The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist

Posted by Sean Pitman

Early morning of May 5, 2011
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On April 27, 2011 the Adventist News Network published an article detailing the thrilling exploits of Dr. Lee Grismer, an evolutionary biologist from La Sierra University, who has “discovered 80 new species of reptiles and amphibians during his 15-year career” at LSU.  The article goes on to twice describe Dr. Grismer as an “Adventist field biologist.” (Read the Article)

Notice: This article has apparently been pulled from the ANN website as of the afternoon of May 5, 2011 and is no longer available.

While there is no doubt that Dr. Grismer’s work is very exciting and thrilling indeed, I personally feel it unwise for the ANN to promote Dr. Grismer as an “Adventist field biologist” when he is one of several LSU professors who are ardently undermining the Seventh-day Adventist position on origins – in no uncertain terms.  Dr. Grismer is in fact an ardent evolutionist who believes and teaches his students at LSU that life has existed and evolved on this planet, in a Darwinian manner, over the course of hundreds of millions of years.  He teaches his students that the SDA position on origins, the literal six-day creation week in particular, is scientifically ludicrous and even morally dangerous…

In February of 2009, I gave an impromptu presentation at LSU on the topic of creation/evolution.  The very next week Drs. Lee Greer and Lee Grismer put together a presentation to challenge my talk on a literal interpretation of the Genesis account. Dr. Grismer in particular derided students who questioned his evolutionary view on origins, suggesting that those who hold outdated literal creationist beliefs are the same ones who “fly airplanes into buildings”.

Such statements are nothing new for Dr. Grismer who, according to former LSU students, really enjoys “making students and visiting professors look like fools, if they question the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution.” ( Link )

This is right in line with the public comments of long-time LSU professor, Dr. Gary Bradley, who declared that the SDA view on a literal creation week is held by the “lunatic fringe” and that he is not about to get up in front of his class and say that mainstream science is a bunch of “bs” – to quote Dr. Bradley in his interview in 2009 with Inside Higher Ed.

Such events and comments formed the basis for the rising concern over the promotion of mainstream evolutionary theories in our classrooms. This concern has increased dramatically over the past two years that this issue has gained a degree of public attention within the SDA Church at large. And yet, the ANN sees fit to present such professors as models of Adventist education?  the very same professors who have long been deliberately undermining the most basic of SDA fundamental goals and ideals in their classrooms?

Is this not equivalent of the ANN shooting itself in the foot? – promoting LSU’s science department by highlighting the truly thrilling work of one of its evolutionary biologists while failing to explain that this very same man is also boldly attacking the Church’s position on origins as a paid representative of the Church?  Does it matter how good and exciting the work may be of any pastor or teacher if this individual is, at the same time, attacking the foundational pillars of the Church?  Does the good truly outweigh the negative influence of such individuals when it comes to the primary goals and ideals of the Church as an organization? – or does the good simply act as capsule that helps one swallow the poison a bit more easily?

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196 thoughts on “The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist

  1. Once again I am amazed at the nativity, ignorance, or treasonous behavior of some people in high places. The very foundation of our beliefs are being eroded and we laud Dr. Lee Grismer’s thrilling exploits.

    Pastor Ron Cook




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  2. Sean,

    Have you tried posting this as a comment under the published article? I think you should so that everybody that reads the article can find out who the guy really is…

    Lucian




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  3. Pastor Ron Cook: Once again I am amazed at the nativity, ignorance, or treasonous behavior of some people in high places. The very foundation of our beliefs are being eroded and we laud Dr. Lee Grismer’s thrilling exploits.Pastor Ron Cook

    Pastor Cook, I agree with you completely. ANN is a classic example of working with your “eyes wide shut” as we can see here very easily.

    Simply another terribly embarrassing example of how our SDA Church is working with their “heads in the sand,” being, as Sam Pipim states, “administrative ostriches” completely “out of it” when it comes to actually supporting our SDA bibliclal beliefs.




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  4. Lucian Luca: Sean, Have you tried posting this as a comment under the published article? I think you should so that everybody that reads the article can find out who the guy really is…Lucian Luca

    I agree. I’ve already added my “two cents” over there. Others should too!




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  5. Grismer should be totally exposed for the complete fraud he is, claiming to be an SDA Christian while actually being paid to undermine one of our foundational beliefs!




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  6. Hi folks

    I went on to ANN’s site and read its interview with Dr Jean Simmons, the Vice President of the Church who is leading the Church’s effort to develop a master plan for Adventist education.

    I thought the following excerpt from the interview was germane to the topic and would interest you:

    “ANN: How do you feel about exposing students to a variety of ideas and evidence, even if they might conflict with current official Adventist beliefs?

    Simmons: I believe that’s biblical. I’m fine with that. However, our responsibility, while exposing them to that which they may encounter when they go out into the world is to keep them focused on God’s word. We have a responsibility to say “That’s what this theory teaches us, that’s what another theory teaches us, but this is what we believe, based on the Bible.” When the two lines of thought are not congruent, such as the physical evidences we have in science, my position has been — as a teacher and a parent and now a grandparent — evidence might indicate a certain line of thought, but when the Bible indicates something different, we must continue to grow through more research and exploration in search of this truth. As we continue to grow in our understanding of the Bible, we will grow more so in our understanding of science, history and all else.”

    Query: Is Dr. Simmons taking the position that the physical evidence in science is not currently congruent with biblical creation?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • Shane Hilde:
      ANN has already pulled the article from their website. You can view only as a cached webpage now. I have a copy saved.

      I just received the email about this article (on ET) and attempted to view the ANN article, and found that it’s completely gone.

      Why would they do that? Is this a positive outcome, or a negative one?




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  7. The “big problem” we are having at the moment is that a few of our thought leaders in the field of education have been “trained” to accept any new wild claim made on behalf of evolutionism “uncritically”.

    There needs to be more of a focus on critical thinking when wild claims show up.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. Oh, BTW, now we need to see LSU “pull” Grismer and his other evolutionary cronies from La Sierra.

    Does the administration or the Board have the backbone? My guess is absolutely NOT!




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  9. Lee Grismer is

    “an evolutionary biologist from La Sierra University, who has “discovered 80 new species of reptiles and amphibians during his 15-year career” at LSU.”

    Surely we all know that in fact not a single fiction promoted within evolution was needed to “discover those 80 new species”. In other words – zoologists can discover new species all day long without having to call themselves “evolutionary biologists”.

    The fact that ANN is going out of its way to highlight evolution in this regard shows just how easy it is to uncritically accept various claims about evolution being necessary to discovery in nature and to science in general.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  10. Re Bob’s quote

    “The “big problem” we are having at the moment is that a few of our thought leaders in the field of education have been “trained” to accept any new wild claim made on behalf of evolutionism “uncritically”. ”

    Hi Bob

    I’d say a bigger problem than LSU, is if the Church VP in charge Adventist education is saying the physical evidence of science is not congruent with biblical creation.

    That is what many of the scientists of the GRI were saying at GC.

    Is Educate Truth going to be the lone Adventist bastion for the principle that empirical scientific evidence supports recent 6 day creation? No wonder Erv Taylor said Sean if on a heroic mission if the Church won’t scientifically back creationism.

    That is why, even as an agnostic, I have great respect for Educate Truth standing up for FB#6, that supposedly the Church supports.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  11. The Adventist Church’s confusion on the subject of origins is gobsmacking. It’s just not as complicated as everyone seems to believe. There are two basic origins models, the Darwinian and the Biblical creationist, and these two models have not changed, at least in their main contours, for about a century. As Adventists, our entire worldview and doctrinal structure are premised upon the truth of the biblical creationist model.

    What is the confusion about? Is it really as complicated as all that, or are Adventists just some of the stupidest people on the planet?




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  12. Hi,
    First time I have ever written on this site, but have followed all things on “Educate Truth” since it’s inception. I would like to know if Shane’s article will be sent to Ted Wilson directly. From the moment we all prayed as one, for the General Conference to elect the man that God chose to lead this end time church, everything I have heard him speak or I have read, tells me that he is a man after God’s own heart. I pray that you would send this article that is so very clear in stating that Dr. Grismer is an “Ardent evolutionist who believes that the sixth day Creation is ludicrous”, directly to Mr. Wilson, as I have heard him speak several times how vital it is that we believe in God’s sixth day creation as the only truth that we, as Adventists, can embrace. His belief that if we call ourself Adventists, and we truly love our God, we must hold to the sixth day creation as the only truth there is about how this world came into existence. His ardent belief would lead me to think that he does not know what Dr. Grismer has really been teaching at LSU, and that when he finds out this truth, as a man of God he would have a whole lot to say about this publicly.
    God Bless All,
    Dixie




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  13. Ken: Hi Bob
    I’d say a bigger problem than LSU, is if the Church VP in charge Adventist education is saying the physical evidence of science is not congruent with biblical creation.
    That is what many of the scientists of the GRI were saying at GC.

    Ken – I attended all the GRI sessions at the GC in their “Yes Creation!” seminar and I can tell you that all the GRI scientists and speakers were NOT claiming that observations in science are not congruent with the Bible.

    In fact many of them stated flatly that we should NOT let people get away with making those wild claims.

    But there was ONE GRI member that seemed to “only focus” on not addressing questions raised by arguments for evolution and simply tossing his hands in the air with the helpful advice of “get used to living with dissappointment”.

    That guy seems to get a lot of air time in the posts of those who are opposing the idea of working on solutions rather than pointing out challenges.

    The “rationale” for that being “helpful” is supposedly the idea that some Christians have decided to leave the Christian church once they find a problem that does not have a 5 minute answer already baked and sitting on the shelf.

    How much “better” it would have been if the all-is-lost say-nay-when-you-can group had been modeling the way that “answers are found” when the problem is more than a 5 minute fast-food problem.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  14. Dixie Konshak: Hi,First time I have ever written on this site, but have followed all things on “Educate Truth” since it’s inception. I would like to know if Shane’s article will be sent to Ted Wilson directly.

    Welcome Dixie! We certainly need to make the truth available to the GC and directly to Ted Wilson. I believe he has been chosen to lead us because of the likelihood he will begin to actually LEAD our SDA Church and not just sit on the sidelines as others have done.




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  15. Hi, Folks,
    This is what my friend Ken asks: I’d say a bigger problem than LSU, is if the Church VP in charge Adventist education is saying the physical evidence of science is not congruent with biblical creation. That is what many of the scientists of the GRI were saying at GC.

    The fact of the matter is,it is not that physical evidence is not congruent with biblical data. We miss the boat when we naively suppose that. In my research in science I have seen over and over again that any evidence can be interpreted or manipulated to testify to one’s presuppositions.

    Also interpretation of evidence is always coloured by one’s presuppositions. Objective evidence is hardly objective; so many times we have messed up in the interpretation of the evidence simply because of our worldview.

    For the SDA church to promote the findings of a so called Adventist biologist who is an evolutionist is utterly misleading and unconscionable. We have so many good scientists who do not accept evolution there is no need to promote these people as Adventists.

    They should be dwelt with in terms of their commitment and loyalty to the beliefs of the church. Not that we are against any who believes in evolution; in no way. However, if one works for the SDA church then one has, is duty bound, to subscribe to our beliefs or quit.

    That is the only honest thing to do. No one can be an evolutionist and remain an Adventist. That is a contradiction in itself. Evolution cannot harmonize with the plan of salvation; we cannot therefore harmonize ourselves with the erroneous view of evolution.

    Even the non-Adventist Christian scientists, like Ken Ham, Dr. Morris, and many others, laugh at us for such ignorant compromise. It is time for us to pull up our socks and get things fitting properly.




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  16. Pastor Ron Cook:
    Once again I am amazed at the nativity, ignorance, or treasonous behavior of some people in high places. The very foundation of our beliefs are being eroded and we laud Dr. Lee Grismer’s thrilling exploits.

    Pastor Ron Cook

    Amen Pastor!
    My position is as always; if any Adventist church member denies any one of our Biblically sound 28 beliefs persistently so, then that person should be removed from the church rolls and invited to join another church that’s more comparable with his/her beliefs.

    It does the LORD Jesus Christ much discredit when outsiders, and or potential members see this confusion which could result in eternal loss. Ditto for any professor at any Adventist school from kindergarten through higher levels of college that does not teach according to our beliefs.

    While we can rejoice that we have a solid world church leader in Elder Wilson; unfortunately he cannot do it all and just walk into LSU and fire these offenders.

