LSU responds to Michigan Conference

Source: La Sierra University

May 28, 2010

In response to the recent action of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee, we at La Sierra University reaffirm our commitment to being part of the global circle of Adventist higher education. La Sierra University is an integral part of the Church’s shared endeavor to educate our young people to think well and to believe well. Our students constitute our best hope for the future of the Church, a Church that must be responsible, redemptive, and relevant if it intends to meet the needs of the world in the 21st Century. And we affirm, as consistently declared by our university and by our Board, our strong belief in God the Creator and Redeemer, as revealed in our Church’s Statement of Fundamental Beliefs.

Let me speak specifically about the heart of this Adventist university:

To our students we note our gratitude for the way in which you daily exhibit your faith. Your commitment is revealed in the manner in which you express your love for God through your worship, your academic work, and your service to those both on and off this campus. You beautifully represent our university and our Church, and we encourage you not to allow this moment to discourage your walk with God in any way.

To our faculty and staff we express our thankfulness for the way in which you daily live out the mission of this wonderful university by seeking truth, loving God, and serving others. You make this Adventist learning community a place of integrity and hope for our students, and your work is best revealed in the lives of countless graduates who now serve with great faithfulness and ability throughout the world.

To our alumni we assert our continued commitment to be the kind of university that you have every right to love and to support. We pledge to continue to daily reveal our love for learning within a supportive Adventist environment that will enable our current students to experience what you consistently remind us has been most helpful to you in your personal and professional lives.

To the members of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee, and to those who have supported their action, we would implore you to stop and to think about the message that you have given to these 1,850 students and 310 faculty and staff who make this a vibrant and faithful Seventh-day Adventist learning community. We believe that it would be impossible for you to take this action if you would look into their faces, if you would sit with them in classes and in offices, and if you would join us in worship.

And, to the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who today wonder if there is a place in this Church for you, we say, Do not lose faith. The Church is big enough for all, and we must never forget that our Lord desires that each of us might give our very best to His work. There has been little genuine conversation, and far too much anger, criticism and recrimination. We must never forget that God calls us to “act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.”

Today, as members of the La Sierra University learning community, we renew our commitment to provide outstanding teaching in an environment that values academic integrity and spiritual commitment. We will continue to celebrate certainty and curiosity. We will find joy in the dynamic interplay between faith and learning. We determine to remain open to conversation and challenge.

To the members of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee, and to those of you who do not know our university, we invite you to come to campus and to see why La Sierra is increasingly attractive to students and families who value the privilege of receiving an Adventist education within a setting of outstanding academics. You will find a welcoming spirit of openness of inquiry, and the faith-encouraging climate in which questions may be asked and the most hopeful answers found.

Randal Wisbey
President
La Sierra University

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138 thoughts on “LSU responds to Michigan Conference

  1. A 100 million rights do not correct any wrong.

    If you can do so many things as wonderfully as you do, it should be no problem in correcting the 1 thing that separates you from the rest of the Adventist Universities.

    LSU, to do what your boss asks you to do would be a wonderful first step and a great example to your staff and students as they prepare themselves to listen to their future bosses. Perhaps you should start there.

    We all live and work together in this world by the weekly cycle. No boss on the planet is going to buy into any exception to the rule.




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  2. It is too bad that all that was expressed was a bunch of feel good, generalized statements that did nothing to address the problem at hand! There is a large movement of people who have realized what La Sierra is really doing/teaching. La Sierra needs to either stand up for what they are wanting to teach(and be held accountable for it) or truely teach what our church believes! Enough skirting around the issue!




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  3. I am proud to be a part of the Michigan conference.

    The statement from the Michigan Conference Executive Committee appears well thought out and biblically and denominationally sound and in agreement with our profession as literal creationists.

    I do now understand the statement by the President of LSU when he says: “The Church is big enough for all.” That is not true. I have baptized a number of people. And some, after reviewing our 27 (now 28) fundamental beliefs I have not accepted for baptism. [The Church is not big enough for those who are deliberately persisting in known wrongs or rebellion against the fundamental doctrines of the Church]

    Again, I am proud to be a part of the Michigan Conference. If asked, I would sign my poor feeble name to the document, too.

    Doug Carlson
    Associate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle,BattleCreek, Michigan
    Michigan Conference




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  4. You say: “To the members of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee, and to those who have supported their action, we would implore you to stop and to think about the message that you have given to these 1,850 students and 310 faculty and staff who make this a vibrant and faithful Seventh-day Adventist learning community. We believe that it would be impossible for you to take this action if you would look into their faces, if you would sit with them in classes and in offices, and if you would join us in worship.”

    It is thinking about what we are saying to the students that makes me agree with Mich. and while I feel really bad about the good staff, I cannot support them when doing so violates the most basic tenets of our faith. If your staff were all law-abiding save one mass murderer who you supported and defended, what would be appropriate? Anyone can see that the good could not make that degree of bad acceptable. You have allowed some to oppose the most basic, the deepest foundations of our faith. When the head of a corporation allows trouble that jeopardizes the jobs of good hard-working staff so that the consumers do not want to buy the product, do we blame the (non)buyer? I do not know why you have not dealt with this issue but in so refraining, YOU are messing it up for the students and staff.




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  5. Why continue to promote modern evolutionary theories as the true story of origins in your science classrooms if you really are supportive of the SDA Church “as revealed in our Church’s Statement of Fundamental Beliefs”?

    I just don’t get it…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com  (Quote)

    My thoughts exactly!




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  6. I am proud to be a part of the Michigan conference.The statement from the Michigan Conference Executive Committee appears well thought out and biblically and denominationally sound and in agreement with our profession as literal creationists. I do now understand the statement by the President of LSU when he says: “The Church is big enough for all.” That is not true. I have baptized a number of people. And some, after reviewing our 27 (now 28) fundamental beliefs I have not accepted for baptism. [The Church is not big enough for those who are deliberately persisting in known wrongs or rebellion against the fundamental doctrines of the Church]Again, I am proud to be a part of the Michigan Conference. If asked, I would sign my poor feeble name to the document, too.Doug CarlsonAssociate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle,BattleCreek, MichiganMichigan Conference  (Quote)

    Thank you Pastor Carlson! I agree. Tonight I sat through the commencement service at one of our academies where my eldest daughter is a junior, listening to cat calls, hoots and hollers, and watching four young, flagrantly gay men in the back of the sanctuary irreverently participate in the service through joking, looking around to see who was watching (I couldn’t help myself, and neither could my wife and children). Where is the church I once knew? Where are the principles I learned as a Busy Bee, Sunbeam, Helper, and Builder, “Because Jesus loves me I will…be obedient, be pure, be true, be kind, be respectful, be attentive, be helpful be cheerful, be thoughtful, be reverent?” Where are the principles I learned as a Pathfinder, “I will be pure, kind, and true…I will keep the morning watch, do my honest part, care for my body, keep a level eye, be courteous and obedient, walk softly in the sanctuary, keep a song in my heart, go on God’s errands?” While the bride of Christ, like the ark, has enough room for all of us, few will make up the 144,000 (a literal number or not).

    As an alumnus of LSU, the university is not interested in what should be making up the perspective of former students, and those who are current students…service to our fellowman on behalf of Jesus, the One who sends us. LSU does not speak on my behalf. My question is, “How long O Lord? How long?”

    I did decide today to write to Arizona Conference, where I grew up, and to my current conference, RMC, to request their executive boards follow the Michigan Conference’s example. Again, thank you!




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  7. To president – Randal Wisbey.

    Your claim that LSU is rich in spiritual faithfulness, increased with goods and in need of nothing, is “noted”.

    Your “everything is just fine here” message was curiously missing the “we believe in the same 7 day creation week that you find in Ex 20:7-11”. It is missing the “we acknowledge the history of wounded parents and students that have raised their voices in recent years stating that LSU was promoting evoution as the right answer for a doctrine on origins”.

    It was missing the “we repent of our under the table efforts over the last 12 plus years to divert Adventist doctrine away from a literal 7 day creation week and toward a more atheist friendly doctrine on origins such as is found in the [1859] book “The Origin of the Species”.

    The only problem you even mentioned was the “problem” of the Michigan Conference taking ‘some kind of action’ – due to “some kind of reason” – which you clearly did not want to even “mention”.

    Dr Kellogg could not have said it better in favor of Battle Creek.

    You have modeled the pattern well. Now let us see if God chooses to step in and make His own distinction between the sacred and the profane as He did in times past.

    Both sides have spoken on Carmel – now let us see what God decides to do.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. LSU President: “The Church is big enough for all.”

    This sounds very much like the ever-shrinking Republican Party mantra.
    You know, folks, this is a code-word:

    “Let’s include and accept evolutionists as well as creationists. You are OK, I am OK…..etc.”

    Then, why stop there, man!
    What about accepting and including pedophiles, rapers, thieves, poligamists, Sunday worshippers….?

    What this man proposes is to create a farm with both wolves and sheeps in one common barn. Folks, this man and his half-cooked idea is really dangerous! Please don’t stop until these people are removed.




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  9. It is fairly obvious at this point that Wisbey has some serious problems. Rather than simply coming out and saying that he believes that God created the world in 6 actual days just thousands of years ago, and that he expects the science teachers to promote the same, he comes across as some sort of politician.

    Wisbey ought to resign and let someone else take the helm of LSU, someone who can produce PR materials that properly address the concerns of Seventh-day Adventists looking on, someone who can ensure that the school is Seventh-day Adventist in more than just name.




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  10. I note my response above was edited. Sins that will keep a person out of the church were deleted and replaced the statemnt in []. I feel sorry this was done. There is nothing wrong with calling sin sin, and there is still a standard within the SDA church that does exclude those who practice certain sins like….. Yes, I know I should not list them. But my church is not BIG enough to take in those living in those sins into its membership and embrace them.

    The steps to acceptance- That’s right, there is no such thing as unconditional acceptance- must first go through the process of repentance, confessoin, forsaking and following as demonstrated by a life of himility and obedience before they can have eternal life.

    It is true, a spade is always a spade, but a Christian has been born again and is no longer a spade. Spades can attend church, but they are not qualified for baptism or membership. And if spades what to openly advocate certian unchristian practices it is altogether fitting and proper to ask the spade to leave and not come back. Shepherds protect the flock, not the wolves, er, spades.

    And I would also like to add, we as a church do not have to accept spades as students (or teachers) in our schools. On that point we are allowed to discriminate and protect the flock.

    Doug Carlson
    Associate pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle
    Battle Creek, MI: A Michigan Conference church




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  11. As a representative of this website, I must inform all who wish to post here that posts that attack the moral character or motives of LSU leadership or professors or the leadership of the SDA Church will be blocked. I know some people feel strongly that the issues in play here are due to the evil or sinful character of those responsible for promoting the truth of evolutionary theories in our SDA Schools, but this is not the purpose of EducateTruth and we will not have such attacks presented here.

    Comments need to be kept civil and on topic and should not become personal in this particular manner. It is hard enough to suggest that one of our own is out of line with what the SDA Church considers to be fundamental “present truth” without adding to this the charge of moral error and deliberate sin – for which only God is the truly righteous judge. Therefore, such comments will be edited or blocked entirely…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  12. One Simple Question:

    It all boils down to one simple question:

    Are LSU science professors still promoting modern theories of evolution, with a theistic twist perhaps, as the true stories of origins? – contrary to the “fundamental” SDA position on a literal creation week?

