World Church moves to advance statements regarding creation

World Church Executives Move Statements, Manual Revisions
Creation, deaconess’ ordination hot issues.
By Mark Kellner

Elder Jan Paulsen

World leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in a special Executive Council meeting June 23, voted to advance several statements on hot-button issues including the church’s belief in the biblical account of creation, and its commitment to religious liberty. The leaders also approved two dozen proposed changes to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, due to come to a vote at the church’s 59th General Conference Session, opening here on June 24…

Equally galvanizing was the fourth of six statements to be issued by the Executive Committee. Titled “Creation: The Bible’s Worldview,” the statement reaffirmed Adventists’ belief in “the biblical view of origins in contrast to an evolutionary explanation,” according to the draft text.

The statement said Adventists “believe that the biblical events recorded in Genesis [chapters] 1-11, including the special creation of human beings, are historical and recent, that the seven days of creation were literal[,] 24-hour days forming a literal week, and that the Flood was global in nature.” (Read more)

[emphasis added]

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29 thoughts on “World Church moves to advance statements regarding creation

  1. Does this mean a statement affirming six literal, consecutive, contiguous, 24-hour days of creation is going to be voted on in Atlanta? I pray so! Let us all unite in prayer to this end, and that God will give the church a strong and decisive leader at this session.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  2. Wow! This does look promising. I hope and pray that these important issues for the SDA Church today will indeed be substantively addressed by the GC – – especially when it comes to significantly clarifying the wording of SDA Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation.

    Anything short of specifically addressing and updating the current ambiguous wording of FB#6, wording put in place by so called “progressive” men like Fritz Guy and Lawrence Geraty (who do not personally believe in or wish to uphold the literal nature of the creation week) will leave the SDA Church no better off.

    After all, the GC has already put out a very clear statement in support of a literal 6-day creation (back in 2004) – a very clear statement that has been completely ignored by those at LSU and elsewhere who point to the weakness and claim ambiguity in the language of FB#6 as an excuse for their subversive actions against the Church’s historical position on this “Fundamental” Pillar of Faith…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  3. Remember, there is a difference between voted statement documents and changes to the fundamental beliefs. This is, as far as I can see so far, only one of the documents of affirmation, and would not change the fundamental beliefs. I do believe that the fundamental belief #6 on creation should have substantially tightened wording (as I called for min my recent article). Now is the time to begin that process.




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  4. Looks like the GC delegates are reading the same bible I’m reading. A battle is looming between the GC delegates and LSU. LSU will continue to “hunker down” as best they can (similar to the Alamo) but the “handwriting on the wall” appears plainer day by day.

    Are the GC words just “hot air?” I hope not!




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  5. Dear Larry:

    I agree fully. The wording of Fundamental Belief No. 6 needs to be tightened considerably. But this proposed affirmation is a giant step in that direction, and will likely put the world church on record at its highest level in affirmation of six literal, consecutive, continguous, 24-hour days of creation, approximately 6,000 years ago. This is the wording that is needed. Even if Fundamental Belief No. 6 is not specifically changed in Atlanta, the means necessary for thwarting those who would advance theistic evolution in our ranks will be in place, and the means for further clarification set in motion.

    May all of us on this forum unite in prayer for the General Conference session. The nominating committee will be chosen this evening, and will start its work tomorrow if not before. Let us pray that God brings to the church a leader in the mold of Josiah, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  6. Remember, there is a difference between voted statement documents and changes to the fundamental beliefs. This is, as far as I can see so far, only one of the documents of affirmation, and would not change the fundamental beliefs. I do believe that the fundamental belief #6 on creation should have substantially tightened wording (as I called for min my recent article). Now is the time to begin that process.  (Quote)

    Exactly, the GC needs to vote on a change of FB #6 to read as such “…the seven days of creation were literal[,] 24-hour days forming a literal week, and that the Flood was global in nature.” Statements do not mean anything, when are these statements going to turn into action by the GC? That is what I want to know. My prayer is that this conference session votes on such a change to FB #6.




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  7. Dear Sean:

    I agree fully that Fundamental Belief No. 6 needs to be re-worded so as to disallow the ambiguity some see there–though I still don’t see how even the current wording gives cover to theistic evolutionists in our midst when you actually listen to them explain their view. Just because certain ones may think that a clever choice of words gives them cover, doesn’t necessarily mean they have achieved their goal.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, if you interpret the days of creation as long ages of time, what about the seventh day when God rested? Was that also some long age at some point? No theistic evolutionist, in Adventism or elsewhere, has offered any explanation that I have seen. In your own dialogue with Charles Scriven that I saw sometime ago, he insisted–as you may recall–that God in fact is still creating even now. (Theological liberals can’t possibly imagine a God who nails down anything as final!) So when, and for how long, was the seventh day of rest the Bible talks about? And how does one with such a belief explain the Biblical statement that “the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Gen. 2:1)?