    However, in terms of the following prophecy by the LORD’s servant, Ellen White, we can know that our redemption is very close!

    Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. . . . The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy (Letter 55, 1886). {7BC 911.6}




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  17. BobRyan: Lee Grismer isSurely we all know that in fact not a single fiction promoted within evolution was needed to “discover those 80 new species”. In other words – zoologists can discover new species all day long without having to call themselves “evolutionary biologists”. The fact that ANN is going out of its way to highlight evolution in this regard shows just how easy it is to uncritically accept various claims about evolution being necessary to discovery in nature and to science in general.in Christ,Bob

    Speciation is a totally manmade concept. Discovering new ones is not important to our discussion since most “new” species are simply small variants of those species already known.

    One can be a Creationist and “discover” new species also. Simply get a panel of “experts” to agree with you that it is “different enough” from any known species.

    ANN is probably what Stalin termed a “useful idiot” in regards to publishing this article. Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson?!




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  18. Ron Stone M.D.: One can be a Creationist and “discover” new species also. Simply get a panel of “experts” to agree with you that it is “different enough” from any known species.

    Yes I agree. The ANN connection of “Evolutionary biologist” to the discovery of any species – makes it appear that something about evolutionary biology would make someone better equipped to discover new species than say a zoologist.

    Imagine for a second that Grismer was an acomplished evolutionary biologist known for his groundbreaking work in debunking evolutionism and supporting what we “observe in nature” — which is that “birds come from birds not reptiles”.

    As a problem-solver and not merely a run-of-the-mill problem-promoter, his evolutionary biology background could have been a real asset highlighted in the article.

    But sadly – the context is very different from that ideal.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  19. @Steve Billiter, You’re correct in believing that those who do not believe our biblically based ideas should leave and join some other denomination.

    However, the principal concept of liberals and progressives is that they not only want to “believe” differently, they want to change the SDA Church to comply with these new revelations they have so recently discovered!

    They will not leave, but instead want to teach, preach, and espouse these ideas to our students and members.




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  20. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Ken – I attended all the GRI sessions at the GC in their “Yes Creation!” seminar and I can tell you that all the GRI scientists and speakers were NOT claiming that observations in science are not congruent with the Bible.”

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments.

    Just wondering if you spoke to Ben Clausen, Jim Gibson, Tim Standish and Ronny Nalin of the GRI at the GC?

    As far as I can tell, none of these scientists propose the evidence supports a recent 6 day creation.(FB#6). Please see the following quotes:

    “Ronny Nalin, who does sedimentological research in Italy, chose to address a similar theme: “Dealing with Uncertainty.” He answered four key questions:

    1. Have I found the synthesis between the Bible and geology? No, just more unresolved issues. ”

    “The presentation by Jim Gibson, Director of GRI, responded to the question, “Do Millions of Years Solve the Problem?” In a nutshell, his answer was “no,” but he carefully spelled out the reasons as follows.

    1. When looking at the fossil record one realizes that Genesis cannot be a condensed version of time.
    2. How about the suggestion that the fossil record could precede the “special creation” of Genesis? This so-called “gap theory” of the Scofield Bible does not work because there is no point in the fossil record where living organisms appear together.
    3. What about putting the six literal days of creation millions of years ago? This won’t work because of the way the fossils are “sorted” in the record. Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.” “Science works well when tests can be repeated; history is not testable in that way.” “Science is a closed system governed by physical laws so tension [with the Bible] has to be expected.”
    4. Could we consider a fourth way for long ages? Maybe God guided the process of theistic evolution. This view was unacceptable to Darwin himself. Otherwise you would have God guiding in birth defects, etc., so “a God of the gaps” approach does not seem helpful.”

    “Most of the presentations by the four GRI staff scientists were thoughtful and helpful. Ben Clausen, in “Belief in Spite of Uncertainty: The Ongoing Faith Journey of a Scientist,” shared first his life experiences – Revelation in stories and texts; Nature; Relating Revelation and Science, “there are no short chronology scientific models;”

    Ron, are these observations congruent with the Bible in your opinion?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  21. Re Ron’s Quote

    “Objective evidence is hardly objective; so many times we have messed up in the interpretation of the evidence simply because of our worldview.”

    It is always great to hear from my wonderful friend Ron Henderson! It was Ron, who on a park bench in Nova Scotia four summers ago, got me introduced me in Adventism.

    Respectfully, the problem I have with Ron’s approach that science can never be empirical and most be biased. I don’t accept that.

    Doesn’t science over time continously give humanity a better understanding of reality? Can’t one simply have a neutral worldview and view science as an objective means to better understand reality? Do we really think the laws of gravity are biased because Newton happened to be a Christian? Is it only Adventist scientists that strictly adhere to FB#6 that clearly discern empirical evidence?

    These rhetorical questions are not meant to disparage faith, just differentiate it from the rational, objective empiricism of science.

    That is why I applaud Dr.Pitman’s attempt to provide empirical means to prove biblical creation. He acknowledges the problem of circuitous logic -the Bible tells me so- to prove FB#6 creation. To be credible to the modern educated mind this proposition must be supported with empirical evidence.

    Look at the comments of the GRI scientists. This is an Adventist, not a secular institute.

    Look at the comments of Dr. Jean Simmons a VP of the Church. She doesn’t work for ANN, she was just interviewed by them.

    From my outside view I opine that you have critical, institutional differences of opinion on creation that are causing credibility problems for your faith. I’m not sure, as my friend Ron Henderson suggests, that other Christian scientists are laughing at you, but I think your doctrinal leadership is in disarray.

    Respectfully
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  22. I think our agnostic friend Ken has correctly noted the trend at GRI, and I think it is a problem.

    As I said above, there are two basic models on origins, the mainstream scientific model (Lyellism/Darwinism), and the young earth (or young life) biblical creationist model. Creationists have long sought to do more than simply critique Darwinism; they have sought to build a biblical creationist model, i.e., do creation science.

    But now, as Ken has pointed out, the GRI people seem to be rejecting the creation science approach. Ben Clausen has done this very publicly, but some of the others seem headed more quietly down the same path.

    The problem with this approach is that the data are always given a Darwinist interpretation, and if creationists don’t give the data a creationist interpretation, then it starts to seem like “the data conflict with the Bible.” In reality, the data don’t necessarily conflict, but since there’s only a Darwinist interpretation and no creationist interpretation, it begins to seem like they do conflict.

    The GRI people are starting to say things like “believe in spite of the data,” or words to that effect, but such has not been the creationist approach for over a century, and has never been the approach of the Christian apologist during the Christian era.

    My friend Phil Brantley takes the approach that we should just believe the Bible based upon our conservative Adventist hermeneutic and do mainstream Darwinian science, and not worry about the contradiction. But this will not work for most people. What will inevitably happen is that people will start to take a very liberal hermeneutic and assume that Genesis is only poetry or allegory. This liberal Biblical hermeneutic if widely adopted in our church, would mean the end of Adventism as we know it.

    So, there simply is no workable alternative to creation science. We’ve got to do our best to make sense of the data within a Biblical model and time frame, and not have unreasonable expectations for it. It’s never, ever, going to be the case that a scientific model worked on by less than 1% of scientists will look as impressive as a model worked on by more than 99% of scientists. But that doesn’t mean we’re wrong, or that the project should be abandoned.

    That’s my thinking on the subject, and I’d be curious as to the thinking of the GRI people.




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  23. Hello,

    Remember, Folks, the evidence is not the problem. It is our interpretation of the evidence that is the issue. The fossil record clearly shows that creation is on a better stance as regards origins than the evolution version of fossils. To the honest and fair researcher the evolutionary fossil record is really is actually worthless. If one believes in evolution then one has to, bound to, find fossils in the transitional forms. To date we have not found any. In fact, there should be more transitional fossil forms than complete forms as we see today. The millions of years, the gap theory, etc., make no sense whatsoever. There is nothing in the fossil record that better highlights evolution than creation. Creditable, good creation scientists have shown that evolution is just a theory. In my research I have not found the biblical data to be contrary to good science.




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  24. Hello, Folks,

    Lest I be misunderstood let me clarify a statement I made in my previous post. The sentence is: “There is nothing in the fossil record that better highlights evolution than creation.” Sorry for the awkward clause. I meant to say that the fossil record does not highlight or support evolution in any way. Even Darwin admitted that the fossil record is the key to his theory. On the other hand, the fossil record supports creation much, much, more. There are no transitional forms found that are noteworthy(the few that are touted as transitional forms are just a bad joke). With the millions of different kinds of creatures that exist today and that existed in the past, there should be millions of transitional forms at every level to support them. On the contrary, those fossils found are all of complete forms that we know, or that may have existed. We must not and cannot allow scientists who call themselves Adventists to teach evolution as a fact in our institutions. They may believe what they wish; that is quite in order, but they are not honest when they teach these theories as though they were facts in our institutions they have pledged to uphold and support.




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  25. As far as I am concerned, if the GRI guys abandon our Adventist model we are wasting our time and money supporting them; and it is high time they be removed. They do not speak for Adventism. There are many more scientists who have no problem with the creationist model, both in the church and outside of Adventism. And these non Adventist scientists are not simpletons. What would you call someone who believes that inorganic matter can become living matter? You may retort, what would you call someone who believes that a God created life? Now I say, well, let’s look at the evidence to see which is supported better, creation or evolution. And there we go again, preconceived ideas on both sides. However, putting aside preconceived ideas, the evidence supports creation more heavily than it does evolution. So does history, varied as it it. But when the majority today is on the side of evolution one can hardly argue with them. One has just to continue making one’s facts and researches known. But to tolerate our own teachers while they present views totally out of keeping with our Adventist’s views is self-defeating divisive. There are excellent DVDs printed that give great support for the creation model, these we need to purchase and share with others. Even listening to Dr. Veith, a former evolutionist, on Amazing Discoveries, is a great start.




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  26. Ken: As far as I can tell, none of these scientists propose the evidence supports a recent 6 day creation.(

    There is a huge difference between “observations in nature demand a seven day creation week” and “evidence supports evolution”.

    The fact is that “observations in nature do not contradict the creation account” when it comes to observing the fact that “birds come birds – not reptiles” or when observing the fact that group level genomes are static in terms of coding genes or when you consider the law of entropy (given Isaac Asimov’s summation of the need for a massive decrease in entropy for evolutionism’s storytelling to hold water).

    And that eeffectively shuts down all hope of macro-evolution.

    The less-than insightful claim that unless we have a video of a 7 day creation week to observe “in nature”, then we have no support from observations in nature for the creation account – is not the well-thought-out solution that one or two of the GRI guys may have at first imagined.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  27. Ken: “The presentation by Jim Gibson, Director of GRI, responded to the question, “Do Millions of Years Solve the Problem?” In a nutshell, his answer was “no,” but he carefully spelled out the reasons as follows.
    1. When looking at the fossil record one realizes that Genesis cannot be a condensed version of time.
    2. How about the suggestion that the fossil record could precede the “special creation” of Genesis? This so-called “gap theory” of the Scofield Bible does not work because there is no point in the fossil record where living organisms appear together.
    3. What about putting the six literal days of creation millions of years ago? This won’t work because of the way the fossils are “sorted” in the record. Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.” “Science works well when tests can be repeated; history is not testable in that way.” “Science is a closed system governed by physical laws so tension [with the Bible] has to be expected.”
    4. Could we consider a fourth way for long ages? Maybe God guided the process of theistic evolution. This view was unacceptable to Darwin himself. Otherwise you would have God guiding in birth defects, etc., so “a God of the gaps” approach does not seem helpful.”
    “Most of the presentations by the four GRI staff scientists were thoughtful and helpful.

    Ken – what you have described above is Jim’s hard and fast stand on the glaringly obvious point – that you cannot marry the Bible to the story telling for evolutionism.

    Gibson points out the fact that trying to find a way to delete out the literal 7 day week and eisegete (bend and wrench) millions of years into the text – does not work.

    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.

    There is no way to “Bend the Bible” to fit evolutionist storytelling about life being created (evolving) over 100’s of millions of years of time.