    Why doesn’t Wisbey ever answer or even address this question? After all, it is a very simple straight forward question.

    We already know that LSU does a lot of very good stuff for the local community, church, and world at large. There’s no debate there. That’s all fine, good and wonderful. However, it really doesn’t matter how much good stuff LSU does if it continues to attack a fundamental Pillar of the Seventh-day Adventist faith (as it has done for decades now) – and not even admit it openly.

    There’s a gorilla in the room that no one at LSU, not even Dr. Wisbey, wants to substantively address. At least Dr. Geraty, former LSU president, was recently forthright enough to honestly present his own position against the importance of the literal creation week and in favor of long-ages for the evolution of life on this planet. It would be refreshing if Wisbey would simply follow suit and be honest about what is really going on at LSU with regard to this particular issue (without bringing up all the other good stuff that LSU is doing in an effort to avoid talking about the real question here).

    I don’t usually say this, but I actually agree with David Larson on something ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  13. @Sean Pitman:

    It all boils down to one simple question:
    Are LSU science professors still promoting modern theories of evolution, with a theistic twist perhaps, as the true stories of origins? – contrary to the “fundamental” SDA position on a literal creation week?
    Why doesn’t Wisbey ever answer or even address this question? After all, it is a very simple straight forward question.
    We already know that LSU does a lot of very good stuff for the local community,

    I do not believe Ron Wisbey’s statement was even meant to address anyone that actually had a serious question. Thus he never mentions any problem at all at LSU even existing. His ownly reference is to a problem “with Michigan”.

    I think this was simply a marketing and political-positioning statement meant to reassure any constituents not already inclined to look into the details, and meant to give evolutionist supports an idea of a possible rabbit trail that can be used as a form of misdirection.




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  14. And, to the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who today wonder if there is a place in this Church for you, we say, Do not lose faith. The Church is big enough for all, and we must never forget that our Lord desires that each of us might give our very best to His work. There has been little genuine conversation, and far too much anger, criticism and recrimination. We must never forget that God calls us to “act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.”

    Who are the people reading Wisbey’s letter and “wondering if there is a place for me in the Adventist Church”??

    Is it those who already believe Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 – or is it evolutionists who are hoping for a time in the future when Adventist doctrine will finally change to meet the demands of evolutionism?

    It appears that Wisbey is trying to open dialogue with evolutionists and the hope that the LSU initiative will eventually change our doctrines.

    Wisbey said:
    Do not lose faith. The Church is big enough for all, and we must never forget that our Lord desires that each of us might give our very best to His work.




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  15. Sean,

    You seem like a rational thinker who understands the multiple sides of the issue. You seem skilled at disagreeing without being disagreeable.

    You asked Dr. Whisbey to be honest about what is really going on at LSU. It would be nice if this could be simplified to a single question. Easy problems are handled easily and we move on. The fact that this is an ongoing issue shows that it is probably much more complex that what appears on the surface. It seems to me that the LSU Creation/Evolution controversy actually reveals multiple issues in play in the Adventist church and culture. It seems to me that this controversy has been the trigger that has brought them to the surface. What do you tink this controversy REALLY about?

    Is it about trusting God and what He has revealed in the Bible and through Ellen White?

    Is it about acknowledging evidence from science?

    Is it about doctrinal integrity and consistency?

    Is it about institutional integrity and consistency? (Faculty should teach SDA beliefs.)

    Is it protecting Adventist distinctiveness? (I think this is very important for a number of poeple.)

    Is it about staying true to historic Adventist beliefs?

    Is it about listening for the new thing that God is doing today, which might be different from what He did in the past?

    Is it about sharing the love of God?

    Is it about plurality, accepting or rejecting differences? (Whisby said the Church is big enough for all. Others don’t think it is.)

    Is it about keeping the flock together? (This might primary for GC leadership.)

    Is it about preserving the tithe/donation base? (Money is often a silent factor that most people miss or deny.)




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  16. It is too bad that all that was expressed was a bunch of feel good, generalized statements that did nothing to address the problem at hand! There is a large movement of people who have realized what La Sierra is really doing/teaching. La Sierra needs to either stand up for what they are wanting to teach(and be held accountable for it) or truely teach what our church believes! Enough skirting around the issue!  (Quote)




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  17. I agree. There seems to be a common practice among too many people today a practice that ignores the elephant in the room and talks about anything or everything else…being artful to not mention the actual topic at issue. Further, they tend to construe factual statements to be malicious attacks against them (i.e. THEY are being mistreated) or their institution. Why won’t the LSU leadership come forward and directly answer the assertions?




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  18. “To the members of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee, and to those of you who do not know our university, we invite you to come to campus and to see why La Sierra is increasingly attractive to students and families who value the privilege of receiving an Adventist education within a setting of outstanding academics. You will find a welcoming spirit of openness of inquiry, and the faith-encouraging climate in which questions may be asked and the most hopeful answers found”

    Dear Sir ~

    It is not a matter of “knowing” La Sierra ~ it is a matter of knowing the Lord God of Spiritual Israel who created the heavens and the earth and all that in them was, in seven days, even if they are symbolic days….

    The evolution aspect is the result of the Genesis quagmire of ‘and the earth was without form and void’…this is the anti christ at work – the time of this text is not in the past….the text actually reads:

    …and the earth became without form and void – Google it…




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  19. I read with interest the replay to the Michigan Conference by President Randal Wisbey. I read it very carefully as I wanted to read a positive response that would tell me as LSU president he was committed to take the necessary actions to comply with the voted actions of the Pacific Union Conference,the La Sierra Board and LSU Constituency. I was extremely disappointed.
    I never read that as chief administrator he would ask the offending professors to stop teaching evolution in their classes. Nor did President Wisbey ever write that he disagreed with evolution’s antibiblical theories. Even thought the introduction to Biology was to have been re-written to comply with the voted actions of the above named boards, when it was examined by the Pacific Union President and his committee, it was voted that it did not meet the required Bible/Creation
    standard, and would need to be written again.
    This attempt to by-step the voted actions of those intrusted to be responsible that Creation by God was taught, was not addressed by President Wisbey. I only read an attempt to show-case La Sierra University as a wonderful place to obtain an Adventist education…even though it continued to teach evolution!
    I graduated from LSU when Edward Heppenstrahl and Tom Blinco were teaching Bible truths, and would stand with other teachers in total opposition to any evolution being taught in any classroom. Oh, that LSU would return to those days when God was honored as the Creator of our world and the one who gave us the fourth commandment where He wrote with His finger in tables of stone – “for in six days the Lord made heaven and the earth..”.
    I request that President Wisbey write a response that addresses the issue of evolution as it is being taught in the LSU Biology classes. This is what parents, administrators, and students want to know — what is
    your answer. Please confine your response to this one issue: Will evolution
    continue to be taught at LSU or will those who have been teaching it be dismissed and those who are hired to take their place sign an agreement they will only teach Creation as a six literal day, 24 hour act of the God of Creation. I respectively await your response.

    Sincerely,
    Bruce Babienco, pastor




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  20. Why does the General Conference allow LSU seemingly to control the interpretation of Belief #6? Are some voices at LSU and LLU holding the General Conference hostage to a less than full Biblical definition of Creation? Would it not be appropriate for the General Conference to ask the Pacific Union to request LSU and its Board to vote a full endorsement of all the items mentioned in “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation”? If the LSU and its Board took this action, parents of LSU students could be encouraged that their sons and daughters would be receiving in the classrooms the mainline Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Creation. Let us pray that our leaders will
    be valiant for the truth. Church unity purchased at the cost of theological compromise dishonors our Creator.




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  21. @George:

    You asked Dr. Whisbey to be honest about what is really going on at LSU. It would be nice if this could be simplified to a single question. Easy problems are handled easily and we move on.

    I’m sure there are many reasons for the “problems” at LSU. I’m not saying that the solution to these problems is easy either. However, the basic question as to what is being promoted in the science classrooms on the topic of origins is a very easy question with a very straightforward answer.

    The truth is that mainstream evolutionism isn’t just being described, but actively promoted, as the true story of origins at LSU – and Wisbey knows it. He himself has publicly expressed his own doubts regarding the reality of the literal 6-day creation week.

    Yet, he doesn’t want to touch this basic question at the current time because he knows what the answer will mean to most SDAs. He is therefore trying desperately to avoid directly addressing this simple yet obvious question at all cost… using any misdirecting and obfuscating language he can think of.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  22. Sean,

    What do you think Dr. Wisbey sees as the main issue here? If I hear you right, you say the main issue is that mainstream evolutionism is being actively promoted in the classroom. What does he see as the main issue?

    I suspect he cares about other issues that I suspect you don’t care about. Accreditation, academic freedom, academic integrity, avoiding schism, helping to make the church open to all.

    If two sides do not acknowledge the others concerns and agree on what the issue is, how can there be a resolution?




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  23. @George:

    Sean,

    What do you think Dr. Wisbey sees as the main issue here? If I hear you right, you say the main issue is that mainstream evolutionism is being actively promoted in the classroom. What does he see as the main issue?

    I suspect he cares about other issues that I suspect you don’t care about. Accreditation, academic freedom, academic integrity, avoiding schism, helping to make the church open to all.

    If two sides do not acknowledge the others concerns and agree on what the issue is, how can there be a resolution?

    Evidently Dr. Wisbey does indeed care much more about a great many other things besides the long-standing and very determined attacks that his professors are making against the foundational Pillars of the SDA faith. This isn’t some new thing at LSU. This has been going on for decades – and Wisbey knows it.

    It is fine to worry about “accreditation, academic freedom, academic integrity, avoiding schism, and helping to make the church open to all.” These are actually concerns of mine as well. However, these concerns do not trump the right we all have to transparency – to know what we are actually paying for with our hard earned dollars to send our sons and daughters to what we think is a school that actually promotes SDA ideals. Wisbey is being decidedly opaque here. That’s clearly not right. It is not right to mislead parents and the Church membership at large on this issue.

    Beyond this, of course, all employees of any institution have a primary obligation to give the employer what the employer is paying for on the employer’s dime. This is not happening at LSU. And, this obligation also trumps everything on your list of other potential concerns. If you can’t be honest toward your employer, it really doesn’t matter what other reasons you may have – it’s still called stealing in my book; a robbery of the employer’s time and money.

    Another reason why your list of concerns are secondary concerns in my book is because of the primary purpose of having a Church school to begin with. The SDA Church didn’t build and fund schools in order to simply reflect what could be obtained for much less cost and effort from secular schools or from other denominational schools. One’s “academic freedom” is therefore limited when one freely volunteers to work for the Church as a teacher or pastor. After all, no one would think to maintain a pastor who decided that he should start promoting the doctrine of “eternal hell fire” or the virtues of “worshiping the Virgin Mary”, or “Sunday Sacredness”. Such a pastor would be asked to resign from being a SDA representative and work elsewhere for an organization that was actually willing to pay him for his services. Our teachers should be held to no lower a standard than our pastors.

    If this sort of requirement eventually results in a loss of accreditation (which it will not – at the present time at least), then so be it. Why fund an accredited school that ends up undermining your main goals and ideals? Is this not a self-defeating strategy for any organization?

