Readers respond to Adventist Review article

Adventist Review published seven responses to their article “Evolution Controversy
Stirs La Sierra Campus
.” The following excerpts can be read in full here.

It is very unfortunate that so many of our youth leave the Church after they leave home. It is tragic that some of our colleges and universities facilitate this when professors advocate evolution.

Evolution has made some serious inroads into Adventist higher education and this challenges the very core of Seventh-day Adventism’s leading belief in the seventh-day Sabbath as the memorial of God’s creation week. To be more in accord with proposed long slow evolutionary advancements, some propose that God used evolution or created over billions of years instead of in six days as depicted in the Bible. But it would be a strange kind of God who would create over billions of years and then directly tell us in the Ten Commandments to keep the Sabbath holy because He did it all in “six days”! (Exodus 20:21)…

Ariel A. Roth. Loma Linda, CA
Retired director, Geoscience Research Institute.

Concerning your article about the evolution controversy at LaSierra University and Louie Bishop: There’s more to the story than meets the eye. It may interest you to know that the same Spirit-led conviction that brought Louie to stand for the Sabbath at a secular university (see Adventist Review, August 27, 2009) has been severely tested at La Sierra University. When Louie arrived he found his Biology professors teaching evolution as the best “single unifying explanation of the living world.” The six-day creation explanation he expected to find in his science classes–the view held by his church–were disavowed…

Rick Jaeger D.D.S.

I was saddened to read the article “Evolution Controversy Stirs La Sierra Campus” as it does not describe the campus that I know. La Sierra University continues to offer a strong curriculum designed to help students experience vibrant Adventist Christianity while coming to terms with serious issues of 21st century life and learning…

Randal Wisbey, President
La Sierra University

I have been reading the special news bulletins from Adventist Review reporting on the very surprising case of evolution being promoted as the best answer for origins by one of our own universities.

I am reminded of a statement in Volume 3 of the Testimonies where we are warned about remaining neutral in times such as these.

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded by God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” 3T 281…

Bob Strom
via email

I am writing to express my disappointment in the article published in the Adventist Review regarding the Creation/Evolution issue at La Sierra. The article had the potential for informing readers of what the issues being discussed actually were, and presenting a thoughtful presentation of both sides of the issue, [but] instead, in the selection of materials used, only complicated the conversation by really presenting only the perspective of one side. I would hope that the Review would also print La Sierra’s response, but even more, that it would be more careful and thoughtful in its coverage in the future…

Ken Curtis
via email

I read with interest and sadness the account of the apparent treatment of a student on the campus of La Sierra University who sought to have the Church’s position on origins be represented in science classes. Louis Bishop is a student whose career I have followed for several years.

When he attended University of California, Davis, as a member of the university’s golf team, he was being coached by my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law, not an Adventist, was deeply impressed by the faith and commitment of this young student who was not only an exceptional golfer, but was a solid witness for his Adventist beliefs in this secular setting. He stood unashamed for his faith, refusing to participate in contests occurring on Sabbath, even though it might cause his own success to be sacrificed. He was also the top golfer on the team…

Art Chadwick
Keene, Texas

Thanks for your excellent summary of the ongoing creation/evolution problem at La Sierra University. If this is not a serious issue, there are no serious issues. When someone holds a knife to the church’s jugular vein, people need to know. Well done…

Frank Hardy
Silver Spring, Maryland

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

67 thoughts on “Readers respond to Adventist Review article

  1. This attitude of some of the professors at LSU is not something new. Nearly twenty years ago, one of the youth attending a regular Friday evening study group held in our home, shared an incident he had experienced that week when he questioned his biology professor’s account of origins that didn’t seem to follow the biblical account. The professor looked him in the eye as if to question which boat he just embarked from and told him “you need to come to grips with the fact that the book of Genesis is mostly just a collection of myths.”

    For the past twenty years I’ve been collecting and sharing information supporting the biblical account of creation and the flood, in the hope of counteracting at least a little of the damage done by these professors.




    0
    View Comment
  2. I can’t believe this is still going on and on! As a lay person,I feel my hands are tied.We need to pray without taking a breath! I just don’t understand why nothing can be done and they sit in their high seats and keep on doing what they are doing~teaching evolution in our school! WHen will this atrosity end? We cannot be silent,hopefully with the publicity in the Review,everyone will know. And the prayers will be a continous stream to heaven. May God avenge his people and stop this evil.




    0
    View Comment
  3. I agree with those who have written in stating their grave disappointment with La Sierra. It is surely a sign of the times that there are educated professors who are so blind that they are no longer able to see that they are in direct opposition against God himself. We are told that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. These men and women who are teaching such deception are on a dark road that will not lead where they think. I love what the writer before me wrote, ‘When someone holds a knife to the church’s jugular vein, people need to know. We do need to know this, and we need to do something about it by telling others that La Sierra is no longer a safe place to send our children.




    0
    View Comment
  4. it’s surprising to me that a few folk are still expressing surprise and disbelief over what has been happening at this campus for decades. My little sister graduated there eight years ago and encountered this chilling reality–that LSU professors DO NOT believe the Bible–it was not news to me given that other youth from our congregation had, while attending there, come home for family camp in emotional pain and shell-shock over what they were being taugt there. Whether these men were planted by subversive organizations to do just this kind of work, Wisbey himself being one of them, or they are simply fools “professing to be wise,” either way, the managerial leaders in this church need to act decisively. One question, though: why don’t we see students organizing for protest against this the way we see in public U’s? Don’t such actions constitute “academic freedom?”




    0
    View Comment
  5. Wisbey is “saddened” because his cover has been blown off and he [and] LSU are on the defensive! I would be “saddened” too. But, they have “hunkered in” and are preparing for “the stand” while we do nothing! [edited by moderator]




    0
    View Comment
  6. It is interesting to me that Pres. Wisbey continues to avoid the obvious question as to why his own professors are promoting the truth of the modern evolutionary story of origins in their classrooms? Wisbey also has to know that his new freshman class that is suppose to introduce students to an integration between science and the SDA faith is being taught by the very same professors who do not believe in the SDA stand on a literal creation week. This new class is only being used as yet an additional platform for these professors to put doubts into their students minds as to the viability of the SDA position on origins…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  7. Although I hold the teachers accountable for teaching Evolution in our Christian schools I hold the Administrators, AT ALL LEVELS, even more accountable for not putting a stop to this activity. It brings to mind the Bible verse in Matthew 18:6 which refers to the dangers of misleading our youth and that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around their neck and be cast into the sea.




    0
    View Comment
  8. When I first became a Seventh-day Adventist my wife and I were invited to lunch one Sabbath afternoon. Our hosts were related to the then president of La Sierra University and he was present at the meal.
    I can’t remember what exactly precipitated it but at one point this individual made a comment along the lines that anyone who believed in the Biblical account of creation must be pretty uninformed. He actually laughed sarcastically at the thought of anyone questioning evolution and basically mocked them as idiots. All the conversation stopped as our hosts looked nervously about and, realizing his mistake, the “president” immediately changed the subject.
    This was the PRESIDENT of La Sierra in the mid-1990s! This is nothing new, the only thing that has changed is that they have now been exposed. I wonder how many of our young people lost their faith at this disgraceful excuse for an “Adventist” university because thier faith in the Bible was completely destroyed.
    Randall Wisbey and his colleagues need to either stand for truth or leave. Anyone with an ounce of integrity realizes this. Unfortunately, integrity doesn’t appear to be a strong point of Mr. Wisbey or his faculty.
    Let “spectrum” and “atoday” scream and sputter about “witch hunts” all they want. This is about our young people being taught in a safe environment where the beliefs of Scripture are upheld and evolution is presented as an improbable theory instead of the only view that makes sense of the “evidence”.
    Sadly, it appears that the evolutionary view is so solidly entrenched at La Sierra that the end result will most likely be that the institution itself will simply walk away from the denomination.




