Hope? Slim to none

By Shane Hilde

According to the Adventist Review a “joint statement, prepared and signed by six LSU biology professors and a group of trustees, offers hope of a peaceful resolution to tensions….” Really?

Whatever hope there may be is slim to none, and LSU biology professors don’t appear to have changed their tune. The joint statement proposes they teach “Creation as a faith conviction, rather than as science.” This is what they’ve believed all along.

The joint statement goes on to say “Creation is not a scientific construct. It is a faith construct. The conviction of Divine Creation lies beyond the purview of the methods of empirical science, and cannot be subjected to them.” This is nothing new. This is one of many mental gymnastic acts performed by Seventh-day Adventists attempting to embrace contradictory world-views–evolution and creation. The evidence for creation is completely ignored, which only highlights the obvious evolutionary bias in which this statement was created. What exactly about Divine Creation do they believe is beyond the purview of the methods of empirical science? They merely offer the status quo as something new and viable.

Despite faith and science having little to do with each other, they suggest the two “can and should constructively interact.” Their approach is based on two core principles. The first principle immediately pits a Biblical concept of creation with the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of creation. The “Biblical concept of creation” and “the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1 and 2” will be incorporated in the classroom? What does that mean? Are they not Seventh-day Adventists themselves, and don’t Seventh-day Adventists believe their understanding of Genesis is Biblical?

There is nothing mentioned in the joint statement about what affirmation of the Adventist position means in the classroom. Will it be presented as the position or a position among others and of no particular consequence except that it is what Adventists believe? The answer is simple. The LSU biology department doesn’t believe in the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1-2. All they can offer is an affirmation, whatever that means, and a mention of what Adventists believe when origin discussions arise. This approach is something you could get at a secular university.

The second principle says they want to continue to teach and research in the “various disciplines of the modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science.” What does modern, mainstream science teach? Overwhelmingly evolutionary theory. Now the core contention is not that the theory of evolution is taught, but how it is taught in relationship to creationism. The principle concludes with their desire to include “the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models.” While this statement sounds hopeful, there are number of problems with it. First, they already said creation is not a scientific construct, thus there wouldn’t be any scientific evidence for creation, which means none would be offered. Second, they believe the data supports evolutionary theory.

There is nothing in this joint statement that suggests any changes to the status quo of the biology department. Clearly the dialogue from LSU isn’t any different than before. They have not changed and it appears they have no intention of changing.

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197 thoughts on “Hope? Slim to none

  1. One may be a Seventh-day Adventist AND accept a different, yet still valid, viewpoint on the creation story in Genesis. Personally, I believe that the point of the story is not HOW creation occurred, but WHY, and by WHOM. The story is told to remind us that we have a Creator, and to illustrate our need for a Redeemer. Whether God used evolution as a means to create over millions of years or spoke the world into being a few thousand years ago doesn’t really matter – what matters is that we have a Creator, and by His grace we have been redeemed.




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  2. It is true that we have a Creator and that by His grace we have been redeemed. His means of creation may not matter, at least not at this moment. However, according to Bible prophecy there will come a day when when all must decide whether to believe God’s word or to believe their eyes, their reason and their senses. We already know that Satan will personate Jesus, and only those who stick to God’s word exactly as it reads will be able to tell the counterfeit. The fact that the Three Angels’ Messages includes a specific reference to creation suggests that this too will be a testing truth at the end of time. Will we believe God’s word exactly as it reads, or will we believe what science and our senses tell us? May we all choose rightly, for it is certainly a matter of eternal life or death.




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  3. One again brother Shane,
    Upon your early efforts you stated that this effort was NOT about the biology department but just a couple teachers.

    In an earlier post you included more than a couple as well as a concern for the religion department and here now again you include the biology department.

    Your earliest statement of it being just a couple you were concerned with coupled with an appeal to members for your concern now in FACT makes the sincerity of the early appeal and seemingly honest concern now beyond suspect. To put it bluntly and straight, it now makes your early efforts and appeal dishonest.

    How can any of us claim we stand for what is true while at the same time violating or ignoring the simplest character attributes we all desire to have restored in us?

    “Faith IS the EVIDENCE of things not seen”

    Our message is Righteousness By Faith, NOT Righteousness by imperial evidence. At least that is what my Bible states.




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  4. I keep asking myself: how long will it last this “circus” at La Sierra University? Let me be upfront: what these teachers at La Sierra are doing is disdaining God’s Word and ridiculing His Church. How long will this last? If Jesus was among us nowadays, I wonder if He would not pronounce upon them these terrible words: “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” (John 8:43-44). I’m just remembering you that Jesus was speaking to members of “His” people of that time! “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).




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  5. Lorelei:
    Personally, I believe that the point of the story is not HOW creation occurred, but WHY, and by WHOM.

    Genesis 1 sure devotes a lot of words to the “how” … too many for me to consider it unimportant or irrelevant. And not only that, but also other verses in the Bible repeat (affirm) the same point. Psalm 33. Hebrews 11:3. Not only that, but also Ellen White affirms the specific nature of creation, and in much more detail than the Bible itself does.

    While understanding that God is our Creator and Redeemer is certainly very important, the scope of the Bible’s teachings on Creation and other points is far more detailed than that. The Bible informs us of many supporting and correlated ideas, as well as many factors relating to morality and lifestyle. In particular, it accounts in detail God’s miracles through history, including Creation. It tells us many details about the future immortal life. It describes parallels betweens the future judgment and the Genesis Flood. The Bible is very much about detailed stories filled with specific facts. A view that the Bible, or portions of the Bible presented in literal form, are merely elaborate constructs that contain only elemental, vague ideas (e.g., we have a God, a Creator, a Redeemer) is a form of skepticism, and certainly a far cry from Seventh-day Adventism.




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  6. John: Upon your early efforts you stated that this effort was NOT about the biology department but just a couple teachers.

    I’m surprised that I would draw such a distinction between the biology department and some teachers. If you can be bothered, I’d appreciate being pointed to my own statement.

    I’ve been told by a number of sources that there is perhaps one creationist. Interestingly his name does not appear on the joint statement. Perhaps he no longer teaches at LSU. There could be a number of reasons why his name was not included.

    I think though your creating a straw man though with this side issue. I remember from the very beginning naming at least four professors. To my knowledge it’s never been just two.

    John: Our message is Righteousness By Faith, NOT Righteousness by imperial evidence. At least that is what my Bible states.

    I don’t recall talking about righteousness by faith. God has not left us without any evidence to affirm his claims. One of the most powerful are the prophecies. I agree with you on what faith is and should have faith that the account in Genesis 1-2 is true, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any evidence for it.




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  7. Lorelei: I believe that the point of the story is not HOW creation occurred, but WHY, and by WHOM.

    Michael makes a valid point. How did God create the animals and humans? He formed them from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:19; Gen. 2:7).

    How long did it take him to create? Six days (Gen. 1:31)

    We even know whether we evolved from the animals. We weren’t. God created us separately.

    Obviously we don’t know all the details, but God has left us with some.




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  8. Lorelei: “Personally, I believe that the point of the story is not HOW creation occurred, but WHY, and by WHOM.”

    Well, Lorelei, personally I believe that the point of revealing the truth behind creation includes the HOW, the WHY, and by WHOM. If you take even one of these elements and call it unimportant you rob the Creator of His glory and purpose. First of all, if you ignore the truth about the HOW, you take away the power of the WHOM. You don’t believe the WHOM could do such a marvelous act as to create the earth by His power, His might, and His majesty. You have essentially destroyed the divinity of the WHOM, that you say is important. You have limited and changed the very character of God.

    In short, if you don’t believe the HOW as stated so beautifully in the Bible and SOP, then you don’t believe, or believe in, the WHOM. If you think you do, you are just fooling yourself.




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  9. Why doesn’t Dr. Pitman approach LSU and see if he can become an adjunct professor and teach an intelligent design course in the Religion Department?

    Remember there are non Adventist students attending LSU. To expect that biology profs are going to not teach evolution as the mainstream science of the origins of life is quixotic. It is tatamount to saying that physics professors should not teach Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity.

    And there is nothing wrong with Adventist biology profs saying as a matter of faith, not science, that they do not accept evolution as the theory of origins. Faith and science are separate disciplines. Now if Dr. Pitman can ever convince his scientific peers that creation science or intelligent design is a better empirical theory than evolution I’ll be the first guy in line to insist that those former theories be taught at secular schools. But he has to that on a scientific non biased basis to have objective credibility.

    Now Shane might be somewhat despondent about the latest developments at LSU but I don’t think he should be. Why? Because he and Dr. Pitman have raised the level of consciousness at LSU and in the Adventust community about the
    doctrinal importance of FB#6. That, in it’s own right is a victory. Congratulations.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  10. Just for the record, I believe Shane is entirely correct concerning the LSU Biology dept. They are trying to mask their real intent by doing a grammatical softshoe…just to take the heat off themselves so that they can continue teaching the heresy that they so obviously believe in and have given their hearts to.




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  11. Science is a bunch of conclusions formed as a result of experiments being interpreted based on previous or chosen world-view. Is this not true?

    There is such a thing as Creation Science which well supports the Creationist Model. For anyone who is faith-based, why are they rejecting THAT science? Science is evidence interpreted. So what are you looking for?

    There will always be questions. Neither Creation nor Evolution answer every question, so which so-called science will YOU choose?

    I do not understand everything, but I believe the Bible.




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  12. So we have a group of Science teachers who believe that there is SCIENCE and FAITH structures for creation. Now they say they have always believed the FAITH model, but they teach SCIENCE. If they believed (as in BELIEF) the Biblical creation model, they would already have been teaching it.
    Insofar as I DISBELIEVE that they actually BELIEVE in creation, I would not trust them to give the faith model a fair shake! When it comes to FAITH, you can only share what you HAVE!




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  13. Hi Shirley

    Remember that before Darwin made his observations his worldview was Christian. The great thing about objective non biased science is that it can radically change one’s worldmview based on empirical observation and testing. If not we would all believe that the world was still flat.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  14. ken: And there is nothing wrong with Adventist biology profs saying as a matter of faith, not science, that they do not accept evolution as the theory of origins. Faith and science are separate disciplines.

    Yes, there is something wrong with it. They are basically saying that there is no rational reason to believe in Creaton. They are accepting the false, worldly interpretation of science. Creation is true science, whether or not the world will accept it as such.