    As far as academic integrity is concerned, if one cannot in good conscience teach in line with the clearly stated goals and ideals of one’s employer, what is the most honest thing for that individual to do? Where’s the integrity for someone to undermine the stated goals and ideals of their employer on the employer’s dime? Hmmmm?

    Oh, and remember good ol’ Neville Chamberlain? How well is he remembered for his efforts to avoid schism at all cost? Compromise has its limitations if one really stands for something worthwhile. There is a time to join together and a time to separate. How can two really walk much less work toward a common goal of any real importance unless they be agreed on at least some fundamental level?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  24. @Ann Patterson:

    Why does the General Conference allow LSU seemingly to control the interpretation of Belief #6? Are some voices at LSU and LLU holding the General Conference hostage to a less than full Biblical definition of Creation? Would it not be appropriate for the General Conference to ask the Pacific Union to request LSU and its Board to vote a full endorsement of all the items mentioned in “A Response to an Affirmation of Creation”? If the LSU and its Board took this action, parents of LSU students could be encouraged that their sons and daughters would be receiving in the classrooms the mainline Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Creation. Let us pray that our leaders willbe valiant for the truth. Church unity purchased at the cost of theological compromise dishonors our Creator.  (Quote)

    You are right – they need to turn from their present course. But simply giving lip service while continuing to promote evolutionism in both religion and biology deparments while spinning “happy fictions” to the students something along the lines of “only extreme fanatics in our church believe the Bible when it says that God created all life on earth in an actual week” — will not solve the problem. It just moves it back into the closet – where they can continue to promote evolution in class while not admitting to do such a thing outside of class – and filing legal action against any student that dares to expose their methods.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  25. Sean,

    I agree that an employee needs to do what their employer directs them to do. I am inclined to believe that you’re correct that evolution has been taught in some form at LSU for some time, and that the Biology faculty have been doing what the LSU administration have asked them to do, I’ll call it “teach good biology science”, and that LSU administration has accepted how the faculty have implemented that directive.

    So, then, is the administration doing what they have been asked by their employer? Who is their employer? The LSU board? The Pacific Union?

    If it’s the LSU board, then it would appear that this accountability is being played out over a series of board meetings and we have yet to see the final results.

    [When the institution you work for carries the name “Seventh-day Adventist Institution”, it is pretty clear who you work for. The school board doesn’t own the school and it doesn’t own the name. The name “SDA” belongs to the Church. Now, I do agree with you that the school board is more culpable than the professors, but the professors still know what they’re doing and have gone out of their way to specifically attack the literal creation week as being completely ludicrous – believed only by the “lunatic fringe” within the SDA Church. That, I’m afraid, is a direct attack on one’s employer and namesake.] – Sean Pitman




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  26. Sean,

    You’ve asked Dr. Wisbey to be more transparent and honest about the teaching of evolution at LSU. I’m guessing he and his advisors (and possibly some board members) believe that what he is saying is best for LSU and saying what you’re asking for would not be in the best interests of LSU.

    As you know, influencing someone to admit they’re wrong and change course can be difficult. Success is higher when one makes it easy for them to admit their mistake. Setting up a website to publicly proclaim their “errors” (and related strong negative messages) tends to put one on the defensive. If influencing Dr. Wisbey is really your goal, this may not be the most effective tactic. In fact, you may have already defeated yourself. On the other hand, you might find a way to negotiate a compromise with him behind closed doors. If replacing Dr. Wisbey is your goal, then working the board the way you are may be effective. We’ll see.

    In a sense Dr. Wisbey doesn’t need to directly say what you want him to say. You’ve said it for him. And the people who see things the way you do believe you, and those that see things the way he does, believe him. He may have already said, indirectly or directly, his version of this statement.

    In a sense, the fact that the number of biology majors is at an all time high, in spite of this controversy, suggests he has more support among the people that (in some ways) matter the most to LSU, those sending their kids to school there.

    [I have discussed these issues “behind closed doors” for over 5 years, personally, with the staff and leadership of LSU and higher levels within the Church. Others have been doing the same for much longer – for decades. Nothing was done using such methods. Last year, after my last lecture at LSU on creation, I decided that the time had finally come to try and take this issue to the Church at large. At the very least this particular effort is starting to increase transparency as to what is really taking place at LSU. If people like what LSU is offering, great! They are perfectly free to take advantage of whatever they want to buy for their children. However, those who do not appreciate the product that LSU is offering, even if these happened to be in the minority, have a right to know what they are really getting for their hard-earned dollars. The buyer always has a right to know what is really being bought. Anything less is stealing from the buyer.] – Sean Pitman




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  27. Are you really interested the explicit purpose of this website (replacing the Biology faculty), or are you interested in effecting greater change in the church, such as Adventist distinctiveness, holding to historic Adventist beliefs and what God did 100 years ago, or (better) being God’s instrument to lead the church to a brighter future? This website is generating a lot of heat and noise, and it is drawing attention in a “political activism” sort of way. But is it really an effective tactic? Maybe it is. Maybe you have other ambitions you haven’t admitted to yourself yet.

    You are a young man with big ideas. With your detectingdesign website you have set out to convince people of a point of view. You may have church leadership ambitions. This website has certainly gotten your name out there so people know who you are and what you stand for. I’d guess your following has increased significantly in the last year.

    Think about your deeper ambitions and what will help you get there. Controversy is one route, but I don’t think it is ultimately the most effective. You may want to consider negotiating a compromise with Dr. Wisbey behind closed doors as a way to win some respect from your adversaries.

    Such a tactic may not get everything you want with this round. But you can come back and get more incrementally. And you can build your reputation as an effective leader.

    I respect you. You are accomplished. And I think you have potential to go places you haven’t thought of. Contact me directly if you want.

    [I have no political ambitions in or outside of the Church. I don’t do what I do to become famous. I’m a very busy medical doctor. I enjoy pathology. I also appreciate the precious doctrines of my Church that have been given to me and to the world Church today at great cost and effort for many people who came before – sometimes at the cost of their very lives. I will not sit by and just watch as these very hopeful and brilliant Pillars of the SDA Faith are actively undermined from within. Also, I will not “compromise” with those who are the very ones who are active in this effort of attacking these pillars of faith. At least no one can accuse me of acting like Neville Chamberlain.] – Sean Pitman




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  28. Sean,

    One must be careful in using the loyalty to your employer argument. Before using this argument we must first determine who LSU really answers to. Do they answer to the world church, the NAD, the Pacific Union, their board, their constituency? It certainly should be the case that no matter which of these groups they answer to, what they teach should be the same. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this is the case.

    While the Board and the Union pay lip service to traditional SDA beliefs, their lack of concrete action says they either don’t want to rock the boat, or they don’t really disagree with LSU. Their enrollment is at a historical high point — not much evidence that their constituency is in disagreement.

    The bottom line is this. Until it is clear what the people calling the shots at the Board, Union, and higher levels of the church structure really believe about this it is going to be difficult to make progress. Strange that it was a conference almost 2,000 miles away that spoke up. None of the constituent conferences have said anything that I’m aware of.

    It’s no wonder that Wisbey might not be so sure that the university is showing disloyalty to its boss. It has hurt me deeply to arrive at this conclusion.

    Pastor George Hilton




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  29. I’m looking at the number of SDA organizations that have expressed support on this website. I count 4 of 12 colleges (WWU, AUC, SWAC, SAC), and 2 of 58 conferences (NCC, WI). These 6 institutions are each in different unions, so there is someone expressing support from 6 of the 9 unions in NAD.

    How does this get spun?




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  30. I am truly surprised and shocked how many negative emotions LSU evokes in people! It pains me, as a Christian who attends LSU, to see comments like “there is only one way to get the sunshine in and that is to close LSU” among people who visit this website. It seems to me that the entire reason this website exists is to dig as much dirty laundry (which BTW everybody has) as possible and neglect the great mission and so many people who are truly passionate about their faith and their university… Personally, I found hope at LSU, my girlfriend was baptized here (in 2009), thanks to a number of spiritual and supportive people, and I know that LSU is NOT what you’re all tying to portray here. I came to this university from a country where being an Adventist is like being a part of a mad sect and I will always be thankful to God that He miraculously brought me here. My decision to come to LSU has been one of the most blessed experiences that I’ve ever had in my life! Here I can truly sense love, support of people who are passionate about God, and learn more about Adventism. You guys have no idea how many fragile in faith people you are impacting with your bitter comments and criticism toward the university that I am proud being a part of. A very sad situation, truly.

    BTW, to all who are questioning Dr. Wisbey as a leader of an Adventist university:

    Dr. Wisbey is one of the few people in this world who is kind and sensitive to the needs and problems of EVERY student. This man personally lifted me up, prayed with me in his office (yes, he actually found time in his schedule to do that)and helped me to my feet when I was desperate and in great need. He is one of the most wonderful people and Adventists that I’ve ever met in my life. He is truly passionate about his beliefs and was an example to follow for many young pastors when he taught at a seminary. He is the only leader that I know who cares so much for all students that he would make time and adjustments in his insanely busy schedule to listen to you, pray with you and support you. I strongly believe that this man has been appointed to the position of LSU president by God and I (along with dozens of other students whose lives he touched) will support him and speak in his behalf.

    Blessings to all,

    Ivan.

    [This website is not about “digging up dirt” on anyone. It is simply about increasing transparency as to what is really being taught at LSU with regard to one, and just one, fundamental SDA doctrine – that of a literal creation week. In this particular regard, the LSU science department is clearly not supportive and is in fact actively challenging this fundamental doctrine of the SDA Church in favor of mainstream evolutionary ideas as the true story of origins on this planet. Of course there are many many good things happening at LSU as you point out. However, in our opinion, these good things do not resolve this problem of a direct and decided undermining of a very important Pillar of the SDA faith at LSU.] – Sean Pitman




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  31. Ivan, I have no doubt in the sincerity of Dr. Wisbey, just as I have no doubt about the sincerity of many people. But the most sincere people can still be wrong. There is no greater deception than a little bit of falsehood mixed with a whole lot of truth.




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  32. @George Hilton:

    Sean,One must be careful in using the loyalty to your employer argument. Before using this argument we must first determine who LSU really answers to. Do they answer to the world church, the NAD, the Pacific Union, their board, their constituency? It certainly should be the case that no matter which of these groups they answer to, what they teach should be the same. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this is the case.While the Board and the Union pay lip service to traditional SDA beliefs, their lack of concrete action says they either don’t want to rock the boat, or they don’t really disagree with LSU. Their enrollment is at a historical high point — not much evidence that their constituency is in disagreement.

    Agreed. The problem is bigger than LSU. And in fact they do report to the Pacific Union – which is either too divided on their own support for evolution – or too indecisive and divided on the issue of taking a stand for truth and actually “doing their job” when it comes to having to deal with an unpleasant situation.

    It is “the left coast” after all and “I am ok – you are ok” is a strong “belief” in that area that might paralyze board members even if they were not in favor of evolution.

