The hinge of our faith

david asscherick

If lots of people and pastors make enough (sanctified) noise about this, something may actually happen. And even if something doesn’t change, since we are not the actual leaders/ policy-makers, our moral responsibility is not in changing things, but in speaking up. And the more voices the better. I don’t know how any committed SDA member, who has heard of these things, can sit idly by. Our name, our doctrines, our reason for existence, our eschatology, and even our soteriology are in being undermined. And we are paying people to do it! The irony is outweighed only by the tragedy. (New England Pastor Blog)

David Asscherick
ARISE, Director

Five years ago, David Asscherick preached a sermon titled “Creation: Father God or Mother Nature?” in which he emphasized the importance of the biblical doctrine of creation and its relation to everything else we believe to be true. The audio clip below is from that sermon.

If what David Asscherick says is true, then there is potentially much more at stake here in this great controversy at La Sierra University than just professors misrepresenting the Seventh-day Adventist Church. What is happening to the hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist youth passing through these classes?

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160 thoughts on “The hinge of our faith

  1. One reason why this new seminar is absolutely meaningless to this issue is because it’s taken their freshman year. These professors have the next three years to contradict whatever they might have been compelled to teach by administration in favor of the Church’s position.

    What is the cost of Wisbey’s defense of these professors? How much are they worth in relation to the potential loss of a students faith? I hope the answer for Wisbey is 0!




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  2. I know I’ve said this here before, but I think it bears repeating. This approach – tying every doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism to a particular narrow, literal interpretation of Genesis (and its echoes through the rest of Scripture) – seems to me to be an approach fraught with peril for the denomination.

    It is an attempt to use the ‘unthinkability defense’ – it’s unthinkable that all of SDAism is wrong, therefore, since it is all tied to creationism, creationism must be right. But it can backfire horribly: if someone is forced by the evidence to consider that perhaps God chose to create the earth and life by mechanisms other than speaking it into existence in 6 days 6000 years ago, they are then also forced – by this rhetorical strategy where creationism is described as being the single leg on which the edifice of SDA doctrine stands – to feel constrained to throw it all away.

    “The Church has one foundation – ’tis Jesus Christ our Lord”. If we’re going to balance the whole church on one foundation, there’s no competition: Jesus is it. A particular view on origins is not.




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  3. @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    December 10, 2009 I know I’ve said this here before, but I think it bears repeating. This approach – tying every doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism to a particular narrow, literal interpretation of Genesis (and its echoes through the rest of Scripture) – seems to me to be an approach fraught with peril for the denomination.

    Since we are on the subject of your history and consistency in that regard.

    A few other notes about your history.

    1. You also never provide a single Bible interpretation where you claim it is more biblically (exegetically) accurate than the SDA view, and where you claim it meets the supposedly higher standard you imply that you hold to – in the unproven assertion you use above.

    How “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    2. You never show that God through Moses or through Ellen White as eye-witnesses – ever endorses your own views on evolutionism, or your implied statements about how the Bible should be “bent” to meet the demands of evolutionism.

    Again – something for the unbiased objective reader to think about.

    Bravus said –
    It is an attempt to use the ‘unthinkability defense’ – it’s unthinkable that all of SDAism is wrong, therefore, since it is all tied to creationism, creationism must be right.

    Once again you have outed your own views here – admitting that they are in fact opposed to the SDA fundamental beliefs and admitting that your alternative needs to go after the Bible doctrine on creation.

    Very instructive for the reader.

    Bravus said –
    But it can backfire horribly: if someone is forced by the evidence to consider that perhaps God chose to create the earth and life by mechanisms other than speaking it into existence in 6 days 6000 years ago, they are then also forced – by this rhetorical strategy where creationism is described as being the single leg on which the edifice of SDA doctrine stands – to feel constrained to throw it all away.

    In that statement you admit that your doctrine on “origins” is not determined by what the Word of God says – but rather it is dictated to you by atheist evolutionists like Dawkins, Provine and Meyers as they make claims about their own “guesswork” on origins. Guesswork that even atheist evolutionists like Collin Patterson call “stories easy enough to make up but they are not science”.

    Thus you appear to be willing to subject your “bible bending” requirements to “every wind of evolutionist doctrine”.

    Bravus said

    “The Church has one foundation – ’tis Jesus Christ our Lord”. If we’re going to balance the whole church on one foundation, there’s no competition: Jesus is it.

    Well you got that right.

    But sadly for your toss-out-the-bible-and-place-your-faith-in-evolutionism-instead idea — here is what we find out “about Jesus” from the Bible.

    1. HE is the “WAY the TRUTH and the Life” John 14.
    2. He is the “WORD made flesh”. John 1
    3. He is “The WORD of God” Rev 19.
    4. His “WORDS are life” John 6.
    5. His “WORD will judge you” John 12:45-50
    6. His “WORD cannot be broken” John 10:35 Is 40:8
    7. Only those who hear His Word “and Believe have eternal life” John 5:24
    8. You cannot “takeaway from His Word” to fit the demands of evolution Rev 22:19

    And as it turns out — Jesus’ Word specifies “a particular view on origins”

    Bravus said
    A particular view on origins is not (the church’s foundation).

    We base all of our doctrines on “the WORD” – sola scriptura – not “sola evolutionism” as it turns out.

    The church “Foundation” is “Jesus, the Apostles and the Prophets” Eph 2:20 — i.e. “The Word of God”.

    The church applied this rule to the things Paul said
    “They searched the scriptures daily to SEE IF those things spoken to them by Paul – were so” Acts 17:11

    how much MORE true today that we should search the scriptures daily to see IF those things spoken by atheist mentor and evolutionist thought leader Richard Dawkins “are so”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  4. Bravus: It is an attempt to use the ‘unthinkability defense’ – it’s unthinkable that all of SDAism is wrong, therefore, since it is all tied to creationism, creationism must be right. But it can backfire horribly: if someone is forced by the evidence to consider that perhaps God chose to create the earth and life by mechanisms other than speaking it into existence in 6 days 6000 years ago, they are then also forced – by this rhetorical strategy where creationism is described as being the single leg on which the edifice of SDA doctrine stands – to feel constrained to throw it all away.

    Basically you seem to be saying that the SDA Church is taking a big risk by making definitive statements about what it does and does not believe to be “true” – right? How scientific! Don’t you see that this very thing, being risky, is the very root of scientific thinking?

    If you stand for nothing that is risky, that can at least potentially be proved wrong, what good are you? What good is your “faith”?

    Also, if your faith does not go beyond basic ethical principles, upon what do you base your hope in the reality of a bright physical future? Where is the evidence for the rational validity of the “hope that is within you”?

    In short, if the SDA position on a literal 6-day creation is indeed shown to be false, the unique message of the SDA Church, a message which is uniquely different from any other denomination, also goes away.

    This uniqueness and reason for independent existence is indeed based on a risky position, subject to potential falsification – as is any good scientific position. Many religious groups believe in some form of God and good moral ethics. However, the SDA Church is unique and has a reason for unique independent existence because it goes beyond these basic truths to include additional truths which are also important to share with the world. If these additional truths are shown to be false, then what is the point for continued independent existence of the SDA Church?

    “The Church has one foundation – ’tis Jesus Christ our Lord”. If we’re going to balance the whole church on one foundation, there’s no competition: Jesus is it. A particular view on origins is not.

    Without evidence in support of who Jesus actually was, the simple argument that “Jesus is it” is distinctly unhelpful. It was Jesus who referred to the Genesis narrative in very literal terms. It was Jesus who demonstrated the creative power of God without the need for vast ages of evolutionary time. It was Jesus who instantly turned water into wine. It was Jesus who showed sympathy for the weak and those who weren’t the “fittest” for survival – to include animals. It was Jesus, in his life and testimony, who argued very strongly against the basis of modern evolutionary thinking.

    So, if you accept modern evolutionary thinking, you really have no basis to rationally accept Jesus as anything other than a good, but very ordinary, man – not God.

    It was C.S. Lewis who pointed out the fallacy of this thinking:

    I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – Mere Christianity, pages 40-41.

    The fact is that the SDA Church goes beyond the promotion of the virtues of basic morality. The SDA Church is also about presenting a solid hope in a very real and very bright physical future for those who love God – i.e., the Gospel of Hope. It is possible to be a good morally upright person and not have a solid conscious hope in the future you know. Such a person will end up being saved, but how much better to have known the Good News here and now?

    This is what makes the SDA Church more than just a promoter of good ethics. This is also what requires the SDA Church to be at least someone scientific in its thinking and apologetic arguments in support of the Gospel message…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  5. @Sean Pitman M.D.:

    In short, if the SDA position on a literal 6-day creation is indeed shown to be false, the unique message of the SDA Church, a message which is uniquely different from any other denomination, also goes away.

    yes – that is exactly what we find in 3SG 90-91 to which Bravus replies “well then she was wrong!”.

    so what is the “next level” of argument?

    The simple point that keeps coming up on this topic is that Evolutionists (yes even SDA ones) seem to have no appreciation at all for exegesis. They imagine a “plastic Bible” where “bending the text” is simply “how the Bible is read”.

    And if an inspired texts differs witih their cherished stories — they quickly conclude “then that text is wrong”.

    And the more you expose their argument on that point – the less they want to talk about it. This is such a weak point in their argument that their only “solution” is to avoid the discussion whenever possible.

    Thus I in fact do appreaciate Bravus’ willingness “at times” to venture into what is for them “no-man’s land”. (Hint: You will notice that when Bravus addresses this glaringly apparent flaw in their evolutionism-from-inside-Adventism context – he gets no other evolutionists to join him in speaking out about their “solution” in this area.).

    Instructive for the unbiased objective reader – as it turns out.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  6. @Shane Hilde:

    Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -— several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.
    Mark Twain




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  7. @BobRyan: “Sola Scriptura” may work for theology, but it is not science. It doesn’t matter how strongly you believe a false interpretation of scripture, science is what it is and persecuting the scientist only corrupts the church. Remember Newton and Gallileo.




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  8. BobRyan: f

    @BobRyan:

    Who is it really that is “turning souls away from trust in the Word of God”? Is it those who are trying to understand the harmony between God’s Book of Nature and Scripture in light of “Presnet Truth”, or is it those who claim that our whole beief and reason for being will collapse if we ever update our understanding of Scripture? Is it those who are trying to bring people into the church, or those who are driving them away?

    I for one, don’t believe that my belief in scripture, or my Seventh-day Adventist faith is treatened by acceptance of evolution. I do not say that ignorantly. I am a multi-generation Adventist, have studied virtually every published work of Mrs. White, and I graduated with a Religion major. Unfortunately, most on this site are so threatened by the idea that they are not willing to discuss it.




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  9. Bravus made this statement about SDA doctrine..

    Bravus says:
    December 10, 2009 I know I’ve said this here before, but I think it bears repeating. This approach – tying every doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism to a particular narrow, literal interpretation of Genesis (and its echoes through the rest of Scripture) – seems to me to be an approach fraught with peril for the denomination.

    to which I responded that an actual exegetically valid “sola scriptura” solution would be needed for Bravus’ wild imaginative suggestion about what migh fictionally be available to evolutionist for building propping up their faith in evolutionism as a Biblicaly valid doctrine.

    To which Ron innexplicably replied

    @Ron Nielsn:

    @BobRyan: “Sola Scriptura” may work for theology, but it is not science. It doesn’t matter how strongly you believe a false interpretation of scripture, science is what it is and persecuting the scientist only corrupts the church. Remember Newton and Gallileo.

    Bravus’ statement (to which I was responding) was specifically about SDA doctrine. ( Thought all the readers of very short post noticed that not-so-subtle detail). Thus we have to discuss the source for doctrine – to answer that point – as much as doing say may be a discomfort to a few evolutionists.

    Neither Newton NOR Gallileo had a science position in opposition to any law of God found in scripture. All they had was science in opposition to the dark-ages traditions-of-men.

    Imagining some kind of fiction where it is valid to equivocate between the dark ages traditions and sayings of the RCC and the saying of God in Ex 20:8-11 is being left as an exercise for the faithful devoted evolutionist. The rest of us will simply “watch”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  10. In short, if the SDA position on a literal 6-day creation is indeed shown to be false, the unique message of the SDA Church, a message which is uniquely different from any other denomination, also goes away.

    To which I responded —

    Bob said ;

    yes – that is exactly what we find in 3SG 90-91 to which Bravus replies “well then she was wrong!”.

    so what is the “next level” of argument?

    The simple point that keeps coming up on this topic is that Evolutionists (yes even SDA ones) seem to have no appreciation at all for exegesis. They imagine a “plastic Bible” where “bending the text” is simply “how the Bible is read”.

    And if an inspired texts differs witih their cherished stories — they quickly conclude “then that text is wrong”.

    And the more you expose their argument on that point – the less they want to talk about it. This is such a weak point in their argument that their only “solution” is to avoid the discussion whenever possible.

    Thus I in fact do appreaciate Bravus’ willingness “at times” to venture into what is for them “no-man’s land”. (Hint: You will notice that when Bravus addresses this glaringly apparent flaw in their evolutionism-from-inside-Adventism context – he gets no other evolutionists to join him in speaking out about their “solution” in this area.).

    Instructive for the unbiased objective reader – as it turns out.

    @Ron Nielsn:

    @BobRyan:

    Who is it really that is “turning souls away from trust in the Word of God”? Is it those who are trying to understand the harmony between God’s Book of Nature and Scripture in light of “Presnet Truth”, or is it those who claim that our whole beief and reason for being will collapse if we ever update our understanding of Scripture?

    They are the same group. I think you meant to contrast them against those who are tossing out the bible altogether and trying to use what 3SG 90-91 calls “disguised infidelity” as a judge of scripture itself — basically imagining that the Bible itself is to be subjec to whatever Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin decide the Bible is “allowed” to say.

    Clearly – when open minded objective students see the contrast between the clear statements in the Bible and compare them to what Darwin or Dawkins said – they AGREE with both Darwin and Dawkins that the TWO are not reconcilable!

