For real education reform, take a cue from the Adventists

Educate Truth shares the following article from the Christian Science Monitor as a service to readers.

Amid all the buzz on education reform, the Seventh Day Adventist school system might seem an unexpected place to look for models in improving student achievement. But by educating mind, body, and spirit, Adventist schools outperform the national average across all demographics. (Read more)

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49 thoughts on “For real education reform, take a cue from the Adventists

  1. The Seventh-day Adventist has much to be proud of in the sick, sinful world! We have a great set of Biblical beliefs and a great philosophy of wholistic living.

    I once heard a funny spin on our church. Someone said “the SDA church is a school system masquerading as a church.” Education is a life long process for all if us. Thank goodness we had the council to build and run our schools as we do.




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  2. Nice to see something positive posted here on SDA education. We have a lot to be proud of. It doesn’t mean we’re perfect, of course, or ever will be. I am well aware of some professors who do not fully support SDA beliefs, but there are very many who strongly do, and there are students at all SDA institutions–even at much-maligned LSU–whose relationship with Christ and faith in what the Bible teaches grows stronger during while studying for a degree. SDA educational institutions need the support and prayers of SDA members.




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  3. Eddie, do you suppose that those loyal professors that are teaching solid SDA doctrine, but remaining quiet on error being taught at their schools are exempt from saying something or standing up for the truth? It must be quite troubling to want to be loyal but be worried about standing up against error for fear of losing one’s job. We sure live in troubled times.




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  4. This is good PR for our Church, but take a moment and think about where we could be as a Church and school system if we were truly on track with God’s plan for our ministries. We are light years behind in the “blue prints” God has given us. Let’s keep pressing forward! [edit]




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  5. Professors in general–including SDA professors–tend to be tolerant of a diversity of views, including those that contradict their personal views. They have to be that way. Classrooms are filled with students of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Many students in SDA institutions are non-SDA and non-Christian. Professors must be respect their views and not impose their personal views on students. This website exists mainly because certain professors did not respect the views of students who believe in the traditional SDA interpretations of origins.

    Of course there are devout SDA professors who would like to have colleagues who share their views, but very few care to rock the boat–and not at all because they fear losing their jobs. As I have mentioned before, one of the major challenges of SDA educational institutions is hiring professors who fully support the SDA mission. Any time there is a vacancy for a teaching position there are very few candidates, not all of whom are supportive of the SDA church. What is a college or university administration to do? That is why some non-SDAs and fringe SDAs are hired. I could mention names, but what good would it do? Once somebody is hired full time and has been working for a certain number of years, it is extremely difficult to fire that individual. The lack of supportive SDA candidates is not the fault of administrators, nor the fault of professors who recognize the limitations of what can be done. What we need are more dedicated SDA members who aspire to become professors so that our institutions can be more selective in who is hired.




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  6. @Eddie: I concur with you full-heartedly. I wish we could find a way to address the problem in a way that takes care of business, whilst uniting all those who see the need to stand for truth, and act. I believe we can find that common ground in God’s word and divine counsel.




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  7. Johnny, there is no solution to this problem short of a divine solution. After having worked in Adventist higher education for a long time, Eddie has it right. Our schools pay peanuts and expect people to want to make a career on that kind of income. If you pair that with graduates who just want to finish so the can buy their BMW and having a horrendous amount of school loan debt, the pool of qualified people is very small to non-existent. So it is easy for church members to complain about what kind of product they are getting at our schools, but the proverbial one finger pointing at the university and professors, leaves the other fingers pointing right back at them!

    Unfortunately, the progressive ultra-liberal professors at our colleges and universities have one purpose in mind, to capture the minds of our young people. It only takes one generation to make the SDA church believe that we evolved, that homosexuality is OK, that our doctrines are flawed, and that we are no different than any other Christian church. We are almost there!




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  8. In my experience “the progressive ultra-liberal professors at our colleges and universities” are the minority (and a small minority, I think) rather than the majority. They shouldn’t be hired in the first place but unfortunately they are. And what can be done? If you fire a tenured professor (most institutions give short-term contracts for several years before giving tenure) you’re looking at a potential lawsuit against an institution that can barely meet its payroll obligations with borrowed money. And then the institution must scrounge up further money to fly candidates to the institution for interviews and pay for the moving expenses of a selected candidate–who may be no more supportive of SDA beliefs than the professor who is fired. And even if a qualified candidate can be found who strongly supports SDA beliefs, there is no guarantee that the candidate has the personality traits conducive to becoming an effective teacher. I think most of you have had at least one professor who never should have been a professor.

    Consider for a moment the issue of LSU biologists. If you fire one or a few or all of them, who are you going to replace them with? As I recall (my numbers could be mistaken), this past year SAU advertised for three biologists and interviewed four, but hired only one deemed to be “safe.” UC advertised for a biologist and SWAU advertised for two. LLU produces a very small number of PhD graduates in its Department of Earth and Biological Sciences–a department which happens to be very conservative in its interpretations of origins (contrary to the mistaken views of some who assume it to be a bastion of liberalism). And as it turns out many of the strongest supporters of SDA beliefs among our science faculty are alumni of the graduate program at LLU, where they were mentored by staunch SDA supporters such as Drs. Brand, Buccheim and Hayes. Yet only a few years ago the administration of LLU announced it was going to shut down the program. As a consequence the department has diverted a considerable amount of its time and resources from research and supervision of students–which should be its priorities–to fund-raising, simply to keep the sinking ship of science graduate education afloat.

    So it saddens me to read the disparaging comments of others here clamoring to fire professors, shutter science programs and even disenfranchise institutions. If you guys really want to change the status quo you must find ways to increase the support for SDA science programs, otherwise you’ll simply get what you pay for.




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  9. Re Eddie’s Quote

    “So it saddens me to read the disparaging comments of others here clamoring to fire professors, shutter science programs and even disenfranchise institutions. If you guys really want to change the status quo you must find ways to increase the support for SDA science programs, otherwise you’ll simply get what you pay for. Eddie(Quote)”

    Dear Eddie

    Thanks for your pragmatic perspective which I speculate is very accurate.

    I really think Dr.Pitman should apply to teach creation science at one of the Adventist institutions and attract like minded scientists. Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Regards
    Ken




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  10. Bravo for the Adventist education system. And thank you for posting the article. It’s been flying around all week and is a refreshing look at an all too highly criticized topic.

    That being said, there is a problem in our academic institutions, but it exists not just in our schools.

