@Ron Stone M.D.: Prof, As I’ve explained to Sean, when …

Comment on Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe by Sean Pitman.

@Ron Stone M.D.:

Prof, As I’ve explained to Sean, when people explain what they believe and why, we, many times, have information to make a “judgment” not on whether they are going to heaven (as Sean has set up as a straw-man) but on the rightness, goodness, or even the morality, since God’s Word gives us His “legal opinion.”

The Bible gives you a better basis to judge yourself. It does not give you the ability to more accurately read the hearts of others.

You see, there’s a difference between going along with a particular suggestion on what you know to be doctrinal error (like keeping Sunday as the true Sabbath), and suggesting that the one who made the suggestion is therefore immoral. The one conclusion does not necessarily follow the other.

Making a judgment on the morality of another, in such a case, would require you to have the ability to read the heart of another – something you just cannot do with 100% accuracy.

Oh, and by the way, when you make a moral judgment on the character of another person, most people take that to meant that you are in fact judging that person’s moral fitness for salvation… a very serious deal for most people…

Sean, Your use of the word “evil” was not used by me. You’ve even got me calling Muslims “evil” How pathetic! I simply stated we can exercise “moral judgment” when presented with information which is contrary to God’s Word.

What you guys seemed to be saying is that you can judge the morality of a person who subscribed to doctrinal errors. When you do that, you are in fact calling such a person “evil” or “morally corrupt” for holding to what you consider to be doctrinal errors. That’s a very serious charge…

Now, if that is not what you intended to say, perhaps you’d better choose different words to describe those who believe what you think are doctrinal errors – something other than describing them as being morally deficient. Subscribing to a consciously known error is a form of moral corruption – a form of rebellion against known truth. However, subscribing to an error that is not consciously understood to be an error is not a moral error. It is still an error, but it is not chargeable to the individual as a moral error.

Errors are not all created equal…

You don’t seem to see how anyone could possibly deny and reject God’s Truth, even though they have read and studied it. Many do, but you deny it.

I never said this. People reject known truth all the time. That’s the very definition of sin. You and I have done it. It may be crazy, but we’ve all rejected and acted contrary to known truth – deliberately. We are a rebellious lot.

The problem is that you cannot know for sure when someone other than yourself has consciously rejected known truth. You cannot know this, with perfection, unless you know the other person’s heart – the internal motives of another. You simply do not have this ability. Only God does.

You also continue to say I have relegated all of those “nice people” not to mention your Muslim neighbors to hell or locked them out of heaven, simply by my saying we can “judge” those at LSU, based on the Word of God. But you continue to use this “straw-man” argument, which you haven’t given up.

I also judge many of those at La Sierra University (in both the religion and science departments) for being in error, however sincere, in their understanding of origins. Yet, on this particular point, I do not judge them as being morally corrupt. However, I do make a moral judgment on those who take a paycheck from the Church while knowingly undermining what the Church in paying them to do. That’s stealing, a violation of the Royal Law of Love which is written on the hearts of all. There is simply no valid excuse for such activity and they will be held accountable, by God, for taking that which doesn’t belong to them.

Why then did God give us His “words?” If we all had the Royal Law of Love written in our hearts, we wouldn’t need any God to write anything out, either on stone or on paper. The bible cannot be used for “reproof?”

God gives us information that has the power to make our lives better in this life – words that have the power to give us a conscious hope in the future. Such a hope is not the basis of salvation. We could be saved without this conscious hope. But, how much better the lives of those who get to know and understand God and the story of the Great Controversy, the meaning of it all, here and now in this life?

While hope itself may help a person strive harder to heed the “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit speaking to the heart, and thereby aid in salvation, the Gospel Message, by itself, even if accepted as true, does not save a person. Only the love of a person for God and for fellowman, saves a person. This is why if a person who doesn’t know the name of God or anything else about Him, loves what God loves (i.e., his fellowman), that person can and will be saved.

Salvation isn’t based on knowledge; but this doesn’t mean knowledge isn’t important. Knowledge is the basis of hope, but not salvation. Yet, no one thinks that hope isn’t important. It may not be as important as salvation, but it is still very nice to have just the same.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
In any case, any further comments concerning the morality or lack thereof of those involved with the LSU situation will no longer be posted here on Educate Truth. However, You are free to send me a personal E-mail if you wish (my E-mail can be obtained by visiting my website listed below).


Sean Pitman

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
@Ron Stone M.D.:

Well, Sean, atheists have written books explaining what, why, and how they have rejected God’s Truth. Those at LSU have explained what they believe and why they have accepted Man’s word and rejected God’s Truth. You say we can never know anything about this, and they must not really “understand” what they are doing.

I don’t know if they do or do not really understand what they are doing; and neither do you. Only God knows for sure…

Not only would I and others here disagree with you, but I believe the atheists would disagree. The idea that church members cannot be “judged” by their words and actions is simply not biblical.

And the soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross would have claimed at the time that they knew exactly what they were doing too… but did they really? Jesus prayed for them saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34 NIV

It is quite possible that even if a person is very adamant that he/she knows exactly what he/she is doing, that this person may not really know. This is a possibility that only God knows for sure. You simply cannot make this particular type of moral judgment with complete accuracy. You and I can judge the rightness or wrongness of the word or act (specifically regarding a doctrine like the literal 6-day creation week), but we cannot judge the rightness or wrongness of the heart; the motive.

There is a difference between being mistaken and sinning. Sinning requires a deliberate rebellion against known truth – something that you cannot tell for sure in cases of doctrinal disagreements on such things as the literal creation week or the true origin of the Sabbath or any other such commandment that deals specifically with man’s relationship with his or her God and God alone.

Sean Pitman

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe
@Ron Stone M.D.:

Sean says Moses and the Prophets are “empirical” evidence then says they are not!

Moses and the prophets are only “empirical evidence” in support of the Bible’s credibility if they actually say something true regarding the real world in which we all live (which I think they clearly do).

However, if Moses and the prophets did in fact clearly contradicted the real world (i.e., real history), the hypothesis that the Bible’s credibility is supported by them would be effectively falsified (as is the case for the Book of Mormon, for example) in such a situation.

It is in this sense that things like biblical prophecy must be held up for testing before biblical prophecy can be rationally accepted as credible (at least any more credible than the Book of Mormon).

In other words, biblical credibility is dependent upon the empirical evidence. Without the empirical evidence, there would simply be no greater rational reason to believe the Bible as any more credible than some moral fable that someone simply made up as a “cleverly invented story”. – 2 Peter 1:16 NIV

Sean Pitman

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