’s. We are all called to build and uphold the character of God. As an SDA this should be first and foremost in your mind, especially understanding such doctrines as the Day of Attonement. Do you honestly think God is going to excuse the lazy and easeloving nominal christians of this age? If so, you are in for some serious disappointment.




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  16. Doug, You’re absolutely right. We don’t have to know the “motives” of people to “condemn” their actions and words. Paul, for example, when dealing with supposed incest, actually “condemned” the alleged perpetrators without even seeing them or “getting their side of the story!”

    Similarly, God gave us His Word to help us “judge” ourselves and the outward actions of others. Otherwise, anarchy would prevail, as it seems to have been in the antediluvian world, for example.




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  17. Justin, You’re comment is well-stated. We are called to “call sin” by its right and honest name, no matter who might be “offended.” God’s Truth offends MOST people.




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  18. Dr. Pitman,

    While it is indeed true that we will someday “judge angels”, we have not been given such a responsibility here on this Earth. The reason for this is because we simply do not have enough information to make truly informed judgments. We don’t actually know what people much less angels are thinking. When we are asked to make these moral judgments someday, we will be given a transcript of the thoughts as well as the actions of these individuals.

    I disagree. The spiritual man does judge. In fact the passage of Scripture under discussion clearly shows the exact opposite of what you’re saying. It teaches that Christians have a responsibility to judge in spiritual matters:

    “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” (1 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV)

    Question: Is it not clear that the Christian must be able to determine who is “unrighteous” or a “saint” in Paul’s question? Tim Perenich is standing more clearly with the Scriptures in this matter. Let’s read on:

    “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV).

    This is clear. Paul is rebuking the Christians in Corinth because they were deferring judgment to a secular court. Contrary to your current position, his rhetorical question is a rebuke, “are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” Let us continue:

    “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3 NKJV).

    Again, the Christian does judge in matters “that pertain to this life.” Your point that “we do not have enough information to make truly informed judgments” may sound good to our psychological society or nominal Christendom, but it does not echo true with the Spirit by which the apostle Paul wrote. Let’s continue:

    “If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (1 Corinthians 6:4 NKJV)

    This verse is so clear that commenting may seem unnecessary. Nonetheless, it is clear that the spiritual man must be able to make “judgments concerning things pertaining to this life,” especially things that concern the church. This is in fact why Paul is writing this message. In case you have any doubts, Paul’s next statement should make you reexamine your position:

    “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:5 NKJV).

    I can only imagine what the apostle Paul would say about your position in this matter. Would you correct him? Would you tell him that he is mistaken? Or could it be possible that you are mistaken? I could quote the rest of the section, especially concerning the warning/judgment that Paul goes on to give (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), but I think the point is clear. In fact, in this same letter Paul unambiguously states that the spiritual man judges:

    “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NKJV).

    The judgment that God-fearing saints should not entertain is the papistical kind. The fleshly kind of judgment that does not descend from God’s Spirit. But make not mistake Dr. Pitman, the spiritual man judges. We must compare scripture with Scripture. Even in Matthew 7:1 where Jesus said, “judge not,” he continued by saying: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matthew 7:6 NKJV). How can one decide (the word “Krino” for “judge” also means to decide) who is a “dog” or “swine” if you cannot make a judgment?

    The real question at the end of the day is do we have the mind of Christ? Can we be named among the saints? If so, then we have an obligation as Christians to uphold the righteous standard and to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-14). And part of the ministry involves rebuking and correcting, as Paul’s letters to Timothy clearly reveal (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Yes, we are to do so in love. But I’m convinced that the view that the church holds today, in regard to love, is a product of spiritualism. In fact, evolution is a doctrine of spiritualism and its defendants stand in contradistinction to the plainest teachings of Scripture. We as Christians have every right, yea, even obligation, to speak the hard truth of the Bible. As Ellen White said:

    “The greatest want of the world is the want of men–men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost soul are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall” (Education 57).

    ~Michael Farris




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  19. @Justin Robinson:

    How do you reckon this? These are not my words, nor Tim Perenich’s. We are all called to build and uphold the character of God. As an SDA this should be first and foremost in your mind, especially understanding such doctrines as the Day of Attonement. Do you honestly think God is going to excuse the lazy and easeloving nominal christians of this age? If so, you are in for some serious disappointment.

    Where did I ever say that God is going to excuse those who are deliberately lazy or who love the easy life at the expense of others? I never even suggested such a thing. Such things are conscious sins which God, not me, will judge in true and complete righteousness.

    God doesn’t excuse sin of any kind. However, only God is able to rightly judge motive. You may claim to be very good at it, but I dare say that you’re not nearly as good at it as God is. So, be careful when you think to go about judging motive.

    There’s a difference between a judgment of sinful or evil actions and a judgment of a sinful or evil person. I know that this might not seem like a significant difference to you, but it makes all the difference in the world to me. It means that it is possible for a person to perform evil actions while not being personally responsible for the evil that results. It doesn’t make the evil any less horrible, but it does mean that the person responsible may not really be in conscious rebellion against God and may therefore still be savable…

    Also, a belief in the Bible itself as the word of God and a basis of righteous thought and action is a matter of personal conviction. Not all have been honestly convinced in their own mind that the Bible is truly the Word of God. They simply are honestly confused in this regard and God does not hold them accountable for what they really do not consciously understand and have not deliberately rebelled against.

    This is not a suggestion that obvious sin and evil does not exist. It does. However, it is not our job to determine anyone’s real standing before God. We may be called to judge actions as being right or wrong. We are even called to warn people to examine their own motives and their own standing before God noting that their actions may be separating them from God.

    Yet, I am not going to join with you or anyone else in thinking to judge someone who questions the literal nature of the Genesis account as being an “evil” person who is in deliberate rebellion against God. That ability simply goes far beyond my pay grade – if you know what I mean…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  20. Like Sean, I’m unwilling to judge anyone for being seduced by Darwinian science. There’s a great deal of internal logic and consistency to the Darwinian worldview, and it is supported by a great many scientists and an enormous body of scientific literature.

    Likewise, I’m not willing to impugn the motives of those who want Adventism to accommodate Darwinism. The liberal Protestant denominations have all more or less made their peace with Darwinism, so there is a great deal of precedent for what the Seventh-day Darwinians are trying to get the Adventist Church to do.

    Where I am willing to morally condemn is when the Seventh-day Darwinians (1) deny what they are doing, or (2) pretend that what they want is not new and revolutionary, and a comprehensive break with traditional Adventism and the writings of Ellen White. It is completely beyond cavil that Adventists have always been YEC/YLC creationists, meaning that we have taught that the creation of life on earth was accomplished in six literal days, just a few thousand years ago. The writings of Ellen White are volumnious and very clear on this topic, and to reject her view on this topic is equivalent to denying that she was a true prophet of God. She wrote with full knowledge of Darwinism and Lyellism (long-ages geology) and she explicitly rejected both. Given her unflagging committment to the YEC viewpoint, there is simply no way she could actually have been inspired by God if this viewpoint is wrong.

    And yet we frequently see the Seventh-day Darwinians not only failing to come to grips with how their enthusiasm for Darwinism would utterly destroy the prophetic authority of Ellen White, but actually quoting this or that odd passage from Ellen White. This is simply a base and unworthy form of deception; it should be condemned as evil, in the strongest possible terms, and people who engage in this sort of deception should be disfellowshipped and, if they are denominational employees, fired. The Seventh-day Darwinians need to acknowledge that they want to jettison the traditional Adventist scriptural hermeneutic, and that they do not believe Ellen White was inpsired. If they will do that, at least we can have the debate within an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity.

    In other words, I am not willing to condemn people who believe they have found the truth about origins and want to share their newfound truth with the larger church. But I am perfectly willing to morally condemn those who want to lie, cheat, and steal to advance their point of view.




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  21. @David Read:

    In other words, I am not willing to condemn people who believe they have found the truth about origins and want to share their newfound truth with the larger church. But I am perfectly willing to morally condemn those who want to lie, cheat, and steal to advance their point of view.

    I agree. It seems to me an overwhelmingly obvious moral wrong for someone to deliberately misrepresent their actions on this issue – pretending to do one thing while doing the complete opposite. I think David and I pointed this moral problem out very clearly in our 3ABN presentation.

    I suppose, however, that someone might argue for something like “the ends justify the means”, but it is hard for me to imagine that anyone would really attempt to use this argument before God with any sort of sincerity of heart.

    Then again, I guess stranger things have happened. This is why I’m glad that God is the final judge of the heart. I’m just not nearly good enough at it to feel absolutely confident in my own judgment on the morality of any particular person’s motives. I think I can judge certain actions as being right or wrong, but I don’t think I’m nearly as good at judging motive. I’m simply not a mind reader. I may not understand the seeming confusion within someone’s mind that would cause him/her to be so illogical (as far as I can tell), but I’d like to give as much benefit of the doubt as possible while on this Earth.

    Remember, even Jesus prayed to his Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him “Because they don’t know what they’re doing” – Luke 23:34. Moral forgiveness, of course, does not mean that a person in significant error should be maintained in a position of responsibility within the Church.

    Jesus truly did not come into this world of sin and misery to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17) – to enlighten us as to a better way. It is only in the decided conscious rejection of this light that we move from life to death. And, no one can know for sure when this has happened for another person since no one but God has a clear view into the window of the hearts of others…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  22. David Read,

    Your message is highly judgemental, more than a little contradictory, and downright chilling. You claim to be unwilling to “judge anyone for being seduced by Darwinian science” and “to impugn the motives of those who want Adventism to accommodate Darwinism.” But for anyone who claims to Seventh-day Adventist and attempts to accomodate Darwinism (which can be done to varying degrees, of course) you declare them “as evil, in the strongest possible terms” unless they concede which you yourself know to be fact: “that they want to jettison the traditional Adventist scriptural hermeneutic, and that they do not believe Ellen White was inpsired.” Until that admission comes, you declare that such a person is a liar, cheater, and thief (presumably if they are an employee).

    Honestly I think you’ve lost your mind. You simply cannot lump into one category all those who believe that some levels of Darwinism (however you wish to define it) should to be accomodated byt hte church. I’ll give myself as an example and I will be as crystal clear as I can. I pretty much beleive in a 7-day creation over a relatively short time period, not necessarily 6000 years ago but not 600 million years. 10,000? 100,000? I don’t know with conviction. But I believe with total conviction that a LOT of evolution has happened largely by mechanisms that evolutionary biologists have elucidated and probably not at the rate you and others here believe- thousands of times faster than “evolutionists” accept, WHICH MAKES YOU PEOPLE THE EXTREME EVOLUTIONISTS!). And you have the self-annointed right to declare me a liar (and a cheater and thief if I happened to work for the church) simply because I still believe Ellen White was inspired? I AM NOT LYING!!! I don’t believe that every thing Ellen White said on the topic was inspired because I don’t believe that everything she said was correct, but that does not mean I am a liar because I am unwilling to declare that Ellen White was a false prophet.

    You are, in fact, highly judgemental and intolerant of views that differ with yours. Don’t pretend otherwise.




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  23. By the way, given Ellen White’s “unflagging commitment” (Read’s words) to the physical and emotional perils of masturbation (she wrote some 30 pages of advice to mothers primarily on this topic!!!) should we also conclude that “there is simply no way she could actually have been inspired by God if this viewpoint is wrong”?

    She was Wrong with a capital “W” on masturbation, but that does not mean everything she wrote was uninspired.




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  24. But I believe with total conviction that a LOT of evolution has happened largely by mechanisms that evolutionary biologists have elucidated and probably not at the rate you and others here believe- thousands of times faster than “evolutionists” accept, WHICH MAKES YOU PEOPLE THE EXTREME EVOLUTIONISTS!).

    “Evolution” is thrown around a tad too much. For example, “evolution” could merely mean change. What tends to happen though is that some evolutionists (those believing in common ancestry, millions of years of life on earth, etc.) will use this definition as a starting point, so when the creationist concedes, yes we see change all around us, the evolutionist then makes the radical jump from “just” change to the gradual development of a simple to a more complex form.

    Animals adapting to their environment isn’t evolving in the sense that it is becoming a more complex organism or that information is even magically being added to its DNA through natural selection or mutation.

    So depending on what you mean by evolution, I would have to disagree that creationists (young earth) believe in extreme evolution. I certainly do believe there were extreme changes that occurred. A creationist, when using the word “evolution”, almost never is referring to the off beat definition of “just change,” but as it relates to the theory of evolution which promotes the idea that life evolved (simple to complex) from a common ancestor over millions of years.

    I think it’s bit ironic that you’re calling those who believe in a 6,000 year old earth as “extreme evolutionists” when you yourself are comfortable with 10,000. That’s difference of 4,000 years. I wouldn’t necessarily call that extreme, but label it what you will.

    My only point is that we need to be clear to our audience and to ourselves what we’re intending to mean when we use the word “evolution.”




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  25. You are, in fact, highly judgemental and intolerant of views that differ with yours. Don’t pretend otherwise.

    Are you highly judgmental and intolerant of people who are judgmental and intolerant? I don’t believe David claimed to be not judgmental period. I think he was talking about motives. We make judgments all the time. The Bible admonishes us to make good judgments. It’s also good to be intolerant of some views in certain contexts.




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  26. @Shane Hilde: To me the belief that all those wonderfully adapted animals living in arctic environments are the descendants of
    Noah’s ark’s (obviously temperate climate adapted) passengers seems extremely evolutionist (just as an example). And the penguins’ methods of coping with their environment *are* complex (again just as an example).

    Mark




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  27. @Geanna Dane:

    To David Read,

    Your message is highly judgemental, more than a little contradictory, and downright chilling. You claim to be unwilling to “judge anyone for being seduced by Darwinian science” and “to impugn the motives of those who want Adventism to accommodate Darwinism.” …

    Honestly I think you’ve lost your mind. …

    You are, in fact, highly judgemental and intolerant of views that differ with yours. Don’t pretend otherwise.

    The hyper-judgmental and condemning nature of your post — noted.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. @Shane Hilde:

    “Evolution” is thrown around a tad too much. For example, “evolution” could merely mean change. What tends to happen though is that some evolutionists (those believing in common ancestry, millions of years of life on earth, etc.) will use this definition as a starting point, so when the creationist concedes, yes we see change all around us, the evolutionist then makes the radical jump from “just” change to the gradual development of a simple to a more complex form.

    Indeed – “birds came from reptiles” evolutionism hides itself under the rock “change happens” and “change is evolution confirmed”.

    So I don’t use the term “evolution” for variation within a static genome of fixed coding genes.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. People people. It is difficult enough to tell a person that their actions are mistaken to the point of removing them from being qualified to officially represent the Church. Try adding to this particular type of judgment the additional moral judgment of telling a person that they are evil at the same time for holding to a different doctrinal perspective than that promoted by the SDA Church. Is this really what you guys want to do when it comes to someone who has been honestly convinced by the mainstream evolutionary paradigm? Really? Over a difference of opinion on a doctrinal issue? Come on!