    The whole premise of having to defend our belief in Creation using the faulty proofs that worldly science accepts is ludicrous! Please–LSU and our other institutions are not worldly universities–they are SDA founded and supported institutions. As such their mandate is to teach ALL subjects in a framework of SDA beliefs. Personally, I couldn’t give a hoot what the world accepts as scientific. Their whole structure is based on false “science so-called.” That is why all this hullaballoo about scientific evidence really has no bearing whatsoever on what is taught in our classrooms.

    Peer review also has no bearing on this subject at all. Why would our scientists need to be accepted by the worldly scientists who don’t even have a clue about the basis of our beliefs? That is like asking the Catholic church to have a say in what our doctrines should be. Utter nonsense, I call it.

    Anyone who truly believes the SDA truth knows that in the end the principle of Creation will stand and be vindicated and the worldly, false science will perish in the flames of the final punishment and purging of this earth.

    That should make the difference as to what is taught in our SDA institutions. We have a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, and it is the mandate of the SDA universities to teach the young people of our church in accordance with our church beliefs, so that they, too, may gain their own salvation and be able to answer for their faith.




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  15. Ken: The great thing about objective non biased science is that it can radically change one’s worldmview based on empirical observation and testing.

    Heb 11:3–By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

    Heb 11:6–But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is [exists], and that He is a rewarder [judge who holds us accountable] of those who diligently seek Him.

    2 Pet 3:3-7–Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation [uniformitarianism, the underlying premise of macroevolution]. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that they existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition [destruction] of ungodly men.

    Matt 24:37-39–But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

    Should God’s perfect word be trusted, or the limited observations of finite men and women that we call science? What shapes your worldview?




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  16. You’re absolutely correct Shane. Nothing has changed except now we will have a new round of “dialogue” extending over months, years, maybe decades, while the Profs continue what they have been doing in the past.




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  17. Dear Edwin

    Thanks for your comments.

    What shapes my worldview is to ask and analyse why people believe what they do.

    Why do you believe that Genesis is the literal word of God? Were you raised by Adventists or did you reach this conclusion of your own accord? If the latter by what method did this occur? Why do you and Faith think your interpretation of the word of God is correct and others wrong?

    Respectfully
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  18. “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.”

    Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, Page 81




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  19. “Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith.”

    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, Page 401




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  20. The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science, but science is to be brought to the test of this unerring standard. (ST Mar. 13, 1884)

    The human mind is finite and thus limited in its ability to understand reality. The scientific method is extremely limited. For the Christian, especially the Seventh-day Adventist Christian, the Bible is ultimate standard on all it touches. This is why I can agree with Ellen White’s statement:

    When the Bible makes statements of facts in nature, science may be compared with the written Word, and a correct understanding of both will always prove them to be in harmony. One does not contradict the other. All truth, whether in nature or revelation, agrees (The Signs of the Times, March 13, 1884).

    Ironically it’s the Biblical worldview that even makes the scientific method possible.




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  21. How much longer must mainstream Adventism put up with these nonsensical deliberations over creationism/evolution by our administrators?

    If creation is not a scientific construct (in the eyes of the ignorant) then so must evolution likewise not be a scientific construct (in the eyes of the sapient). Both evolution and creation seek to explain the question of our origins.

    On the other hand, experience, empirical experience, has shown us that mankind is not only physical, but spiritual. The spiritual realm is just as real as the physical. What one chooses to do with this empirical, spiritual experience and evidence is certainly up to the individual.

    However, there will be consequences for decisions made one way or the other. When one chooses to reject the evidence of the spiritual as do atheists and evolutionists, that does not make them better or more scientific than those who incorporate the spiritual in assessing the questions of our origins. In fact, those who reject the spiritual dimension in their deliberations over man’s origins, are lacking in information (science) and knowledge (which facilitates wisdom). As such their pronouncements become unreliable.

    Now since much of the public instruction in science is hamstrung, one-sided, due to a lack of another branch of information (spiritual experience or evidence), it cannot be relied upon to fully account for the appearance of lifeforms or origins.

    Therefore, Adventists must under all circumstances, maintain their knowledge of the spiritual in their quest of understanding and explaining human origins. We have settled this point years ago. Why are therefore we allowing rouge scientists and teachers who discount the spiritual in their deliberations of origins, to disturb and unsettle our understand of man’s origins? Once we have spoken to them why parley any further with these opposers of wholistic or comprehensive knowledge?

    Should we not throw the gauntlet down and say that enough is enough, accept our view as a private institution or leave? We are not asking anyone to believe what we believe; what we are saying (or should be saying) is, if you choose to join us and work with us then you must continue to maintain our our system of belief. Anything less requires the individual to leave. It’s like aliens coming into our country and seeking to turn our country into their former country, and by force at that! No, my friends, it cannot work. Enough is enough.

    Either LSU, Loma Linda, or whichever institution, follows our system of beliefs or we dispose of them. Time is almost up; God is about to wrap-up things on earth; a great time of trouble is about upon us and the world; we will soon experience very strongly the hand of oppression; we have no time to major in minors (LSU, false science, et al).

    Let us recognize the devil’s hand in all this, and let us take hold of the hand of omnipotence and move forward in faith irrespective of consequences. This is the Lord’s work and we cannot come down to their level in such a time as this.




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  22. Lest my good friend, Ken, brand me a dogmatist, let me remind him that all organisations have the right to maintain a system of beliefs, or what can be referred to as ‘rules and regulations.’ His (Kens) profession is no denier of this fact. We allow all (everyone) the freedom to think as he or she wishes (with the ensuing consequences), but we cannot allow those who join us to remake the organisation according to their ideas, opinions, and practices. No world systems, in business or nature, cannot survive if this were not the case. Changes may come about, yes; but they cannot come by blatant disregard of, or for, the rules of engagement of the organisation.

    Can the trees of nature decide to do their day duties in the night instead of the day? Can the laws of precipitation decide to work upwards only and not downwards at all? No, friends, this world is built on order and system. So are the organisations of the world and the Adventist church. No dogmatism this!




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  23. Lorelei: One may be a Seventh-day Adventist AND accept a different, yet still valid, viewpoint on the creation story in Genesis. Personally, I believe that the point of the story is not HOW creation occurred, but WHY, and by WHOM. The story is told to remind us that we have a Creator, and to illustrate our need for a Redeemer. Whether God used evolution as a means to create over millions of years or spoke the world into being a few thousand years ago doesn’t really matter – what matters is that we have a Creator, and by His grace we have been redeemed.

    Unfortunately, the Bible does explain, in relatively simple terms, HOW God created us.




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  24. Re Ron’s Quote

    “Lest my good friend, Ken, brand me a dogmatist, let me remind him that all organisations have the right to maintain a system of beliefs, or what can be referred to as ‘rules and regulations.’ His (Kens) profession is no denier of this fact. We allow all (everyone) the freedom to think as he or she wishes (with the ensuing consequences), but we cannot allow those who join us to remake the organisation according to their ideas, opinions, and practices. No world systems, in business or nature, cannot survive if this were not the case. Changes may come about, yes; but they cannot come by blatant disregard of, or for, the rules of engagement of the organisation.”

    Dear Ron

    This is not dogmatic at all but a totally valid point. Adventists as an organization have the right to establish and regulate their beliefs and practice. That is why a schism is likely coming between the conservative and progressive elements and Educate Truth may well be the wedge that ultimately drives them apart.

    Let us remember though that Jesus and Martin Luther were rebels that bucked convention. Are progressive Adventists so different in that regard? Are Drs. Pitman and Kime in their efforts to marry evidence to faith and not rely soley on sola scriptura?

    Have a great Sabbath my good friend
    Ken




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  25. Lorelei: Sorry to address your post yet again, but…Can you explain what different viewpoints are “still valid” when it comes to Creation? If it is theistic evolution, then you are quite mistaken–it is definitely not acceptable in the SDA church.

    Quote: “Whether God used evolution as a means to create over millions of years or spoke the world into being a few thousand years ago doesn’t really matter….”

    I beg to differ with you…It really does matter a great deal. It entirely changes our concept of our Creator from a powerful, loving God who mightily and instantly spoke the world into existence because He is God, to a weak, sadistic being who could only make a few imperfect one-celled animals that took matters into their own “hands” and developed on their own (and through violent means) to eventually become man while God helplessly looked on. Do you see why this issue matters?

    I hope so.




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  26. ken: Let us remember though that Jesus and Martin Luther were rebels that bucked convention. Are progressive Adventists so different in that regard?

    Yes, Ken, progressive Adventists are totally different. They are bucking the truth, not some meaningless convention. Truth is absolute–not optional.




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  27. Re Ron’s Quote

    “On the other hand, experience, empirical experience, has shown us that mankind is not only physical, but spiritual. The spiritual realm is just as real as the physical. What one chooses to do with this empirical, spiritual experience and evidence is certainly up to the individual.”

    Dear Ron

    That has a lovely, transcendent quality to it. And it does raise a legitimate issue as to whether such experiences imbue us with extra – empirical evidence that cannot be obtained through ‘mainstream’ science.

    My problem – from my own such experiences and the observations of others – is that such phenomena seem quite subjective to the individual. If 100 people experience God in different ways, or interpret the word of God differently, whose experience or interpretation should one rely upon?

    That I think is why Dr. Pitman is trying to corroborate his faith with empirical evidence, which I think is laudable. Science supplies an objective platform, independent of subjective, spiritual experience, to look at reality with non biased eyes.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  28. Re Faith’s Quote

    “Truth is absolute–not optional.”

    Dear Faith

    Thanks for your comments. Your conviction to your cause is very strong.

    I’ve never know anyone that knows the absolute truth. That notion seems to run counter to the Adventist notion of present truth which reveals more as time passes.

    Can any fallible human ever know the absolute truth?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  29. Ken: “Science supplies an objective platform, independent of subjective, spiritual experience, to look at reality with non biased eyes.”

    Really, Ken? I don’t see it that way. I think “science” has a huge bias in favor of evolution…which, by the way, is not even a proven theory.




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  30. Ken:

    Yes, Ken, we can know the absolute truth–at least as much as God has revealed to us. Which means we can know that Creation happened just as it says it did in the Bible.

    I realize that you probably don’t know a lot about the SOP, but our church has it–a revelation from God as to what is truth. That is why we can be so sure of what we believe. Just as the Jews were God’s chosen people during the Biblical era, so the SDA church is God’s remnant people today and He has revealed to us the truth that will save the world.

    Unfortunately knowing and practicing the truth involves a lot of self-sacrifice, which goes against the carnal nature, so many people don’t want to hear it, accept it, or practice it. So sad that they would rather enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and die the everlasting death of the sinner.




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  31. @ken: Let us remember though that Jesus and Martin Luther were rebels ….

    No Ken, your comparison is far from the mark.