    I for one, don’t believe that my belief in scripture, or my Seventh-day Adventist faith is treatened by acceptance of evolution.

    Then I would suggest that you spend a little more thoughtful time “with both”.

    And notice that evolutionism is NEVER stated in the words “FOR IN SIX days the LORD MADE…”.

    Darwin “noticed”.

    Dawkins “noticed”

    Provine “Noticed”

    Meyers “noticed”.

    I do not say that ignorantly. I am a multi-generation Adventist, have studied virtually every published work of Mrs. White, and I graduated with a Religion major.

    so then that included 3SG 90-91 and Ex 20:8-11??

    Unfortunately, most on this site are so threatened by the idea that they are not willing to discuss it.

    Did I miss your discussion of those two references above?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  11. We cannot blame some SDA ‘educated’ among us for having a ‘plastic’ Bible, since the hermeneutic being favoured in some religion departments is the higher critical method, which emphasises the humanity of the Bible over the divine origin and authority of it. Given this hermeneutic, it makes all the sense in the world to bend the words of the Bible to conform to our more sophisticated understanding of everything pertaining to life, godliness and origins.
    However, those of us who look upon the Bible as the Word of God rather than merely the ancient musings of ignorant and superstitious men, understand from what is written that when we truly say “On Christ the solid rock I stand”, we understand that this Christ was the One who in His preincarnate existence was the Word, without whom nothing was made that was made. Fundamental to who Jesus is must be Creation…His creation, accomplished by His speaking it into existence. His incarnate life and all the recorded miracles demonstrate the creative power of His words.
    We love you brothers who feel compelled to cling to the fables of evolution, and we have no fear to discuss your stories with you. We are perfectly confident and comfortable with the revealed truth given by the only One who was actually present when our world and it’s teaming life forms were created. This is science of the highest order, accurately observed and carefully documented by a highly qualified intelligence.




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  12. BobRyan: Neither Newton NOR Gallileo had a science position in opposition to any law of God found in scripture. All they had was science in opposition to the dark-ages traditions-of-men.

    Bob, re: Newton and Gallileo, I believe the church quoted the Bible to prove that the earth was the center of the Universe, and they were serious enough that they threatened the stake, if they didn’t recant, but as history has shown, in this case the church had to back down in the face of science. The Bible, or at least their interpretation of it was just flat out wrong (excuse the pun). Here in our day, science is showning that Evolution is an ongoing process that continues to this day. The educated people in the church know this is a simple fact of life, and that we need to update our interpretation of the Bible to account for it, or eventually, the church will become incredible (not credible)to even to the average member, just as no one now thinks you have to believe in a flat earth, to be a Christian.

    It is OK to base your theology on “Sola Scritura”, but you can’t base your science on “Sola Scriptura”. Even Mrs. White stated that the purpose of teaching science in Adventist schools, is to correct our theology. I am amazed that so many Adventist’s seem to reverse Mrs. Whites priority.




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  13. BobRyan: Clearly – when open minded objective students see the contrast between the clear statements in the Bible and compare them to what Darwin or Dawkins said – they AGREE with both Darwin and Dawkins that the TWO are not reconcilable!

    Bob, I am not willing to give either Darwin or Dawkins that much authority. I think Darwin and Dawkins are just as wrong in denying God, as are Adventists who deny Evolution. The statement that God made the Earth in six days, on its face, does not even imply that God has stopped creating, or that Evolution didn’t or couldn’t proceed from that time forward.

    After carefully reading Mrs. White, I don’t think she was against the idea of evolution so much as she was against using the teaching of evolution to undermine belief in God. Notice in PP 103,104 she clearly states that it is the philosophers and theologians who are the culprits, not the scientists. Also note in GW 81 (1915) that Science is supposed to correct errors in Theology, not the otherway around.

    You have to remember the context in which Mrs White wrote. These ideas were pretty rudimentary at that time. I think if Mrs. White were alive to day, she would have seen the distinction more clearly and would not have any problem at all with the idea that creation adapts, or evolves. One of her prophesies is that Adventists would have to change their fundamental beliefs over time as new evidence came forward. Once again Mrs. White is correct. This is one of those times, so now stop harassing the poor science teachers and get those lazy theologians off their butts and get them doing thier job.




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  14. BobRyan: Unfortunately, most on this site are so threatened by the idea that they are not willing to discuss it.
    Did I miss your discussion of those two references above?

    Bob,
    I have not seen in any of the posts on this web site a serious attempt to re study the Word of God to see if we might have been in error. All I see is closed minds and angry polemic from threatened “believers”.

    Adventists have NEVER believed in “Sola Scriptura”, that was an idea Luther invented to undermine the authority of the Pope, but it is impossible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and only believe in scripture. At a very minimum you have to at least accept the authority of ancient history texts to get the date for the rebuilding of the temple and the beginning of the 2400 day prophecy. Mrs White certainly did not believe in “Sola Scriptura”, she puts the Bible and Science on equal footing, and in fact puts Science AHEAD of Scripture when it comes to correcting errors in theology. See GW 81 (1915).




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  15. BobRyan writes: “I in fact do appreaciate Bravus’ willingness “at times” to venture into what is for them “no-man’s land”. (Hint: You will notice that when Bravus addresses this glaringly apparent flaw in their evolutionism-from-inside-Adventism context – he gets no other evolutionists to join him in speaking out about their “solution” in this area.).”

    I think that Bravus does a commendable job of present a reasonable case.

    Anything I said would likely be similar to what he writes and perhaps I take Matt 7:6 more seriously than he does.




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  16. Ron: “I believe the church quoted the Bible to prove that the earth was the center of the Universe.”

    Bible: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:” Isaiah 40:22

    Bible: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Psalms 8:3-4

    Ron: “Even Mrs. White stated that the purpose of teaching science in Adventist schools, is to correct our theology…she puts the Bible and Science on equal footing, and in fact puts Science AHEAD of Scripture when it comes to correcting errors in theology.”

    Gospel Workers: “Those who are uneducated, untrained, and unrefined, are not prepared to enter a field in which the powerful influences of talent and education combat the truths of God’s word. Neither can they successfully meet the strange forms of error, religious and philosophical combined, to expose which requires a knowledge of scientific as well as Scriptural truth.” GW81.1

    Great Controversy: “Human knowledge of both material and spiritual things is partial and imperfect; therefore many are unable to harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts, and they think that God’s Word is to be tested by the teachings of “science falsely so called.” The Creator and his works are beyond their comprehension; and because they cannot explain these by natural laws, Bible history is regarded as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments too often go a step father, and doubt the existence of God, and attribute infinite power to nature. Having let go their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.

    “Thus many err from the faith, and are seduced by the devil.” GC88 522.3, 4a

    Ron: “Adventists have NEVER believed in “Sola Scriptura…”

    SDA Fundamental Belief #1: “The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)”

    Ron: “[Sola Scriptura] was an idea Luther invented to undermine the authority of the Pope…”

    Bible: “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:3

    Bible: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

    Bible: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

    Ron: “Mrs White certainly did not believe in “Sola Scriptura…”

    Great Controversy: “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. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority,– not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support.” GC88 595.1

    Great Controversy: “Satan’s manner of working against God and his Word has not changed; he is still as much opposed to the Scriptures being made the guide of life as in the sixteenth century. In our time there is a wide departure from their doctrines and precepts, and there is need of a return to the great Protestant principle,–the Bible, and the Bible only, as the rule of faith and duty.” GC88 204.2
    God bless,

    Rich




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  17. Bravus: I know I’ve said this here before, but I think it bears repeating. This approach – tying every doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism to a particular narrow, literal interpretation of Genesis (and its echoes through the rest of Scripture) – seems to me to be an approach fraught with peril for the denomination.
    It is an attempt to use the ‘unthinkability defense’ – it’s unthinkable that all of SDAism is wrong, therefore, since it is all tied to creationism, creationism must be right. But it can backfire horribly: if someone is forced by the evidence to consider that perhaps God chose to create the earth and life by mechanisms other than speaking it into existence in 6 days 6000 years ago, they are then also forced – by this rhetorical strategy where creationism is described as being the single leg on which the edifice of SDA doctrine stands – to feel constrained to throw it all away.“The Church has one foundation – ’tis Jesus Christ our Lord”. If we’re going to balance the whole church on one foundation, there’s no competition: Jesus is it. A particular view on origins is not.  

    Jesus is our foundation but what is the only clear way to know about Jesus that we have–the Bible. Other things are secondary but the Bible is the mainstay!

    I find it interesting that the foundation is Sola Scriptura. If you throw out the Bible, then you will just be guessing at what Jesus was like. You will end up just making up what you want about your own religion. That is what a lot of others have done. If you want to do it the right way, you have to accept what you have–the Bible. Of course it is centered on Jesus but also talks about many things that give us the fullness of understanding. You can’t just pick and choose–I’d just like 6 of the 10 commandments, or do I really have to love my neighbor and the list goes on–just see Matthew 5–one of my favorite chapters from Jesus–He sets the bar pretty high. This is true also of the first parts of the Bible. You can’t just say they don’t count.

    What also bothers me about all this discussion is that our God (I am assuming we all believe in a God but if you don’t believe in God bear with me for a second) was able to raise a man from the dead after 3 days and Himself as well after 3 days. We know scientifically that cells are completely decomposed at room temperature and the body would have to be remade at that level. That level of creative ability would be on the level of a God that could have made the world in 7 days at whatever stage he wanted it to look like–and he said he did it that way–in stone. You have to take it all or leave it all. Sola Scriptura. It is all about Christ–he wrote the 10 commandments with his own finger. He even says that He is the same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. How is it that we are able to separate Him from his own quotes. It would be a sin to lie and God does not lie or sin and yet he said he made the world in 6 days and rested the 7th and we are saying lets just believe in Him but not in anything He says.

    How would you feel if you were the God and your people were talking like that.




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  18. So we stone women to death for adultery? Young people for breaking the Sabbath? Keep slaves? And women cover their heads and don’t speak in church. And we avoid wearing blended fabrics (e.g. cotton and rayon). Just a few things in the Bible that we no longer do for cultural or other reasons. No-one is fully, wholly, 100% Sola Scriptura. Every Christian picks and chooses from Scripture, on one basis or another.




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  19. Bravus: “No-one is fully, wholly, 100% Sola Scriptura.”

    Bible: “But [Jesus] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

    Bible: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:6

    Bravus: “Just a few things in the Bible that we no longer do for cultural or other reasons.”

    Bible: “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5

    Bravus: “Every Christian picks and chooses from Scripture, on one basis or another.”

    Bible: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Peter 2:1

    Bible: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:9-10

    Bible: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” John 7:17

    Bible: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

    Bible: “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
    God bless,

    Rich




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  20. Bravus: Want to take on the specific issues I raised? Or at least get one of your slaves to do it?  

    The Bible explains itself. Jesus did not stone the woman. They were no longer under a Theocracy at the time and no longer are we. You take the law of the theocracy of the children of Israel out of context. That no longer applies. By the way, they were suppose to stone the man and the woman. We still to this day see the consequence though of the extra marital affairs–it is not like they are any less devastating–just look at Tiger Woods. Talk to a clothing expert and you will find out that you have to be very careful on how you mix different types of cloth with prewash and all–these things were very good advice and some of them did come with consequences–both natural and physical. Slaves were not something condoned in and in Titus there is an appeal to accept a slave back as a brother.

    I think it is clear that while the Bible works within the culture of the times it also has high goals. You are focusing on little things to prove your point because you refuse to see the whole Biblical perspective. There are other texts that explain these issues Bravus. It is like asking why we don’t hang witches in the Virginia anymore–just because it happened once. You are 100% Sola Scriptura but you have to use the whole Bible and not a single text at a time. If you do that you may end up like David Coresh. The danger is rationalizing the texts the other way to. What they say is what they say!–you can’t count them out either.




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  21. Shannon: The Bible explains itself.

    Dear Shannon, I appreciate your effort at presenting your thoughts. However, while it is possible that you might be able to express your own thoughts, your presentation is woefully inadequate to judge others thoughts.

    You claim the Bible explains itself, but give no explaination of how to determine what the “explaination” is. You say something, (with poor grammar, yes it matters!), about theocracy. I have never seen the word theocracy used in the Bible. Apparently you think there was some sort of special circumstances that no longer apply today. What in the Bible caused you to come to that conclusion? You further state: “they were suppose to stone the man and the woman.” Are you arguing that if the man got away the woman could not be stoned? Do you have a reference for that?

    And you think that God gave Moses instructions for how to do laundry? Wow!

    Then you say: “in Titus there is an appeal to accept a slave back as a brother.” I just read the entire book twice and could not find this appeal. Fortunately I know the Bible very well and the instant I saw your claim, recognized that you were probably refering to Philemon. (A book which I have memorized in 4 languages by the way). Simple details like these are critical if you want to condemn the thoughts and ideas of others, which is, of course, the whole point of this site.

    And then there is the hanging of witches in (“the”?) Virginia. Again, I hate to brag but I have studied a great deal about the witch trials and I could not recall any in Virgina. A quick Google search revealed one witchtrail in Virginia, the case of Joan Wright of Hampton Roads in 1626. There is no historical record of her conviction let alone execution. I did find some executions in Maryland of which I had previously been unaware. However, once again, details, details; were you actually referencing the witchtrails in Salem? If so then the state would be Massachusetts (I made sure the spelling was correct). And speaking of spelling I believe Mr. Vernon Howell was also known as David Koresh.

    I glad you understand that the Bible reflects the cultures in which it was written. My point is that you not insist on imposing your beliefs on the entire group. Make your case without condemning those with whom your disagree.

    P. S. The last four sentences were beyond even my linguistic abilities to interpret. I am fairly sure that the “to” at the end of the sentence should be “too”. And your last sentence implies that we should kill witches “What they say is what they say!”




