“That there are many unbelieving Adventist pastors seems beyond question. …

Comment on Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe by Bill Sorensen.

“That there are many unbelieving Adventist pastors seems beyond question. The number will remain unknown, because they understand that in a conservative church like the SDA Church, there will likely be repercussions for open unbelief.” David Read(Quote)

This is true, David. But they should be “forced to lie” by confronting them with a confession of faith in harmony with the SDA teaching. If they are willing to “lie” about what they believe, no doubt in the future, they will eventually abandon ship.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a good philosophy in any scenario. But especially in the Christian community.

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
Yes, I dialogued with Fr. Jim and others on Spectrum and A-today. They have a unified spirit of antagonism against bible Adventism and historic Protestantism as well.

I preceive the only thing they agree on is their common hatred of EGW and the SDA faith. On many other things, they disagree with each other. Attacks on the bible are common on these forums. And some a self confessed atheists.

When I was allowed to post there, I continually chided them about having a spiritual influence at the GC sessions in Atlanta. And they were not really so accountable as our church leaders who allowed it. This is only one reason the LSU situation is not a singular situation in the church. I think few understand the hold Satan has on modern Adventism. But that will necessarily be shown more and more as we near the end.

Dr Stone commented about Sean’s philosophy of law….

“Despite Sean’s claim we all have some Royal Law, many choose to obey another type of law, human wisdom, secular humanistic philosophy, or worse!

Has Sean stated which of God’s Laws are written and which are not written in all of our hearts?” Ron Stone M.D(Quote)

In my opinion, Dr. Stone, Sean has a faulty view of how to understand natural law vs. moral law. And because of this, he assumes a unity of meaning not inherent in the bible.

Moral law is not natural law. It comes to us by way of God’s revelation to the human family and is taught and stated by God Himself. So, we could never know or figure it out by some natural law reasoning, nor is it necessarily discernable by natural law. And as you so clearly pointed out, many individuals have no conscience when it comes to a violation of the moral law.

So the idea Sean preposes that all automatically have an awareness of the law of love (moral law) is faulty reasoning. We dialogued on this issue above, so I have no futher comment about it. Hopefully, his position was made clear and mine as well.

It should be noted that many theologians who oppose the Sabbath commandment do so precisely because they see no “natural law” imperative in Sabbath keeping and argue that the other commandments are easily understood in this context. Such as, if you don’t steal from me, I won’t steal from you.” ETC. See, Sabbath to Sunday edited by Lincoln

As we near the end of time, this argument will be advocated extensively, along with a cultural argument that Sabbath keeping is Jewish as far as the “day” aspect is concerned. It is then argued for a “spirit ethic” whereby the Holy Spirit (Jesus in your heart) will teach and lead the Christian community in true Christian ethics.

With a little understanding, we see this as typical Roman Catholic theology where the bible is abandon for a “spirit ethic” determined by the church.

Isn’t modern Adventism also following this same reasoning for the ordination of women? Claiming Paul’s exhortation is cultural and thus we can abandon Paul’s mandate on the qualification for an elder.

The rebellion must go on until all can clearly see the issues at stake. In the end, it is the bible vs. human reasoning and philosophy to define the teaching and conduct of the church community. And remember this, The spirit of the beast always preceeds the mark of the beast. So that people will agree with the spirit of Satan before they follow his acts.

In my own personal experience, I have heard the “dragon roar” before, and it wasn’t Rome. Who do you think it was? That’s right, the SDA church.

Bill Sorensen

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
I doubt there is much that Sean and I have to say to add to what we have stated. Not me, anyway.

But I find it amazing that people don’t know how to simply ignore or avoid any discussion they have no interest in or don’t understand and don’t care to. I don’t think anyone is “holding your feet to the fire” and making you read what you don’t want to.

For myself, there are more than a few discussions on this forum I have little or no interest in. But I don’t come in and challenge the discussion because I either do not care or don’t understand. I simply move on.

I suggest everyone else follow this same format for their own agenda.

Most of us are in agreement that something terrible has happened at LSU and that something dynamic should be done by those who have the authority to do. But the principle behind what and how all this developed is equally important to understand. The spirituality that causes an effect must be carefully considered so to know why any given situation developed.

So some of us have an interest in basic bible spirituality that genders a true experience vs. a false spirituality that genders a result that has transpired at LSU.