    I recently heard someone say: “If you have Adventist parents with Adventist children attending your Adventist church and not sending their children to your Adventist school we have an Adventist problem.” Then I watched as two leaders in a church got angry because the speaker was suggesting that there was an issue with someone’s relationship with God.

    There is a vast difference between our relationship with our Savior and our support of the Seventh-day Adventist church and it’s doctrine.

    The speaker went on to suggest that if we were unwilling to teach Adventist doctrine then we were no different than any other parochial school and there was no purpose to our existence.

    The problem, as already stated, in our institutions is that we have deviated so completely from our original beliefs and teaching. Firing tenured teachers is not the answer, I agree. However, we need to reclaim our uniqueness as Adventists.

    There is a fine line between encouraging students to reason and think for themselves and teaching heresy. As an instructor for the Seventh-day Adventist education system, my opinions are of little import. We have Adventist schools to teach Adventist doctrine. If teachers, parents or students have an issue with that then they need to find education somewhere else.

    That may sound harsh or cruel. However, IF we turn back to the initial purpose or “blueprint” – as was previously suggested in another discussion – then the loss of those instructors, students and parents that want a more liberal education will not be as keenly felt.

    In fact, I would suggest that IF we as a church were to encourage revival and reformation in our teachings both as a church and an educational system we will find so many people coming into our churches and enrolling in our schools that we’ll have the problem of not enough space.

    It’s fairly simple. God makes things very clear. He will reward those who are faithfully obedient to Him.




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  11. @Eddie: and EMK

    I hear you both very well. Don’t think that I am a spectator just sitting on the sideline, because I am not. I have been in Adventist higher education for nearly two decades.

    I don’t believe this problem is fixable. The generation that gives tithes and offerings faithfully is dying off. The younger generation that is less dedicated to the church, both financially and relationally, is poised to take over.

    Besides, political correctness is now the god of the nation and is quickly making in roads into the SDA church. Very few people today are ready to do what is right, because it is right, and let the chips fall where they may. Until we have people of faith who follow truth and do what is right because it is right, we will continue to flounder.




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  12. @ D Fender: I know that what you say is true. Having been raised in the church I have watched Adventism morph into something that is a far cry from where we began and where we should be.

    I’ve spent a decade teaching in our church schools and more than that working with Pathfinders and Sabbath Schools across the nation. I remain horrified with the heresy that is being taught in many of our churches and the lack of objection being lodged by the older members of the congregation.

    However, I do not agree with your assessment of the state of ALL the young people in our midst – those that are up and coming leaders. There are a few that are still heralding Adventist doctrine and those teachings that make us peculiar and unique.

    There will always be the Kelloggs, Jones and Waggoners, Brinsmeads, Raes, and Fords criticizing and undermining what the church teaches and claims collectively to believe. However, there are young people out there who are willing to “stand for the right though the heavens fall.”

    God allows for free-will. This is one of our fundamental doctrinal teachings. He allows us to snub our noses at Him and all that has been already searched and studied and say, “We no longer agree or believe that You are like this.” In the end, He allows us to say, “We are right, and You are a liar.”

    However, there are serious consequences for this decision – especially once we stand in a leadership position. Yet, God tells us through the scriptures and Mrs. White that there will be a time of shaking to separate those who are truly His and those who are not. Our job is to continue standing in the gap for those who are so in error in their teaching and intrepretation and to work toward restoration and redemption. That is in fact the purpose of true education.

    So, it may sound “Pollyannish” or like I’m looking at things through “rose colored glasses.” In truth, I see things all too clearly. And yet, the Lord makes it clear that “He is not slack in keeping His promises as some would understand slackness.” He tarries a bit longer, and while He tarries it is our job to make intercession for those that are not yet His or have gone astray in their understanding.




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  13. EMK, I did not write my post right if you understood it to say that I think there are no faithful young people in our midst, because there are. I know some of them and they are quality people. They go to GYC and study their Bibles, and do evangelism, and stand in the gap. They are not the norm and they are few and far between.

    The numbers that are staggering are the “SDA” young people who apply to our professional schools and list SDA as their religion, but don’t attend church, do their personal business on the Sabbath, go to happy hour with the non-SDA students, eat anything that ever crawled, and have so little regard for anything we stand for. My point is that with so few numbers of faithful young people, we are doomed.

    I am not abandoning ship, just seeing the reality of what is happening. I believe we are deep unto the shaking right now. And I believe Jesus’ second coming is right around the corner! Maranatha.




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  14. SOUTHWESTERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY seeks Ph.D. prepared Biologists for Spring 2011. Looking for talented, committed Adventist creationist who is able to inspire students in classroom and in research. Teaching assignments are negotiable in a five-person department. Contact Dr. Suzanne Phillips, chair, Biology. SWAU, Keene, TX. 817-202-6274 or suzannephillips@swau.edu. – Gleaner Online, December 2010

    I learned of this at Adventist Today. If I remember correctly, the two positions available for “creationist” biologists last year at SWA apparently went unfilled and are available again this year. And if I remember correctly, there were several more positions (2 or 3)for “creationist” biologists that went unfilled last year at SAU, too. It’ll be interesting to see if SAU also advertises these positions again.

    Eddie has pointed out repeatedly that the Church may have a bigger crisis on it’s hands–no one seems to be available to take the place of the biologists you guys are determined to root out. Clearly, Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan are unwilling to step up to the plate, so what is the Church to do? “Houston, we’ve got a problem!”




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  15. @Professor Kent: If the church has to choose between hiring divergent Adventists who will undermine fundamental beliefs, or closing down the biology dept, I’d say it’d make sense to close the chicken coop before allowing the fox in. Maybe then will “committed Adventist creationists” step up to fill the vacancies. As of right now, unfortunately, it seems like the need is not as keenly felt.




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  16. @ Johnny

    @Professor Kent: If the church has to choose between hiring divergent Adventists who will undermine fundamental beliefs, or closing down the biology dept, I’d say it’d make sense to close the chicken coop before allowing the fox in.  (Quote)

    My prediction: you well-meaning folks will continue to persecute the Church’s biologists and create a hostile hiring environment until the administrators wake up one year and say, “hey, what have we done–we have allowed our membership to chase away our biologists and have utterly failed to train replacements who are faithful; our Church’s science has all but vanished.”

    The math is simple. The persecution is ill-conceived. The insight and resolve to find a solution are utterly absent.