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  22. Martin, we have neither the time nor the place to harangue over grammar. If you would like to then this may not be the format for you. My implications of the witch trials were not meant for anything other then to mean that you could take anything out of context and ask why it isn’t done today. Interestingly, outside of personal attack and a lot of comparison on your part as to how much better your grammar and knowledge of Bible and details of history all of which I bow to your detailed knowledge. But let me make my point a little clearer. Outside of the location of the witch trials and the name of the book of the Bible–sorry–should have looked those up–trying to make a point. Now, I did not see that my point was to condemn anyone. My point was to state that the Bible does explain itself if you read it but it can be taken out of context–sorry for the grammar!

    I did not attack anyone or judge anyone. I am not imposing my beliefs on an entire group as you have said. Interesting enough, I do agree with Shane and Sean though. I feel like these professors are imposing their beliefs on the SDA church. When a certain group of people has come together with a said set of beliefs–of which–the Bible only is one of the major ones and 6 day creation is another and an individual or another group comes along and tries to change or enter that group with differing belief–I consider that just what you are talking about. That is what is happening at LSU. I think it is fine of individuals or groups to have their own beliefs but to enforce them on another preformed group of believers is unnecessary and best handled by amicable separation.




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  23. Martin, God does care about little things–He gave instructions on clothing and food and even hand washing.

    When the man and woman were caught in adultery they were both to be brought–not just one–the fact that only one was just brought was in violation of the law. Now that they were in violation of the law, Jesus was ask to judge the case after the fact in as it already was in violation of the stated Mosaic law. Don’t you think that it is funny that only a woman was brought before Jesus. It was obviously a set up and the pharisees were involved. Likely, one of the first things he wrote in the dust was the persons’ sin involved with that issue. There are many Bible commentators that say as much–Max Lucado and Ellen White being 2 of them. He wrote in the dust as he did not wish to reveal their sins to the ignorant masses that couldn’t read. The Bible does not outright say it though and if you choose not to see you, you do not have to.




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  24. @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    January 17, 2010 Want to take on the specific issues I raised? Or at least get one of your slaves to do it?

    Which of your red herrings are supposedly “substantive enough” to derail the topic of this thread for the rest of us??

    Hint – in any large religious organization there are always “hot topics” to debate. Nobody is challenging that idea.

    But on this particular thread – we already “picked one” as it turns out.

    Pastor Asscherick states ” I don’t know how any committed SDA member, who has heard of these things, can sit idly by. ”

    Hopefully we can stay focused on the topic.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  25. @Bravus:

    No-one is fully, wholly, 100% Sola Scriptura. Every Christian picks and chooses from Scripture, on one basis or another.

    Here is a very common objection offerred up daily by our Catholic brethren when the Protestants “come calling” on the Catholic discussion boards – promoting “Sola Scriptura” rules as the “final TEST” for all faith, practice and doctrine.

    How wonderful that we can now find a few SDA members “reaching” for that same line of argument in their all-for-evolutionism defense of the counterfeit doctrine on origins so central to evolutionist dogma.

    Yet – even so – there is an odd kind of ‘consistency’ there if you stop and think about it.

    in Christ,

    bob




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  26. @Shannon:

    Jesus is our foundation but what is the only clear way to know about Jesus that we have–the Bible. Other things are secondary but the Bible is the mainstay!

    I find it interesting that the foundation is Sola Scriptura. If you throw out the Bible, then you will just be guessing at what Jesus was like. You will end up just making up what you want about your own religion. That is what a lot of others have done. If you want to do it the right way, you have to accept what you have–the Bible.

    Well said.

    In the classic “downward spiral” being offerred in defense of evolutionism within Adventism the “predicted” path is to first toss out God’s leading through the 1Cor 12 Gifts of the Spirit – specifically the Gift of Prophecy, and then to extend that into discounting the work of the Holy Spirit as He has authored the Bible.

    But as Peter said “Holy men of old moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God”.

    Pretty hard pill to swallow for the “anything but sola scriptura” group.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  27. @Martin Schratt:

    Martin Schratt says:
    January 16, 2010 BobRyan writes:

    “I in fact do appreaciate Bravus’ willingness “at times” to venture into what is for them “no-man’s land”. (Hint: You will notice that when Bravus addresses this glaringly apparent flaw in their evolutionism-from-inside-Adventism context – he gets no other evolutionists to join him in speaking out about their “solution” in this area.).”

    I think that Bravus does a commendable job of present a reasonable case.

    Anything I said would likely be similar to what he writes and perhaps I take Matt 7:6 more seriously than he does.

    Martin – thank you for being willing to share that.

    My reference above was in regard to Bravus’ very up front and bold “solution” to the 3SG 90-91 type problems where Ellen White is “shown by God” the creation event – and reports that God “showed her” that it was a literal 7 day week, also informing her of the direct attack evolutionism makes against both God and His memorial of creation.

    Bravus gives the only answer available to the determined devotee of “evolutionism at all costs” when he responds “then Ellen White was wrong” each time some bit of revelation proves inconvenient for his faith in darwinism.

    If you were following that discussion and are now offering to stand with Bravus in that spotlight (like so few other evolutionists here have been willing to do) then I commend you for being up front and out in the open about where your faith in evolutionism has logically lead you to stand.

    I openly admit to a certain consistency in Bravus’ solution even though I do not agree with Bravus on this topic.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. @Ron Nielsn:

    Ron Nielsn says:
    December 23, 2009 @BobRyan: “Sola Scriptura” may work for theology, but it is not science. It doesn’t matter how strongly you believe a false interpretation of scripture, science is what it is and persecuting the scientist only corrupts the church. Remember Newton and Gallileo.

    1. The “Newton” and “Gallileo” canard you offer is noted. But the objective unbiased reader instantly sees the glaring gap of contradiction between the current efforts to promote junk-science fiction about “birds coming from reptiles” vs the clearly “scientific” observations about the orbit of the earth and yes even the orbit of our entire solar system (which was not then being discussed).

    Even devout atheist evolutionists like Colin Patterson see the problem of the evolutionist promoting “stories easy enough to make up – but they are not science” when telling happy fictions about how “one thing came from another”.

    2. The unbiased objective reader also “notices” that in the case of Gallileo and geocentrist notions of the sun orbiting the earth – there was Catholic “tradition” and “mandate” but there was no “Ten Commandment LAW” about “The Sun orbiting the earth”.

    Truly an “inconvenient detail” for those who might wish to equivocate between the problem Galilleo had with geocentrism vs the problem atheist evolutionists like Dawkins have with the 4th commandment spoken by God himself.

    3. Sola Scriptura – is how protestantism differentiated from the Catholic dictates of the dark ages while holding to the same inspired text of scripture. It is a bit late now to start pretending that we don’t notice how useful that “return to the Bible” solution is in real life. Furthermore – the sola scriptura model combined with
    “attention to detail” such as we find when applying the methods of exegesis to our study of scripture — enables us to determining the meaning of the inspired text in a way that fully resists the desire to “bend and wrench the text on behalf of every whim of evolutionist dogma”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. @Ron:

    Bob,
    I have not seen in any of the posts on this web site a serious attempt to re study the Word of God to see if we might have been in error.

    All I see is closed minds and angry polemic from threatened “believers”.

    The ball is in the evolutionist’s court to find something that make sense other than thinly veiled “Moses was a Darwinist” style arguments.

    Notice that Richard Dawkins himself rejects this idea that you can bend and wrench the statements to “please evolutionists”.

    He makes that case in the extreme example of a known evolutionist pastor or priest who makes blatant “God made Adam statements” and then insists “well the listener should have known I did not really mean what I was saying, since at other times I was known to argue in favor of evolutionism. So the listener should have taken some time to try and imagine a way in which my conflicting statements could be reconciled”.

    If this simple and obvious point can be seen clearly by even the atheist evolutionists when it comes to “the intended meaning” – how much more apparent should this be to our SDA evolutionist friends.

    2. Adventists have NEVER believed in “Sola Scriptura”, that was an idea Luther invented to undermine the authority of the Pope, but it is impossible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and only believe in scripture.

    “Sola Scriptura” — cannot be “bent” to mean “reject the 1Thess 5 and 1Cor 12 statements on prophetic gifts”. I am sure we both agree there.

    “Sola scriptura” — means that all doctrine TESTED by the scripture “alone” as compared to the Catholic standard of testing against “Church tradition” and the infallible statements of the “magesterium”.

    Hopefully we agree there as well.

    At a very minimum you have to at least accept the authority of ancient history texts to get the date for the rebuilding of the temple and the beginning of the 2400 day prophecy.

    History is typically not a matter of “tradition” and not a matter of “vote or decree of church magesterium”.

    The history of the rise of the United States – that is so very different from the rise of nations in Europe for example – is a matter of “history”.

    But admitting to “recorded facts” of history has never been a problem for Sola scriptura since even sin and condemnation (for example condeming a murderer or an adulterer) is a matter of appealing to “known facts”.

    Even the writing of a prophetic message such as the writing of the book of Revelation – appeals to “known fact”. Knowing that John or Paul wrote something for example.

    Thus your argument that admitting to the value or facts of history is somehow a negation of “sola scriptura” would not have been accepted by Luther or any Protestant theologian known to mankind.

    As for Ellen White and science “falsely so-called” (so then — junk-science) 3SG 90-91 is instructive on that point.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. @Patrick:

    Patrick says:
    January 15, 2010 We cannot blame some SDA ‘educated’ among us for having a ‘plastic’ Bible, since the hermeneutic being favoured in some religion departments is the higher critical method, which emphasises the humanity of the Bible over the divine origin and authority of it. Given this hermeneutic, it makes all the sense in the world to bend the words of the Bible to conform to our more sophisticated understanding of everything pertaining to life, godliness and origins.
    However, those of us who look upon the Bible as the Word of God rather than merely the ancient musings of ignorant and superstitious men, understand from what is written that when we truly say “On Christ the solid rock I stand”,

    Amen and Amen!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. The claim was made that the whole Bible is inspired and should be followed. I listed a number of instances where that does not occur. No-one has addressed even one of those issues in any substantive way, yet any one of them individually is enough to logically falsify the claim that was made.

    Can anyone systematically take those issues and clearly, Biblically show why the Bible is not saying what it clearly does say based on a literal reading in those instances? Or why, if the Bible says it, Christians should not or do not follow it? There have been several dismissals of the issue but no serious attempt at all to address it. Some of the issues come from the New Testament as well as the Old, and Adventists claim to accept the entire Bible anyway.

    It is clearly simply not true that some people follow the entire Bible. They explain or argue away some parts of it. Now, they might be doing that based on very good, clear, appropriate hermeneutic principles and approaches. But my point is two-fold:

    1. No-one at all in the whole world follows every single word of the Bible. Apart from anything else, show me someone who does and I’ll show you someone in jail for murder.
    2. That being the case, they are clearly using some kind of principle or methodology to decide which pieces they will and will not follow.




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  32. @Bravus:

    No-one at all in the whole world follows every single word of the Bible; therefore, the whole Bible is not inspired and should not be followed.

    Did I adequately summarize your argument? I don’t think your conclusion logically follows your premise.

    Just because there is biblical support for why Christians do not practice every command given, does not negate the inspiration of the Bible.

    Now I haven’t read the instances your put out yet, but I’ll take a look at them right now.




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  33. Thanks for that question, Shane. It gives me the opportunity to try to be clearer.

    No, I’m definitely not saying what you have me saying above. I do believe the whole Bible is inspired and should be followed.

    The point is that it should not be followed literalistically and simplistically. And the point here is that many who claim to follow a literal Genesis make large claims about how literally they follow the entire Bible… but those claims are not borne out in their practices, or indeed, even in their beliefs.

    I’m making quite a narrow logical argument: everyone applies some interpretation or other to the Biblical text. Those who deny doing so need to stand up and show how their apparent actions actually concord with the Bible.

    Ack, still not as clear as I’d like. Anyway, what I am *trying* to do is dispense with the false claim to absolute literalism.




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  34. @Bravus:

    First, I want to make the point that when someone uses the term “sola scriptura” its intended meaning is not every single injection ever made in the Bible should be followed. It simply means that the Bible is the only infallible and inerrant authority for the Christian faith, and that it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

    In regard to the punishments that are mentioned in Leviticus, I think a five points can be made to help clarify why Christians no longer stone adulterers and sabbath breakers.

    1. God directly ruled and communicated with them through Moses.

    2. God’s presence was manifest in the pillar of fire they saw every night while they were out in the wilderness. To sin in the presence of God like that would be almost unthinkable.

    3. The result of sin is death. The exact occurrence of when the consequence occurs makes no difference.

    4. Not every instance of adultery was punished with stoning.

    5. Paul said: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col. 2:14). The penalties of the Law of Moses were without question “contrary” to us. These penalties were done away with when Christ died on the cross, along with all the ceremonial laws which would have included, Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together (Deut. 22:11). Now the injunctions such as do not commit adultery and remember the sabbath continued on in the ten commandments, which are not against us, but still allow us to recognize sin.

    There was never an injunction to keep slaves. I’m not sure why you listed that. God never commanded us to have slaves.

    It’s dangerous to build a whole doctrine just on one verse, and we’re only given one verse in 1 Cor. 11:5,6 that says women should cover their head when they pray and prophesy. I think he is bringing out the contrast that is to be maintained between the sexes, in light of current customs, as they take part in church services. My understanding of the cultural at that time was that woman covered their head to indicate they were married, but also as a matter of modesty. However, we should not judge a woman who covers her head if she feels convicted by the Holy Spirit. There is certainly no harm in it, but given the lack of evidence I don’t think it would be prudent for our church to compel or teach its female members to follow this injunction.

    In regard to women speaking in church, Paul said: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says” (1 Cor. 14:33, 34).

    I believe the answer to this injunction is found in the following verse: “If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

    Such a procedure would prevent unseemly interruptions in the service of worship. This makes even more sense when we take into consideration that men and women did not sit together in church.

    Those are my thoughts on why we (Christians) don’t practice the things you listed.




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  35. On Jan 17, 2010, at 3:14 PM, Ron Nielsen wrote:

    Shannon,
    Re: your statement, “I did not attack anyone or judge anyone. I am not imposing my beliefs on an entire group”.

