Comment on GYC Q&A addresses universities who hire and protect evolutionists by Austin Saylor.
Ella Simmonsâ€™ answer to the initial question at hand (regarding evolution) was very clear and I agree with it; in short, if our Adventist schools (at any level) are NOT teaching our beliefs then we have no use for them. As a tithe/offering paying member of the SDA church, I do not want my money used to teach a message that runs contrary to our church beliefs â€“ that is the core reason I help to support these institutions, to further the Adventist message. I will not contribute to the paycheck of any professor who teaches something antagonistic to the very reason I contribute monies to them. Such creates a divided house that cannot stand.
I especially enjoyed Mark Finleyâ€™s point (at approx. 01:10.55) in reference to â€œacademic freedomâ€; that being that when a professor voluntarily agrees to work & teach at a particular institution they give up their academic freedom in order to support/teach the views of that institution. To paraphrase; â€œsince the tuition monies are paid to an Adventist institution by Adventist parents who want their children to get an Adventist education then they should get what they pay forâ€. Otherwise, we might as well send our young people to a secular institution.
Don Schneider (Pres. N. American Div.), in talking about the question of homosexual (monogamous) relationships, was â€˜squishyâ€™ in his reply. He never addressed the question directly, in my opinion. I believe the answer is fairly simple: If the employee is in the station of being in a role-model position (such as a professor, pastor, elder, GYC President, any church leadership role) then their personal conduct does/should come under scrutiny due to the influence they would possess. (1Tim 3:10 â€œAnd let these also FIRST BE PROVED; THEN [note: after they have been proved] let them use the office of a deacon, being FOUND [past tense] blameless.â€ (emphasis mine)) What this verse tells me is that there is a test, a standard that must be met BEFORE someone can assume a position of authority and influence in our church & institutions. I believe someone who continues & actively lives a homosexual lifestyle has barred themselves from attaining such positions.
However, if the employee is in a more â€˜rudimentaryâ€™ position (janitor, office secretary, accountant, librarian, truck driver, etc.) then there is much more flexibility in how the homosexual question can be addressed. The Bibleâ€™s position on homosexuality is abundantly clear & there is no question that such a situation must be dealt with in a meaningful & Christ-like manner. We must give everyone a chance to hear the truth, receive the Word of God, and be provided TIME to deeply consider how the Truth affects their life/conduct. If, after being provided the truth (in a loving manner, of course) and given adequate time, that person rejects the counsel of God then they have disqualified themselves from receiving the fruits of the church. Obviously, many factors need to be considered in this process including the questions of 1) how much influence does the person in question have on younger or weaker (spiritually speaking) members of our church, and 2) how much time is appropriate? Let’s be sure to distinguish “love” from “sentimentality”.
In Christ’s Service,
Austin Saylor Also Commented
Bill Cowin: If the â€œinfluenceâ€ of a person or the social importance of the job in the church is the criterion for dealing with sexual or creatioon/evolution issues then it must have been a larger piece of fruit that Eve ate. If she would take a small one, it would have not been significant. Sin and/or disobedience is never relative or small. I am so amazed that we expect competence from our surgeon, but just love and the exhibition compassion to all those who suffer from the effects of sin, and of Satanâ€™s power. Real men and women love and obey Godâ€™s will. Strong men and women stand up against evil. David has my final comment: Who is that uncircumsized Pilistine, that he should mock the God of heaven, and causes Israel to fear?â€ (Quote)
It was not my intention to attempt to address the ‘severity’ of the sin (sexual or evolutionary) in my post – sin is sin and ultimately leads to the same Judgment. What I intended to point out was how we ‘deal’ with it in our institutions. I do not advocate that those whose positions/jobs are less influencial somehow get a “pass” or that we shouldn’t deal with it; absolutely not. As a church we must address everyone who is being paid by our tithes & offerings as to what is acceptable and what is not.
If I have misunderstood your post please accept my apology and clarify what you meant.
Recent Comments by Austin Saylor
Defining Adventism: A poll
Any person considered to be a “representative” of the church, any church or organization for that matter, must speak for those he/she represents. He does not speak of his own, just as Christ did not speak of His own, but spoke only what the Father directed.
If a king or president sends an ambassador to another country to represent him, that ambassador is not commissioned to speak for themselves; they are only authorized to speak strictly according to what the king or president instructs him to speak – else he is no longer a representative but a free-agent.
I am in full agreement with the comment above: “I should expect that many people, whether professors or not, might struggle with various aspects of our faith. To the extent they have personal struggles, however, as long as they are on the payroll of the Adventist church, they must not openly teach in opposition its beliefs.”
While I agree with your general stance, I also feel that our leaders were long ago prompted to act on this issue. I will continue to keep our church leadership in prayer but a true leader does what is RIGHT rather than worry about their careers. If that is what we have, meaning if we have leaders that are more worried about their careers than doing what is right, then replacing them would also be in our best interest.