    The bottom line is this. Until it is clear what the people calling the shots at the Board, Union, and higher levels of the church structure really believe about this it is going to be difficult to make progress. Strange that it was a conference almost 2,000 miles away that spoke up. None of the constituent conferences have said anything that I’m aware of.It’s no wonder that Wisbey might not be so sure that the university is showing disloyalty to its boss. It has hurt me deeply to arrive at this conclusion.Pastor George Hilton  (Quote)

    That is true. The fact that this evolution thing has been orchastrated for well over 10 years at LSU and that the Walla Walla evolutionists were invited to come and set up camp at LSU when the North Pacific Union “took decisive action” – probably gives Wisbey some hope that support from the SECC and other areas as well as the wimpy, lip-service, play-for-time, dragging-feet pace of the LSU board of directors – is likely to be sending him mixed signals – at best.

    And if he is getting mixed signals – surely the evolutionist professors that were outright invited to come there AS evolutionists – are getting mixed signals.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  33. I note my response above was edited.Sins that will keep a person out of the church were deleted and replaced the statemnt in []….

    Pastor Carlson, There IS something wrong with calling sin “sin.” According to Sean, you’re inferring something you don’t know–the reason or motivation behind the sin. You gotta know both before you can speak up. This belief is unbiblical, as sins are mentioned in the bible, and no “wait, we gotta understand the motivation first” clauses are there.

    An example: adultery–you must know “why” the adulterer did what they did. Maybe they had a good reason, perhaps “found their soulmate!”

    [Adultery is hardly comparable to a difference in doctrinal belief – like a difference regarding an understanding of the importance of the literal 6-day creation week. It is much harder to call someone who seems to honestly and sincerely believe in Darwinian evolution a “sinner” and obviously morally corrupt. You simply cannot automatically compare such a person to an adulterer or murderer or a child rapist. Such notions are idiotic nonsense – and completely unbiblical. These kind of judgments are best left up to God since only God really knows the heart regarding doctrinal issues like this. Therefore, such moral accusations will not be presented in this forum.]
    – Sean Pitman




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  34. Something that was brought to my attention a day or two ago —

    11MR 361.1 (Manuscript Releases Volume Eleven [Nos. 851-920])

    In the night I was, I thought, in a room but not in my own house. I was in a city, where I knew not, and I heard explosion after explosion. I rose up quickly in bed, and saw from my window large balls of fire. Jetting out were sparks, in the form of arrows, and buildings were being consumed, and in a very few minutes the entire block of buildings was falling and the screeching and mournful groans came distinctly to my ears. I cried out, in my raised position, to learn what was happening: Where am I? And where are our family circle? Then I awoke. But I could not tell where I was for I was in another place than home. I said, Oh Lord, where am I and what shall I do? It was a voice that spoke, “Be not afraid. Nothing shall harm you.”

    11MR 361.2

    I was instructed that destruction hath gone forth upon cities. The word of the Lord will be fulfilled. Isaiah 29:19-24 was repeated. I dared not move, not knowing where I was. I cried unto the Lord, What does it mean? These representations of destruction were repeated. Where am I? “In scenes I have represented that which will be; but warn My people to cease from putting their trust in men who are not obedient to my warnings and who despise My reproof, for the day of the Lord is right upon the world when evidence shall be made sure. Those who have followed the voices that would turn things upside down will themselves be turned where they cannot see, but will be as blind men.

    11MR 362.1

    These words were given me from Isaiah 30: “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” [Isaiah 30:8-15 quoted.] ….

    11MR 362.2

    I was instructed that light had been given me and that I had written under special light the Lord had imparted.—Ms. 126, 1906. (Diary, August 23, 27, 1906.)




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  35. Sean said: I have discussed these issues “behind closed doors” for over 5 years, personally, with the staff and leadership of LSU.

    Really! I did not know this. Which administrators did you talk with? What are some examples of compromise or interim steps did you propose? Or, is this an all or nothing issue where the only outcome you’ll accept is LSU doing what you ask?




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  36. Sean said: ‘When the institution you work for carries the name “Seventh-day Adventist Institution”, it is pretty clear who you work for. The school board doesn’t own the school and it doesn’t own the name. The name “SDA” belongs to the Church.’

    It seems to me that this undermines the “do what the employer says” rationale, which I think is the explicit purpose of this website. The “do what your employer says” is clear, direct and something everyone would support.

    I think your particular statement here says that LSU Biology professors should “do what the church says”. There is a difference between employer and church, strictly speaking. It appears to me LSU is saying that they ARE doing what the church says, that they are following FB6. As shown here on this website, FB6 was “watered down” to be open to exactly this, and then it passed global church approval. If you want to use the “do what the church says” rationale, it seems to me you’d need to revise FB6 first.

    Using the “do what the employer says” is easier for everyone to support. The problem is that the employer (LSU administration) seems to approve of what the Biology dept is teaching. So, the next level is the board, which you are working on now. This might be successful, or it might not.

    If the board does not effect the changes you want, then what options do you have? Change board membership? Change LSU administration? Is there an entity that you can appeal to that has the clear and direct authority to effect change? Does the Union have the authority to effect change (or is it only through the fact that the Union president is also the chairman of the board)? Does the GC have the clear and direct authority to effect change?




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  37. @George:

    I think your particular statement here says that LSU Biology professors should “do what the church says”. There is a difference between employer and church, strictly speaking. It appears to me LSU is saying that they ARE doing what the church says, that they are following FB6. As shown here on this website, FB6 was “watered down” to be open to exactly this, and then it passed global church approval. If you want to use the “do what the church says” rationale, it seems to me you’d need to revise FB6 first.

    Don’t you know? FB#6 is not the only official statement of the SDA Church, as an organization, on the subject of creation. Please review the official decision of the General Conference Executive committee on this issue:

    Whereas belief in a literal, six-day creation is indissolubly linked with the authority of Scripture, and;

    Whereas such belief interlocks with other doctrines of Scripture, including the Sabbath and the Atonement, and;

    Whereas Seventh-day Adventists understand our mission, as specified in Revelation 14:6, 7, to include a call to the world to worship God as Creator,

    We, the members of the General Conference Executive Committee at the 2004 Annual Council, state the following as our response to the document, An Affirmation of Creation, submitted by the International Faith & Science Conferences:

    1. We strongly endorse the document’s affirmation of our historic, biblical position of belief in a literal, recent, six-day Creation.
    2. We urge that the document, accompanied by this response, be disseminated widely throughout the world Seventh-day Adventist Church, using all available communication channels and in the major languages of world membership.
    3. We reaffirm the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the historicity of Genesis 1-11: that the seven days of the Creation account were literal 24-hour days forming a week identical in time to what we now experience as a week; and that the Flood was global in nature.
    4. We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.
    5. We urge church leaders throughout the world to seek ways to educate members, especially young people attending non-Seventh-day Adventist schools, in the issues involved in the doctrine of creation.
    6. We call on all members of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist family to proclaim and teach the church’s understanding of the biblical doctrine of Creation, living in its light, rejoicing in our status as sons and daughters of God, and praising our Lord Jesus Christ—our Creator and Redeemer.

    ____________________

    As a response to the “An Affirmation of Creation—Report”, this document was accepted and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church Executive Committee at the Annual Council in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 13, 2004.
    http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat55.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  38. @George:

    is this an all or nothing issue where the only outcome you’ll accept is LSU doing what you ask?

    In a certain sense it is “all or nothing”. What kind of compromise would you propose when it comes to my efforts to stop the attacks of LSU against the Fundamental Pillars of the SDA Faith? – and complete transparency as to what our children our being taught as the gospel truth in our own schools?

    As far as I see it, there simply is no room to compromise when it comes to the education of my own son. I think many other SDA parents who truly value the SDA fundamentals feel the same way…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  39. 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 Christian’s learn to one thing Christ came to teach, God’s love and mercy?




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  40. @Ron: Stand up for truth? What truth are you referring to? This is not an issue of freedom of conscience. It is an issue of misrepresentation. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a clear position on origins and certain professors at LSU are undermining that position by offering up a counter position as the truth. Professors working at an Adventist university do not have the right to teach whatever the want.




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  41. @Sean Pitman:

    Sean,
    1. If you are really worried about it, send your son to another school.
    2. Would you have us give up the right to be seekers for truth and our dependence on the word of God in favor of orthodoxy and a man made creed?
    3. For Freedom, Christ has set you free. Part if that freedom is academic freedom, to explore ideas to see where they lead, even if in the end they turn out to be wrong.
    4. Part of that freedom is to have honest doubts and to be able live with them knowing that God loves us so much, that he gave up his son so that we would have to privilege of knowing right from wrong. To not respect the right of people to be wrong is to disrespect Christ’s sacrifice and to be a false wittness to the character of God.




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  42. I think the core issue can be seen tucked neatly away in the following statement from Wisbey:

    Our students constitute our best hope for the future of the Church, a Church that must be responsible, redemptive, and relevant if it intends to meet the needs of the world in the 21st Century.

    Our church and our Churches schools were not established, nor are they called, to meet the needs, perceived or real, of the world, whether in this century or any other. Our institutions of education were established to meet the needs of the Church for all ages (centuries), with an emphasis on present truth. Our church was established to be the depository of and and greater promoter of God’s eternal truths, especial present truth (the 3 Angles Messages), not to meet anyone’s needs, and certainly not the world’s needs. We do not need to study ho to be relevant in the century in which we live, we need to study and promote God-s truth, which incidentally is relevant in all ages, present century included.

    I simply think Adventist Education, especially in North America, has lost it’s way. LSU just happens to be on the cutting edge of getting off track, if they don’t get back on track, they will get derailed, and God forbid, make ship wreck, of the faith of many.

    That having been said, I can-t bee to critical and harsh toward LSU, though this is pretty flagrant, the truth is, The church has been delinquent in following the councils on Education since the very time that Ellen White promoted Education reform. The church near as a whole accepted Education reform, and it was only a matter of time before one of our institutions, in this wicked age, went too far even for mainstream Adventism.

    I say woe to us for failing to search, study, and apply the councils in all areas of life. Perhaps this is all part of the Great Omega Apostasy, no doubt we are not far from the Great Shaking. God will have a pure church to return for, let us all pray and diligently seek to be on the side of truth when that time comes.

    Study the councils! and study the bible!




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  43. Ron, way to totally ignore anything that Sean said in his reply to you.

    No one is asking anyone to give up the right to be seekers of truth. And dependence on the word of God is exactly what LSU is rejecting.

    Where is it that God set us free to teach against the church (and God and the Bible) while being paid by the church? I must have missed that Gospel.

    The right to be wrong is fine, the right to teach young people that God has deceived us is not a right I want anyone to have while employed by me, the tithe payer.




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  44. I wish this forum either had instructions, or allowed posts to be deleted or edited =S my quote of Wisbey didn’t end up in a quote block… yay for typos.

    Only the following portion is the quoted text:

    Our students constitute our best hope for the future of the Church, a Church that must be responsible, redemptive, and relevant if it intends to meet the needs of the world in the 21st Century.




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  45. Having studied at La Sierra, and knowing the university first hand, I must say that I applaud the stand taken by the Michigan Conference. Obedience to God and faithfulness to His Word is the very first lesson that must be taught in any SDA school worthy of the name. No other qualifications can make up for the lack of this one. May God have mercy on those who attempt to justify any other course.




