Dr. Stone said….. “Ron Stone M.D. Reply May 6, 2011 at …

Comment on The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist by Bill Sorensen.

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
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
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

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

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

“Sean is aware you can’t prove anything, but I think we can all agree that God provides us plenty of evidence on which to rest our faith. Our interpretation of what happened in 1844 largely depends on the historical accuracy of the Bible.”

Well, Shane, apparently some people are not picking up on your point concerning Sean’s position.

I for one, agree with the idea of evidence, but not conclusive evidence. People can be convicted of a crime by “circumstancial evidence”. And it is assumed that such limited evidence is adequate for a conviction.

So, “evidence” has various meanings and applications. I agree that there is some evidence to support the ID idea. For some, the evidence is powerful and may be conclusive for them. Still, it is not “proof” beyond falsifiction.

We don’t even have a human eye-witness to testify of its validity except by way of a vision from God or other God ordained method of communication. In which case, we have God’s word for it, but still no real eye-witness to the actual event while it was happening.

And all this discussion on “evidence” by way of natural law is peanuts compared to bible prophecy. The words of Peter carry more weight in reasoning than any other “evidence”, in which he states,…

“We have also, a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.”

Even after Peter’s eye-witness account, he then states that prophecy is a more reliable source of “proof” than his eye-witness account. And then exhorts us to heed prophecy and prove his testimony by it.

Certainly nature is some evidence and the bible affirms this reality.

“The heavens declare the glory of God……..” But the heavens can declare the glory of God only if we accept the fact the God created them.

And we accept the fact that God created them because He said so.

And because He can declare the end from the beginning (prophecy) we can believe the testimony about Himself as the creator.

And yes, we can “prove” prophecy by examining history and comparing it with the bible declarations.

But you can not examine nature and prove God created it. Nature does not tell us how it began. Not a single clue of the “first cause” can be found in nature.

Once we accept the fact that God created nature, then we can examine nature and learn something about God.

If Sean is confessing that you can not prove creation by nature and that nature is only some evidence of the possibility of ID, even a rational and reasonable possibility, then I know I have no disagreement with him.

I don’t know how others would view this conclusion.

Bill Sorensen

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

“I use this example to point out that what Dr. Pitman is trying to do – support biblical creation and the Noachian flood with science – has merit. He is trying to bridge the gap between prophetic utterance and observable, testable reality.”

And we see clearly that such is impossible, just like you can not prove the SDA interpretation of 1844 by scientific evidence.

No one can “prove” that God created anything. Just as you can not prove nor explain how a miracle happened by “scientific evidence”.

You either believe the bible that states there is a God that created by the means of a miracle, (He spoke it into existence apart from any scientific procedure), or, you don’t.

Science proves nothing when trying to find out the “first cause”.

Now we know that as we study nature, there are certain proveable concepts about nature itself and we use what we know for our benefit. And the complexity of it all lends itself to considering an ID as being a viable possibility. Even a reasonable and rational possibility. But after all is said and done, no one can “prove” it was by an ID.

We must necessarily take God’s word for it. Just as Lucifer and all the angels of heaven did. No one saw God create. Apparently, He does not allow it for reasons we don’t know and don’t need to know.

“The just shall live by faith”, and this includes all the unfallen angels and unfallen worlds.

Just as a side note. How can you “prove” that Jesus’ death on the cross is adequate for the basis of God’s forgiveness? You can’t. We simply accept it by faith and rejoice that God claims it is and affirms it by way of the prophets and new testament writers.

There is no “falsifyable proof” for God or anything He claims or says. And this is exactly why Satan can and will persuade billions to reject the scripture testimony concerning its testimony of God and everything He claims about Himself.

Bill Sorensen

The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist
Speaking of prophecy and the merits of empirical observations, is there any corroborative, empirical evidence to support the testimony of Hiram Edson, that the Investigative Judgment began on October 22, 1844?

Your agnostic friend

Not really, Ken.

The bible is self validating and the real “evidence” of its claim are best supported by its prophetic declarations.

I suppose Daniel and Revelation are classic in this area.

Once you accept this “evidence” you are also impressed by its flowing continuity inspite of many biblical writers. They never negate the testimony of another. And this, in and of itself, is most amazing.

If God had simply appointed one single individual to record the “whole ball of wax”, we could easily claim the continuity is because it is the product of one writer.