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  17. @ JohnnyMy prediction: you well-meaning folks will continue to persecute the Church’s biologists and create a hostile hiring environment until the administrators wake up one year and say, “hey, what have we done–we have allowed our membership to chase away our biologists and have utterly failed to train replacements who are faithful; our Church’s science has all but vanished.”The math is simple. The persecution is ill-conceived. The insight and resolve to find a solution are utterly absent.  (Quote)

    Hear, hear. This is so true. Were I a biologist seeking a job at an SDA school I would certainly shie away from any place that advertises a position like has been done by some of the above mentioned schools. When even seemingly well-known defenders of creationism are being attacked, who would want to expose themselves to further abuse? Those few that ET seems to consider “proper” creationist biologists might be enough to stock one biology department, so i guess the question is, which school will teach all our SDA biology students?




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  18. @Professor Kent: We all claim to be Bible-believing Christians here. I’m just wondering where you get your Biblical support for many of your statements, particularly the one below. If I’m wrong, and the rest of us “well-meaning folks” are wrong, we’d like to be proven wrong through the Scriptures or inspired counsel. I think that’s fair, right? If we truly want to do God’s will, then we will take Him at His word, and prove ourselves right or wrong by His word, and if I must be rebuked, then I’d rather hear the truth than to continue to offend my Lord further. Again, I believe this is very fair, and I pray you take me up on this.

    @ JohnnyMy prediction: you well-meaning folks will continue to persecute the Church’s biologists and create a hostile hiring environment until the administrators wake up one year and say, “hey, what have we done–we have allowed our membership to chase away our biologists and have utterly failed to train replacements who are faithful; our Church’s science has all but vanished.”The math is simple. The persecution is ill-conceived. The insight and resolve to find a solution are utterly absent.  (Quote)




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  19. By the way, I agree that the church must do more than simply purge the ranks of heresy. But we must have faith that God will take care of us if we stand for truth. Then we will be blessed. But all I’m hearing from a few of you are the difficulties in the way. I say stand for the Lord, and let Him guide His church. Cooperate with the Divine and all the rest will fall into place. We cannot ever compromise with sin and let it have even a microscopic piece of our hearts. It shows a huge lack of faith to refuse to quit your job over the Sabbath because there’s no other job lined up. Obey now and let the Lord provide!

    “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”




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  20. @ Johnny Vance

    I say stand for the Lord, and let Him guide His church.

    Look, Johnny, I totally agree with your statement. My position is very simple: I say show some respect toward and work with the divinely appointed leadership of the Church to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis. Using the internet to publicly shame, humiliate, and intimidate the Church’s biologists is not God’s ordained mechanism. Only presumption would lead any of you to conclude that God has appointed YOU to purge the Church of “heretic” biologists.




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  21. @Professor Kent: Apostasy usually comes from the top-down, and reformation and revival usually comes from the bottom-up. By the way, we are the church. I’m sure you knew that though.

    I’m shocked that you’re ignoring all the efforts from students and others throughout the years. These efforts only work if you’re working with people who are sincerely seeking to represent the Lord and do what’s right. These people’s resistance through the years and their disregard for diplomatic and “respect”ful efforts have been disdained with contempt. This is open rebellion. You cannot diplomatically resolve these things when the other party is bent on rebellion. I fail to see even one hint that would label them as anything other than that. It’s simply just that–a rebellion. Keep in mind the supernatural power behind this rebellion…

    I can tell you first-hand that students, parents and even some professors have gone about this very professionally, respectfully and lovingly for many years. Does the laity have no right to demand that their church institutions refrain from heresy and apostasy? Do you want God Himself to come down and purge His church? If some in leadership are in apostasy or are simply negligent, are we not responsible if we sit on our hands for fear of offending someone?

    You ignored all the Biblical examples and examples from Ellen White that illustrate how to deal with public sins that affect the prosperity and welfare of the church. Taking care of problems is uncomfortable. But it must be done. When is enough, enough for you? I’m not seeing any solutions from you, except for complaining about those who dare call for accountability and reform. Is calling sin by its rightful name elitist? Your only solutions are the same niceties that have been ignored.

    God has appointed you and me to spread the Gospel message. Lord knows that angels would do a better job, but He’s called us to His work. He calls out to sinners with an effort beyond our comprehension. If they reject Him continuously, they eventually seal their fate and choose of their own accord to be lost. In this controversy, what would seal the fate of those in rebellion before they can be asked to leave? These are sincere questions. I’m open to correction if you can convince me through Scripture and inspired counsel AND the God-given reasoning abilities to apply those timeless principles.




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  22. @ Johnny Vance

    You ignored all the Biblical examples and examples from Ellen White that illustrate how to deal with public sins that affect the prosperity and welfare of the church. Taking care of problems is uncomfortable. But it must be done.

    So…the Bible and Ellen White condone use of the internet to broadcast to the entire world, leaving a permanent record, any statement made by a teacher or pastor accompanied by a feast of critical commentary denouncing that individual. That’s amazing.

    The University of California system prohibits broadcasting any kind of recording that takes place in a classroom without obtaining proper permission. Absurd, isn’t it? Secular society needs to take a clue from Adventism: there should be no holds barred, no grace, no private discussion with the individual, no forgiveness.

    We have our work cut out for us if we truly want to show the world “what would Jesus would do.” As it is written, “Let’s hold them accountable.”




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  23. @Professor Kent: Please. Give me a break. I have said before that this website is not ideal, but when everything else has been exhausted there seemed to be nothing left but to bring it to the public eye. And more has happened in the year and half this conflict has been public than the previous 10.

    Personal pleases by students to LSU admin, make that two administrations, had absolutely no effect. Personal appeals by to local conference, union, and finally the GC had no effect.

    Then Sean began writing letters and was asked twice to come to LSU and speak about creationism because LSU students were only getting one side of the story.

    So when LSU administration failed, when union administration failed, and finally when GC administration failed, it all became public.

    So now what Kent? Should we have just ignored it all? Let it slide? Let it go on and on? What should have been done instead that hasn’t been tried already? Write more letters, hoping somebody will care eventually.

    I get it. You don’t like the website, yet you’re a Seventh-day Adventist creationist etc. etc. So what’s your better idea?

    You appear to be less concerned about the youth of our church having to go through the biology department at LSU than the fact that we’re making what LSU is doing public. Once again, a little strange for a Seventh-day Adventist creationist who believe God recently created the heaven and earth in six-days.




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  24. @Shane

    Please. Give me a break. I have said before that this website is not ideal, but when everything else has been exhausted there seemed to be nothing left but to bring it to the public eye. And more has happened in the year and half this conflict has been public than the previous 10.
    Personal pleases by students to LSU admin, make that two administrations, had absolutely no effect. Personal appeals by to local conference, union, and finally the GC had no effect.

