Comment on An apology to PUC by Emk.
“they just donâ€™t seem to get that Adventist students can handle a whole fifty minute lecture on science without a Bible study tacked on at the end.”
And herein lies the trouble with Adventist Education.
When we begin to make excuses for stepping out and away from scripture. There was a day when “Sola Scriptura” meant something within the Advnetist church and it’s schools.
While tradition is never good to cling to simply to cling to it, doctrine and Biblical teachings are not merely tradition.
The idea that we can study any content or subject outside of scripture and remain Seventh-day Adventists just proves how very un-Adventist we have truly become.
Emk Also Commented
An apology to PUC
“Does that mean I should stop reading Ellen White? All newspapers? Even Educate Truth?”
Nicely done! That is not what was said or suggested. Rather when we discuss Adventist Education and the teachings within the context of Adventist Education, the statement remains truth.
IF we are not reading everything in conjuction with scripture then we are less than we claim to be. The comment was made that we can somehow separate our lives and our schools and separate their instruction from scripture.
As true Seventh-day Adventists and true Christians, that cannot be the case. Want to be a nominal Adventist or a pew-warming Christian, then stop framing what we believe in with the scriptures.
Like it or not, the truth of the matter is that this entire discussion boils down to a matter of loyalty. Creeping compromise has found it’s way into our churches, our schools and our homes. We are so afraid of scaring off members of our congregations and people who might come under conviction that we are unwilling to stand for anything.
This has turned into a major issue in regards to our doctrine.
IF we believe that we can teach any educational course in any Seventh-day Adventist institution outside of scripture we are sadly mistaken. And IF we do not begin to stand as Adventist institutions then there is truly no purpose for our existance in the field of academia.
Recent Comments by Emk
Bravo and amen! Thank you so much for the words. You are correct on every point, save possibly one.
While I cannot speak for anyone else, I can assure you that I am not judging nor condemning any of these professors.
I think that everyone needs to take a step back, breath a bit and understand something. As a member of this world, we all have the option and free will to believe whatever we want to believe about life, its origins and how the world around us works. We even have the right to believe whatever we wish about who God is or is not and what His role in this world is or is not.
That is not the issue here. Let this professors believe what they wish to believe based on science and scripture. You are correct, we do need to pray for them as they study to reconcile what they are learning in the world of biology with what they are learning as they study the scriptures.
As we believe that God is in control of all things and the author of all things, they cannot truly be in conflict with one another. However, this notion that evolution is some exact science is nonsense. It takes just as much faith to believe and understand evolution as it does to accept and believe in the Biblical creation – in some cases more.
And that is where we must exercise and balance our “all-knowing” intelligence with a reasonable measure of faith in our Creator.
The true issue is that we must separate this discussion into two different parts. First and foremost, we must remove and dismiss this notion that anyone is attempting to draw a conclusion on the salvation of these professors. None of us can know their hearts and we dare not even to presume to claim to try. However, we MUST discuss the second part, the level to which evolution is being taught in these classrooms.
IF these professors are struggling to reconcile what they believe they are seeing in nature with what they know and understand about God, the classroom is NOT the place for this meet.
There is at least one Adventist pastor in the NAD that took a sabbatical from pastoring to wrestle with a situation. He had two sides to one doctrine, and he took this very seriously. He removed himself from the service and ministry of his calling until he had satisfactorily could juxtapose the two sides. Then he stepped back into his ministry ready to share what God says about this situation.
This discussion cannot be about salvation of people who God is still working with. This discussion, however, can be about the fact that we cannot circumvent the teachings of an organization simply because we’re struggling.
As an Adventist educator my responsibility is to teach Adventist children Adventist doctrine. I equip them with other ideas by briefly mentioning them saying, “Now this is a train of thought out there.” For the sole purpose of wanting them to be prepared. But I must teach Adventist doctrine and not something that I may believe or disagree with.
We all know that there is some form of “de-evolution” that occurred at the time of the fall. Adam and Eve were 15′ and 12′ tall respectively. I’m lucky if I reach 5’7″. It is completely possibly that many of the things that you listed from nature exist as they do today simply because we live in a sinful world.
But for an Adventist instituation to permit the teaching of evolution as a science and renounce the 6-day literal creation poses a problem that everyone from the student in the classroom to the GC president should be speaking against.
Again, I am not questioning anyone’s salvation. I have concetrate on with my own relationship with the Lord. I am just suggesting that public school ideas need to be taught in public schools and it’s time for our Adventist schools (especially our colleges) to begin looking like – and sounding like – we are Adventist schools again.
Ron, thank you for your very insightful post.I believe that those who have responded here fail to understand your messageâ€“which was very stated by Paul and by Ellen White. Jesus can identify wrong and has the authority, as EMK put it, to make scenes by overturning the tables, yelling, and cracking a whip. For us, in contrast, the instruction is unmistably clear:â€œChrist has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes.â€ (Quote)
And you would be correct. . .IF this were an issue of church discipline. However, it is not. Our schools are in the “business” of educating young people to further the work (and yes, to think for themselves). We cannot afford to have derisive teachings in our institutions. It is NOT the job of a few individuals to rework the doctrines of the church, doctrines that the GC is standing by. Simply put, the message is that the leaders of the church don’t know what they are doing and these professors are somehow in a position where they don’t have to support the church leadership and administration. Again, you can’t have it both ways.
For real education reform, take a cue from the Adventists
For too many years we, as a church, have taken this stance that we dare not make public the “ugly and messy” things that are occuring behind closed doors.