    1. Jesus was no rebel. To live out of harmony with the rebellious is not to be a rebel.

    All the rest of the world were (and are) rebels. Christ was the only non-rebel that ever lived. He was the only one that was in harmony with the laws of the universe. The rest of the world had no such harmony. It is only as we surrender fully to God’s law as revealed in His word and in nature that we ourselves leave our rebel status.

    2. Furthermore, biology professors who believe and teach the currently politically correct view of the origin of the earth that includes evolutionary processes and billions and millions of years of time cannot be compared to a Martin Luther bravely standing alone and braving the displeasure of the “greats” of the world.

    Shane and Dr. Pitman are more in the Martin Luther mode.




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  32. Phil Mills: 1. Jesus was no rebel. To live out of harmony with the rebellious is not to be a rebel.
    All the rest of the world were (and are) rebels. Christ was the only non-rebel that ever lived. He was the only one that was in harmony with the laws of the universe. The rest of the world had no such harmony. It is only as we surrender fully to God’s law as revealed in His word and in nature that we ourselves leave our rebel status.

    Very true, Phil. I totally agree. Jesus appeared to be a rebel to the status quo at the time, but in actual fact they were the rebels against God’s law. They enacted many nit-picky laws of their own making and ignored the ones God had laid down.

    In much the same way, the controversy surrounding the belief in Creation exists because a rebel element in the world(evolutionists for one example) do not want to acknowledge their Creator as they don’t want to be obligated to do what He asks of them.

    Great comment Phil.




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  33. Getting back to the subject at hand, Shane is right that the joint statement is no concession whatsoever. The Darwinists at LaSierra have always wanted to teach Darwinism with, at best, a passing mention that the SDA Church doesn’t agree with it, but believes in creation strictly by faith alone. That’s exactly what they propose to do in this “joint statement” (which is actually a statement by not all of the biology faculty and only four members of the board of trustees).

    What baffles me is the NAD response to this thinly veiled intransigence. Why do they seem to be positive toward it? Either Dan Jackson and Larry Blackmer are not bright enough to come in out of the rain, or they’ve capitulated to the Darwinists, or there is some stratagem involved. I pray it is the latter.




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  34. How can one know when evidence, whether physical or spiritual, is right and correct to follow?

    For starters, certainly not by persuasion of argument or dexterity of language. Secondly, certainly not just by persuasion of individual experience, be it first hand or otherwise. Thirdly, certainly not just by accumulated knowledge and learning; and finally, certainly not just by observation and experimentation.

    Now while several of these factors certainly are essential in arriving at what is right and ‘true’, They cannot be solely depended on to validate the ‘truth’ of origins. Why? Simply because man is not an empty evolved creature as the atheists would have us believe.

    Evidence and experience tell us that man is a composite, complex, and spiritual being made by his Creator and endowed with all the faculties learning, perceiving, understanding, and assessing knowledge.

    When man sinned against his Creator he lost this ability to reason perfectly from cause to effect. More than that, when man ‘fell,’ (into sin and rebellion)he came under the guidance or ‘spell’ of Lucifer. Of course God intervened to win man back to Himself, but man was nevertheless under the deception of Lucifer who constantly seeks to pervert his judgment, especially when they relate to God.

    So in order for man to know when his judgments are right and safe to follow, (I am speaking here on origins and science, or learning) God gave man a guide that is supernatural, and that is, the Bible. By supernatural I mean that it (the Bible) is outside the realm of human making. By this guide man is to judge every thought, every experience, and every scientific observation. Sin has robbed man of the ability to instinctively know what is wrong and even what is right. This is why God gave man a more sure guide than what he himself (man) can come up with by his own senses.

    So, my friend Ken, how can we know when an experience, be it spiritual or otherwise, is safe to follow in matters relating to God, truth, and origins? By testing that experience by what the Bible says. You may call it Sola Scriptura. By the Scriptures first and foremost. If any experience, or experiment, contradicts the Word of God then it is safe to dismiss that experience or experiment. This is the difference between biblical Christians and atheists and agnostics. Atheists and agnostics are earth bound only! Biblical Christians are more. We earth and heaven bound. The two (atheists and biblical Christians) can never harmonize.

    For this reason it is a waste of time for our administration to constantly try to harmonize with those among us that reject our philosophy. Either they accept fully and teach fully what we believe, or they must be led to quit and join another group that agrees with them. The sooner we demand this option the better for them and the better and safer for us and our children.




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  35. Good point, David Read. How can we get our administrators to stand completely for our Adventist values in dealing with those who refuse to comply with our beliefs while working in our system?

    Over and over we have compromised in standing up for the truth. When we put men into office who have a pattern of doing this we cannot of course expect fortitude and resolution in times of difficulty. The sooner we recognize that the grass roots, the constituency, have the power and right to prayerfully, under the guidance of God’s Word, put into office those who will stand firm for God under any situation, the better.

    It’s like the US situation. The plebiscite is constantly putting men into office who are hell bent on destroying the constitution and the rule of law (according to the constitution); we Adventists seem to be doing similarly. We are often putting people into office (we also do so by refusing to remove them from office) who are not champions in the truth of God. God will eventually intervene by taking matters into his own hands and expose those who are for him and those who are not. In the meanwhile we must seek always to work along with God regardless of the difficulties we experience in our organization.




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  36. Read said……

    “Either Dan Jackson and Larry Blackmer are not bright enough to come in out of the rain, or they’ve capitulated to the Darwinists, or there is some stratagem involved. I pray it is the latter.”

    It is some of both, no doubt. Our leaders are not biblical theologians. For the most part, they are administrators. Ambiguity is the key to compromise. The less definitive you can be, the more you can convolute the matter and avoid any substancial conclusion.

    By the way, does anyone see the spirit of Rome here in the way these administrators hope to resolve this issue?

    And finally, when it comes to “science”, there are several definitions of how science is used and its various meanings.

    There is, of course, natural law science. It is based on nature and the laws of nature. But we must also understand there is the “science of salvation” based on the bible and it is a spiritual science.

    The two sciences are a parallel and contrast when considered together. As bible Christians, we consider the science of salvation based on the bible as the final arbiter of what we may discover in nature, even though we believe natural science is not contrary to the bible.

    The main reason should be obvious. Natural law does not allow for miracles. Anything miraculous by way of natural law, must be explained by natural law itself in the carnal world of science. It does not allow for miracles by way of the bible definition.

    God can not be explained solely by natural law. And the “science of salvation” includes the existence and actions of the God who created all things, and is over and above and outside all things created.

    This, the evolutionist will never admit for all the obvious reasons. And we need not patronize their conclusions nor even try to explain everything by natural law.

    We need not teach evolution as a viable option, but oppose it completely and clearly as an antichrist, anti-bible concept that can not and will not be embraced by the SDA community.

    And then say to society, “Is that clear?”

    There are no “Well, maybe’s”. or any other less definitive explanation of what we teach or why or how we are going to teach it. Most of us are sick to death of the double talk and are saying, “Enough is enough”.

    Quit playing games, deal with it.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath and keep the faith.

    We do this because “In the beginnning, God created……in six literal days and rested on the Sabbath, and commands us to do the same.”

    The bible is more than clear enough. It is the devil who creates “Well, maybe’s”

    Bill Sorensen




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  37. Shane, I still think we need a thread to discuss the Sabbath School lessons for this quarter.

    I think the present understanding of Galatians in general is even part of the problem of the spiritual condition of the church today.

    The spirituality of the church is reflected in the many issues that are becoming more and more dynamic. The creation/evolution dialogue is simply one of these issues. Eccumenism and the celebration movement in all their varied meanings and applications is equally destructive to bible Christanity.

    Bill Sorensen




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  38. It seems to me that modern science is self-defined as strictly materialistic so how can it be compared to anything else? It’s a closed system.
    I think that creation v evolution is a matter of epistemology AND perception AND empiricism AND semantics AND perhaps ego.
    Perhaps a course called “critical thinking” could be taught addressing the two systems of thought, approaching the question from other disciplines, e.g. history, philosophy, logic, linguistics, social science, physical science et al.




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  39. @Lorelei:
    Words mean things…for in six days means 6 days, not some millions of years. My G_d can speak things into existence or form them out of dust, breathe the breath of life into them and man became a living soul. Only a cruel tyrant would ‘use evolution’ to create (so called). Please, there is no compromise!




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  40. @Shane Hilde: Do the words “the enemy within” ring a bell? The wheat and the tares grow up together is not limited to the church building. I’m convinced these SDA in name only teachers will be in our schools to the end. It’s up to us to inform our kids, to prepare them for this enemy within.

    Unfortunately they are not limited to biology. My daughter’s psych teacher (with an impressive doctorate degree, see what EGW says about that)asked the students, “how many times do they masturbate per day?” My wife called the department and they defended him of course. Again, what did EGW say about self abuse? This man is performing the same service at the catholic priest in the confessional to young women.
    I still pray that our schools are the place for our young people, but it is very tough.
    I appreciate your keeping this one issue alive among some of us in the SDA church. You are a last day John the Baptist and there will come others as well. Keep it up brother!




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  41. @Tom Harebottle: The theology department is rife with professors who reject much of what we hold to be true. A friend of mine witnessed on religion professor throw a Bible, refer to God in the feminine, and relegate the Bible to just another myth.

    I’m not aware of any religion professor at LSU that believes in the biblical creation, but I am aware or at least 4 that do not.

    The psych department is very humanistic as is most of the departments.

    We’re here to educate people about the truth of what is happening so they can make an informed decision.




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  42. Lorelei: “Whether God used evolution as a means to create over millions of years or spoke the world into being a few thousand years ago doesn’t really matter….”

    The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God….Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic.

    Selected Messages Book 1, Page 48




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  43. @Shane Hilde: At least we can take hope that our G_d is coming soon…at least that’s what all this controversy in our church and its schools leads me to believe. Lift up our heads, our redemption draweth nigh!!!!




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  44. I think we need to realize that at least some of this discussion and dialogue concerning creation vs. evolution is simply a “red herring” to divert our attention from more subtle and destructive errors coming into the church.

    I think most of us know that very few solid bible believing SDA’s are presently affected by all this discussion. They all agree with how we understand the Genesis account.

    And I also believe it is necessary to deal with this issue and the sooner the better, even if it divides the church. But we need to move on to more subtle issues and deal with them accordingly with equal zeal and demand accountability of church leaders on these issues as well.

    Some churches support the ordination of women and some oppose it. How can anyone who opposes the ordination of women, evangelize a non-SDA and recommend becoming a member of the SDA movement when “the church” can not decide what is true or false on moral issues?