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  46. It is interesting how progressives word their replies, as though their opinion is a forgone conclusion. What they blame people for is believing in creation as real, as though it is being conservative, and that this is a bad thing, who ever said we agreed that evolution is real regardless of what side of the fence we are on? We do not sir.




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  47. Dr. Wisbey,

    You state that the “church is big enough for everyone.” The cavet to this is that they must believe in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of the SDA Church.

    You seem to avoid answering the real question: “Is LSU still promoting the modern version of the Creation Story that is contrary to Adventist belief?

    I support the position that the Michigan Conference of SDA took against LSU. What part of “Literal 7-day Creation” don’t you understand.

    I am reminded of Mrs. White’s statement (that’s if you belief in her prophetic gift) “we must call sin by it’s rightful name.

    Dr. Bisbey, you should consider submitting your resignation and also the Board of Trustees as well, and let God regain HIS SCHOOL…remember, you are a temporay stewart of what is not yours!




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  48. Perhaps (probably) Dr. Wisbey will not bother to read all these responses to his latest letter, and that’s a shame. Because if he did he would see that many of us who take the time to respond are more questioning and hurt than angry about what’s happening on his watch there at LSU. He would also see that many of these responses take on the form of conversation, which he purports to value but doesn’t see.

    It’s not easy to dialogue with someone who refuses to take his opponent’s voice at face value. When responses from Dr. Wisbey’s staff take on the charasteristic form which says, “That’s just the lunatic fringe talking.”, it makes conversation nearly impossible. Besides, the flowery language which Dr. Wisbey is obviously capable of using masks the fact (intentionally?) that he’s not really addressing the questions or points of discussion in the first place. That instead he’s engaging in obfuscation and subterfuge, two of the Devil’s most effective tools for deceiving human beings.

    It makes me afraid to even consider taking him up on his invitation to “come to campus and see why La Sierra is increasingly attractive to students and families . . . .” It reminds me of the Savior’s warning to those living in the last days who would hear rumors that He had come and was in the desert or the secret place. He said we should not go forth to see. Could it be because we would be placing ourselves on the enemy’s ground and open ourselves to potential overwhelming deceit?

    The longer this scene continues to play out, the more damage it does to God’s church. How many prospective converts will be turned away because they think we’re just a bunch of children unable to agree on what we believe. Dr. Wisbey, are you prepared to meet your part of holy condemnation in the judgment for these actions? I applaud & support the Michigan Conference for the courage of their convictions and pray that more will follow their example.

    Byron Comp




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  49. Dr. Wisbey,

    LSU is teaching direcly against what we teach our kids each week at Sabbath School.

    I let my church know about the Michigan decision yesterday. More than one afterward made the comment that educators promoting evolution at our campus should simply teach at a secular institution.

    It it disappointing that your response letter to Michigan sounds purely political.

    I join Michigan until LSU gives up teaching evolution. Until then, I’ll recommend our young people not attend LSU.




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  50. I appreciate all that this website has done in seeking to bring about a resolution to the problem of teaching evolution in the classrooms at La Sierra. However, living very close to another “Adventist” University I am aware that La Sierra is not the only Adventist school of higher education that has faculty members (not just in the science department) that openly support or promote evolution, and downplay a literal 6 day creation. While interviewing a potential faculty member for a position at another Adventist college years ago all of us on the Personnel committee where informed that most Adventist colleges in North America employ professors who no longer believe in a literal 6 day creation. While I cannot prove this myself, the professor who stated this would likely have known. My point is that the problem is much larger than just La Sierra, and the leadership of this world church needs to take this issue seriously. Just because an Adventist College or University publishes some official looking statement by the president claiming support of Adventist fundamental beliefs does not mean they have, or are dealing with those on their payroll that are teaching otherwise. Keep up the good work of keeping us informed, but maybe we need to broaden the call for reform.




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  51. When Man begin to replace the Word of god with their own experiences, gut feel, knowledge and expertise – he is like a boat in a vast ocean and without a sail and a rudder.

    SDAs who would go through the very last days to meet the Lord in peace can only do so by 100% trusting in God’s Word even to the extent of ignoring what their senses and mind tells them. If only Eve had done that, if only Adam, King Saul,and …….




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  52. Again we have “truth by consensus” and not by a “thus saith the Lord”. Have you ever noticed that those in the wrong ALWAYS fall back on the “we just need love and unity” theme. Without truth love and unity are sick sentimentalism, to quote EGW.
    Thank God that we have at least one conference that will stand up and be counted.




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  53. Mister Wisbey.

    When I speak with a Jehovahs Witness it doesn’t take long to reach what, for me, is a non-negotiable … the divinity of Christ. Once we get reach that barrier, and there is no possibility of change for my Witness friend – we’re done. The Bible, and my own personal experience with God and His Son, have given me more EVIDENCE than I’ll ever need about the integrity of the claims Jesus made of Himself and His Father. I don’t need to keep questioning whether or not Jesus is God.

    There’s no “big tent” on that idea. No embracing diversity. No openness and/or “broadminded”, “courageous” thinking. The divinity of Christ is a non-negotiable.

    Guess what? So is creation! It’s also a non-negotiable. And it, too, is based on the weight of evidence.

    A Seventh-day Adventist accepts the Biblical account of the literal 6 day creation week + one day of resting in the Lord. And it’s not something that’s up for debate. It’s who we are. Remember? God as Creator is foundational. It’s Fundamental. Non-negotiable … Adventist accepted Truth.

    What this means is that you, sir, are in apostasy, along with all who are promoting evolution as fact. If that’s too difficult there is an easy remedy. Which is for you to associate yourself with like believers. This is a free country and God has given you the freedom to join with those of like faith. And that’s not anything the church is “doing to you”. It’s a recognition of where you stand on a non-negotiable, by your own choice. All who want to negotiate “creation vs. evolution” need to do so outside the “tent” of Adventism.

    Our church has a responsibility to defend our faith from enemies without and from within. And that’s what any who wish to defend evolution at LSU have become. Enemies of the faith.

    You should humble yourself and repent, or be disfellowshipped. And the church should stop vacillating and call this what it is – heresy. May God have mercy on you for the corrupting influence you’ve had on our young people. How many souls will be lost because they became confused or discouraged by your teachings?

    If you desire to stay, than you need to become a Seventh-day Adventist. From the heart. You should be removed from a position of responsibility immediately, and decide if you wish to remain a member. This simply means deciding if you can truly believe and be faithful to Adventist doctrine. Again, you don’t HAVE to. No one can make you. It’s a free country and God has given you free will. You should fellowship with like-minded believers.




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  54. How dear president of LSU say that when you are not supporting one of the finest and most important Doctrines of our Church. If we need to know the truth, we should seek it from the Bible as this verse in Isaiah stays in my mind at all times when I am listening to others. Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. What is the “word” the Bible, what does the word “light” here mean? truth. Be weary of anyone that speaks differently to the Bible.
    Noel Hockey




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  55. Dear President if creation week was not a literals 24hr 7day week that started the world off where did our 24hr day 7 days in a week come from in which we now live and was lived right from creation? and if it is refering to a period of time, how long was the first evening and the first morning in Genesis refering to?




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  56. @BobRyan: I agree with this statement whole-heartedly. Where were all the apologies for leading our young people astray? God is still in control, although many(president and teachers) will have a lot to answer for.




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  57. After reading all of these responses I say praise God for a voice of truth out of Michigan. Apparently, since I have not read the Michigan statement, the Michigan response addresses LaSierra’s confusion about the literal creation story. That is good. It is sad to hear the political response from Dr. Wiseby. No confession, and no intent to change.

    The sad part of the story is that there is no response from the Souther California Conference, the Pacific Union, nor the General Conference. This issue should be addressed by these three entities. To not address it would convey that they tacitly approve of LaSierra’s position.

    Another issue is that the lack of clarity on the 7 literal day creation not only attacks one of the pillars of the Seventh Day Adventist theology, but is also a direct attack on Jesus and on the Spirit of Prophecy, thus the traditions of man nullify Revelation 14:12 and directly attack the three angels messages of Revelation 14. Now is not the time for indecision now is the time that each person must step to the front to share their loyalty to Jesus and His message. To not do this is to testify to neutrality – the luke warm position of Revelation 3:16 and neutrality will be spued out of the mouth of God for there is no truth there.

    Each person, wherever they are at, must stand for truth though the heavens fall. As this issue with LaSierra continues, which after all is simply the tip of the great iceberg that we must face again, each of us will be called to testify to our loyalty to Jesus in our own lives. I pray that we will stand like the 144,000 in this trial and all of the trials that are yet to come. May God have a people who will sanctify His holy name. Ezekiel 36:23




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  58. The silence of AUTHORITY in meeting heresy head-on, I take to be an indication of just how DEEP the pile is getting! (understand “PHD” here–piled higher & deeper). Can you fathom the impossible task of rocking the boat which is LOADED with dead fish?

    Jesus had to deal with heresy before. Disloyalty to Moses. Korah. Dathan. Abiram. God sayed, “Stand back from them.” He sure didn’t mince words. God stood for truth. (and AGAINST CRITICISM OF HIS CHOSEN LEADER.) Does this suggest caution? To whom? For whom?

    OKAY. Those who are on the Lord’s side (I’m not defining here)–keep your eyes and ears open to heaven, because you just may receive word when it is time to head EAST!




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  59. The wheat and the tares are allowed to grow together–forever? WHY?–Because we can/t always tell the difference. Does this mean that we must employ tares? Is there a time when the wheat and tares are separated? WHEN? At Jesus return?–Then we must be very near!

    Though Noah, Job or Daiel be in the land, they will but save their OWN souls!




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  60. Having spent the last few day at the Spectrum forums it’s refreshing to come here. It’s so sad and hopeless there. It seems that as soon as a person starts to use mans research to cast doubt on Creation all the other beliefs fall as well, including the hope of eternal life. It’s too bad that we have leaders in the church who are promoting such un-Biblical anti-Christian beliefs.




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  61. It saddens me to see any one considering themselves a Seventh Day Adventist contradicting God’s word. He makes it very plain that He created the world and it’s contents in 6 literal days. (Evenings and mornings). It is a measure of our opionion of God. Can He do what He says he did or not. Why do we have to reduce God to our finite understanding? Just because human reasoning says He couldn’t do what He says He did doesn’t make the Bible wrong. When you take the creation record out of the 4th commandment you make it pointless. The day itself is meaningless without the reason for the day. I say this in all respect for the academic achievement and intentions of those who disagree, but the last day deceptions will have all the aappearance of being factual and able “if possisble” to deceive even the very elect. Deception of that magnitude is sure to appear intelectually feasible. I hope those who accept any evolutionary theory in regard to the origin of this earth and its contents will reconsider their opionion of God. Can He really do what He says He did? with respect and Christion love for alll Don DeCamp




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  62. First, read Gen. 3:1-5. Next, insert “evolution” for the “tree” in the midst of the Garden. Now, note that the serpent said, “you will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” That much being so, why does anyone have to be educated concerning a lie.? All intelligent beings need to know in order to spread the gospel is …the gospel. So why all the dialog? I do not need to know the mecahnics of an aircraft if I want to buy a plane ticket. Matter of fact, I don’t need – or want – to eat anything more off that tree with the serpent in it. Getting an education in evolution is not my salvation. Jesus and His atoning sacrifice IS. You want an education? Get God. Get saved. And get going. Because He’s coming back soon. Probably sooner than LSU is ready for. Because if they believe in evolution AND the return of Jesus, then they probably think He’s coming back alright, in a few hundred million years or so.