    0
    View Comment
  9. I’m certainly glad someone is brave enough to confront this issue at La Sierra. We personally knew of a professor at La Sierra about 30 yrs. ago. His comment to us then, was that he and perhaps one other professor in the Biology dept. were the only ones that still believed in the 6 days of creation, and the pressure was on. He was not sure how much longer he could continue to teach there. We have not kept in contact lately, but we know he is no longer there, and hasn’t been for many years. Decisive action needs to be taken. I only wish someone had been brave enough to do something about it, years ago!




    0
    View Comment
  10. It is silly to think LSU or it’s Board are ready to protect the corner stone of the Adventist faith. So why are we bothering with them at all? [ ]

    Clearly LSU is no longer an Adventists school, a shining light in the world of education it is no more. [ edited by moderator ]




    0
    View Comment
  11. I wrote all the biology and religious professors at La Sierra the first of April, offering to give my “Observations of Moses” presentation, that would reveal the truth about Genesis, and remove the confusion between the Genesis text and the scientific data. Not a single so called religious studies professor responded. Not a single one. Only one biology professor wrote back, but only to give three addresses to forward my letter to. Those three or four persons didn’t respond either. [edited by moderator]

    Since the professors of the university don’t understand Genesis, and they refuse to allow their students to hear what the truth is, how on Earth are the students ever going to gain the knowledge needed to correctly convey the Bible to others?

    Since the school refuses to teach the scriptures correctly, why even send students there in the first place? [edited by moderator]

    Herman Cummings
    Ephraim7@aol.com




    0
    View Comment
  12. I have followed the seeming paralysis of our leadership to do anything to address the LSU situation with great interest because of what happened to my generation in SDA colleges. Sadly, it seems that nothing was learned.

    I was at PUC in the late 1970s when Desmond Ford and others was allowed to openly undermine the Adventist message in class and in the pulpit. I was innocently pulled into it and had to study the Bible and the SOP for my very soul (that was the one good thing that came out of it) to extricate myself from the confusion. After that experience, I no longer sit unguarded listening to SDA leaders or teachers. Everyone has to pass the Isaiah 8:20 screen now.

    Yet the effects of allowing this situation in our schools and churches 30 years ago can be seen in the high percentage of my classmates who walked away from the church on theological grounds. Of course there are many other reasons why young people leave the church, but theology isn’t usually one of them. One of my former classmates and her husband who is a graduate from the theology major at PUC are now the foremost “experts” on the errors of Adventism in evangelical circles. Their “expose'” is read and viewed by hundreds of thousands.

    Students who leave the church because of their faith in the Genesis account being undermined are likely to leave the Christian faith altogether. This creation/evolution debate in SDA colleges is a direct result of allowing previous doctrinal errors to go unaddressed. We are but reaping the sad results of many decades of compromise and apostasy.

    I am disappointed in the mild responses by SDA leaders to these developments, but sadly, I am not surprised. If I had to choose between a secular university and an SDA university “supervised” by these leaders for my children, I would choose a secular university. At least we would remember to be constantly on our “guard”.




    0
    View Comment
  13. Having just heard a sermon on Omega II and listening to a tape by Lewis Walton I wonder if this is the crisis Ellen White warns about, as well as a former GC president, that will be more deadly than the one Harvey Kellogg attempted (pantheism and takover of the SDA institutions)that just about wiped out the Adventist church in the late 19th century.




    0
    View Comment
  14. Ervin Taylor wrote:

    Elder Ricardo Graham, the president of the Pacific Union Conference, has just published an editorial in the Pacific Union Recorder, entitled “Be Kind To Each Other.”

    Those individuals who call themselves Seventh-day Adventists who are responsible for and support the “ministry” of educatetruth.com, can take some satisfaction that the vicious attacks orchestrated by them against a SDA university has got the attention of a high official of the Adventist Church.

    They can be proud of the fact that a Union Conference president has had to say in public that he is sad to see the “lack of kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness [that] distances us from one another and presents that unity that Jesus prayed for.”

    EducateTruth.org has shown us the way in how we can attack other Adventists and Adventist institutions, label them as agents of Satan, and then say this is being done to educate us about Truth. Very strange.

    Educate Truth is not labeling anyone as an “agent of Satan” or even in moral error (do not label us and our efforts by some of the comments posted in the comment sections which do not in any way reflect the views of the staff of Educate Truth).

    We, the staff of Educate Truth, fail to see how presenting what is really being promoted as the true story of origins within LSU’s science classrooms can be reasonably referred to as an unfair “attack” against LSU. If LSU and its science professors are really doing right by their employer, the SDA Church in this case, then why on Earth would they feel “attacked” when their actual work and clear efforts to proselytize for mainstream evolutionism are presented for public review by the Church membership at large? – as well as for potential students and their parents?

    It is one thing to be kind to each other in the Spirit of Christ, something we at Educate Truth obviously endorse. It is another thing entirely to sit quietly by and say nothing while LSU actively undermines stated fundamental ideals of the SDA Church while not clearly informing potential students, parents, or the Church membership at large as to what is really taking place within its classrooms. Such activity is not “kind” to the SDA Church as an institution or as a collection of individuals within the family of God. It isn’t “kind” because it isn’t open and honest or truly representative of the clearly stated SDA ideals.

    Standing idly by and saying nothing as decided and prolonged attacks are made against the foundational pillars of the SDA Church from within one of our own institutions could not be done in the Spirit of Jesus – in our opinion. We have therefore opted to say something – to appeal to the Church membership at large to address this long-standing problem within one of our very own institutions. Or, to change its “fundamental” stand on a literal creation week…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  15. I recently got an e-mail saying comments are no longer going to be accepted. Perhaps everything has been said that needs to be said. Now people have to decide what they are going to do about it.




    0
    View Comment
  16. I simply cannot understand the attitude of many of our “leaders” who appear to be more interested in keeping the professors “ happy” than they are in the salvation of our young people. The only one of our “higher-ups” in the church (including Paulson) who seems to me to see any need to drastically change course is Mark Finley. (The way I see it, he should be the next president of the GC!) I am personally sick and tired of the brand of “lets all be Christians and treat these dear teachers kindly and lovingly” leadership we seem to have had for far too many years! (I am extremely grateful to everyone who has so courageously brought this situation to the attention of the laity so that our voices could be heard!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

    Where are the leaders who “are not afraid to call sin by it’s right name?” Where are those who “will stand for truth though the heavens fall?” Where are those who “will not be bought or sold.” I can see nothing in the future but the “great shaking” Ellen White so vividly wrote about. This is not “some little thing” that can easily be taken care of. This is pulling the rug out from under our very foundational beliefs. Accept evolution and the whole structure of the SDA church falls..

