Comment on An apology to PUC by Spencer Johnson.
I highly doubt that Heather Knight is going to agree to send out the teachers’ syllabi, learning objectives, or lecture videos. And in fact, I hope she does not. Neither the teachers nor the administration of PUC have anything to prove. They have no obligation to settle the unfounded fears and rantings presented on the website and in the above “apology”. And I am well aware of what will be said if/when they refuse: “If there is nothing to hide, why should they not provide the information?” It will be used as “proof”, or at least “evidence”, that they are in the wrong and know it. It proves nothing of the kind. All it proves is that they are mature in their thinking and feel no need to disclose information to an unofficial group that has no business asking for it in the first place. Perhaps if EducateTruth were run by the church, or the board of education, or anyone who mattered at all, they would see fit to provide them with such documents. As it stands, EducateTruth is not run by any of these people. The administration will recognize this, and simply ignore the complaints until the plaintiffs move on to the next witch-hunt. They will understand by now that there is no point in trying to console, placate, or even respond.
I apologize for my rudeness in the above paragraph. When I posted my comment on the video thread, it was with a great deal of courtesy and civility. The same was not true in this case, and for that, I am sorry. The decision to post this comment without censoring myself was, perhaps, a bit hasty, but not without valid cause. If posting this comment has led to misconceptions about EducateTruth, please let me know what you perceive these misconceptions to be, and what you think I can do to help resolve these issues.
Until then, I remain deeply concerned with the way in which the entirety of this campaign conflicts with our beliefs as Adventists. If the goal of this project is to “be fully supportive of all Fundamental Beliefs of the Adventist church,” and, “encourage expression of the fundamental teachings of the Word of God”, I would think there would be evidence within the website to demonstrate this was actually happening. Evidence is also absent from the ET comments made on these pages that any member of the staff will be posting future comments or articles that would reasonably demonstrate the concepts of love and acceptance taught by Jesus. While it is reasonable to present the community with perceived conflicts in our schools, how reasonable is it to just leave it at that–a string of conflicts with little, if any, resolution?
I would like to give EducateTruth the opportunity to provide greater context for the project in question. I appreciate that you include the following in “What We Believe”: “To be like Christ means, among other things, to love one another as we love Him and to foster peace, not conflict, within our community. Understand the spiritual and ethical implications of this.”
In particular, I note that you offer a section that, presumably, all new members to your site should read: The History (containing the “most relevant documents” related to the LSU conflict), which I would expect to conform with the particular belief I highlighted, and another section that appears to be a discussion or explanatory section, THEOLOGY, which I would expect to be particularly focused on bringing about a greater understanding of the love of Christ.
I would like to give you the opportunity to provide those who have commented here with mission outlines/plans which are normally kept to yourselves, which generally include upcoming posts potential targets. I request permission to publicize these on Facebook. If you have a sampling of brainstorm sessions in video format, so much the better. I would appreciate receiving them as well.
p.s. This is my final statement. I will no longer comment on these mockeries, and I encourage others to do the same. This campaign is like an oil fire: The more water is poured on it, the further it spreads. The best solution, therefore, is not to keep pouring on water, but to stop adding fuel and simply let it burn itself out.
Spencer Johnson Also Commented
An apology to PUC
@wesley kime: HAHAHA no, I’m not. I found that on Wikipedia too, and laughed hysterically when I found out I had a famous namesake. (Though can I call him a namesake if he’s older than I am?) I’m just a son of two English teachers–one of whom used to teach at PUC and had to deal with a fair share of controversies himself–who is tired of this whole lousy affair.
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Where do I even begin…I suppose with the post that first caught my attention.
Lisa: You refer to the teaching staff of PUC as “the problem as a whole” and specifically site the Honors program as being “rampant” with it. I honestly find it hard to believe you are really a PUC-ite with a statement like this. If you have attended PUC for any length of time at all, you should know that the teachers are some of the most spiritually well-founded people you can ever find. They have deeply-founded beliefs and are always willing to talk to their students about whatever issue may arise in their classes. They do sometimes teach views that oppose the Bible and the Adventist church; that is true. Does this mean they are advocating them or encouraging students to leave the church/become atheists? No it does not. It means that they are encouraging THOUGHT. I’m sure that something to this effect has already been said here, but it is impossible for faith to grow properly without being opposed, tested, shaken, and otherwise challenged. Having true faith means more than simply knowing what you believe or what you have been told. It means knowing WHY you believe what you do and being able to stand firm despite opposition. The teachers of PUC know this–because they have experienced it for themselves–and are striving to provide essential stimulus to encourage students to find their own reasons for believing. Simply because they teach a concept contrary to the doctrine, it does not mean they “believe in their own intellectual ability over the Bible”. God gave us minds for a reason; we were meant to use our intellectual ability to understand and internalize His teachings so they can become a part of who we are, not merely something we are told.
Second, I want to address all who have been decrying this teacher, this school, this community as being a cause of lost faith: What would you have them do? Would you have all Adventist schools simply be mouthpieces of the church? Would you have them barricade our institutions against all secular influence? Several have made the point–with which I agree–that an Adventist establishment should promote the Adventist viewpoint. But I cannot abide the concept that that should be ALL they are allowed to present. Teaching is not about simply repeating a specific set of facts or concepts; it is about facilitating understanding. Understanding is brought about through analysis and discussion of all available information. If there is only one viewpoint presented, there cannot possibly be understanding and if it does not bring understanding it means it is not teaching. What good are our teachers if they are not allowed to teach? How can they facilitate understanding if they have to edit their lessons around anything that might not fit into the prescribed frame? As for this process of teaching causing students to loose their faith: If something like this is enough to break a student’s foundation, it means that they never had the chance to build confidence in their belief. And if they truly have never had their faith challenged before, is it not best that it happen in a safe environment? Should they not have a chance to create a truly solid foundation before being thrust into the world? If this process cannot take place in our schools, where can it take place?