    Unfortunately, be supporting this web site that is exactly what you are doing. That is the whole point of this web site, to harrangue and attack our teachers and to force Shane’s rigid views on the whole church. Part of what makes us Adventists is our belief that everyone should study the Bible for themselves, and that no one should be compelled, except as they are convicted by a clear line of reasoning. That is why I oppose this web site. In my opinion the very effort is a denial of the very principles which gave us our beliefs in the first place. What is being proposed here is of the same character (although not as severe) as the Spanish inquisition. You are trying to force people to go against their own reason and conscience. That is never the way God operates. I am afraid that the supporters of this web site are inadvertantly and with the best of intentions, doing the work of the Evil One in the name of God and orthodoxy.

    Ron




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  36. Bravus says, “It is clearly simply not true that some people follow the entire Bible.”

    The Bible says, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” 1 Peter 2:21-22

    The government of the United States of America necessitates taxation. Claiming lawful exclusion is still “Sola Law” or “Sola Lex Legis” because the law permits lawful exclusion.

    Comparing Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13) does not negate Sola Scriptura any more than comparing law with law make us or our lawyers and accountants lawbreakers.

    No exclusion allows us to disbelieve the creation proclaimed as history in Genesis (Gen. 1:1; 2:1-3), inscribed in stone as law (Ex. 20:8-9, 10-11), referenced by Christ and apostles (Mk. 10:5-6; 2 Cor. 11:3) and given as the reason why we should bow down before and worship Jehovah (Ps. 95:3-4, 5-6; Rev. 4:11).

    There must first be author before authority. Attempting to dethrone the Great Author was, is and will be the plan of Satan who resists God’s creative authority. The non-biblical error of evolution denies Jehovah the Great Author and unquestionably has, does and will lead to atheistic beliefs and infidel existence in its supporters as has been evidenced by its promoters without question.




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  37. From childhood most Adventists have been trained to understand that we “accept the words of the Bible literally unless an obvious symbol is employed”. That is a catch-phrase indellibly etched from childhood for most of us who grew up within the normal SDA educational system.

    Sometimes we paraphrase that as “we take the apparent and obvious meaning of the text” as the first option.

    However in the evolutionist’s constant casting-about-them for a way to squirm out of the ironclad “SIX days you shall labor … for in SIX DAYS the Lord made” problem we have the spin doctoring offerred to us which takes “obvious and apparent meaning” and turns it on its head with the phrase “literalistic and simplistic”.

    A joy to any and every “every wind of doctrine” evangelist that might come along — to be sure.

    @Bravus:

    I do believe the whole Bible is inspired and should be followed.

    The point is that it should not be followed literalistically and simplistically.

    “SIX DAYS you shall labor…for in SIX DAYS the Lord MADE” has a glaringly obvious “apparent and direct meaning” as it turns out.

    So about the only thing that the devotee to evolutionism has left to counter is some happy word-smithing of the form “literalistically”.

    How “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    And the point here is that many who claim to follow a literal Genesis make large claims about how literally they follow the entire Bible… but those claims are not borne out in their practices

    The red herring attempt is of the form “explain all of the Bible first — then and only then will I listen to that inconvenient Ex 20:8-11 summary of Genesis 1-2:3”.

    A facinating yet transparently flawed solution on the part of our evolutionist friends to be sure.

    Trying to “dispense with the claim” that Adventists have always made about “taking the Bible for it’s obvious and apparent literal meaning except in cases where a symbol is obviously employed” seems to be the difficult task left to devoted believers in evolutionism’s doctrines on origins.

    How instructive for the unbiased objective reader.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  38. @Ron:

    Unfortunately, by supporting this web site, that is exactly what you are doing. That is the whole point of this web site, to harrangue and attack our teachers and to force Shane’s rigid views on the whole church.

    The reader is immediately struck by the fiction in Ron’s assumption above – that the Adventist church does not actually believe it’s own Fundamental beliefs as stated in places like FB # 6 regarding the literal aspect of the 7 day creation week and that Adventists do not know about or do not accept the Gift of Prophecy when it speaks directly to the problem of evolutionism as we see in places like 3SG 90-91.

    Ron writes “as if” this is “Shane’s job” to come up with a web site that will convince Adventists to believe Adventist doctrine — as if the “default” is that Adventists DO NOT believe Adventist doctrine and are in fact “evolutionist by default”.

    What kind of fairytale is that Ron??

    How can the objective unbiased reader be expected to take your premise seriously??

    What is the thinking there?

    Part of what makes us Adventists is our belief that everyone should study the Bible for themselves, and that no one should be compelled, except as they are convicted by a clear line of reasoning. That is why I oppose this web site.

    This web site is consistently supportive of SDA FB #6 — in the same way that web sites like Erv Taylor’s “AToday” is dogmatic about it’s devoted belief in the doctrines of evolutionism – as it’s doctrinal view on origins.

    I have to wonder if Ron is going to AToday and talking about how he “does not support it” because it so clearly support evolutionism.

    What is being proposed here is of the same character (although not as severe) as the Spanish inquisition. You are trying to force people to go against their own reason and conscience.

    Again – – pure fiction.

    1. The Spanish inquisition was in response to the Lateran IV directive calling for the “extermination of Jews and heretics”.

    The inquisition resorted to torture as a “mercy measure” to spare the victims the even more horrific torture of eternal hell.

    The attempt to equivocate between the Catholic inquisitions and this web site ( – that merely EXPOSES the degree to which the cancer of evolutionism has gained entry into a few Adventist institutions) can hardly be taken seriously.

    2. Nobody is being forced “against their will” or “against their conscience” in this case. If a Calvinist decides to promote calvinism within an SDA university Bible department, or an evolutionist evolutionism, or a Catholic Catholicism… it is hardly “logical” for them to claim that they are “being forced against the conscience” when university administrators point out that such is not the mission or goal of the university and that those who differ should go to universities that are in line with their particular views on doctrine.

    I am afraid that the supporters of this web site are inadvertantly and with the best of intentions, doing the work of the Evil One in the name of God and orthodoxy.

    While I can respect your right to believe whatever you wish – the point remains about your need to make an argument that has the logical consistency to be taken seriously by the truly objective unbiased reader.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  39. Bravus: Ack, still not as clear as I’d like. Anyway, what I am *trying* to do is dispense with the false claim to absolute literalism.

    Who here believes in an ‘absolute literalism?’ Even inerrant fundamentalists can not sustain such a position. A mostly literal interpretation of the plain Genesis account does not represent ‘absolute literalism.’ As is so often the case, liberal interpreters of the Bible constantly attack ‘straw men’ to justify their unbiblical stance. This type of higher-critical behavior is as old as Schleiermacher’s corpse.
    The constant reference to Old Testament ordinances and histories as justifying the abandonment of the ‘Sola Scriptura’ principle (or the inspiration of the Bible altogether), is nothing more than a straw-man.

    Another hermeneutical principle of the Protestant Reformation, which is often neglected, was the principle of ‘Scriptura Sui Interpres’
    (Scripture is Self Interpreting). The interpretation of the Old Testament by the New Testament writers provides our primary compass for how these passages should be understood and applied
    .
    Most particularly, when it comes to Genesis, the New Testament writers always interpret the relevant passages in a literal manner. Do men in our peculiarly fallen age deign to understand those passages better than they!
    Do they likewise deign to understand the record of nature in a way deemed to be ‘scientific’ when it contradicts inspiration? Both of these approaches are contrary to a Biblical faith (which is supported by true science). Without a Biblical faith we are doomed to be cast adrift on an ocean of infidelity. If we teach our children this approach (no matter how cloaked in prayer and theistic lingo) – we may be dooming them likewise to drown with us.




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  40. @Ron:

    You said: Unfortunately, be [sic] supporting this web site that is exactly what you are doing.

    Judgment of their actions should not be confused with moral judgement.

    You said: That is the whole point of this web site, to harrangue and attack our teachers and to force Shane’s rigid views on the whole church.

    You’re wrong Ron, and here is why you are wrong. First, the whole point of the website is publicize what LSU was been attempting to suppress for decades. Our goal is stated on the About page:

    There are biology professors at La Sierra University who believe and teach evolution as the preferred scientific worldview. There have been many private attempts in the past to address this issue, but each time it has been swept under the rug. Since all private attempts have failed in enlisting LSU’s help, EducateTruth.com has taken the issue public. This allows students and parents to make informed decisions, and also creates awareness in the church. There must be total transparency.

    Who the teachers are is irrelevant to the issue at hand. I am very critical of what they are doing, and will continue to be so until they leave or LSU declares open endorsement of the theory of evolution.

    In regard to forcing my force “rigid views on the whole church,” what views are you talking about? I have made it clear this website endorses the churches official and majority accepted belief in a recent, six-day creation. You obviously disagree with the church’s interpretation of Genesis and that’s fine not a big deal; however, if you were seeking employment within the church that put you in a position to promote your non-SDA views, then I would adequately oppose your hiring.

    You said: Part of what makes us Adventists is our belief that everyone should study the Bible for themselves, and that no one should be compelled, except as they are convicted by a clear line of reasoning.

    In order stay a viable organization it is important that we maintain cohesiveness in our beliefs. It’s one thing to personally disagree with the organization, but it’s another to seek employment in a university to proselytize Adventist students to your personal interpretations.

    You said: You are trying to force people to go against their own reason and conscience. That is never the way God operates.

    Ron, really? Last time I checked being employed in the SDA church was voluntarily done. The church’s position is public, and there can be excuse for not knowing the church’s stated belief in a recent, six-day creation. It’s not a secret that was suddenly sprung upon these professors. They are more than welcome to find an employer that supports their views. Oh, and there won’t be any civil punishment if they leave.

    The Inquisition has got to be one of the most cliche comparisons SDA evolutionists use to defend their right to proselytize their beliefs in the Adventist universities. They exhibit total disregard for our beliefs and the reason we financially support our universities, and then cry foul the moment we call them to be responsible to what we’re paying them to teach.

    That would be the equivalent of me seeking employment at McDonald’s but always slipping in vegie burgers. My manager says, Hey, what are you doing?

    I think vegie burgers are better.

    He says, I don’t care, you’re paid to serve beef burgers.

    Oh, you’re just forcing your rigid views on me.

    He says, Please! Get out of here. You’re fired!

    And that would be the end of my career. I’m flabbergasted that you and others seem to be promoting this pluralistic homogenization with the accepted and stated beliefs of our church.




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  41. I did want to acknowledge the thought and work you put into your responses, Shane. They are all eminently sensible responses, and I agree with the points you have made.

    Take the issue of women not speaking out in church. As you noted, the underlying principle is good order and appropriate respect in church. That takes a different specific shape in a culture where men and women sit on opposite sides of the church (and, incidentally, where women were typically much less educated than their husbands and therefore more likely to need to ask them to explain what was said in church) than in a modern situation. And the focus of understanding those texts must therefore be, not on keeping women silent in church, but on what steps we should implement to ensure good order and appropriate respect in church. The underlying principle is the heart, and the expression of that principle will differ in different cultures.

    Now, what is the underlying principle of the Creation story? That God is the Creator. Is it possible (I ask the question rather than make a statement) that a story of miraculous creation in 6 days was a cultural expression of this underlying principle that was appropriate at a particular place and time, but that in a modern scientific culture a different cultural expression can occur that still retains the central underlying principle?




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  42. The response from Bravus illustrates the point that the doctrines of evolutionism cut at the very heart of the Christian faith. Not only does it call the Christian to choose an atheist evolutionist doctrine on origins – but it also demands a revisionist approach to the entire subject of inspiration.

    Instead of the Bible teaching “Holy men of old moved by the Holy Spirit – spoke from GOD” as the mechanism for “scripture” – we have “cultural expressions” that are in fact entire fictional accounts meant to be taken like a parable – where the facts and details are imaginary but the principle is still applicable.

    Bravus said –
    Now, what is the underlying principle of the Creation story? That God is the Creator. Is it possible (I ask the question rather than make a statement) that a story of miraculous creation in 6 days was a cultural expression of this underlying principle that was appropriate at a particular place and time, but that in a modern scientific culture a different cultural expression can occur that still retains the central underlying principle?

    http://www.educatetruth.com/media/the-hinge-of-our-faith/comment-page-1/#comment-8481

    That is a good summary proposal on Bravus’ part illustrating the kind of “downsizing” of the concept of inspiration itself.

    And if someone should choose that “downsize option” then you end up with OTHER interesting “cultural expressions” – like “the virgin birth” and “the bodily resurrection of Christ” and the miracles of Christ, and the flood, and Jonah, and the Pillar of fire by day, the parting of the Red Sea, the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

    An “endless number of cultural expressions” – immediately comes up – so that the Bible can be downsized to the fictional work that Richard Dawkins has been claiming that it was all along.

    How can this possibly be missed by the objective unbiased reader?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  43. Re. Bob Ryan “However in the evolutionist’s constant casting-about-them for a way to squirm out of the ironclad “SIX days you shall labor … for in SIX DAYS the Lord made”

    Yes. Bob. that is exactly the rub isn’t it. The trouble is every time a new life form comes into exhistence, I keep thinking, Gee, the Lord didn’t just create in six days. Since this new creature didn’t exhist until 6 months ago, it must have taken at least 6 days plus 6 thousand years. How can I possibly interpret this passage in a way that still allows me to keep my faith intact.

    Maybe I am one of the poor students who have been harmed by a poor Adventist Education, but so far no one has shown me how to reconcile “in six days the Lord made” with what happened last week. If you have an answer, I would love to hear about it.




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  44. @Ron:

    Ron says:
    January 20, 2010 Re. Bob Ryan

    Bob Ryan says
    “However in the evolutionist’s constant casting-about-them for a way to squirm out of the ironclad “SIX days you shall labor … for in SIX DAYS the Lord made”

    Yes. Bob. that is exactly the rub isn’t it. The trouble is every time a new life form comes into exhistence, I keep thinking, Gee, the Lord didn’t just create in six days. Since this new creature didn’t exhist until 6 months ago, it must have taken at least 6 days plus 6 thousand years. How can I possibly interpret this passage in a way that still allows me to keep my faith intact.