    Then Sean began writing letters and was asked twice to come to LSU and speak about creationism because LSU students were only getting one side of the story.

    So when LSU administration failed, when union administration failed, and finally when GC administration failed, it all became public.

    Am I to assume that all the same courtesies were extended to Dr. Ness and PUC? You asked permission to broadcast his presebtation? You contacted the PUC Academic Dean, President, Chair of Religion? You requested that Conference officials look into the situation? I’m glad you guys take things so carefully.




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  25. @OTNT_Believer:

    Am I to assume that all the same courtesies were extended to Dr. Ness and PUC? You asked permission to broadcast his presebtation? You contacted the PUC Academic Dean, President, Chair of Religion? You requested that Conference officials look into the situation? I’m glad you guys take things so carefully.

    I fail to see your solution to the problem. Of course, I know, you don’t really agree with the SDA Church’s official position on origins – the literal creation week and worldwide Noachian Flood and all. So, why should you offer any substantive solution to support the Church’s clearly stated fundamental stand on origins? – beyond what Shane and I are doing?

    Have we made a few missteps along the way? Steps which we would, in retrospect, have taken a bit differently? Sure. However, overall, we felt and still feel that we were and are left with no other choice after decades of nobody doing anything to support what we consider to be very important, even vital, fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church…

    Primarily we feel that all members of the SDA Church have a fundamental right to know that our own youth are being taught in our own schools while being funded with monies given to the SDA Church to support SDA education…

    All pastors and teachers should therefore be forewarned that what they teach in public forum should be open to the Church at large. No one should feel themselves immune to teach our young people in a manner that directly undermines the goals and ideals of the SDA Church on the Church’s dime… no one.

    If one feels himself or herself free to teach subversive ideas in the classroom, he/she should also be willing to have his/her position presented to the Church body and a whole. To argue that what is said and done in the classroom before our own youth must stay in the classroom, never to be known by the Church body as a whole without the express permission of the professor, is nonsense.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  26. @Sean

    I fail to see your solution to the problem. Of course, I know, you don’t really agree with the SDA Church’s official position on origins – the literal creation week and worldwide Noachian Flood and all. So, why should you offer any substantive solution to support the Church’s clearly stated fundamental stand on origins? – beyond what Shane and I are doing?
    Have we made a few missteps along the way? Steps which we would, in retrospect, have taken a bit differently? Sure. However, overall, we felt and still feel that we were and are left with no other choice after decades of nobody doing anything to support what we consider to be very important, even vital, fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church…

    Okay, I guess that answers my question. No, you did not offer the same courtesies. I guess, since LSU was so recalcitrant you just assumed PUC would behave the same way, so common courtesy was not warranted.

    Oh, and how do you know I don’t believe in a literal creation week and a worldwide flood? Because ? have unanswered questions in especially the flood issue? Do you mean that if I entertain any doubts I am then to be classed as not believing? All I can say is, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”




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  27. @Professor Kent: Again you fail to give Biblical examples of dealing with apostasy. The Biblical examples that have been left on record for our benefit are too uncomfortable for you? Or maybe they’re just flawed…I suppose so. Disregard the Biblical precedence at your own peril and at the peril of all these young souls being deceived.

    The adult Sabbath School lesson this week is about Jeroboam’s apostasy. The Lord sent a prophet to publicly rebuke him and cause enough cognitive dissonance in the minds of all the Israelites present to avoid the apostasy. God wanted to make a point and make it stick. The whole nation needed to know how serious this was. No compromise.

    1)This rebuke was given publicly in front of all the nation
    2) Jeroboam’s resistance caused God to wither his hand, even though he did not repent after being healed (rebellion).
    3)The prophet sent to deliver the message was commanded by God to not eat nor drink in the land of Israel, in order to show how abominable this apostasy was.
    4) The prophet was then killed by a lion after he disobeyed the Lord’s command, lest anyone cast doubt on the severity and validity of his message.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you really cared what Jesus would do in this situation, wouldn’t you consider what He left on record for our benefit? Jesus is not just your friend whom you can count on at all times; He is also your Lord and Savior and King of Kings, and He will not be mocked. Remember when He cast out the priests and money-changers from the temple and called them out publicly? Of course you do. And the same for many other examples. But for some reason you choose to ignore this. You can’t pick and choose. Professor Kent, you’re my brother in Christ, but I will not fail to call you out on this one. Standing for the Lord takes precedence over my relationship with even my closest relatives. The stakes are too high.

    Enough precedence from Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy has been given here by many to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what we are to do in this situation. You choose to ignore it. I promise you that if the church as a whole knew what was going on in these classrooms, they’d rise up with righteous indignation. But we don’t want that to happen, do we? People like you want to obfuscate the true nature of this crisis, and so many in the church are confused as to what really is happening. Rocking the boat to stand for truth is not popular. Your solutions are lame-duck solutions. You have no Biblical support nor precedence nor inspired counsel to back you up. Your philosophy is bankrupt. Brother, let the Lord be your leader; the Lord of the Bible. Why kick against the pricks?




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  28. @OTNT_Believer: I can assure you that plenty of overtures and appeals have been made to the administration at PUC over many years. Students have gone up to individual professors to express concerns, but who cares about one or two students who muster the guts to confront apostasy?

    This is a whole philosophy and culture they are up against. They band together to protect their own. Students have addressed the administration and conference officials. This whole thing needs to be blown wide-open before the church wakes up to its predicament. The chair of the Religion Department is likewise a resistant figure. Those who stand for truth at PUC are seen as a danger by many in a position of power. I promise you that. Those of you who insist on putting human relationships over God’s truth will be responsible for the blood of these young students. This cowardice must stop!




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  29. @ Johnny Vance:

    The Lord sent a prophet to publicly rebuke him and cause enough cognitive dissonance in the minds of all the Israelites present to avoid the apostasy.

    Remember when He [Jesus] cast out the priests and money-changers from the temple and called them out publicly?

    Good points: God sent prophets and His son to rebuke! Is somebody here at Educate Truth claiming to be a prophet sent by God?




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  30. @Eddie: Ok, Eddie. We can sit on our hands and keep our mouths shut, and shut our eyes and expect God to do all the work we’re supposed to be doing. Lord forbid we take care of anything unpleasant. “And all of God’s people put up with the apostasy because no prophet was sent and Jesus’ time had not yet come.” I don’t see anything of that sort in Scripture. By the way, God did send a prophet who gave us copious amounts of counsel on how to deal with these situations. You are contradicting yourself by demanding that a prophet or Jesus Himself come to put down this apostasy.