    I sincerely hope there are enough delegates at the GC session who have enough backbone to throw out the “money changers” as Jesus did so long ago. I don’t read anywhere of Jesus’ “kind and loving” treatment of these individuals. There just comes a time when the Achan’s in the camp need to be dealt with and dealt with speedily and vigorously. This may well be the “Omega” Ellen White said we would have to meet–the “iceberg” in our pathway. May God give us the strength do what has to be done in order to “save” our beautiful “last-day” church!




    0
    View Comment
  17. WE were given CAUTION by a church leader long ago we need to heed today.

    “We need to guard continually against those books which contain sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science. Before the theories of men of science are presented to immature students, they need to be carefully sifted from every trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed of infidelity sown by a teacher in the heart of a student may spring up and bring forth a harvest of unbelief. The sophistries regarding God and nature that are flooding the world with skepticism are the inspiration of the fallen foe. Satan is a Bible student. He knows the truths that are essential for salvation, and it is his study to divert minds from these truths. Let our teachers beware lest they echo the falsehoods of the enemy of God and man.” CPT p 390

    This is not just a science classroom problem. It has also invaded some of our Bible departments. Both are teaching the same error about origins. panTHEISM (1903 Kellogg) and THEISTIC evolution (2010 La Sierra) are kindred errors. Let us pray for our leadership to know how stem this error that is flooding our Adventist educational system.




    0
    View Comment
  18. Well, so Professor Wisbey is saddened. He maintains La Sierra offers a strong curriculum designed to help students experience something or other. Well, somebody should suggest to him that the purpose of a college education is not to experience something, but rather, to learn something. That is the purpose of books and classroom lectures, is it not? And, if such learning is incongruous with Genesis 1, students will be led down a path that is at complete odds with Christianity. Why doesn’t the Pacific Union and General Conference find some quick replacements for the classroom and administrative positions? If there’s a cancer, it needs to be eradicated before it invades the entire organism.




    0
    View Comment
  19. @Sean Pitman: I agree. In every instance he has avoided addressing the primary concerns, and he can’t respond to them directly without admitting publicly what a lot people already know to be true.




    0
    View Comment
  20. Amen and Amen to the above! My question is, what is the GC leadership doing about this? I trust and pray that it is on the GC agenda coming up.




    0
    View Comment
  21. Let me improve my grammer:

    Personally, nothing shook my faith in God more than evolution. So this debate is important to me. When I was 17 attending engineering school, my calculus professor asked me if I still believed that the world has 6,000 year history in the face of evidence from “scientific dating”. (She did not mean to embrass me in front of my classmates, but I was caught unprepared). I started researching scientific evidence for special creation, and my research strenghtened my faith even more. I found multitude of scienific evidence against evolution and for young earth.

    I was also surprised to discover that not all science was true – there was and is false “science” For example, from my favorite champions -http://www.icr.org exposed dating methods contradicting each other.

    Here is an example of good science -measuring the rising salt levels in oceans, we can easily extrapolate that our ocean is around 10,000 years old.

    At a minimum, SDA universities should present scientific evidence for creationism and flaws in evolution theories. Even at 17 I could easily see how evolution theory contradicts the scienific Second Law of Thermodyamics. While studying Probability math, it was obvious to me that it is immpossible for a “lucky streak” of accidents to “pop a rabbit out from Darwinian slime”

    Oh, I love to tease SDAs who are “evolutionists” with this saying: A Sabbath keeping evolotionist is an oxymoron. Why keep Sabbath if the world was not created in six days by the “Word of the Lord” ?




    0
    View Comment
  22. I was a student at PUC in 1966 and there were those there who were playing with the Theistical Evolutionary variation of “One day = One Thousand years.” My aunt was a professor there (PhD) in Biology and she was playing with that idea. She later left PUC and taught in an outside College until her retirement. She is still not an active member of the SDA Church anymore, but professes to believe. On the other hand she has all sorts of spiritualistically friendly beliefs also (angel visitations, out of body experiences, etc.). There are those who are and were teaching MORE than 6,000 years after creation as part of the archiological record (such a 14,000 years ago for some of the Egyptian record of finds, etc.), and this was another one of the preludes to the current confusion and compromise. I graduated from Brigham Young U. in 1975 and found the SAME kind of battle going on there. Former creationists who had gone “outside” for their “higher degrees” came back as evolutionists and taught and debated within the BYU structure. There is something insidious about giving up your belief in Bible 6 day Creation, in that almost NEVER do those who now teach some variatin of “evolution,” having departed from the clear statements of God’s Word on the issue of Fiat Creation, come back to become “re-converted” Creationists. For some reason, you just VERY rarely see that kind of change. This is such a basic MORAL issue of belief that it changes the believer forever in one direction or the other. This is why it is SO dangerous to allow our supposedly Godly SDA school system to be ANYTHING but crystal clear in support of the veracity of God’s clear statement in the 10 Commandments. Fall on the 6 Days of Creation and fall on the sacredness of the 7th. Then all that remains is to be “converted after the modern order” to Sunday sacredness and receive the “Mark!”




    0
    View Comment
  23. Although I am a retired physician I majored in Theology at La Sierra and graduated in 1959. The vast majority of professors at that time were godly men who fully supported the Biblical account as truth. But even 50+ years ago La Sierra had the beginnings of ‘apostasy’ in its ranks. I took a course in Evangelism from R. A. Anderson(now deceased), who was one of the team that produced the first edition of Questions On Doctrine, which was a cave in to Sunday-keeping Evangelical Protestantism.
    So La Sierra has a long history of being on the ‘fringe’ of what the SDA movement was founded upon.
    Nothing new!




    0
    View Comment
  24. I’m curious what in the AR article the LSU president thinks does “not describe the campus that [he knows].”

    The only thing he reassures us of is that LSU would “never” disciple students for “expressing and upholding Adventist beliefs.”

    If Louie were to ever come out in the open about this, it would be revealed that this isn’t entirely true.

    LSU constantly touts how they’ve affirmed the “Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 regarding creation.” That’s great. Wouldn’t it be prudent to stop and ask why that is even necessary for a Seventh-day Adventist university to affirm publicly a fundamental belief? There is a problem in the biology department.

    So what is LSU doing to remedy the problem?

    Apparently nothing in the classrooms of the biology department.

    This new class that they keep talking about is an out right hoax. It does NOT help students develop ways to help students better navigate these issues in support of the Bible or Adventist faith.

    The course, at least how it was taught fall quarter of 2009, did not support the churches belief on creation at all. It did not even present it as a viable option. Instead a whole other option called temple theology was given.

    LSU recorded these seminars. They’re all on video. It’s on record, so I’m surprised they keep touting this class. If it was revealed what was really in those classes, it would be shown how many lies have been made about this class.




    0
    View Comment
  25. It is a sorry and shameful state of affairs that outright heresy is being taught in an SDA educational center, and apparently nothing is being done to bring it to a stop. What is the protocol for removing an SDA institution that no longer is true to its mission? Does a Union have the right to call a constituency meeting to dismiss the administration and/or the teachers and/or close down the entire institution? What happens when a church congregation apostasizes? Where does the bottom-line responsibility lie to maintain fidelity to our Church beliefs? Can local members of the Pacific Union call for a specially-held constituency meeting for the express purpose of bringing about change at the LaSierra campus?

    Long years ago, God’s messenger penned these words, “We have more to fear from within than from without.”

    I give full credit and support to the AR editors who exposed the true situation at LaSierra. Let us hope it awakens hundreds of parents and students to the reality of the controversy and steers them in the direction of other Adventist schools of higher learning where their faith will not be eroded by heresy in the classroom.