    For those of us who oppose the ordination of women, our conscience will not allow us to consider the issue as indifferent or a non-salvational issue. For the liberals who consider it a non-salvational issue, they can go to any church they want and feel comfortable in the fellowship.

    Since liberals control the church, a conservative believer must violate their conscience at worst, or find themselves expressing opposition to the church they attend and be called trouble makers and devisive.

    The same principle applies to the celebration movement with lowered dress standards, jewelry, worldly music, etc….

    We are spiritually offended by what Satan has done in the church and even more offended that our leaders condone it and refuse to oppose it.

    I have a jail ministry and every Sabbath afternoon I visit the same pod and give a bible study. When they see the Sabbath, state of the dead, and issues surrounding the second coming, and they ask me about my church and where it is, how do I warn them of the apostacy in my church and still try to convince them we are the “remnant” church?

    And how can we not call the SDA church of today “Babylon” when the confusion is so obvious we have to close our eyes not to see it?

    So what do I do? I tell them the only “church” they must be sure to be a member of is the church of heaven that is created by the bible and those who believe it. And from there, the Holy Spirit can take them where ever He wants them to go. I never tell them not to go to a SDA church. But I do tell them the devil has entered every denomination on the face of the earth including the SDA church.

    WDYT

    Bill Sorensen




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  45. Bill, you’re right that the heresy of Seventh-day Darwinism isn’t subtle at all. But no other error cold be more destructive to a church that was established primarily to call Christians to worship on the day that God hallowed as a memorial to his creation of the world.

    Ellen White tells us that the Sabbath will be a testing truth in the time of the end. I think this is because it is so clear cut. Unlike some other doctrines, the Sabbath doctrine has no complex moving parts. It is based upon a very clear “thus saith the Lord: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

    For the same reason, the SDA Church should be very clear in its internal governance on this issue. If you teach against a creation in six literal days, you are undercutting the Sabbath, and our church was established in large measure to bring the Sabbath truth to the world’s attention. This is not something that the church can afford to tolerate or coddle.

    That is why I’m puzzled by the NAD statement that seems to be saying that it is okay to teach Darwinism as scientific truth, and that all we need are bridges of communication. “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” someone once said. But when you have Darwinist professors openly proselytizing for Darwinism at Adventist colleges, and the only NAD response is “we need more communication,” then NAD is sending the wrong message.




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  46. “By the way, does anyone see the spirit of Rome here in the way these administrators hope to resolve this issue?” — Bill

    Funny you should mention that, Bill, because I found this statement by Larry Blackmer, quoted in the Review, to be strange and a little spooky:

    “We’re pleased to see the dialogue move to a new and constructive level,” says Larry Blackmer, vice-president for education for the North American Division. “When you’re trying to build a bridge, you pay special honor to those who help engineer the foundations and the architecture that will support future traffic, and we consider this development one that has considerable positive potential.

    It is strange because the dialogue isn’t moving to a new and constructive level. The Darwinist professor are proposing to do just exactly what they have been doing all along: teaching Darwinism as truth, and if anyone asks about it, admit that the church believes—by faith alone—something very different.

    The stuff about building bridges I find a bit spooky, because the term “pontiff” literally means “bridge builder.”

    Anyone who is not actually a civil engineer and is obsessively concerned about bridge-building may be running for pope.




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  47. Shane Hilde: @David Read: I’m curious why so few board members are put their name on this document. And of all the names on their I’m surprised it’s those four.

    I also am surprised by the Board members’ names. Why so few?

    And, aren’t two of them the “sisters of Satan” mentioned on the tape?




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  48. This is a sad, sad day for the Adventist church and what it really stands for. But, in reality, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise. We have been plainly told that at the end of time a great “shaking” will occur and that many will be shaken out–that some of our “brightest lights” will go out, that some we have loved and trusted will “walk with us no more.” Then, we are told to “look up, for (our) redemption draweth nigh.” It is a sad–but glorious–time in which to be living!

    Of course, we need to do everything we can to draw those who are slipping away back to the wonderful message God, in His great mercy, has given us. But we also have to be realistic and accept the sad fact that the majority will not listen. I, personally, thank God for the hard work Shane and Sean have done. It may seem as though it hasn’t done much good as far as LSU (and apparently some of our other schools) is concerned but it has surely awakened many of us to take “another look” at where WE stand in this conflict. Are WE “standing on the Rock” ourselves or are we wandering down other “strange pathways?”

    The story is told of a little boy who lived during the Great Depression. Money was very tight then and you could buy a quart of milk (fresh from free roaming, healthy cows) for 15 cents and a loaf of homemade bread for ten cents.(This was in the days before everything you bought was taxed. I lived back then so I know.)

    I never met him and never heard his name so I just call him “Little Lad.” According to the story, when he went to the tiny grocery store with his mother one day on the corner down the street (which was nothing like your modern grocery store) he spied the most wonderful thing he had ever seen in his short life. It was a SILVER WHISTLE! It even had a silver chain which you could wear around your neck so you wouldn’t lose it! It cost ten cents–a ten cents he didn’t have and Mother didn’t have it to spare for a whistle as much as she wanted to do it, They needed bread instead of a whistle!

    The weeks went by and then it was Little Lad’s birthday. Mother and Father talked it over and decided to give him 10 cents for his birthday. They told him he could spend it for anything he wanted–knowing full well what it would be spent for! But first they pointed out to him all the things he needed. Then Mother took him to the store and in minutes the beloved whistle was around his neck and in his arms was the little stand it had rested on all these many weeks.

    He blew it on the way home, he blew it after he got home and for the next several days he blew it so much the family was sick and tired of it but no one said a word. Then one morning he woke up, picked up his whistle and blew–but something was wrong! Instead of the lovely whistle sound he loved–it “growled!” He looked it all over and could see nothing wrong so he blew again–the same “growl.” He panicked–then he thought of Father. He would take it to him for Father could fix anything!

    Father, who was expecting this, carefully looked it over–then looked at his young son. “Laddie, he said, “I’m so sorry but your whistle cannot be fixed.” Then he had Little Lad look through the mouth piece. There were red specks that covered the inside of the whistle. “Those red specks are rust, son. Every time you blew your whistle a little bit of moisture went into your whistle and caused it to rust. No one can do anything to fix it. I am so sorry, but your whistle will never blow again.”

    For several minutes Little Lad hid his face in Father’s shirt and wept bitterly. Finally he raised his head and said, “Father, Father, I guess-I-paid-too-much-for- my-whistle!”

    Friends, Satan has millions of “:silver whistles” out there for every “avenue to our souls.” The way we think, the things we read or watch on TV, the things we eat, the things we wear, the things we listen to, the things we touch, the things we spend our money on–and any other aspect of our lives. Satan’s “silver whistles” are constantly being waved before our eyes. We may be staunch Creationists but that alone will not insure us a place in heaven. It must be total surrender in every aspect of our lives! Have I reached that point in my life? FAR FROM IT! And the Holy Spirit has been saying loud and clear to me–PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH, Lydian! (As my Grandma use to say, “The pot can’t call the kettle black, dear!”)

    Some day, I think sooner than we expect, the heavens are going to be “rolled back like a scroll” and the small little cloud will be seen. When it reaches us (it will be a huge cloud then) which group will we be in–those who will joyfully welcome His approach or among the ones who bow their heads in shame and say, “Father, Father, I-guess-I-paid-too-much-for-my-“whistle!”

    I know I have a LOT necessary work to do in my life! How about you?




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  49. Lydian said…..

    “I know I have a LOT necessary work to do in my life! How about you?”

    Lydian(Quote)

    No spiritually minded person thinks for a New York minute they “keep the law” in such a way that it is flawless.

    We do our best, and Jesus makes up the difference. EGW.

    And we all have a lot of work to do to get ready and be ready for Jesus to come. None the less, as I tell my class in jail, if we are in the process of getting ready, we are ready. And if we think we are ready, we cease to get ready.

    This enigma and paradox is typical of bible truth in many of its teachings and exhortations. When Luther discovered the paradox, he stated, “We are righteous and sinful at one and the same time.”

    EGW concurs when she stated, “In ourselves we are sinners, but in Christ we are righteous.”

    You don’t resolve the paradox. You understand it and learn how a Christian lives with this reality.

    Wesley correctly stated, (probably from Rom. 6) “Sin remains, but does not reign.” And this is Paul’s point precisely in Romans 7.

    The Protestant Scottish confession of faith has this to say…..

    “While no Christian keeps even one law perfectly, all true believers keep all the law to the best of their ability.”

    And finally, EGW said…..

    ” Are you in Christ? Not if you do not acknowledge yourselves erring, helpless, condemned sinners.” The Faith I live By, page 94

    We can never get beyond this reality.

    Now I know the Sabbath is the “final test.”

    But if we think we can ignore and fail every other “test” and somehow keep the Sabbath in the end, we are simply fooling ourselves. Like a student who fails every quiz and test all year and hopes he can pass the final exam at the end.

    And we need to understand that any “minor” issue in our minds is Satan’s tool to undermine the bible Sabbath in the end.

    There are no “salvational issues” and “non-salvational issues” in the bible. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

    God did not leave the issue of what is salvational and what is not up to sinful human mortals to decide for themselves what is important and what is not.

    Would we divide the church over trivial matters? Absolutely. The whole Christian community considers the “day” aspect of the Sabbath as trivial. They consider the major issue is “resting in Christ” and the “day” not worth dividing the Christian community over.

    As SDA’s, we hopefully think differently. Sad to say, more and more “nominal Adventists” are beginning to think otherwise. We need to be zealous in defending every “jot and tittle” of the word of God, or we will eventually adhere to the eccumenical movement and decide Adventism is far to strict and we need to “chill out” spiritually.

    If we value our reputation in the church above the word of God and loyalty to His truth, we are, as Jesus said, “Not worthy of Him.”

    The shaking is not coming. The shaking is here. And it will only intensify as we come closer and closer to the end.

    The angel said to EGW, “Get ready, get ready, get ready.” This statement retains its full dynamic right up to the time we see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven.

    There is a false carnal assurance being taught in the church today that has no affinity to the assurance taught in the bible. And we can know it for a fact by the one simple test Jesus has stated, “By their fruits, ye shall know them.”

    Decade after decade the law has been continually “dumb down” more and more with the ongoing assurance, we need not fear any judgment as long as we profess faith in Jesus. The fruit of this false gospel is clear and plain to any objective spiritually minded person.