    While doctrinal views are important, it is actually possible to honestly hold differences of opinion regarding foundational doctrinal ideas – to include the nature of biblical inspiration, the inspiration of Ellen White, the literal nature of the Genesis narrative, etc. Conviction on these issues should be left up the Holy Spirit. It simply isn’t our job to convict other people as to our own perspective regarding the proper perspective on these doctrinal issues. Our job is simply to present the “reason for the hope that is within us” and leave the rest up to God.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  30. @David Read:

    Like Sean, I’m unwilling to judge anyone for being seduced by Darwinian science. There’s a great deal of internal logic and consistency to the Darwinian worldview, and it is supported by a great many scientists and an enormous body of scientific literature.

    Likewise, I’m not willing to impugn the motives of those who want Adventism to accommodate Darwinism. The liberal Protestant denominations have all more or less made their peace with Darwinism, so there is a great deal of precedent for what the Seventh-day Darwinians are trying to get the Adventist Church to do.

    Where I am willing to morally condemn is when the Seventh-day Darwinians (1) deny what they are doing, or (2) pretend that what they want is not new and revolutionary, and a comprehensive break with traditional Adventism and the writings of Ellen White. It is completely beyond cavil that Adventists have always been YEC/YLC creationists, meaning that we have taught that the creation of life on earth was accomplished in six literal days, just a few thousand years ago. The writings of Ellen White are volumnious and very clear on this topic, and to reject her view on this topic is equivalent to denying that she was a true prophet of God. She wrote with full knowledge of Darwinism and Lyellism (long-ages geology) and she explicitly rejected both. Given her unflagging committment to the YEC viewpoint, there is simply no way she could actually have been inspired by God if this viewpoint is wrong.

    If evolutionists are known for anything on that point they are known for “running away”.

    When the subject of the 3SG 90-91 statement comes up on “the worst kind of infidelity” (hint – a moral judgmnet if ever there was one) — they say “she was wrong” and then “dash out the door”.

    When the subject of Ex 20:8-11 locked into Gen 1-2:3 is brought up they simply tip their hat with “Bible is fiction, myth, poetic stories” and then “run out the door”.

    So what we have from evolutionists is absolutely knothing like a Bible position or even an exegetically feasible position on the gift of prophecy.

    They simply say whatever evolutionism “needs them to say” and run away if the subject turns from “the storytelling of fellow atheist evolutionists” to the subject of “God’s view” of origins as revealed to prophets in the Bible and also to Ellen White.

    They also “duck and cover” if the point is brought up that BOTH atheist evolutionists and bible believing Christians see the self-conflicted compromised stand that theist evolutionists are taking – particularly if they want to pretend to have any value at all for the 7th day Sabbath memorial of Creation WEEK.

    Finally – who in the world imagines a seventh-day darwinian to be so married to the idea of a 7th-day Sabbath that they would suffer fines, penalties and even the threat of life at the end of time to stay faithful to it? What kind of theology is THAT??!

    Their position is basically “transparent to all” — even themselves – and yet their new-found religion requires that they post “as if” they don’t see the problem!

    How instructive for the unbiased objective reader!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    While doctrinal views are important, it is actually possible to honestly hold differences of opinion regarding foundational doctrinal ideas – to include the nature of biblical inspiration, the inspiration of Ellen White, the literal nature of the Genesis narrative, etc.

    It is pretty hard to argue that the “worst form of infidelity” statement found in 3SG 90-91 is not a “moral judgment” of some kind.

    Even the charge that someone is less than ethical for taking a paycheck with the intent of destroying the current 28FB position on the doctrine of origins is in fact a moral judgment of some kind.

    Let’s take an easy example that all can agree with – it was wrong in the dark ages to torture then kill the protesting saints who were standing up for what the Bible said on the subject of salvation, justification not praying to Mary etc. And many “moral judgments” have been made in the past about those who chose the side of persecution of the saints in those cases.

    And yet we do not claim that all Catholics that refused to join the protest against abuses were lost.

    James 4 says “to him that knows to do right and does it not – to him it is sin”. Perhaps people lived in some kind of darkness.

    In the same way John 16 – Christ said “I have many more things to tell you but you cannot bear them now” – so perhaps these evolutionists are so biased by prior traditions and upbringing that they simply were not ready for the “truth” that Christ created the world in 7 literal days.

    However Christ states clearly in John 9 “you say that you see – your sin remains”. John 9:41.

    We cannot peer into the soul of the so-called seventh-day evolutionist to see if their understanding was indeed so darkened that they “could not see” and so their sin is not accounted to them. We do not know the case of the soul.

    But we do not the difference between right and wrong and we can declare a given position to be wrong. Not merely “incorrect” but morally wrong.

    Whether a person is held accountable by God for that sin – depends on the degree to which their own understanding was already darkened before the light of conviction came to them – and that is a point no one knows but God (and at least at one time in the past – the person and God).

    So I don’t say “so-and-so” is lost or any such thing. But I do say that such and such a position is “the worst form of infidelity”. That HAS to be done – because as we see in 3T 265-271, 281 – failure to decidedly call it out – is to bring the displeasure of God on the entire camp of the saints.

    People can then choose if they want to take that position or not – and God can decide if for that person – it is a sin for which they will be held accountable.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  32. I am not evil, I am not “running away”, I don’t believe I’m sinning, I am not “the worst form of infidelity,” and I am eager to face God who I love dearly as my judge.

    Sean, even though you have taken an apparently unpopular position as the others clearly disagree with you I appreciated your words.




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  33. Sean, even though you have taken an apparently unpopular position as the others clearly disagree with you I appreciated your words.

    Thanks Geanna…

    Sean




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  34. Bob, You got it right. Sean is wrong in his inability to see that “judgement” of words, actions, etc. is part of a Christians DUTY–when based on the Word of God. We see this in the Bible itself! And the SDA Church usually does this. In fact, THIS WEBSITE is doing it right now!

    For example, would an SDA pastor not be disciplined if he started preaching and teaching and endorsing unbiblical ideas? Well, maybe not in the Pacific Union Conference, but in the SDA Church in general?




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  35. @Geanna Dane:

    I am not evil, I am not “running away”, I don’t believe I’m sinning, I am not “the worst form of infidelity,” and I am eager to face God who I love dearly as my judge.

    details details.

    1. In 3SG 90-91 Ellen White states that Theistic Evolutionism is the worst form of “infidelity”. Since you said you are a creationist and not a theistic evolutionist – not sure why you are protesting so much – with “I am not the worst form of infidelity”.

    Is there something you have not shared with this board that you would like to tell us?

    2. I stated that theistic evolutionists merely “run away” when the 3SG 90-91 point is raised or the Ex 20:8-11 link to Gen 1-2:3 is raised – since you say you are a creationist – that does not apply to you. But then you “protest” saying “I am not running away” as if you are the theistic evolutionist that has been posting here and dodging the Ex 20:8-11 link to Gen 1-2:3 link. Are you trying to say something there?

    3. Your “I don’t believe I am sinning” could be in reference to anything (sinless perfectionism?) or it could be in reference to my point where I stated that the “worst form of infidelity” is most certainly a “moral judgment” of some kind and that we ought to know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to throwing the Bible “under the bus” in service to theistic evolutionism. Since you say you are a creationist – this could not possibly apply to you. so why the post as if in “protests” of the form “I am not sinning…I am eager to face God who I love dearly as my judge”. It is as if you are wanting to respond to my post as “The theistic evolutionist” in discussion within the context of my post.

    However I don’t see how that is even possible since you say your are a creationist.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  36. @BobRyan:

    It is pretty hard to argue that the “worst form of infidelity” statement found in 3SG 90-91 is not a “moral judgment” of some kind.

    It is only the “worst form of infidelity” for a person who consciously understands that they are being unfaithful to what they really do know, deep down, is the truth. For those who do not have this honest conviction, or who are honestly convinced to the contrary, there can be no real “infidelity” and therefore no “sin”…

    Sin is a conscious rebellion against what is clearly known to be the truth. There is no sin when there is no personal knowledge of the right way to go and a deliberate rejection of what is known, internally, to be right.

    In this way, it is possible to be performing harmful, even evil, acts without being personally responsible for the evil that results. Only God is able to correctly attribute responsibility for only God correctly judges the hearts of all…

    Again, this is why Jesus prayed, “Forgive them for they know not what they do…”

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  37. For example, would an SDA pastor not be disciplined if he started preaching and teaching and endorsing unbiblical ideas? Well, maybe not in the Pacific Union Conference, but in the SDA Church in general?

    There’s a difference between disciplining a person for doing what you consider to be the wrong thing vs. telling that person that you know that they are evil in their motivation… a very big difference.

    Clearly, I’m all for maintaining internal Church order, government and discipline. However, I’m not for making moral judgments against those who claim to honestly hold differing doctrinal opinions than I do or than the SDA Church does… I leave that up to God.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  38. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    In this way, it is possible to be performing harmful, even evil, acts without being personally responsible for the evil that results. Only God is able to correctly attribute responsibility for only God correctly judges the hearts of all…

    Again, this is why Jesus prayed, “Forgive them for they know not what they do…”

    My point is that we get to say that the act “is evil” and “harmful” and yes “sinful” as part of our obligation to clearly distinguish between right and wrong. In the same way when dealing with “sin in the camp” the issue is to be able to “identify sin”. To call for leadership to get rid of it.

    We need not get into the business of knowing just what excuse the one doing it might have for engaging in that sin. Nor do we have to get into the business of knowing if that sin has separated them from God such that they have lost their salvation. Our part of it – is to identify the problem. God’s part is to convict the person of sin and righteousness and judgment.

    In the example given above – the crowd, the soldiers, the religious leaders knew they had no criminal case to bring against Christ – even Pilot knew it and stated so publically though he was a total pagan. Christ’s prayer for their forgiveness is only granted for the ones that turn and repent at some point. The rest will surely pay the penalty for not only their actions of cursing and taunting and torturing that day – but for all their sins, paid in full in the suffering and torment of the 2nd death apportioned to each person according to their deeds – some receive few and others many stripes (Luke 12:47-48) depending on how much light they actually had.

    However – in the 3T 265-271 section I referenced – there was obligation on the part of leadership to act – even without having the requirement to “peer into the soul” of the one comitting sin so as to know their exact standing before God. Gross sins (the worst form of infidelity being one) has to be dealt with decisively before it takes over. And we have seen too many other denomination fall lock-stock-and-barrel because of this not to be fully aware of what we are facing now.

    So also in 3SG 90-91 there is no mention at all of the degree to which the theistic evolutionist might have darkened understanding of as they engage in what the text calls “The worst form of infidelity”. The text does not say “for some this is the worst form of infidelity while for others it is no big deal”. Rather it is the teaching itself that is evaluated without respect to cases of the individuals that choose it. So we find in that chapter no reference at all to the cultural or historic background of the person that unwittingly embraces that form of infidelity.

    So it remains an exercise in looking at the teaching and identifying it as “the worst form of infidelity”. Those who choose to embrace it for whatever reason they may imagine – then do so – being fully informed by the church that the teaching is dead wrong and explaining why.

    As for what that means for the one who leaps off that cliff “anyway” – we cannot say – only God knows the individual. But in Gal 6:7 he is clear “God is not mocked whatsover a man sows that shall he also reap”. We provide clear warnings and leave individual cases up to God.

    The 3T 265-271 example is taken from the story of Achan – showing how the entire camp of the saints falls under condemnation when the sin is ignored by leadership and then warning the saints today away from the ground of following that same example and incurring the some condemnation placed upon the entire group.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  39. Bob (and others),

    I think your language adds needless inflammation in this case. It simply isn’t necessary to go beyond the statement, regarding those who believe in and wish to promote theistic evolution, that such do not represent the ideals and fundamental goals of the SDA Church. Because of this, the SDA Church cannot recognize such persons in any sort of official paid capacity.

    It need not get any more personal than this. There simply is no need to go further and tell such people that their beliefs are “sinful” and “evil”. Such words imply a knowledge of the state of that person’s very soul – the prerogative of God alone. It is Ok to say that such views are in error or are mistaken in the opinion of the SDA Church (and my own personal opinion as well), but this is a far cry from claiming that such errors reach the level of deliberate rebellion against God.

    For many of my evolutionist friends, this simply isn’t the case. There are many very sincere evolutionists – even when it comes to those still within the SDA Church community. Therefore, be careful with your language. Be as generous as you possibly can with your language while still upholding Church government, discipline, and order.

    Remember, honey catches a lot more flies than vinegar. Therefore, whenever possible, avoid the use of vinegar in your language if you can. There does come a time when painful language must be used in love, but limit its usage as much as possible… 🙂

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  40. Dr. Ron Stone nailed it on the head when he stated:

    Sean is wrong in his inability to see that “judgement” of words, actions, etc. is part of a Christians DUTY–when based on the Word of God.

    I concede that there are some theological issues with shades of gray, which should not be used as a litmus test for orthodoxy. Furthermore, I too am weary of creeds or doctrines set in theological concrete that would castigate men and women as heretics. For example, the nature and relationship of the Godhead should never have been made a creed. But it has and men have been burned at the stake for not subscribing to the doctrine of God as set forth by the controlling bishops at the Council of Nicea.

    Notwithstanding this, the principle of Isaiah 8:20 still holds true: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in them” (NKJV). In other words, there are also issues that ARE black and white. And the creation story is one of them. The law itself and the record/history in the law is too clear to pretend otherwise. God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. We are not to take the philosophical mandates of any so-called science because it is backed by great men who hold important positions. And most pretentiously of all, to place their scientific constructs above the Scriptures because of their prestige in this world. I have no doubt that the arguments the antediluvians made against Noah’s preaching of a coming flood, were more dazzling than anything we can imagine. In fact, those antediluvians would fall on the ground in laughter or look at each other blinking as they contemplated the utter ignorance espoused by our supposed learned and great men, men who believe that a banana, elephant, mosquito, monkey, and human have one common ancestor. They themselves saw the angel with the flaming sword standing at the Garden of Eden. Their minds were far superior to ours; they could never have been lulled by the utter ignorance of evolutionary science.

    A Christian starts with a belief in a Creator, and particularly the Creator of the Holy Bible. One CANNOT hold to theistic evolution without ignoring the most plain teaching of the Bible. This is why Ellen White could write: “In the creation of the earth, God was not indebted to preexisting matter. ‘He spoke and it was; . . . He commanded and it stood fast.’ Psalm 33:9” (Ministry of Healing 414). Evolution is contrary to the Scriptures. For any so-called Seventh-day Adventist to be ascribing to the fables of Darwinism (although this fable actually precedes Darwin) is in gross error. While nobody has the authority to sentence someone to hell, it is clear that God-fearing saints, who trembles at the Scriptures, have the duty and commission to discern between truth and error and those who cling to it. Those who cling to idolatry have the option to repent or be disfellowshipped. If anyone doubts this, then prove me wrong from the Scriptures. Let us compare Scripture with Scripture and see whose view will stand.

    Those who call themselves SDAs and subscribe to theistic evolution have forsaken the law of God. As the psalmist declared: “Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law” (Psalm 119:53 NKJV). We have the right to be indignant over this apostasy. The apostle Paul minced no words in his letter to the Galatians when men arose from among them, corrupting the truth of the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-10; 5:11-12).

    The message that I’m getting from Dr. Sean Pitman is not biblical, but reflects the dangers of spiritualism, which comes at us in the name of love and non-judgmentalism. It forsakes the plain duty to correct, rebuke, and to even remove from among us those who cling to idolatry. Dr. Sean Pitman’s stance leads to the Spirit spoken of in Deuteronomy 12:8: “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today–every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes” (NKJV). While I’m not against reason, I am against any reason that exalts itself against a knowledge of God, as found in his Word. It is written: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV). When so-called SDAs are espousing theistic evolution they are not trusting the LORD, no, they are leaning on their own understanding (and that of infidels).