    0
    View Comment
  26. It appears to me we may have the Omega apostasy within this issue. So, how are the ordained and elected leaders of our denomination meeting it? President Paulson gently asks the professors to bring the students “back home” after taking them through the evolutionary jungle. Other than that, I personally am not aware of any direct measures being taken by leadership to address this issue. They are very quiet. If I’m wrong I would appreciate having someone point out to me any movement from leadership to correct the problems of evolution being promoted at La Sierra. Surely these Godly leaders are not just average politicians, too timid to speak out for fear of causing a schism in the church. Do they have doubts about a literal six-day creation?
    My comments may be out of line and not at all reflective of what’s really going on in the private conversations among our leaders. I would like to be corrected, for I would like to know that my tithe is supporting men and women in leadership who believe in the same Seventh-day Adventist teachings that I subscribe to as a loyal member.




    0
    View Comment
  27. Here is an example of good science -measuring the rising salt levels in oceans, we can easily extrapolate that our ocean is around 10,000 years old.

    The concentration of dissolved elements in the ocean is not a reliable dating method. For example, some estimates based on aluminum show absurdly short times of several hundred years whereas sodium would indicate 260,000,000 years. There is a great deal of chemistry in the ocean that is not accounted for, so you can pick an element for just about any date you like.




    0
    View Comment
  28. One thing I appreciate about Randal Wisbey is that he has at least enough integrity not to lie about what is going on at LaSierra. In this letter to the Review, as with his previous open letter written about a year ago, he does not deny anything that Educate Truth has been saying about the situation at LaSierra.

    Wisbey does not deny that LaSierra biology professors are teaching Darwinism as truth. He does not deny that Louie Bishop was disciplined for leaking Darwinist teaching materials (which the school absurdly asserts was a violation of copyright). He does not deny that he believes that Darwinism is the true story of human origins, and in fact subtly affirms this by asserting how difficult it is to integrate Adventist beliefs with biology education.

    Every word that Randal Wisbey has written is completely consistent with what Sean and Shane have been saying about the situation at LaSierra. With regard to what is going on at LaSierra, there is not, as attorneys like to say, “a triable issue of material fact.” It is time for summary judgment.




    0
    View Comment
  29. “ “Where are the leaders who “are not afraid to call sin by its right name?” Where are those who “will stand for truth though the heavens fall?” Where are those who “will not be bought or sold.” ”

    Lydian,
    That’s me. I am standing for the truth though the heavens, or even though my church falls. It may be a sin to teach evolution, but it is even a graver sin to advance the truth through coercion of the conscience.
    Sean, it is not true that you are simply opening up the topic for discussion. You are not presenting a cogent argument for or against evolution, you are accusing the teachers and staff of La Sierra of being disingenuous, and you are advocating that the teachers be fired. If you have evidence for creation and against evolution, then by all means enter the discussion and present it in a way that will convince the intellect and convict the conscience, but everyone, teacher and student alike, must be free to decide without coercion. God cannot accept a forced allegiance.

    Lydian, our students are not at risk from one or even many of our Adventist teachers teaching evolution. Evolution pervades the world we live in and it is impossible to shield them from it. What threatens our students the most is the refusal of the church to deal with the issue, to enter the discussion in an open, even handed way and to present convincing arguments. If our generation, meaning the generation of the teachers, is lost to the theory of evolution, it was lost because our fathers failed to confront the issue head on with intellectual honesty and integrity.

    The very foundation of our church is openness to truth. We are here because our forefathers were willing to risk being heretics and to be excommunicated from their churches in order to ask difficult and disturbing questions. And they were willing to tolerate the painful dissonance of opposing opinions within the church and to stay engaged in the discussion until everyone was convinced, not by force, but by reason and conscience. Our church may be lost in this battle over evolution, but it won’t be lost by tolerating heresy, it will be lost by not tolerating heresy. The heresy of Present Truth brought to us through the Holy Spirit in the form of heretics. We will lose it because we fail to heed the advice of Jesus to let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest.

    Pastor McComb, Please also note that Mrs. White never attacked Dr. Kellogg and she never demanded his resignation. To do so is sin of the most violent kind.




    0
    View Comment
  30. Shane Hilde wrote ” If it was revealed what was really in those classes, it would be shown how many lies have been made about this class.”

    I take it you’ve seen those videos? You’re making a pretty strong acusation.




    0
    View Comment
  31. @Carl:

    The concentration of dissolved elements in the ocean is not a reliable dating method. For example, some estimates based on aluminum show absurdly short times of several hundred years whereas sodium would indicate 260,000,000 years. There is a great deal of chemistry in the ocean that is not accounted for, so you can pick an element for just about any date you like.

    The same type of subjectivity is seen in mainstream radiometric dating assumptions. Depending upon the assumptions you use and the calibration techniques chosen, you can pretty much get whatever date you want for the rock in front of you…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  32. @Ron Nielsen:

    Sean, it is not true that you are simply opening up the topic for discussion. You are not presenting a cogent argument for or against evolution, you are accusing the teachers and staff of La Sierra of being disingenuous, and you are advocating that the teachers be fired. If you have evidence for creation and against evolution, then by all means enter the discussion and present it in a way that will convince the intellect and convict the conscience, but everyone, teacher and student alike, must be free to decide without coercion. God cannot accept a forced allegiance.

    Have you not even glanced at my website – the website I list after my name in every post on this website? I present extensive evidence against mainstream evolutionary ideas and for the young-life perspective.

    Outside of this, however, just because a professor is not convinced by such evidence does not mean that this professor should expect to get paid for his/her contrary views by the SDA Church. Since when is it “forced allegiance” for any organization to expect to get from its employees what it hired them to do? – of their own free will? No one forced the employee to take on the job and no one is forcing the employee to stay. However, if the employee wishes to remain employed, it is only expected that the employee will be able to actively promote what the employer originally hired that employee to promote…

    The Church simply isn’t in the business of paying just anyone and everyone for just any and all ideas. If that were to happen the Church would soon collapse into irrelevance. The Church, like all viable organizations, must only hire those representatives who are actually able and willing to support the Church’s stated fundamental goals and ideals…

    The very foundation of our church is openness to truth. We are here because our forefathers were willing to risk being heretics and to be excommunicated from their churches in order to ask difficult and disturbing questions. And they were willing to tolerate the painful dissonance of opposing opinions within the church and to stay engaged in the discussion until everyone was convinced, not by force, but by reason and conscience.

    You are quite mistaken. The founding fathers (and mothers) of the SDA Church originally fought against the internal enforcement of Church order, government, and discipline, but eventually saw the need for it as the Church grew bigger and started to fragment. Your ideas rest on the mistaken notion that all it takes to get everyone on the same page is enough discussion. That’s simply doesn’t work. You can talk to some people till Kingdom come and you will not change their minds no matter how much evidence you offer – even if someone be raised from the dead they will not believe (to quite Christ himself).

    Because of this James White and John Loughborough started issuing “Card of Commendation” to those who accurately represented the early SDA Church. They did not give such cards to everyone, and this, of course, made those people who didn’t get these card very upset.

