Comment on Eugenie Scott’s Letter of Alarm – “Evolution Under Attack” by Kathy Kendall.
You know, friends, we do not do ourselves, or our cause (the reliability of the Creation story as told in the book of Genesis), or Christianity in general, or our church, any good by angry-sounding speech denouncing those who believe differently from the way we do. In fact, this kind of unChristlike response from those who claim to be Christians does more to support their cause and harm ours, than the other way around.
It is far easier (and more “palatable” to “self”) to hurl stones at others than at ourselves. We would do far better to make a serious, prayerful search of our own hearts, comparing all of our OWN thoughts, motives, and actions to the two-edged sword of God’s word (Hebrews 4:12) to make sure there is no “wicked way in ME” (Psalm 139:23, 24), to make sure that there is no “beam” (violations of God’s word that I am stubbornly clinging to) in my own eyes (Matthew 7:3-5) — and to speedily ask forgiveness and grace to overcome for whatever contradictions that Word reveals between it and my life. As Jesus told the accusers of the woman taken in adultery, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7. Then (after thorough and honest personal heart searching, followed by sincere repentance and resolute turning from sin in our own lives) and ONLY then, will we be in a position to even hope to win the hearts of others.
God has given us, as a church, a lot of counsel in the Bible, and through His last day prophet, Ellen White. Sadly, we as a church ignore that which steps on our OWN toes, claiming it “outdated,” or whatever.
My personal experience with the Spirit of Prophecy is that it is a huge blessing. Through it, and through the Bible, I find that God only condemns those things that will hurt me (and / or those I love), and that He only commands those things that will bless me (and / or those I love). Does it ever “step on my toes”? Absolutely. Is that “comfortable”? Hardly. Yet, when I prayerfully ponder those “toe-stomping statements,” (the ones that step on my own toes, that is) it is obvious (to me) that my loving heavenly Father is really looking out for my best interest in making them, that He is only trying to save me harm and embarrassment, and that I truly will be happier if I heed His counsel, no matter how much it “goes against (my) grain.”
For nearly three years (since February 22, 2009) I have been seriously memorizing Scripture. (See www.fast.st/1013; www.SwordScript.com.) The more Scripture I memorize, the more allusions to Scripture I find in the Spirit of Prophecy, allusions that I would have completely missed without that backup of Scripture knowledge. From my own personal study (which amounts to hundreds, more likely thousands, of hours over the last 35 or so years), I can say that I have never found any statement in the Spirit of Prophecy, no matter how “strong” it is, that is not solidly based on Biblical principles.
God is going to hold US accountable for all the information He has given us therein. I matters not that we are ignorant of its precepts because we haven’t taken the time to study them out. All that matters is that the information is available to us. Choosing to ignore it will not lessen our guilt in the judgment.
“Eve really believed the words of Satan, but her belief did not save her from the penalty of sin. She disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall. In the judgment men will not be condemned because they conscientiously believed a lie, but because they did not believe the truth, because they neglected the opportunity of learning what is truth. Notwithstanding the sophistry of Satan to the contrary, it is always disastrous to disobey God. We must set our hearts to know what is truth. All the lessons which God has caused to be placed on record in His word are for our warning and instruction. They are given to save us from deception. Their neglect will result in ruin to ourselves. Whatever contradicts God’s word, we may be sure proceeds from Satan.” — Patriarchs and Prophets, page 55, paragraph 2.
“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law” (chooses to ignore it because he might find something he doesn’t like), “even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9.
God does not tell us we should refrain from pointing out error and standing up for truth. He merely tells us that, in order to be successful in that endeavor, we must FIRST make sure there is no cherished sin in our own lives. (Matthew 7:3-5, John 8:7). After all, we are sinners just like those who support evolution. Our goal should be to win those who disagree with us by love.
Kathy Kendall Also Commented
. . . and the paragraphs under it . . . .
Maybe I’ll get this thing figured out one of these days! 🙂
Eugenie Scott’s Letter of Alarm – “Evolution Under Attack”
Oops — I thought I was quoting my last paragraph. (I have not done much with this blog, even though I have followed it for a couple of years.)
I’m not sure where the “Bill Sorensen” came from in the above post, and that paragraphs under itt should not be indented. They are original to the post I just made.
Eugenie Scott’s Letter of Alarm – “Evolution Under Attack”
Charles, I think you missed my point. I never said that sin should not be dealt with. It should — but there is a certain order to the process, without which all efforts will fail miserably.
The FIRST step in this process is to make sure there is nothing in my life that I am making excuses for. Casting out the beam . . . .
The SECOND step (which must be preceded by the first) is to follow the principles of Matthew 18. From what I understand, this (second step) has been followed in this situation.
Switching the order of these two steps is a recipe for disaster:
Remember Moses’ encounter with the angel when he was on his way to encounter Pharoah (Exodus 4:24, 25)
Remember the story of Israel’s defeat in the initial battle against the city of Ai, in Joshua 7 and 8?
Any attempt to reverse the order of these two steps will have the same disasterous results.
As I stated in the last paragraph of my post above,
I still maintain that these people who are on the “Evolution” side are God’s children, just as much as those who are on the “Creation” side. He loves them as mich as He does “us” (those who believe the Biblical account of creation). He died for them the same as He did for “us.”
He gave up all heaven to come to this little grain of sand we call “earth” to die for every person ever born onto it. He came, even though “we” (all humans) treated Him like dirt. Even though “we” crucified Him.
No matter how “wrong” a person is, kindness and respect will go much farther in winning him or her than inflamatory speech, even (especially?) if it is uttered in the name of “standing up for ‘truth.'”