As an example, do you know why the early church thought they had the authority to change the day of worship? Most of us know they did. But if we don’t know why, we may well embrace the same spirituality and not even know it. And if such is the case, then in the future, we will have no defense to oppose it.

But my final word to those who are offended by a dynamic confrontation, you should just move on and read something else. Doesn’t that make sense?
Iron sharpens iron. A lot of people prefer a “wet noodle” approach to difficult and confrontational concepts. So, don’t hurt yourself, just move on to something more in harmony with your style of dialogue.

Thank you.

Bill Sorensen

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
First, let me say, Sean, that I appreciate the dialogue even if we disagree. A few months ago, you would not post any position opposed to your own on this subject.

My final point is this, you see no need for grace if we are ignorant of breaking the law. As for Jesus’ words ““If you were blind, you would have no sin…” – John 15:22-25 NIV and John 9:41 NIV

Nothing is stated or written in a vacuum. Here is the simple and obvious meaning of what Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin that could not be forgiven, but now you say we see, therefore, your sin is unpardonable.”

When Jesus said, ““If you were blind, you would have no sin…” – John 15:22-25 NIV and John 9:41 NIV, we can not take this out of the context of the situation. He did not mean they were not guilty of sin if they were blind. He did mean once they were inlightened, and refused to repent, their sin was unpardonable.

Sins of ignorance are pardonable because of grace and God does not hold a believer accountable and sin is not imputed. Not because there is no sin, but because forgiveness covers these sins of a believer.

So, EGW has clearly said….

The apostles spoke plainly of the great sin of the Jews in rejecting and putting to death the Prince of life; but they were careful not to drive their hearers to despair. “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just,” Peter said, “and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.” He declared that the Holy Spirit was calling upon them to repent and be converted, and assured them that there was no hope of salvation except through the mercy of the One whom they had crucified. Only through faith in Him could their sins be forgiven. {AA 59.2}

Notice, Peter calls them to repent. Why should they repent if there was no sin in ignorance? You claim ignorance itself excludes the possibility of sin.

But here is an even more revealing statement….

” As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, “They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.” The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts. {EW 254.1}

She makes very plain that sins of ignorance need the atonement. Your view would bypass the atonement as having no relevance and that sins of ignorance are not really sins at all. And so you said….

“…that when there is no real opportunity to know the will of God on any particular doctrinal point, there is no sin for honest ignorance on that point.”

Sins of ignorance are still sin. And sin is “transgression of the law”. In the end, the wicked are held accountable for sins of ignorance because they refuse the atonement and its application. While the righteous admit they sin ignorantly on many occasions, even if they are not aware of doing so, and then plead the blood of Jesus in their behalf for sins of ignorance.

So, whether you are ignorant or not, you are still guilty of breaking the law and were it not for the atonement, all would be damned and lost without hope in this world.

The fact God will not hold the righteous accountable for sins of ignorance does not mean they are not guilty of sinning. It simply means God’s grace covers these sin and “sin is not imputed when no law is made known.”

But as Paul states, “All die, even if they did not deliberately sin like Adam did.” Rom. 5.

People are born with the spirit of sin, and for this reason, they are lost unless they repent and are “born again.”

“Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

That is, God sees and knows the motive of sin is present in the whole human family and this includes new born babies who have never done an evil thing nor even aware of sin and its meaning and implications.

None the less, God preserves their life and at some point they become aware of their lost condition and are given an opportunity to repent. Many, if not most, declare like Cain there is no need to repent and refuse to acknowledge any guilt for sins of ignorance. They blame Adam and hope in this way to escape judgment and damnation.

You limit guilt to the subjective experience. God expands guilt to the whole human family whether they know about guilt or not. This is what the bible teaches whether people like it or not. God does not fashion the plan of salvation to suit our carnal minds. Nor does He define sin to suit our limited understanding nor patronize us as to what we think is fair and acceptable. We accept what the bible teaches and fit our understanding around the divine revelation. Not many are willing to do this. As the fiasco surrounding LSU plainly reveals.

Man makes up a religion that suits himself and hopes God will somehow accept the human ideas he comes up with. This is exactly why the church is in such a deplorable condition today.

Bill Sorensen

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.
Bill Sorensen

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.
Bill Sorensen

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.
Bill Sorensen

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.
Bill Sorensen

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.”
Bill Sorensen