What happened in 1844 by way of an historical event on earth was the confusion many had about what really happened in heaven. It was a logical mistake when it was assumed “the sanctuary” was the world. A false assumption will necessarily lead to a false conclusion.

In the same way the people of Jesus’ day were looking for an earthly ruler and king to be the Messiah. This was so throughly ingrained in the minds of the people, even the disciples could not comprehend much of what Jesus was communicating.

Even after His resurrection, they were slow to see the implications of His words. This was partly due to the fact the old testament makes little or no distinction of the several phases of the coming of the Messiah. So, they did not say, “At His first coming, He will do so and so…..and at His second coming He will do this or that, and then at His third coming He will finish up the whole mess and finally restore all aspects of the kingdom.”

These phases were all run together and all the events seem to take place at one coming.

For me personally, I find it more beneficial to still think of it as one coming divided into three phases. Instead of three comings and three events. And this is because all the phases are so inter related, they can be run together as one event. Just as the old testament does.

Obviously, there is still a lot of confusion about the 2nd and 3rd phase of His coming. Some of us, at least, believe God raised up Adventism to make clear the events that parallel and contrast the 2nd and 3rd coming. The new testament writer still run the two phases together such as Peter’s description II Peter chapter 3. The book of Revelation does not always make a clear distinction between the 2nd and 3rd phase either. Such as Rev. 19-22.

I am not shocked, nor amazed, nor is my faith challenged simply because those who were seeking an understand of Dan. 8:14 came to some wrong conclusions. They also came to some right conclusions, namely, a very important event was about to transpire in 1844.

I see the perfect flowing unity in the explanation Ellen White gives of what happened and why. I also see their final conclusions are clearly revealed in the bible and so I don’t need to support the truth of the matter by EGW or anyone else.

I never use EGW in a bible study on this subject. I do point people to the great Advent awakening in the 1840’s and tell how Miller and a host of others were seeking the meaning of the text in Dan.

So, Ken, bible believing SDA’s don’t need EGW, we do appreciate the God given light she had on this subject as she showed from the bible its meaning. The bible speaks for itself and God creates the Christian community by way of the bible, not EGW.

But I recommend you read the several chapters in the Great Controversy surrounding this subject. She laid it out so plain, that “wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein.” Jer.

Prophecy is the most powerful tool to vindicate the bible and its teaching. Nothing else even comes close.

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” That’s what I’ve been saying (and what Morris Venden and MacCarty have been saying)”

Well, I did not do a complete search on all the MacCarty says or believes. But in the case of Venden, I did do such a study and Venden had a doctrine of “sanctification by faith alone” that was totally outside the bible teaching.

“Faith alone” by definition means we play no part in it. If so, it is not “faith alone”. But Venden’s view of sanctification was definitely “faith alone” and we play no part in it but believe. At any rate, there is more confusion than bible definition in his definition of sanctification, and I think this applies to MacCarty as well. Like I said, I read his book a couple years ago and it was circular with no real definition of what he meant.

But basically, he equated the old covenant with legalism which is bogus. We agree a misapplication of the old covenant is not the same thing as a clear understanding of the old covenant and its purpose. So let’s not take a misapplication of the old covenant, and then claim this is the old covenant.

As you have defended the Sabbath against a misapplication of the new covenant and not called it the new covenant we must do the same with the old covenant. Our conclusion should be that a misapplication of any truth does not equate to the truth that is being misapplied. The confusion continues on many levels in the SDA community today.

Your defense of creation against the liberal agenda is a classic illustration of how the liberal agenda misapplies the new covenant on every level from false teaching to simply denying the bible outright. And all this from a misapplication of the new covenant that creates a false “spirit ethic” that takes the place of the bible and the ten commandments.

I appreciate the dialogue. Some may see the point eventually and some never will. Since we don’t know who’s who in this context, we leave it up to God to sort out the various issues and determine who “gets it” and who don’t.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

I never said any such thing or even suggested it. Did you even read what I wrote. If so, you decided to impute to me something I never said or suggested. Let’s at least try to be objective in our evaluation of what the other person said.

I said the Holy Spirit liberates the will and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to believe, repent and obey. How then is this your false claim that I think “You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”

You rightly point out that without the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know God’s will, let alone do it. And yes, Jesus “puts enmity between sinful beings and the kingdom of Satan.”

But “putting the enmity by Christ” will save no one until and unless they choose to respond in the God ordained way He has stated in the bible. Each individual must choose to first accept the atonement, then repent, and then obey the law. Thus, the Holy Spirit empowers the will, but it is the sinner who must respond. And this is not “doing it on their own” as you seem to imply. Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” But as Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which stengthenth me.”

