Comment on Academic Freedom Strikes Again! by Bill Sorensen.
“I am not sure why Spectrum keeps showing up as if they are some sort of authority that all SDAs must reverence.”
Well, Bob, the truth is “Spectrum” actually does represent a major spirituality in the SDA church of today. We may not like it, but that won’t change the facts of the matter. True bible spirituality is the minority by far in the church and any objective evaluation can and will confirm and affirm this clear truth by attending any church in the denomination and observe the format and message presented.
So we keep an eye on Spectrum and Atoday as the two major influences that control the SDA church. Even if most church members are not aware of this fact, it is true none the less. And all you have to do is read the Review and Adventist World to affirm this truth as well. Little or no conservative doctrine and teaching is presented although Goldstein presents some creation material now and then. It is all the liberal format of “love” and “acceptance” with no reference to standards and discipline. Just as Spectrum and Atoday advocate.
Bill Sorensen Also Commented
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
The subject is “academic freedom” so you are already off the subject of creation. When people are wrong, they tend to hide behind a self imposed barrier for protection.
You are wrong, period. Babies are not born “in Christ” and that alone makes them sinners.
As for you comment about Jesus being “born in sinful flesh” this is also bogus. Jesus was born in the likeness of sinful flesh” and this is light years from your false idea.
But the fact that you are wrong is incidental to the fact the majority of the church is wrong as many embrace your false doctrine and try to defend it. The sinful nature means you have a spiritual nature “full of sin”. And this makes you and everyone else a sinner even if they never participate in a single sin outwardly. People commit sin because they are sinners. They don’t become sinners by committing sin.
You can close your mind and harden your heart. You can “wrest the scriptures to your own destruction”. But as Gerald Wolfe has well said, “Just because you won’t accept it, won’t change it.”
You don’t have to know that you are breaking any law, to be breaking the law, and this applies to the moral law as well as any other law. And just because you “run and hide” won’t clear you or anyone else in the final judgment.
In the end, I wish you well. But I will never patronize blatant ignorance and neither will God.
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
“Again, we are not born sinners. We are born with a fallen nature, but that’s not the same thing as sin. Sin requires a conscious deliberate decision on the part of a free moral agent. Otherwise, there simply is no sin – as the Bible and Mrs. White very clearly point out.”
Neither the bible or EGW agree with your evaluation. The objective definition of sin just what you stated and quoted, “Sin is transgression of the law” and it does not require that we know we are transgressing to be a transgressor. This is the foundation of all your error. The law is objective and doesn’t care if you know what the law states or not.
LIke a man who is going 50 in a 30 MPH zone. He may not know it, but he is breaking the law. And just because he doesn’t know it does not make him innocent. He is guilty of breaking the law.
So a cop stops him and tells him the speed limit is 30 and he is going 50. And so the cop writes him a ticket for speeding. The man says, “I didn’t see the sign, so I am not guilty of speeding because I didn’t see the sign.”
The cop gives him the ticked and say, “In the future, you will be more care to check to see what the speed limit is. And make no mistake, you are guilty of speeding whether you know it or not.”
Why does Jesus make atonement for sins of ignorance if there is no guilt to make atonement for? You convolute objective guilt with subjective guilt and then claim there is no objective guilt, period. Any rational person can see that your view is not only non-biblical, but nonsense. But all this to defend a false and bogus view and claim we are not born sinners.
Gen. 3:15 is an act of grace by way of the atonement because we are born in sin and God says, “I will put enmity between Satan and the sinful children of Adam.”
Any viable court of law would throw you out of the court room with such a false and bogus argument that a person is not guilty of breaking the law, if they don’t know they are breaking the law. The judge would laugh you out of town if you were the lawyer of the man you were defending.
You might do well to plead grace and leniency based on the circumstances, just like Jesus does for us in the final judgment for sins we have committed in ignorance. He would never plead innocence. He will plead pardon by His blood for the guilt of the sins of ignorance.
Give it up, Sean. You are so wrong, no rational thinking person would agree that a person is not guilty of breaking a law just because they don’t know what the law is.