    J.N. Loughborough wrote:

    Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”

    One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc. Upon this point, when church order was contested, we read: “Satan well knows that success only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. . . . He deceives even the professed people of God, and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course. . . . All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.” – “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. I, page 650.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  33. From Atoday blog:
    http://www.atoday.com/content/deafening-silence-there-are-good-reasons#comment-7643

    StateFarmSteve wrote:

    EducateTruth is, at best, cyberbullying, cyberpicketing, and at worst, a cyber-lynch mob. EducateTruth staffers have compared the LSU staff to the pedophiles within the Catholic Priesthood, called them liars and thieves, labeled me “Judas Iscariot,” and called Worldwide SDA President Jan Paulsen and NAD President Don Schneider “spineless.” None of these comments or labels came from random posters – they can all be directly attributed to Shane, Sean, or some other “staffer.”

    Neither Shane Hilde nor I compared anyone at LSU to pedophiles. That’s an outrageous comparison. As you must know, I’ve been very clear in my comments on this issue that I don’t even consider the debate over evolutionism vs. creationism to be an inherently moral issue at all. No one is going to be saved or lost simply because he or she honestly believed one way or the other on the issue of origins.

    The only questions Shane and I have raised on honesty involved the idea that it is wrong to take money from an employer while directly countering the clearly stated ideals and goals of that employer on the employer’s dime. That sort of thing is essential robbery of the employer’s time and money as far as we can tell…

    And, when Church leadership fails to even address such a long-standing and decided undermining of what the Church claims are its most fundamental goals and ideals (for decades), on the Church’s dime, it is time for those members who actually believe in and support these ideals to stand up and sound the alarm to the general Church membership so as to generate some real action (which it seems certain persons currently in leadership positions are too paralyzed to achieve)…

    On top of this, in more visible forums, Sean has engaged in outright lies, shady half-truths, and fay denials of malice toward professors. He insists he never called for the dismissal of LSU professors, but then can be quoted as saying that he “started this movement to remove those undermining the pillars of the SDA movement at LSU…” When confronted with this quote, he then says he “never resisted” calling for their dismissal, a far cry from starting the whole thing to get them fired.

    Why misquote me and make stuff up out of thin air like this? I’ve always maintained that these professors should either be asked to resign or, if they refuse to resign, be removed from their positions of paid responsibility within the Church. I’ve never said anything contrary to this. I’ve never said, as you claim, that “Sean insists that he never called for the dismissal of the LSU professors”. Where did I ever say this? – even once? I’ve always called for the dismissal of those professors who are attacking the SDA position on origins from the very beginning…

    However, as I’ve also noted many times, this isn’t the primary purpose of Educate Truth. The purpose of Educate Truth is to increase transparency regarding the LSU situation so that at the very least the Church membership at large can be informed as to what they are really paying for in support of LSU. If there could be some way to solve the clear problems at LSU, without having to let any of the professors go, that would be great! It is just that I don’t see this as a viable possibility if the Church truly desires substantive change to take place within its own institutions…

    As an aside, you’re arguments would go much farther if you would actually characterize the positions of your opponents fairly and in an even-handed manner instead of trying to paint them in the most unfavorable and distorted light possible…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  34. The same type of subjectivity is seen in mainstream radiometric dating assumptions. Depending upon the assumptions you use and the calibration techniques chosen, you can pretty much get whatever date you want for the rock in front of

    If that is true, why does the GRI Website say the following:

    What unsolved problems about the age of the Earth are of greatest concern?

    The most difficult question is probably the apparent sequence of radiometric dates, giving older dates for lower layers in the geologic column and younger dates for upper layers. Other questions include why radiometric dating systematically gives ages that are much older than suggested by the biblical record; an explanation for traces of activity in the geologic column; and an explanation for the long series of layers in ice cores.
    http://www.grisda.org/2009/09/age-of-the-earth/

    The ocean floor is generaly recognized as one of the least understood ecosystems on the planet with the result that ocean chemistry is not quantifiable for dating purposes. The scientific community is well aware of this fact and does not attempt to use dissolved elements to date the oceans.

    Although there are questions about radiometric dating, I have never heard of any challenge to standard dating that would shorten the time of life on the earth to anything even close to Ussher’s Chronology. Your claim that “you can pretty much get whatever date you want” is simply not true. There is no assumption of radiometric dating or ice-core dating that can be changed to give dates as short as Ussher’s Chronology.




    0
    View Comment
  35. Most interesting reading. However, I missed the texts from Revelation about the Spirit of Prophecy. Perhaps, the so highly educated feel they are beyond this. To bad! We either believe in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy or we don’t. How unfortunate our leaders are not standing up for truth. Why are our youth leaving? All these letters reveal the true reason, no one in leadership stands for the basic truths of our blessed church.

    Lindsey
    retired teacher




    0
    View Comment
  36. @Carl:

    Although there are questions about radiometric dating, I have never heard of any challenge to standard dating that would shorten the time of life on the earth to anything even close to Ussher’s Chronology. Your claim that “you can pretty much get whatever date you want” is simply not true. There is no assumption of radiometric dating or ice-core dating that can be changed to give dates as short as Ussher’s Chronology.

    I think you and many at GRI underestimate the subjectivity of radiometric dating – as well as the conflicting data that is available along these lines. All problems are not solved in this area, obviously, but there are many interesting problems that cause the candid mind a great deal of doubt regarding claims of clear reliability when it comes to the assumption of ancient ages for the sedimentary layers of the geologic column.

    As an example, consider cosmogenic isotope dating. Cosmogenic nuclides are isotopes that are produced by interaction of cosmic rays with the nucleus of the atom. The various isotopes produced have different half lives. Cosmogenic dating using these isotopes are becoming a popular way to date the time of surface exposure of rocks and minerals to cosmic radiation. While the idea is fairly straightforward, there are just a few problems with this dating method. To illustrate this problem, consider that 3H dating has been used to establish the theory that the driest desert on Earth, Coastal Range of the Atacama desert in northern Chile (which is 20 times drier than Death Valley) has been without any rain or significant moisture of any kind for around 25 million years. The only problem with this theory is that recently investigators have discovered fairly extensive deposits of very well preserved animal droppings associated with grasses as well as human-produced artifacts like arrowheads and the like. Radiocarbon dating of these findings indicate very active life in at least semiarid conditions within the past 11,000 years – a far cry from 25 million years.

    Radiocarbon dating is also in striking disagreement with many other forms of radiometric dating when it comes to estimating the ages of coal and oil beds as well as many other fossils that contain organic materials.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/radiometricdating.html

    Ice core dating is even more problematic and inconsistent with striking evidences that counter this dating method:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/ancientice.html

    All of these dating methods are fraught with subjective elements to include the very subjective process of “tuning” to match pre-concieved patterns. This is especially a problem with Milankovitch cycles used in dating deep ocean sedimentary layers and other geologic features.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/milankovitch.html

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  37. All of these dating methods are fraught with subjective elements to include the very subjective process of “tuning” to match pre-concieved patterns.

    But, none of the problems with dating methods suggest time spans short enough to fit Ussher’s Chronology. If you can’t shorten history to about 10,000 years, you can’t have a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11.

    I don’t have a solution to the problem, and I wish you would use this Web site to present a broader range of information. As I have pointed out in other places, there is a long list of Adventist thinkers who have been aware of the short-history problem for a long time. Under GC Presidents William Branson and Reuben Figuhr, statements emphasizing a 6,000 year history were discouraged. During the formation of Geoscience Research Institute, those who wanted to do science left because their scientific results did not support a 6,000 year history.