    If the Master of the house left you in charge and came back to find it a chaotic mess, He’d ask: why did you not keep my house in order?

    Would you respond?: I knew your statutes and commands but I wanted You to come and fix it yourself.

    Brother Eddie, if you did this, you’d be found to have been a very unfaithful steward. The Master of the house has left us plenty of guidance on how to keep His house in order. Are you prepared to meet Him with excuses for knowing the “rules” of order yet doing nothing? Come on, brother. You can do better than that.




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  31. @ Shane Hilde

    So now what Kent? Should we have just ignored it all? Let it slide? Let it go on and on? What should have been done instead that hasn’t been tried already? Write more letters, hoping somebody will care eventually.
    I get it. You don’t like the website, yet you’re a Seventh-day Adventist creationist etc. etc. So what’s your better idea?

    Shane, I recognize the dilemma, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Here are a few suggestions:

    1 – Now that you have a large following, send out notices to subscribers rather than posting for the whole world to see.

    2 – Ask your readers to write letters to their leaders. The internet is not God’s ordained way to enforce Church discipline. If it ever becomes endorsed by this Church, I’d leave it in a heartbeat.

    3 – Organize a constructive approach for finding qualified SDA biologists, which are scarce and probably becomer scarcer yet with every appearance of a full-fledged witch hunt. You may not think it’s one, but many in the trenches see it as such.

    4 – Keep this out of the public media, which does more harm than good for the Church and for God’s cause. It brings reproach on us.

    5 – Stop allowing people to post comments. Many are inflammatory and unChristlike.

    6 – Tell Johnny Vance that the Church functioned just fine with discipline issues prior to the internet, and that the internet isn’t the only way to work on this issue.

    7 – If you allow posts, make them ALL anonymous. That way, no one ends up on an ego trip, and no one can really identify who they are arguing with, which inevitably invites cheap-shots (which I’ll freely admit I am prone myself to take, however wrong I am in doing so).




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  32. Tell Johnny Vance that the Church functioned just fine with discipline issues prior to the internet, and that the internet isn’t the only way to work on this issue.

    @Professor Kent: I’m just curious on a couple of points.

    1) Does the Spectrum blog get the same criticism from you for its public and vitriolic rants against the church as Educate Truth? If not then I’d be curious to know why they get a pass.

    2) If you think that Educate Truth is so bad, then why do you keep on feeding the fire by posting on it? Common sense would say that you’d shun it to prove it’s as irrelevant and as awful as you claim it to be. It’s ironic to note that you’re one of those who’s actually proving Educate Truth’s point.

    3) I have yet to see you back up your accusations and rants with Biblical support. Do you just pick and choose at your convenience? There are many of us who want a better way. Please feel free to come up with a solution that will move people in a position of power to action. If not then you’re just playing ring-around-the-rosies with the devil while nothing gets done because there’s a lack of backbone in the house of God.




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  33. @ Brother Johnny,

    Are you prepared to meet Him with excuses for knowing the “rules” of order yet doing nothing?

    I strongly believe that public criticism of individuals is a violation of the sixth commandment. I also believe it is wrong for a professor in a SDA university to undermine SDA beliefs, including the promotion of megaevolution over billions of years. I have personally written e-mails and verbally expressed my concern to several church leaders about the situation at LSU, and I have also expressed my concern at this website. However, I do not believe God wants me to endorse the public criticism here at Educate Truth of four biology professors at LSU, one at PUC, one at WWU, a geology professor at LLU, a scientist and the director of GRI, the former president of PUC, the president of SAU, and the director of SDA education, and a vice-president of the GC.

    Regretably I have broken the 6th commandment and many others on many occasions. I am a sinner and I daily ask God to forgive me. Yes, I am prepared to meet Him. However, if you feel obligated to rebuke me publicly for my open rebellion against God, I am always willing to listen to the counsel of a brother in Christ. Have a blessed Sabbath!




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  34. @ Johnny Vance

    1) Does the Spectrum blog get the same criticism from you for its public and vitriolic rants against the church as Educate Truth? If not then I’d be curious to know why they get a pass.

    I’ve only read a handful of articles at Spectrum, mostly concerning EducateTruth. I’m not familiar with the “rants” there against the Church, unless you’re speaking of the liberals who complain of narrow-mindedness, and the conservatives who openly criticize the leadership for not being decisive enough in dealing with the liberals. I don’t really doubt your assessment. I would hazard a guess that much of the discussion at Spectrum is probably a keen embarrassment to our Lord.

    2) If you think that Educate Truth is so bad, then why do you keep on feeding the fire by posting on it? Common sense would say that you’d shun it to prove it’s as irrelevant and as awful as you claim it to be. It’s ironic to note that you’re one of those who’s actually proving Educate Truth’s point.

    I’m proving Educate Truth’s point? Really? I’m here for one reason only, and that is to defend those who I think are being shamed and humiliated in an unChristlike manner, regardless of whether they are “guilty” of the charges levied here, and even more so if they are not. I’d like to get away from this site because I am thoroughly disgusted by the way SDAs enthusiastically and unapologetically treat each other–particularly those who cite Bible verses to justify their vitriolic attacks. Frankly, it often makes me want to walk away from the Church, and that may one day happen (to your rejoicing, perhaps). But I feel as though I’m in a providential situation to defend my fellow biologists since I’m not employed by the Church…and having been around for decades, active in both teaching and research in biology, I recognize that much of the so-called “science” passed along here to the eager audience is absolute rubbish. I’m saddened by how poorly informed our Church membership is on science issues, and how faith and spirituality take a back seat to “evidence,” which truly makes our young people vulnerable when they go into the “real world.” If you shared this concern, perhaps you’d speak up about it.

    3) I have yet to see you back up your accusations and rants with Biblical support. Do you just pick and choose at your convenience? There are many of us who want a better way. Please feel free to come up with a solution that will move people in a position of power to action. If not then you’re just playing ring-around-the-rosies with the devil while nothing gets done because there’s a lack of backbone in the house of God.

    Let’s get this straight: I think there’s a backbone in the house of God, and you are the one making vitriolic rants at the SDA Church, not me. I’ve continually defended the Church, including its fundamental beliefs and its leadership, while you and others here continue to condemn it. You need to reexamine your own posts. I’m not responding to this further because you are simply out of line, brother Vance.




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  35. @Eddie: I appreciate your response. It seems to be heart-felt. I’ll admit that I cringe at having to address these issues in a public forum. Would you feel differently if for the mere sake of transparency videos, letters/emails, syllabi and the such were posted on here with no commentary to prevent the appearance of public criticism? Maybe the church needs to see how ugly and widespread the cancer really is. But I take issue with your definition of criticism in this case. There’s criticism of people for the sake of envy and resentment, etc., and then there’s criticism of wrong or good actions (constructive).