    The Law of God is clear. Unfortunately, most spend very little time in it. We have followed the paths of dispensationalist’s in ignoring the books of the Law and Prophets. Yet so plain is the torah that according to Isaiah 8:20 the law helps us discern between truth and error. This is why the father-in-law of Moses said:

    “And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge…” (Exodus 18:20-22 NKJV).

    They were able to judge all such matters relating to righteousness and unrighteousness, those who were wicked and those who were obedient in the camp of Israel. Why? Because they had the living oracles of God! And here we are with the living oracles of God and we have in our midst men teaching fables. Sadly, we also have those, who are supposedly standing for the truth, telling us we can’t judge and that we should be more understanding. This is a sign of the times. Let us be weary of this specious view about love and heed Ellen White’s warning about the deceptions of spiritualism (which include the sciences of the mind and evolution):

    “While it formerly denounced the Christ and the Bible, it now professes to accept both. But the Bible is interpreted in a manner that is pleasing to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God’s justice, His denunciations of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. The people are taught to regard the Decalogue as a dead letter. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses and lead men to reject the Bible as the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily denied as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned” (Great Controversy 558).

    Ellen White clearly condemned the spurious doctrines Evolution and its essential ingredient from geologists, that the earth is older than the biblical record. She made it clear that these beliefs are wicked and the products of infidels: “It makes indefinite and obscure that which He has made very plain. It is infidelity in its most insidious and hence most dangerous form; its real character is so disguised that it is held and taught my many who profess to believe in the Bible” (PP 111).

    Those who suggest that we need to stop being judgmental about this matter or the people who teach these this infidelity in our church (the Seventh-day Adventist church) are doing the work of the enemy. It is cowardice and wicked and demonic. There is a biblical method in correcting those who err from the truth. And for those who continue to err from the truth and boldly propagate it in our church, we have a duty to remove them from our fellowship. And moreover, if someone has a contention over this matter, it must be proven from Scripture. In other words, just as we accept the Sabbath and the state of man in death from investigation of the Bible, so also must we accept or reject evolutionary theory from an investigation of Scripture. This issue is too plain, however. The doctrines of an old earth, which is key to the philosophy of Evolution is “infidelity in its most insidious and hence most dangerous form.”




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  41. Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” He didn’t say all Samaritans are going to Hell. As a result, a whole town came out to hear him. I agree with Sean. There is an appropriate way of stating truth. It cannot just be done with a sledgehammer on the attack. It seems funny to me that when talking about specifics, Michael always seemed to revert to belief issues and not people–that is the problem and truth–you can call the fruit but not the tree. It is our job to teach and preach and sometime even meet error but not to try and show people they are unrighteous-just to bring people to Jesus. I think that the most someone can say is that to leave the truth or know the truth and not do it is dangerous as the Bible will teach–as well as to teach against the truth is dangerous as the Bible instructs.

    Jesus also warns us not to separate the wheat and tares till the time of the end. A lot of people look forward to that time. Is this that time? If it is, it will be a very sad time for me to see people leave and also from the reading of my Bible there will be people from other churches coming in (3rd Angels message). We do have to be careful how we try to purify the church as the Bible predicts that it will not happen successfully till the close of probation and we may end up hurting God’s cause instead of helping it!




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  42. While I don’t agree with Sean on everything, I do agree that care has to be given to the words used when talking with someone. If you don’t believe it–just get married and come back. If you still don’t, let me talk with your wife! If she says there are no problems, maybe you are a natural or I would be looking for an arranged marriage for my children later on! Do you get my point?

    It amazes me that someone just doesn’t agree with what I said just because they don’t like to admit to have to be careful–that is all I advocating. I don’t think that creation is wrong. I don’t think that something doesn’t need to be done. I don’t think that teachers don’t need to be removed. I just think that it needs to be done in a Christ-like manner. And yes, I do believe that He would have done it firmly and kindly. With the hope to have these teachers coming to church in the future.

    Please show me where I’m wrong?? I’d also like someone to show me in the Bible where it says that we will be the ones to purify the church. My reading doesn’t say that either.




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  43. Shannon:

    It seems funny to me that when talking about specifics, Michael always seemed to revert to belief issues and not people–that is the problem and truth–you can call the fruit but not the tree.

    Really? I find it odd that you separate what a person does from what they are. Did not Jesus say: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). Give me an example of where I’m erring. Instead of your quick sweep of everything I wrote, be specific instead of generically dismissing me in vague terms. I was very specific. Are you suggesting that those who teach and believe in Evolution should be able to teach in our schools? Are you suggesting that one can be both a Seventh-day Adventist and an Evolutionist? Let me get this straight Shannon, we are “not to try and show people they are unrighteous–just to bring people to Jesus”??? So when John the Baptist called the religious leaders a “brood of vipers” and told them to repent (Matthew 3:7) was he overstepping his bounds? Or when Stephen preached his last sermon before being stoned to death, was he in error for saying: “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your father did, so do you” (Acts 7:51 NKJV). Stephen clearly does not fit into the view you’re holding. We’re to compare Scripture with Scripture. I have no doubt that your stance is appealing to many and that it seems like the more “loving” approach. Yet, the view that is held about love today is abysmally shallow. At length, I disagree with you. Was the Psalmist unloving when he declared: “I hate the double-minded, But I love your law… Depart from me, you evildoers, For I will keep the commandments of my God!” (Psalm 119:113, 115 NKJV).

    Listen, I’m not trying to be mean with you. And I agree that we should be careful about how we deal with people. However, correcting and rebuking is a part of the ministry that has been committed to those who will follow Christ. This does not mean we shouldn’t be patient and understanding. Have not all of us been in error or lived in sin? Perhaps some of us are still living in sin? That is between the individual and God. But when a person is openly teaching infidelity, we have an obligation to stand up and resist the given error. It is not unloving to do so. And when those who call themselves followers of Christ are being lulled by the most insidious and obvious error, it is time for correction and rebuke. The Scriptures are clear in this matter, as unpleasant as it may be and sound.

    I’m more than happy to go through the Scriptures on this link with anyone who thinks otherwise. Show me where I’m wrong in the Word of God. As Christians we are to love one another and press on for unity of the faith. But we are also to hold each other accountable through the Holy Scriptures. I disagree with you and Dr. Pitman. But I’m appealing to the Scriptures. Both of the messages I have written have appealed to the Scriptures and Ellen White. I desire unity and I don’t believe we have to agree on every point on some theological issues. However, this issue is as black and white as Sabbath verse Sunday. We certainly wouldn’t allow someone to teach in our theology programs who believed in Sunday Sacredness. Or if someone taught that homosexuality was permissible, it would be worthy of censure. Is this issue any different? Not that our theology programs and universities are beacons of light or that they follow the counsels of Ellen White. I certainly don’t believe they do and this issue is a fruit of the state of affairs in Adventism.

    I’m not suggesting that I or anybody can purify another person’s soul or conscience. This is a bait and switch fallacy. The fact is that leaders in the church and lay people should have the ability to correct, rebuke, and instruct in righteousness “that the man of God may complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The Scriptures teach that each person is to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. And in this same letter, Paul warned: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers” (Philippians 3:2a NKJV). Those who are teaching the infidelity of evolutionary theory in Adventism are evil workers in the church teaching philosophy and vain deceit. There is no way around it. We need not mince words about open rebellion. The early church certainly didn’t, and neither should we. However, we should make sure we are doing everything from a pure heart and in accordance with the Scriptures.




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  44. Michael, Standing up for God’s Truth and stating so is very unpopular, even in our SDA Churches. Look at how Doug Batchelor is attacked for doing so. Sam Pipim, in his books, describes how those that actually stand up and don’t back down are then accused of being inconsiderate, judgemental, condemnatory, un-Christlike, etc.

    Pastor Doug has MANY enemies, and some of them are easily identified–Spectrum, Adventist Today, and those that support their ideas. Fortunately, only a small minority of SDA’s consider those associated with the above of any worth at all.




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  45. An argument frequently seen on sites like Spectrum is that Ellen White is not “inerrant” and therefore she could have been wrong about origins. I’m sorry, but this is simply not a good faith argument. It is a contemptible deception. There is a huge difference between admitting that Ellen White, like the Bible, was “inerrant” and then saying, “well, then she could have been wrong about origins but still inspired.”

    That’s like saying “Abraham Lincoln was generally a good president, he was just wrong about freeing the slaves and wrong about forcing the South to stay in the Union.” Or, “Martin Luther King was a good man generally, but he was just mistaken in his enthusiasm for civil rights.” Or, to stay with Lincoln theme, “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Isn’t it obvious how absurd this line of argument is?

    Ellen White’s commitment to the Sabbath and the literal creation week that is the biblical rationale for the Sabbath was absolute, and it was a huge part of her ministry and life’s work. It is simply impossible to believe that she was inspired by God if she promoted such a radically wrong view of our origins. If she was so terribly wrong in her scores and probably hundreds of statements about origins, then someone or something other than God was in control of her ministry. And someone or something other than God is in control of so-called “Adventists” who would try to deny that.




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  46. Dr. Ron Stone:

    You’re absolutely right. I appreciate the work of men like Sam Pipim and Doug Batchelor and even his predecessor; I would not be an SDA today if it were not for the ministry of the late Joe Crews from Amazing Facts. I remember when I joined the church, how people were putting him down. And yet it was his writings and the book the Great Controversy that slapped me into reality. Praise God for men who will not dance with the devil and are not ashamed to stand upon the Scriptures, even when it is unpopular to do so.




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  47. David, I agree with your assessment that “something other than God” is in control of supposed SDA’s who promote “evolution as fact” “gay marriage” and other un-biblical ideas. Who could that be?!




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  48. Ron Stone wrote “Pastor Doug has MANY enemies, and some of them are easily identified–Spectrum, Adventist Today, and those that support their ideas. Fortunately, only a small minority of SDA’s consider those associated with the above of any worth at all.”

    I have absolute conviction that both Jesus and God the Father (neither of whom is an SDA I conceed) are among those who believe “the above” have considerable worth.. He also values immensely other leaders who are spoken of repeatedly here as having “no backbone”, or as thieves and liars and cheeters. I’m saddened and embarrassed by the level to which Adventists have stooped when they describe fellow believers.




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  49. @Michael Farris:

    Those who are teaching the infidelity of evolutionary theory in Adventism are evil workers, who are in the church teaching philosophy and vain deceit.

    Such teachers may be wrong, clearly so from my own understanding of this issue, but that doesn’t mean that they are therefore “evil workers”. They may be teaching error, to be sure, but they may not know that they are in fact teaching error. I know that many of them seem very earnest, sincere and honest. From all outward appearances they seem like very good men and women who are doing their best to do what is right as they see it.

    I therefore choose to give them this benefit – to acknowledge that they are likely doing what they think is right before God while they are doing contrary to what I think is right before God. Because of this, I feel it my duty to speak out against their actions as paid representatives of the SDA Church, but not against their motives – motives which may actually be pure before God (as far as I can tell).

    Do I think they are going against clear biblical teachings? Yes, I do. But, many of them do not see it as I do – sincerely and honestly so. I respect their sincerity of heart and honesty of purpose as being holy while still recognizing their actions as being in error and resulting in grievous harm.

    I know it is difficult for some to separate the person from the action, but this is in fact what we are asked to do. Sure, it is said that “by their fruit you will know them”, but this isn’t always the case when it comes to judging motive. Very bad fruit can be delivered with the best of intentions due to a lack of true knowledge on the part of the individual. Yet, it is the thought that counts in the judgment of God, not the result – good or bad. If the desire of the individual were to do good with respect to his/her neighbor, God accepts that desire as righteous even if the actions undertaken produced harmful or even “evil” results.

    For me, I am so grateful to God for such mercy as he looks at me and my humble often erroneous efforts to serve him and my fellow man. I am so glad that He does accept my motive and desire to do right rather than the often far less than ideal result of my actions.

    In short, especially when it comes to doctrinal issues like the literal nature of the Genesis account, please try to separate the person from the doctrinal error. We all fail, fairly often, without knowing or intending to err. And, when we do occasionally discover how badly we have failed, how sorry and embarrassed we are and how kindly we look upon those who dealt as gently as possible with us when we didn’t know the truth…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  50. Geanna, I did not say “God” doesn’t value them as human beings. I stated most SDA’s do not consider them of any value in or to our SDA Church, except as to criticize it constantly. Check out their editorials and articles for yourself.




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  51. Michael: I did not say that we should allow evolution in our schools etc. . . You are using a common argument style to eggagerate and imply thing the other person did not say to make them look bad. If you read what I said, I clearly said these things need to be stood up to and stopped but the way you talk to someone is important. Ezekial says that if you get your brother to turn from his sins you may cover a multitude of sin, The quotes to Timothy to exort and rebuke are correct but if you take some time to eead the rest of the books to Timothy Paul says to exort your elders like they where your father and the women like your mother and the youth like your children. Does that fit your description? And this is instruction to a leader in the church!

    my point is yes, it needs to be done




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  52. just needs to be done right. Sorry computer messed up. People who were called for strong rebukes did not relish them and were compelled as Gods messengers. Just because you quote them does notmean too much. The persol rebuke we are called to give should be done according to the calling and position God has given us. Most common-to the brother after some soul searching ourselves. Ellen White said that was the hardest part of her job. Seems like there are so many peaple just chomping at the bit ready to take it up. Given the tenor of a lot of Christians-what would be the outcome of Ezekiel if it happened that they were chosen as His prophet?
    things are wrong. Lets stop them with as little damagemto Gods church as possible.




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  53. Shannon and others:

    Michael: I did not say that we should allow evolution in our schools etc. . . You are using a common argument style to eggagerate and imply thing the other person did not say to make them look bad.

    I wrote quite a bit and you really have not. I have made my position quite clear. You did not make your position clear [in regards to evolution]; at least not in the post that I responded to, where you mentioned my name. However, you did clearly come through with the same message that you are again giving above. What I wrote in response to your initial message warrants repeating. However, I clearly did not convince you with any of my prior messages and your reasoning is not compelling to me either. Nonetheless, lets reasoning together more.

    Where to begin?

    You mention Ezekiel but do not point out the passages you have mind. Ezekiel is a big book with many messages within. When Paul is admonishing Timothy, he says more than what you imply. Also, keep in mind that when Paul is discussing fatherly appeal to the elderly, he is not talking about rebuking men who are openly in rebellion against the truth. Paul is very clear about how to deal with open apostasy (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). He states: “I wrote to you in my epistles not to keep company with sexually immoral people… But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person” (1 Cor. 5:9,11 NKJV). What do you say to this? Paul is very specific about how to deal with believers who are walking contrary to the truth (sounds like an oxymoron). And it is an oxymoron, which is why they are to be removed from the fellowship of believers. Paul is softer in his treatment of unbelievers (1 Cor. 5:10). This is because they do not have the oracles of God.