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  63. Jim,

    Jesus counseled His followers to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) The serpent in the tree of knowledge of good and evil was wise. He spoke the truth regarding the fruit having the ability to make Adam and Eve wise to know evil even as God is wise. God acknowledges the truth of Lucifer’s statement (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34). The knowledge of evil, in addition to the knowledge of truth, made them as gods, and Jesus asks us to also be wise to ways of the serpent, while at the same time harmless as His Holy Spirit dove.

    Erik




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  64. Two things come forcefully to my mind:

    1) The church has the responsibility to refuse the teaching in any of its institutions – from the local level all the way to the broadest seat of influence, of any doctrine contrary to the teachings of the bible. Messages to the 7 churches in Revelation clearly teach this responsibility – especially Pergamos and Thyatira. There is always a line which only God knows which when crossed over, judgments will come – He seeks to plead with the church to recognize and respond in His dully appointed way to “keep sin out of the camp.”

    2) If the church, for what ever reason will not or can not follow God’s directive to purify the church from heresy and the teachings of doctrines of devils, God will act so that “fear may fall upon all!”

    In consideration of the above two points, it is my conviction that if our church does not act to resolve this issue at LSU, that the fiery sword of the Lord raised over LSU, and like institutions, will fall decisively if leadership is too blind or too emasculated to act. Much will be lost – but this time, many lives will be swallowed up as in the days of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.

    Therefore, I implore the constituent SDA conferences and local churches to address this concern with immediate dispatch for correction. All local church leaders should inform themselves and make known to the local congregations the issues and implications of neglect to address this condition.




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  65. This is a repost of something I wrote on another forum with the hope that it will be seen by Dr. Wisbey:

    We have let our intellectual prowess usurp the simple words of God and relegated His word to the status of a romance novel. Our thoughts and understanding of the world have become to us more of a god than is the God who created the world. We are following godless myths which Paul cautioned us about. Read what he had to say in 1st Timothy 4:

    1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

    6If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly




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  66. Erik,

    I thought Jesus use of “you are gods,” taken from Psalm 82:6 and as used in John 10:34, was addressing Rabbinical tradition and the “unjust” judges of His day, not Adam and Eve’s disobedience. As to “be wise to the ways of the serpent,” He simply implied, “be alert.”




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  67. I came to this university from a country where being an Adventist is like being a part of a mad sect and I will always be thankful to God that He miraculously brought me here. My decision to come to LSU has been one of the most blessed experiences that I’ve ever had in my life! Here I can truly sense love, support of people who are passionate about God, and learn more about Adventism. You guys have no idea how many fragile in faith people you are impacting with your bitter comments and criticism toward the university that I am proud being a part of.  

    @Ivan:
    Ivan,
    I am so glad that you found Jesus at LSU! That is the result we want to see from all of our Adventist colleges and universities. President Wisbey, thank-you for praying with this young man and encouraging him.

    I agree with you, Ivan, that some of those posting on this site have posted some very bitter statements. That is not reflective of Christ’s character, and I agree that it is very sad! I hope that those bitter statements will not tear down the fragile faith of new believers.

    However, Ivan and President Wisbey, the concern of many others in this site is for other students whose faith is fragile in a different way. The theory of molecules-to-man evolution logically does tear down faith in Jesus. I have met young people who no longer believe in Jesus as their savior because of the doubt that is inherent in the theory of molecules-to-man evolution.

    One of the reasons that molecules-to-man evolution does this is because it requires that death of animals would have occurred billions of times over before there were any people that could sin against God. The Bible says that death came after and as a result of sin against God (Rom 5:12,14). It also says that “the wages of sin is death”(Rom 6:23) and that Jesus came to die in our place because of our sin (Isa 53:5). Thus if death isn’t really a result of sin, the cross of Jesus was not necessary, and we have no reason to believe in Jesus as our savior from sin and death.

    To those that are posting statements such as Ivan quoted: Please be gentle while you call sin by its right name! Remember that Jesus wept over the city that would kill Him, and cried when He gave His most scathing rebukes.




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  68. Richard Sherwin, Your post is great, but the belief that Wisbey, even if he does read it, would change his mind, if full of naivety. Wisbey and LSU have “hunkered down” together to fight us, and so far they are succeeding. They have many allies at the Board, in the SECC, and throughout the Pacific Union Conference, including many conference executives.

    Which is why they do not see any need to change, appease, or admit any wrongdoing! Maybe a “minor adjustment” here or there (which is what Graham is hoping for) or perhaps a “fall guy” to take all the heat?




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  69. Creation…as a Christian, one’s basic beliefs are from the Holy Bible. Different Christian denominations interpret what they read in the Bible differently. Seventh-day Adventist–at least the church I was baptized into many years ago–believed in a literal 6 day creation week with the 7th being the Holy Sabbath. If you don’t go along with the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, then leave it. We’re both still Christians, but one can’t belong to or join a denomination when they disagree with it’s beliefs. Why would anyone want to?




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  70. Creation…as a Christian, one’s basic beliefs are from the Holy Bible.Different Christian denominations interpret what they read in the Bible differently.Seventh-day Adventist–at least the church I was baptized into many years ago–believed in a literal 6 day creation week with the 7th being the Holy Sabbath.If you don’t go along with the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, then leave it.We’re both still Christians, but one can’t belong to or join a denomination when they disagree with it’s beliefs.Why would anyone want to?  

    Liberal secualar humanists do not like to “leave” the Church; they want to change the Church to fit their worldy philosophy. Which is what this website is opposing.




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  71. @Richard Sherwin:

    Having spent the last few day at the Spectrum forums it’s refreshing to come here. It’s so sad and hopeless there. It seems that as soon as a person starts to use mans research to cast doubt on Creation all the other beliefs fall as well, including the hope of eternal life. It’s too bad that we have leaders in the church who are promoting such un-Biblical anti-Christian beliefs.

    Good points Richard!

    Apparently 3SG 90-91 agrees with your observation that one thing leads to another.

    Ellen White — 3SG 90-91
    Chapter IX. – Disguised Infidelity

    I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. The great God in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.” God gives us the productions of his work at the close of each literal day. Each day was accounted of him a generation, because every day he generated or produced some new portion of his work. On the seventh day of the first week God rested from his work, and then blessed the day of his rest, and set it apart for the use of man. The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days. {3SG 90.1}

    When God spake his law with an audible voice from Sinai, he introduced the Sabbath by saying, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” He then declares definitely what shall be done on the six days, and what shall not be done on the seventh. He then, in giving the reason for thus observing the week, points them back to his example on the first seven days of time. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” This reason appears beautiful and forcible when we understand the record of creation to mean literal days. The first six days of each week are given to man in which to labor, because God employed the same period of the first week in the work of creation. The seventh day God has reserved as a day of rest, in commemoration of his rest during the same period of time after he had performed the work of creation in six days. {3SG 90.2}

    But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike his dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of his wisdom. {3SG 91.1}

    Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves of difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods, and the day of God’s rest was another indefinite period; making senseless the fourth commandment of God’s holy law. Some eagerly receive this position, for it destroys the force of the fourth commandment, and they feel a freedom from its claims upon them. …{3SG 91.2}

    1. The reference to “infidels” and “infidel geologists” by Ellen White means — atheist and atheist geologist respectively.

    2. Disguised infidelity — refers to Christians who unwittingly embrace distinctively atheist doctrines on origins – not realizing what they are doing.

    3. The 3SG 91 claim is that she was SHOWN that creation week – carried back in time to that point and shown the events.

    4. 3SG 91 argues that the atheist counter doctrine on origins “strikes directly” at the 4th commandment AND at the character of of God.

    5. Her claim is not only that the world was created in 6 literal days with a literal 7 day Sabbath to follow, but that this was the FIRST week on earth and that the earth is only 6000 years old. In limiting earth to anything close to 6000 years – ALL of evolutionism is dead. But worse for TEs – in coming out decidedly for all genomes created in 6 literal days of creation week – she allows for no macro evolutionism at all.

    One evolutionist has observed in his own response to that fact above – “well then Ellen White was wrong” is the only option for the truly devoted by-faith-alone believer in evolutionism’s doctrines on origins “instead”. Other evolutionists have at times agreed with that point — when not keeping dead silent on the subject.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  72. Ron, I’d not think for a moment that the words of this simple bee keeper would change the minds of anyone, however I’m just adding to the voices of all those who reject the apostasy in our church. And with that chorus of voices maybe Dr Wisbey might at some point see that at the very least he should step aside and let someone take his place who supports the Bible and the SDA belief system.

    Bob, thank you for the quotes from Mrs. White. As someone who struggles at times with her writings they do nevertheless support the Biblical Creation and for that I am grateful.




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  73. Deviant Adventists, such as seem to occupy LSU, would be expected just to leave the church, as in days of yore. Not this crop. I’m afraid they see themselves as ordained to remold, not leave, the church. Emergent thought leaders are they, missionally committed to bring true spirituality and scholarliness and science and intelligence and relevancy to Adventism, at last. Embarrassed by legalistic, mean-spirited, small-brained, tiny-tent, doctrinaire Victorian Adventists, for whom they grieve, and chuckle, they offer themselves as incensed propitiation for a fossilized church. “I feel sorry for you,” is the signature response to objections. I found this out over a period of years at Sabbath School at Kettering Medical Center, Ohio, under a series of scholarly, doctorate, Sabbath School Teachers, all from SDA schools and usually Harvard, holding various high positions at KMC, for the most part very charming people, especially in their sorrow for me.




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  74. This sordid situation is beyond rational belief. Here we have LSU telling us that they are part of the faithful church while defending their open promotion of Darwinian evolution in certain of their science classes. The GC needs to take immediate corrective action at LSU.




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  75. Deviant Adventists, such as seem to occupy LSU, would be expected just to leave the church, as in days of yore.Not this crop….

    Hello Dr. Kime! You’re analysis is right on target. This is exactly what is going on here in California. It’s alive in other places, Kettering Medical Center being just one, as you have mentioned.




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  76. Sean says; “Adultery is hardly comparable to a difference in doctrinal belief.”

    So, Sean, we can argue, discuss, and dialogue, but can’t make “judgements” about the 4th Commandment, where God himself wrote that He created the earth and all living things in one week, but the “adultery” commandment is “different?”

    Adultery and denying God’s Word regarding creation are very comparable.

    Adultery is taking something that isn’t yours – i.e., stealing. Everyone knows, internally, that stealing is wrong because it is against the Golden Rule or the Royal Law. This is what makes us moral agents – unlike animals that do not have such moral sensibilities given to them by God and are therefore not morally responsible.

    In order to be guilty of a moral wrong, one must have a moral conscience against which one transgresses in a conscious manner. If one is not conscious of a transgression against one’s own conscience, there is no sin for that individual.