    Ron you bring up a good point. IF we were seeing reptiles turn into birds about every 6 months – we would sure have a hard time reconciling what we see happening in the lab – with what we read in the Word of God regarding the origin of birds on the 5th day of creation week.

    WoW – I mean if such a happy fiction were happening — well then we would really have a big problem.

    Oh no wait! you are saying you actually live in that fictional world?

    Maybe I am one of the poor students who have been harmed by a poor Adventist Education, but so far no one has shown me how to reconcile “in six days the Lord made” with what happened last week.

    I think that Richard Dawkins would agree — “birds came from reptiles” so the Bible is wrong.

    Fortunately we don’t have that problem today – primarily because storytelling is not actually “science” – as it turns out.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  45. @Bravus:

    Bravus says:
    January 20, 2010 So, Bob, your wife never speaks in church at all?

    Is this an “anything but the subject of this thread” post on your part Bravus??

    What is up with that?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  46. Ron says, “the Lord didn’t just create in six days. Since this new creature didn’t exhist until 6 months ago, it must have taken at least 6 days plus 6 thousand years.”

    Hebrews 7:10 says, “For [Levi] was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.”

    1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

    Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

    Therefore, by creating the parent life-forms and ecosystem spoken of in Genesis 1, God authored their offspring as far as it was not hijacked by the devil through disobedience.

    God bless,

    Rich




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  47. Eukaryote variation within a static genome is seen every day.

    But storytelling about “birds coming from reptiles” is an appeal to genome plasticity never seen in the lab, never documented in science, merely “imagined” by desperate atheists seeking for an alternate solution for “origins” other than what we find in Genesis 1:2-2:3 and Exodus 20:8-11.




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  48. @BobRyan:

    Is this an “anything but the subject of this thread” post on your part Bravus??

    What is up with that?

    It’s right on the topic of the thread. Do you or do you not believe that women must keep silent in church? That is what the Bible says. You claimed that my analysis of the texts, based on Shane’s explanation of why Christians no longer follow the letter of these texts, was an inappropriate approach and a distortion of and attack on Scripture.

    If you do not accept that approach (exemplified by Shane as well as by me), then the only logical approach I can see is that you do indeed accept that women must be silent in church. It’s not an Old Testament statute or ceremonial law, it’s a pretty direct instruction from Paul in Scripture.

    The key to this thread is our use and interpretation of Scripture in formulating our doctrines as Seventh-day Adventists. My question could not be more on-topic.




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  49. The application is based on the principle based on historical fact. That application is subjection (1 Tim. 2:11.) That principle is precedence (1 Tim. 2:13-14.) The creation is that event in which Adam was formed with precedence to Eve (Gen. 1-2.)

    God bless,

    Rich




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  50. Re: Shane’s point:

    “This web site only wants to notify the adventist parent so they can make their own decisions.” (Please pardon my paraphrase since it is hard to scroll through so many replys to find the original again.)

    If that is all you were doing, it would be justifiable, and I could accept that. Parents could make up their minds, and market forces would ultimately prevail, but as soon as you go after a teachers job, then that is a form a persecution. If you don’t believe that ask the Liberty department about persecution when an Adventist looses thier job for not working on Sabbath.

    “They are working volunarily for an Adventist instituion”

    Yes, there is free will on both sides during the hiring process, but once hired, threatening the job is a form of coersion, and doctrinal coersion was the guiding principle behind the inquisition. I could accept your argument if this were the Religion department, and you were seeking to fire a teacher due to differences in theology. I think the church would be within its rights then, but this is not a religion class, this is a science class and scientific truth is not determined by vote, even by the General Conference. Our fundamental beliefs do NOT say that the Bible is authoritative for understanding science (quoted above). The Bible does not say that it is authoritative in science, and Mrs. White at most said the Bible and Nature are equal in authority, and in at least one place, she said science was preeminent over theology.

    Again, Mrs White said that we would find that some of our fundamental beliefs were in error and that we would have to change them. (That is my paraphrase, the term hadn’t been coined yet when she wrote.) You can’t change a fundamental belief if you can’t even discuss it, and you can’t have a civil discussion under threat. As quoted above, the majority opinion doesn’t make it right, even if the opinion is that of the GC.

    It doesn’t help our cause to just put our head in the sand and say evolution doesn’t happen, because it does. A simple denial of facts is not ultimately going to prevail. If we want to be credible as Adventist’s we have to do the hard work of reconciling our understanding of both scripture and science.

    If that were easy, the Geoscience Research Institute would have done it by now. The GC has spent millions of dollars over several decades to try to find evidence supporting a universal flood and a recent creation, and to date, they have not found any convincing evidence for either. I don’t think you can fire a science teacher for teaching science, and I don’t think you can expect one teacher to do what all the thought leaders in the entire denomination have been unable to do.

    Stop threatening the job, and I am with you, but I stand my my statement that coersion of thought and belief is the work of the Devil.




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  51. Bravus: Multiple times (Marium, Debora, Jezabel, and Ester) in the Bible women are listed as leading in both the nation and in worship. This contrasts with Paul’s advice for his time. The Bible itself is its own guide as a result. It’s obvious Paul’s advice was cultural.

    On the other hand, when creation is mentioned, it is described as a specific time of 6 days and rest on the 7th. In the 10, commandments that God wrote with His own finger, He said He made the earth in 6 days and rested the 7th. At no place in the Bible does it say that creation could have been prolonged or man could have descended from anything but the hand of God’s own making. Again, the Bible is consistent here. There are some that may need to see the creation week for themselves to know for sure but there has to be some faith or you will have to deny and then the issues is to throw out the Bible’s statements altogether.

    What I’m trying to explain is that Biblical interpretation is based on line upon line. You cannot read one thing and say it’s all there. It is okay to ask for and explanation though from the Bible.




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  52. Ron: I agree with you to a point but who is doing the coercion of thought and belief? The fundamentalists resisting the changes or the teachers teaching the changes? Just because they are doing the implanting of the ideas in young minds and you may happen to think that they are right, does that make them any less coercive in at free society when asked not to by parents and an organization. What if it was something you disagreed with they were teaching your children–like intolerance of some kind? How would you feel. Of course, our organization is against that as well. But what if the school for some reason supported it? Wouldn’t you feel it to be coercive to you children’s thought’s and beliefs? Wouldn’t you feel a certain responsibility to your church community to deal with the issue as oppose to just let people know that there are teachers that are bigots at that school?

    I know there are a lot of suppositions, but for a moment, try and put yourself on the other side of the fence.

    Honestly, if this was not a free society, I would agree with you and support the teachers as they would just be trying to make ends meet with what ever job they could do. But we live in the USA. This is a free country and you can be free to teach where ever you please. They did not have to teach at LSU or anywhere else for that matter. This changes the equation a bit don’t you think? But still there is the matter of teachers that are preaching evolution to youth and you tell me who is more coersive?–it is as much a faith as any religious endeavor (I wasn’t there, were you).




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  53. @BobRyan to Braus regarding “women silent in church” rabbit trail:

    Is this an “anything but the subject of this thread” post on your part Bravus??

    What is up with that?

    @Bravus:

    Bravus said:
    It’s right on the topic of the thread. Do you or do you not believe that women must keep silent in church? That is what the Bible says. You claimed that my analysis of the texts, based on Shane’s explanation of why Christians no longer follow the letter of these texts, was an inappropriate approach and a distortion of and attack on Scripture.

    If you do not accept that approach (exemplified by Shane as well as by me), then the only logical approach I can see is that you do indeed accept that women must be silent in church. It’s not an Old Testament statute or ceremonial law, it’s a pretty direct instruction from Paul in Scripture.

    1. I don’t recall ever evaluating your view of Paul’s statements on Women or ever commenting on Shane’s comment on that off-topic subject. If you find such a post from me – please point to it.

    My only comment is that it is off-topic —

    2. Your argument is of the classic atheist/agnostic proof-by-puzzle form “if I can find any question at all in all of scripture that you have not solved then we need not pay attention to clear Bible statements on subjects like the resurrection of Christ, virgin birth, creation in six days.”

    So as we have in this case — suppose I had not done the exegesis on the subject of Paul’s affirmation of “women prophesying” in church (1Cor 11:5) in the context where EACH person in church “has a teaching, has a revelation” 1Cor 14:26 — so that I did not know his reference to women “silent in church” was specific to the issue of order-vs-confusion (1Cor 14:33) where women were in that case speaking to their own husbands (across the isle – so to speak) and disrupting church, which is distinct from the case where Paul affirms women “having a Psalms, or a Teaching or a Revelation” when they meet for worship.

    So in that case — where I had not done the study — does my lack of complete knowledge on the subject of women in church – open wide the doors to ignore the most explicit doctrines in scripture on the resurrection, the virgin birth, the Creation??

    For agnostics and atheists – that is exactly the point they often try to make. I am a bit surprised to see an Adventist go there.

    Bravus said:
    The key to this thread is our use and interpretation of Scripture in formulating our doctrines as Seventh-day Adventists.

    My question could not be more on-topic.

    3. While your women-in-church subject is indeed “off topic” you are right that the more basic attack on the Bible as a trustworthy document is central to your idea above that supposes that the most basic and obvious points of scripture (virgin birth, resurrection, creation account and fall of man) can be “up for grabs” using the excuse like “well what do you know about women speaking in church”.

    If we ever entertained such a flawed premise for accepting what the Bible says – we would soon cease to be Christian at all.

    4. This highlights the key feature of evolutionism – its defense “has no limit” – it will take away the foundation for all of Christianity if once you choose to go down that junk-science and storytelling path instead of trusting in truth, the obvious statements of scripture, and actual provable “hard” science.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  54. @Ron:

    Ron says:
    January 20, 2010 Re: Shane’s point:

    “This web site only wants to notify the adventist parent so they can make their own decisions.” (Please pardon my paraphrase since it is hard to scroll through so many replys to find the original again.)

    If that is all you were doing, it would be justifiable, and I could accept that. Parents could make up their minds, and market forces would ultimately prevail, but as soon as you go after a teachers job, then that is a form a persecution. If you don’t believe that ask the Liberty department about persecution when an Adventist looses thier job for not working on Sabbath.

    First of all you are right about this being a religious question – those who believe in the religion of atheist evolutionist dogma regarding origins vs those who believe the Bible account.

    But you are wrong in your illustration of Adventists vs Sabbath keeping. It would be more “accurate” to say “talk to religious liberty department about cases where Adventists teaching in Catholic University Bible classes, get fired for teaching the SDA view on the Antichrist and 666”.

    Not one single RL paper could be written in that case charging the RC institution with “persecution”.

    The “religion of evolutionists” demands that they sing songs about “birds coming from reptiles” in both biology classes and in religion classes — like they do at LSU. As it turns out – “actual science” requires no such worshipful devotion to atheist dogma – wrongheadedly followed by professed christians. The same is true of that same storytelling in our religion classes.

    The point could not be more obvious.

    I do not understand how you are supposedly so confused in this regard.

    Where is the difficulty in seeing the point?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  55. @Ron:

    I could accept your argument if this were the Religion department, and you were seeking to fire a teacher due to differences in theology. I think the church would be within its rights then, but this is not a religion class, this is a science class and scientific truth is not determined by vote, even by the General Conference. Our fundamental beliefs do NOT say that the Bible is authoritative for understanding science (quoted above). The Bible does not say that it is authoritative in science, and Mrs. White at most said the Bible and Nature are equal in authority, and in at least one place, she said science was preeminent over theology.

    1. Mrs White is very clear on the Evolution-vs-the-Bible topic in 3SG 90-91 – which totally contradicts your efforts to imply she is in some way agreeing with evolution “as if it were actual science”.

    2. Your premise above about “science” vs the “Bible” presumes that evolutionism is not the junk-science bad-religion that even atheist evolutionists themselves complain about.

    3. Your argument about the Bible and understanding science — makes no sense at all. Science is the study of nature – reflecting our imperfect level of understanding of what God has made. Romans 1 makes it clear that even godless pagans are “without excuse” for the “invisible attributes of God are CLEARLY SEEN in the things that have been MADE”. The effort to amputate the creator from His Creation is not something the Bible or Ellen White has ever endorsed.

    When atheists freely admit that there is no such thing as “life popping out of non-living environments” in the lab yet CLING to the junk-science “BELIEF” in abiogenesis “anyway” — they are telling you that the argument is not one of science – but of religion.

    When atheists freely admit that there is no such thing as reptiles observed in the lab to be “turning into birds” they are telling you that this is not a “science observation” but rather it is junk-science religion on their part – with dogma about evolution being held forth as though it were “revealed truth” (to quote Colin Patterson’s lament about his own fellow evolutionist true believers).

    You seem to dismiss the inconvenient details that even atheist evolutionists themselves are not so quick to ignore.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. @Ron:

    It doesn’t help our cause to just put our head in the sand and say evolution doesn’t happen, because it does. A simple denial of facts is not ultimately going to prevail. If we want to be credible as Adventist’s we have to do the hard work of reconciling our understanding of both scripture and science.

    If that were easy, the Geoscience Research Institute would have done it by now.

    When our atheist friends speak of “birds coming from reptiles” (calling that “evolution” of course) and then you add “Evolution does happen” you are falling into the trap they have set. They want the public to know that “evolution teaches that birds come from reptiles” — then they want the public to hear Christians saying “there is no use in denying that evolution happens — because it does happen”.

    Thus “the conscience of society” (the Christian church) is bent to the usages of the evolutionist evangelist.

    It would be like the church sayhing “there is no use in denying atheism because atheism is correct” – based on the idea that when atheists argue “there is no God” they often resort to arguments of the form “you cannot show me God in a test tube” and since Christians agree that there is no “God in a test tube” option — well then “At some level” the atheist argument ‘is true’.