    I just wonder how you propose to address the issue without considering the people behind the problem? Surely any denunciation of the error will be labeled character assasination. But this isn’t necessarily so. Note how Paul and other apostles publicly “criticized” those spreading error within their ranks. I know you love Dr. Ness, and I also believe he’s a good guy. But we cannot allow the open teaching of error because we like the guy. This is a tough issue to wrestle with, and my heart sinks for these people. But truth is more precious. If we stand for truth then the Lord will bless. He’s powerful enough to correct and save Dr. Ness and anybody else who may be in error (including myself) if the heart is willing.

    My brother in Christ, I think we’re both wanting to solve the problem; but we have a difference of opinion. I’m open to Biblical correction. I trust that you’re bringing this to daily prayer as you wrestle with how to fulfill your sacred role of training young people at PUC. People are praying for you all who are sincerely seeking to present the Christ of the Bible. God bless.




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  36. @Professor Kent: If I caused you to stumble, then woe be unto me. I’d rather be blotted out from the Book of Life than be guilty of driving you out of the church.

    But if your stumbling block is the rejected Cornerstone and the Word, why kick against the pricks? In all sincerity, I wish you the best, and that you may forgive me if I have offended you. Bring all your frustrations to the Lord in prayer and you’ll never leave His remnant church for He will satisfy you despite those of us you deem to be so evil. Pray for us as well. “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” Galations 6:9




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  37. 12-11-10

    Dear D.Fender (11-19-10)

    From a purely human standpoint, I agree with you that the problem truly isn’t “fixable” but with God in control it IS fixable!

    However, for HIM to do it we fallen human beings must humble ourselves in earnest prayer, confess our own inability to make right the many wrongs we have mired ourselves in, be willing to let go of our own inability to solve the mess we have made for ourselves and truly open our hearts door to be cleansed of our own stubborn wills and faults. WE have to be emptied of sin and cleansed from our own wicked selves before He can truly work in us and through us to correct this humanly unfixable mess we find ourselves in.

    God alone knows who has “not bent the knees to Baal.” He alone knows where to find honest, God-fearing teachers for us–many of whom may not at this time be members of our church. Look at Batchelor, Boonstra, and David A. (I can never remember how to spell his last name!)–not one of whom were reared “Adventist.” And there are others I might name. God knows where faithful jewels are, though hidden from our view, who can step in and do a mighty work for Him that those of us that were “raised” in the church cannot and have not done. We not only need to, with the help of divine wisdom, remove the bad branches from our educational “tree” but we had better start feeding the “roots” of that tree (our children) a lot better “fertilizer” that they are apparently not currently getting if we want them to be Daniels and Davids when they reach adulthood! We cannot expect them to carry the torch of truth through thick and thin if we haven’t given it to them in the first place!

    God has a thousand ways to solve the problems we foolish mortals have brought upon ourselves but WE, with the help of the Holy Spirit, must be cleansed of our own human pride, opinions, and sin before He can–or will–work for us and through us.

    The problem is not unsolvable for God. The problem is with US. As someone once said–“We have met the enemy and it is US!!” We must face the fact that WE are the cause of all of our problems and the only solution to these problems is by admitting this and letting His Holy Spirit come into out hearts and change US! Remember the Laodicean church–that’s US,–folks, is the only one of the seven churches that God has absolutely NOTHING good to say about! I believe the shaking time” is upon us and only those who have “fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” Some of our “brightest lights “ will go out–but that does not necessarily mean they will leave the church. A light can go out and still remain securely in its socket until it is removed from it’s place by someone else. Let us “watch and pray” that WE will not be one of those “lights!”

    Lydian




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  38. The enthusiasm exhibited by some on this forum to “call out” those who disagree, and to fire teachers who ask and try to answer questions about origins that are routinely present in the minds of college age youth cause me pain.

    The Word of God has clear counsel about this.

    ” 22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2Tim 2:22-26.

    “24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
    27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
    28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
    “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
    29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” Matt 13:24-30

    The Spirit of Prophecy states the following (commenting on the Wheat and Tares parable):

    “Christ’s servants are grieved as they see true and false believers mingled in the church. They long to do something to cleanse the church. Like the servants of the householder, they are ready to uproot the tares. But Christ says to them, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”

    “Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes. Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself. Were we [p. 72] to deal with these souls according to our imperfect judgment, it would perhaps extinguish their last hope. Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. Many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never enter there. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart. The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.” Christ’s Object Lessons p.

    The overall message could not be more clear: GOD will solve this problem in HIS way on HIS time and much of this will occur, not now, not during the shaking, but at the last judgment. Meanwhile, we are to live out loving lives as a witness. I know that many on this forum are greatly pained by what they perceive as apostasy and heresy. But, the human heart is not reliable. Throughout history people with the best of intentions have done the devils work while trying to eradicate evil, when God says “leave it to me”. Paul himself was in this category. He held the coats of those who stoned Stephen.
    In the parable of the Tares, Jesus was addressing the danger of trying to purify the church. Again, quoting from Matthew: “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
    29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.” By taking God’s role into our own hands we risk destroying those whom He is nurturing. Everyone who cares about the Adventist church KNOWS that the enemy has sewn tares amongst us. But God says to his servants: “I’ll take care of you, and I died for the tares, just like the wheat.”

    Our children MUST be prepared for the Satanic ideas that will come and this preparation should happen at home and in their own churches. They must be prepared by developing a personal relationship with the Creator. No one gets to heaven by being an Adventist or by going to Adventist colleges. They get to heaven by knowing and following Jesus. I, like you, hate the Satanic idea of evolution, but it looses it’s power when a person has met the risen Lord. The mystery of origins fades into obscurity when we trust that our Redeemer is also our Creator. Any other relationship is meaningless.

    We show a profound lack of faith and trust when we feel as though WE (not GOD) must be the judge, jury and executioner of divine judgment because it’s not happening RIGHT NOW!

    From what I read on this board, either the whole focus of this website needs to change to a more devotional and winsome approach, or it should be shut down. If you were a non Adventist reader, educated in the public school system, you would be appalled at the way we treat one another! What a sad witness to our Lord.




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  39. In 1Cor 5 Paul does NOT argue that the weed should be left in the church.

    Rather he condemns the church for not taking action.