    Those subscribing to evolutionary theory while claiming the name of Christ is equivalently diabolical. Evolution is a “doctrine of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Do not tell me I’m exaggerating to make you look bad. I’m emphasizing this point, to emphasize the fact that a rebuke is more than called for. We do not need to play patty cake with those who are worshiping the devil by spreading his doctrines in the church. In fact, Paul makes it clear that a work of judgment is to be done in the church with brethren who are walking in contradiction to the law of God: “For what have I to do with judging those who are outside [non-believers]? Do you not judge those who are inside [believers]? But those who are outside [non-believers] God judges. Therefore, put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Cor. 5:12-13 NKJV). According to Scriptures, (@ Sean) we are to be able to discern if their is an “evil person” in our midst. This does not mean we can read the heart. But their are some sins that are obvious and when this is the case, we are in biblical jurisdiction to act accordingly.

    Again, Paul does not suggest that we are to sit down and be fatherly or motherly or patient with an open rebel in the church. We are not “to keep company” with them. The apostle said: “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

    Going back to the epistles to Timothy. Paul is not suggesting that if an old man is walking obstinately and in open rebellion to God that we are to be fatherly to him. Is that what you think the Scriptures teach? Were there not old men among Israel when God sent Elijah? Is the Elijah message not what is to bring the shaking in our church? What about the prophet that God sent to Eli because of how awful his awful parenting? Elie allowed his “corrupt” and “worthless” sons to work in the Sanctuary. The record is very clear: “Now Eli was very old, and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (1 Samuel 2:22 NKJV). Guess what? Eli received a firm rebuke from “a man of God,” where he learned that his family would be cut off because of how he lightly esteemed God and therefore God lightly esteemed him (1 Samuel 2:27-36).

    Listen, Paul makes it clear in the chapter where he talks about the treatment of the elderly: “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” (1 Tim. 5:20 NKJV). Considering Eli and parenting, we should also consider the requirements laid out for those who were to be overseers and deacons. Some of the qualifications include: “blameless… sober minded….of good behavior, hospitable… one who rules his own house well, having children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Tim. 3:2-5 NKJV). The issue of parenting, if it were actually enforced today, would undoubtedly condemn the vast amount of people from offices of leadership in our church. Our church has become a bastion for the psychological society, where we excuse poor parenting, and have adopted godless theories from the junk science of psychology.

    Anyone who knows about the history of evolution, knows that it arose first from among the phrenologists, who set out to redefine parenting. Psychiatrists and psychologists are their modern day equivalent. If you don’t believe me, you can read in the preface of Darwin’s Origin of Species, where he admits that he was influenced by a work called the Vestiges of Creation–this was a phrenological work. Long before Darwin came on the scene, phrenologists were the ones who were heavily involved in comparative anatomy and what would come to be associated with Darwin as evolution. This is significant when considering that Ellen White warned that Satan’s efforts would be characterized by the sciences of the mind near the close of probation: “The sciences of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism are the channel through which he comes more directly to this generation and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation” (1T 290). The sciences of the mind and and the doctrine of evolution are the products of spiritualism. They are “doctrines of demons.”

    Unfortunately, Adventism is not surrounded by the students of history that we once were. Satan has utilized this ignorance to his advantage. Listen Shannon, I’m willing to be reasoned with from the Scriptures and the counsels of Ellen White. But from everything I’ve studied (thus far) leads me to conclude that it is our responsibility to remove open apostasy from our midst. And this includes rebuke. Everything I have shared in all my previous messages shows this from the Scriptures. I am baffled by how both you and Sean express so much concern over what I and a few others on here have written. If we were to compare the weight of evidence as revealed in our messages, it is clear that you do not have much to offer, other than some concerns about judging and not being able to read motives (as Sean likes to continuous emphasize). By uttering this mantra over an over without the support of the scriptures is not very convincing.

    I’m willing to concede that we must be loving and patient with all our brethren. We have all fallen short of the grace of God. However, I’m not willing to give the message that you and Sean are offering in the face of apostasy, under the banner of “we can’t read motives.” This has nothing to do with the blatant rebellion under topic. It serves to obfuscate the issue of Seventh-day Adventists in leadership positions who are subscribing to “doctrines of demons.” It is a form of slippery double speak. Even Paul states in the letter just discussed: “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later” (1 Tim. 5:24 NKJV).

    Listen, if you are against people who believe in evolution teaching in our schools or holding church offices, then what is it that we should do? Lets assume I’m wrong. Let’s say we are not to rebuke or judge these men/women in the name of not knowing their motives. Or rather, that we don’t call these men “evil” or “wicked” or any of the names freely used in the Scriptures to describe people who reject the plain truths of God. This is clearly very important to both you and Dr. Sean Pitman, whom you have said you agree with. Make no mistake, I have no authority in our church and everything I’m saying amounts to nothing, as far as our leadership is concerned. I’m not on the SDA payroll. In fact, I know many who are on SDA payroll who speak the same way both of you do. Perhaps I’m just spinning my wheels and pontificating about things that I see in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Notwithstanding all this, what exactly are you saying we should do about these evolutionist and those who subscribe to it?

    But if there is a place for rebuke in the Scriptures and calling sin by its right name, or identifying “evil men” as “evil men,” (as the Scriptures plainly reveal) then what are you both getting at? Is it simply that we need to be careful? Is this the sum of all the resistance I’m receiving from both of you? Don’t call men “evil men” who are in SDA leadership and concurrently teaching evolution? Because we don’t know their “motives”?

    Finally Shannon, when you say that my quoting of Scripture “does not mean too much,” it makes me shudder; this spirit is right on par with the defense you’ve been making. In contrast, I say that you not quoting from Scripture to prove your points speaks volumes. It is our duty to appeal to the Scripture as Protestant Christians. Perhaps you should consider reading or re-reading the chapter in the Great Controversy called “The Scriptures a Safeguard.” In it Ellen White writes: “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms…. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support” (Great Controversy 595).

    I don’t know what you were trying to say in your last sentence, but I assume you meant “demagogues”? If that is what you think of everything that I’ve written or the others have written, then so be it. The least you can do, is point out where I’m being a demagogue instead offering it as a veiled rebuke. If I misunderstand you on this point, then sorry for the confusion. When all is said and done, it sounds like we all agree that these men should be removed from office.?.? Yes, we have some strong disagreements, but not on this point.?.?




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  54. For me, I am so grateful to God for such mercy as he looks at me and my humble often erroneous efforts to serve him and my fellow man. I am so glad that He does accept my motive and desire to do right rather than the often far less than ideal result of my actions.

    In short, especially when it comes to doctrinal issues like the literal nature of the Genesis account, please try to separate the person from the doctrinal error. We all fail, fairly often, without knowing or intending to err. And, when we do occasionally discover how badly we have failed, how sorry and embarrassed we are and how kindly we look upon those who dealt as gently as possible with us when we didn’t know the truth…

    Sean,
    Appreciate your words in this thread. I find the number of negative responses you have received here startling. I dare say that without you Educate Truth might not exist. Yet others feel it their duty criticize you for taking the high ground in this controversy. Your approach is far more helpful than a pious screed filled with vitriolic demonizations. How ironic that Adventists would ‘speak like a dragon’ or behave in a beastly manner in the name of defending truth.

    “Love endures long and is patient and kind… is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” AMP

    “We do not always realize the power of example. We are brought in contact with others. We meet persons who are erring, who do wrong in various ways; they may be disagreeable, quick, passionate, dictatorial. While dealing with these we must be patient, forbearing, kind, and gentle…” AG 227.4

    “Human beings are Christ’s property, purchased by Him at an infinite price, bound to Him by the love that He and His Father have manifested for them. How careful, then, we should be in our dealing with one another! Men have no right to surmise evil in regard to their fellow-men.” GW 498.2

    “No one was ever reclaimed by reproach; but many have thus been repelled and have been led to steel their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.” MH 166.3

    “The apostle Paul found it necessary to reprove wrong, but how carefully he sought to show that he was a friend to the erring! How anxiously he explained to them the reason of his action! He made them understand that it cost him pain to give them pain….” MH 166.5




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  55. @Michael Farris:

    Where to begin?

    You mention Ezekiel but do not point out the passages you have mind. Ezekiel is a big book with many messages within. When Paul is admonishing Timothy, he says more than what you imply. Also, keep in mind that when Paul is discussing fatherly appeal to the elderly, he is not talking about rebuking men who are openly in rebellion against the truth. Paul is very clear about how to deal with open apostasy (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). He states: “I wrote to you in my epistles not to keep company with sexually immoral people… But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person” (1 Cor. 5:9,11 NKJV). What do you say to this? Paul is very specific about how to deal with believers who are walking contrary to the truth (sounds like an oxymoron). And it is an oxymoron, which is why they are to be removed from the fellowship of believers. Paul is softer in his treatment of unbelievers (1 Cor. 5:10). This is because they do not have the oracles of God.

    Those subscribing to evolutionary theory while claiming the name of Christ is equivalently diabolical. Evolution is a “doctrine of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Do not tell me I’m exaggerating to make you look bad. I’m emphasizing this point, to emphasize the fact that a rebuke is more than called for. We do not need to play patty cake with those who are worshiping the devil by spreading his doctrines in the church. In fact, Paul makes it clear that a work of judgment is to be done in the church with brethren who are walking in contradiction to the law of God: “For what have I to do with judging those who are outside [non-believers]? Do you not judge those who are inside [believers]? But those who are outside [non-believers] God judges. Therefore, put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Cor. 5:12-13 NKJV). According to Scriptures, (@ Sean) we are to be able to discern if their is an “evil person” in our midst. This does not mean we can read the heart. But their are some sins that are obvious and when this is the case, we are in biblical jurisdiction to act accordingly.

    Again, Paul does not suggest that we are to sit down and be fatherly or motherly or patient with an open rebel in the church. We are not “to keep company” with them. The apostle said: “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

    You make some good points – however your suggestion can only apply at the local church level because that is the only mechanism the SDA church has for church discipline of a single member on issues related to conduct and apostasy.

    So unless speaking to fellow church members in the professor’s local congregation – how does it apply on this web site?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    There is something that needs to be made clear here before we go any further. I believe that the bible is the living Word of God. Do you? If so, we have a basis from which to move forward. If not, there is nothing more to say.

    I find it totally ridiculous that one must go by a checklist to post on this forum and that you must be an SDA to post here, yet believing in the Word of God and the spirit of prophecy is not one of them. I would settle for the bible and the bible alone, but being we are SDA’s both would be fine. Still, this is ridiculous…

    All this specious reasoning and equivocating… Where do you people draw the line? The bible makes it clear about the workers of iniquity. You, Sean (and others), are telling us that we are erring because you feel in your heart that Jesus was love and that we do not know the hearts and motivations of men?? Yet there are voluminous amounts of scripture that testify to the opposite of what you are saying? This is very demonic. You completely undermine the bible and the teachings of God to support a doctrine that does the same and leads people straight to hell. All the while telling those that uphold the Law of God and the scriptures that they are wrong for doing so because we do not know the heart of men.

    Where do you get such an idea? Numerous passages of scripture has been presented and you have not responded to any of them with scripture.

    Such a defense for men and women who are ignoramuses, infidels and biblically lazy is repugnant. You uphold the spirit that scripture condemns. I often wonder how much of the bible you actually believe to be the Word of God.

    One thing is certain, I have only seen three people (Michael Farris, Tim Perenich and myself) actually make their arguments from scripture and the writings of EGW. Why is this?
    I find the spirit of this group very strange and wicked. None of you have argued “Thus sayeth.., It is written…” etc. Most things here presented have been contrary to scripture even denying what apostles and prophets have commanded and warned against. This is evil. Most things said that were biblical and direct have been completely ignored and swept under the rug. My statements earlier for the most part, definitely Tim Perenich’s and of course Michael Farris’s.

    @ David

    I do not know what to make of this :

    Ellen White’s commitment to the Sabbath and the literal creation week that is the biblical rationale for the Sabbath was absolute, and it was a huge part of her ministry and life’s work. It is simply impossible to believe that she was inspired by God if she promoted such a radically wrong view of our origins. If she was so terribly wrong in her scores and probably hundreds of statements about origins, then someone or something other than God was in control of her ministry. And someone or something other than God is in control of so-called “Adventists” who would try to deny that

    What are you implying? Are you implying that the evolutionist’s point of view in regard to origins is correct? That because it is absolutely clear that EGW is a young earth creationist she is teaching error thus led by satan?

    1 Blessed is the man
    Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
    2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
    3 He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
    And whatever he does shall prosper.

    4 The ungodly are not so,
    But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
    5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
    Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
    But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

    Psalm 1




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  57. Michael: I did make myself clear. Just because I did not pontificate long enough does not mean that. It is quite clear that when I say the doctrine of evolution is wrong and should be put away. It should be done clearly and kindly as possible.

    What I said by “not meaning much” is that scripture can be taken out of context–and was and is often used to justify mean spirited behavior. Just because one person is told to go so far as to condemn a sinner openly through the spirit of God does not give every Christian the right or duty to go about doing so. Elijay openly condemned sin while most of Elisha’s life was one of gentle leading to Christ–only once did he have to stand up for himself and that was enough for the rest of his life (the bears).

    While I respect your zeal, open sin should be recognized and met and sinners should be dealt with but see how Jesus dealt with the harlot they brought to him. He did not tell her a big lecture. He just told her to leave the sin–that was it. If Eli had dealt early with his sons, a severe judgment would not have been required–read Ellen White. Only because he put it off, did he need such drastic measures that would have been required but he did not meat out–by the way, that is dealing with sin and consequences (these boys were stealing and perverting justice and several other severe sins that is was his place as the father to judge). Interestingly, Samuel did not wish to give the message. He probably gave it with tears in his eyes and love in his heart and it was not done in a public format. All of which, you tend to overlook and just focus on the judgment and how sinners are supposed to be told that they are sinners in a humiliating way and are of the devil.

    It is wrong to do bad things. It is important to talk to people about it in the correct way. I’m not sure saying they are of the devil or doing the works of the devil is appropriate. I’m looking for something like–this is wrong at our institution and needs to stop. If you ask me, we are all sinners and need a savior. If you need counsel from me and trust me here, yes, I do believe that evolution is not consistent with Bible and Christian belief systems. I recommend that you come to Jesus on His terms–not on your own.

    How would you talk with someone still practicing as a Baptist or Catholic in the SDA church or maybe Buddist–wouldn’t you try and mentor them into the truth further–there would of course come a time when they would need to go to the church of their choice but I would like for them to feel loved and accepted here? What is the difference between the belief in evolution and Buddism as far as undermining the truth. I’m sure that it wouldn’t be easy but it is not so hard to think about if it were that but they need growth and time as well. They cannot teach or preach in our church but time to understand if they like would be okay wouldn’t it. Time to question, wouldn’t it? Judas had 3 1/2 years.

    These people need to not teach at our schools but their own consciences will condemn them if that is the case. If they don’t then our words will have no effect and will be wasted. Our job will be just to remove them from the harmful position and effects. Our behavior and example for the onlookers will be important though.

    I probably have not convinced you. We can go on quoting one sided views of scripture as well. In the end, if you are prophetic or led, we will see you at the helm of the church in time. If not, you will not be there. These things have a way of taking care of themselves. God is in charge and I will leave that up to Him and will learn that way.




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  58. Bob is right: “You make some good points – however your suggestion can only apply at the local church level because that is the only mechanism the SDA church has for church discipline of a single member on issues related to conduct and apostasy.”