    Bill Sorensen




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  50. Why does the SDA Church often speak with a forked tongue these days? We have done this on righteousness by faith, on abortion, and now on creation. Where will it all end? Doesn’t anyone have a backbone anymore? Sweeping problems under the rug to fester doesn’t solve anything!




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  51. Let me elaborate further on what I stated above. First, the leadership of the SDA Church affirmed three mutually contradictory “gospels”: Last Generation Theology (sinless perfectionism), Reformation Theology (forensic justification), and moral influence theory (the cross as only an example). These three views of salvation cannot possibly all be correct, but yet they are all quite acceptable in the SDA Church.

    Then the leadership of the SDA Church tried to be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time. It released its “Guidelines on Abortion” that state: “The Church does not condone abortion for birth control, gender selection, or convenience.” But yet it has allowed certain Adventist hospitals to perform abortions for these very reasons.

    Now we have SDA leaders who affirm young life creationism, but give our educational institutions a green light to teach theistic evolution.

    I’m not mentioning these things because I want to be critical. I’m a loyal Adventist Christian, and I would like to affirm our leadership. But what Jesus said is so true: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25, NIV) It’s time to wake up, because huge compromises like this cannot continue without dire consequences. The warning lights are flashing, and unless our church gets some backbone, we are heading for a spiritual shipwreck!




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  52. Bob, interesting thoughts. For over a year now, I’ve been preaching a sermon entitled “the two Adventist Churches” about how there is a traditional Adventist church and a liberal church within the church.

    I’ve been more interested in the origins issue, but I was very shaken, a few years ag, to hear a rejection of substitutionary atonement from an Adventist pastor of a major Adventist church. It’s interesting that sinless perfectionism is the enthusiasm of hyper conservatives while moral influence theory is an enthusiasm of hyper liberals, but both ideas share a focus on Christ as example and a rejection of Christ as savior and substitute.

    Still, the creation issue is simpler and more clear cut than even these core gospel issues. I can’t understand where the confusion is coming from.

    Pray for me, that I will have wisdom, discernment, love, self-control, self- discipline, motivation, and perseverance. I mean that sincerely.




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  53. David, I will be glad to pray for you. Please pray for me also; I make that request very sincerely. We definitely need to stand up for truth at this time, but we also need to speak the truth in love. And we need to pray for those who are in error because God loves them too!

    What you are saying about sinless perfectionism and the moral influence theory is quite true. Both emphasize Christ as Example to the exclusion of Christ as Substitute. And while we usually think of sinless perfectionists as ultra-conservative and moral influence theorists as ultra-liberal, these neat categories don’t always hold up, because some of the otherwise liberal, moral influence people actually affirm sinless perfectionism. I’ve seen this occur more than once! In fact, in spite of their constant pleas for kindness and tolerance, liberals are often the most judgmental and legalistic people around.

    But I agree with you that the creation/evolution issue is easier to understand that issues in soteriology. Even a person with a grade school education can understand the difference between God creating life and the biosphere in six literal days and the human race and other life forms evolving from lower organisms over vast eons of time. Sadly, I don’t think that we are dealing with confusion on this matter. I’m not even convinced that it’s strictly traditional church versus liberal church. What we have is one group of people who are truly converted and another group who are not. One group is sincere in wanting to follow Christ and His Word regardless of cost to themselves, while the other group is made up of people pleasers. This can only lead to a shaking. I don’t know what direction our denominational leadership will ultimately take. Our educational institutions and even our denominational organization may end up in a spiritual shipwreck. But we can be assured that God will have a faithful people who will stand up boldly for His Word and for His commandments and faith in Jesus. That group may end up being very small, but with God’s help, let’s determine to be among them!




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  54. Let us remember though that Jesus and Martin Luther were rebels that bucked convention. Are progressive Adventists so different in that regard? Are Drs. Pitman and Kime in their efforts to marry evidence to faith and not rely soley on sola scriptura?Have a great Sabbath my good friendKen

    Jesus and Martin Luther were rebels against humnistic philosophy, and both upheld God’s Law. As do Dr. Pitman and Shane.

    Progressive SDA’s uphold secular humanistic philosophies such as evolution, gay marriage, etc. And they “reinterpret” God’s Law to fit such beliefs.

    There is a real difference in the groups!




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  55. What you will find difficult to “break through” in the minds of most people who attend any church is this. They can not and in some cases, will not consider the idea that loyalty to “their church” is not, ipso facto, loyalty to Christ.

    The Jews could not and would not, even after the Christ event, and are still wait for their “Messiah”.

    The early church soon developed the same mentality and it evolved into the Papacy.

    Many, if not most Protestant denominations do the same thing.

    God ordained the SDA church to present a final message to the world. If we change the message, or refuse to do what God has stated, we will also be rejected as a church in the same way God will reject individuals. There is no “unconditional election” for any individual. And just so, there is no “unconditional election” for any church community.

    It would seem that many people think so. And because of the false idea, few are willing to demand accountability of their church leaders, even when they know they are wrong.

    I am not convinced that God has rejected the SDA church at this point. But I am convinced that He will unless more people understand the issue and act accordingly.

    Listen to EGW……

    “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . ” {LDE 59.3}

    To ignore this statement and its implications will guarantee the failure of the church to fulfill its ordained and God given message.

    People will do nothing, if they think they don’t need to. To insure the success of bible Adventism as God has ordained it to be presented by the church, the church must challenge itself continually in its understanding of its mission and message.

    Church leaders tend not to do this, but rather to work to maintain the statis quo at all cost. This is what we see at LSU.

    Bill Sorensen




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  56. “What you will find difficult to break through in the minds of most people who attend any church is this. They can not and in some cases, will not consider the idea that loyalty to ‘their church’ is not, ipso facto, loyalty to Christ.”

    Bill, that’s an interesting point, and also another point of paradoxical convergence between extreme conservatives and extreme liberals. I have often advised “Seventh-day Darwinians” to leave Adventism and join one of the churches–which include Catholicism and most of the mainline Protestant denominations–that have already made their peace with Darwinism. These churches still contain many sweet Christian people, and it ought to be much easier for Seventh-day Darwinians to join in fellowship those whom they have already joined in faith, rather than to try to get Darwinism accepted in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in which they have not only the straightforward reading of Scripture to contend with, but also the prophetic witness of Ellen White.

    When I urge this, people typically react as if I had gone just as far beyond the pale of acceptable discourse as if I had urged them to cook and eat their children. Obviously, at some level, they have deeply imbibed the idea that their soul’s salvation is dependent upon them continuing to identify with the Adventist Church. In essence, they believe that their sole (and soul) safety depends upon being a member of a church with the name “Seventh-day Adventist” even as they publicly and categorically reject the very doctrines that give meaning to that name, and that alone justify the continued existence of our church as a separate denomination.

    I can only conclude that somewhere along the way, they came to believe the bleakest, most extreme evaluation of the non-Adventist churches, and that that belief subconsciously rules them, overruling a more rational or reason-based evaluation of what would be an appropriate Christian fellowship for them.




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  57. That is exactly right, David. Isn’t it duplicity to expect other churches and their members to challenge their belief system and when we expose non-biblical errors, we expect them to abandon their church.

    Do they say, “Well, we see errors in our belief system, but we are not worried, God will work it out?” And would we commend them for such a response? I think not.

    Yet this is how many, if not most SDA’s respond when they see errors and apostacy in the SDA church. We expect others to accept their personal moral accountability in their relationship to their church, and make a decision to act in a dynamic and positive way by seperating from their community.

    What if Luther had developed this attitude?
    He could have said, “Oh well, I know the Pope is the antichrist, but I will remain loyal to the church because God will work it out.”

    I am not sure we can claim a precise parallel. None the less, the principle is obvious that can not simply say, “Oh well, God will work it out.” And then go on, business as usual.

    We have abandon our moral accountability to God and placed “the church” over and above God. So again, EGW has well said….

    “For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel’s message, in clear, distinct lines.”–Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91-93. (1896) {Ev 191.3}

    If this was true in her day, and it was, we can be more than certain it is doubly true today. The church never could have degenerated into the law spiritual level it is in today had lay members been more active in demanding accountability of their leaders.

    We might expect it in civil politics and civil governments, where people eventually choose not to vote because they feel the choices are slim and none. And we see the result in our government today.

    When the church follows the same format, the same results occur. So, Jesus said, “While men slept, the enemy sowed tares.” What causes the final shaking in Adventism?

    “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” {CET 176.1}

    We may lose LSU, and even the whole southern Calif. conference before this is all over. The Loma Linda channel on satelite TV is a disgrace to Christanity and a double disgrace to bible Adventism.

    And in some ways, The Hope channel isn’t much better. Even 3ABN is becoming iffy in some of its programing.

    I know in spite of all this, God is still useing certain aspects of these ministries to advance His kingdom. But he uses Billy Graham and other means as grace as well. We need a far higher sense of what God’s will is for His church in these last days. Any error, be it ever so small, will undermine the moral motivation needed to create the final community of bible believers to go through the time of trouble without a mediator.

    People left the church, David, in EGW’s day. Not today. They don’t need to. Errors are not only believed, but many in high level positions of influence and authority are the very ones who hold these errors and advocate them as well.

    A final principle we need to consider is this. Those who will not discipline evil, will in the end, discipline righteousness.

    Maybe you have already seen this in action. I have in more than a few cases. And I know some of you have as well.

    Bill Sorensen




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  58. I must take issue with the statement that “there will be no Darwinists in heaven.” Reception of Jesus as Lord and Savior is the basis for entering heaven, and God is able to save people in spite of their mistaken ideas. So a Darwinist who truly clings to Jesus in faith will be saved. The basic theological problem with Darwinism is that it often turns people away from Jesus. After all, if Adam and Eve and their fall into sin are fiction, as Darwinism implies, then it logically follows that a Savior from sin is also fiction. Fortunately, the human mind is capable of believing logically contradictory concepts, and there are some people are willing to perform the mental gymnastics that are necessary to combine Darwinism with Christian faith. But for many others, the inconsistencies between Darwinism and Christianity represent a gulf that is too wide to bridge, and they lose their faith. This is the basic danger that Darwinism poses to Christianity, and it is a very real danger. Fortunately, the attempt to marry Darwinism with Christianity is not necessary, because (contrary to what we are often told), there is good scientific evidence for creation and a world-wide flood as described in Genesis.




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  59. Dear Shawna

    I wish I could be as certain as you as to who gets to heaven. But it strikes me that if it is based on belief versus goodness it would be quite unjust.