    The choice is atheism or christianity as Gibson points out – there is no middle ground.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  28. Ken: Ben Clausen, in “Belief in Spite of Uncertainty: The Ongoing Faith Journey of a Scientist,” shared first his life experiences – Revelation in stories and texts; Nature; Relating Revelation and Science, “there are no short chronology scientific models;”

    Ken I will grant you that so far Clausen’s contribution to the “Solution” side of the equation has been “week” at best.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. Ken, I see you have missed my point. I never said that science cannot be empirical and that it must be biased. If you re-read what I said you will see that I am referring to ‘the interpretation of evidence.’ The issue is not science. As I said once, science is neutral. How science is explained is where the issue comes forward. We explain the evidences of science from our own worldview; especially do evolutionists try to hug the discipline as their sole jurisdiction. Those who do not agree with then are branded ‘ignorant,’ ‘religious,’ and so forth. I wish evidences were allowed to speak for themselves; but this is not permissible among the scientific community in our secular world. So while empirical evidence is fine in itself, sadly, the onlooker interprets it according to his worldview. Aren’t the great theories of Einstein being challenged today? I wonder why, Ken? Is it not true in our secular world, that when evidence points to God then that is religion and is unacceptable? but when it seems to point to the evolutionary model, then that is good science?!!




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  30. Ron, it’s an exaggeration to claim that there is nothing in the fossil record that Darwinists cannot point to as a plausible “transitional form.” On the whole, however, forms come into the fossil record, they stay the same for millions of years of hypothetical geologic time, then they disappear from the fossil record, showing no signs of having evolved into anything significantly different. As Stephen Jay Gould frequently pointed out, the fossil record is overwhelmingly a record of stasis or non-evolution. (I discuss this in my book, “Dinosaurs–An Adventist View”.)

    But what I like about your post is that, based upon honest Darwinian expectations, the concept of a “transitional form” makes no sense. If the fossil record really spanned 600 million years, and evolution was happening slowly and steadily the entire time, EVERYTHING should be transitional, and hence the term “transitional” should be essentially meaningless. In other words, the fossil record should consist of nothing but forms gradually changing and evolving; there should not be any stasis of form long-lasting enough for us to say, “okay, this one is ‘permanent’ or ‘complete’ and this one is ‘transitional’.”

    But since the fossil record is actually a record of non-change or stasis of forms, not evolution of forms, the phrase “transitional form” has meaning, which it should not have if were Darwin correct. Just an interesting point that I’d never thought of before.




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  31. In defense of ANN, nowhere in the article does it mention that Lee Grismer is an evolutionist. However, that should have been pretty common knowledge by now for those work for ANN.




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  32. David Read: But what I like about your post is that, based upon honest Darwinian expectations, the concept of a “transitional form” makes no sense. If the fossil record really spanned 600 million years, and evolution was happening slowly and steadily the entire time, EVERYTHING should be transitional, and hence the term “transitional” should be essentially meaningless. In other words, the fossil record should consist of nothing but forms gradually changing and evolving; there should not be any stasis of form long-lasting enough for us to say, “okay, this one is ‘permanent’ or ‘complete’ and this one is ‘transitional’.”

    There is another problem which is that the generation of evoloving life forms should be like waves of the sea reaching a certain boundary (lets call it the 50 million year boundary). As it first reaches that boundary one generation crosses over with the desired mutation characteristics – but then it is followed by the next generation mutating as reaches that boundary.

    Whether each crossing that 50 million year milestone takes the form of a saltation or is simply one last mutation segment in a long string of mutations to finally end up as a new genome with new coding genes all in place and functioning – does not matter. Pick whichever story your evolutionism likes to imagine. The point is that the new novel “B” that follows “A” should be continually “mutating into existence” as each generation of “A” matures to the 50 million year milestone.

    It simply does not happen.

    So then comes the stories about why we should not expect to see evolution in real life even though evolution is supposed to be the mechanism all of real life is using.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  33. I’ve read all of the comments given above (and hundreds of others during the past) but none address the question that remains uppermost in my “unscientific mind” and that is this:

    “Why can non-Adventist scientist find and joyful accept and preach ample evidence of God’s creative power in the creation of our world and so many Adventist have such great difficulty doing so?” (Don’t misunderstand me–we do have mny wonderful scientists in our midst but–it seems to this “ancient mind” that the higher we go “up the ladder” the harder it is to find good, solid scientist who see good evidence for Biblical creation and teach it and preach it.

    Two different fairly recently published books come to my mind–neither of which have I read yet. One I don’t really want to read–“The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins–often referred to as “the world’s best champion of both atheism and it’s intellectual underpinning. particles to people evolution.”

    The other is “The Greatest Hoax On Earth” by Jonathan Sarfati “who is no light-weight opponent; his Refuting Evolution (over 500,00 in print) is the biggest-selling creationist book ever. In his crisp, readable style trademarked by sheer competence, Sarfati calmly but relent-lessly erodes each of Dawkins’ claims. In the process, he repeatedly exposes logical fallacies–even dubious tactics–employed in Dawkins ideologically driven crusade.”

    (He deals with each point in Dawkins book so I think I’ll basically read Dawkins’ book in the process.) I only ordered and received this book a short while ago. Due to the flu, three deaths in the family and a slew of tornados that hit our area I’ve not yet found the time to do much reading– but what I have read so far sound very good.

    There were several tornados that hit our area at the same time and they were terrible–many lives and injuries were the result. Many homes had only their roofs on the ground to show where their homes once stood and vast areas of forest now have only a few, lonely trunks still standing. (A lot of those were close friends–but have heard of no deaths or serious injuries among them thus far.)

    But God was very good to us and one of my other daughter’s who lives several miles away–who was in the direct path of one of the tornados. We had one small tree fall across our drive way and, while they had numerous (very large) trees knocked over–which will take a long time to take care of– but both of our homes are still standing with no damage at all and none of my family was injured or killed.

    When the storms struck, the daughter I live with and three of her children (all grown now) were on their way to Atlanta to pick up her oldest son who was returning from a year’s stint in Africa as a student missionary. They stopped briefly at one spot before they reached Atlanta because of the driving rain–then decided to keep driving. 15 minutes later one of the tornados hit the place where they had stopped and virtually the whole little town was wiped out. If they had not left when they did they would doubtless have all been killed! While we are deeply saddened over the death and destruction all around us we thank God for His protecting care over us.

    Not one of us can count on a “tomorrow.” Right now is all we have so we need to make sure that our relationship with our heavenly Father is what it should be at any time.

    (Please excuse me for “wandering” but my mind is pretty full of “tornado’s” right now.)




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  34. Re Bob’s Quote

    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.

    (From Jim Gibson’s Quote) “Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.”

    Hi Bob

    Are you sure Jim Gibson is saying science supports 6 day recent creation?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  35. Re Ron’s Quotes

    “Ken, I see you have missed my point. I never said that science cannot be empirical and that it must be biased.”

    “We explain the evidences of science from our own worldview;”

    Dear Ron

    Actually Ron, I could not understand your point more clearly or emphatically. The moment humans start viewing science from the perspective of faith or non faith it becomes biased and fraught with a lack of objectivity. Better to just observe and test and leave issues of God or lack thereof to philosophy or faith.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  36. Dear Lydian

    I always enjoy your posts, especially their humananity, which gives great flavour to our doctrinal stew.

    If the kind editors will so permit, I want to wish you and all mothers out there the very best Mother’s Day.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  37. Ethan: In defense of ANN, nowhere in the article does it mention that Lee Grismer is an evolutionist. However, that should have been pretty common knowledge by now for those work for ANN.

    Yes, ANN should have been actually looking at the real world, instead of having its head in the sand for the past several years.

    What kind of an organization can these guys have? Are they “clueless?” Are our Church moneys being wasted on such articles as this? Any answers?!




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  38. Dr. Stone said…..

    “Ron Stone M.D. Reply May 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm @Steve Billiter, You’re correct in believing that those who do not believe our biblically based ideas should leave and join some other denomination.

    However, the principal concept of liberals and progressives is that they not only want to “believe” differently, they want to change the SDA Church to comply with these new revelations they have so recently discovered!

    They will not leave, but instead want to teach, preach, and espouse these ideas to our students and members.”

    We should be coming to a clear revelation that the political power in the church transcends the need for spiritual purity.

    The “powers that be” would gladly support any spiritual concept that is biblical if they can do so and maintain the statis quo. But…..if such is not possible, then it is far more important to “hold the church together” by any means available.

    During the reformation period, many agreed with Luther and others about the need and necessity for spiritual restoration. But…..when the chips were down, as Father Staupitz told Luther, “I can not choose to destroy my church.”

    Sad to say, “the church” becomes an idol for many people and in most cases, they don’t even know it. They assume, “loyalty to the church, is ipso facto, loyalty to Christ”. We could wish this were true and in some cases, loyalty to the church is loyalty to Christ. But only if and when “the church” defends the word of God and demands accountability to the bible.

    We see this happening less and less in modern Adventism. Where the bible is more important than the political structure.

    How many know this statement by EGW and its implications?…..

    “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . {LDE 59.3}”

    Notice, EGW uses the word “she” in reference to the church. So this is not simply individuals that this statement applies to. We all know we will individually be judged by God, and the principle applies to individuals. But here, she makes it plain it is not simply individuals, but “the church” as a corporate structure.

    At any rate, this statement is not one most church leaders quote since it is not so flattering and assuring as some others that affirm the final victory of the church. We can only conclude that the bible message God gave the pioneers will “go through to the end” and not necessarily the corporate structure. In this context EGW has well said….

    ” Today, Sunday, I have not attended meeting, but have had to visit considerably. I am grateful to God for the strength and freedom and power of His spirit in bearing my testimony, although it has made the least impression upon many minds than at any period before in my history. Satan has seemed to have power to hinder my work in a wonderful degree, but I tremble to think what would have been in this meeting if we had not been here. God would have worked in some way to prevent this spirit brought to the meeting, having a controlling power. But we are not the least discouraged. We trust in the Lord God of Israel. The truth will triumph and we
    179
    mean to triumph with it. {3SM 178.3}”

    Hopefully, we all can agree with this statement, even if the corporate church is “weighed and found wanting.”

    Bill Sorensen




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  39. BobRyan: Ken – what you have described above is Jim’s hard and fast stand on the glaringly obvious point – that

    you cannot marry the Bible to the story telling for evolutionism.
    Gibson points out the fact that trying to find a way to delete out the literal 7 day week and eisegete (bend and wrench) millions of years into the text – does not work.
    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.
    There is no way to “Bend the Bible” to fit evolutionist storytelling about life being created (evolving) over 100′s of millions of years of time.
    The choice is atheism or christianity as Gibson points out – there is no middle ground.

    ken: (From Jim Gibson’s Quote) “Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.”
    Hi Bob
    Are you sure Jim Gibson is saying science supports 6 day recent creation?




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  40. Editing the above post:

    BobRyan said:

    Ken – what you have described above is Jim’s hard and fast stand on the glaringly obvious point – that

    1. you cannot marry the Bible to the story telling for evolutionism.

    2. Gibson points out the fact that trying to find a way to delete out the literal 7 day week and eisegete (bend and wrench) millions of years into the text – does not work.

    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.

    3. There is no way to “Bend the Bible” to fit evolutionist storytelling about life being created (evolving) over 100′s of millions of years of time.

    The choice is atheism or christianity as Gibson points out – there is no middle ground.

    ken said: (From Jim Gibson’s Quote) “Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.”

    Hi Bob
    Are you sure Jim Gibson is saying science supports 6 day recent creation?

    1. I have not seen anyone on this board post that science is dictating a 6 day creation week or an 8 day creation week or a 4 day creaetion week or a 4 month creaetion week.

    if someone has posted that — please provide the link.

    2. I have not seen anyone on this board post that science is dictating that when birds first appeared on planet earth – it was with the words “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens”

    My guess is that we agree on these points.

    3. Obviously – science (observations in nature 6000 years after the fact) can only go so far in pointing to the actual events that resulted in the appearance of all life on planet earth during creation week.

    That is a far cry from the wild claims that belief in evolutionism can be married to the Bible or that the Bible can be bent to serve the demands of the origins doctrine in evolutionism’s stories.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  41. BTW, I forgot who actually wrote this article. Do you have the name, Shane? Was it some “cub” reporter like Jimmy Olsen on Superman or someone who has some experience?

    Either way, the person who wrote it should either be fired or taught proper “fact finding” and background to their stories printed at ANN.

    Did this person actually KNOW anything about LSU, their Biology Dept. or even Lee Grismer’s background? I find it impossible to believe that a simple “mistake” was made.




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  42. 5-9-11

    Dear Kent (and anyone else who cares to read it.)