    Anything in Matthew 18 and elsewhere dealing with how Christians should interact has no baring whatsoever on the internet, where God condones any action.




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  59. @Justin Robinson:

    Sean:
    All this specious reasoning and equivocating… Where do you people draw the line? The bible makes it clear about the workers of iniquity. You, Sean (and others), are telling us that we are erring because you feel in your heart that Jesus was love and that we do not know the hearts and motivations of men?? Yet there are voluminous amounts of scripture that testify to the opposite of what you are saying? This is very demonic. You completely undermine the bible and the teachings of God to support a doctrine that does the same and leads people straight to hell. All the while telling those that uphold the Law of God and the scriptures that they are wrong for doing so because we do not know the heart of men.

    Where do you get such an idea? Numerous passages of scripture has been presented and you have not responded to any of them with scripture.

    Such a defense for men and women who are ignoramuses, infidels and biblically lazy is repugnant. You uphold the spirit that scripture condemns. I often wonder how much of the bible you actually believe to be the Word of God.

    You do realize that I’m one of the people who started this whole effort against the promotion of evolutionism at LSU? How then can you ask if I believe in the Bible or in the doctrines of the SDA Church?

    The fact of the matter is that many of the people I disagree with on the topic of origins are not “ignoramuses, infidels or biblically lazy” – (but I’m beginning to wonder about you). They may be wrong in their interpretations and conclusions, in my opinion, but they are sincere and honest as far as I can tell. Many of them would give me the shirt off their back if I was in trouble.

    I dare say that such a person, even though admittedly confused on this or that point of doctrine, is not obviously “evil” by any means.

    Again, a lack of knowledge or confused ideas regarding a point of doctrine, however important that doctrine may be, does not automatically make a person evil. Both the Bible and Ellen White are full of examples and commentary in this regard… if you care to do just a bit of your own investigation in this direction. As far as I can tell, you consistently take passages out of context and twist them in a harsh manner to match your own world view.

    You seem unable to separate evil results of actions from the actor – giving room for the person to be as guiltless as possible before God. You seem to see yourself as an expert in judging motive even though both the Bible and Mrs. White are extremely clear that God alone is the only truly accurate judge of motive – especially regarding differences in doctrinal understanding.

    I advise you to reconsider your attitude in how you approach those who do not yet understand the importance of certain pillars of the SDA faith. All of the SDA doctrines are very important in my opinion, but they aren’t the basis of salvation. Again, the only thing that saves a person is their motive of love toward God and toward their fellow man as best as they can perceive how to express their love. Sometimes the expression of love doesn’t turn out well. However, this lack of proper expression does not negate the underlying motive of love – a motive that is still regarded with high value by God.

    It is like a little child who loves his parents and so one day decides to make breakfast for them. He burns the toast and the eggs are a real mess. He gets milk all over the deck in the kitchen and the Cheerios are scattered all around. He spills orange juice on the carpet trying to get the food to his parents room to surprise them. The whole thing is a complete mess, but his parents both smile when they see his efforts to make them breakfast in bed and give him big hugs and kisses. It doesn’t matter that it takes them hours to clean up everything. The only thing that matters to them is that their boy tried to do something nice for them and loves them.

    I know this because I was the boy and this is how my own parents responded to me. And, I know this is how God responds to us as well.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  60. Bob:

    You make some good points – however your suggestion can only apply at the local church level because that is the only mechanism the SDA church has for church discipline of a single member on issues related to conduct and apostasy.

    So unless speaking to fellow church members in the professor’s local congregation – how does it apply on this web site?

    Thank you for reading my message. I’m not certain that I follow you. We are all on here discussing this issue, which opens discussion about what the Bible teaches about how to deal with believers. I am speaking as an SDA to SDA’s. I am sharing Scripture and reasoning this through with those who are willing to reason. And I’m open to the reasoning of those on here who may disagree with me. Obviously, we cannot settle church discipline on an internet blog. However, as church members we can think about these things together and reason with one another (comparing Scripture with Scripture).




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  61. Shannon:

    I stand corrected. I re-read you initial messages and you did say that you felt they should be removed. Forgive me, I have read so much on here and have written so much that it is all starting to blur together. Notwithstanding this, our contention with each other over what the Bible teaches in regard to correcting, rebuking, and judgment still remains. There are some points that I would like to raise about some of the things you have written above. Yet, from what I’ve read so far, you view my messages as “pontificating,” “one-sided,” and even demagogic. And in all fairness, from what I’ve read so far, you seem to me a poor bible student and quite ignorant of church history. But, there is still much to be learned for both of us, as I’m sure you would agree. And we can still come together as Christians and compare Scripture with Scripture. There are certainly some things that you have written above that warrant a biblical rebuttal. Perhaps I will write later. Until then, God Bless.

    ~Michael




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  62. @Shannon:

    Your responses are very disappointing. I have read Michael Farris’s posts and he has stood on scriptures and you have not at all. We have a record here on this site and you have clearly not. Are we supposed to just take your word for it? Where is the biblical integrity here?




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  63. Michael: You have no idea who I am or what my education is. The internet on a discussion site is no place for long explanations and arguments. Basic quotes and beliefs are simple for explanation or understanding. More will not get the job done in this format. Making judgments as to education and ignorance is usually comparative and not too accurate. My statements were made on the other hand off of your ongoing aggressive and demeaning use of wordage in our discussion and discussion with others that don’t happen to agree with you.

    You may find that the world will all be much less smart that you if you use agreement with you as the criteria. There are a lot of people that use this as a criteria by the way and I have been treated badly by many of them. Some of them are probably much smarter that you and me put together. Just because of that does not make them right or any more believable.

    Respect truly comes as a result of the ability to be respected.




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  64. Justin: You are obviously biased. I’m sorry you see it that way. I did use the Bible and did not insinuate that Micheal did not know what he was talking about. I’m glad you are happy about being right though. It is nice to feel that way. . . .




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  65. @Victor Marshall:

    Sean,
    Appreciate your words in this thread. I find the number of negative responses you have received here startling. I dare say that without you Educate Truth might not exist. Yet others feel it their duty criticize you for taking the high ground in this controversy. Your approach is far more helpful than a pious screed filled with vitriolic demonizations. How ironic that Adventists would ’speak like a dragon’ or behave in a beastly manner in the name of defending truth.

    Thanks for the personal note of support as well as for your very relevant quotes. Very helpful…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  66. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    You do realize that I’m one of the people who started this whole effort against the promotion of evolutionism at LSU? How then can you ask if I believe in the Bible or in the doctrines of the SDA Church?

    Sean, I ask you that question because I am not sure whether or not you hold to the idea that some scripture is obviously inspired while other areas of scripture are not. To be fair, I figure I would ask that and move forward. I am not asking if you believe in doctrines of the SDA church(That’s already assumed.) I am only arguing that your stance does not appear to be in harmony with the plain teachings of the bible. This is my Christian duty to question you openly on this specifically when you are writing things that are questionable.

    The fact of the matter is that many of the people I disagree with on the topic of origins are not “ignoramuses, infidels or biblically lazy” – (but I’m beginning to wonder about you). They may be wrong in their interpretations and conclusions, in my opinion, but they are sincere and honest as far as I can tell. Many of them would give me the shirt off their back if I was in trouble.

    Does it necessarily matter whether or not someone does a good deed particularly as it relates to the issue we are discussing? Let me be more clear: Do the wicked not take care of their children? Do the wicked not have wives and husbands that they love intimately? Do the wicked not look out for one another? Let’s be clear here Sean, Jesus himself said:

    “9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Mat. 7:9-11 NKJV)

    Do you not see the language used here? “You then being evil..” is this to be frowned upon as overly critical or harsh? Notice how throughout the scriptures even the evil men and women are associated with doing good deeds to others? This type of logic you are exercising, regarding those that would give you the shirt off of their back, means very little when considering the damning ramifications of doctrine these men are espousing.

    I dare say that such a person, even though admittedly confused on this or that point of doctrine, is not obviously “evil” by any means.
    Again, a lack of knowledge or confused ideas regarding a point of doctrine, however important that doctrine may be, does not automatically make a person evil. Both the Bible and Ellen White are full of examples and commentary in this regard… if you care to do just a bit of your own investigation in this direction. As far as I can tell, you consistently take passages out of context and twist them in a harsh manner to match your own world view.

    You should heed your own advice Sean. I have yet to see you make the arguments from scripture. You merely speak of them in passing. If we are to measure scripture vs scripture, line upon line, where are yours?

    You seem unable to separate evil results of actions from the actor – giving room for the person to be as guiltless as possible before God. You seem to see yourself as an expert in judging motive even though both the Bible and Mrs. White are extremely clear that God alone is the only truly accurate judge of motive – especially regarding differences in doctrinal understanding.

    I have read Ellen G White and I have surely read the scriptures and they are clear on dealing with spiritualism. Listen to what EGW says regarding spiritualism:

    “Even in its present form, so far from being more worthy of toleration than formerly, it is really a more dangerous, because a more subtle, deception. While it formerly denounced Christ and the Bible, it now professes to accept both. But the Bible is interpreted in a manner that is pleasing to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God’s justice, His denunciations of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. The people are taught to regard the Decalogue as a dead letter. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses and lead men to reject the Bible as the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily denied as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned.” (Great Controversy, p.558)

    This continuous talk about motive serves to cover up the most plain teachings in the bible regarding the duty of the church to judge in spiritual matters. Neither I, Michael or Tim Perenich began his message to you, said that not even the most preeminite psychiatrist could judge a man’s heart. (Jer. 17:9)

    Notwithstanding this, Jesus himself made it clear that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. So while we may not be able to read the heart, it is very clear that we cannot separate what a person says and does from what they are. I have yet to see anyone here validate their position using the scripture (except Michael Farris and Tim Perenich).

    I advise you to reconsider your attitude in how you approach those who do not yet understand the importance of certain pillars of the SDA faith. All of the SDA doctrines are very important in my opinion, but they aren’t the basis of salvation. Again, the only thing that saves a person is their motive of love toward God and toward their fellow man as best as they can perceive how to express their love. Sometimes the expression of love doesn’t turn out well. However, this lack of proper expression does not negate the underlying motive of love – a motive that is still regarded with high value by God.

    Again you are not in accord with scripture. One is not saved just by their motive. IF you do not think incorrect doctrine can lead to the second resurrection you are seriously mistaken. You really need to reexamine scriptures and the writings of Ellen White. You seriously downplay the role of character and obedience. Having an understanding of the pillars of Adventism at one point used to be one of the requirements to teach in our institutions. Nonetheless, the writings of infidels have been in our universities for quite some time. It is only natural that such policies would culminate into the blatant apostasy that we are now seeing.

    I understand that you feel a duty of defending the characters of these men who stand as infidels. Are you not aware of what they said when you left? It is written on this blog “Bishop quoted Matthew 19:4 to Greer, asking how he reconciled what the Bible said about human origins with evolution. According to Olmo and Lemus, Grismer said, “You’re stupid and ignorant. You don’t know enough to say anything. Your kind of thinking drives planes into buildings.””

    This is the word of God that Grismer is denigrating and you want to defend their characters and tell me that I have no business calling an apple an apple? These men and women openly make disparaging remarks regarding the word of God and you defend them as being unclear in motive. They are aligning themselves with the devil. These are workers of iniquity amidst the supposed camp of God and you would tell me I need to relax and view things through your lense. No thank you, let us view things from the lense of scriptures.

    Essentially you are asking me to just take your word for it and mind your counsel and not consider workers of wickedness wicked? This is in complete contradiction with scripture.

    You keep talking about how we can’t judge motives and by you saying this, somehow or another that is supposed to offset these clear teachings in scripture of how we are supposed to judge the sins that are obvious and remove them from our midst. It does not matter if we know their motives, we have their actions and the oracles of God to help us judge spiritual matters. Why do you think there is something in the law called judgments? There are civil and moral laws to name a few. In fact the law counsels us on how to find out if there is an enemy, apostate or false prophet within our midst. Exodus 20-23, Deuteronomy 13.

    Here is what the apostle Paul wrote regarding matters like this

    1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
    6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
    9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
    12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Cor. 5:1-13 NKJV)

    Paul rejects and shames those unwilling to judge matters in accountability that instead go to secular courts:

    1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? (1 Cor. 6:1-4 NKJV)

    There are plenty of other areas in scripture like the second epistle of Peter which you did not respond to. There are no twisting of scriptures here Sean. We are to know who is of God and who is not by their fruit. We are to hold each other accountable to good works as well. This fact is in accordance to the biblical standard of Isaiah 8:20 : To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20 NKJV)

    Look at the straight testimony of Paul in his letter to Titus:

    5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop[b] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:5-16 NKJV)

    It is like a little child who loves his parents and so one day decides to make breakfast for them. He burns the toast and the eggs are a real mess. He gets milk all over the deck in the kitchen and the Cheerios are scattered all around. He spills orange juice on the carpet trying to get the food to his parents room to surprise them. The whole thing is a complete mess, but his parents both smile when they see his efforts to make them breakfast in bed and give him big hugs and kisses. It doesn’t matter that it takes them hours to clean up everything. The only thing that matters to them is that their boy tried to do something nice for them and loves them.
    I know this because I was the boy and this is how my own parents responded to me. And, I know this is how God responds to us as well.

    Telling me a construct analogy and imposing it over scripture tells me nothing. The difference between this and what is happening on this blog is night and day.
    First off, these men and women have the written Word of God in front of their faces. They are choosing to side with and espouse the lies of satan. Furthermore they lay a snare for those within our church. You keep emphasizing that these are kind people, don’t you realize the devil comes at us as angel of light? This is not something as simple as a child trying its best and then messing up and being loved unconditionally for it. The words of Jesus regarding this are even more harsh than mine:

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. [please stop talking to us about motives] Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Mat. 7:15-20 NKJV)

    22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
    And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ (Luke 13:22-27 NKJV)

    This is not some simple thing of a new believer, these are educators in lofty positions that have no business in our midst, I know you agree. The same goes for those who bare the title of Christian. I did not baptize them, nor would I baptize an unbeliever. This is unbiblical and says a lot about the institution that allows unbelief and the philosophies of infidels to permeate through our church.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mat 7:21-23 NKJV)

    This is not some small deal of unimportance. We are talking about spiritualism in the camp of God. This is directly linked to the last day deception that will sweep most people away to the fires of hell.




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  67. @Sean Pitman, M.D.:

    Sean:

    Again and again you keep using the motives line to resist calling these men and women out as false teachers and having them disfellowshipped. But the question is does “motives” pass the Bible test when it comes to judgement.

    When God gave his commands to His people he did not counsel them to worry about “motivation” it was obey and believe. As a matter of fact when it came to judgement by the elders and leaders of the camp of Israel motive was not asked at all. Consider Deuteronomy 13:1-5 in dealing with a false prophet: God does not say to them “get to know the false prophet, have lunch with them, and tell them that what they are doing is wrong.” No it actually says “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away evil from your midst.” (v. 5)

    Please notice that no one was to ascribe motive or attempt to be an optimistic assumer of intent, instead the facts were to be laid out and false prophet/dreamer etc. was to be killed. The rest of the chapter cuts even closer to home, demonstrating how sacred the home life was God. God decreed that if some one in your own home (wife, brother, mother, very best friend–perhaps the way you feel about these misguided teachers at LSU) becomes an apostate tempting you to worship other gods you are to expose them in front of the congregation and be the first to stone them (Deut. 13:6 – 11). Did God command this because he is evil or vindictive? CERTAINLY NOT!!! He commanded this to teach that it is sin which destroys and that God’s laws cannot be broken without penalty. Moreover, it also taught a valuable lesson that removing sin from your life is painful and God’s judgement is severe. But the one thing absent from all this judgement is the assumption of motive. God does not tell his people to find it out or to assume it, rather the facts are laid out and the soul is extinguished.