    I watched a very interesting documentary on Mother Teresa. Now, although I am not a Christian and no doubt do not deserve a place in heaven, to deny Mother Teresa a place would make a mockery of God’s heart. On this point I am in full accord with Sean’s espoused Royal Law of Love. I think all of us of all stripes of faith and non faith alike should aspire to it. I sincerely hope you can.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  60. Thanks for your comment Shawna.

    Hopefully, we are all aware that any honest truth seeking person who has not either understood some aspects of truth, or even had an opportunity to know what truth is, can and will be saved.

    This excludes the vast majority who neither know the truth nor seek to know it.
    Their ignorance is inexcusable. This certainly includes most who live in the USA.

    People are hoping for some generic religion so they can claim ignorance and still be saved. It won’t happen.

    The first rule of God’s kingdom for all moral created beings is individual moral accountability. This should be obvious in that many who rebelled with Lucifer were woefully ignorant of many things. None the less, they will suffer the consequences of their sin and rebellion precisely because they abandon this accountability to someone else.

    Adam claimed Eve deceived him. Eve claimed the serpent deceived her. But God held them accountable anyway. Why, because they abandon their accountability to some one or something else.

    Sin so easily deceives people into thinking that if they can somehow blame someone else for their irresponsible decisions, they can escape the judgments of God.

    I am more than willing for God to judge in all these issues of enlightenment and ignorance. But I sincerely doubt many, if any, are really ignorant of creation vs. evolution at LSU. And I would suspect that if they are, it will be considered by God as “willing ignorance” and thus He will still hold them accountable and accuse them of rebellion.

    What we see in this principle is this, “What must I do to be saved?” is never a dead question and applies to the Christian community as well as the world in general in an ongoing dynamic way.

    When this principle is abandon in the church, the church degenerates in a lower and lower state of spirituality as is clearly demonstrated in the SDA church today. I have seen it happen and so have you. When people are confronted by moral issues and they are questioned concerning their own personal convictions about it, the response often comes back, “Well, the church has decided……”

    Such people will be lost at last, even if what “the church has decided” is correct. Because as soon as “the church” is not correct, they will embrace falsehood by way of this false spiritual principle.

    Thanks again, Shawna. We can hope and pray more people will discern the dynamic of what you have stated.

    Bill Sorensen




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  61. Just a word of exhortation to Ken. There will be no agnostics in heaven. During this probation time is when we must carefully evaluate spiritual truth and make a decision for God and His kingdom.

    To choose not to decide, is to decide.

    Bill Sorensen




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  62. There will be no Darwinists in heaven. If there were going to be then it would be okay to allow Darwinism in the church. There would be no danger to our young people.
    __________________________________________
    Dear Shawna,

    Again I have to politely disagree. There will be many Sunday keepers in heaven, including Martin Luther, who is frequently mentioned in these blogs. But that doesn’t mean that we should abandon the Biblical Sabbath. The fact that some people will be saved in spite of their errors in no way inplies that those errors are of no spiritual consequence. People will be saved by Jesus Christ, not by their perfect doctrine or perfect knowledge. But any doctrine or theory that casts a shadow over Jesus Christ or that tends to cause people to reject Him is very dangerous indeed. And while I believe that some Darwinists will make it to heaven, I also believe that many, many more people will be lost eternally because of Darwinism. For 150 years, it has been one of Satan’s most potent tools to destroy faith in Christ, and it should not be taught as fact in any Adventist school.




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  63. Dear Bill and Shawna

    I was sad to see your comments and am genuinely worried for both of you.

    If heaven is indeed a place that would exclude truly good folks, then I would not enjoy the judgmental remnant that would end up there.

    Sometimes knowledge of the heart trumps that of the mind. I’ll say a little agnostic prayer for both of you.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  64. Ken, people are not saved by their works. Not even Mother Theresa will be saved by her works, if she is saved. The idea that the judgment consists of scales weighing good works on one side, and sins on the other side, is a thoroughly non-Christian concept.

    None of us is “good enough” to be saved. Rom. 3:23. No one can be saved by keeping the law. Rom 3:20. We are all dependent upon the grace of God manifest in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ. Rom 3:22-26. We can be saved only through faith in Christ. Eph. 2:6-9. Genuine faith always leads to the doing of good works (James 2:14-17), but those works do not save (Gal. 2:16). Only Jesus saves. Gal. 2:21, 3:11 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12.




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  65. Bob Helm said…..

    ” There will be many Sunday keepers in heaven, including Martin Luther,……”

    In fact, Bob, there will be no Sunday keepers in heaven. Nor liars, nor crooks, nor Sabbath breakers……etc.

    No one breaks the law in heaven.

    If you mean some on earth who have not understood or heard about the Sabbath and kept Sunday as a holy day, will repent when they hear the truth before they get to heaven, will be in heaven, then yes, we agree.

    I fear the meaning I have explained is not the one many if not most SDA’s believe today. They apparently believe sin will be continued in heaven. Which is wrong.

    So, no, there will be no Sunday keepers in heaven. In fact, when Jesus comes, there will be no Sunday keepers among the living who will go to heaven.

    If you don’t believe this, you are not an historic SDA. EGW would consider you a “nominal” Adventist. Meaning, an Adventist in name only.

    You reflect the modern “dumb down” Adventism of today that fail to see the real dynamic of the historic message our pioneers understood and proclaimed.

    Bill Sorensen




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  66. David Read said…..

    “The idea that the judgment consists of scales weighing good works on one side, and sins on the other side, is a thoroughly non-Christian concept.”

    But in fact, David, this is exactly what the bible teaches.

    What do you think this statement means and is EGW in harmony with the bible.

    “n the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . .” {LDE 59.3}

    The judgment according to works is precisely and exactly what will determine the salvation of every soul. And there is a good and practical reason this is true.

    Every Christian and God knows no one can keep the law who does not have a biblical faith in Christ.

    Everything the law commands can only become a reality in the life of a true believer in Christ.

    So, in one place EGW has said….

    “The only question that God will ask in the judgment is, ‘Have they kept my commandments'”? This is the basis of the final verdict.

    If we are saved “by faith alone” in the initial experience by way of the sovereignty of God, because he knows if we have true bible faith, we will do the works, even so, we are saved by “works alone” in the final judgment for no one without bible faith can do the will of God.

    Read carefully the chapter on the IJ in the GC and you will surely see the point.

    Bill Sorensen




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  67. Bob Helm also said…..

    “People will be saved by Jesus Christ, not by their perfect doctrine or perfect knowledge…”

    To play off knowledge and doctrine against salvation by Jesus Christ is a false dilemma.

    Jesus saves us by way of doctrine and knowledge. You don’t even know who Jesus is except by doctrine and knowledge.

    And Bob, if people are not saved by “perfect doctrine”, how are they saved? By faulty doctrine?

    Or perhaps like Wisbey said, “Since when are we saved by doctrine?”

    In his case, it could only be interpreted as saying, “Believe anything you want, just profess faith in Christ (sic).”

    Sad to say, much of Adventism has presented a false scenario of salvation that has produced people like Wisbey and a host of others. If you want to see the fruit of modern Adventism, just go read a few posts on Spectrum and A-today.

    Faulty theology always breeds a faulty spirituality. And a faulty spirituality ends in the loss of souls.

    Hopefully, you will see from the following illustration something of value in explaining salvation.

    A man traveling across the desert and is in dire need of water.

    He finds a well, but has no way of obtaining what he needs to get the water out. Looking about, he sees a shed and on examination he finds a bucket and a rope.

    He uses these to obtain the needed water and thus, he is “saved” from death.

    What he needs is water to be saved. Is the bucket and rope a part of his salvation?

    Absolutely. If Jesus is the water, then the bucket and rope represents the means of grace we use to appropriate the blessing.

    So, we are “saved” by reading the bible, prayer, fellowship, going to church and a host of other means of grace that God has ordained for our salvation. And keeping the ten commandment law is equally important in this salvation process.

    In the Protestant Reformation, these would be called “instrumental causes for salvation”. Faith would be included as the hand that reaches out to receive the blessing. Faith is instrumental and a necessary component to justification and salvation. Not because faith, or any other means of grace can “merit and earn” salvation, but because they are the moral obligation and requirement of the human factor.

    To claim we are not saved by obedience to the law, is as faulty as claiming the dying man seeking water was not saved by the bucket and rope.

    Christ alone merited and earned for us the gift of heaven. This in no way negates the human factor and man’s accountability to “save himself” by every means of grace God has ordained that he may lay hold of this priceless gift.

    Notice this EGW comment….

    “When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.”

    {RH, January 28, 1909 par. 18}

    You will not find this quote or anything like it in our new lessons on Galatians.

    Why? Because it does not reflect the new modern theology that teaches salvation apart from the works of the law.

    Man is not only saved to obey, he is saved by obedience. Who is so foolish as to think anyone can be saved while denying the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    Think about it.

    Bill Sorensen




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  68. Re Bill’s Quote’s

    “A man traveling across the desert and is in dire need of water.

    He finds a well, but has no way of obtaining what he needs to get the water out. Looking about, he sees a shed and on examination he finds a bucket and a rope.

    He uses these to obtain the needed water and thus, he is “saved” from death.

    What he needs is water to be saved. Is the bucket and rope a part of his salvation?

    Absolutely. If Jesus is the water, then the bucket and rope represents the means of grace we use to appropriate the blessing.”

    Hello Bill

    I liked the metaphor. Might I suggest a variation.

    The bottom has rusted out of the doctrinal bucket. Man ties shirt to rope and lowers shirt into well. Man drinks from wrung out shirt.

    Maybe there is more than one way to salvation 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  69. Bob Helm: So a Darwinist who truly clings to Jesus in faith will be saved.

    I’m sorry, I have to disagree with you there. People who deny Jesus as Creator will not be saved. They aren’t going to cling to Jesus. And why would God save anyone who denies His divinity and power in such a basic way. What would the Darwinists do in heaven? Do you think they would be in total fellowship with creationists? I don’t think so. The only way they will be saved is to give up Darwinism and accept Creationism–and then they will not be Darwinists anymore.




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  70. Faith, you seem to think perfect theology and perfect knowledge are prerequisites to salvation. You simply are not willing to admit that God can save people who still have some growing to do. We are not saved by giving up Darwinism; we are saved by Jesus Christ, and as we grow in Christ, we will hopefully see the problems Darwinism poses and give it up. You are putting the cart before the horse! As Ellen White stated, We Christians “have much to learn and much to unlearn.” Do you really think you have a corner on God and that your knowledge of Him is infallible? Salvation is not attained through perfect knowledge but through grace alone. Our place is to proclaim God’s truth and leave the judging to God. And I say these things as a committed creationist who firmly believes that creationism should be taught in Adventist schools.