    It does nothing but confuse the point – for Christians to take such nonsensical paths as if they are helping clarify something. All they do in such cases – is serve the agenda of evolutionist evangelists.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  57. At the heart of this evolution-vs-creation issue we have seen the endless cycle of Bible believing Christians claiming “The Bible is clear… the Bible is clear” regarding Creation (for example Ex 20:8-11 SIX days you shall labor … for in SIX days the Lord MADE…) — and the evolutionist believing Christians attempting to try and squirm out of that difficult problem.

    update!

    Bravus offers us the “women speaking in church” evolutionist solution (apparently) as an example of “the Bible is clear.. the Bible is clear” where he supposes that Bible believing Christians simply “choose to ignore the Bible no matter HOW clear it is” whenever it suits them.

    The point of his argument is that the problem evolutionists have been facing with “the Bible is clear” arguments based on Ex 20:8-11 should not be taken as “too much of a problem” – since (supposedly) the Bible can be ignored no matter how clear it is – whenever it pleases Christians to do so. (Women in church is given as Bravus’ example of this).

    While I did give the answer to that specific women-in-church “puzzle” he offerred, I don’t want us to miss the more important frameshift in Bravus’ underlying argument on behalf of evolutionism. Namely that his argument now GRANTS that “the Bible IS CLEAR…” when it comes to creation and Ex 20:8-11 being in SIX DAYS – and also GRANTS that evolutionists “need” to ignore it. That is HUGE!

    Bravus then shows how in this new model they seek “air cover” by trying to find some place in scripture where they believe that Bible believing Christians ALSO employ the same tactic used by evolution-believing Christians – namely the tactic of ignoring the Bible on some issues no matter how clearly the Bible speaks to a given point.

    In other words the evolutionist argument has frameshifted from their previously failed positions (of the form “no no — the Bible is unclear when it comes to creationism OR possibly the Bible IS CLEARLY teaching evolutionism”) to the new proposed argument from Bravus that is of the form-

    “ok – the Bible clearly teaches the 7 day Creation week but we ignore the Bible — just like you Bible believing Christians do in other places (like women speaking in church)… no matter how clear the Bible is on the subjects you choose to ignore”.

    THAT my friends is a monumental pivot point in their string of arguments so far.

    It deserves pause for thought and reflection on the implications of that new direction.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  58. OK, well, at least it looks like something logical. Honestly though, there are still a few spots where the logic is tortured at best. Do you really think that your long diatribes are causing people to admire God? Shannon went on at length about the Woman Caught in Adultry. Here is a fairly clear case of religious people being concerned about the “authority of scripture”, and yet Jesus gave no scriptural responce at all. Instead he simply called their bluff. (That is: they accused him of ignoring scripture by not stoning the woman, so he challenged them to stone her themselves. The “without sin” condition just rubbed the message in even stronger, not only were they too chicken to do themselves but they apparently lacked righteousness as well) Personally, I do not believe that God, whose Garden in Eden was not perfect without the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, would insist on firing teachers for teaching science.




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  59. @Martin Schratt: Your personal beliefs may be all well and good or dead wrong. In regard to the issue with LSU, your beliefs are irrelevant and here’s why: Because it’s all about what the Seventh-day Adventist church believes and wants taught in their member funded universities. As a body of believers we have decided we believe in recent, six-day creation. The church does not believe in the theory of evolution. Perhaps a time will come when the subject is up for discussion and possible change, then all these debates about creation vs. evolution would have some value, but in regard to this issue they don’t.




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  60. The Bible says, “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) rather than, “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin more teaching others the same. Be the serpent in the tree of knowledge of good and evil in Israel.” John x:xx

    The serpent was not in the tree of life. The church is to be bearing fruit in spirit and in truth as the body of Christ. Satan’s tactic today is what it was to Eve – unbelief in God’s Word: “Has God said?” Genesis 3:1

    Yes, God did say. It is written here: Exodus 20:11, among many.

    God bless,

    Rich




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  61. @Martin Schratt:

    I do not believe that God, whose Garden in Eden was not perfect without the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, would insist on firing teachers for teaching science.

    That is the one thing you posted that made some sense – and of course to that part I would agree.

    too bad our Christian evolutionists are not mastering the concept that even atheist evolutionists like Coling Patterson state when lamenting the evolutionist “stories easy enough to make up — but they are NOT SCIENCE” in their “everything that evolutionist say must be SCIENCE” complaints here.

    God is not calling for people to stop teaching science – HE is calling for them to stop “the stories easy enough to make up – but they are NOT science”.

    How sad that among evolutionists – it is apparently only the atheist evolutionists that are able to grasp and even lament that problem in the evolutionist system of storytelling about “how one thing came from another”.

    Oh well – at least the objective unbiased readers can see the point clearly!

    BTW – your statement above makes it “appear” that the Bible believing Christians are choosing the tree of life – while the evolutionist-believing Christians are choosing the serpent in the tree of knowledge… hmm. Another point of agreement I think.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. @Martin Schratt:

    Here is a fairly clear case of religious people being concerned about the “authority of scripture”, and yet Jesus gave no scriptural responce at all. Instead he simply called their bluff. (That is: they accused him of ignoring scripture by not stoning the woman, so he challenged them to stone her themselves. The “without sin” condition just rubbed the message in even stronger, not only were they too chicken to do themselves but they apparently lacked righteousness as well)

    1. You seem to be arguing that Jesus was free to ignore the plain statements of scripture — so we too should be free to do it whenever the dictates of atheist evolutionist dogma demand it.

    However Christ was clear in Matt 5:17 that His work was not to in the least respect set aside God’s Law. Further in Matt 5:18-19 that not the smallest aspect of the Word of God can be set aside – and then pronounces a curse on anyone who should attempt to do such a thing.

    2. You seem to argue that the people in the story were concerned about scripture but too afraid to take action when a violation of scripture was discovered. (As if to say that those today who oppose scripture-denying doctrines on origins found in evolutionism – are also too afraid to fire the teachers within our schools that are engaged in such blatant rebellion against the Word of God.)

    I find that analogy on your part to be facinating – even though in the story you quote – the problem with the Jewish leaders is NOT that they were “afraid to take action”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  63. Bob, It remains a mystery to my why you insist on equating evolution with athiesm. Evolution is a statement about how living organisms change from generation to generation. Athiesm is a statement about whether God is involved in the process. Those two concepts aren’t totaly separeate, and independent issues.

    Also your references to evolution as life coming from organic material, or birds coming from reptiles is totally irrelevant. Life doesn’t need to come from inorganic material, and we don’t need birds to come from dinasaurs, because we already have birds, and we see that the birds we have are continuing to evolve. All life that we know of today is in the process of evolving.




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  64. Shannon, I don’t think you can equate a philosoophical, or scientific idea, with bigotry or hate speech. Of course we should oppose anything that is hurtful to another human being. That is in fact why I am opposing the intent if this web sight. It is hurtfull to the students and teachers at LSU, and it is hurtful to the principle of free speach, and religious freedom that we as Adventists support.




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  65. Ron Nielson,

    There is good experiential evidence that strongly suggests that the promotion of theistic evolution potentially leads to an agnostic or atheistic worldview.

    The theory of evolution at the very least holds hands with atheism.




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  66. First I read this —

    @Shane Hilde:

    4. Extreme cases of derision have occurred toward students who believe in creation on campus. For example, at the conclusion of a Breakout session at LSU (Feb. 2009) a group of about four students (creationists) asked the professor, who had just finished a talk negating a recent, six-day creation, on what basis then do we observe the Sabbath. This angered another biology professor in the front row. Things escalated into yelling. Yes, the professor was yelling at these students. He soon lost control and said, “Your kind of thinking drives planes into buildings!” Other words such as stupid and ignorant were directed toward them.

    Chris Olmo, one of the four, said, “I felt betrayed because I couldn’t even ask a question. If I ask a question they call me ignorant. We do believe in science we just don’t believe in evolution. How are you supposed to learn in that kind of environment.” This was an extreme, but there have been other incidents which could be labelled minor in comparison. Seventh-day Adventist students should feel free to express their beliefs without this kind of treatment.

    And of course given 3SG 90-91 identifying belief in evolutionism among Christians as “the worst kind of infidelity” it is not too suprising that we might see the vehement and obviously viceral level of opposition to the truth of God’s Word that is presented in the above example.

    And then I read this –

    @rnielsen7222@msn.com:

    Shannon, I don’t think you can equate a philosoophical, or scientific idea, with bigotry or hate speech. Of course we should oppose anything that is hurtful to another human being.

    That is in fact why I am opposing the intent if this web sight. It is hurtfull to the students and teachers at LSU, and it is hurtful to the principle of free speach, and religious freedom that we as Adventists support.

    It appears here that the “disguised” aspect to the problem of “disguised infidelity” is being unmasked here – in the form of the wild claim that disguised infidelity also called “the worst kind of infidelity” — actually “does no harm”.

    Comparing the two comments, to discover just how that “disguise” has been removed, is left as an exercise for the reader.

    But I will add this conclusion of my own – inneffective SDA administrators who have even an ounce of responsibility for allowing the cancer of evolutionism to continue in our schools have once again lost the shelter of that last piece of rock to hide their innaction behind.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  67. rnielsen7222@msn.com: Shannon, I don’t think you can equate a philosoophical, or scientific idea, with bigotry or hate speech.Of course we should oppose anything that is hurtful to another human being.That is in fact why I am opposing the intent if this web sight.It is hurtfull to the students and teachers at LSU, and it is hurtful to the principle of free speach, and religious freedom that we as Adventists support.   

    Ron: If I get your point correctly then, you cannot have a private organization built on principals to believe anything specific because that would violate the principal of free speech and freedom of religion–which is/are the overriding good in these situations. If you do have those principals, you have to hold them loosely at best because you cannot teach or enforce anything specifically and only let anarchy reign due to not wanting to have problems with free speech or religious freedom.

    You of course know that this would either no longer be a private organization and fit the definition of a public school or break down shortly after formation. Common, clear goals and beliefs are what hold a group of people together. Once you remove those or make the less and less distinct, you will have more and more problems maintaining the organization.

    If your child was being preached at by another person who believed in fundamental creationist Adventism and he asked them to stop–they didn’t. Then he called for help to removed the person doing it as they were in his room or house, and they were removed. Would you feel that was in appropriate behavior on his part? I wouldn’t. This is the same scenario just at a bigger level. This is a private location. Someone is preaching a belief (still a theory) as fact that is against our organization’s stated wishes/beliefs. Why would it be any different than asking a preacher to leave your home after he has said what he has come to say? It has nothing to do with hate or fear–I just don’t want to hear it anymore in my own house. He can preach outside. That is why I have my own land and home. The same is true of private schools. We are able to say the kind of education our children and student get. That is the good and bad of it. It may not be as open minded as some would like–that is why there is public education. Same is true with the preacher–you can always go outside to hear him or even invite him back in. There is no law though or moral code that says you hate if you do not keep him in your house to listen to him 24/7.




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  68. Let’s all be a little honest. People act like the only way a student ever can learn about evolution is in the classroom from an evolutionist teacher. If these requirements are not met, then you have not learned about this branch of scientific belief (?) adequately. I think that these suppositions are not necessarily true. Couldn’t students actually learn many other ways? Are non-believers able to teach a subject well–I think so. Also, there have been statements as far as to imply that you cannot learn science unless you understand origins–simply not true. It is like saying you cannot understand Physics if you cannot master Chemistry–yes they overlap but they are not prerequisite.




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  69. Shannon: It is like saying you cannot understand Physics if you cannot master Chemistry–yes they overlap but they are not prerequisite.

    Shannon,
    A better analogy might be that you can’t understand physics without understanding mathmatics.
    Just as mathmatics describe physics, so evolution describes biology.
    Evolution is the whole purpose of DNA. That is what DNA does, and life really isn’t sustainable unless it evolves.
    You might as well try to convince a physicist that gravity doesn’t exhist, as to try to convince a biologist that evolution doesn’t exhist. Firing a biology teacher for teaching evolution makes about as much sense as firing a physics teacher because they no longer teach that the world is flat.




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  70. Shannon: If I get your point correctly then, you cannot have a private organization built on principals to believe anything specific because that would violate the principal of free speech and freedom of religion–which is/are the overriding good in these situations.

    Of course you can have a private organization that is limited to teaching whatever falsehood you want, it just can’t be an Adventist organization, because the most fundamental principle of Adventism is a commitment to Present Truth, and it is not possible to arrive at Present Truth in a censored environment. Do you think the development of our Adventist beliefs would have been possible in the environment that you are proposing to impose? No, of course not. Again, the whole purpose of Adventism is to teach truths that are considered heresy by other denominations. If we censor discussion of beliefs we don’t agree with, then we are violating the very freedoms that are foundational to our own exhistence.

    Remember, as Adventists, “We have nothing to fear for the future excet as we forget how God has led us in the past”. Unlike every other organization that has exhisted before us, we cannot be protective of our beliefs, because our commitment isn’t to dogma, but to Truth.




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  71. BobRyan: “the worst kind of infidelity”

    Bob, I think the key word here is infidelity. It is easy to pick and chose Ellen White, or Bible quotes to bolster pre-concieved ideas, but I think if one reads everything Mrs. White says on the subject with an open mind, you will discover that what she is objecting to is using science to undermine a belief in God. Mrs. White was never critical toward science it self, in fact she stated that one of the reasons we are to teach science in our schools is to correct errors in theology. In another statement she made it clear that since the Bible and Creation both come from the hand of God that it is impossible for them to be contradictory.
    So if science and the Bible seem to be contradictory, it is because we are not understanding one or both properly. And again, it not possible to come to an honest understanding if the discussion is being censored.




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  72. BobRyan: It would be like the church sayhing “there is no use in denying atheism because atheism is correct” – based on the idea that when atheists argue “there is no God” they often resort to arguments of the form “you cannot show me God in a test tube” and since Christians agree that there is no “God in a test tube” option — well then “At some level” the atheist argument ‘is true’.