    But let us consider the other cases from the scriptures Joshua 7:10 -26 No motive here even though Achan attempts to suggest that he was tempted and mistaken, he is still commanded to be stoned. 1 Samuel 15:1 – 34 King Agag was judged by God to be enemy of the camp of Israel and King Saul was commanded to execute his judgement. King Saul was not to sit with Agag by the fire sipping de-cafe lattes talking about the good times they had in academy and the university. Instead Saul was to unhesitatingly execute Agag on the spot and demolish all that he had. But Saul did not do as God commanded and Samuel the man of God rendered the harsh judgment against Agag “cutting him into pieces.” Samuel did not sit and think, what if Agag was not held as a child or did not get his ritalin in the morning before primary school, no it was enough for Samuel that God’s Holy Word judged Agag as enemy and worthy of punishment.

    I must pause here, because invariably the Adventist like their evangelical counterparts are quick to believe that God Changes and that some how things are different in the New Testament and Jesus is different altogether from God. While it is clear Christ did not come to destroy his enemies with divine vengeance, he did, as in the Old Testament, commanded his disciples to examen the facts and render judgment without knowing motive. For example the ministry of John the Baptist, which was highly esteemed in the eyes of Christ (Luke 7:24 – 29), condemned the religious leaders for what they did and what they failed to do (Luke 3:7 – 14). Jesus himself not only condemned the same recalcitrant religious leaders but resigned them to a special resurrection (Mark 14:61 – 63; Rev. 1:7). Moreover, he cleansed the temple with a whip and divine authority to rid the unjust practices (Mt. 21:12 – 17). While it is true he could see motivation, he counseled his disciples to judge in the same ma manner according to actions. For example when commanding His disciples to engage in evangelism he bid them to find who was “worthy” and stay in their house and bring “peace” to it. However, if men and women refused to hear the word of God the disciples were commanded–not knowing the hearts of the people–to wipe the dust off their shoes as a testimony against them (Mt. 10:14) as symbol of impending judgment. Bear in mind Christ did not send his disciples to sit men and women on the couch and determine their status of self-actualization–as many SDA pastors are trained to do–no they were to offer them a message of peace and give them a symbol of judgment if they did not accept it.

    This was obviously not the first time Jesus counseled his disciples in Judgment for we find Peter rendering severe justice against Ananias and Sapphira (Act 5:1 – 11). If you read the passage absent from Peter’s declaration of doom, is assumption of motivation. He neither assumes the best or worst about them. He simply points out their crime against God and doom falls.

    At this point I would like to point to Paul’s counsel for judgment against sinning members of the Corinthian Church, but M. Farris has done an excellent job of elucidating the key points of that passage, which no one on this chain has addressed so far.

    Finally, you ought to reconsider your stance on doctrine:

    All of the SDA doctrines are very important in my opinion, but they aren’t the basis of salvation. Again, the only thing that saves a person is their motive of love toward God and toward their fellow man as best as they can perceive how to express their love.

    I am not sure how this matches up with scripture. It is only through doctrine we can have accurate understanding of God’s love, mercy, grace, holiness, sanctification, and righteous requirements. If doctrine had nothing to do with Salvation then why is at the end of time that doctrine, not love or motive, is considered? The question at the end of time is whether or not you receive the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:9 – 10). As a matter of fact the doctrine of the Mark of the Beast precludes motivation as well. You are saved or lost by believing and obeying the Word of God over men. But remember, whether you receive it on your forehead because you are deceived and believe it or receive it in your hand even though you know it is wrong, you are still condemned to experience the wrath of God. Think about it Sean receiving the mark in the hand is just as bad as the head. Your appeal to motivation–which you assume to be an honest mistake, even though you admit we are not to judge–is without warrant in comparison to the word of God.

    In sum, I really do appreciate your efforts to hold teachers at LSU accountable, but I think you have just as little right to assume that their motives are pure as I do bad. How do you know that they aren’t deceiving you? We are not talking about new believers, some of these people are 3rd and 4th generation Adventist. Bear in mind that many of these teachers persecute those in their classes who dare to stand for the Bible and literal creation. Not to forget that the University itself instead of following the counsels of God places men in positions that God would never approve, to do just as they are doing. So you want to say that they are misunderstood good guys and I want to say that they are deliberately deceiving, it matters not, the scriptures counsel us to render judgment as a church and through such men and women out–in the hope that they will return to God–for the love of the truth.

    T.R. Perenich




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  68. T.R. You’re exactly correct in this matter. Sean is not afraid to call Erv Taylor essentially a liar (at least twice) in Sean’s 4-14 post on the Adventist Today website, regarding Taylor’s article attempting to tell Adventist Today readers that the educatetruth.com website is attacking LSU’s teaching “ABOUT evolution.” Sean is well aware of Taylor’s “motivation” which is to attack and denigrate this website, using any dishonest means he can. But Sean would have us believe we cannot really know Taylor’s inner motivation? Pure baloney!

    Taylor knew that this was NOT what we are discussing here, but being the completely dishonest, deceitful, and deceptive person he is, intentionally misrepresented the facts, as he almost always does! Check it out for yourself.




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  69. Shannon:

    Michael: You have no idea who I am or what my education is. The internet on a discussion site is no place for long explanations and arguments. Basic quotes and beliefs are simple for explanation or understanding. More will not get the job done in this format. Making judgments as to education and ignorance is usually comparative and not too accurate. My statements were made on the other hand off of your ongoing aggressive and demeaning use of wordage in our discussion and discussion with others that don’t happen to agree with you.

    You may find that the world will all be much less smart that you if you use agreement with you as the criteria. There are a lot of people that use this as a criteria by the way and I have been treated badly by many of them. Some of them are probably much smarter that you and me put together. Just because of that does not make them right or any more believable.

    Respect truly comes as a result of the ability to be respected.

    You yourself made subtle accusations about me and my character based upon what I’ve written. This would be unobjectionable, if you pointed out where I’m demeaning people and being “mean spirited.” As it stands, your above response is childish and now I feel bad for engaging you in this dialog. It would be wise to avoid calling a persons name out, and contradicting them, if you do not want to be challenged by them. I think any unbiased reader who as read all my responses would say that I have strong opinions, yes, but that I’m basing them on the Scriptures.

    I am not concerned about your education. I do not equate knowledge with education. Titles and accolades mean nothing to me. You could have a Ph.D and it would not matter to me. The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.

    Next, If you don’t believe the internet is a place to make “long explanations” and “arguments” then why are you on this blog? And why are you engaging me in this debate? Conversely, I disagree with you and believe the internet is an excellent place for debate and the exchange of ideas. In case you’re unaware, almost all the arguments Ellen White made, were by way of letter. Most of the letters in the NT are written in defense of a position(s) and with very strong censorious words; they are also sometimes written through “long explanations,” to borrow your complaint about my messages. I have not set out to insult anyone. I simply pointed out your estimations of me and then fairly gave mine of you (to avoid a straw man attack upon you). However, you left out my caveat, wherein I stated that we both have much to learn. And this is true. I don’t think I know it all Shannon. In almost every message I’ve written, I have said I’m open to correction and reasoning from the Scriptures. This is what Protestant Christians do (compare Scripture with Scripture).

    Finally, I’m sorry for anyway that I may have offended you. If you point out where I offended you in my above messages, then I will be able to see more clearly where you are coming from. I have no intention of hurting you or anyone else’s feelings on this blog.

    It is written: “Bleased are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV).

    Sincerely,
    Michael




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  70. T.R. Perenich:

    Your defense was solid. Thank your for taking the time to reason from the Scriptures and for doing so with force of mind. Justin Robinson, I also appreciate your stance as well. It is good to know there are other like-minded brothers in the church.

    Blessings,
    Michael




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  71. This continuous talk about motive serves to cover up the most plain teachings in the bible regarding the duty of the church to judge in spiritual matters. Neither I, Michael or Tim Perenich began his message to you, said that not even the most preeminite psychiatrist could judge a man’s heart. (Jer. 17:9)

    Should read:
    This continuous talk about motive serves to cover up the most plain teachings in the bible regarding the duty of the church to judge in spiritual matters. Tim Perenich began his message to you, said that not even the most preeminite psychiatrist could judge a man’s heart. (Jer. 17:9)




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  72. @T.R. Perenich:

    Again and again you keep using the motives line to resist calling these men and women out as false teachers and having them disfellowshipped. But the question is does “motives” pass the Bible test when it comes to judgement.

    I never said I resisted calling for the removal of these men and women from their positions of responsibility and even membership within the SDA Church organization. However, this can be done without making the judgment that these men and women are internally “evil” and “corrupt”. That is a judgment of “motive”, which is not ours to judge in this case.

    And yes, the Bible does speak on the topic of judging motives and that there is no sin without a personal knowledge that one is in fact performing a sin. Jesus himself noted: “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin…” John 9:41. Of course, Jesus did go on to note that, “but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

    Is this a fair judgment? Is it possible for someone to claim to be able to see when in fact that person is still blind? – not knowing what he/she is saying? Yes, this is possible. However, in the case of the priests and pharisees, they did know the truth. They had been convicted of it by the Holy Spirit regarding Christ. Yet, they deliberately closed their eyes to what they knew to be true, to the point of rejecting the testimony of someone raised from the dead. And so Jesus, who could read the hearts of men, called them on their guilty souls.

    I do not think you can do the same thing regarding those who hold different doctrinal positions that you hold within the SDA Church. Should those who are opposing fundamental pillars of the SDA faith be removed from their positions of responsibility as paid representatives for the Church? Yes, they should. Should these people be given the label of “evil” and called horrible names as you have done in this forum for what they believe? No. That should not happen. Such accusations goes far beyond your pay grade or mine and are best left up to God.

    In short, you will end up causing far more harm than good in this cause. I started this effort to remove those undermining the pillars of the SDA faith at LSU and we have actually made some headway here. You and your friends are not helping. I advise you to reconsider your motives and your language…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  73. Michael: When you become an apostle or prophet–you can write letters–long ones– of discipline with strong language even as necessary. A lot of people use this as the norm to be able to talk to strangers and acquaintances the same way they would discipline their children when they have not established any status for this or knowledge for the other party to base any ability to judge or respect. More than likely the other will react negatively. This is not the case for the majority of us and will not be. When or if you obtain leadership in our church this may change for you but until that time you may not be able to instruct as such. The funny thing about the internet is that there is no way of telling as I said before so you have to assume the other person has no idea so the best to do is act as such with kindness and explanation.

    Examples: “Where do I begin?” “poor bible student and quite ignorant of church history.” “Really?”

    Maybe, maybe you were just being just a little defensive. Do you think the evolutionists will go any easier on you? Especially if you are trying to tell them they are of the devil.

    Your quote of Timothy with exposure of sin before the church to reduce the chance of having it happen again–how would you go about that if you were in charge. I know a personal friend that had that happen to them–they left the church for many years–they were brought before the church and asked to confess their sin before the whole congregation at church. Yes, it was a sin. There was no 2 ways about it. So in front of a church filled with people a 16 year old girl told how she got pregnant out of wedlock! It is this type of misinterpretation of scripture that hurts people, their understanding of God and our church! Sin has to be handled and removed correctly–a leader should have the responsibility to confess to the church a public issue or sin. A 16 year old with a private sin may best need to deal with a few people at a time and specifically confess and ask forgiveness to the family she lives with and maybe the one of her significant relationship.




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  74. 1 Timothy 5:20
    Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.

    It is interesting how this text was used in the life time of Ellen White.

    However I still maintain that church discipline itself – (in terms of membership, holding office, association etc) is only applicable at the local church level.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  75. @Michael Farris:

    Thank you for reading my message. I’m not certain that I follow you. We are all on here discussing this issue, which opens discussion about what the Bible teaches about how to deal with believers. I am speaking as an SDA to SDA’s. I am sharing Scripture and reasoning this through with those who are willing to reason. And I’m open to the reasoning of those on here who may disagree with me. Obviously, we cannot settle church discipline on an internet blog. However, as church members we can think about these things together and reason with one another (comparing Scripture with Scripture).

    Agreed.

    I am simply pointing out that while we can use a web site format to inform fellow SDAs about what is actually going on in one of our institutions and to urge that administrators take action if they are even remotely responsible for making sure this does not happen – and failing that – to make sure it does not continue. We do what we can to urge them to do what God has called them to do … But I don’t see how we can get into the business of working with the local church for each of these individuals via a web site.

    I am all for fully highlighting the errors of evolutionism, sounding the alarm when that worst form of infidelity creeps into our own institutions and urging constituents to take immediate action.

    But I fear that we do ourselves more harm than good if we go beyond that in a web site venue.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  76. Shannon:

    Michael: When you become an apostle or prophet–you can write letters–long ones– of discipline with strong language even as necessary.

    The idea that I cannot write long and reasoned messages with words of rebuke because I am not a prophet is not biblical. Please give me an “it is written” if your going to make such a statement. Respectfully, it is statements like this that lead me to the unpleasant remark of being “a poor bible student.” Since you mentioned holding church office: I do hold the office of a deacon and accordingly, I am supposed to be able to instruct others in the Word of God, among other things. Perhaps you should reread the message that Stephen gave in Acts 7:1-60. He was a deacon by the way. If we utilize your reasoning then he was overstepping his bounds. The idea that a lay person is not permitted to correct or rebuke or write long letters is absurd.

    Do you think the evolutionists will go any easier on you? Especially if you are trying to tell them they are of the devil.

    When I debate with evolutionists (atheists) I don’t waste my time telling them they are ignorant of the Scriptures or sharing with them Ellen White statements. The Word of God has already declared them a “fool” (Psalm 14:1). For me to argue with such persons in the manner I have done on this link is equivalent to casting pearl before swine (Matthew 7:6). You are reducing my arguments to trifle pettiness with this question. The issue we are dealing with on this blog relates to Seventh-Day Adventist in leadership positions.

    Your quote of Timothy with exposure of sin before the church to reduce the chance of having it happen again–how would you go about that if you were in charge.

    If something is done publicly and openly it must be addressed publicly and openly (Galatians 2:11-14). If something is done privately then it must be a private matter, unless the person refuses to turn from their wickedness. The biblical mandate given by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20 is in in accordance with the law (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). Jesus’ upholding of the law about how there must be two or three witness to judge a matter is apropos to our current conversation.

    First of all, they were not to judge a case based on their emotions or with concerns over how the other person may feel. They had to judge the matter in accordance with the oracles of God. In fact, the judgments that God gave to Moses show that He expects no partiality as the 9th commandment makes clear (Exodus 20:16). They (judgments) were given to Israel so they could make righteous judgments. For example: “You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness” (Exodus 23:1 NKJV). God loathed partiality because it would “pervert justice” (i.e the judgments; Exodus 23:2,6 NKJV). Anyone who is going to help determine a matter must know the Scriptures. This is why Paul told Timothy:

    “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from who you have learned them, and that from childhood you have know the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:13-15).