    Regarding the GC statement in 2004, let us remember that it was never voted by the world body in session. Being voted by the GC Executive Committee is not at all the same. Even if the specific wording of Fundamental Belief No. 6 is not addressed in Atlanta, the affirmation which I understand will be brought to the floor will carry the weight of global authority within the church, at the highest level. I would certainly prefer for the rewording of No. 6 to take place as soon as possible. But even if that is postponed till the next session, the affirmation to be voted on this coming week will clarify the church’s position in the face of the ambiguity certain ones desire.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson

    I agree with your points Kevin. I especially do not understand the ambiguity that some see in the current wording of FB#6. However, since there are those who are bringing this wording up as an excuse for their subversive behavior, I think that whatever ambiguity might be allowed by the current wording should be removed – hopefully at this current GC session…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  8. @Kevin Paulson:

    I agree with this. The same guys that claim “SIX days you shall labor… for in SIX DAYS the Lord made…” is not telling us that God made the World and all life on it in SIX Days – like the SIX days we labor — are claiming that FB #6 lets them believe in evolutionism no matter what the Bible says to the contrary.

    That shows a level of self-deception on the part of our evolutionist friends and supports that pretty much as no limit.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  9. If I were able to edit that previous statment – the quote block would be limited to –

    I agree fully that Fundamental Belief No. 6 needs to be re-worded so as to disallow the ambiguity some see there–though I still don’t see how even the current wording gives cover to theistic evolutionists in our midst when you actually listen to them explain their view. Just because certain ones may think that a clever choice of words gives them cover, doesn’t necessarily mean they have achieved their goal

    😉




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  10. Whatever the statement actually says, the church must be sufficiently clear about its principles to be willing to address those who bend it or try to hide under it with their own agendas. No one is going to walk in off the street and enforce adherence to belief for the church. The church must have clarity of mind and willingness to be misunderstood when it acts to be faithful. It must must have Phinehases in its midst and not Elis only.




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  11. Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Breaking news from Atlanta:

    All those desirous for dramatic revival and reformation in God’s church, and for greater clarity as found in Scripture and the writings of Ellen White regarding the issue of origins (not to mention countless others!), must praise God and offer the most ardent rejoicing at the news that Elder Ted N.C. Wilson has been nominated and elected president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

    From a source inside the nominating committee, we have been told that the vote was overwhelming–on the very first ballot! The liberals have been terrified at the prospect of Ted Wilson’s election, and have said so in many of their blogs and magazines. For the striving faithful among us, this is as good as the news could be in the choice of the world church’s new leader.

    Let us pray God gives Elder Wilson courage and a quadruple portion of His Spirit. He is going to need it. As the church surveys five decades of departure from doctrinal and moral integrity, it will be our new president’s task to reverse this tragedy and steer the denominational ship of state back toward the port of Zion.

    Whoever “Bravus” is, I have news for him (or her, or whoever!). The ship that is sinking is not the Seventh-day Adventist Church, nor the Bible-Spirit of Prophecy stance on origins. Rather, the ship that is sinking, taking on water as I write this, is the pseudo-religion known as “progressive Adventism.”

    May the church of God, and the truth it bears, triumph soon and gloriously!!

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  12. Thank you Elder Paulson for that encouraging bit of news, and, yes, I agree with your sediments. Now with God working through Elder Wilson will put this ship back on the true heading and full speed ahead so that we will be able to leave this world and its encroachments and compromising behind.

    Robert.




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  13. @Nathan: Nathan asked ‘Are you implying that the SDA church is sinking?’

    No, I’m implying that recent creationism is sinking. The mountains of evidence against it are so immense, and young people are becoming better and better educated in actually looking at the evidence. If the SDA church tethers itself ever more strongly to recent creationism, it will be the means by which more and more members are persuaded that they have to leave the SDA church in order to be truthful with themselves and the others about the evidence in the world around them.

    Most here will say that the SDA church has no choice in this, and that it’s just so much the worse for those who leave the church. I can understand that perspective, but (a) I do not agree that it is the case that the SDA church has no choice – millions of Christians all around the world are able to reconcile evolutionary theory with their faith, and the Sabbath can be established on God’s words and a symbolic creation story just as well as on a literal creation story and (b) despite the claims made loudly and frequently here, the evidence is as the evidence is.