As for Georges comment below about Mother Teresa. If she kept Sunday in her ignorance she is still breaking the law, but Jesus may plead pardon by way of His atonement if she did not know the truth of the matter. Jesus will never say she is innocent and if so, she would need no atonement nor the blood of Jesus to apply pardon for her guilt in breaking God’s law.
Original sin is so clearly biblical that you have to “song and dance” around the obvious to deny it. All the fancy footwork in the world will not support any false idea that some one is not breaking the law if they don’t know it.
You can either abandon your error and see that you are mistaken in your view, or continue to defend the indefensible. Maybe in the future you will see what you refuse to see today. Historically, prejudice has kept the SDA church from maturing to a true Christian community with a comprehensive view of sin and atonement. For now, you trumpet the same false doctrine the Last Generation Theology ministry endorses.
In the end, it is a blatant attack on the gospel of forgiveness of sin. And the way you butcher up the nature of Christ is tragic and despicable. We are born sinners. Get over it and follow the format God has ordained for the salvation of humanity.
Well, you are still better than other forums who are bigots who refuse to even dialogue on this issue and think they will “save the church” from all apostates when they are apostates themselves. What a mess the church is in with no evidence of any real desire to know the truth that Jesus said, “Will set you free.”
Your defense of creation is reasonably commendable. But in this subject of sin and atonement, your view is far from biblical teaching.
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
“No one is born with free will.”
If this is the case how can anyone freely choose Christ as his/her saviour? Irrespective of faith, don’t we all make choices during our lives to do good or bad? Are you saying that non Christians cannot do good because they have no free will to do so?”
No one can have “free will”, George, until Jesus comes by way of the Holy Spirit and liberates the will by way of the gospel. And the Holy Spirit comes by way of the cross and grace. This whole discussion is on the value and importance of being “born again”. So I ask you and Sean, “What is the point of being ‘born again’ if you are already free to chose to do good or evil?”
In this world, even an unbeliever has some awareness of right and wrong, but this is only because of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit before being “born again.” God does nothing by way of a relationship to fallen man except by way of the cross. Adam brought on us all the verdict of condemnation, sin and death. To understand the doctrine of original sin, you must take Christ and the cross out of the equation.
As Luther said to Erasmus, “Once you add Christ and the cross, you can make the will as free as you like.”
The will is dead by way of Adam and all his fallen children are afflicted, but once you add Jesus, you have appealed to the atonement. The atonement is because of sin. We are born sinners by way of Adam and we are not free to choose anything good. This shows the full value of the atonement that people like Sean limit to claim no one is a sinner unless and until they sin. Then they need the atonement. This is blatantly bogus.
So new born babies need the atonement even if they don’t know right from wrong. What you guys do is miss the first basic step in atonement and redemption and assume no one needs the atonement until and unless they know they are committing sin. This is a superficial definition of sin and will not even consider “sins of ignorance” by claiming if you are ignorant, it is not sin.
Yes, I know why SDA’s stumble in trying to define sin and atonement. We live during the time of trouble without a mediator. But this is only because the saints plead the merits of Christ in their own behalf. We are still sinners and we know it. And we will be sinners until Jesus comes.
Neither have I suggested you can not have victory over your sinfulness if you are “born again”. The “new man” dominates and controls the “old man”. As Wesley said, “Sin remains, but does not reign.” And Luther said, “We are righteous (in Christ) and sinful (in ourselves) at one and the same time.” This was the gospel truth that liberated him from the false doctrine of Rome that claimed you could be sinless by doing all the things the church mandated.
The inherent pride of our sinful nature caused him continual affliction and knew he was not sinless no matter how much he did all he was told. Nor could ‘keeping the law” make him sinless. So he said this,
“Because of pride, we could not be sure but what we are not continually committing mortal sin.”
Rome chided him for this and denied this statement. So, Luther said this.
“I said before, that because of pride, we could not be sure but that we are continually committing mortal sin.” He went on to say, “But now I must recant, and now I say, ‘Because of pride, we should never doubt for a second that we are continually committing mortal sin and utterly damned to hell, were it not for the continual covering of the forgiving grace of God every second of of our being.”
This is the key stone of the bible and Protestant Reformation. Believers are always in a state of forgiving grace because we are always sinners in this life. By the power of God, we do not “commit” sin. But this does not mean we are not still sinful by nature.