    I’m sorry Bob, I am not following your reasoning. In the case of evolution, we Do have God/Evolution in a test tube.




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  73. BobRyan: BTW – your statement above makes it “appear” that the Bible believing Christians are choosing the tree of life – while the evolutionist-believing Christians are choosing the serpent in the tree of knowledge… hmm. Another point of agreement I think.

    Actually, I think you missed the point. The point is that God placed both trees in the garden and allowed man to choose. God didn’t censor Satan just because God didn’t believe what he was saying. Isn’t that an example we should follow?




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  74. BobRyan: But you are wrong in your illustration of Adventists vs Sabbath keeping. It would be more “accurate” to say “talk to religious liberty department about cases where Adventists teaching in Catholic University Bible classes, get fired for teaching the SDA view on the Antichrist and 666″.

    It is interesting that you should use the example of the Catholics. The Catholics did in the Spanish inquisition (in a big way) exactly what you are proposing to do (in a smaller way) by firing a teacher.

    The Catholics make no pretext about free speech or freedom of thought. In Catholicism there is only one thinker the pope. To dismiss an Adventist teaching in a Catholic university is entirely consistent with Catholic philosophy.

    Adventists however are not aspiring to be like the Catholics. We believe in the Priesthood of all believers, and that all believers have both the right and the responsibility to be be careful thinkers, and that all have equal access to the help of the Holy Spirit. To fire a teacher that is teaching what he believes to be truth is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of Adventism.




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  75. Shannon: What if it was something you disagreed with they were teaching your children–like intolerance of some kind? How would you feel. Of course, our organization is against that as well. But what if the school for some reason supported it? Wouldn’t you feel it to be coercive to you children’s thought’s and beliefs? Wouldn’t you feel a certain responsibility to your church community to deal with the issue as oppose to just let people know that there are teachers that are bigots at that school?

    Shannon, You hit the nail squarely on the head. I agree with you 100%. I would be very angry if the school were teaching bigotry and intolerance. I think that is exactly what the school would be teaching my daughter if they fired the teacher, and that is exactly why I am spending so much time opposing “Educate Truth”.

    No, I don’t believe that a teacher teaching what they believe to be true on a controversial topic is being coersive.




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  76. Ron, I wish Randal Wisbey and LaSierra were as honest and up-front as you are about this issue. You say, “These professors really believe in Darwinism, and they should be allowed to teach what they believe.”

    But LaSierra says, “We are teaching ABOUT Darwinism, not that Darwinism is the truth. We are just preparing our students for what they will hear in graduate school at a public university.” Only, that is not the truth. They are lying, and their lies are being exposed.

    If LaSierra wants to defend the teaching of Darwinism as truth on the basis that, “that is what the professors believe, and they should be allowed to teach what they believe,” then LaSierra should say that. I think Shane, Sean, and most of the rest of us would be thrilled with that level of candor.




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  77. @Ron:

    Shannon, You hit the nail squarely on the head. I agree with you 100%. I would be very angry if the school were teaching bigotry and intolerance. I think that is exactly what the school would be teaching my daughter if they fired the teacher, and that is exactly why I am spending so much time opposing “Educate Truth”.

    No, I don’t believe that a teacher teaching what they believe to be true on a controversial topic is being coersive.

    Hmmm – so hindusm, buddhism, atheism, spiritism all “Welcomed” courses of study AS LONG as the teacher promoting them “really believes in them”??? That my friend is your everyday public university you are describing!

    It is often surprising just how closely the arguments for LSU evolutionism map to “we desire to be the best public university that Adventist tuition, tithe and offering dollars can buy”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  78. BobRyan said:
    But you are wrong in your illustration of Adventists vs Sabbath keeping. It would be more “accurate” to say “talk to religious liberty department about cases where Adventists teaching in Catholic University Bible classes, get fired for teaching the SDA view on the Antichrist and 666″.

    Thus illustrating the fallacy in claiming that private institution should have a “we don’t care” policy about what gets taught in their own schools.

    @Ron:

    It is interesting that you should use the example of the Catholics. The Catholics did in the Spanish inquisition (in a big way) exactly what you are proposing to do (in a smaller way)

    Really?

    The Catholics inquisition has been downsized to “Catholics in the dark ages refused to pay professors in their universities to say that the Catholic Church was connected to 666 and the mark of the beast”??

    That is the level of “downsizing history” and gross equivocation that the defense for LSU demands now days?

    I find that revisionist history effort on your part to be amazing — and also more than a little “instructive” when it comes to stating just what is “necessary” to defend the LSU evolutionist agenda.

    Still it is a “nice thought” to imagine that the Dark Ages and Inquisition was really the “evil” of the RCC not allowing professors to connect 666 with the Catholic church and “still get paid for it” by the Catholic church.

    What a wonderful way to trivialize the 50 million saints whose lives were sacrificed in what is apparently now just “a salary and employment issue”.

    😉

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  79. BobRyan: It would be like the church sayhing “there is no use in denying atheism because atheism is correct” – based on the idea that when atheists argue “there is no God” they often resort to arguments of the form “you cannot show me God in a test tube” and since Christians agree that there is no “God in a test tube” option — well then “At some level” the atheist argument ‘is true’.

    @Ron:

    I’m sorry Bob, I am not following your reasoning. In the case of evolution, we Do have God/Evolution in a test tube.

    Well there is a well kept secret if ever there was one!!

    Please tell us more!!

    This would be a game changer – that is for sure.




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  80. I mentioned the 3SG 90-91 statement about the “worst kind of infidelity” and then we have this response.

    @Ron:

    Bob, I think the key word here is infidelity. It is easy to pick and chose Ellen White, or Bible quotes to bolster pre-concieved ideas, but I think if one reads everything Mrs. White says on the subject with an open mind, you will discover that what she is objecting to is using science to undermine a belief in God. Mrs. White was never critical toward science it self, in fact she stated that one of the reasons we are to teach science in our schools is to correct errors in theology.

    Well I do agree that this is not a complaint about “Science itself” — rather it is a complaint about the junk-science based religion known as evolutionism where even atheist evolutionists themselves talk about “stories easy enough to makup up” about arguments from the fossil record imagining that it shows “one thing coming from another”.

    But since you ask that we look closely at what she said — let’s do!

    Ellen White — 3SG 90-91
    Chapter IX. – Disguised Infidelity

    I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. The great God in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.” God gives us the productions of his work at the close of each literal day. Each day was accounted of him a generation, because every day he generated or produced some new portion of his work. On the seventh day of the first week God rested from his work, and then blessed the day of his rest, and set it apart for the use of man. The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days. {3SG 90.1}

    When God spake his law with an audible voice from Sinai, he introduced the Sabbath by saying, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” He then declares definitely what shall be done on the six days, and what shall not be done on the seventh. He then, in giving the reason for thus observing the week, points them back to his example on the first seven days of time. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” This reason appears beautiful and forcible when we understand the record of creation to mean literal days. The first six days of each week are given to man in which to labor, because God employed the same period of the first week in the work of creation. The seventh day God has reserved as a day of rest, in commemoration of his rest during the same period of time after he had performed the work of creation in six days. {3SG 90.2}

    But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike his dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of his wisdom. {3SG 91.1}

    Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves of difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods, and the day of God’s rest was another indefinite period; making senseless the fourth commandment of God’s holy law. Some eagerly receive this position, for it destroys the force of the fourth commandment, and they feel a freedom from its claims upon them. …{3SG 91.2}

    1. The reference to “infidels” and “infidel geologists” by Ellen White means — atheist and atheist geologist respectively.

    2. Disguised infidelity — refers to Christians who unwittingly embrace distinctively atheist doctrines on origins – not realizing what they are doing.

    3. Ellen White claims she was SHOWN that creation week – carried back in time to that point and shown the events.

    4. Ellen White argues that the atheist counter doctrine on origins “strikes directly” at the 4th commandment AND at the character of of God.

    5. Her claim is not only that the world was created in 6 literal days with a literal 7 day Sabbath to follow, but that this was the FIRST week on earth and that the earth is only 6000 years old.

    As Bravus observes in his own response to that – “well then Ellen White was wrong” — which is truly the only option for the devoted by-faith-alone believer in evolutionism’s doctrines on origins “instead”.

    WE note that other evolutionists have at times agreed with Bravus on that point — in the rare case where they do not keep dead silent on the subject of 3SG 90-91.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  81. David Read: LaSierra should say that. I think Shane, Sean, and most of the rest of us would be thrilled with that level of candor.

    Unfortunately I don’t have first hand aquaintance with any of the teachers, so I am making assumptions, but I have a hard time believing they would put their job at risk if they didn’t believe what they are teaching, or if they didn’t believe it I would expect them to say they didn’t believe it. It was my understanding that the root of the conflict is that the teachers are teaching evolution as though they believe it.

    If Shane, Sean would be happy with this level of candor, then I would love for them to say that. I think that would probably resolve the issue.




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  82. BobRyan: Hmmm – so hindusm, buddhism, atheism, spiritism all “Welcomed” courses of study AS LONG as the teacher promoting them “really believes in them”??? That my friend is your everyday public university you are describing!

    Yes, for me as an Adventist, that would be perfectly fine, because Christ said, “I have sheep in other folds”, and Christ is the “light that enlightens every man”. I don’t believe that Christ gave truth ONLY to Jews or Christians, I believe that we can learn a lot from other faith traditions. For example, Christianity has a lot to say about guilt, and how deal with guilt in a just and merciful way. Budddhism on the other hand does a marvelous job dealing with the issue of suffering and how to relieve suffering. I don’t see how relieving suffering is inherently antiChristian, in fact, I think as an Adventist, I should be highly motivated to learn how to relieve suffering.

    See, that is the neat thing about Adventism, since we are dedicated to finding Truth we don’t have to worry about where the truth comes from, and if I have to change some of my dogma because I learn new truth, I am not threatened. Mrs. White was very clear that she was not infallable, and that Adventists did not yet have all the truth, and she said explicitly that there would likely come a time when we would have to change some of our fundamental beliefs. We’ve done it before with righteousness by faith, we did it with our understanding of the sanctuary, with our understanding of the Trinity, and the nature of Christ. That’s OK, because we are Adventists, and we are committed to following God, and Truth, not dogma.




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  83. David Read: teaching ABOUT Darwinism, not that Darwinism is the truth.

    It’s perhaps a small point, but one shouldn’t equate evolution with “Darwinism”. If you believe that God created everything (for practical purposes} instantaneously, in such a way that it looks like things are old, (ie. he created the geographic strata as we find them with the fossils already in place), then time really doesn’t matter. The literal six days of creation could have been 6 thousand years ago, or 10 million years ago, or yesterday and there is no theoretical way to tell the difference. The fact that everything has been evolving since creation, says nothing about when creation occured, or the state in which it was originally created, or how long it took.




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  84. @BobRyan:

    BobRyan: Hmmm – so hindusm, buddhism, atheism, spiritism all “Welcomed” courses of study AS LONG as the teacher promoting them “really believes in them”??? That my friend is your everyday public university you are describing!

    It is often surprising just how closely the arguments for LSU evolutionism map to “we desire to be the best public university that Adventist tuition, tithe and offering dollars can buy”.

    @Ron:

    Yes, for me as an Adventist, that would be perfectly fine, because Christ said, “I have sheep in other folds”, and Christ is the “light that enlightens every man”. I don’t believe that Christ gave truth ONLY to Jews or Christians,

    Well I am very happy with Adventists reaching out to public universities with the Gospel so that the people there have the opportunity of turning from darkness to light – from death to the Gospel.

    But we should not be in the business of CREATING those public univeritie centers of confusion and darkness. Much better to reach out to the ones that already exist — rather than trying to gin up SDA tuition, Tithe and offering dollars tryin to create new ones

    @Ron:

    I believe that we can learn a lot from other faith traditions. For example, Christianity has a lot to say about guilt, and how deal with guilt in a just and merciful way. Budddhism on the other hand does a marvelous job dealing with the issue of suffering and how to relieve suffering. I don’t see how relieving suffering is inherently antiChristian,

    I am sure that this would be a big hit on a public university campus. And since we already seem to have quite a few of those – maybe an outreach to Buddhists at those public universities is the ideal focus and direction for your idea.

    @Ron:

    she said explicitly that there would likely come a time when we would have to change some of our fundamental beliefs. We’ve done it before with righteousness by faith, we did it with our understanding of the sanctuary, with our understanding of the Trinity, and the nature of Christ.

    As it turns out – you are mistaken on every one of those points.

    There never was a voted statement by this denomination (The church in session) on the sanctuary, or the nature of Christ, or the Trinity or Righteousness by faith – that was ever stated to be in error by this denomination, or Ellen White.

    And there is no statement from Ellen White saying that we will have have to deny any of our fundamental doctrines.

    Perhaps someone has “suggested” these ideas to you and now you offer these “suggestions” to us – as something that you were told at one time. That is fine to report that you have heard of these “suggestions” – but historic facts do not support them.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  85. Ron: When Jesus said, “I have sheep in other folds.” He was not talking about theology–He was talking about people. As answered with the Samaritan woman, “Salvation is of the Jews.” That is to say that they have the truth and the messiah. He also says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one come to the Father but through me.” I think it is true that if you are following truth to the best of you knowledge and conscience–then, though you are in another fold, you are truly counted as Christ’s sheep. C. S. Lewis illustrates this well in his allegory The Last Battle if you are familiar with that book you will recognize it well.

    I agree with you that truth is the most important principle of the church and we should be and are committed to it. In finding and interpreting truth out founding fathers based this on one principle and this has been our church’s stand till now–the Bible only. I guess this is the biggest issue for us today.