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  71. Shawna, works are not the basis of salvation. The basis of salvation is grace, and works are its inevitable fruit. Consider these thoughts from Ellen White: “Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation then, is partly of debt, that it may be earned as wages. If man cannot by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesuys. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy.” (“Faith And Works,” p. 20)

    “Grace is unmerited favor, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer God. . . But while he is justified because of the merit of Christ, he is not free to work unrighteousness. Faith works by love and bears a harvest of precious fruit. Where faith is, good works appear.” (1SM 398)

    Also Fundamental Belief #18 states: “Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments.”

    This is the true Adventist position. In fact, it is the true Christian position. I rest my case and will say no more.




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  72. ken: Maybe there is more than one way to salvation

    The Bible tells us there is only one way to be saved. There isn’t a fancy menu we can choose from. We need to eat the Bread of Life and drink the Water of Life. These symbols represent Christ Jesus. We need to follow Him as perfectly as we can in our puny human strength, and then He will make up for our lack. That is the only way to salvation. By denying Jesus in any form, we unfit ourselves for heaven. Thus TE is contrary to faith in Christ and will lead the soul to ruin–not salvation.

    For some reason we, as human beings, think we can make or bend the rules to fit our own desires. But the rules ARE actually written in stone.

    The reason for this is to show that there is no changing or negating any of them. We have the choice to live according to them or to lose our eternal lives. Those are our only choices. People who have not kept these rules through ignorance will be judged on what they know and what they had the OPPORTUNITY to know–and don’t forget, God can read the heart–He knows who is WILLING to live up to all they know. Anyone who willfully refuses to keep these laws will pay the penalty with eternal death.

    Now, I know someone is going to say that is judgmental. Sorry, what it is is the truth. I am not here stating so-and-so is doomed. I am here giving the straight testimony as to what is truth and what isn’t. That is our duty to figure out, and in no way condemns me. This humanistic approach to religion is so bogus and dangerous; and many souls will be shipwrecked on these rocks.

    People know that God is a God of love and mercy and they forget that he is a God of justice as well. God doesn’t want any one of us to be lost, but He won’t save us against our wills. That is the crux of the whole situation. Are we willing to obey God, to live as He wants us to?

    He isn’t going to perpetuate discord in heaven. There would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross if heaven was going to accept sin and sinners. Although we have all sinned, only the redeemed (who are no longer sinners at that point) will be saved. God forces no man/woman to be redeemed against his/her will. And that, my friends, is where our power of choice comes into the whole plan of salvation.

    Remember: Narrow is the way to salvation, and few there be who find it.

    Ken, please heed the advice above. Agnostics will not be in heaven. It only makes sense. How can God accept someone in heaven who refuses to believe in Him? The last words in the Great Controversy says it all. It says that after the final judgment and the punishment of the wicked in the lake of fire, the universe will beat with one pulse once more.

    That is the whole point of the plan of redemption. God won’t like to destroy the wicked, but He will do it, to regain peace in the universe. When you think in terms of everlasting life, it is well worth it to eradicate sin and stop the suffering for once and for all. Then true happiness will reign supreme forever and ever.




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  73. Bob Helm: Faith, you seem to think perfect theology and perfect knowledge are prerequisites to salvation. You simply are not willing to admit that God can save people who still have some growing to do. We are not saved by giving up Darwinism; we are saved by Jesus Christ,…

    True, Bob, we are saved by Jesus Christ. And while we may not be saved by giving up Darwinism, we are lost by not doing so. As I have said many times, God cannot save anyone who doesn’t acknowledge Him as their Creator. That is why the Sabbath commandment is sooooo very important that it will divide the saved from the lost in the last days. By keeping the 7th day holy, we acknowledge Christ as our Creator. Read the 3 angels messages. Do you hear the call to give glory to our Creator and worship Him? A Darwinist refuses to do that–thereby disqualifying himself for God’s kingdom. Sorry if you think that is judgmental, but I didn’t make the rules–I merely state them.

    And when I talk about people being saved or lost, I refer to their final state. We all have growing to do every day of our lives. But when time runs out, and there is no more time to change, our fate is sealed. Again I ask: Are we willing to live as God wants us to? If not, we won’t be in heaven to ruin it for everyone else. Use the logic, Bob. 🙂




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  74. Bob, I rest MY case regarding the relative complexity of gospel issues versus the six-day creation. It seems the relation between faith and works will always be a source of disputation.

    I agree with you about faith and works, and also that Darwinism has not heretofore been disqualifying for salvation. However, if Adventist eschatology is correct about the Sabbath becoming a testing truth at the end, I think Faith is right that at that time Darwinism will seal the doom of it’s adherents, because they will not accept the Sabbath as an issue of principle, as a sign of faithfulness to the Creator.




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  75. Jennifer, I’m completely baffled by the firing of the board members. If Graham was about to jettison the three “sisters of Satan”, then why the positive comments in the Review about the “joint statement.”

    None of this makes any sense to me, starting with the idea that Lee Greer, who I knew in college, is clever enough to earn a Ph.D. 😉

    Seriously, though, a great many people are blundering around looking very foolish, including Graham, Blackmer, Jackson, etc. But it is important to bear in mind that this entire mess was, is, and will be the fault of those academics who somehow imagine that it is ethical, right, or decent to accept a salary from an Adventist institution while proselytizing for an utterly hostile worldview. Their insane rebellion is ultimately responsible for everything that has followed, and will follow.




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  76. David Read: I think Faith is right that at that time Darwinism will seal the doom of it’s adherents, because they will not accept the Sabbath as an issue of principle, as a sign of faithfulness to the Creator.

    I’m glad you agree with me, David, as I feel very strongly that our souls salvation depends on our total belief in Christ, His word, and His role as our Creator.

    However, I just want to clarify one thing: It is not only in the last days (which, by the way, we are in) that people need to acknowledge Christ as their Creator. It has been an issue since Darwin first injected this poison into society at large. Whether at the end of time or at the end of our own personal time (death) we need to have broken away from Darwinian beliefs or we will be lost (assuming, of course, that we have the knowledge required to do this). The reason I wanted to clarify this is that I don’t want anyone to wait to correct this situation until things develop further. The last movements will be rapid ones. There isn’t going to be a lot of time for changing then. We need to change as soon as we know that change is necessary. To put off any positive change is dangerous to our souls. Now is the acceptable time.

    Have a great day, everyone.




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  77. David, I agree with you. As I have already stated, Darwinism is very dangerous spiritually. And clearly, the issue of who we worship will be decisive at the end. Those who reject creation and the Sabbath will finally give their allegiance to the dragon and the beast, rather than to Jesus Christ. And those who choose the false christ over the true Christ certainly will be lost. I think we are on the same wavelength here!




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  78. These ladies have been a thorn in Wisbey’s side from the beginning from what I hear. I’m sure he and others are happy these ladies are off the board. I can’t account for why they put their names on the document, but they’re pro creation. Not surprised LSU finally got rid of them.

    Remember a year ago when there was a movement to remove three board members. Well at least two of the ones that were fired today were a part of those three. This has been in the works for a while I’m sure.




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  79. Can you harmonize this statement with your theology, Bob Helm?

    ““When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.”

    {RH, January 28, 1909 par. 18}

    Notice especially this line….”Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God.”

    Is EGW a “Legalist”? Do you discern the difference between the legal (meritorious) aspects of salvation and the moral requirement to keep the law to be saved?

    What is EGW opposing in your quote of her exhortation?

    “Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation then, is partly of debt, that it may be earned as wages. If man cannot by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesuys. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy.” (“Faith And Works,” p. 20)

    Notice Bob, she uses the words “purchase” and “merit”. She is well aware that no one can “buy” the gift of grace. No one can make God beholden to them.

    In no way does this deny the fact that man must obey the law to be saved.

    Salvation is provisional. This means the human agent must do something to obtain it. And “faith alone” will not suffice. He must obey the law.

    And man must be confronted again and again of his obligation to obey the law to be saved. To imply we can be saved and not obey the law is the exact reason modern Adventism is degenerating in its spirituality.

    “Faith alone” means only Christ has merited and earned our salvation. In opposition to Rome who claims a part of the meritorious cause of salvation is in the human factor.

    And how about this quote, Bob?

    “To substitute external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as it was in the days of these Jewish teachers. Today, as then, there are false spiritual guides, to whose doctrines many listen eagerly. It is Satan’s studied effort to divert minds from the hope of salvation through faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God.” Found in the Chapter in AA, Apostacy in Galatia.

    And this….

    “Is this a matter hard to comprehend, that obedience on our part to all God’s law is absolutely essential to eternal life? Is this an unfathomable mystery to the Christian—to secure the soul’s salvation at any cost to self or selfish interest? Does the Word of God give us any assurance that we can get to heaven just as well transgressing the law as obeying it? If so, the whole requirement of God as a condition of salvation is an entire mistake. {CTr 77.3}
    Were the inhabitants of the old world who perished in the Flood punished for their disobedience of God’s requirements? Or were they washed by the waters of the deluge straight into glory because our merciful God is too good to execute the final penalty of transgressing His law? Were the Sodomites punished for their disobedience and only Lot saved? Or were the inhabitants of Sodom winged by the fire that fell from heaven straight into glory? {CTr 77.4}
    Has God commanded? Then we must obey—without hesitating and seeking to find some way to be saved without obedience; this would be climbing up some other way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”“I have kept my Father’s commandments,” says the Majesty of heaven. . . . {CTr 77.5}
    We should not obey the commandments merely to secure heaven, but to please Him who died to save sinners from the penalty of the transgression of the Father’s law. The sinner’s salvation depends upon . . . ceasing to transgress and obedience to that transgressed law. No one should venture or presume upon the mercy of God, feeling at liberty to sin as much as they dare. . . . It is a sad resolve to follow Christ as far off as possible, venturing as near the verge of perdition as possible without falling in.—Letter 35b, 1877. {CTr 77.6}

    I could easily produce many more such quotations by EGW on the absolute necessity to keep the commandments of God to be saved.

    You won’t find any such quotes in this quarters lessons. And I think we all know why. The church has abandon the biblical truth endorsed by EGW that we must obey the law to be saved.

    Bill Sorensen




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  80. Bill Sorensen: I could easily produce many more such quotations by EGW on the absolute necessity to keep the commandments of God to be saved.

    Are you kidding? That is a complete contradiction to what the Bible teaches and Seventh-day Adventist belief. And on a more superficial level completely off the topic of this thread.




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  81. Can you harmonize this statement with your theology, Bob Helm?

    ““When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.”