    I really do appreciate your kind words. Having just lived through some real “tornados” I’m beginning to feel like I’m in the middle of a “scientific-religious” one and that everything I try to say is just blown out of my mouth and disappears into nothingness.
    I just cannot accept the–to me, anyway–helpless “science doesn’t support it….”,You just have to take it by faith…”, etc I hear over and over again on this site. As if our God isn’t “smart enough” to give us ample evidence of what He did in SIX DAYS! There are GOOD SCIENTIST “out there” who are shaking their heads and laughing at us for our stupidity!

    I’m not a “scientist” in any sense of the word (my late husband was but he passed away in ‘05, just 3 months and eight days before our 60th anniversary) but I don’t think I’m a “dummy” either. I can still read and think and I not only read a lot on the internet but I also subscribe to two Creationist magazines as well as having bought several books on the subject. However, I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of it goes over my ancient head but I can understand enough to see the logic behind the things in their writings that I can understand.

    And another thing–Years ago I bought a book called “None Of These Diseases” by S. I McMillen, M.D. (now deceased) and it was one of those “wow!” books you don’t run across very often. It doesn’t deal with creation or evolution but he gives incident after incident where God gave Abraham and Moses–(that’s the Abraham and Moses of the Bible!) health instruction that “science” didn’t “discover” for centuries!
    Just one example: Cancer of the cervix:
    Two Doctors in two different hospitals began to study the lives of the women who had died from this disease to see if they could find anything in common. They were desperate to find a common cause.
    Suddenly it dawned on them that there were very few Jewish women among those who had died! This was in the early 1900’s– years after I was born!. What made the difference? Medical researchers now agree that the practice of circumcision among Jewish men is responsible for the difference.
    Open your Bible and see what God told Abraham CENTURIES earlier! Genesis 17:9-12. And please notice that God told Abraham the exact day when a baby boy was to be circumcised–the 8th day. (Hundred of modern workers labored at great expense over a number of years to discover the safest day for the circumcision. They finally discovered it was the 8th day–the very day God told Abraham over 4,000 years earlier that it should be done on!
    I won’t go into all the details as to why it is the best day–suffice it to say that is the first day in a baby’s life that it is safe to perform any kind of an operation because that is the first day that all of the necessary safeguards are in place in the little body. One is over 100% in place and on the 9th day it starts to fall back to “normal”.) Even as we appreciate all the hard work of so many for so long we can almost hear the pages of the Bible rustling. They would like to remind us that over 4,000 years ago when God initiated circumcision He said, “he that is eight days old shall be circumcised..;.’
    Just think of the thousands upon thousands of lives that have been lost because “science” was over 4,000 years “late”in their discovery. And this is only ONE of the diseases that have killed millions before “science” discovered a way to stop them–many of which could have been prevented by listening to the wonderful God who created us!
    I firmly believe mankind will discover some day in the not-to-far distance–future that the “scientist’s” at whose altar so many “worship” today will see that they are worshiping at the wrong one. I just hope they won’t discover this truth too late!

    If you are interested, the name of the book is “None of these Diseases.” I believe it was out of print for a number of years but is now available at Amazon and a few other places. Get the one he authored alone–not the one I think his grandson (or maybe son-in-law) revised. (It may be very good but I’ve never read it. And get the hard cover–the paper covered ones have very small margins and smaller print. (I think you will be amazed at what you learn.)

    We truly worship an awesome God. If He knows enough to give good medical advice–and is able to give us so many prophecies in the Bible that have been proven accurate in every detail He certainly can be trusted to tell us the real truth about origins!!!

    Lydian Belknap




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  43. Ron Stone M.D.: BTW, I forgot who actually wrote this article. Do you have the name, Shane? Was it some “cub” reporter like Jimmy Olsen on Superman or someone who has some experience?

    Ron – very often editors are chosen for their ability to communicate and write effectively so instead of seeing people with degrees in theology you will sometimes see people with a degree in English writing serving at that post.

    In that case it is more the reviewers of the article that are accountable for the content being theologically or even scientifically correct, than the actual writer of the article.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  44. Lydian Belknap: Just one example: Cancer of the cervix:
    Two Doctors in two different hospitals began to study the lives of the women who had died from this disease to see if they could find anything in common. They were desperate to find a common cause.
    Suddenly it dawned on them that there were very few Jewish women among those who had died! This was in the early 1900′s– years after I was born!. What made the difference? Medical researchers now agree that the practice of circumcision among Jewish men is responsible for the difference.

    Sorry to be the “devil’s advocate,” so to speak, but why did God design men with a foreskin and then, because it turned out to be unhealthy, ask us to cut it off? Was it a flawed design?




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  45. BobRyan: Ron – very often editors are chosen for their ability to communicate and write effectively so instead of seeing people with degrees in theology you will sometimes see people with a degree in English writing serving at that post. In that case it is more the reviewers of the article that are accountable for the content being theologically or even scientifically correct, than the actual writer of the article.in Christ,Bob

    I agree with you, Bob. In any case, who exactly is responsible for this horrific blunder? Does “the buck” stop anywhere? Is ANN actually “in tune” with what is going on in our SDA Church? I have serious doubts!




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  46. @Lydian Belknap, Thank you for your many great posts. You certainly don’t need to be a scientist to understand science. The so-called “experts” want to intimidate others like yourself into thinking only THEY know how science works and how to intrepret it. Don’t belive it!




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  47. Who actually runs ANN anyway? Does anyone know? When you go to their “Staff Directory” it comes out blank, nothing, nada, kaput!




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  48. From the ANN stylebook and information packet [http://goo.gl/TSb1Q]:

    What adventist news network is not:
    – ANN is not a promotional vehicle that advertises upcoming events.
    – ANN is not a forum for gratuitously airing controversial issues.
    – ANN is not the church’s “propaganda machine.”
    – ANN is not a print publication; it does not seek to replace
    established church publications, but rather to complement them
    by providing news stories they can reproduce

    The list of staff at ANN is on this page: http://goo.gl/7EmG6

    The article in question was written by Elizabeth Lechleitner, a 2006 communications graduate of Andrews University.




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  49. 5-0-11

    No, Eddie, it was NOT a “flawed design!”

    Nothing my God does is EVER flawed. Remember, God created Adam ‘perfect’ so there was something there that was intended for a perfect man and a perfect woman. Just what the purpose was for the way He made man we will not know this side of eternity. This is the work of the devil–NOT our GOD!.

    I hope you noticed that it apparently wasn’t until the time of Abraham that it came to be a problem because that was when God stepped in and provided a remedy.

    “God’s plans have no haste and no delay!”

    I really think you would find that book a real jewel. Diseases are the result of sin–things God never intended for His children to have to suffer like we do. Leprosy, the Black Plaguey, heart disease, cancer–you name it–are all the result of sin and were never intended to be a part of our lives.

    God gave the Children of Israel, through Moses, specific health instructions that, if followed, they would never have had to suffered from the diseases they met with in Egypt. If followed, God promised that “none of diseases” that afflicted the Egyptians would be seen among them.

    In these last days God in His mercy and love gave us the Spirit of Prophecy and in it are many, many additional instructions on how we should live, eat, dress, spend out time,–and much, much, more– to help us live healthy, happy lives. But how many of us really heed the information? It’s “so old fashioned”, “so restrictive”, so “uncool”–(and besides it “tastes good”, “looks good”, “feels good” etc. But, as my grandmother used to say, “If you are going to dance you will have to pay the fiddler!” How true that is!

    (When I was growing up all of EGW’s books had red covers and were lovingly called the “Red Books.” Whether true or not I do not know, but “the saying is” that the colors were changed because people were calling them “the Unread Books!”

    We have an awesome God who loves us with an “everlasting love” and who wants us to be healthy and happy. But if, like the Children of Israel and the world today, we disregard His instructions some day we will have to “pay the fiddler”!. We can’t blame God for our own stupidity and disobedience!

    Lydian

    PS: In no way do I want to imply that everyone who suffers from sickness and unhappiness are that way because they have disregarded God’s instructions and are “paying the fiddler!” That simply is not true in many cases. Many wonderful Christians are sick through no fault of their own. All of us are the decedents of those who have gone before and we have inherited weaknesses or diseases (or health, or strengths) over which we have no control. All who are sick and weak need our help, our encouragement, our prayers–NOT our criticism!




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  50. 5-11-11

    If you will forgive me, Eddie, I have just one more “parting shot,” to give:

    God says:

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
    ” Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
    “Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
    “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” Isaiah 55:8-13;9:1,2.

    And this:

    “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
    ” And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods (SCIENTISTS) of the (WORLD)Amorites, in whose (TIME YOU LIVE)land ye dwell: BUT FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!” Joshua 23:14,15

    Every human being who has ever lived has had to make this choice and the present generation is no exception!

    Lydian




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  51. “Every human being who has ever lived has had to make this choice and the present generation is no exception!”

    Lydian

    If you read enough posts, Lydian, on all the SDA forums, you soon see how impossible it is for the “carnal mind” to preceive the word of God and its meaning.

    Some defend the law and others the gospel. Each group are sure the other group has a warped view of the kingdom of God. We can agree with EGW…..”Error is never harmless, error never sanctifies.”

    For the created mind, the paradox is unresolveable. It is the same old question Lucifer asked in heaven. “How can God be just and merciful and one and the same time?”

    Since the law continually condemns, who can be sure they are “saved”? If the gospel is in full force, why should we worry about salvation?

    The fact is, in our own limited comprehension, we could never know the answer and must necessarily accept the biblical revelation, just as we do about God and creation.

    The biblical revelation of law and grace resolves the paradox in theory, but not completely in practice. Meaning what? Meaning this, we have adequate assurance coupled with fear.

    Many want a “once saved, always saved” assurance that negates the full dynamic of the law and human accountability. They want God to be solely responsible for their salvation. There is no doctrine in the bible that supports this false idea.

    God saves us in such a way, that we save ourselves. God pays the penalty for sin, but not in such a way that it is universally applied and human accountability is negated. Rather, the human factor can resist, ignore and reject what God has done and make God’s grace non-applicable to the individual.

    So, God saves us to a responsible freedom that will determine our eternal destiny.

    Liberals want an irresponsible freedom that sets them free from any aspect of salvation whereby they are held accountable in such a way they can be lost.

    In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.

    Only as law and grace are coupled with each retaining its full dynamic, will the desired result be obtained. We must never try to resolve the paradox. We simple accept it and live within its continuing application.

    So, we are restrained from sin by a fear of the law and justice, and we are restrained from sin by an overwhelming awareness of God’s grace and forgiveness.

    Today, in modern Adventism, the emphasis on grace in opposition to God’s law is undermining the spirituality of the church. The bible is being attack and undermined in a thousand ways. This creation/evolution discussion is typical of the many problems that have surfaced because of ignorance of the biblical principle of law and grace.

    Law and grace coupled together creates an uneasiness in all of us that makes for a healthy relationship with God in the world of sin. People want a “comfortable” religion. There isn’t any in this world.

    So Paul says, “I fear, lest having preached to others, I myself, should be a castaway.” Paul has adequate assurance. But no “once saved, always saved” that frees him for a responsible ongoing decision in his relationship with.

    Many in Adventism today, seek an experience
    not offered in the bible.

    Bill Sorensen




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  52. Re Bill’s Quote

    “In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments, always elucidating.

    I note that your quote doesn’t mention reason or science. So how does the Bible appeal to the open, rational, candid mind? Only through the carrot of salvation and the stick of damnation? If so why should Adventist institutions be in the business of teaching science at all, instead of just being bible colleges?

    I respectfully offer an alternative suggestion: that the advancement of mankind’s knowledge through science was not based on fear or hope but on objective, empirical inquiry.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  53. Adventist kid: From the ANN stylebook and information packet [http://goo.gl/TSb1Q]:The list of staff at ANN is on this page: http://goo.gl/7EmG6The article in question was written by Elizabeth Lechleitner, a 2006 communications graduate of Andrews University.

    Again, I will ask–have these people been living “under a rock” for the past several years?!




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  54. @Ron Stone M.D.: Obviously the article was a slip up, or at least a PR stunt meant to give LSU some positive press. I doubt they’re living under a rock. In the end none of it really matters that much because the article was pulled.




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  55. Adventist kid: From the ANN stylebook and information packet [http://goo.gl/TSb1Q]:The list of staff at ANN is on this page: http://goo.gl/7EmG6The article in question was written by Elizabeth Lechleitner, a 2006 communications graduate of Andrews University.

    We’re not expecting “propaganda” simply a professional job of printing the truth. It sounds like they need to regroup or get some new people who actually know what they’re doing.