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  14. @Bravus:

    No, I’m implying that recent creationism is sinking. The mountains of evidence against it are so immense, and young people are becoming better and better educated in actually looking at the evidence.

    You mean that more and more young people are being brainwashed to believe that mole hills are really mountains in order to support a theory which is the basis of intellectual atheism…

    Millions of Christians all around the world are able to reconcile evolutionary theory with their faith, and the Sabbath can be established on God’s words and a symbolic creation story just as well as on a literal creation story and (b) despite the claims made loudly and frequently here, the evidence is as the evidence is.

    If you make everything about your “Christian” faith symbolic, what is there that distinguishes your faith in the existence and personal care of God from a belief in garden fairies, Santa Claus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Hmmmm? As far as I can tell, such social Christianity is no better than essential atheism when it comes to establishing a solid hope in anything.

    It is as William Provine, late professor of biological sciences at Cornell University, explained in his very interesting speech for a 1998 Darwin Day keynote address. As part of this speech he noted:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly.

    • No gods worth having exist;
    • No life after death exists;
    • No ultimate foundation for ethics exists;
    • No ultimate meaning in life exists; and
    • Human free will is nonexistent.

    Provine, William B. [Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University], “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life”, Abstract of Will Provine’s 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address.

    Provine also wrote, “In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.”

    Academe January 1987, pp.51-52

    It seems to me that Provine was right. Darwinian-style evolution is just one more argument for the philosophical position of “Naturalism” – a position that suggests that everything within the physical world, everything that we can see, touch, hear, taste, or smell, is ultimately the result of non-deliberate mindless forces of nature. These forces do not have feelings or care about you or me or our feelings regarding what they are or are not doing to us or for us.

    Now, if you want to by into the basis of such a philosophy, you are certainly welcome. It is just very difficult to hold such a philosophical view and make your “Christianity” appear to be “reasonable” at the same time…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  15. Very interesting debate by all. When I read Mr. Pitman’s and Mr. Paulsen’s remarks I wonder if Jesus intended his followers to be so judgmental and rigid. Is Bravus to be judged on his beliefs or on his moral search for the truth? Personally, even though I do not agree with your viewpoints, I respect them and I respectfully suggest you should all do likewise.

    Respectfully
    Ken C. Johnston

    I do not consider this to be a moral issue as I have repeatedly made clear in this forum. I have many close friends who are evolutionists and who are atheistic or agnostic. We get along great. They like me and I like and respect them. The difference between them and the LSU science professors is that they don’t claim to be SDA. They don’t claim to be something they are not and they do not expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church to promote their views in SDA institutions. Big Big difference…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  16. The Mayor of Atlanta just announced at the GC Session tonight that the SDA new president elect is Ted N.C Wilson. (And the Washington Post said it about 3 hours before that).




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  17. Kevin Paulson says:
    June 25, 2010 Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Breaking news from Atlanta:

    All those desirous for dramatic revival and reformation in God’s church, and for greater clarity as found in Scripture and the writings of Ellen White regarding the issue of origins (not to mention countless others!), must praise God and offer the most ardent rejoicing at the news that Elder Ted N.C. Wilson has been nominated and elected president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
    ====================================

    Kevin – if you are at the GC session – I would like to say hello in person.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  18. @Bravus:
    I will never agree. As SDA Christians or any true follower of Jesus Christ, we are called to STAND APART-
    Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The will of God does not include undermining His word to fit man’s postulations or absurd theories.

    Any true believer is mocked and scorned for their belief in a young earth and belief in a literal 7 day creation week. Its happened to me before and more than once. I have faith in my God that He created this universe in SEVEN literal 24 hour days. Exodus Ch 20 vs 11 backs that up too, but I guess since you dont have to take the Genesis account of creation literally, I suppose you can throw the 10 commandments out as well.

    Evolution is nothing but a delusion of Satan. Anyone who believes evolution and “claims” to be a true follower of Christ is accepting apostasy as clearly stated in 2 Timothy ch 3.




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  19. @Nathan: Sorry my post got cut off, this was the rest of that first paragraph.
    I will never agree that evolution and the Genesis account on creation can somehow coexist together, its man’s word(inspired by Satanic agencies) or God’s word.




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  20. Ken,

    I have found on display here some of the most repulsive attitudes I have ever encountered in Christianity, much less Adventism. I applaud your effort to encourage respect, and you have certainly stated your case respectfully, but I have become convinced that there is a very strong inverse relationship between perceived possession of “truth” and the respectful treatment of others. Anything and everything can be justified here.