    In 3T269-270 the church itself becomes guilty of the sins of those it refuses to discipline in the case of gross sins. Many think that the “worst form of infidelity” 3SG90-91 is a sin that qualifies as that for which the entire denomination will be judged if it simply turns a blind eye to it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  40. For too many years we, as a church, have taken this stance that we dare not make public the “ugly and messy” things that are occuring behind closed doors.

    IF these teachers are simply open up “satanic things” to the students so that they are “equipped” to fit the foe. . .Bravo!!! My hats off to them.

    However, IF, as it has been suggested, this situation is in actuality an issue of a crisis of faith or understanding of the scriptures then we have a much bigger and worse situation.

    This is not simply an issue of “church discipline” as several have suggested. This isn’t someone commiting adultery or being a gossip.

    These are leaders in Adventist academic institutions that are attempting to circumvent the work that has been done in the past 150 years. These are educated and professional individuals that are acting in direct conflict with the contract that they had to sign when they accepted the position.

    As leaders we do not arbitraily get to decide that we no longer agree with the church doctrine so we can change what we do and how we handle things.

    There is plenty of scripture that says exactly what will happen if we continue in this vain. And there is enough scriptural backing to support those that stand against such teachings.

    Mrs. White states: “To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized–this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.”

    Too much time has been wasted, too many souls have already been lost, because the leaders of the church would rather keep issues and situations hidden in the name of “Christlike behavior”.

    It is time to stand for right though the heavens fall.

    Jesus dealt gently with those who were uneducated and didn’t know Him. However, when it came to dealing with the Pharisees and Sadducees, He made scenes, turned over tables, yelled and cracked a whip.

    You can’t have it both ways. Ask what would Jesus do and then be willing to “man up” and accept the true answer. I have a difficult time believing that Jesus would EVER “go gently into” this discussion – especially after every avenue that has been tried has been exhausted to no avail!




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  41. Ron, thank you for your very insightful post.

    I believe that those who have responded here fail to understand your message–which was very stated by Paul and by Ellen White. Jesus can identify wrong and has the authority, as EMK put it, to make scenes by overturning the tables, yelling, and cracking a whip. For us, in contrast, the instruction is unmistably clear:

    “Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes.”




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  42. EMK:

    Let me state where I perceive to agree with you and others on this board. The teaching of naturalistic evolution as the preferred explanation for the origins of life on this world is inimicable to Adventist faith and practice.

    Additionally, for those who are not indoctrinated, the story that “random atoms coalesced into simple living things that replicated and become more complex until some of these living things were able to talk, write, think and imagine that God exists (even though he doesn’t)” just doesn’t make sense at all. Most people, including most Adventists, sense the wonder and mystery of life and see it as evidence for God. Most people in America, to the incredulity of the intellectual elite, see it this way and have seen it this way for generations.

    Problem: Biology is a common college major, most commonly as a conduit for young people to go into medicine at Loma Linda University. So most biology majors at Adventist colleges aren’t wanting to be biologists. They are wanting to be doctors. For students wanting to be doctors, the college experience is a stepping stone. Doctors don’t think in evolutionary terms except rarely. So, it has been possible to teach “biology” to students and avoid the hard discussions about origins, because that hole in their knowledge base (as defined by biologists), really never comes up except in the context of a religious, philosophical or theological debate.

    Origins debates are kind of like abortion… unless you get your girlfriend pregnant, or you have gotten pregnant yourself out of wedlock, you are free to have an opinion that is based upon theory. But what happens when you are pregnant… now you have to wrestle with some pretty serious stuff and make difficult decisions about what you are going to do.

    Our college biology teachers have had to make hard choices. Trust me, the vast majority of them went into biology because it was interesting and their calling. They ARE loyal Adventists (maybe some aren’t and they should not stick around). But they have had to look personally at the data and wrestle and make sense of it. Very few of the rest of us on this board have done this. Simple example… death began at the fall. Sharks aren’t vegetarians, they are efficient predators. Where did they come from? Did God create them? Did Satan? (I really don’t like that idea, it gives Satan life creating power and I really don’t think he has that.) Did the curse of sin somehow transform sharks from plankton eaters to efficient killing machines? If so, how does that happen? Was it a miracle, again “caused” by God’s curse. You and I don’t have to think about these questions because we are not biologists. But the job of a biologist is to understand the world of living things. So these questions come up. I don’t ask these questions to question creation, God or FB#6. I mention them to suggest that the people that have been demonized in the abstract or in person, may not be some horrible apostate, but rather someone who is seeking to learn about God’s second book. I strongly suggest that biologists in Adventist schools need OUR PRAYERS and support. They may sometimes get it wrong, but generally they get it right.

    So should Adventist biologists teach evolution as the best explanation for life. NO!. I mean, scientists DON’T have an agreed upon explanation for how life began. And they never will. The odds are way too stacked against a random process creating life. Read Dembski or Behe or Meyer for some thoughtful critique of naturalistic evolution. (I hope these authors are required reading for Adventist biology students.) We do need to teach the basics of evolution so that students don’t hear the arguments for the first time from hostile sources.

    Should Adventist geologists teach “Flood geology”. Yes we should, but we also have to teach standard geology along with it and do the best we can to be honest about what we don’t know. To do any less simply leaves our students open to attack when they pick up a book by Richard Dawkins, or go to grad school.

    Finally, we may have to be willing to let what we observe in nature and what we read in the bible remain in tension until God provides us more information, either with further research or perhaps during eternity.

    So I reassert my strong desire that this community dial down the polemics and attacks against our church institutions and scientists. In almost all cases, these people are seeking to honestly merge what they oberve with what they understand from scripture. If their conclusions are different than ours, they need our prayer and understanding rather than our attack.

    For those who seek to destroy the faith of the youth or the weak, beware what Jesus said: ” 1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.” Luke 17:1-2. But we are not reliable agents of God’s judgement. He will do the judging. We need to pray, live Godly lives, prepare our children and speak out where we are called by God. But we should always follow God’s advice…”24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2Tim 2:24-26.

    Paul wrote these words just weeks before he was martyred. They are the words of a valiant warrior for God. We ignore them and their wisdom at our peril. They are words of reconciliation and restoration. They are in the same book as the following: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
    6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim 4:2-8.




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  43. These are leaders in Adventist academic institutions that are attempting to circumvent the work that has been done in the past 150 years. These are educated and professional individuals that are acting in direct conflict with the contract that they had to sign when they accepted the position.
    As leaders we do not arbitraily get to decide that we no longer agree with the church doctrine so we can change what we do and how we handle things.
    There is plenty of scripture that says exactly what will happen if we continue in this vain.

    Indeed. In 1Cor 5 Paul blames the church for not taking swift action in such cases.