Paul states what he can do by the power of God. And it is not God doing the believing, or repenting or obeying. It is Paul. EGW makes this very clear to refute the mystics who try to claim that Jesus or the Holy Spirit gets in them and does the willing and doing.

” While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” THE YOUTH’S INSTRUCTOR
August 20, 1903
Lessons From the Life of Daniel—9
This concerning Daniel and his friends.

She refutes the modern day mysticism that would destroy the will of man and interpret “Christ in you, the hope of glory” totally outside the biblical context.

But “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the same thing reflected in the words of Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” Meaning, I love Jesus so much my whole life is dedicated to His glory and will.

Our “own works” that she refers to, are those people do outside a biblical relationship with Christ. It does not refer to the works of a true believer who conforms his life to emulate the life of Christ. Where does Skip MacCarty point out this difference?

Much, if not most of modern spirituality in Adventism is pure mysticism that convolutes the identity of Christ and the believer to the point the believer has no identity. It was highly stimulated by Morris Venden who tried to show that “faith alone” applies equally to sanctification as it does to justification. It was and is totally bogus. But it has infiltrated the church by him and others to the point that mysticism is rapidly becoming the major spirituality of the church.

You may mean well, Sean. But like so many others, you don’t take the time to carefully consider the implications of what you say nor explain it is a clear definitive way so that it fits the bible context. If the true bible position on sanctification is clearly presented, then it is obvious we “save ourselves” by the way we respond to the word of God. In which case, the law is salvational, but only in the biblical context. Simply put, we are “saved” by doing what God says and this includes faith in the atonement.

Many are so “hell bent” to avoid what they think is legalism, they wrest the scriptures to their own destruction and not only deceive themselves, but others who do not carefully consider the implications of the conclusion of their false idea and theory.

But to claim that those who reject your view think they can “do it on their own” is a false representation that prejudices others who don’t carefully follow the conversation. Having said all this, I am more than willing for anyone to explain and qualify and re-qualify as many times as necessary to make it very clear what they mean by what they say.

So I agree, sanctification is by faith, but not by “faith alone” in the same context that justification is by faith alone. Without a clear explanation, all we have is ongoing confusion on sin and salvation and the divine factor vs. the human factor in a full and complete view of what the bible teaches about the issues.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“We “work out our own salvation” by simply opening to the door the Spirit of God. That’s our only “work” to do here. That’s the only “work” we can do. The rest is beyond human power.”

Your whole theory is pure mysticism as the rest of your explanation affirms. The purpose of sanctification on the part of God is to liberate the human will for self government. It is the believing sinner who chooses to have faith and repent, and obey the law of God.

Neither is it “automatic” but by careful evaluation of the will of God and the implications of the outcome if we chose not to accept the free offer. You undermine and in the end, destroy the human factor in salvation and the moral accountability of man.

So when we are confronted by the gospel, we must choose to believe, choose to repent and choose to obey. God will not do this for us. Neither will the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “holy motive” as He inspires and empowers us to “save ourselves” by responding to the word of God exactly as it is stated in the bible.

Much of the SDA church has opted for some mystical non-biblical explanation of the plan of salvation that has no affinity to the true teaching of the bible.

So sanctification is not “just give yourself to Jesus and He will do the rest.”

Basically, you convolute the divine factor and human factor in such a way that you end up negating the human factor altogether.

I doubt anything I would share with you would challenge your thinking, since in the past you have rejected other clear biblical concepts on sin and salvation like the doctrine of original sin. At any rate, if you post my response, perhaps one of your readers will actually see the point and consider the implications of our dialogue.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Yes, as EGW and the bible affirm, we are justified by obedience to the moral law. Not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense. And this is what the Investigative judgment is all about. The word “justification” in the bible has a more comprehensive meaning than people perceive today. Like the word “atonement” and “salvation” the word “justification” has been limited to a non-biblical meaning and application that foreign to the bible and the full meaning the bible gives to these words.

And yes, we save ourselves by the way we respond to the word of God. No, we don’t save ourselves by meriting heaven and earning the favor of God. “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus

This is too plain to be misunderstood except by those who convolute the bible to support their false doctrine. No one is justified by “faith alone” except the special context used by the Reformation to oppose Rome when Rome taught legal merit in the believer’s response to the conditions for salvation.