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  21. Ken,I have found on display here some of the most repulsive attitudes I have ever encountered in Christianity, much less Adventism. I applaud your effort to encourage respect, and you have certainly stated your case respectfully, but I have become convinced that there is a very strong inverse relationship between perceived possession of “truth” and the respectful treatment of others. Anything and everything can be justified here.  

    Consider that the actions of the Master Himself were likely repulsive to many when he not only openly denounced the money-changers (and the wealthy men behind them) but literally whipped them out. Then there’s his harsh diatribe against the “hypocrite” Pharisees. Entrenched error calls for what is undoubtedly strong and acerbic doings.

    c.




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  22. Major Sean Pitman Yet again you propagate another myth and say

    “I do not consider this to be a moral issue as I have repeatedly made clear in this forum. I have many close friends who are evolutionists and who are atheistic or agnostic. We get along great. They like me and I like and respect them. The difference between them and the LSU science professors is that they don’t claim to be SDA. They don’t claim to be something they are not and they do not expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church to promote their views in SDA institutions. Big Big difference…”

    Dictionary.com gives as synonyms for morality.

    upright, honest, straightforward, open, virtuous, honorable. 11. integrity, standards, morality. Morals, ethics refer to rules and standards of conduct and practice. Morals refers to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual’s practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization. Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, esp. in the professions or in business: ethics of the medical profession.

    I do not possibly see how your statements are not calling those teaching at LSU as dishonest. Surely honesty falls under the umbrella of moral behaviour and in accusing them of being dishonest you are calling them immoral.

    I guess your training may however be a mitigating circumstance as the Nurenberg trials if nothing else showed us that military training is hardly a good basis for understanding morality and indeed may desensitize to moral issues.

    You’re equating two different things that simply aren’t the same.

    A belief in Darwinian evolution can be sincerely and honestly held. On the other hand, saying something that you know just isn’t so or working for an employer while directly undermining what that employer is paying you to do is dishonest – consciously dishonest. There’s a difference.

    I’m sure the professors at LSU are sincere in their Darwinian beliefs. In this sense they are being honest and cannot be directly accused of moral wrong. However, they are not being honest toward their employer, the SDA Church and Church constituents in this case, in which case they have just a bit of a moral problem to deal with. I’m not sure how they can rationalize what they are doing, but evidently they have…

    Of course, only God can judge the heart and motive with perfect accuracy…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  23. Dr Ted Wilson spoke at the “Yes, Creation” event and once again quoted the material that you can find in 3SG 90-92, regarding theistic evolution and “disguised infidelity” as well as the sections speaking to the problem of theistic evolutionism vs the Sabbath and vs the character of God.

    Elder Wilson said he wants to continue to chair the board of GRI as President of the GC and that his Administrative agenda includes the task of making sure that our schools have teachers that actually believe in a literal and recent 7 day creation week, as well as a global flood. (Among other things).

    He was asked specifically about the LSU problem in a Q&A that followed and said that he would not speak to the Administrative solutions that might be followed in that case – but repeated his statement that he would do everything possible to ensure that teachers in our institutions actually believed and taught in harmony with the voted affirmation of creation statement and FB#6 specifically related to a literal, recent, consecutive 7 day creation week.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  24. BobRyan quoting Pres. Ted Wilson:

    believed and taught

    Both are necessary. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Or eye-rolling or tongue-in-cheek lectures will result. Personal interviews and off-the-record discussions will always sow seed of the teacher’s beliefs.
    God bless,

    Rich




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  25. Dr Ted Wilson spoke at the “Yes, Creation” event and once again quoted the material that you can find in 3SG 90-92, regarding theistic evolution and “disguised infidelity” as well as the sections speaking to the problem of theistic evolutionism vs the Sabbath and vs the character of God.Elder Wilson said he wants to continue to chair the board of GRI as President of the GC and that his Administrative agenda includes the task of making sure that our schools have teachers that actually believe in a literal and recent 7 day creation week, as well as a global flood. (Among other things).He was asked specifically about the LSU problem in a Q&A that followed and said that he would not speak to the Administrative solutions that might be followed in that case – but repeated his statement that he would do everything possible to ensure that teachers in our institutions actually believed and taught in harmony with the voted affirmation of creation statement and FB#6 specifically related to a literal, recent, consecutive 7 day creation week.in Christ,Bob  

    It sounds like Wilson is on the right track so far. No wonder AT and Spectrum are in a “hissy fit” over this guy!




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