    The only way Timothy would be able to identify “evil men and impostors” is through a knowledge of the Scriptures. It is the same today. This responsibility may be unpleasant, but as Ellen White said: “True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God’s ministers will not consider self, but will speak the word given them to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate sin” (PK 141-142)




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  77. @T.R. Perenich:

    I am not sure how this matches up with scripture. It is only through doctrine we can have accurate understanding of God’s love, mercy, grace, holiness, sanctification, and righteous requirements. If doctrine had nothing to do with Salvation then why is at the end of time that doctrine, not love or motive, is considered? The question at the end of time is whether or not you receive the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:9 – 10). As a matter of fact the doctrine of the Mark of the Beast precludes motivation as well. You are saved or lost by believing and obeying the Word of God over men. But remember, whether you receive it on your forehead because you are deceived and believe it or receive it in your hand even though you know it is wrong, you are still condemned to experience the wrath of God. Think about it Sean receiving the mark in the hand is just as bad as the head. Your appeal to motivation–which you assume to be an honest mistake, even though you admit we are not to judge–is without warrant in comparison to the word of God.

    You are mistaken. There is no law or doctrine greater than that of the law of Love – an internal motive given as a gift of God. “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law”(Romans 13:8-10). This Royal Law of Love has been Supernaturally written on the hearts of all mankind by God Himself (Hebrews 8:10-11). It is upon this Royal law that hang all the other laws, prophets, and yes, even doctrines (Matthew 22:37-40).

    Therefore, no one is going to be lost because they were honestly tricked by deception. Adam and Eve were not lost because they were honestly deceived. They knew what they were doing. If they didn’t know it was wrong to do what they did, they wouldn’t have hid from God as He came to see them in the cool of the day. Conscious error creates guilt and fear. Unconscious error does not.

    Your reference to the moral judgment of God being blindly based on if one happened to error in receiving the Mark of the Beast in hand or forehead is also grossly mistaken. If this were true, it would be a horrible miscarriage of justice and of Love itself for God to condemn someone who was honestly tricked into error. Have you not read Mrs. Whites comments on this? She writes:

    But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently.

    Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 605.

    Notice that God does not allow anyone to be truly deceived who desires to know the truth. Moral judgment is reserved for those who consciously reject what they know is the truth – or who reject trying to know the truth for fear that they will have to change their ways which they already must suspect aren’t under the approval of God. Notice also that Mrs. White ties in moral judgment with a reading of the heart and motive of a person by God.

    In this light, I suggest you back off from your attempts to judge motive and character by looking only on the outward appearance of a person with regard to doctrinal differences. You argue with me that I have no basis to assume a favorable moral character vs. your assumption of a corrupt moral character. Yet, aren’t we advised to assume the best of all people – as far as it is possible? Doesn’t true love hope for the very best for all? (1 Corinthians 13:7)

    Think about it…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  78. @Ron Stone M.D.:

    Thanks Ron for your words. I am still not sure how motives passes the standard of Scripture. Those who take the Mark of the Beast in their hand are just as worthy of eternal consuming fire as those who accept the mark in their head. Our job as a community is not to assume motive, right or wrong, but to follow the counsel of God and render discipline.

    The sad thing about this is that Dr. Pittman would rather have these people who slander the creation narrative and use their authority in class to belittle students who believe in scripture over for Sabbath Lunch than some on like me who puts the Bible before human philosophy. Something is not right when are closer friends to enemies of the truth and those who would uphold it.




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  79. @Sean Pitman:

    Sean,

    I appreciate your zeal in protecting your friends. But your threats of telling me to “back off” will not suffice. Moreover, your attempt to rebut my argument with a choice quote from the spirit of prophecy buttressed with sprinkling of scripture will not due. Again, I respect your advocacy for this issue and agitation you have raised, but I strongly disagree with your apparent disregard of the manifest evidence I cited in scripture. You ought to reconsider your position to accuse me of doing wrong when you do the same. You assume good motive toward these people when I look at their works and demand a verdict–which is consequently what God does who happens to know motive. How can you attack me saying that I am assuming motive, when you are the one who does so. YOU argue over and over again that these people are innocent, misguided, and akin to little boy making a mess when trying to make breakfast. I advise you to recount the facts. A) YOU do not know their hearts any better than I do B) These people were not baptized yesterday into the church C) Evolution is spiritualism parading as science D) These people persecute conscientious students in our schools who accept the Bible as valid E) Wrong doing, not wrong motivation, is to be punished Biblically–reread the evidence in previous response. F) The people of God in are called by Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy to administer severe discipline in order to save others from salvation shipwrecking error.

    [edited by moderator for length and relevant content]

    TR




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  80. @T.R. Perenich:

    You ought to reconsider your position to accuse me of doing wrong when you do the same. You assume good motive toward these people when I look at their works and demand a verdict–which is consequently what God does who happens to know motive. How can you attack me saying that I am assuming motive, when you are the one who does so. YOU argue over and over again that these people are innocent, misguided, and akin to little boy making a mess when trying to make breakfast.

    I do not know the motive of the teachers at LSU just as I do not know your motive. I therefore think it wise to only assume the best motives of others – including you. I think you’re wrong in your actions and reasoning, but I assume you are honest and sincere in your motives. You take on the ability to judge character and motive, an ability that is God’s alone. It is fine to judge actions as being right or wrong, just don’t think to judge motive or determine who is and who is not going to heaven. No human being should even want that job. What a huge responsibility. I for one am very glad that God is the only judge of motive.

    By the way, I’m not trying to “protect” my friends at LSU (and I don’t think they would regard me as a friend by any means) from being removed from their positions because of their promotion of evolutionary theories that counter the SDA position on a literal creation week. All I’m saying is that no one can call these men and women morally corrupt with any sort of reasonable confidence since no one but God knows their hearts…

    As far as Biblical support and comments from Mrs. White in this regard, I gave them to you and you completely disregarded some very plain statements on this issue. I really don’t see how you can do that and still appeal to these texts as authoritative…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  81. @Ron Stone M.D.:

    T.R. You’re exactly correct in this matter. Sean is not afraid to call Erv Taylor essentially a liar (at least twice) in Sean’s 4-14 post on the Adventist Today website, regarding Taylor’s article attempting to tell Adventist Today readers that the educatetruth.com website is attacking LSU’s teaching “ABOUT evolution.” Sean is well aware of Taylor’s “motivation” which is to attack and denigrate this website, using any dishonest means he can. But Sean would have us believe we cannot really know Taylor’s inner motivation? Pure baloney!

    Taylor knew that this was NOT what we are discussing here, but being the completely dishonest, deceitful, and deceptive person he is, intentionally misrepresented the facts, as he almost always does! Check it out for yourself.

    I do think Erv Taylor’s actions often come across as deceptive or at least disingenuous. However, I don’t know his heart and neither do you. His actions may be wrong, but he may not have a clear understanding of this. He may truly be deceived regarding the true nature of his own actions. The human mind is a funny thing. It can be honestly tricked in many different ways and for many different reasons.

    It is therefore best to limit one’s judgment to the action itself and leave the judgment of the heart up to God. Really now, do you really want to judge anyone’s motive? I would never want to be given that responsibility. I’m very glad that only God is responsible for judging the hearts of all mankind… including my own.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  82. On an Atoday blog:
    http://www.atoday.com/content/educate-truth-perhaps-elaborate-spoof-turned-ugly#comment-7633

    Prof. Kent wrote:

    I certainly agree that these systems are not at the highest level of evolution, but while evolutionists believe these nevertheless highly complex systems evolved over millions of years, you insist that they evolved in less than 6,000 years. That’s pretty extreme to sweep under the carpet.

    Not when you’re talking about front-loaded information…

    You then go on to describe the evolution of these systems as “degeneration.” Pardon me, but I have to ask–after a hearty laugh–from what did they “degenerate” from? When I look at the head of a rattlesnake, everything I see, from the enormous venom glands to the moveable, hollow, hypodermic needle-like fangs, appears to be designed to kill. Did a cluster of secretory cells in the oral cavity “degenerate” by dramatically increasing in size to synthesize and store copious quantities of unique (found nowhere else) toxins? Did muscles in the vicinity “degenerate” by enlarging considerably so as to be capable of compressing the gland and expel the venom? Did the gland further “degenerate” by forming an elongated duct that traverses the roof of the mouth to the fangs, which in turn presumably “degenerated” from simple and otherwise ordinary teeth to become spectacularly large and hollow? (Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, the venom gland of some snakes extends beyond the head and well into the body!) What about the heat-sensing facial pits? The these “degenerate” from dimples in the middle of the cheek, to become massive, gaping holes from which special nerve endings “degenerated” as they formed lengthy and novel connections to the visual regions of the brain? Wow! That’s some spectacular degeneration!

    I didn’t say that everything was “degenerative”. What I said was that all of the basic structures were already there and were either modified by degenerative or Mendelian-style variation for the most part.

    The hollow or grooved teeth were already there and may have been used to inject digestive juices into the original diet for these reptiles – fruits or the like. Who knows? Elongating a duct is easy to achieve since it isn’t the production of something qualitatively new. The basic form was already there. The same is true of the modification of musculature size and the specialization of heat-sensing organs (which were already there to begin with) via Mendelian-style variation of information that was front-loaded in the beginning.

    How can I be so sure of this? Because, there is a clearly demonstrable exponential decline of the evolutionary mechanism of RM/NS when it comes to what we can observe of real evolutionary change in action. Real evolutionary change only occurs on very low levels of functional complexity, stalling out, exponentially, well before the 1000 fsaar is reached.

    This real life observation is backed up by statistical analysis of sequence space that demonstrates the very same exponential decline in the ratio of potentially viable/beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences with each step up the ladder of functional complexity.

    Next, you declare that these remarkable changes are well below “the 1000 fsaar level of complexity.” Of course, no one can really argue with this point since you are employing concepts and terms that you have invented out of thin air, which have never been published. Only YOU know what you are talking about. It’s like me saying, “Of course, fellow Adventists, I can cite for you many examples in which animals have evolved more then 43.7 Lego units of complexity.” Lego units, you ask? “C’mon, people, you can trust me; I know what I’m talking about – wink, wink!”

    The concept of functional complexity that I’m talking about has been published. For example, Hazen et. al. define functional complexity as follows:

    * n: the number of letters in the sequence.
    * Ex: the degree of function x of that sequence.Therefore, Ex is a measure of the effectiveness of the message ininvoking a particular response.
    * M(Ex): the total number of different letter sequences that will achieve the desired function, in this case, the threshold degree of response, Ex. The functional information, I(Ex), for a system that achieves a degree of function, Ex, for sequences of exactly n letters is therefore:
    o I(Ex) = -log2 [M(Ex)/C^n]
    o where C = number of possible characters per position

    What is also interesting is that Hazen et. al. go on to not that, “In every system, the fraction of configurations, F(Ex), capable of achieving a specified degree of function will generally decrease with increasing Ex.” And, according to their own formulas, this decrease is an exponential decrease with each linear increase in Ex.

    Now, they do try to explain how RM/NS can move up to higher and higher levels, but, unfortunately in their paper, they only deal with very very low levels of functional complexity of no more than a few dozen aa residues.

    Robert M. Hazen, Patrick L. Griffin, James M. Carothers, and Jack W. Szostak, Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity, 8581|PNAS|May 15, 2007|Vol. 104|suppl. 1

    Your final comment further amused me: “There simply are no such observed examples of evolution “in action” in literature – period.” This argument is disingenious at two levels. First, to invoke the necessity of something from the literature to support your claims pretty much disqualifies everything you’ve said up to this point (in particular your Fsaar Side cartoon). Second, no one has lived long enough (thousands to millions of years) to observe the complex changes that have taken place, which, um, you yourself believe in nonetheless.

    There are many examples of evolution in observable action in literature. What is interesting about these examples is that they are all very low level examples, producing no novel systems of function that require more than a few hundred fairly specified amino acid residue positions at minimum. What is even more interesting about these examples is their pattern of production. They demonstrate an exponential decline in evolvability, over a given span of time, with increasing complexity.

    This pattern interested me and caused me to sit down and do some statistical calculations based on the ratio of potentially beneficial vs. non-beneficial sequences in sequences space. According to what is currently known about sequence space the odds strongly suggest that there is an exponential decline in this ratio as well with each step up the ladder of functional complexity (as defined above). This also means that there will be an exponential increase in the average time required for RM/NS to achieve success at each higher level of functional complexity.

    The math shows that at the 1000 fsaar level the average time needed to achieve success is in the trillions upon trillions of years.

    This isn’t a very high level of functional complexity when it comes to what we see in all living things. The 1000 fsaar level is still a very very low level. However, when it comes to the potential of the evolutionary mechanism, it is statistically unreachable.

    So, given that the evolutionary mechanism cannot be tested in a demonstrable manner to be likely responsible for higher levels of functional complexity, and given that the calculated statistical odds are also in agreement with this observation, your conclusions that the mechanism of RM/NS is the best “scientific” conclusion isn’t true. This isn’t the best scientific conclusion for the origin of life and its diversity beyond very low levels of functional complexity at all. There really is no science behind this story beyond just-so story telling. That’s it.

    Surprised as I was when I first discovered this reality, this is the fact of the situation.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  83. Sean, I’m no expert on snakes but have done enough reading to tell you with conviction that youre way off base. I have followed your discussion with Prof Kent at Adventist TOday and I don’t think you’ve addressed his issues at all, particularly the Fsaar units that you define no better than his Lego units..

    Curiously you have contradicted yourself, in one message saying “There simply are no such observed examples of evolution “in action” in literature – period” and in the next message saying “There are many examples of evolution in observable action in literature.” Hello?




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  84. @Geanna Dane:

    Sean, I’m no expert on snakes but have done enough reading to tell you with conviction that youre way off base. I have followed your discussion with Prof Kent at Adventist TOday and I don’t think you’ve addressed his issues at all, particularly the Fsaar units that you define no better than his Lego units…

    I have defined fsaars (fairly specified amino acid residues) very carefully on my referenced website and they have been defined in mainstream literature as well – as I noted in the Atoday thread. Levels of functional complexity can be and have been defined as systems that have different minimum structural threshold requirements. Some require a greater minimum number of specifically arranged basic building blocks – amino acid residues in this case. This greater minimum requirement puts them at a higher level of functional complexity. It really is a very simple and downright intuitive concept.

    I understand that you are convinced that I’m way off base, but I don’t think you have the background in biology or the relevant statistics involved to really understand why you believe what you believe. In other words, I don’t think you understand the concept or nature of sequence space at various levels of functional complexity…

    Curiously you have contradicted yourself, in one message saying “There simply are no such observed examples of evolution “in action” in literature – period” and in the next message saying “There are many examples of evolution in observable action in literature.” Hello?

    There are many examples of evolution in action at very low levels of functional complexity – producing novel systems that require no more than a few hundred specifically arranged amino acid residues at minimum. However, there are no examples of evolution in action that come remotely close to the 1000 amino acid level – producing systems of function that require a minimum of at least 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues to work to do a particular type of functionality.