    If you think I’m nuts, simply read another story on ANN in which the author proclaims pastors should be giving out condoms (with their faces (the pastors face!) on them) to encourage the sexually tempted to “be good” and not get pregnant.

    What next? SDA “pregnancy counselling” centers providing abortions?! That also would help cut down on unwanted pregnancies.




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  56. Why is the reputation of a news reporter being clandered here? Lee Grismer is allegedly SDA, works at a SDA institution, and often makes headlines with his scientific discoveries. The author may have been simply covering the news story without grilling Lee Grismer about his views of origins and SDA fundamental beliefs. When Baby Fae became headline news back in the 1980s I doubt any SDA news reporter ever asked him about his personal views on abortion, physician-assisted suicide, cause of homosexuality, origins, or any other controversial issues–and even if he held a view conflicting with that of most SDAs I doubt that would have precluded them from reporting the story. If ANN reported news only from perfect SDAs, there would be nothing to report about–except, perhaps, a certain pathologist who understands science better than any Nobel laureate.




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  57. Eddie: Why is the reputation of a news reporter being clandered here? Lee Grismer is allegedly SDA, works at a SDA institution, and often makes headlines with his scientific discoveries. The author may have been simply covering the news story without grilling Lee Grismer about his views of origins and SDA fundamental beliefs. When Baby Fae became headline news back in the 1980s I doubt any SDA news reporter ever asked him about his personal views on abortion, physician-assisted suicide, cause of homosexuality, origins, or any other controversial issues–and even if he held a view conflicting with that of most SDAs I doubt that would have precluded them from reporting the story. If ANN reported news only from perfect SDAs, there would be nothing to report about–except, perhaps, a certain pathologist who understands science better than any Nobel laureate.

    How has this reporter been slandered? If ANN wants to be taken seriously, they had better get more intense scrutiny about what they are telling us.

    If they say they never heard of the controversy at LSU, then they definitely need to regroup and maybe get some more professional staff. How can anyone take these guys seriously? I certainly don’t!




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  58. Shane Hilde: @Ron Stone M.D.: Obviously the article was a slip up, or at least a PR stunt meant to give LSU some positive press. I doubt they’re living under a rock. In the end none of it really matters that much because the article was pulled.

    Shane, Please explain how a “news network” cannot be “living under a rock” when they do a story on a person who has been accused of undermining our SDA beliefs, and not even mention this fact.

    This story has been going on for years, especially during the past two years. Is ANN that far behind in what’s “up” in the SDA world?!




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  59. Ken asks…..

    “Re Bill’s Quote

    “In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments, always elucidating.

    I note that your quote doesn’t mention reason or science. So how does the Bible appeal to the open, rational, candid mind? Only through the carrot of salvation and the stick of damnation? If so why should Adventist institutions be in the business of teaching science at all, instead of just being bible colleges?”

    Well, Ken, the bible’s main concern is first and foremost the issue of man’s relationship with God. In other words, what is sin and how is it dealt with?

    Certainly, the elements of natural law are relevant to some degree. After all, God said He created everything, and our physical life is sustained by natural law elements. So, there is some parallel and contrast between spiritual law and natural law.

    EGW said in the Desire of Ages, “Christ became one flesh with us (physical and natural law product) that we might become one spirit with Him (spiritual law and motivation).”

    Since we operate in both spheres continually, and can’t have one without the other, natural law science and spiritual law science are important. But it is imperative that we make a clear distinction between the two, even though they work together.

    How we determine parallel and contrast must be subjected to revelation first and foremost. That is, what does the bible say concerning the two sciences?

    The bible is the authoritative basis for all conclusions. And this should be obvious since no one can by natural law determine spiritual law conclusions. How could we know “God created the world in six days and rested the seventh” by examining natural law?

    None the less, we can learn many useful truths by a study of natural law. Health principles for instances. Healing arts, and other useful data are gleaned from natural law. But to try to understand all the basic elements of God’s moral government by natural law is futile.

    1. You could never know the seventh day is the Sabbath by natural law. It is a moral law revelation.
    2. You could never know that our relationship with God is based on the law of imputation by the study of nature.
    We can only approach God by way of Jesus His Son.
    3. Jesus is equal to God and we are not. Every false religion either destroys or blurs this distinction. So it will either make man equal to God, or, bring God down to the same level as man.

    Where are you going to learn this by way of natural law?

    Much more could be said, Ken. But this whole creation/evolution discussion is directly related to the issues I have stated above.

    It is simply not possible to “prove” spiritual law mandates and revelations by way of natural law. None of the ten commandments can be sustained solely by natural law.

    Adultery is not a “natural law” violation. People do it all the time with no penalty for doing it. Now it is true, if you violate some “natural law” factors in committing adultery, you will certainly suffer the penalty. But, if you remain in harmony with the natural law, there is no ill effect.

    You may ask, “Don’t people suffer guilt for doing it, and doesn’t this affect the physical well being?” Yes, it does. But not because of some physical violation of the commandment. It simply shows how the spiritual and physical work together.

    And when people have no sense of guilt, neither do they suffer a physical reaction.

    Now we see why there is a judgment by God to determine the punishment for violation of the moral law. No one is “punished” adequately by natural law for a moral law violation.

    This debunks those who teach God does not act against sin, but simply lets sin run its on natural law course and sin punishes itself by way of natural.

    “The wages of sin is death.” This is not a “natural law” declaration. It is a moral law judgment made by God who will inflict on the wicked the punishment they deserve.

    Bill Sorensen




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  60. BTW, Eddie, Next time you accuse me or anyone of “slander” please explain HOW I have slandered them. You seem to leave out the evidence of slander on your posts.

    I accused this reporte of sloppy reporting. Evidently, ANN agreed with me, as they pulled the article! Did they commit “slander” too?




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  61. Can somebody explain to my why any Christian would want to fellowship with somebody who writes comments such as these about fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?

    Ron Stone M.D.: the person who wrote it should either be fired or taught proper “fact finding” and background to their stories printed at ANN.

    Ron Stone M.D.: who exactly is responsible for this horrific blunder?

    Ron Stone M.D.: have these people been living “under a rock” for the past several years?!

    Ron Stone M.D.: Please explain how a “news network” cannot be “living under a rock” when they do a story on a person who has been accused of undermining our SDA beliefs, and not even mention this fact.

    Ron Stone M.D.: ANN is a classic example of working with your “eyes wide shut”

    Ron Stone M.D.: another terribly embarrassing example of how our SDA Church is working with their “heads in the sand,” being, as Sam Pipim states, “administrative ostriches” completely “out of it” when it comes to actually supporting our SDA bibliclal beliefs.

    Ron Stone M.D.: Grismer should be totally exposed for the complete fraud he is

    Ron Stone M.D.: ANN is probably what Stalin termed a “useful idiot” in regards to publishing this article.

    Ron Stone M.D.: ANN should have been actually looking at the real world, instead of having its head in the sand for the past several years.

    Ron Stone M.D.: What kind of an organization can these guys have? Are they “clueless?” Are our Church moneys being wasted on such articles as this?




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  62. Eddie, I don’t know that every statement by Dr. Stone is completely “spiritual” in his evaluation.

    None the less, you could make the same accusations about any of the bible writers who “attack” the evil they preceived was apparent in the “Christian” community of their day.

    John the Baptist said, “You generation of vipers…….” Was that “Christian”?

    Luther called the Pope “the antichrist and the devil’s apostle.”

    EGW called some SDA pastor “Dumb dogs that won’t bark.”

    We could easily give a multitude of examples simular to this.

    I have certainly said many things that more than a few would consider less than “Christian”.

    Many may discern that I am not the church’s “favorite son”. But I assume that Dr. Stone and a host of others in the past have a high regard for historic bible Adventism and feel somewhat grieved by the lack of action by those who have the influence and authority to do something about it.

    There has never been any substancial reform without considerable opposition to it by the statis quo.

    Your phrase “brothers and sisters in Christ” is pretty generic, wouldn’t you say? Are all Catholics “brothers and sisters in Christ?” I would hope that at least some are, but such a blanket coverage is hardly the case.

    The same can be said for Protestantism in general and even SDA’s in particular.

    Anyone who has an interest in maintaining the historic faith of Christanity in general and bible Adventism in particular would do well to become more sensitive to many issues in the church today.

    Some of us discern what seems to be a stronger emphasis to maintain the political structure based on money, power and influence, than to defend the truth of God’s word and the honor of His Son.

    We may not know who will be on what side in the end. We do know that “two parties will be developed” (EGW), one for good and one for evil in the church.

    Indifference will necessarily place us on the wrong side by default. And apparently, this is where most will end up.

    Bill Sorensen




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  63. Eddie: Can somebody explain to my why any Christian would want to fellowship with somebody who writes comments such as these about fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?

    I am a member of a large SDA church and many members have thanked me for my comments, including an Elder and an evangelist. No one, except you, have questioned whether others should “fellowship” with me.

    You may not like truth, and have accused me of “slander” but I have not seen or heard of those who have allegedly been slandered challenging what I have stated–because it is truthful although not “pretty.”

    We have very few SDA’s willing to challenge the problems our SDA Church faces by the infiltration of secular humanistic philosophies. Those that do are vilified–such as Dave Assherick, Sam Pipim, Doug Batchelor, Shane, Sean, etc.

    My comments have focused on public statements, actions, and lack of action of some of our leaders. Those that I have mentioned deserve to be scrutinized, as they are representatives of our Church, control many aspects, and draw a salary from our tithes/offerings or both.

    If you want to maintain a namby-pampy, “who cares” attitude about serious Church matters, go ahead. Others will have to take up the slack for you and others like you.




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  64. Dear Bill

    Thank you very much for your exposition on the good book. I greatly appreciated it and am that much better informed.

    I hope I was not being trite in my comments. The Bible is a important fascinating, book, irrespective as to whether one believes it is the word, or inspired word of God. Perhaps all sacred texts qualify in that respect as the authors seem to be inspired by something outside of themselves that speaks of the divine. Then again maybe that is just man’s fertile imagination at play.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  65. Dear Bill

    “Thank you very much for your exposition on the good book. I greatly appreciated it and am that much better informed.”

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Ken, like Paul, I could wish you were not only better informed, but a confessed believer.

    I don’t think “agnostic” would be a very commendable confession in the mind of Jesus.

    In the end, it is simply a soffisticated way of saying “I don’t believe it,” without sounding antagonistic to Christanity. And Jesus says, “He that is not for me, is against me.”

    You said…..

    “I hope I was not being trite in my comments. The Bible is a important fascinating, book, irrespective as to whether one believes it is the word, or inspired word of God. Perhaps all sacred texts qualify in that respect as the authors seem to be inspired by something outside of themselves that speaks of the divine.”

    To compare the bible with other books as having some equal level of inspiration and/or authority is “trite”, Ken. I don’t think you meant it that way, but if you carefully consider the bible’s own declaration of authority over every other revelation, then you could see how the bible itself would judge your evaluation of it as less than it claims for itself.

    Of course, we judge the bible, don’t we? But we must see that in the end, the bible judges us. And in the very end, every knee will bow and confess its authority over all humanity. Sad to say, for many, if not most, it will be too late to repent and every lost soul will say, “I knew it was true, I just didn’t want to believe it.”

    So, Paul says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.”

    An intensely serious business, wouldn’t you say? One thing that impresses me about the bible is how intense the writers are. They are utterly consumed with the necessity to understand their testimony and take it to heart. I could only wish I could comprehend and grasp the same spirit that inspired their testimony and learn to appreciate more fully their import and application on my own life.

    I wish that not only for myself, but for you and every other soul seeking a knowledge of God and His will. The devil has had marvelous success in undermining this reality and destroying the intensity of the bible on the mind of modern man.

    We must be near the end.

    Bill Sorensen




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  66. Re Bill’s Quote

    “To compare the bible with other books as having some equal level of inspiration and/or authority is “trite”, Ken.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    Trite? Are you saying that all other religious texts are trite Bill! Don’t you think there are strong people of faith in all religions that believe just as deeply as you do in their sacred texts?

    Bill, you may believe that the Bible is superior, that is your absolute right. But to say others are not equally inspired by their holy books is trite is incredible.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  67. Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    Trite? Are you saying that all other religious texts are trite Bill! Don’t you think there are strong people of faith in all religions that believe just as deeply as you do in their sacred texts?

    Bill, you may believe that the Bible is superior, that is your absolute right. But to say others are not equally inspired by their holy books is trite is incredible.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    You must know by now, Ken, that all “Christians” are bigots to unbelievers.
    We have no room for “other religions” except in the context of religious liberty.