    This is why it is possible to honestly and sincerely not understand the truth of the Bible or of a doctrine like the literal creation week and not be guilty of any moral sin against one’s conscience (some of the greatest of all Christian reformers did not understand the sacredness of the 7th-day Sabbath for example – yet were not guilty of sin in this doctrinal error). This is also why only God can accurately judge such things because only God can accurately read the heart, the motive, of a person.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  77. To believe in evolution and follow those who teach it is verily to destroy the Seventh-day Adventist church. The enemies of our souls, through his appointed agents masquerading as Seventh-day Adventists, are steadfast in their attempts to destroy God’s Remnant church. God has warned us through His prophet, Ellen G. White, that this day would come. She pointed it out as the Omega of Apostasy. We are in it. God’s admonition is that we should face it head on. Thanks to Shane, the Michigan Conference and those who are indeed obeying God by standing up to this assault, not only upon the church; but upon the very God who established it.[edit]

    This is not a debate about creation vs evolution, or science vs faith. It is a frontal attack upon the God of creation by the very enemy who was cast out of heaven.

    Sister White warns us, ” A company was presented before me under the name Seventh-day Adventist, who are advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation…I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance” (Manuscript 15, 1896)

    [edit] Unconsciously as deceived Seventh-day Adventists, many are carrying out the devils plan. They will fail. God’s truth will triumph. [edit]

    Have a blessed Sabbath.




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  78. Sean said…..

    “In order to be guilty of a moral wrong, one must have a moral conscience against which one transgresses in a conscious manner. If one is not conscious of a transgression against one’s own conscience, there is no sin for that individual.”

    This is false, Sean. And you can repeat it a thousand times and it won’t make you right.

    People transgress the moral law all the time and don’t know it. You deny sins of ignorance and assume as long as we don’t know better, we are not sinning.

    With such a view, the less we know, the better off we are as far as judgment is concerned. Such a superficial view of sin and judgment is not biblical.

    Because “sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know, we need a Saviour to stand in our place and take the penalty we deserve.

    The bible exhorts us to judge good and evil and apply it to ourselves and others as well. And many who support and advocate evolution are well aware that they are not in harmony with bible Adventism.

    Yet they willingly try to deceive people and claim they are in harmony with not only the bible, but also the SDA faith. And this is not “sins of ignorance” but deliberate rebellion.

    The bible is not as ambiguous as you would lead us to believe. And in the end, we are not only accountable for what we know, but also for what we could know and refuse to find out, or admit when it is clearly revealed and pointed out.

    There is nothing commendable in pretending we have no mandate to judge evil on the basis that someone may not know every detail of right and wrong. Our goal is to call people to repentance.

    Why should, or would they repent if there is nothing to repent of? Since, according to you, they are not guilty, neither do they need to repent.

    A superficial view of sin leads to a superficial view of the atonement. And a superficial view of the atonement leads to a lack of appreciation of what Christ has done for the human family corporately and each of us individually.

    “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not” is a selective and limited definition of sin that James uses for a particular purpose. It is not the full comprehensive view of sin defined by John as “transgression of the law” with no qualification.

    Bill Sorensen




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  79. @Bill Sorensen:

    People transgress the moral law all the time and don’t know it. You deny sins of ignorance and assume as long as we don’t know better, we are not sinning.

    That’s correct. Jesus himself used the excuse of ignorance to excuse the actions of those who did not know and could not have known any better.

    “Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity to know the will of God.” – Ellen White, GC p. 597

    Notice the qualifier that Mrs. White uses… that ignorance is not an excuse for error or sin when there is every opportunity to know better but such opportunities are deliberately rejected. In such cases, there really isn’t true ignorance because the opportunity was recognized and deliberately rejected. It is only when there was no such recognition of opportunity that one can honestly claim true ignorance and therefore stand truly clear before one’s conscience.

    Consider the following passage written by Paul in Romans:

    For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. – Romans 2:13-16

    Notice how Paul argues here that we will only be judged according to our consciences. Our consciences are what will defend or condemn us in the time of judgment – according to the Royal Law that is written on the hearts of us all by God Himself.

    God is really going to ask just one question during the judgment, “What did you do for the least of these my brothers?” In other words, did you “love your neighbor as yourself”? This one question will divide everyone into two camps: Those who lived according to the moral law of love and those who did not.

    Because “sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know, we need a Saviour to stand in our place and take the penalty we deserve.

    Sin in the conscious transgression of the law of love – the Royal Law. There is no sin if there is no conscious transgression or at least a conscious willful ignorance of one’s duty. This is why animals or those who are severely mentally handicapped cannot sin.

    The bible exhorts us to judge good and evil and apply it to ourselves and others as well. And many who support and advocate evolution are well aware that they are not in harmony with bible Adventism.

    There may also be those who honestly do not realize the truth of the Adventist message too…

    Yet they willingly try to deceive people and claim they are in harmony with not only the bible, but also the SDA faith. And this is not “sins of ignorance” but deliberate rebellion.

    Deliberate deception in this manner is indeed a sin before God – even if the person thinks that the end result is right. This isn’t the type of error I’m talking about.

    The bible is not as ambiguous as you would lead us to believe. And in the end, we are not only accountable for what we know, but also for what we could know and refuse to find out, or admit when it is clearly revealed and pointed out.

    I agree. We are certainly accountable for what we could have known but refused to find out. Such deliberate ignorance isn’t truly honest ignorance though. I call this type of ignorance “informed ignorance” for which there is simply no valid excuse.

    Again, I’m not talking about this type of willful ignorance. I’m talking about truly honest ignorance for which there was no reasonable way to discover or clearly understand the truth.

    Why should, or would they repent if there is nothing to repent of? Since, according to you, they are not guilty, neither do they need to repent.

    Just because a person may not be guilty of sin doesn’t mean that they aren’t in error and causing serious harm. Once such errors are clearly presented to them then they are morally responsible for the harm that they are causing and must repent of it or be guilty of sin at that point.

    A superficial view of sin leads to a superficial view of the atonement. And a superficial view of the atonement leads to a lack of appreciation of what Christ has done for the human family corporately and each of us individually.

    I think I have a pretty deep appreciation of the Atonement. Of course no one can fully comprehend the depth of the Atonement, but it is certainly possible to appreciate it to a degree that is sufficient to leave one in awe of God and draw one humbly toward the cross with a broken heart…

    “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not” is a selective and limited definition of sin that James uses for a particular purpose. It is not the full comprehensive view of sin defined by John as “transgression of the law” with no qualification.

    It all depends in how you define “The Law”. The only reason we are all guilty before the law (the Royal Law) is because God has given us all our own consciences. We have all deliberately rebelled against what our consciences have told us was right. Therefore, we are all guilty of deliberate sin.

    It simply would not be fair of God to punish anyone for something that he/she no idea what he/she did wrong nor did he/she have any chance to determine the right. This particular notion of your strikes at very basic ideas of fair play and justice… ideas which are in fact commonly reflected in the Bible itself. I myself would not respect anyone, not even a God, who punished those who had no chance to know better and were honestly ignorant. I would hate such a God… and so would you if you happen to be shut out of Heaven for some doctrinal error of yours which you had no idea nor did you consciously choose not to know. That would make God seem very capricious and unfair in my mind – and I dare say yours as well if it really happened to you.

    God must come through this Great Controversy with everyone in the universe understanding His dealings with us as being completely just and loving – refuting all of the claims of Satan against Him. Even the wicked will acknowledge God’s love and justice at the very end. God is also on trial before the universe here and no one can love someone who acts in an unfair manner against those who are truly and honestly ignorant; having no chance to know or do better.

    The wicked are therefore lost, eternally lost, not because they were ignorant (ignorance can be fixed), but because they consciously rejected what they knew to be true (there is no cure for determined deliberate rebellion against the truth – i.e., the “unpardonable sin”). This is why the judgment against the wicked will be an eternal judgment because there is no cure for determined rebellion against known truth. If any possible cure could be found, God would find it and provide it. It is because no cure in the form of additional information or anything else can be found that the wicked are rightly judged to be incurable and are therefore forever lost.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  80. God does not condemn any person for sincerely believing a lie because God knows that our knowledge is limited to our education and experience. God winks at our ignorance. (Acts 17:30)

    Notice what Paul wrote about his own ignorance: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:13,14)

    Every person on Earth is either deceived or ignorant in one way or another because no person knows the whole truth about everything! God knows the opportunities we have had to hear His truth and He judges us on the basis of what we know or could have known. (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 2:14-16; James 4:17)

    Occasionally, God puts a testing truth in our path to see if we really love Him. (Exodus 16:4; Romans 16:25-27; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:10) The results of the test reveal to God and a watching universe how much we love Him.

    See also:
    http://www.wake-up.org/daystar/ds2003/JanA.htm

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  81. You still have not explained, Sean, why an ignorant person would even need a Savior. If God can not condemn the ignorant, then the ignorant need no Savior.

    Your view presents no need of a Savior as long as a person is ignorant. The only reason God will not condemn the ignorant, is not because they are not guilty, but because Jesus pleads His atonement in their behalf.

    I don’t deny ignorance is a factor in forgiveness. But not the sole factor as you present it.

    All are judged by the law. Both the wicked and the righteous. The difference is not based on who is guilty and who is not. It is based on who has accepted Jesus and who has not.

    In the case of the righteous, Jesus makes up the difference. So they are not forgiven solely on the basis of ignorance. They are objectively guilty whether they know it or not.

    You make a case for subjective guilt and deny objective guilt. But both are dealt with in the bible. Notice EGW comment about the final judgment….

    The Spirit of God impressed the hearts of those students of his Word. The conviction was urged upon them, that they had ignorantly transgressed this precept by disregarding the Creator’s rest-day. They began to examine the reasons for observing the first day of the week instead of the day which God had sanctified. They could find no evidence in the Scriptures that the fourth commandment had been abolished, or that the Sabbath had been changed; the blessing which first hallowed the seventh day had never
    435
    been removed. They had been honestly seeking to know and to do God’s will; now, as they saw themselves transgressors of his law, sorrow filled their hearts, and they manifested their loyalty to God by keeping his Sabbath holy.” {GC88 434.3}

    So, Sean, when were they transgressors of the law? Before they knew it, or after they knew it? Obviously they were guilty of transgressing the law even before they knew it. And after they became aware of this fact, they repented. And what did they repent of? They repented of transgressing the law of which they were guilty of doing.

    And this comment….

    As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, “They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.” The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.” {EW 254.1}

    Notice what they had done, Sean…..”sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.”

    Were they guilty of sin? Of course. Their ignorance did not make them guilty or not guilty. Their previous ignorance did make it possible for God to forgive their transgression. So, yes, ignorance is a factor in forgiveness. But ignorance does not determine guilt or no guilt.

    You are simply wrong, Sean. Ignorance does not mean there is no guilt. And just because they don’t know they are guilty does not make them innocent.

    There may be no guilt in their own minds. But they are guilty none the less.

    So, as EGW has said, sins of ignorance are forgiven, not because there is no guilt, but because Jesus pleads His blood in their behalf.

    Bill Sorensen




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  82. @Bill Sorensen:

    You still have not explained, Sean, why an ignorant person would even need a Savior. If God can not condemn the ignorant, then the ignorant need no Savior.

    As I’ve already explained to you before, no one who is judged on a moral basis is completely ignorant regarding the wrongs that he/she has done. In fact, all of us have deliberately rebelled against our consciences and therefore against God and therefore need a Savior to be rescued from our rebellious hearts.