“Faith alone” in this context was “Christ alone” who stands in the presence of God in our behalf as the meritorious cause of salvation and eternal life. This is not sanctification nor is sanctification “by faith alone” as some faulty teachers try to present and defend. Sanctification is always by faith and works on the part of the believer as we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”

And justification by faith in the bible, is the believer’s faith in Christ, not Christ’s faith in the believer. This subject is so confused and warped by SDA scholars it has no affinity to bible teaching and doctrine. So it is the believer’s faith in Christ that justifies. This is the whole theme of Paul and the new testament emphasis and message.
Bill Sorensen

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” “All that the Lord has said, we will do.” (Exodus 19:8).”

That’s right Sean. And the Lord said, “The people have well spoken there commitment.” But then added, “Oh that there was such an heart in them to do it.”

The issue was proper motivation based on a clear understanding of sin and all that this implies. God never chided them for their statement of faith but their lack of understanding the sinful human heart.

How is that any different than today in the new covenant era? How many are baptized making the same valid commitment and confession of faith only to find the difficulty of living out the Christian experience.

Neither will Jesus get into anybody and obey the law for them. The motivation will ratchet up as our understanding is increased and the love of God that motivates works in a more dynamic way with the increased knowledge.

But many assume the old covenant was a system of legalism and then contrast the new covenant as a true system of faith. This is bogus. True believers in the old covenant era trusted in Christ. These are the old covenant experience people and not Cain or anyone else in that era who either refused the offer God provided or convoluted it. So those who imply that the old covenant was in and of itself a system of legalism like MacCarty does, have a false idea of old and new covenant that is simply not biblical. And then they try to explain how in the new covenant God writes the law on our heart and not in stone.

God wrote His law on the heart of Abel, Noah, Abraham and every true believer in the old covenant era as Jesus “put enmity between Satan and man” by a revelation of the love of God in His willingness to make atonement for fallen man. The new covenant era simply means God will finish writing His law on the heart of every true believer and this is not some “new” covenant different than the old.

Only in the sense that the atonement promised in the past is now a reality in the present. And this ratchets up the motivation in harmony with the life of Jesus more fully revealed by way of the new covenant writers. It is false doctrine to present the idea that no one had the law “written on their heart” during the old covenant era. Did you ever read the words of David in the Psalms, “Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me.”?

This is not the new covenant in the old covenant era. There is no “new covenant believer” in the old covenant era. This is impossible. The new covenant is after the fact of the atonement and is based on the time element of the two covenants. The first covenant (old covenant) is based on a future event. The new covenant is based on a past event. This is the whole spirituality of Paul and repeated and affirmed in the book of Hebrews. What God had promised during the old covenant era, He has done.

There is certainly an affinity in both covenants as both are based on Jesus and His sacrifice. Everyone in heaven will have trusted in the atonement of the cross whether it was before Jesus made the atonement or after He made the atonement. Again, I say it is bogus to claim Cain represents an old covenant experience and Abel a new covenant experience. And it is equally false to claim anyone who is a legalist in the new covenant era is an old covenant experience. Namely this, the old covenant is not legalism and never was. Just because people corrupt the old covenant does not equate to claiming they were legalists by virtue of being in the old covenant era.

This is MacCarty’s error and he speaks for more than a few SDA scholars who are as confused as he is. God made no legal covenant with anyone with the exception of His Son. God’s covenant with all is based on the moral law and this is not legalism unless, like the Catholic church, you think you can merit heaven by keeping the moral law.

The moral law, like I said, is a family law and those who refuse to enter into this moral covenant to “obey and live” will never be in heaven. Children in a loving home don’t obey their parents to merit and earn the favor of their parents or earn a place in the family. None the less, they are in covenant relationship with their parents and if they rebel enough, can be disinherited, just like Adam and Eve who rebelled against the family law.

Adam and Eve in a state of sinlessness were not meriting the favor of God. Nor do the sinless angels merit the favor of God. Nor do the redeemed in heaven merit the favor of God. None the less, all are under obligation to obey the family law of God or forfeit eternal life like Adam and Eve in the garden. Love for God never releases anyone from the moral obligation to do God’s will and submit to His authority. This issue is so intense even in the SDA church that many now assume if you love God you have no obligation to obey and that you simply do God’s will because “you want to, not because you have to.” This is bogus and the lie of Satan that he advocated in heaven. We better get it straight and if not, “Spiritualism is at the door deluding the whole world.”
Bill Sorensen