    In the example we have with Achan – God blames Israel for not taking swift action against Achan.

    As we see in

    Neutrality in Religious crisis: condemned

    In the full light of the sun, surrounded by thousands,–men of war, prophets of Baal, and the monarch of Israel,–stands the defenseless man, Elijah, apparently alone, yet not alone. The most powerful host of heaven surrounds him. Angels who excel in strength have come from heaven to shield the faithful and righteous prophet. With stern and commanding voice Elijah cries: “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” Not one in that vast assembly dared utter one word for God and show his loyalty to Jehovah. {3T 280.2}

    What astonishing deception and fearful blindness had, like a dark cloud, covered Israel! This blindness and apostasy had not closed about them suddenly; it had come upon them gradually as they had not heeded the word of reproof and warning which the Lord had sent to them because of their pride and their sins. And now, in this fearful crisis, in the presence of the idolatrous priests and the apostate king, they remained neutral. 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 of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God. {3T 280.3}

    Failure to act decisively – the very worst type of hostility against God.

    Corporate Guilt Principle: Explained

    I saw that many souls will sink in darkness because of their covetousness. The plain, straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins. But to deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged. All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They are not inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproofs. Some are ever needlessly severe, and do not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” {3T 269.2}

    Some feel they have the luxury of turning a blind eye to problems even if those problems are called in 3SG 90-91 the “worst form” of infidelity.

    Well we live in a free will universe.

    To each his own.

    But as for me and my house – we will serve the Lord.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  44. So should Adventist biologists teach evolution as the best explanation for life. NO!. I mean, scientists DON’T have an agreed upon explanation for how life began. And they never will. The odds are way too stacked against a random process creating life. Read Dembski or Behe or Meyer for some thoughtful critique of naturalistic evolution. (I hope these authors are required reading for Adventist biology students.) We do need to teach the basics of evolution so that students don’t hear the arguments for the first time from hostile sources.

    Well the good news is that ALL of our universities do teach the basics of evolutionism in science courses – in fact even our elementary and Academies do it. Because as you point out – students need to know that this kind of by-faith-alone belief system exists and that they will need to understand the concepts though they need NOT “believe” the alchemist storytelling about “birds coming from reptiles”.

    But few if any of our teaching institutions have lept off the cliff of by-faith-alone evangelism for evolutionism as the right doctrine on the origins of all complex genomes seen today – in the way that LSU has to this day. (Ala Prof Bradley, Greer, Grismer, Guy with guest appearances by Taylor) and the oh-so-essential support of Larry Geraty while doing it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  45. Ron, thank you for your very insightful post.I believe that those who have responded here fail to understand your message–which was very stated by Paul and by Ellen White. Jesus can identify wrong and has the authority, as EMK put it, to make scenes by overturning the tables, yelling, and cracking a whip. For us, in contrast, the instruction is unmistably clear:“Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes.”  (Quote)

    And you would be correct. . .IF this were an issue of church discipline. However, it is not. Our schools are in the “business” of educating young people to further the work (and yes, to think for themselves). We cannot afford to have derisive teachings in our institutions. It is NOT the job of a few individuals to rework the doctrines of the church, doctrines that the GC is standing by. Simply put, the message is that the leaders of the church don’t know what they are doing and these professors are somehow in a position where they don’t have to support the church leadership and administration. Again, you can’t have it both ways.




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  46. Ron:

    Bravo and amen! Thank you so much for the words. You are correct on every point, save possibly one.

    While I cannot speak for anyone else, I can assure you that I am not judging nor condemning any of these professors.

    I think that everyone needs to take a step back, breath a bit and understand something. As a member of this world, we all have the option and free will to believe whatever we want to believe about life, its origins and how the world around us works. We even have the right to believe whatever we wish about who God is or is not and what His role in this world is or is not.

    That is not the issue here. Let this professors believe what they wish to believe based on science and scripture. You are correct, we do need to pray for them as they study to reconcile what they are learning in the world of biology with what they are learning as they study the scriptures.

    As we believe that God is in control of all things and the author of all things, they cannot truly be in conflict with one another. However, this notion that evolution is some exact science is nonsense. It takes just as much faith to believe and understand evolution as it does to accept and believe in the Biblical creation – in some cases more.

    And that is where we must exercise and balance our “all-knowing” intelligence with a reasonable measure of faith in our Creator.

    The true issue is that we must separate this discussion into two different parts. First and foremost, we must remove and dismiss this notion that anyone is attempting to draw a conclusion on the salvation of these professors. None of us can know their hearts and we dare not even to presume to claim to try. However, we MUST discuss the second part, the level to which evolution is being taught in these classrooms.

    IF these professors are struggling to reconcile what they believe they are seeing in nature with what they know and understand about God, the classroom is NOT the place for this meet.

    There is at least one Adventist pastor in the NAD that took a sabbatical from pastoring to wrestle with a situation. He had two sides to one doctrine, and he took this very seriously. He removed himself from the service and ministry of his calling until he had satisfactorily could juxtapose the two sides. Then he stepped back into his ministry ready to share what God says about this situation.

    This discussion cannot be about salvation of people who God is still working with. This discussion, however, can be about the fact that we cannot circumvent the teachings of an organization simply because we’re struggling.

    As an Adventist educator my responsibility is to teach Adventist children Adventist doctrine. I equip them with other ideas by briefly mentioning them saying, “Now this is a train of thought out there.” For the sole purpose of wanting them to be prepared. But I must teach Adventist doctrine and not something that I may believe or disagree with.

    We all know that there is some form of “de-evolution” that occurred at the time of the fall. Adam and Eve were 15′ and 12′ tall respectively. I’m lucky if I reach 5’7″. It is completely possibly that many of the things that you listed from nature exist as they do today simply because we live in a sinful world.

    But for an Adventist instituation to permit the teaching of evolution as a science and renounce the 6-day literal creation poses a problem that everyone from the student in the classroom to the GC president should be speaking against.

    Again, I am not questioning anyone’s salvation. I have concetrate on with my own relationship with the Lord. I am just suggesting that public school ideas need to be taught in public schools and it’s time for our Adventist schools (especially our colleges) to begin looking like – and sounding like – we are Adventist schools again.




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  47. I am a parent of two young children and a devout Adventist. I was raised in the Adventist system. I have read some of the comments above but quit because with all the bickering back and forth, I have one thing to say. I am SOOOO glad I homeschool. My kids don’t need to be in such a negatively charged environment where “I’m right, you’re wrong” prevails over a child’s (or young adult’s) relationship with God.




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