    It is impossible to rebel against something that isn’t known to at least some degree. Yet, the biblical authors refer to all sinners as “rebels” against God. This implies, very strongly, that the rebel knows something of God or His Law – i.e., the Royal Law of Love toward one’s neighbor. If nothing was actually known in this regard there could be no “rebellion”.

    If anyone could honestly claim complete ignorance, before God, regarding wrongs that he/she did, that would certainly clear them of any guilt of deliberate rebellion against God – and therefore sin. It is because we do have an internal sense of right and wrong, given to us by God Himself, that we can be judged according to this internal conscience which condemns us or defends us according to how we have lived with respect to this internal moral compass that was placed in the hearts of all free moral agents.

    It is like the time when doctors used to think that smoking was actually good for a person. A doctor during this time may have, out of love, prescribed the regular use of cigarettes for a sick patient. Say the patient ends up getting lung disease or cancer from the cigarettes. Would God hold the doctor in this case morally accountable for injuring the patient? After all, real injury did occur because of the doctors actions. However, is the doctor morally responsible? Certainly not! However, say the doctor does know about the harmful effects of smoking, but doesn’t like a particular person who already has weak lungs, and so gets that person to start smoking in order to kill that person off. Say the person rapidly develops severe lung disease and dies. Is the doctor morally responsible now? Absolutely!

    Ignorance or the lack thereof makes all the difference…

    God could not judge robots on a moral basis because they have no choice to choose between “right” and “wrong”. Only those who actually have a choice between what they know to be right and wrong are free moral agents subject to moral judgments. And, if such an agent is truly ignorant of the right option, how can that agent be held responsible for it?

    This notion of yours that a person is guilty of a moral wrong, even if in complete honest ignorance without any ability to know otherwise, makes no sense. It’s an unreasonable request for God to make of anyone… to live according to and be morally responsible for something that was not and could not have been known.

    Ultimately no one who is lost is going to be able to honestly claim ignorance. All will know exactly where their own feet were deliberately deviated from the path that they knew to be true…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  83. Since you are censoring dialogue like the liberal forums, I won’t post here anymore. Your duplicity is the same as theirs. In fact worse. They accused me of attacking individuals as their excuse. You can’t even use that as an excuse.

    You are simply wrong, and won’t admit it.

    Bill Sorensen




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  84. The problem with LSU with that individual insitution may or may not be resolved, but even if it is, that will not resolve the core of the problem. The situation with LSU is merely the most extreme manifestation that affects all of our Conference colleges and universities.

    The original purpose of our educational institutions is to further the mission of the church. Purposes such as getting a job, getting married, etc. were secondary and had to bow to our main purpose; spreading the gospel as understood by us as Seventh-day Adventists to the world.

    This purpose has been switched. The mission of the church has become secondary (thirdly? fourthly?) and getting a job, married, etc. has become primary. This switch in values has a profound effect over every aspect of each institution who adopts it. Curriculum, social activities, emphasis, etc., all are affected.

    That does not mean that mission is totally lost, just that is watered down and made subservient to the higher goal of making money.

    If mission causes you to hurt your job prospects, then the mission must be compromised. Is this not what we see at LSU “in order to stay relevant in the 21st century”?

    Haven’t all of our educational institutions not been infected by this virus to one degree or another? Our Literature depts, our Science depts? our Humanities, etc.? If the situation is corrected in this one insitution, isn’t that correction merely temporary and prone to the same outbreak at another time or place as long as the virus of this mindframe remains in place?

    The only real and true solution that is long-term is to correct the purpose of our educational system back so that its purpose is once again back to the spreading the gospel message as its primary goal and all else being merely secondary, important yes, but secondary.

    What would SDA laity do if such a reform were carried out? I believe that while there would be a few that would welcome it, for the most part there would be massive and overwhelming opposition. I am not hopeful for the immediate future of the church. Thankfully God and not man is in control.

    The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket [the Bible], they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased, everyone would begin to trouble the jewels [doctrines], taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table.
    I began to think that the owner would require the casket and the jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor to take them out of the casket; but the more I pleaded, the more they scattered; and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor and on every piece of furniture in the room.
    I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin [false doctrines]. I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved, the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.
    I then became vexed in my physical soul and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter and bring in dirt and shavings and sand and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds, and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket [the Bible] and scattered it among the rubbish. I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept.
    While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that He would send me help.
    Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dirt and rubbish from the room. [the Shaking]
    I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish.
    He told me to “fear not,” for he would “take care of them”.
    Then, while he brushed the dirt and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins, lay scattered in profusion all over the room.
    He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.
    He then called upon me to “come and see.”
    I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me. – EW p. 81-84




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  85. @Bill Sorensen:

    Since you are censoring dialogue like the liberal forums, I won’t post here anymore. Your duplicity is the same as theirs. In fact worse. They accused me of attacking individuals as their excuse. You can’t even use that as an excuse.

    You are simply wrong, and won’t admit it.

    I gave you my personal E-mail to continue your efforts to enlighten me if you so choose, but it seems like you only want to present your arguments in forum…

    We did not set up this forum to go around attacking people as evil. It is difficult enough to point out that another is in serious error without adding to that the accusation of a deliberate rebellion against God – something that only God himself can know with regard to such doctrinal issues. That simply isn’t the purpose of this website – to judge the hearts of people.

    I may be wrong here, but if so, I am sincerely and honestly wrong. I cannot admit something that I do not honestly see.

    I perceive that you yourself are honest and sincere in your beliefs. I think you are mistaken, seriously mistaken and causing damage to the cause, but I don’t think you are necessarily responsible for the damage since you seem to be honestly unaware of your errors. If you think it best to no longer post here, that’s fine. We’ll struggle along without you… somehow ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  86. Getting a pass for attacking just one fundamental belief…

    From the Spectrum Blog:

    http://www.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2010/06/03/la_sierra_mother_writes_review#comment-54582

    Where in the posts on the FB page are there any testimonies about how LSU influenced students to favorably regard the fundamental beliefs of the SDA Church on the topic of a literal 6-day Creation of all life on this planet? Anyone?

    Mrs. Webster’s letter, as well as the FB page defending LSU, are both missing the entire point of the current conflict with LSU. The point isn’t that LSU isn’t religious or supporting certain ideas of God and creation in general. The point is that LSU is directly attacking and undermining a very specific view of creation that the SDA Church, as an organization, holds to be a foundational pillar of the unique SDA belief system – – the literal 6-day creation week.

    This particular view of a literal 6-day creation week is so fundamental to the SDA Church that it is reflected in the very name of the Church – Seventh-day Adventists.

    So, should LSU get a pass when it comes to undermining and attacking this fundamental SDA doctrinal position of the Church because of all the other good things it is doing? Hmmm? I, for one, don’t think so. If a school wishes to carry the name of any organization, it should, at the very least, reflect *all* of the *fundamental* goals and ideals of that organization… not just most of them…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  87. @Doug Carlson, Pastor: AMEN!!! The church definitely isn’t big enough for false, worldly teachings. In this end time, why should we join the world in setting aside the truths of God’s word? We must stand firm and not allow error to creep in!




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  88. @Sean

    Where in the posts on the FB page are there any testimonies about how LSU influenced students to favorably regard the fundamental beliefs of the SDA Church on the topic of a literal 6-day Creation of all life on this planet? Anyone?

    Mrs. Webster’s letter, as well as the FB page defending LSU, are both missing the entire point of the current conflict with LSU. The point isn’t that LSU isn’t religious or supporting certain ideas of God and creation in general.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that the “LSU Loved Me” Facebook page was not set up for the benefit of Educate Truth or any other of LSU’s detractors. It was set up for the benefit of students, parents and alumni who seek to affirm the value and impact of an Adventist education received at that institution. Cheryl Webster(“auntie” Cheryl to me)’s letter was directed to the Adventist Review, and not specifically to this forum or to the specifics of the current discussions here.

    The organizers of the FB page and Mrs. Webster are not constrained by any debating standards or rules of order to address what you consider to be the point. If we were in a formal setting with an agenda and a moderator (such as this forum), we could expect this. I think that for these individuals, the point is indeed that LSU is religious and supports certain important views of God, and they are free to express those sentiments in any way they choose.

    Pax,

    David Kendall, PhD
    Adjunct Professor of Music
    La Sierra University




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  89. As a retired faculty member of LSU, I came to recognize that there are very influential people on the administration and staff of the university, particularly in the College of Arts and Science, who have agendas designed to dispense in one way or the other with certain faculty members. Such faculty members included some who could not be bought or sold for job security purposes. Devious tactics have been employed again and again to eliminate them, notwithstanding the strong evidence for the quality of their work in just about every measurable dimension. Such persons would be treated with “benign neglect”, their accomplishments damned with faint praise, until the opportune time came for decisive action against them. They would not be supported to attend conferences, even at prestigious institutions like Oxford University. They would be denied tenure on spurious grounds and be given the “silent treatment” or obfuscations in response to legitimate inquiries. And much more.

    I’m saying all this to suggest that there have been influential operatives at LSU who had worse than dubious ethics regarding truth, honesty, fairness, and transparency. It should not be surprising if such values manifest themselves in larger, more defining issues – particularly when post-modernism informs beliefs and becomes the driving force for values and relationships. I’m not at all surprised that there are good people at LSU; I taught many students who inspired me by their intellectual, spiritual, and moral qualities. After all, there are good people at Harvard and UCLA too. You can find them everywhere. And I had warm fellowship with some faculty members whose honesty, trustworthiness and even friendship I cherish – even when their attitude toward church, many of their beliefs, and critical aspects of their lifestyles were not fully compatible with mine.

    My problem has been with the covertness and fundamental dishonesty of an influential cabal whose agnosticism could not accommodate thoughtful people of faith, who seemed to think that if you were a person of active faith you had to be somewhat foolish or weak-minded, and whose old-fashion ethnocentrism and conservatism were covered up with a liberal and progressive veneer. I have no axe to grind and no particular opponent to discredit. I am only saddened that, with all the good this university has done and continues to do, the educational process at LSU has become so vitiated at the very heart of its theology, its philosophy, its certitude, and its relationship with the church. It would have been better if Larry Geraty, whom I thought of as a friend, could have risen above this type of controversial ambiguity.




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  90. @Doug Carlson, Pastor: AMEN!!!The church definitely isn’t big enough for false, worldly teachings.In this end time, why should we join the world in setting aside the truths of God’s word?We must stand firm and not allow error to creep in!  

    I agree completely. The “Gospel of Inclusion” is another secular humanistic philosophy which has crept into Adventism, especially out here in California.




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  91. Another Distressed Student wrote (on the Spectrum Blog):

    “I have heard Creation preached often! So many of us so-called ‘products’ of LSU are creationists! And many of us have studied in the sciences at LSU.”

    http://www.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2010/06/03/la_sierra_mother_writes_review#comment-54704

    Indeed, general creationism is preached at LSU. But when was the last time you ever heard literal 6-day creationism preached or actively promoted at LSU? – in either the religion or science departments? I bet is has been a fairly long while…

    Come on now, at the very least LSU should be open and honest about what type of creationism is being promoted at LSU – certainly not the type promoted by the organized SDA Church as a foundational pillar of the SDA faith…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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