@Geanna Dane: Dear Adventist Student, There are actually others who share …

Comment on Report on LSU constituency meeting by Sean Pitman.

@Geanna Dane:

Dear Adventist Student,

There are actually others who share your sentiment. Airing dirty laundry in a very public forum and fighting over who made the mess and who should clean it up is never a good idea.

There is no fighting over who made and is making the mess at LSU. The science professors there are not trying to hide the fact that they believe in and actively promote the theory of evolution as the true story of origins. That’s a fact. It isn’t the airing of any “dirty laundry” that the LSU professors themselves where trying to hide from their own students.

The fact is that all Church members have a right to know what our own institutions are really teaching our children as the “truth” on origins and on all other topics of importance to the Church. What right does LSU have to obfuscate the truth as to what is really taking place within our classrooms?

Now, I know you don’t think that the literal 6-day creation week doctrine is all that big a deal. You deride and make fun of SAU and SWAU for promoting it so heavily. Well, no one is twisting your arm. You don’t have to support the Church’s stated fundamental positions or attend or send your children to our Church schools. This is a free country you know. However, the Church is also free to strongly uphold what it considers to be its own fundamental goals and pillars of faith within its own institutions. In fact, if it does not do this, it will eventually collapse into irrelevance and its institutions will soon become indistinguishable from secular society at large…

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Report on LSU constituency meeting
@Ervin Taylor:

I hope there are others who will label Dr. Chadwick’s behavior for what it really is—an effort to vilify and spread false rumors about another Adventist institution of higher education.

Just curious, what are these “false rumors” that Chadwick or anyone else is spreading about LSU? This is for you too “Adventist Student”. You do realize that you are accusing Chadwick of deliberate libel? In order to demonstrate libel, you have to show that the “false rumors” a person is spreading are really false.

If there is anything false in the claims as to what LSU is promoting in its classrooms, do clear these up by all means. What horrible false rumors are being spread around here? However, if the LSU teachers are in fact proselytizing against the pillars of the SDA faith, literal 6-day creation in particular, as obvious “nonsense” subscribed to by only the “lunatic fringe”, how is the presentation of these facts a form of “vilification”? How is it “vilification” to present what teachers in our own university are saying quite openly and candidly in the public forum of a LSU classroom? Is this not an honest increase of transparency?

And, why is it wrong for a true believer in the stated SDA goals and ideals, like Arthur Chadwick, to be upset when a paid representative of any kind is actively undermining the stated goals and ideals of the Church on the Church’s dime while pretending to do otherwise or while the school itself is trying to pretend like it isn’t happening?

You know as well as I do, Erv, that the LSU science professors are in fact promoting mainstream evolutionary theory as the true story of origins directly counter to the SDA doctrine on a literal creation week. You also subscribe to the evolutionary theory of origins. Why try to suggest otherwise or obfuscate this fact? Why not at least deal with the truth of the situation at LSU? Why not strive for transparency yourself? Don’t we all deserve to know the truth of what is being taught to our young people as “the truth”?

Sean Pitman

Report on LSU constituency meeting
@Art Chadwick:

If the situation is to be remedied, the following actions by the board at a minimum will be indications that they take this problem seriously:

1. Replace the current president
2. Replace two or three of the biology faculty
3. Close down the School of Religion, releasing most of their faculty
4. Start over again with a new department of religion.

Short of these measures, other responses are just window dressing. What an insult to suggest adjusting the content of one course can possibly effect the needed change. I appeal to the board: Please act now to save my alma mater.

It all depends upon if the SDA Church really truly considers its current clearly stated “fundamental pillars of faith” to actually be “Fundamental”.

If it does truly respect these beliefs as pillars of “present truth”, then it really has no choice but to follow Chadwick’s advice. Having the foxes manage the chicken house is no way to keep your chickens for very long. How can those who ardently oppose what the SDA Church stands for on the issue of origins be remotely capable of “bringing our young people home at the end of the day?” – to quote Jan Paulsen?