    We are all free to believe what ever we want. This does not mean we are all right in what we believe.

    Can you imagine the consternation of people as they read and/or heard the words of Peter.

    “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

    Was and is that radical or what? Over the years, Christanity has lost much of its dynamic because many Christians refuse to acknowledge many things that if taken seriously, are scandalous. And let me make a serious comment here, Ken.

    Any and all religions are defined, not by what they hold in common with each other, but rather by what they hold in a radical opposition to all others.

    The world is trying to claim the radical Muslim’s are not really in harmony with that particular confession of faith. But in fact, the radical element in that faith is exactly what defines the religion.

    People don’t want to admit this truth, for if they do, they must deal with it. But if they can claim the radical element is not the true faith, they can ignore its true meaning and press for a one world religion that is generic without any particular dynamic. This is utterly false.

    The Catholic church has a radical dynamic confession of faith that truly defines its identity. Namely, the Pope is God on earth. Is this radical or what? But it is the real dynamic of Catholicism.

    And what they hold in common with Islam is this. All opposers must be converted, or eventually be put to death. They may not bring it up in the present political confrontations. But in this, they are exactly like the Muslim faith.

    So I say “yes”, Ken. Every concept that attacks or disagrees with the bible is “trite”. It is worthless drivel. It is Satanic and antichrist in content. Neither can it motivate people to be members of God’s kingdom. EGW has well said….

    “The only religion that lead to God, is the one the comes from God.”

    None of the false religions come from God. Therefore, they can not lead to God.

    And finally, Ken, we alone as historic SDA’s have the biblical truth that “leads to God” because it “come from God.” No one and no teaching can prepare people for the coming of the true Christ of the bible except the historic SDA faith. All other religions as well as apostate Christanity are preparing the world for Satan to personate the coming of Christ.

    Is that radical, Ken? You bet it is, and the true believing SDA’s don’t apologize for it, nor try to “dumb down” our message to patronize the world or apostate Christanity. You see then, that many, if not most present day SDA’s will join the world in attacking those “radical” SDA’s who will not yield to and patronize the “new world order” and its generic religious confessions that embrace all religions.

    Like Peter, we say, “There is no other confession of faith but our historic teaching that makes true believers who will be ready for Jesus to come.”

    By the way, Ken, I don’t know if I can find 100 SDA’s who agree with me. This is how badly the church has been corrupted by liberal sentiments and false teaching for the last few decades. I suspect 100 years ago, the vast majority of confessing SDA’s would agree, but not today.

    And this why the creation/evolution discussion has any relevant dialogue anyway. In the past, it would be less than a fart in the wind. Evolutionists would have been run out of town and would have had no influence on any true believing Christian and certainly not on any viable SDA.

    And now, hopefully, some of you will know why at least some of us are upset and even a little frustrated by a wimpy non-commital leadership that are to spiritually gutless to do anything but blow smoke and do politics.

    Of course, in the near future, they will surely “discipline” anyone who will challenge their self appointed authority. And let me say this in closing.

    “I have heard the dragon roar before, and it wasn’t Rome.”

    It was the SDA church.

    Bill Sorensen




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  68. Re Bill’s Quotes

    “And finally, Ken, we alone as historic SDA’s have the biblical truth that “leads to God” because it “come from God.”

    “By the way, Ken, I don’t know if I can find 100 SDA’s who agree with me.”

    Hi Bill

    Well my friend, don’t let anyone say you pull your punches or don’t have conviction!I respect your forthrightness.

    If you are right and only 100 souls agree with you, does that mean only those 101 currently alive are to be saved? That’s not a very good track record.

    Bill, would Jesus be such a zealot to save so few if they believed in Him from a diversity of viewpoints? Do you have any doubts whatsoever that you might be wrong?

    Me, I haven’t got the foggiest notion. But it seems to me that if such a thing as Sean’s espoused Royal Law of Love exists as the ultimate determinant that would be divine.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  69. Hi Bill

    Well my friend, don’t let anyone say you pull your punches or don’t have conviction!I respect your forthrightness.

    If you are right and only 100 souls agree with you, does that mean only those 101 currently alive are to be saved? That’s not a very good track record.

    Bill, would Jesus be such a zealot to save so few if they believed in Him from a diversity of viewpoints? Do you have any doubts whatsoever that you might be wrong?

    Ken, I obviously could not know exactly who does or doesn’t agree with me. Hopefully, more than I would suspect.

    As to exactly how people should believe in Jesus, we have one rule to go by. What does the bible say? And one thing it says for sure is this, “Love does not take the place of obedience to God’s law.”

    Part of the Protestant confession of faith states, “spirit and form always agree.”

    That is, the motive of love is always in harmony with the form defined by the bible.

    Even some aspects of Adventism has abandon this part of the Protest doctrine.

    And yes, Ken, I could always be wrong, but the bible is not. If I wash my brain by the scriptures continually, and ask for the Holy Spirit to help me understand its teaching and meaning, then I believe eventually I will come to a concensus of what it teaches.

    For me personally, most of the bible is parallel and contrast. To know which is which will create a flowing unity that is in perfect harmony with the whole.

    Old and new covenant presents a classic example of parallel and contrast. For many SDA’s, it defines for us the proper function of law and gospel. But once again, even this is being erroded with some non-biblical dispensational philosophies that would imply that the old covenant is one religion and the new another.

    As though old covenant believers had to keep the law to be saved, while new covenant believers trust in Jesus.

    Old covenant believers had to keep the ten commandments and trust in Jesus. The ceremonial law was simply a sign of faith in the ministry of Christ to come.

    We also have to keep the law and trust in Jesus. We just don’t need to keep the ceremonial law as a sign of His coming. Obviously, He already came.

    And let me conclude by saying this Ken. I understand the Protestant reformation and its teaching. I understand EGW. And finally, I understand the bible. They all teach the same basic thoughts and ideas. But for the life of me, I confess I don’t understand most the stuff being presented by many modern SDA scholars. For me, it mostly a bunch of mass confusion and seriously doubt that many who write know themselves what they mean.

    So I understand Moses, Jesus, Paul, Peter and James. I find very little spiritual food in all the rest. Even our SS lessons are often more speculation than bible realities.

    Yes, I could be wrong, Ken. But as Luther said, “Show me by the scriptures where I am in error, and I will renounce all that I have written.”

    They couldn’t,…and he didn’t.

    Well, I am not Luther, but I like his stand on the bible. And he made mistakes too. But he wanted to be corrected by the bible, not human speculation.

    Bill Sorensen




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  70. @Steve Billiter:
    Steve said, “My position is as always; if any Adventist church member denies any one of our Biblically sound 28 beliefs persistently so, then that person should be removed from the church rolls and invited to join another church that’s more comparable with his/her beliefs.”

    Amen, Steve. So few nowadays have the courage to take this stance. The truth is that if we continue to allow discord to continue within the church it will bring us all down. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    After all, when we join this church, we take vows before God that we agree with the beliefs of the church. Anyone who then blatantly contradicts these beliefs does not belong in the church and should be disfellowshiped.

    The teachers and professors who do this should be held to a higher accountability than anyone else as they are entrusted with the minds of the students and they can do more damage in a shorter time than any other person.

    In my opinion, as soon as this deviation arose, there should have been an immediate cull of those who did not agree with the teachings of the church and openly taught their students from their own viewpoint. This issue does not involve mere personal opinion–it involves sin in one of its ugliest and most treacherous forms.

    God Bless you for having the courage to voice this, Steve.

    Faith




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  71. Steve Billiter: My position is as always; if any Adventist church member denies any one of our Biblically sound 28 beliefs persistently so, then that person should be removed from the church rolls and invited to join another church that’s more comparable with his/her beliefs.

    Faith: Anyone who then blatantly contradicts these beliefs does not belong in the church and should be disfellowshiped.

    What if there is no other church that is closer to their beliefs? For example, if a person believes in all of the fundamental beliefs except for fundamental belief 24 (Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary), which church would you recommend that they join? Would you tell that person that he/she can no longer consider him/herself SDA and cannot enter a SDA church building?

    If those who do not accept one or more fundamental beliefs are to be disfellowshipped, what evidence would be required? The testimony of a witness? More than one witness? A jury trial?

    How would you be able to determine whether everybody you worship with actually accepts all 28 fundamental beliefs? Should every church member sign an oath affirming their acceptance of all 28 fundamental beliefs? If so, what happens if they change their mind? Should the oath be signed every year?




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  72. A 2002 survey of Adventists worldwide showed that 86% accepted the sanctuary interpretation of 1844, though a whopping 35% believed there may be more than one interpretation of this doctrine. 81% accepted the authority of Ellen White, though a whopping 50% saw a need for a modern reinterpretation of White’s writings. Interestingly, 93% accepted a creation in 6 days. Personally, I am grateful that those who disagree with some of our message still want to hear and be a part of the remaining message. I praise God for their continuing interest, and the Church’s warm invitation (from most members) for their continued fellowship with us.

    A “Valuegenesis” study in 2000 of students at Adventist high schools in North America showed a generally high acceptance of the church’s beliefs. However, some beliefs, such as marriage within the same faith, the remnant, Ellen White’s gift of prophecy, and the investigative judgment, met with acceptance rates less than 63% percent. At what age should we be expelling our youth from among us? Should we allow the Holy Spirit to do his important work while they continue fellowshiping with us, or should we take it on ourselves to test their fidelity to “truth” and end the opportunity when it is clear they are not settled in it?




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  73. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    There are some here who talk incessantly of the liberal/conservative divide, and the desire to divide the Church by removing all those on the liberal side. So what is it–do we want to divide ourselves or remain united?




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  74. Hi Bill

    What do you think of Harold Camping’s biblical interpretation?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    I admit, Ken, that I don’t know all the details of Camping’s philosophy. I understand he has set a certain year that Jesus will come.

    I don’t subscribe to such an idea. We have no prophetic time line to vindicate such speculation. 1844 is the last date we can prove by bible prophecy. And as we know, that was not the second coming as many thought it was.

    We are in “the time of the end” since that date. The present time is the time of the final restoration of God’s people as the “first fruits” of the mature community of believers that God purposed from the beginning.

    The theme of the bible is restoration. And down through history, God’s people have asked again and again “When will the kingdom be restored?” Acts. 1:6

    Simply put, when the church on earth reflects the church in of heaven that reflects Jesus and the kingdom of God, then Jesus will come and take His people home. So that the church on earth and the church in heaven are one and the same.

    In this context, it is far more important for us to know and believe we are members of that heavenly church than any particular church structure on earth.

    Every time God has raised up a visible church on earth as a means of grace to advance God’s kingdom, Satan has infiltrated it, corrupted it, until it became the antichrist movement in this world. The Jews, the early church, modern Protestantism and possibly modern Adventism in the present day.

    Has Adventism committed the “unpardonable sin” as a visible church by departing from the bible? I don’t know. I do know that much of the evidence points to the fact that the SDA church is at least in the process of doing just that.

    Can the visible church finally succeed as God’s instrumentality to reflect the church of heaven? I say, yes. But only and if people come to realize there is no “unconditional election” of any church and unless we truly “repent” and accept our obligation and responsibility to demand accountability of ourselves individually and the church corporately, there is no hope for the SDA denomination.

    The devil loves to have people think the church can not and will not fail. This allows them to ignore their accountability and responsibility and assume that somehow God will make it all come out OK.

    What I am saying is this, the church can succeed only if people accept the fact the church can fail. Any other spirituality is false and self destructive.

    Church leaders love to sell church infallibility. This allows them essentially to do as they please with threats and intimidation of church members to “remain loyal” no matter what the condition is or will be. It is nothing but superstition. It has nothing to do with the bible.

    By the way, we see that people generally love to believe it, and this is one reason it is so popular.

    So, a Baptist may become a SDA and state, “Boy am I glad I found the true church. I thought I was in it before, but I know I am in the true church now.”

    He may be no better off spiritually now, than he was then. He has simply moved his loyalty from one visible church to another and still not be a member of the church of heaven.

    A true bible student is always wary of any church that claims or even implies it is the one infallible final church that can not or will not fail. With such a philosophy, it not only can fail, but has declared a spirituality that dooms it to failure.

    People love sensationalism. So I would suspect Dr. Camping has a rather large following. And what do you think of his presentation?

    Bill Sorensen




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  75. Professor Kent said…..