And to appeal to the nature of Christ and claim He is a sinner just like us is blasphemy. He was not born in sin, nor did He have a sinful nature. He was “born of the Holy Spirit” and was sinless from start to finish. We are not “born of the Holy Spirit” and unless we are “born again” by way of the Holy Spirit we are lost, we remain lost as guilty, condemned evil sinners that we are.
The atonement allows us to “opt in” to the kingdom of grace as the Holy Spirit reveals to us our true condition outside Christ. We are not born “in Christ”. The superficial definition of sin the many, if not most SDA’s advocate parallels the Jews who thought they were sinless simply by keeping the law. NOT. Thus they rejected Christ as not necessary for salvation nor for the eternal ongoing relationship to God the Father and were lost just like anyone else who formulates a bogus theory that parallels that of the Jews.
When Jesus ceases His intercession for the fallen race, it simply means those who have not “opted in” no longer have a chance to do so. And the final atonement is made only for those who have “opted in” and the rest are out forever. God has ordained the method of salvation revealed in His word and it is our duty to understand it in its biblical context and not wrest it to suit our own convoluted idea of sin and atonement.
As EGW has well said, “In ourselves we are sinners, but in Christ we are righteous.” She emulates Luther in this context. So, we are not “born in Christ” at birth. But God has provided the means whereby we can “opt in” and follow the biblical format and be saved at last in the end when Jesus comes. Until then, we are “saved by faith” in the promise of God but not “saved in fact” until He comes.
Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” That’s what I’ve been saying (and what Morris Venden and MacCarty have been saying)”
Well, I did not do a complete search on all the MacCarty says or believes. But in the case of Venden, I did do such a study and Venden had a doctrine of “sanctification by faith alone” that was totally outside the bible teaching.
“Faith alone” by definition means we play no part in it. If so, it is not “faith alone”. But Venden’s view of sanctification was definitely “faith alone” and we play no part in it but believe. At any rate, there is more confusion than bible definition in his definition of sanctification, and I think this applies to MacCarty as well. Like I said, I read his book a couple years ago and it was circular with no real definition of what he meant.
But basically, he equated the old covenant with legalism which is bogus. We agree a misapplication of the old covenant is not the same thing as a clear understanding of the old covenant and its purpose. So let’s not take a misapplication of the old covenant, and then claim this is the old covenant.
As you have defended the Sabbath against a misapplication of the new covenant and not called it the new covenant we must do the same with the old covenant. Our conclusion should be that a misapplication of any truth does not equate to the truth that is being misapplied. The confusion continues on many levels in the SDA community today.
Your defense of creation against the liberal agenda is a classic illustration of how the liberal agenda misapplies the new covenant on every level from false teaching to simply denying the bible outright. And all this from a misapplication of the new covenant that creates a false “spirit ethic” that takes the place of the bible and the ten commandments.
I appreciate the dialogue. Some may see the point eventually and some never will. Since we don’t know who’s who in this context, we leave it up to God to sort out the various issues and determine who “gets it” and who don’t.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”
I never said any such thing or even suggested it. Did you even read what I wrote. If so, you decided to impute to me something I never said or suggested. Let’s at least try to be objective in our evaluation of what the other person said.
I said the Holy Spirit liberates the will and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to believe, repent and obey. How then is this your false claim that I think “You honestly think that you can simply choose to do good through your own willpower.”
You rightly point out that without the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know God’s will, let alone do it. And yes, Jesus “puts enmity between sinful beings and the kingdom of Satan.”
But “putting the enmity by Christ” will save no one until and unless they choose to respond in the God ordained way He has stated in the bible. Each individual must choose to first accept the atonement, then repent, and then obey the law. Thus, the Holy Spirit empowers the will, but it is the sinner who must respond. And this is not “doing it on their own” as you seem to imply. Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” But as Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which stengthenth me.”
Paul states what he can do by the power of God. And it is not God doing the believing, or repenting or obeying. It is Paul. EGW makes this very clear to refute the mystics who try to claim that Jesus or the Holy Spirit gets in them and does the willing and doing.
” While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to co-operate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” THE YOUTH’S INSTRUCTOR
August 20, 1903
Lessons From the Life of Daniel—9
This concerning Daniel and his friends.