    You make it sound as if the present problem exists only because of a few biologists at LaSierra U. What about the Atoday survey showing that SDA scientists have been moving steadily toward a long-history position for many years? What about the dramatic change in Adventist thinking about the age of the Universe? What about the very conservative Dr. Robert Brown (and others) who gradually convinced many church leaders that the rocks of the earth were very old? What about the three Faith and Science Conferences that ended with a statement that did not reflect the position of many of the scientists who attended?

    To have a public site such as this you should also take on the responsibility of providing balanced information. The average SDA member is poorly equipped to understand what has happened at LaSierra, and you add to the problem by making it appear as if there is a very clear and obvious solution. There are important reasons why you have not gotten the action you desire.




    0
    View Comment
  38. Ted, Your remarks regarding accountability are completely accurate. Where do you see anyone in the Pacific Union Conference taking any responsibility in these matters? [edit]




    0
    View Comment
  39. Carl, as Professor Kent has pionted out at AToday.com (http://atoday.com/content/educate-truth-perhaps-elaborate-spoof-turned-ugly#comment-7609) Educate Truth has had a profound affect after all and has probably gotten more action than intended.

    On May 7th, 2010 Professor Kent says:

    I have an update of astonishing dimensions.

    I pointed out in a prior post that Southern Adventist University was seeking to hire four new (ultraconservative) biologists. Apparently, I was a tad incorrect: one of those positions was for a health professional and three were for biologists. Did they find their people? NO!!! According to my source, from a phone call earlier this evening, the word going around is that they located and interviewed four candidates for the three positions, but ultimately hired only one who was deemed suitable to their standards. And who was this individual? They lured that person away from another Adventist university, which must now seek a replacement! Because of this disaster at Southern, one of the faculty members who was retiring has agreed to stay on another year, and the department will also have to work one staff member short. Amazing!

    Sadly, I’m told that two of the candidates were fresh graduates with strong research credentials and solid teaching records. Further, the folks at Southern were very dissatisfied that these candidates lacked a passion for proving creationism, which apparently is now a requirement even for those tasked with teaching anatomy and physiology. After learning this shocking news, I did some searches for publications by individual faculty in the department and made a downright remarkable discovery: I was unable to find a single recent publication in a peer-reviewed science journal (unless in an obscure journal missed by major indices) by any of their seven faculty members. Apparently, in their determination to become an apologetics department tantamount to a religion program, the department has now relegated itself to community college status. In public education here in California, no four-year biology program would possess an entire set of faculty completely devoid of research productivity, and I am doubtful accreditation would even allow it! Maybe standards are much lower in the southeast, and in the Adventist Church. Southern’s lack of professionalism, by the way, contrasts markedly with that of La Sierra University, whose biology program generates substantial publications in refereed journals. I had no difficulty locating publications from their faculty.

    My conclusion (subject to change if shown I’m wrong): EducateTruth has truly shocked higher Adventist education. It has contributed to a growing and very disturbing all-for-creationism-or-you-can’t-work-for-us climate in the biology programs. And this at the expense of quality teaching and peer-mentoring for the most unfortunate student victims, particularly those with aspirations to become professional biologists one day. Ironically, by hiring teachers who are “safe” while dismissing candidates with good teaching ability and research productivity, the university will fail to inspire students to continue in graduate school and ultimately return one day to the system as faculty. Do you get this point? The university–and the Adventist system if this is done at other institutions–is actually sabotaging itself! The decision-makers have cut off their nose to spite their face!

    Congratulations to EducateTruth; your influence has been profound indeed!




    0
    View Comment
  40. @Carl:

    All of these dating methods are fraught with subjective elements to include the very subjective process of “tuning” to match pre-conceived patterns. – Sean Pitman

    But, none of the problems with dating methods suggest time spans short enough to fit Ussher’s Chronology. If you can’t shorten history to about 10,000 years, you can’t have a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11.

    If you really believe that, then why work for such a backward Church that has a very clearly stated fundamental position in support of a literal creation week?

    I’m sorry Carl, my disagreement with you regarding a reasonable interpretation of the available evidence (much of which strongly supports a chronology for the sedimentary layers of the geologic column of less than 10,000 years and the rest does not convincingly contradict this conclusion) is minor compared to my disagreement with you regarding your taking money from an organization while undermining the clearly stated goals of that organization.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  41. @Geanna Dane and Prof. Kent:

    My conclusion (subject to change if shown I’m wrong): EducateTruth has truly shocked higher Adventist education. It has contributed to a growing and very disturbing all-for-creationism-or-you-can’t-work-for-us climate in the biology programs. And this at the expense of quality teaching and peer-mentoring for the most unfortunate student victims, particularly those with aspirations to become professional biologists one day. Ironically, by hiring teachers who are “safe” while dismissing candidates with good teaching ability and research productivity, the university will fail to inspire students to continue in graduate school and ultimately return one day to the system as faculty. Do you get this point? The university–and the Adventist system if this is done at other institutions–is actually sabotaging itself! The decision-makers have cut off their nose to spite their face!

    Congratulations to EducateTruth; your influence has been profound indeed!

    Given that your conclusions are correct, that there really aren’t enough biologists or other types of scientists to adequately support the educational institutions of the SDA Church, what should the SDA Church do? Hire those who will go about undermining the stated ideals and goals of the SDA Church? Is that a good plan when it comes to maintaining the long term viability of the Church? I think not. If the Church really does believe that its stated ideals and fundamentals are truly worth valuable and that the Church’s very identity is tied up with these ideals, then it cannot afford to hire those who will go about undermining these ideals – regardless of the current cost and pain to the Church that will be felt when dealing with this problem. Might the Church be forced to shut down or at least reduce the size of some of its schools because of this issue? That is a possibility – if the Church wishes to remain viable as a uniquely identifiable entity for the long term…

    As far as publications are concerned, you evidently didn’t look very hard for the publications of the SAU professors. Here’s just one example of a SAU biology professor doing active research and publication that I found in less than a minute of searching the internet.

    http://personal.southern.edu/~seidelr/

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  42. Um…sorry to inform you, but the professor you spoke of taught only one semester at Southern before taking his life for reasons none of us should speculate on. He is no longre listed at the biology website. Perhaps this is why Professor Kent failed to see that. I dont think you’ve changed any facts as much as you might like to, but of course, you need to believe what you want to believe.

    Don’t you think that shutting down the church’s schools would harm the long-term viability of he church? Dont you think the church has more to concern itself with besides the “proper” teaching of biology? Dont you think there are other issues and people besides biologists who undermine the churchs beleifs?




    0
    View Comment
  43. I should add that Professor Kent was searching in major indices. Perhaps you should do the same. Would you like some help on where to go?




    0
    View Comment
  44. @Geanna Dane:

    Um…sorry to inform you, but the professor you spoke of taught only one semester at Southern before taking his life for reasons none of us should speculate on. He is no longer listed at the biology website. Perhaps this is why Professor Kent failed to see that. I don’t think you’ve changed any facts as much as you might like to, but of course, you need to believe what you want to believe.

    Sorry to hear about the loss of this professor.

    Don’t you think that shutting down the church’s schools would harm the long-term viability of he church? Don’t you think the church has more to concern itself with besides the “proper” teaching of biology? Don’t you think there are other issues and people besides biologists who undermine the church’s beliefs?