    I explained this stalling out effect very carefully in the Atoday thread. I really don’t understand your confusion over this basic argument. There is no contradiction in my statements. Darwinian evolution does happen very commonly, but only on very very low levels of functional complexity. However, when it comes to evolution beyond the 1000 fsaar level, “such” evolution does not occur and, statistically, it could not occur this side of trillions upon trillions of years of time…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  85. @Geanna Dane:

    So is 1 fsaar 1 amino acid? Where did you make this clear? Whatever on earth does “fsaar” stand for?

    As I did note earlier in the referenced thread (from Atoday) and extensively on my website dealing with the statistical limits of evolutionary progress, the abbreviation “fsaars” stand for “fairly specified amino acid residues”. Given a particular degree of specificity, each increase in the minimum size requirement for a type of functional system in question puts it on a higher level of functional complexity – as noted by Hazen et. al. For further detailed discussion of this concept see:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/flagellum.html#Calculation

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  86. How about making this simpler for us all. Since you seem to have it all figured out I have two questions that I’m sure you can answer:

    1. If it takes trillions upon trillions of years for change at the 1000 fsaar level, is your calculation restricted to a single generation or does this allow for 1000 generations (1 fsaar level = 1 amino acid change change per generation)?

    2. So working backwards with your equation, just how many fsaar changes are possible in 6000 years?




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  87. @Geanna Dane:

    How about making this simpler for us all. Since you seem to have it all figured out I have two questions that I’m sure you can answer:

    1. If it takes trillions upon trillions of years for change at the 1000 fsaar level, is your calculation restricted to a single generation or does this allow for 1000 generations (1 fsaar level = 1 amino acid change change per generation)?

    2. So working backwards with your equation, just how many fsaar changes are possible in 6000 years?

    You don’t yet seem to understand the concept of levels of functional complexity. That’s Ok. It takes some explaining. It took me a few years to figure it out.

    Lots of amino acids can be changed in short order. In fact, all of them (within a given gene pool) can be changed or mutated in evolutionary time spans (i.e., in reasonably short order). However, not all changes end up producing higher-level systems of qualitatively novel functionality. In fact, the vast majority of mutations are either functionally neutral or detrimental – not beneficial (even at low levels of functional complexity).

    The concept of minimum structural threshold requirements and specificity of part arrangement (i.e., the minimum number of fsaars) has to do with the potentially beneficial target sequences that exist undiscovered within sequence space at various levels of functional complexity. Finding these target islands of beneficial function takes different amounts of time depending upon the level of functional complexity of the island type. Islands with higher level functionality are exponentially harder to find than are lower level islands.

    So, you see, it is the target islands within sequence space that are defined as being on different “levels” of functional complexity depending upon the minimum size and specificity requirements needed to achieve their qualitatively unique functionality. The concept of fsaars has nothing to do with the changes themselves, but with the minimum structural threshold requirements of the potentially beneficial target sequences within sequence space.

    This is why it is so easy for a sizable population of bacteria to find many different kinds of single protein enzyme sequences that have minimum structural requirements of no more than a few hundred fsaars. However, this is also why a 1000 fsaar level system has never been found and is extremely unlikely to be found, even by very large colonies of bacteria mutating over trillions upon trillions of generations/years.

    I suggest that if you want more detailed information that you read my essay on this topic at:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/flagellum.html#Calculation

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  88. I’ve been looking at your website and it’s total gobbledygook to me and to 99.9% of any one who loooks at it. It appears to all be based on bacteria and their extemele brief generation time.

    For whatever reason you have chosen not to answer my questions. I thought they were simple enough. You declared Professor Kent’s examples of change to all be very low levels of change requiring only hundreds of amino acids in changes. This seems odd to me. If it takes trillions of years to get s 1000 fsaar change in bacteria which have extremely short generation times, how can you get changes of even 100 fsars for reptiles that have years for generation times in only 6,000 years? I don’t think you have the math to support this!

    Can you make this actually meaningful to us by telling us what the ballpark of 1000 fsaar represents? Better yet how about this: please tell us how many fsaars might be required for each of the following changes.

    1. Evolve a new enzyme in snake’s venom (any idea how many aa changes this might be?)
    2. Evolve a facial pit (an actual eye) with connections to the optic tectum of the brain.
    3. Evolve a new species of rattlesnake from an existing species.
    4. Evolve a venomous species of snake from a non-venomous species.

    Are you truly suggesting that each of these is a “low level” change?




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  89. How about going a little farther. How many fsaar units are involved with these changes?

    5. Evolve a snake from a lizard.
    6. Evolve a lizard (reptile) from a salamander (amphibian).
    7. Evolve a salamander (amphibian) from a fish.




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  90. @Geanna Dane:

    I’ve been looking at your website and it’s total gobbledygook to me and to 99.9% of any one who loooks at it. It appears to all be based on bacteria and their extemele brief generation time.

    Short generation times are helpful for observing evolution in action since many more generations can be observed over a given span of time vs. the observation of slowly reproducing creatures.

    For whatever reason you have chosen not to answer my questions. I thought they were simple enough. You declared Professor Kent’s examples of change to all be very low levels of change requiring only hundreds of amino acids in changes. This seems odd to me. If it takes trillions of years to get s 1000 fsaar change in bacteria which have extremely short generation times, how can you get changes of even 100 fsars for reptiles that have years for generation times in only 6,000 years? I don’t think you have the math to support this!

    I’ve only declared a very few of the changes described by Prof. Kent to be “low level”. Most of the changes described by Kent aren’t low-level changes so much as they are largely based on Mendelian-style variation of pre-existing options within the original gene pool of phenotypic options along with degenerative and non-qualitative changes in degree of functionality of the same type. Qualitatively new types of functionality were not realized in most of Kent’s examples – venom being the potential exception (discussed below).

    Can you make this actually meaningful to us by telling us what the ballpark of 1000 fsaar represents?

    I’ve already told you what fsaars (fairly specified amino acid residues) represent – the minimum number and degree of specificity of arrangement of the amino acids residues needed in order to achieve a particular type of system in question to a useful degree of functionality.

    Better yet how about this: please tell us how many fsaars might be required for each of the following changes.

    1. Evolve a new enzyme in snake’s venom (any idea how many aa changes this might be?)

    The minimum size required to achieve most types of enzymes is less than a few hundred amino acid residues with an average degree of specificity. This minimum structural threshold requirement (fsaars) defines the level of functional complexity of the enzyme in question.

    Your question asks for the likely minimum gap distance between those sequences in sequence space that have this particular type of enzymatic activity and anything that exists within the gene pool of options currently at hand. Given a population with a few billion individuals, the likely minimum gap distance at the level of a few hundred fsaars is going to be less than 5 or so loosely specific residue changes for finding a useful venom in sequence space. Such a gap distance can be crossed in relatively short order in such a large population – just a few generations.

    Venom comes in many different forms. Some of these forms, arguably, are simply based on enhancements of the same or similar activities found within the saliva of non-venomous snakes. In other words, a quantitative enhancement of the same thing – not really anything qualitatively new. Such quantitative enhancements in functionality are easily achieved via RM/NS since the gap distances involved in these types of evolutionary changes are very small (usually only one or two residue changes wide).

    The specific formula for calculating the likely minimum gap distance is listed in my essay:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/flagellum.html#Calculation

    I know you said that this was all “gobblygook”. It takes some effort, but you can understand it if you try…

    2. Evolve a facial pit (an actual eye) with connections to the optic tectum of the brain.

    The minimum structural threshold requirements for a functional facial pit or an eye of even the simplest type would require tens of thousands of specifically arranged amino acid residues or codon equivalents of DNA. The minimum likely gap distances at this level would also be in the hundreds of specific residue/codon changes wide.

    Nothing at such a level is remotely likely to evolve this side of trillions upon trillions of years of time. Why? Because the non-beneficial gap distances in sequence space between such high-level systems are hundreds of fairly specific residues changes wide (i.e., essentially uncrossable via RM/NS).

    3. Evolve a new species of rattlesnake from an existing species.

    This depends upon your definition of “species” – a fairly subjective idea. The concept of “species” is usually based on some for of reproductive isolation. It is not based on a functional analysis of the gene pools of different “species”. In other words, many different “species” can interbreed and produce viable and often virile offspring. Even animals classified as different genera can sometimes interbreed and produce viable offspring. Only at the limit of “order” are there no known viable hybrid cases.

    In short, it is easy to produce a different “species” without really producing a qualitative difference in the gene pool and therefore a truly new “kind” of creature.

    4. Evolve a venomous species of snake from a non-venomous species.

    This is fairly easy given the low level of functional complexity needed to produce a useful “venom” from regular proteins found in the saliva of non-venomous snakes (as the level of less than a few hundred fsaars).

    How about going a little farther. How many fsaar units are involved with these changes?

    5. Evolve a snake from a lizard.
    6. Evolve a lizard (reptile) from a salamander (amphibian).
    7. Evolve a salamander (amphibian) from a fish.

    As with the new discoveries of the significant epigenetic differences between humans and apes (especially in those regions controlling brain development), is seems like the qualitative functional differences are very high level indeed. As noted above, this explains the reason for the lack of viable hybrids between creatures that are as different as those classified in different ordinal groups. There just isn’t enough qualitative genetic similarity with it comes to higher-level functionality to produce viable hybrids.

    Are you truly suggesting that each of these is a “low level” change?

    I’m suggesting that you really don’t understand many of the concepts that you need to understand before you can begin to grasp the statistical limitations to the evolutionary mechanism of RM/NS – to include the concept of front-loaded information and Mendelian-style variation within the same “kind” of gene pool of pre-established functional genetic options.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  91. What I can’t understand is, no matter how many fsaars might be involved, How did these venomous snakes get to be such effective killing machines in just a few years?

    1. God’s creation was perfect; no animals were created to kill other animals – no fangs or venom, no claws, no flesh-tearing teeth, no bacteria to promote digestion or decay.

    2. Adam and Eve sinned, and, immediately, predators are fully equipped for killing – fangs and venom, claws, teeth and bacteria to process everything.

    3. Clearly, these astounding changes are beyond the scope of evolution; they must have been implemented directly by God.

    4. And, now, four to six thousand years later, there’s no evidence that things changed really fast. In fact, the fossils appear to be really old, there are thousands of extinct animals that look oddly like some alive today, but we are expected to believe that they all lived, changed, died and fossilized in just a few years.




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  92. @Carl:

    What I can’t understand is, no matter how many fsaars might be involved, How did these venomous snakes get to be such effective killing machines in just a few years?

    1. God’s creation was perfect; no animals were created to kill other animals – no fangs or venom, no claws, no flesh-tearing teeth, no bacteria to promote digestion or decay.

    Who says there were “no” bacteria to process waste material? Sure there were bacteria and plenty of them.

    2. Adam and Eve sinned, and, immediately, predators are fully equipped for killing – fangs and venom, claws, teeth and bacteria to process everything.

    Such changes can happen very rapidly, in just a few generations given pre-loaded genetic information to allow for such changes…

    3. Clearly, these astounding changes are beyond the scope of evolution; they must have been implemented directly by God.

    Well, the genetic potential to allow for flexibility in different environments, to include degenerative environments, must certainly have been put in place in the origin gene pools. You may be interested in a talk I gave not too long ago on the origin of carnivores and parasites:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Carnivores
    http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Discussion

    4. And, now, four to six thousand years later, there’s no evidence that things changed really fast. In fact, the fossils appear to be really old, there are thousands of extinct animals that look oddly like some alive today, but we are expected to believe that they all lived, changed, died and fossilized in just a few years.

    There is a great deal of evidence that intra-gene pool phenotypic variations/changes took place very fast (and that the massive diversity of unique “kinds” of gene pools was already in place to begin with at the start of creation), to include the significant weight of evidence favoring a rapid formation of the geologic column and fossil records, the recent discovery of flexible soft tissues and sequencable proteins in many kinds of dinosaur bones (see video clip below), the overwhelming evidence that slowly reproducing creatures, like mammals and large reptiles, are in steady genetic decline (genomes are deteriorating, not improving, over time due to overwhelming increases in deleterious mutation loads – see link below), and the equally overwhelming evidence that RM/NS cannot produce qualitatively novel functional genetic information beyond very very low levels of functional complexity this side of a practical eternity of time.

    Dinosaur soft tissues:
    http://www.detectingdesign.com/videoclips.html#Fresh

    Genetic deterioration:
    http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html#Detrimental

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  93. Who says there were “no” bacteria to process waste material? Sure there were bacteria and plenty of them.

    Well, bacteria live and die, which they couldn’t do before sin.

    Such changes can happen very rapidly, in just a few generations given pre-loaded genetic information to allow for such changes…

    That is about the answer that I expected. Taken as an isolated point, it seems possible. However, I can’t find a big picture with a place to fit it in.

    There is a great deal of evidence that intra-gene pool phenotypic variations/changes took place very fast …

    I was not talking about genetic changes in specific animals. My point is that the fossil record does not suggest a time when there were no predators. There’s no evidence that death and killing arrived all of a sudden.

    to include the significant weight of evidence favoring a rapid formation of the geologic column and fossil records

    What about the weight of evidence against rapid deposition such as the lack of pollen distribution in the sediment layers? It seems to me that the geologic column presents huge problems for both short- and long-history interpretations.

    You continue to give short rebuttals as if you have answered major questions. Where is your short history model that accounts for continental formation and movements, volcanoes, the Deccan Traps and the Columbia Basalts, the sequence of meteor impacts, fossils (especially the dinosaurs in Antarctica), the drying up of the Mediterranean Sea, the flooding of the Black Sea, the ice ages, the ice cores, Mt Everest, and much more. And, all of this to occur within a few thousand years between Creation and the writing of Genesis.

    Flaws in the standard model do not show that it is wrong in its major points.




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  94. Carl,

    I see no point in arguing further with Sean, as he clearly believes he can anwser anything. From what I gather, he believes

    1. A new venom protein is easy to make. (just 5 aa changes?)

    2. God created pitvipers and boas and pythons with facial pits because there is no way these structures could have evolved except in trillions upon trillions of years. (So God equipped these snakes but not any others to localize warm-blooded prey before they ever needed to. Vampire bats also have infra-red vision to locate warmth: blood sources close to the skin.. Apparently God had that in mind too.)

    3. Rattlesnakes readily produce new species so there is no problem with 30+ species evolving in the New World in less than the 4,000 years since the flood. (Although he speaks of the biological species concept,, he seems completely unaware of the of the phylogenetic species concept which contrary to his statement is based on gene sequences, either or both mitochonidrial or nuclear.. He further seems unaware that southern California’s six species hybridize extremely rarely. Often multiple species are both sympatric and syntopic but readily recognize and mate only with their own kind. Methinks he knows nothing about the gene pool differences of snake species much less any species. Hybridization is not a particularly relevent criterion for even the biological species concept.)

    4. Evolving a venomous snake is easy since less than a few hundred fsaars are needed. (Glad he thinks so,, because he needs to accomplish in <4,000 years what virtually all other biologists require millions of years. I don't hink he has a clue the number of traits involved much less fsars.)

    5. He believes that higher-order changes like kingdom, phylum, class and order cannot happen because presumably they require to many fsaars. (I wonder how many fsaars would distinguish the family of viperids from elapids and atractaspids? How would he even know? Let's not tell him that some classes of worms are entirely parasitic, cuz he'd then have to believe God made them to be parasites.)

    6. He communicates to me in an exceedingly condesending tone and knows with certainty what I dont know.




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