She refutes the modern day mysticism that would destroy the will of man and interpret “Christ in you, the hope of glory” totally outside the biblical context.
But “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the same thing reflected in the words of Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” Meaning, I love Jesus so much my whole life is dedicated to His glory and will.
Our “own works” that she refers to, are those people do outside a biblical relationship with Christ. It does not refer to the works of a true believer who conforms his life to emulate the life of Christ. Where does Skip MacCarty point out this difference?
Much, if not most of modern spirituality in Adventism is pure mysticism that convolutes the identity of Christ and the believer to the point the believer has no identity. It was highly stimulated by Morris Venden who tried to show that “faith alone” applies equally to sanctification as it does to justification. It was and is totally bogus. But it has infiltrated the church by him and others to the point that mysticism is rapidly becoming the major spirituality of the church.
You may mean well, Sean. But like so many others, you don’t take the time to carefully consider the implications of what you say nor explain it is a clear definitive way so that it fits the bible context. If the true bible position on sanctification is clearly presented, then it is obvious we “save ourselves” by the way we respond to the word of God. In which case, the law is salvational, but only in the biblical context. Simply put, we are “saved” by doing what God says and this includes faith in the atonement.
Many are so “hell bent” to avoid what they think is legalism, they wrest the scriptures to their own destruction and not only deceive themselves, but others who do not carefully consider the implications of the conclusion of their false idea and theory.
But to claim that those who reject your view think they can “do it on their own” is a false representation that prejudices others who don’t carefully follow the conversation. Having said all this, I am more than willing for anyone to explain and qualify and re-qualify as many times as necessary to make it very clear what they mean by what they say.
So I agree, sanctification is by faith, but not by “faith alone” in the same context that justification is by faith alone. Without a clear explanation, all we have is ongoing confusion on sin and salvation and the divine factor vs. the human factor in a full and complete view of what the bible teaches about the issues.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
“We “work out our own salvation” by simply opening to the door the Spirit of God. That’s our only “work” to do here. That’s the only “work” we can do. The rest is beyond human power.”
Your whole theory is pure mysticism as the rest of your explanation affirms. The purpose of sanctification on the part of God is to liberate the human will for self government. It is the believing sinner who chooses to have faith and repent, and obey the law of God.
Neither is it “automatic” but by careful evaluation of the will of God and the implications of the outcome if we chose not to accept the free offer. You undermine and in the end, destroy the human factor in salvation and the moral accountability of man.
So when we are confronted by the gospel, we must choose to believe, choose to repent and choose to obey. God will not do this for us. Neither will the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “holy motive” as He inspires and empowers us to “save ourselves” by responding to the word of God exactly as it is stated in the bible.
Much of the SDA church has opted for some mystical non-biblical explanation of the plan of salvation that has no affinity to the true teaching of the bible.
So sanctification is not “just give yourself to Jesus and He will do the rest.”
Basically, you convolute the divine factor and human factor in such a way that you end up negating the human factor altogether.
I doubt anything I would share with you would challenge your thinking, since in the past you have rejected other clear biblical concepts on sin and salvation like the doctrine of original sin. At any rate, if you post my response, perhaps one of your readers will actually see the point and consider the implications of our dialogue.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Yes, as EGW and the bible affirm, we are justified by obedience to the moral law. Not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense. And this is what the Investigative judgment is all about. The word “justification” in the bible has a more comprehensive meaning than people perceive today. Like the word “atonement” and “salvation” the word “justification” has been limited to a non-biblical meaning and application that foreign to the bible and the full meaning the bible gives to these words.
And yes, we save ourselves by the way we respond to the word of God. No, we don’t save ourselves by meriting heaven and earning the favor of God. “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus
This is too plain to be misunderstood except by those who convolute the bible to support their false doctrine. No one is justified by “faith alone” except the special context used by the Reformation to oppose Rome when Rome taught legal merit in the believer’s response to the conditions for salvation.