    It all depends upon what you think is “fundamentally” important when it comes to the SDA Church existing as a unique entity. For me, the unique doctrines of the SDA Church are fundamentally important. If the Church gave up on these doctrines I’d leave the Church to join an organization that was more in line with my own views on these issues that are important to me as a basis of a solid hope in the Gospel’s “Good News”.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  45. @Geanna Dane:

    “Good News?” What the heck is that? You won’t find talk of Good News here at this website!

    Really? – I wonder why I just talked about it then? ; )

    The reality of the “Good News” of the Gospel is based, for me anyway, on the demonstrated dependability of those statements of the biblical authors that I can test and evaluate in a potentially falsifiable manner. This has to do with establishing credibility…

    For example, remember the time when Jesus was presented with a paralyzed man and told the man that his sins were forgiven? The priests and pharisee around him doubted his claim to be able to forgive sins. So, Jesus asked the question, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” – Luke 5:23.

    Let me ask you, what would have happened to Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive sins if, when Jesus said to the man “get up and walk” the man had not been able to get up and walk? That would have been evidence, very good evidence, against Jesus’ metaphysical claims.

    In the same way, evidence against the testable physical claims of the biblical writers is also evidence against their credibility in their other metaphysical claims that cannot be directly tested or evaluated.

    On the other hand, evidence in support of the physical claims of the biblical authors is also evidence in support of their overall credibility. In other words, the predictive value of their metaphysical claims increases as the predictive value of their physical claims increases.

    So, you see the scientific reasoning behind a solid confidence in the Gospel’s “Good News”…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  46. Given that your conclusions are correct, that there really aren’t enough biologists or other types of scientists to adequately support the educational institutions of the SDA Church, what should the SDA Church do?

    For starters, why not state fundamental beliefs that don’t force people to deny their senses? When you (or someone connected with your site) finally looked into the history of FB 6, you found that it was written to allow a range of belief. It’s an interesting history where the political forces that schemed to make FB 6 very specific were out maneuvered by the forces that wished to say nothing more than what Genesis says. This, of course, does not suit your purposes, so you have posted a demand that FB 6 must be tightened up to be sure we can accurately label heretics in our midst. (I, on the other hand, admire the skill of the outnumbered few who pulled that off.)

    … why work for such a backward Church …

    Because my commitment to Adventism is based on a continuing search for the truth. The Bible is our only creed, and that leaves room for a range of interpretation. That’s why the preamble to the Fundamental Beliefs says that they are subject to review and possible change.

    So, I hope FB 6 will be revised to widen the search for truth and you demand that we nail it down tight so as to prevent a further search for truth. But, we’re in this thing together.




    0
    View Comment
  47. @Carl:

    Because my commitment to Adventism is based on a continuing search for the truth. The Bible is our only creed, and that leaves room for a range of interpretation. That’s why the preamble to the Fundamental Beliefs says that they are subject to review and possible change.

    So, I hope FB 6 will be revised to widen the search for truth and you demand that we nail it down tight so as to prevent a further search for truth. But, we’re in this thing together.

    There are a lot of Christian churches, with very widely divergent interpretations of Scripture, who claim that their beliefs are based on the Bible and the Bible only. Diversity on such a scale, from paid representatives, would lead to chaos, not long term viability. You think we should pay pastors to go around teaching that we should pray to the Virgin Mary or that sinners will burn forever in eternal Hell Fire? Surely not. If a person believes and wishes to be paid to teach such things, that person should seek employment outside of the SDA Church…

    The early Church founders, while realizing the potential and even need for change and growth in understanding as new truth came to light also recognized that God does not change and does not counter truths that were clearly revealed by the Holy Spirit during the founding of our Church. New light does not counter older revelations, but compliments it.

    When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No aftersuppositions, contrary to the light God has given, are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit…
    [Satan] knows that if he can deceive the people who claim to believe present truth, and make them believe that the work the Lord designs for them to do for His people is a removing of the old landmarks, something which they should, with most determined zeal, resist, then he exults over the deception he has led them to believe…
    We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.

    Ellen White, Preach the Word, p. 5. (1905); Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 31-32. (1946)

    Also, organizations cannot be maintained if individuals think to move significantly faster or slower than the organization itself. If you think you are so far beyond the organization in your understanding of obvious truth, perhaps it is time you move on instead of continuing to take money from an organization while undermining its stated goals and ideals (which are clearly stated and have been even more clearly restated by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists).

    God is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing one thing, another that. Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust. The third angels is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly. Some run ahead of the angels that are leading His people; but they have to retrace every step, and meekly follow no faster than the angels lead…

    Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church. p. 207. Vol. 1.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  48. Does anyone know who “Ken Curtis” is? His response was posted in the Review article. Most of the responses published were identified, but he was not and he was in support of La Sierra, or so it seems.

    I find it interesting, but not surprising that some here are not offended by the larger issues involved. We are looking at rebellion against Bible truth not at just the teacher level. We have a lot more involved than just a professor or two. Some want to restrict this to evolution, but that would be ignoring the underlying disease while attempting to put a band-aid on the tumor. Most who have been posting here understand that the teaching of evolution at La Sierra is only a small lump revealing a cancerous growth extending far beyond La Sierra.




    0
    View Comment
  49. Why is it Sean is so insistent on telling others they should consider leaving the church. Maybe that’s the Good News proclaimed here: “if we work hard enough we can purge these people from our midst and keep the Gospel among those of us who recognize the evidence that establishes it as truth.”




    0
    View Comment
  50. Also, organizations cannot be maintained if individuals think to move significantly faster or slower than the organization itself.

    It’s strange, but I would have thought we were doing pretty well until you and Shane started EducateTruth.com. We had three summer conferences a few years ago, and there was a small gain of understanding. The literalists pretty well controlled the published results, so the official statements fell far short of telling what happened, but there was some progress in my opinion. It’s sad that the real nature of the discussions has not been published.

    The official church publications have never been willing to inform members about the wide range of beliefs held by some members. So, few people know that the former president of Andrews University (Richard Hammill) espoused a form of theistic evolution, and a former editor of the Adventist Review and the SDA Bible Commentary (Ray Cottrell) called on GRI to give up their search for evidence of a world-wide flood. You, of course, have elsewhere dismissed their opinions because they weren’t scientists, but they didn’t reach their conclusions in a vacuum. You can be sure they had conversed with many others.

    I think it’s good for SDA members to know what has been going on so they can make an informed choice. Many have already done so and, regrettably, have left the church, but you’re stuck with me and it won’t change my mind for you to claim that I am lacking integrity.

    My purpose here is not to convince anyone that evolution explains human origin – I don’t believe that. I’m here mostly because your certainty about the science issues needs at least a little balance. I have never met anyone who is so sure about so much.




    0
    View Comment
  51. Richard, you are right that this is a symptom of a more general problem. It is a law of human action that any organization that is not explicitly and militantly conservative will liberalize over time. Having been raised and educated an SDA, and having lived most of my life in Texas and the past 12 years in California, it has become clear to me that the process of liberalization is far advanced in what you might call “blue state” Adventism.

    Be that as it may, Darwinism is very good place to draw the line, because the issue is so clear, so “cut and dried.” Seventh-day Adventism calls attention to the biblical sabbath, with its rationale of creation in six, literal 24 hour days. We also have scores of statements from Ellen White repudiating Darwinism and Lyellism (long-ages geology) both of which were extant and well established during her lifetime. So trying to engraft Darwinism onto Adventism would require an “extreme doctrinal makeover”, as it were, as well as the abandonment of Ellen White as a prophet, or as anything other than a 19th century devotional author of no special authority and limited relevance.

