@pauluc: To believe in the inerrancy of Ellen White and …

Comment on ‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session by Sean Pitman.

@pauluc:

To believe in the inerrancy of Ellen White and to see her either as a liar or infallible is setting ones self up for a similar fall.

There are two extremes here. Walter Rea fell into one extreme view that everything a prophet ever does or says is perfect. Just a quick look at biblical prophets, such as Jonah, will show that this view is obviously mistaken.

The other extreme, of course, is your view that everything a prophet says or does is open to reinterpretation that is completely opposed to the prophet’s own view on what his/her inspiration was or meant. A prophet can be completely off base in many claims of what he/she was shown by God in no uncertain language, yet still be a prophet of God. This view is just as dangerous to the Christian Faith and Gospel Message as was Rea’s view of Inspiration. Again, it has to do with establishing credibility.

For example, lets say that I told you that God had told me that you had a large malignant tumor in your liver. Let’s then say that you took me seriously for some reason and had a CT scan and relevant lab tests done which showed no tumor in your liver. What conclusion would that leave you regarding my claims to have been given privileged information by God? I may have been ever so sincere in my claim. I may have actually thought that God gave me a vision of your true condition. But, given the evidence of the error of my claim, what rational options are available to you regarding the true nature of my “inspiration”? What option do you have besides to conclude that either I was lying to you, that God was lying to me, that I was self-deluded (however honestly), or that I’m just plain nuts?

Again, it all boils down to the credibility of the witness… to predictive power. The Bible itself claims that if the predictions or claims of a prophet do not come true, that prophet is not someone God has sent and to not be afraid or respect the claims of such a person any more. – Deuteronomy 18:22

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session
Good list of relevant quotes Kevin – regarding Mrs. White’s own view of the nature of her visions…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session
@pauluc:

My position on the inerrancy of Scripture and the writings of Ellen White is the same as Ellen White’s herself. I believe in conceptual and not verbal inspiration. “The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen” (1SM 19). This is not the same as the verbal inspiration taught by popular Christian fundamentalism.

It is very clear from the writings of Mrs. White that she claimed to have been given much more than mere conceptual inspiration by God. She claims to have been shown, very directly in vision, true historical and future events as they really did or will occur. She claims to have been shown the literal creation week as it occurred over 7 literal days – the same as the days we now experience. It is very hard to get that wrong. Either she was lying about her visions or God was lying to her by giving her such clear yet false visions of reality. She also claims to have seen, in vision, Adam and Eve and their Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. She claims to have been shown the Noachian Flood and the resulting world-wide devastation… etc.

Now, either she is lying or she is telling the truth. You can’t deny her own claims and how she interpreted her own visions and yet accept her as a true messenger of God. It just doesn’t work like that. The very same thing is true of the SDA view of biblical inspiration. The SDA Church, as an organized body, does not recognize conflicting Genesis narratives, but complimentary narratives.

You may disagree if you wish, but don’t expect to get paid for your views by the SDA Church. It simply is dishonest to think to take a paycheck from the Church while going around publicly undermining what the Church considers to be a Pillar of Faith on the Church’s dime…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session
@Geanna Dane:

Many of you have told me repeatedly and with conviction that I have been using the word “evolution” wrong- and I just proved to you from the literature that you folks are the ones who are wrong. At least some of you have now come around on that point which shows some integrity.

You don’t use the word “evolution” wrong per se – since this word is often used so generally as to be pretty much meaningless. It is just that when you are in a discussion regarding the basic disagreement between creationists and evolutionists, your use of the word “evolution” is not meaningful and therefore not effective in contributing something substantive to the discussion because you do not qualify what type of “evolution” you’re talking about.

Not all types of “change over time” are of the same quality. Creationists have no problem with some types of “evolution” or “change over time”. Creationists only have a problem with evolutionists proposing that these changes can produce high qualitative levels of functional complexity in just a few billion years (when trillions upon trillions of years wouldn’t be nearly enough time).

And, your notion that “speciation” (as it is often defined without reference to qualitative functional differences) is equivalent to the creationist idea of “macroevolution” just isn’t so.

Therefore, it would be very helpful if you would qualify your use of the word “evolution” so that people would know what type of “change over time” you’re talking about…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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