“Faith alone” in this context was “Christ alone” who stands in the presence of God in our behalf as the meritorious cause of salvation and eternal life. This is not sanctification nor is sanctification “by faith alone” as some faulty teachers try to present and defend. Sanctification is always by faith and works on the part of the believer as we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”
And justification by faith in the bible, is the believer’s faith in Christ, not Christ’s faith in the believer. This subject is so confused and warped by SDA scholars it has no affinity to bible teaching and doctrine. So it is the believer’s faith in Christ that justifies. This is the whole theme of Paul and the new testament emphasis and message.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
” “All that the Lord has said, we will do.” (Exodus 19:8).”
That’s right Sean. And the Lord said, “The people have well spoken there commitment.” But then added, “Oh that there was such an heart in them to do it.”
The issue was proper motivation based on a clear understanding of sin and all that this implies. God never chided them for their statement of faith but their lack of understanding the sinful human heart.
How is that any different than today in the new covenant era? How many are baptized making the same valid commitment and confession of faith only to find the difficulty of living out the Christian experience.
Neither will Jesus get into anybody and obey the law for them. The motivation will ratchet up as our understanding is increased and the love of God that motivates works in a more dynamic way with the increased knowledge.
But many assume the old covenant was a system of legalism and then contrast the new covenant as a true system of faith. This is bogus. True believers in the old covenant era trusted in Christ. These are the old covenant experience people and not Cain or anyone else in that era who either refused the offer God provided or convoluted it. So those who imply that the old covenant was in and of itself a system of legalism like MacCarty does, have a false idea of old and new covenant that is simply not biblical. And then they try to explain how in the new covenant God writes the law on our heart and not in stone.
God wrote His law on the heart of Abel, Noah, Abraham and every true believer in the old covenant era as Jesus “put enmity between Satan and man” by a revelation of the love of God in His willingness to make atonement for fallen man. The new covenant era simply means God will finish writing His law on the heart of every true believer and this is not some “new” covenant different than the old.
Only in the sense that the atonement promised in the past is now a reality in the present. And this ratchets up the motivation in harmony with the life of Jesus more fully revealed by way of the new covenant writers. It is false doctrine to present the idea that no one had the law “written on their heart” during the old covenant era. Did you ever read the words of David in the Psalms, “Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me.”?
This is not the new covenant in the old covenant era. There is no “new covenant believer” in the old covenant era. This is impossible. The new covenant is after the fact of the atonement and is based on the time element of the two covenants. The first covenant (old covenant) is based on a future event. The new covenant is based on a past event. This is the whole spirituality of Paul and repeated and affirmed in the book of Hebrews. What God had promised during the old covenant era, He has done.
There is certainly an affinity in both covenants as both are based on Jesus and His sacrifice. Everyone in heaven will have trusted in the atonement of the cross whether it was before Jesus made the atonement or after He made the atonement. Again, I say it is bogus to claim Cain represents an old covenant experience and Abel a new covenant experience. And it is equally false to claim anyone who is a legalist in the new covenant era is an old covenant experience. Namely this, the old covenant is not legalism and never was. Just because people corrupt the old covenant does not equate to claiming they were legalists by virtue of being in the old covenant era.
This is MacCarty’s error and he speaks for more than a few SDA scholars who are as confused as he is. God made no legal covenant with anyone with the exception of His Son. God’s covenant with all is based on the moral law and this is not legalism unless, like the Catholic church, you think you can merit heaven by keeping the moral law.
The moral law, like I said, is a family law and those who refuse to enter into this moral covenant to “obey and live” will never be in heaven. Children in a loving home don’t obey their parents to merit and earn the favor of their parents or earn a place in the family. None the less, they are in covenant relationship with their parents and if they rebel enough, can be disinherited, just like Adam and Eve who rebelled against the family law.
Adam and Eve in a state of sinlessness were not meriting the favor of God. Nor do the sinless angels merit the favor of God. Nor do the redeemed in heaven merit the favor of God. None the less, all are under obligation to obey the family law of God or forfeit eternal life like Adam and Eve in the garden. Love for God never releases anyone from the moral obligation to do God’s will and submit to His authority. This issue is so intense even in the SDA church that many now assume if you love God you have no obligation to obey and that you simply do God’s will because “you want to, not because you have to.” This is bogus and the lie of Satan that he advocated in heaven. We better get it straight and if not, “Spiritualism is at the door deluding the whole world.”