    {RH, January 28, 1909 par. 18}
    ___________________________________________
    Sure I can Bill. It’s just like comparing Paul with James. Grace is never an excuse for sin. On the contrary, while grace brings complete forgiveness, it also provides the power to stop sinning – because when we come face to face with the matchless love of Christ, it breaks our hearts and brings forth true love for Him. And love is expressed in obedience (John 14:15). Unless this loving obedience is present, saving faith is absent. It’s as simple as that! Or as James puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) We are justified forensically by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:19-28; Ephesians 2:8-9). But we are justified evidentially by good works (James 2:20-26). So certainly obedience to the perfect law of God is a prerequisite for salvation. It is the outward proof that faith in Christ is real. Therefore, I gladly affirm all the statements about obedience from Ellen White that you have posted above. This is precisely what I believe!




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  82. Bill, let me tell you something else. Ellen White was not saying anything new. She was simply repeating what godly Christians have said for centuries about the relationship between faith and works. And no wonder, because it comes straight from the scriptures. For example, Martin Luther is well known for his emphasis on justification by grace alone through faith alone. But consider what he wrote about the necessity of obedience and good works: “Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith, and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises, it has already done them and is always at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. . . For through faith, a man becomes sinless and comes to take pleasure in God’s commandments. Thus he gives to God the honor that is His and pays Him what he owes Him.” (Preface to Luther’s Commentary on Romans)

    I submit to you that this statement from Martin Luther about obedience is every bit as strong as anything Ellen White wrote on the subject. It may even be stronger. But neither Martin nor Ellen were legalists. They were simply using strong language to emphasize the necessity of obedience as the fruit of faith.




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  83. Gentlemen, You may continue this conversation privately. Future comments will be deleted on the topic.
    _________________________________________
    Shane, I apologise for straying too far from the topic at hand. I should have broken off the conversation earlier. God bless!




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  84. Dear Shane

    Once again I want to compliment you on the fine job you are doing as Editor. You are a credit to your faith sir.

    I think active civilized debate is integral to intellectual and spiritual growth. This site allows
    for that but you also exercise good judgment to keep us focused on the issue at hand: the teaching of evolution within Adventist institutions.

    Great work.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  85. Shane Hilde: These ladies have been a thorn in Wisbey’s side from the beginning from what I hear. I’m sure he and others are happy these ladies are off the board. I can’t account for why they put their names on the document, but they’re pro creation. Not surprised LSU finally got rid of them.Remember a year ago when there was a movement to remove three board members. Well at least two of the ones that were fired today were a part of those three. This has been in the works for a while I’m sure.

    Shane, I believe you are absolutely right on this. The next question is who will replace them. Does President Wisbey have some “homeys” in mind? From what I’ve heard and seen, he would love to pack the Board with those who agree with him.

    President Wisbey loves (according to the tape) having Board members who have lots of money (six figures or higher) to bring to the Board table. Does anyone here qualify?




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  86. Bob Helm said……

    “we are justified evidentially by good works (James 2:20-26). So certainly obedience to the perfect law of God is a prerequisite for salvation. It is the outward proof that faith in Christ is real. Therefore, I gladly affirm all the statements about obedience from Ellen White that you have posted above. This is precisely what I believe!”

    Good, Bob. And everyone believes what you have stated, all is well. But I suggest that more than a few don’t.

    Enough said.

    Bill Sorensen




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  87. Holly Pham: Does President Wisbey have some “homeys” in mind? From what I’ve heard and seen, he would love to pack the Board with those who agree with him.

    Ya think, Holly? Wisbey is decidedly trying to stack the deck in his own favour. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that he is trying to outwit God–how foolish is that? All of his clever little manipulations will avail him nothing. God is still alive and well and in control. The fact that God is allowing these people time to repent and change their ways is seen as a weakness on God’s part. They really don’t believe God will overrule them because He loves them so much. Just like some people think God will not allow the wicked to be lost. Poor blind foolish people. They are in for a rude awakening.




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  88. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Do you really think you have a corner on God and that your knowledge of Him is infallible? Salvation is not attained through perfect knowledge but through grace alone.”

    Hello Bob

    Great comment. Wisdom is obtained through such humility.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  89. God could have inspired the following to be written: In the beginning, some sort of cosmic thing happened (which no scientists can find concensus about,) to some primordial soup, (of origins unknown,) which caused life to occur at the microscopic level. This life macro-evolved (something that has never been witnessed or demonstrated) into a more complex organism. This process repeated many, many times, over billions of years, until one day man emerged on the scene…

    He could have inspired that, if it were true, but it is not. It takes much more faith to believe in evolution, than it does the plain and simple (albiet supernatural) truth that He created all things in six literal days, and that man, and spending meaningful time with man, was His ultimate goal. Grace and Peace




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  90. Dear bp

    I enjoyed your comments.

    Of couse if the scribes of the bible had have witnessed words suddenly appearing out of nowhere on, let’s say an iPad, they may have thought it was the words of God.

    As time progresses and scientific knowledge advances less phenomena gets ascribed to the supernatural. Astrophysics tells us a great deal of the likely origin of the universe. Is it perfect? Heavens no :). But I think we know a bit more about the universe today than when Genesis was penned.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  91. Ken: I think we know a bit more about the universe today than when Genesis was penned.

    Ken: You are right, we do know more now than when Genesis was written–as far as terminolgy and such. However, we know only what God has seen fit to tell us. Moses was shown Creation like we would see a movie and he wrote down what he saw and heard. In some ways, he knew more than we will ever know until we are in a position to view the same “movie”. He probably didn’t understand everything he saw, or put a label on it, but he was privileged to see God in action.

    I wonder…if we had that same ability, would there still be people determined to deny God and His act of Creation? You know, I think there would be, because the evolution/Creation issue is based on the great controversy between Christ and satan. As long as that issue remains unresolved, there will always be some who will be determined to deny worship to God, our Creator–even if they saw it with their own eyes.




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  92. Ken: As time progresses and scientific knowledge advances less phenomena gets ascribed to the supernatural. Astrophysics tells us a great deal of the likely origin of the universe. Is it perfect? Heavens no 🙂 . But I think we know a bit more about the universe today than when Genesis was penned.

    You make too much of a god out of what you suppose science has found by this late date.

    Cosmologists basically “fell off the truck” recently when it came to the cosmological constant and had to immediately “imagine” a multiverse – not because they measure it, or mathematically discovered it but rather because they “needed” to imagine it in order to avoid the Designer God of the observed universe.

    Here you have a clear case where they did not like what they saw in “observations” so simply had to “make stuff up” hoping that an atheist-centric non-god solution could be propped up by imagination-alone if nothing else.

    The fact that you are now wanting to appeal to cosmology to make your case against the Genesis account, shows that you are applying a bit too much believism in your view of cosmology.

    The current “details” of the case do not support that level of blind faith. At least not any more.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  93. Shane Hilde: These ladies have been a thorn in Wisbey’s side from the beginning from what I hear. I’m sure he and others are happy these ladies are off the board. I can’t account for why they put their names on the document, but they’re pro creation. Not surprised LSU finally got rid of them.

    I am sad to see people being forced off the board who agree with SDA doctrine – leaving only those who differ with it.

    Having said that – I am not sure those who signed that statement were doing creationists any favors. In the case of these three – they may have been “talked into thinking it was a good thing” and a compromise.

    But in fact if they paid close attention to Larry Blackmer’s talk to LSU they would have seen a huge gap between what he proposed (evidence for creation taught in biology courses) vs what the statement was actually saying.

    Their first clue should have been that the diehard LSU-evolutionists were more than happy to sign it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  94. Susanna: It seems to me that modern science is self-defined as strictly materialistic so how can it be compared to anything else? It’s a closed system

    Depends.

    If by “materialistic” you mean that modern science is in capable of discovring that something is built, or designed, or created, or constructed with deliberate intent and purpose, then your definition is too rigid.

    Modern science is not limited to “believing” that every feature observed around us is a result of non-directed random interaction of the elements of nature. Never has been.

    There is “a story” that evolutionist biologist like to tell – to the effect that while admitting to design is ok in every other branch of science – it is not ok for them because then atheists would not be happy with the science of biology. They argue that in the case of biology the “maker” would have to be god and since that is not allowed – then nothing is “made” no matter how it appears to have been designed or “made”. They have fallen on their swords with a circular argument.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  95. @Ken:

    Yes, Ken, I was reared an SDA–and I make no apology for that–in fact, I shall be eternally thankful for it. It molded my whole life and made me the person I am today– someone who knows that God loves ME and Jesus died the death that was mine so that I could have eternal life with Him someday–a “day” that I believe is a lot closer than any of us think.

    To me, Bible prophecy is all the evidence I need to tell me that God is REAL–that He (and He ALONE) truly knows the “end from the beginning.” Any One who can do that can surely be trusted to tell me what He did in the past. That is NOT “blind faith!”

    However, I find more than enough scientific evidence to back up that belief–and I simply cannot understand why my church isn’t at the forefront giving the world that evidence.

    Creation Miniseries has an abundance of excellent scientific information on it’s website as does Acts and Facts. And they have world renown scientists contributing to their information (And don’t anyone try to tell me they are dishonest! As I see it, it is the evolutionists who are giving out misinformation based a LOT of ”faith!”)

    I’m sure there are a lot of sincere evolutionist who truly believe their interpretations of science are correct–and I know many confirmed creationists who once believed heart and soul that evolution was correct so I don’t want to misjudge anyone. It is very difficult to change life-long beliefs and many of these scientists went through soul wrenching experiences changing their views.

    No, I’m not a scientist that understands all the “science” on these issues but I have been reading the experiences of a lot of these folks who went through this spiritual struggle and there is no question but they are honest, sincere folks who recognized they were wrong and had the courage to admit it and change. (But nobody is “perfect”–yet!)

    I’m reasonably sure you aren’t going to agree with me but I don’t think less of you for that. God gives everyone freedom of choice and those of us who know and love Him can do no less. But I am hoping and praying that you will truly give God a chance. I can assure you that you will never regret it!

    Lydian




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  96. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Cosmologists basically “fell off the truck” recently when it came to the cosmological constant and had to immediately “imagine” a multiverse – not because they measure it, or mathematically discovered it but rather because they “needed” to imagine it in order to avoid the Designer God of the observed universe.”

    Hi Bob

    How have you been? Haven’t seen you around here for a while.

    Actually if you do a little more digging you’ll find out that the idea of the multiverse has been around for a quite a while and wasn’t recently made up by cosmologists as you stated. Check out what the Hindu’s believed.

    While rhetoric is engaging, facts are always more important.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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