However, if the SDA Church does not really believe that its pillars of faith are really all that “fundamental”, then it should follow Erv Taylor’s advice and allow LSU to continue as usual and dramatically revise its own “fundamental” pillars of faith.

One way or another, something needs to be changed in the way the Church is currently functioning in order to move away from the current schizophrenia that is fragmenting the Church in many different directions. We need some real leadership who can guide in a definitive manner, one way or the other, during these difficult times in our Church’s history…

Sean Pitman

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Again, most people, including most non-Christians, consider late-term abortions (abortions within the third trimester of otherwise healthy viable babies) to be murder. There is relatively little argument about this. One doesn’t have to know the “precise point” to know that, after a certain point, abortion is clearly murder. The argument that a baby isn’t alive or really human until the moment that it is born is nonsense in my opinion.

Of course, before the third trimester, things start to get a bit more grey and unclear. Some define the beginnings of human life with the full activity of the brain’s cortex. Others define it with the earliest activity of the brain stem. Others define it as the beginnings of fetal movement or the fetal heartbeat. I might have my own opinions here, but the question I ask myself is at what point would I be willing to convict someone else of murder? – and be willing to put them in prison for it? For me, I wouldn’t be willing to do this until things are overwhelmingly clear that the baby is functioning as a full human being and is viable (which would include full brain activity).

As far as rape or incest is concerned, the resulting pregnancy should be terminated as soon as possible within the first trimester. Waiting for the third trimester is simply not an option because, at this point, it would still be murder to kill a fully-formed baby regardless of its origin…

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
I agree with you up until your last sentence. It seems very very clear to me that a baby becomes human before it takes its first breath. A baby born at 40 weeks gestation is not somehow inherently “more human” than a baby that is still inside its mother at 39 weeks gestation. At 39 weeks, such a baby is indistinguishable from a baby that has already been born. The location inside or outside of the mother makes absolutely no difference at this point in time and development.

I think, therefore, that we as Christians should avoid both obvious extremes here in this discussion. There are two very clear ditches on both sides of the road here. We should avoid claiming that a baby is not really human until it is actually born at full term, and, at the same time, we should also avoid claiming that full humanity and moral worth is instantly realized at the moment of conception…

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Most would agree with you that the baby John the Baptist, before he was born, was, at some point, a real human being who could “leap for joy” (Luke 1:44). Even most non-Christians would agree that a third-trimester abortion is murder. However, this isn’t the real problem here. We are talking about if a single cell or a simple ball of cells is fully “human” and if ending a pregnancy at such an early stage of development is truly a “murder” of a real human being. After all, when conception first takes place a single cell cannot “leap for joy” – or for any other reason. It’s just a single fertilized cell that cannot think or feel or move and has no brain or mind or intelligence of any kind. The same is true of an embryo that consists of no more than an unformed ball of cells for quite some time. Upon what basis, then, is it “murder” to end a pregnancy at this early point in embryological development?

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Then you have several different questions to explain. 1) How can a 6 month developed (but dead?), non-human being (from a human mother and father?) , being carried in it’s human mother’s womb, leap for joy because he (it?) recognized the mother of the World’s Savior? ”The dead know nothing, neither have they any more knowledge under the sun.” 2) How can anything dead even move? The opposite of alive is dead. Everything alive has life from God. Dead things don’t grow and they don’t move. Every SDA should know this. The Laws of God are not altered in order to justify killing unborn human beings that He has given life to.

Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
That’s just it. You say that, “The unborn think and feel”. However, an embryo in the earliest stages of development is just a single cell or an unformed ball of cells – with no apparent functional difference than a cluster of cells in my appendix. Such an embryo cannot think or feel or understand anything. There is no mind or intelligence at this point. If it isn’t murder to take out someone’s appendix, how then call it be truly “murder” to end a pregnancy at this point in time? How can you be so sure of yourself here? Based on what moral principle?

Also, people who are clearly “brain dead” need not be maintained indefinitely on life support. They’re just a shell of a body at this point and it is not “murder” to simply take them off the mechanical support of the empty shell of their body. This happens all the time in hospitals – and it is not considered to be “murder” at all… by most medical professionals (even most Christian ones).