    Most Adventists, even in “blue states,” are still uncomfortable with such an radical change in Adventism, which is why LaSierra has always been careful to fly under the radar, and why the Seventh-day Darwinians are so upset about the publicity this site is generating.




    0
    View Comment
  52. @Carl:

    My purpose here is not to convince anyone that evolution explains human origin – I don’t believe that. I’m here mostly because your certainty about the science issues needs at least a little balance. I have never met anyone who is so sure about so much.

    You don’t come across as being all that unsure of yourself either ; )

    I’ve been intensively studying evolutionary theories for over 10 years now. I do indeed think I’ve discovered a few things and what I’ve discovered strongly favors the literal biblical model of origins. I know you don’t agree, and that’s fine. It is just that you are also in fundamental disagreement with the stated goals and ideals of your employer. You are publicly undermining these goals and ideals. That, in my book, is not fine at all because it is not what you are being paid to do…

    But, at the very least, your efforts and the efforts of those like you should be open and transparent for all to see. Everyone should know exactly what our schools are really teaching our own young people…

    This is the primary goal and purpose of Educate Truth. Transparency…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  53. Richard Myers, I agree with you 100% that the “bandaid” approach will not work. [edit] What will be done? In my opinion–nothing! I do hope I’m wrong, however!




    0
    View Comment
  54. I appreciate the persistent pressure this Web site and all who support Biblical creationism are continuing to apply to the La Sierra situation. The pressure must not let up. Every school administrator and teacher who holds to Darwinian evolution, or any other belief contrary to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy as codified in our Fundamental Beliefs as a church, must either resign from denominational employment or be fired.

    As I have said so many times, this is not intolerance. It is simple integrity.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




    0
    View Comment
  55. Richard, to answer your first question Ken Curtis is an associate pastor of the Calimesa SDA church, which is not too far from La Sierra University. Interestingly, Chris Oberg, who is now senior pastor at La Sierra SDA church used to be senior pastor at Calimesa SDA church.




    0
    View Comment
  56. As a teacher of secondary earth science, biology, chemistry and physics for 30 years, I would like to affirm that the laws of science sre far more supportive of Creation/Intelligent design, than the religion of evolutionism.

    Ed Goodman




    0
    View Comment
  57. Richard, to answer your first question Ken Curtis is an associate pastor of the Calimesa SDA church, which is not too far from La Sierra University. Interestingly, Chris Oberg, who is now senior pastor at La Sierra SDA church used to be senior pastor at Calimesa SDA church.

    Apparently the LSU constituency gets a heavey “dose” of evolutionist propaganda both from LSU and their own church pastors.

    Someone was “at the helm” when all of that started to fall apart. How sad that they refused to stand up and be counted.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  58. This situation is not in any way unique to LSU. Within the confines of the campus of Canadian University College, Lacombe, Alberta Canada, there were, and perhaps still are, those on staff who promote not only evolutionary philosophy but agnosticism and at least borderline atheism. My own dear brother is now at best an agnostic, and no longer has anything to do with Adventism, after his exposure to classes there during the ’90’s. They not only strongly promoted the reading of such authors as Northrop Frye, but the writings of Richard Dawkins, and others. The authenticity of the biblical accounts were regularly called into doubt by suggestion, if not out and out promulgation by some professors, of such ideas as that which promotes the thought that the miracles of the Bible have plausible and non-miraculous ‘explanations’ (the showdown on Mount Carmel, for example, was, in one class, ‘explained’ by the proximity of a methane gas deposit, which was ‘conveniently’ touched off by lightning the day of the demonstration of God’s mighty power in consuming not only the sacrifice but the stones composing the alter which Elijah had erected on that monumental occasion). The idea that many of the biblical accounts have a ‘legendary’ tone and character is exampled by the suggestion that such facts as the description of the giant, Goliath, has been greatly exaggerated, the better to emphasize the power of God working through young David. I long ago ceased to put any faith in the Adventist education system, per se, due to such things as these and many, many others. It has become a den of iniquity run by power honchos often backed by more than a few self-serving board members who, running on the ‘Peter Principle’ of the sixties, manage to ingratiate their way to the top and gradually push out many or most of those around them of the old school thinking who are honestly trying not only to maintain a high standard of academic freedom and excellence, but who truly teach the truth for this time.




    0
    View Comment
  59. Interestingly enough, Warren Trenchard is a former employee of Canadian University College. Randall Wisbey was, for a time, the President of the place, until he was ‘run out of town’ by pressure, not only from within the board and constituency, thank goodness, but by the Town of Lacombe, for attempting to pull of some sort of personal coup, by having the entire campus relocated to Calgary. Lacombe, having benefitted by the presence of this campus within the confines of their town for over a century, were, to say the least, furious!




    0
    View Comment
  60. This situation is not in any way unique to LSU.Within the confines of the campus of Canadian University College, Lacombe, Alberta Canada, there were, and perhaps still are, those on staff who promote not only evolutionary philosophy but agnosticism and at least borderline atheism.My own dear brother is now at best an agnostic, and no longer has anything to do with Adventism, after his exposure to classes there during the ’90’s…. [snip]

    Glenn, Thank you for that information regarding CUC and your correct evaluation of our sad situation there, at LSU, and at other places within our denomination.




    0
    View Comment
  61. I was rereading some of the older comments posted on this site this morning and was absolutely shocked and dismayed by the way Ron Nielsen took my May 7, 2010 comment and APPARENTLY used it as a basis to support WHAT APPEARS TO ME to be just the opposite of my intentions. I do not say this as casting aspersion on Mr. Nielsen as a person. I am not his judge–only God is–and he has perfect freedom to state his views. I just wish he had left me and my comments out of the picture because I respectfully disagree with his position!

    It is not the purpose or intent of this site to “advance the truth through coercion of the conscience.” I have been following these comments for many months now and I have yet to see any evidence of Sean–or anyone else responsible for this site–to do such a thing. They are standing for truth–and truth alone–and raw truth will always anger those teaching falsehood. But there just comes a time when falsehood must be pointed out and rebuked in order to defend truth–regardless of how it upsets those responsible for teaching falsehood. To me, that “time” is long overdue!

    “Christian charity” cannot be used as a cloak to cover outright rebellion. (Remember how Jesus upturned the money tables in the temple?) Someone has to be brave enough to call sin by it’s right name! The time for a rebuke is NOW and I thank God for the courage of Sean and all the others who have the come forward to do just that–and in as kind and understanding a way as possible. This blatant attack on the very foundation upon which our church is founded MUST be met and stopped! (And as “unchristian” and “unkind” as it may seem to be to those advocating falsehood it is still “stealing” to accept a paycheck from any organization–whether religious or secular–that you are doing your best to destroy!)

    To me anyway, the “unkind” people who are “weeping” over the work this site is trying to do are the truly “unkind” ones for they are apparently simply supporting those in open rebellion and strengthening their stand–which may, in the end, result in their loss of eternal life.




    0
    View Comment
  62. The theories of evolution are not a serious threat to the Genesis record because it is blatantly false.

    The fact that a majority of professionals believe evolution theories does not differ from the majority views toward our other Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.

    Historically, the urge by some spiritually out-of-touch Adventist professionals to compromise their beliefs in various degrees in order feel more acceptable to the majority because of inferiority complex issues, the terrifying sense of being left out of the mainstream is not new either.




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.