    From the Bible, our church interprets it’s beliefs currently and for the future. We are also open to new doctrine and discussions as well from the Bible. We can supplement this from other authors as they agree with and support the Bible. We even us the Bible as a test for the prophet–“If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”

    I was trying to see were you and I differ–and it basically boils down to where we define truth from. If though, you read the Adventist beliefs and history–it always states and has been Biblical. If not–then you go back to like you said–some type of either Dogma/tradition or surmises from science or other people. Our group of people called Seventh-day Adventist has chosen to define ourselves solely by the Bible–unless I am mistaken. Please quote some source or official publication otherwise. Even the 28 fundamental beliefs say in the preamble that we hold only the Bible and we wrote the 28 beliefs to organize a better understanding/starting point for people that were in and learning about the Bible and our church though the BIBLE may hold new light.




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  86. BobRyan: Well there is a well kept secret if ever there was one!! Please tell us more!!This would be a game changer – that is for sure.  (Quote)

    Bob, you are being sarcastic. We have had this discussion before. Here are just a few examples:

    E. Coli evolve new enzymes to metabolize citrate which they couldn’t do previously: Here is the article, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC22376/
    Here is a lay explanation of the article (please ignore the polemical coment about creationists in the last paragraph) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

    Bacteria have evolved the ability to metabolize nylon which is a man made material that does not exhist anywhere naturally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria

    Here is an example of evolution in large mammals, different species such as donkeys and horses exchanging genetic material. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1291415/pdf/jrsocmed00166-0006.pdf

    There was a recent news report about a sea slug incorporating the genetic material to make chloroplasts from plants.

    Human genome project shows extensive human evolution. Viruses continue to evolve as the recent H1N1 pandemic illustrates. Measles, mumps and herpes, all insert genetic material into the human genome regularly. We even have fossils of other species of humanoids, some of which have been confirmed by DNA.

    The drug industry uses bacteria, plants, yeast and other organisms that have encorporated human genetic material.

    Apple trees spontaneously put out shoots, not from seed, but from adult plants, that have new genetic material. Many of our favorite apples have been the result of evolution within the genome of a single tree. And this is not a rare event. It happens so frequently that there is an entire sub-industry finding, propigating, and evaluating new varieties.

    Evolution is not a secret, except to those who refuse to see. As Jesus said, they have eyes, but will not see.

    And if you think about it, why wouldn’t God create organisms with the ability to change and improve their function as the world changes? I can’t imagine that a loving God would do anything different, actually. You claim to worship God as the creator, and then you deny his creativity. The arrogance of Adventists who refuse to see God’s ongoing work of creation is astonishing to me.

    PS: While I was away from the computer, the following coments were inserted by my son who is a molecular biologist. Studying the mechanisms by which organisms evolve is what he does. By the way, he is also a graduate of Andrews University.

    Bacteria have evolved and continually evolve as a fact of nature. Keep them in a glass jar on a bench and a few generations you will see genetic changes. Darwinism and other similar evolution theories keep being referenced by the scientific community not because there is some aethistic ax to grind (in fact, most scientists are christians) but because there is so much overwhelming evidence that it has become the current scientific paradigm. The fact that bacteria evolve is so widespread that it isn’t considered controversial except for a few deluded holdouts who suffer from a complete lack of education.




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  87. Shannon: Our group of people called Seventh-day Adventist has chosen to define ourselves solely by the Bible–unless I am mistaken.

    I am afraid you are mistaken. Martin Luther expressed the concept of “The Bible only” as a reaction to the papal claims of authority, but early Adventists, and certainly Mrs. White did not claim to get truth from the Bible only. Mrs. White referrenced history books extensively, and was a strong supporter of science. It is late and I don’t have time to look up referrenes now, but there are whole books written on the issue, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them.




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  88. Ron,

    I just ran across this chain of response and counter response this evening. If I read your position correctly you are arguing that since Adventists need to teach truth in their schools because our purpose is to seek truth, we therefore need to teach macro evolution. If that is what you are saying then are you saying you actually believe macroevolution is a fact–a truth? IF so on what basis do you believe it is a fact? IF you (or anyone else) have already given proof in this forum or any other forum for macro evolution then you are correct we much teach it.

    If you want to argue about a definition of macro evolution then I give you the simple definition I am using here. Macro evolution is the creation of one entirely different organism from a previous existing organism–for example an antelope giving rise to a giraffe through a series of helpful mutations resulting in a longer neck to reach the only remaining food source in tall trees. THis simple definition is as opposed to micro evolution defined as what occurs when a finch isolated to an emerging island where trees no longer exist, is born with a slightly fatter beak so is able to live by picking the seeds from the ground to eat and therefor reproduce while his thinner beaked cousin dies without the ability to eat seeds off the ground and therefore does not reproduce. This adaptation over a series of generations of finches results in new type of finch–proving that micro evolution does in fact exist as survival of the fittest through beneficial mutation and natural selection. Now what about macro evolution?

    G. L. Euler




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  89. I know this is what you feel but our church has always stated the Bible only. Ellen White can be quoted saying that Nature and science is a second book but never above the Bible. I have run into quotations taken out of context where people take the importance Mrs White placed on nature and science when not compared to anything–including the Bible and try to imply equality with the Bible but she clearly says “second book.” Just because we use history and nature to illustrate and understand the past does not mean they are equal with the Bible.

    Also, since our church is built on scripture–I would like you to show me from it, that scripture states something else is equivalent. It, itself says there is nothing. In fact, it says that if a author or prophet is not able to uphold or keep consistent with the Bible then it is because there is no light in them!

    If you would like to change a church founding belief–go ahead–but “Sola scriptura” is a belief that hangs the rest. Science is only a lesser light.

    Have you ever stopped to consider that you could be wrong? You quote Ellen White so well and she specifically condemned evolution. You fight for it so well with this “Bigoted” site that is just trying to uphold a church belief they might actually be right? Have you read that there are common findings of very modern pollens in very old sedimentary rocks? These trees just were not around then according to evolution–takes blind faith doesn’t it? Original sin, Christ death on a cross, the book of Romans and the Great Controversy–what do they mean in the light of a God that would create a world with eons of time and natural selection as a mechanism as opposed to the obvious statement in the Bible? If evolution is real, it does beg the natural question–why a Savior? Seems like a farce to me? He’s just playing with us–don’t you see it!? In fact, wouldn’t we be able to save ourselves overtime–something like startrek or Scientology? No, I choose to believe it the regular way–the way the Bible says it in all simplicity.

    By the way, evolutionary genetics of Biology is far from proven. Darwin had that part right–you need a driving force. What drives it once you loose the genes function? You get junk DNA. Then nothing to drive the mutation from one gene to another other than chance–at the high level of complexity of genes–the mathematics are against you–to the level of 10 to the 100’s just to get a multifunction protein system–much less a cell–an all these things need to happen at the same time in the human body. Explain to me the driving force of genetic mutation once functional protein outcome is lost and you may have someone listening. Also, if humans have been loosing gene function of millions of years as well as our ancestors, why haven’t our gene filled with junk DNA–we used to think so–now with the human gene project we have found that almost all our genome is used and useful.




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  90. @Shannon:
    Oh look! someone read “Darwin’s Black Box”. Well that means we can all go home now. Dad left the computer on again so allow me (the microbiologist son) to address the grievious and obvious factual errors of Shannon. If that feels like a personal attack Shannon I apologize. I hear comments like this frequently and it really bothers me when someone has made a mistake like this. (It’s like when people say anthrax is a virus. Well meaning perhaps but really really wrong). It’s funny that you should mention junk DNA. You say that if biologists were correct then junk DNA would flood the genome. Here’s a clue sherlock. It has. coding DNA represent the tiniest fraction the genome, other useful bits for regulation and structural purposes take up a little more. But the vast majority is pure, unmitigated junk. And not in the sense that we don’t know what it is so it must be junk. We know what it is and how it got there. We’re sure. So how is it that genome still works if there’s that much junk DNA? because it’s a very elegant and complicated peice of cellular machinery. it’s beautiful and magnificent. You can even read in the DNA our biological history, the mistakes, the problems and solutions that developed over time, assuming you know how of course (and really really expensive equipment). The driving force behind a nonfunctional protein? That’s a nonsensical question of course since it’s almost always more interesting to figure out the driving force behind functional proteins. (not that I would expect anyone to listen in either case) But in short randomness. Overtime the nonfunctional protein code is whiddled away with tiny errors. You can even count them and figure out how long ago the protein was last functional. Happens all the time. Even my teachers at Andrews can accept this, most people can. It sounds a little like you have reached conclusions based on factual error, I don’t envy the soul searching you must now do.

    Dr. Euler,

    Sir, As a biologist you already know more than I, and your text book example of the finch is simple and profound. It’s one the things they teach freshmen biologists almost from the word go. Understanding how and why things change is key to understanding biology and if people can do that with an open heart and mind a world of facination awaits. Macro-evolution is a much tricker subject and much harder to define. As in where exactly does little evolution become big evolution. For obvious reason’s no one uses medi-evolution. Purely naturalistic scientists don’t bother with the line because to them the distinction is pointless. To christians who are trying to figure out what it was that god created it’s hard. The truth is that it’s arbitrary. Where I might draw that line will be different than where another scientist will draw that line or others. And who is to say who is correct and who is not? I would strongly recommend against absolutes, as in “the line must be drawn here” or “Creation must have been done this way and at this time”. And macro-evolution should absolutely be taught. Even if in some incredibly improbable future it is disproved unequivocally, today it represents a vast amount of information and also the tools we would need to interact with the wider scientific community. It would serve no one if we appear to be half-educated




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  91. Ron: You are wrong. The sources from the Human Genome project estimate that the human genome is up to 95 to 97% functional. Your information is out of date! Also, just because you think you know something, does not mean that someone else is less knowledgeable or an idiot.

    Please read this article from 2007: ENCORE Project Consortium et al., Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project, Nature 447, 799-816 (14 June 2007); Richard Ingham, Landmark study prompts rethink of genetic code, Yahoo News, accessed June 15, 2007.

    The only reason why scientists believe what they do is because they chose to just as you do! You did not chose to answer my question on pollens as you have no explanation or have not even read about it and chose to leave it up to faith in your fellow men. Also who you have chosen to believe in explanation on genetics as well obviously though it seems as though you haven’t read all the articles available either and chose to be rude about thing prior to checking sources on you data. Most scientists don’t even get published if they go against evolution–it is truly a belief process–just as you have show by the way you have belittled me in this web page. You have no idea my education or background. How could there be truth in all the muddiness of bias out there? And somehow we call this science–I call it religion.

    I guess I have to choose who I’m going to believe–something based on biased scientists–obviously. Or God–what I believe with searching over my lifetime is what he has lead me to is His true book–the Bible. It describes a way of living and being best done by a group of believers called Seventh-day Adventists–they happen to hold that the Bible is the rule to life and religion–so I thought, “Great, I am in the right place.” Now, I worry on where to send my children because I find that not every SDA feels that the Bible teaches exactly what it says–maybe it didn’t mean what it says. Maybe, it was allegorical. Well, how much. Then, you just lump all the churches together then cause it doesn’t really matter anyway, or does it?




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  92. If I read your position correctly you are arguing that since Adventists need to teach truth in their schools because our purpose is to seek truth, we therefore need to teach macro evolution.

    Actually, that is not quite my position. What I am trying to say is that if one of our members, in this case a biology teacher believes that (or anything else), then they should be able to discuss or teach it without fear of reprisals because truth is arrived at through study and dialogue and it is impossible to have a constructive dialogue under threat. The threat in and of itself is evil because it prejudices the search.

    I acknowlege there is risk that doctrine might change over time, but I think that is good, not bad.

    I am not trying to advocate for any specific belief, only for the right to study and teach without coersion. I don’t see much difference between firing someone for not working on Sabbath,or firing someone for teaching macro evolution, to me both actions are a form of religious persecusion.




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  93. @Ron:

    I don’t see much difference between firing someone for not working on Sabbath,or firing someone for teaching macro evolution, to me both actions are a form of religious persecusion

    Certainly in a public university context where there is no such thing as God (and therefore no such thing as something that is in favor of – or opposed to God) then all views are “valid” and all are to be explored freely.

    (Except of course if you want to pursue belief in Bible creation – then the atheist centric principles that run the universities today — will shut you down — see the “Expelled” documentary).

    But once you fully account for the concept of a private university and the context of a Christian school (in terms of goal and mission and methods) vs a public school, some of the details that keep coming up on this topic begin to make sense.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  94. @Ron:

    But the vast majority is pure, unmitigated junk. And not in the sense that we don’t know what it is so it must be junk. We know what it is and how it got there. We’re sure.

    “there they go again” making the wild claims BEFORE fully accounting for the epigenome and for the fact that they have not been able to map any more than they were able to test. (Hint no infinite testing going on — even to this day).

    The problem is that a given trait is only expressed in phenotype if all of the genes associated with that trait are activated. But how many are activiated for any one trait and are there alternate pathways to the same result? Well that is a good question. It louses up the “we are sure” cliff that our evolutionist friends are so prone to leap off of at the drop of a hat.

    As soon as an evolutionist knows anything – they quickly claim to “know everything”. Osborn’s debate with Bryan comes to mind – as Osborn claimed absolute irrefutable certainly regarding his “pigs tooth claim” to Nebraska man.

    Time after time these guys follow the same dead end road.

    no wonder atheist evolutionist Colin Patterson characterized the antics of his fellow evolutionists as being more religionist in their devout faith in evolutionism than scientific. Apparently from that post above – there is still no lack of that among evolutionists.

    oh well – that is what public universities are for – is it not?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  95. @Ron:

    Actually, that is not quite my position. What I am trying to say is that if one of our members, in this case a biology teacher believes that (or anything else), then they should be able to discuss or teach it without fear of reprisals because truth is arrived at through study and dialogue and it is impossible to have a constructive dialogue under threat. The threat in and of itself is evil because it prejudices the search.

    The part that is incorrect is where you slip seamlessly between “discuss” and “teach”.

    It is one thing for someone with a wild-idea to go and “discuss” his views with someone else – a leader of the church even. It is quite another to PAY a pastor/administrator/professor to promote every offbeat non-biblical notion in our pulpits to “teach it” within our schools – just because it would be allowed at a public university.

    That is where we draw the line.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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