    ““A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    There are some here who talk incessantly of the liberal/conservative divide, and the desire to divide the Church by removing all those on the liberal side. So what is it–do we want to divide ourselves or remain united?”

    I personally don’t subscribe to some “witch hunt” to determine who can remain a church member and who must be put out.

    People are on various levels of understanding of the historic SDA bible message. But if and when any individual begins to attack any fundamental church doctrine and undermine the concensus agreement of the church in general, then they should be dealt with in no uncertain terms.

    To claim you are not certain and don’t know is one thing. But to claim you have carefully considered any given issue and are convinced it is wrong is something else altogether.

    Historic Seventh-day Adventism is a “system of truth” that is made up of several unifying concepts. Each concept agrees with the others and compliments and impliments the whole system.

    The pioneers did not sit down and discover first one idea and then another and finally say, “Hey, let’s start a church.” It is not a bunch of helter-skelter ideas that are unrelated to each other. We must understand that in the end, to deny one concept is to deny the whole.

    Everything they discovered, was in light of the Investigative Judgment and the 1844 prophetic time line. So, they found….

    1. The Sabbath.
    2. State of the dead.
    3. The thousands years are not on earth but in heaven after the second coming.
    4. The close of probation preceeds the 7 last plagues.
    5. And many other related issues that all tie together to make up a perfect whole.

    No issue can be denied without destroying the whole. They are all solid immoveable parts found in the bible.

    All these issues can be discussed with the purpose of learning and more clearly defining the application and its meaning for the church community. But to attack some aspect of this system of truth is to attack the whole of it.

    We should be able to see clearly, that anyone who attacks the IJ will eventually give up the 7th day Sabbath.

    But we should not throw people out of the church just because they do not know exactly how and why the IJ is important. But, again, if they claim they have carefully studied all the issues and reject them and use their influence to undermine church doctrines, they should be dealt with.

    Bill Sorensen




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  76. Eddie asked: “Should every church member sign an oath affirming their acceptance of all 28 fundamental beliefs? If so, what happens if they change their mind? Should the oath be signed every year?”

    The answer to that is basically Yes…it is called the Baptismal vow all SDAs take. I know it would be lovely to have everyone saved, but that is not the reality. This is serious stuff. You only get one lifetime to figure it all out and sometimes that is cut short, courtesy of the devil.

    Here’s what I see happening in our church: We have become a people that worship ourselves and our own opinions. Thus people have come to believe that they can shape the church to their way of thinking instead of realizing that the church is established by God and that He makes the rules. Where our choice lies is in the fact that we can choose whether or not to accept these beliefs and follow God by joining His church. If you really think about it, it is the height of gall to think that we can tell God what to do in His own church.

    I know it seems harsh, but the fact is that even one cherished sin can keep you out of the Kingdom. Even one. And there is a good reason for this. If the line is not drawn there, then where? Do you think, Eddie, that it would be acceptable to allow 1 sin each as a criterium for heaven? No? Why not? Because then sin is not erradicated from the universe as God has promised it would be. Then Heaven would not be Heaven.

    In a small way, the earthly church is in a similar situation. If we allow people into the church who refuse to believe as we do, do you think they will keep silent? Uh-uh. They will infect others with their error. Do you think their presence will cause harmony or disunion? What is happening now with our church–why it is in such disarray–is a perfect example of the results of not holding the line.

    Jesus prayed that we should all be one. Is that happening in our church today–no. Some say one thing, some say another. So you think it is harsh to disfellowship these people who refuse to “come into line” as the angel in Ellen’s vision commanded? How so? Don’t forget it is their choice. The church has its doctrines laid out for all to study. God established these doctrines. We have the choice to accept or reject them. But if we reject them we make ourselves unfit to commune with God’s people.

    If these people change their minds and want to return to the church no one is stopping them. In fact we would welcome them and rejoice in their decision.

    And please don’t try to villify the church or the members who are calling for this solution to our problem. It is the only viable solution there is, which is why God made provision for it in the first place. Study the book of Exodus and see how God handled the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. God did that, not because He is a harsh judge, but because He saw that He had to sacrifice the rebellious ones to save the rest of the congregation.

    What is happening in our church today is much the same. It is a widespread rebellion against God and His word. If you (the generic you)don’t believe in God as your Creator, you don’t believe His word. And if you don’t believe His word, what are you doing in His church to begin with? What could you possibly want with such a fellowship? The basis of all Christianity is to be a disciple of Christ…that is what Christians are supposed to be. If you don’t believe in Him or His word, you cannot be a Christian.

    The church is not just a social club. Joining God’s church is a serious life-and-death decision…actually an eternal-life-and-eternal-death decision. God has a right to expect that the members of His church believe in His doctrines. And when we get to the bottom line, when He comes to take His children home, they will all be the ones who are in harmony with Him, no ifs, ands, or buts, else there would be no harmony in Heaven.




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  77. Prof Kent said:”There are some here who talk incessantly of the liberal/conservative divide, and the desire to divide the Church by removing all those on the liberal side. So what is it–do we want to divide ourselves or remain united?”

    What you seem to be overlooking here is that the liberals are the dividing factor. They are causing the rift themselves. In order to avoid that rift there must be common agreement. There can never be peace as long as there are two camps in our church. The church is based on the doctrines God gave us. That is what defines the SDA church and the reason for its existance. If they don’t subscribe to this set of beliefs, they don’t belong. Simple. It isn’t rocket science. And it isn’t the fault of the conservatives; it is a choice the liberals make. But they cannot be allowed to come into a church and change it to suit their own tastes. If the SDA church is not to their taste then they should find one that is. It is not our right as human beings to change God’s rules. Period. We are in this church to worship Him, and to prepare ourselves for His coming. We don’t worship ourselves, the world or each other. Anyone who does this, doesn’t belong. I make no apologies for this stance. If you read my post to Eddie above, you will understand why. Frankly I am getting a little tired of the humanistic approach that seems to keep cropping up here. When judgment day comes, we won’t be standing at the judgment bar before our peers–and certainly not before the ones who don’t want to even follow the church doctrines–we stand before God. And we will all be quaking in our boots then, wishing we had adhered to His laws more carefully. But all have sinned and come short of the law. Thank God there is a Mediator for us on that day…that is, if we choose to follow Him now. Those who deny Him now, He will deny then. A serious thought–don’t you think?




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  78. Faith: I know it seems harsh, but the fact is that even one cherished sin can keep you out of the Kingdom. Even one.

    I’m pretty sure that most of us who end up in the Kingdom will have many cherished sins. That’s why Jesus died on our behalf, and why God judges Jesus instead of us. It’s called righteousness by faith.




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  79. Professor Kent stated…..

    “I’m pretty sure that most of us who end up in the Kingdom will have many cherished sins. That’s why Jesus died on our behalf, and why God judges Jesus instead of us. It’s called righteousness by faith.”

    What you have described, Professor Kent, is “unrighteousness by faith”.

    There will be no “cherished sin” in heaven. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”

    The whole process of conversion is to change the mind of the sinner to love God and hate sin.

    In this life we struggle continually with the desires of the flesh against the spirit, but there will be no such conflict in heaven. The world, the flesh, and the devil will have no influence nor power in that heavenly kingdom.

    Today, we “fight the good fight of faith”. But this will not be necessary in heaven. And this is one primary reason all true believers long for the coming of Jesus.

    Bill Sorensen




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  80. And by the way, Professor Kent, God does not “judge Jesus instead of us” in the investigative judgment.

    The IJ is to determine who has been “born again” and keeps the law of God. It is a judgment of all professed believers claims to being a Christian.

    Jesus was “judged for us on the cross”. But this is not the final judgment of the professing Christian community.

    I know that many hold your opinion in the church today, but it is a superficial view at best and heretical at worst. And it is one of the main reasons we have such a liberal church today.

    It is assumed we can not overcome sin, so Jesus simply inserts Himself in our place when our name comes up for judgment. There is not a shred of evidence in the bible or spirit of prophecy for such a faulty view.

    That Jesus stands with us in judgment is biblical. Christ and the believer are judged together as a single unit like husband and wife. I don’t stand alone, but neither does Jesus simply stand in my place. The record of my life and the merits of Christ are both required to pass the final judgment.

    Hope everyone has a blessed Sabbath. The final and perfect sign of faith and works.
    The final atonement in action.

    Bill Sorensen




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  81. Faith: Prof Kent said:”There are some here who talk incessantly of the liberal/conservative divide, and the desire to divide the Church by removing all those on the liberal side. So what is it–do we want to divide ourselves or remain united?”What you seem to be overlooking here is that the liberals are the dividing factor. They are causing the rift themselves. In order to avoid that rift there must be common agreement. There can never be peace as long as there are two camps in our church. The church is based on the doctrines God gave us. That is what defines the SDA church and the reason for its existance. If they don’t subscribe to this set of beliefs, they don’t belong. Simple. It isn’t rocket science. And it isn’t the fault of the conservatives; it is a choice the liberals make. But they cannot be allowed to come into a church and change it to suit their own tastes. If the SDA church is not to their taste then they should find one that is. It is not our right as human beings to change God’s rules. Period. We are in this church to worship Him, and to prepare ourselves for His coming. We don’t worship ourselves, the world or each other. Anyone who does this, doesn’t belong. I make no apologies for this stance. If you read my post to Eddie above, you will understand why. Frankly I am getting a little tired of the humanistic approach that seems to keep cropping up here. When judgment day comes, we won’t be standing at the judgment bar before our peers–and certainly not before the ones who don’t want to even follow the church doctrines–we stand before God. And we will all be quaking in our boots then, wishing we had adhered to His laws more carefully. But all have sinned and come short of the law. Thank God there is a Mediator for us on that day…that is, if we choose to follow Him now. Those who deny Him now, He will deny then. A serious thought–don’t you think?

    You’re absolutely correct. The liberals and progressives want to stay IN our SDA Church so they can lead us down the secular humanistic spiral. They want to remain “in” the Church so they can keep causing problems such as we see at LSU.

    Otherwise, they would leave and form their own “SDA Church of the Real Truth” and die a slow miserable death, along with the rest of the denominations that have adopted a similar philosophy.




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  82. Bill Sorensen: It is assumed we can not overcome sin, so Jesus simply inserts Himself in our place when our name comes up for judgment. There is not a shred of evidence in the bible or spirit of prophecy for such a faulty view. … The record of my life and the merits of Christ are both required to pass the final judgment.

    Assumed? Whether I can overcome sin or not, I can assure you that I am failing and have little confidence that I will EVER succeed 100%. Yet I believe with total conviction that Jesus died once for my sins, that his atonement was both complete and sufficient, and that I can be saved in spite of my personal record. If God gives any weight to my own record, I will, without question, be found wanting, devoid of any merit whatsoever, and as lost as the thief on the cross until he accepted Jesus at the last hour. If I’m a heretic, I’ll die a heretic, but in Jesus’s outstretched arms.

    Bill Sorensen: Hope everyone has a blessed Sabbath. The final and perfect sign of faith and works. The final atonement in action.

    Huh?




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  83. Can a rational, candid mind find potentially falsifiable empirical evidence for a righteousness that comes by faith? Just curious.




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  84. Professor Kent said……

    ” Whether I can overcome sin or not, I can assure you that I am failing and have little confidence that I will EVER succeed 100%.”

    That is truly sad, professor. You deny the power of the cross to utterly and completely transform a life into “the moral image of God.” Of course, your view is not in any way shape or form in harmony with historic Adventism and certainly not supported by EGW.

    The whole probationary period is a time of test and trial, but by all who are obedient to Christ the words of the inspired John will be experienced: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” The Lord Jesus came to strengthen every earnest seeker for truth, to reveal the Father. He allowed nothing to divert His mind from the great work of restoring to men and women the moral image of God. And every human agent must see that the great and important work for them in this life is to receive the divine likeness, to prepare a character for the future life. . . . {CTr 33.4}

    In the beginning God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But sin has almost obliterated the moral image of God in human beings. Jesus came down to our world that He might give us a living example, that we might know how to live and how to keep the way of the Lord. He was the image of the Father. His beautiful and spotless character is before us as an example for us to imitate. We must study and copy and follow Jesus Christ, then we shall bring His loveliness and beauty into our character. In doing this we are standing before God through faith, winning back by conflict with the powers of darkness the power of self-control, the love of God that Adam lost.—Manuscript 6a, 1886 (Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, pp. 31-34). {CTr 43.6}

    “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.” In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. {TM 506.1}

    I assume by your testimony, you don’t agree with EGW?