IF these teachers are simply open up “satanic things” to the students so that they are “equipped” to fit the foe. . .Bravo!!! My hats off to them.
However, IF, as it has been suggested, this situation is in actuality an issue of a crisis of faith or understanding of the scriptures then we have a much bigger and worse situation.
This is not simply an issue of “church discipline” as several have suggested. This isn’t someone commiting adultery or being a gossip.
These are leaders in Adventist academic institutions that are attempting to circumvent the work that has been done in the past 150 years. These are educated and professional individuals that are acting in direct conflict with the contract that they had to sign when they accepted the position.
As leaders we do not arbitraily get to decide that we no longer agree with the church doctrine so we can change what we do and how we handle things.
There is plenty of scripture that says exactly what will happen if we continue in this vain. And there is enough scriptural backing to support those that stand against such teachings.
Mrs. White states: “To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized–this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.”
Too much time has been wasted, too many souls have already been lost, because the leaders of the church would rather keep issues and situations hidden in the name of “Christlike behavior”.
It is time to stand for right though the heavens fall.
Jesus dealt gently with those who were uneducated and didn’t know Him. However, when it came to dealing with the Pharisees and Sadducees, He made scenes, turned over tables, yelled and cracked a whip.
You can’t have it both ways. Ask what would Jesus do and then be willing to “man up” and accept the true answer. I have a difficult time believing that Jesus would EVER “go gently into” this discussion – especially after every avenue that has been tried has been exhausted to no avail!
Dr. Wisbey,Hang in there, there are still a lot of us who support La Sierra. Now is the time to stand for the truth though the heavens fall. Now is the time to stand up for freedom of conscience within the Adventist church. Many of us have not forgotten the horrible price paid, in the struggle against authoritaianism and tyranny, by those who first taught us Righteousness by Faith. I am sorry this attack is coming on your watch. I would not want to be in your shoes for anything, but I am praying for you and I am happy to send money to help replace any funds lost through lack of support from the church. When will Christianâ€™s learn to one thing Christ came to teach, Godâ€™s love and mercy? (Quote)
Amen! and Amen! However, He did not separate “God’s grace and mercy” from “God’s law.”
I understand the desparate need to do so. It is uncomfortable and there is risk of sounding legalistic if we hold to a higher standard. If we cling to the Fundamental Pillars of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, there’s something very Baptist and Methodist about clinging only to “God’s grace and mercy”.
Elder Gallimore was not being legalistic. Elder Gallimore was being a responsible Seventh-day Adventist leader. Gallimore is an extremely compassionate individual, and I would daresay a man who is at a place where the things that break God’s heart breaks his heart. While I cannot speak for him – or anyone else on the Michigan Conference Executive committee – I risk some ridicule in saying that I firmly believe that this decision grieved them greatly.
I am greived that there are so many people who supposedly understand “God’s grace and mercy” that are so forgetful of just what caused the extension of that grace and mercy. How dare we step back and say that teaching any untruth is acceptable simply because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or make them feel less important? How dare we quietly and winkingly allow anyone to be so outside of God’s will. Isn’t that the purpose of “God’s grace and mercy”? To bring us into a saving relationship with Him?
As leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist instutitions we truly show how little we understand of God if we think that He will not judge us for leading so many astray. Jesus already died for us. That doesn’t give us the right to tell Him that He’s a liar and we don’t care about the things that are important to Him.
Today it’s evolution and challenging a 7-day creation. It may seem simple enough. However, as a church we have plenty of historical evidence that it’s anything but simply and it won’t stop by “merely teaching students how to reason.” We can do that without ripping the church and it’s fundamental beliefs to shreds and making our young people even more confused about who they are, what we believe as a church and exactly who God is in their lives.
Michigan Conference takes substantial action in LSU conflict
I am just getting into this discussion for a variety of reasons.
However, as someone who has attended Michigan Conference campmeetings the past 6 years or so and had questions regarding their stance on Adventist issues I am greatly relieved to see this response from the Michigan Conference Executive Committee.
The only problem is that we aren’t losing our youth in college. Too many of them are attending college already uncertain or unsure of what they believe or what we as a church believes.
We cannot afford to make this a “Christian” issue. We are Seventh-day Adventist Christians. The belief in Christ is supposed to be understood. We don’t need anyone to tell us to believe in Jesus or we’re not Adventist. The issue here is those doctrines which make us uniquely Adventist.
Evolution is taught in our schools from elementary through college. The elementary and middle school textbooks introduce it as a world concept. They discuss Pangea and a world-wide flood and give scientific evidence coupled with scriptural support to the topic of creationism vs. evolutionism.
The reality of the situation is that too many of our instructors are unwilling to simply teach the subject matter. We all have opinions and agendas and will push both at all cost – even the salvation of the students we are teaching.
We can no longer afford to claim that “the law is unimportant and all we need is love.” It is time for us to stand for what we believe. The placating of people with “peace and love” is no longer enough, and we are starting lose members and become Laodecia.
If only more conference leadership would take the stand that Gallimore and the Michigan Conference Executive Committee took we might actually look and act like a united denomination rather than splintered, fractured, broken pieces pulling against one another. It’s rather like a ship fighting against itself. At some point all the pieces will break apart and the entire manifest will drowned.
We have a choice to make. Either we’re right and God’s a liar OR God’s right and we’ve made some grave errors in interpretation, understanding and yielding our will to Him. It’s a pretty simple thing. It’s all about our loyalty!!