    Bill Sorensen




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  85. We see that “moral perfection” is the essence of bible Adventism and the final purpose of the cross.

    Forgiveness of sin is worthless unless it works a complete and final work of transformation of character. And such is a fitness for heaven.

    And never have I suggested, nor EGW for that matter, that anyone can merit heaven by their good works.

    Moral perfection is not meriting heaven. Jesus alone merited heaven, and His merit must be added to our works. None the less, we obtain heaven by following the example of Jesus as we “work out our own salvation by fear and trembling……”

    Confusion seems to the essence of modern Adventism. In many ways, the bible is convoluted beyond recognition by modern scholars who “worship, they know not what.”

    Bill Sorensen




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  86. Bill Sorensen: ” Whether I can overcome sin or not, I can assure you that I am failing and have little confidence that I will EVER succeed 100%.”
    That is truly sad, professor. You deny the power of the cross to utterly and completely transform a life into “the moral image of God.” Of course, your view is not in any way shape or form in harmony with historic Adventism and certainly not supported by EGW.

    Okay, brother Bill, perhaps you yourself have become completely transformed by now into “the moral image of God.” But I am not; perfection still eludes me, and I suspect I will remain far from perfect at death. Label me as you wish; you can get in line with David Read, Bob Ryan, Sean Pitman, and others who seem to delight in proclaiming that I’m not really an Adventist after all, and am just a cowardly liar with blind, circular reasoning who is actually a theistic evolutionist who applauds its teaching in our schools. That’s what this website seems to be all about–those who reflect the “moral image of God” telling others how wrong and dangerous and immoral useless their faith and beliefs are, and why they should just shut up and leave the Church.

    Nothing written at this extraordinary website comes as a shock any more. Next, I’ll probably be told that I promote the employment of drug-peddling homosexual child molesters in our schools. Wait a minute–surely we have such thieves on the Church’s dime already.




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  87. Faith said: I know it seems harsh, but the fact is that even one cherished sin can keep you out of the Kingdom. Even one.

    Kent said
    I’m pretty sure that most of us who end up in the Kingdom will have many cherished sins.

    Hmmm the “I’m pretty sure translation” of the bible being quoted again.

    Interesting how often that version comes up in some places.

    Kent said –
    God judges Jesus instead of us. It’s called righteousness by faith.

    hmm I’m guessing we are getting another snippet from the “I’m pretty sure” translation.

    Or maybe that is the regular Bible but without the use of H-G to render the text — 😉

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  88. Professor Kent: Righteousness by faith…now I suppose we’ll hear next this is as useless as righteousness from the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Righteousness by faith is a great Bible doctrine – when you get it from the Bible.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  89. Prof Kent:

    Label me as you wish; you can get in line with David Read, Bob Ryan, Sean Pitman, and others who seem to delight in proclaiming that I’m not really an Adventist after all, and am just a cowardly liar with blind, circular reasoning who is actually a theistic evolutionist who applauds its teaching in our schools. That’s what this website seems to be all about–those who reflect the “moral image of God” telling others how wrong and dangerous and immoral useless their faith and beliefs are, and why they should just shut up and leave the Church.

    This isn’t about labelling anyone–this is about the truth and making sure it returns to our classrooms. I know you and Eddie can’t see why I and others here want to hold the members to their baptismal vows or surrender their membership, but as far as I can see this is the only way to put an end to this whole thing.

    In most of today’s society, it is all about allowing people to “be their own person” and hold their own opinions. This isn’t about opinions. This is about truth and error.

    I have no problem if you hold your own opinions on anything that doesn’t contradict our doctrines. But the doctrines are not up for discussion. They were given to us by God and we either adhere to them, or we break our baptismal vows…a position that is quite widespread among SDAs today.

    The professors who teach evolution–even theistic evolution (or perhaps especially theistic evolution because it is more dangerous as it doesn’t openly declare it is in direct opposition to God and His word when it actually is)–are taking the word of man over the word of God. To me, that is incredibly foolish, and I would expect better of educated people.

    Worse yet, these professors and teachers seem to be bent on spreading this teaching far and wide in our institutions. I reluctantly declare that the persons so deceived should not be in positions of trust or be members in good standing in our churches. I get no enjoyment from this declaration. I wish we were all of one accord. But I tend to look at things logically and to me, if someone doesn’t hold to the truths the church stands for they are in the wrong place.

    The term “theistic evolution” is an oxymoron as you can either believe in God and His creation or you can believe in evolution. The two are diametrically opposed.

    I fail to see how people who have been so highly educated cannot see this. The principles of evolution are so far away from anything God stands for, surely you must see that.

    Remember this: if we do not fall on the
    Rock and be broken, the Rock will fall on us and crush us. We can be wrong, albeit sincerely wrong and lose out on eternal life. As for the so-called evidences for evolution, remember that Ellen White said in the end times we will not be able to believe our senses. This is because Satan is allowed to use more and more of his power to deceive us as the Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth. Don’t be fooled. Please, please, give up this nonsense and return to the fold. That is my prayer for all of you in this position. The opinion of your peers–especially the worldly ones–is certainly not worth losing out on eternal life.

    As for perfection, I don’t know anyone who claims to be perfect. I know I am not. But we have to keep trying to be. We need to follow Christ so closely we will become like Him. That is the only hope for all of us.




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  90. Faith,

    During the early history of the SDA Church, up until around 1890, SDA literature was almost unanimous in opposing the eternal deity of Jesus and the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Can you believe it? You can read the history of this in an article at Ministry magazine (http://bit.ly/ivX9b7). Fortunately, the Church did not vigorously expel those who disagreed with the early antitrinitarian views. Eventually, the Church adopted its current position, which embraces the trinity, and is a part of “present truth.”

    Is it any more necessary to expel those with divergent views today than it was prior to 1890? If the Church vigorously excercised your position early on–to expel anyone disagreeing with the official Church position–we might to this day STILL reject the trinity, and Educate Truth might have arisen to expose trinitarians at our universities rather than theistic evolutionists! Perhaps you could give this some prayerful thought.

    Regarding theistic evolution, I am thoroughly and completely in 100% agreement that it should not be taught as fact at any SDA university. I’ve always taken this position, and from what I’ve read from Eddie, he totally agrees with you as well. You’ve asked me to “return the fold,” but I’ve never strayed from it. As I’ve declared many dozens of times at this website, I’m a lifelong young-earth creationist (based to no small extent on faith in God’s word). I don’t doubt that there are some individuals who might be evangelistic in their desire to see theistic evolution established in the Church, so I share your concern. There is a way to oppose that, but I don’t think Educate Truth’s approach (public flogging and harassment, and frequent misrepresentation of science), or the continual policing of everyone’s position (enforcing a creed which E. G. White objected to, prone to arbitrariness, and highly impractical), are the best means. I think such tactics do more harm than good. I’m not a bAdventist, as some here suggest, just because I disagree with you and others on certain issues.

    I appreciate the gentleness of your communications, and the fact that you don’t distort what I say. You have a sweet spirit.

    Blessings
    PK




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  91. PK said…..

    “Fortunately, the Church did not vigorously expel those who disagreed with the early antitrinitarian views.”

    It was not a concensus stated position of the church one way or the other. You compare apples and oranges by considering an issue that was not agreed on nor declared one way or the other, and then try to apply this to present day positions that have been clearly defined and historically accepted as what the church believes and supports.

    And then use “the gospel” to defend Pluralism as a viable option. The stated positions are at least for the most part, non-negotiable.

    In one sense, “the church” has no official position on anything except one and that is this, the bible is the one infallible rule of faith and practice.

    None the less, over the years, certain concensus biblical positions are stated as accepted by the church in general, and people are expected to agree, or, at the bare minimum, show from the bible in what way any given position is in error.

    If people “distort what you say”, then qualify and re-qualify as many times as is necessary so there can be no mis-understanding as to your meaning and application.

    Even Jesus said, “Anybody can say ‘Lord, Lord’ but it has no meaning unless it is defined in its biblical context.”

    So, Jesus will say, “I never knew you.”

    What a shock to those who were sure they had a clear understanding of the issues. And even thought they were Christians.

    Not according to Jesus. But the challenge is to all of us, isn’t it? So, if you want to be defensive about what you believe, show us from the bible where you are right and those who oppose you are wrong.

    Is EGW wrong in defending and supporting moral perfection? If so, show from the bible where she is wrong. She calls for sinlessness.

    Do you suppose that after Christ gave His precious life to redeem the beings He created He would fail to give them sufficient power to enable them to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony? He has power to save every individual. At the time of His ascension He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” For our redemption all power is given to Him who stood at the head of humanity. For nearly six weeks the Sinless One fought a battle with the powers of darkness in the wilderness of temptation, overcoming not on His account, but on our account, thus making it possible for every son and daughter of Adam to overcome through the merit of His sinlessness. . . . {CTr 199.5}
    Only those who practice holiness in this life will see the King in His beauty. Put away all vain, trifling talk, and everything of a frivolous and sensational nature. Do not engross your mind with thoughts of worldly entertainments and pleasures. Engage in the work of saving your soul. If you should lose your soul, it would have been better for you never to have been born. But you need not lose your soul. You may use every moment of this God-given life to His name’s glory. Strengthen yourself to resist the powers of darkness, that they shall not obtain a victory over you.—Manuscript 110, 1901 (Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, pp. 174-176). {CTr 199.6}

    Those who believe on Christ and obey His commandments are not under bondage to God’s law; for to those who believe and obey, His law is not a law of bondage, but of liberty. Everyone who believes on Christ, everyone who relies on the keeping power of a risen Saviour that has suffered the penalty pronounced upon the transgressor, everyone who resists temptation and in the midst of evil copies the pattern given in the Christ life, will through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. {HP 146.5}

    Nobody believes these quotes anymore. It is not popular to teach a complete and final victory over sin. We don’t go around asking anyone if they have attained it. Such a question is not even relevant to the issue.

    Does the bible teach it is all we need to ask. Not, “Has anyone attained it?”

    God will decide that issue. But we can be certain of one clear fact, anyone who denies the possibility will never attain it. You can not do what you are convinced it is impossible to do. And even more deceptive, when you are convinced it is not even necessary.

    And it may well be that anyone who does attain it, won’t know it. But you can be sure of one thing, they won’t deny the possibility of such an experience.

    And we can be sure of one other fact, there is no “sinlessness” outside of Christ. No one is sinless in and of themselves. And we can know another certainty, neither was Adam sinless in and of himself. Nor are any of the unfallen angels sinless in and of themselves.

    This is the original lie Lucifer started in heaven and deceived a third of the angels by it. Sinlessness is by way of a relationship, not some inherent quality in a created being.

    Only God is inherently holy. Rev. 15:4

    But all believers are holy in Christ.

    Bill Sorensen




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  92. Here are some shocking facts on the stunning divergence of views that was once tolerated by Adventists (http://bit.ly/ivX9b7):

    Though James White rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, he did believe in the three great Powers in heaven reflected in his first hymnbook.6 Though opposed to the Trinity, he did not believe that Christ was inferior to the Father. In 1877 he wrote, “The inexplicable trinity that makes the godhead three in one and one in three, is bad enough; but that ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse.”7

    Not all agreed with James White on the equality of Father and Son. During the 1860s, Uriah Smith, long-time editor of the Review and Herald, believed that Jesus was “the first created being.”8 By 1881, he had changed to the belief that Jesus was “begotten” and not created.9

    A selective list of Adventists who either spoke against the Trinity and/ or rejected the eternal deity of Christ include J. B. Frisbie, J. N. Loughborough, R. F. Cottrell, J. N. Andrews, D. M. Canright, J. H. Waggoner, and C. W. Stone.10 W. A. Spicer at one point told A. W. Spalding that his father, after becoming a Seventh-day Adventist (he was formerly a Seventh Day Baptist minister), “grew so offended at the antitrinitarian atmosphere in Battle Creek that he ceased preaching.”11

    Should the SDA Church today be more concerned about preaching the everlasting gospel or purifying its ranks according to an inflexible creedal statement? If we insist on purifying our ranks, how do we know that we have everything figured out with more certainty today than we did in 1888?

    May I remind readers of the prelude to our Fundamental Beliefs: “These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church’s understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God’s Holy Word.

    How is the Holy Spirit to lead our Church to a fuller understanding of Bible truth if we arbitrarily decide we have it all figured out now, and expel anyone who dares to think differently? Surely the Bible and our Church can withstand honest discussion of divergent viewpoints.




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