@Bill Sorensen: “If Eve had been completely ignorant, she would …

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

@Bill Sorensen:

“If Eve had been completely ignorant, she would not have been guilty of sin.” and “So, it is an error on your part to equate honest ignorance with sin of any kind.” – Sean Pitman

And, of course, Sean, this is where we disagree completely.

Ignorance is no excuse according to the law. “The law” doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know. So. “Sin is transgression of the law” period.

Sin is the known or deliberate transgression of the Royal Law only (the Law upon which the 10 Commandments are based as an expansion of the Royal Law). There is no sin, no moral fall, when there is no deliberate transgression of this primary or underlying Royal Law. Breaking the moral law is not the same thing as breaking a human law against speeding. Breaking the moral law requires a conscious rebellion against that which is known to be true; morally true.

Again, if God had not told Adam and Eve that they couldn’t eat from a particular tree, they would not have been guilty of sin had they eaten of it. It is only because God did tell them that they became guilty of taking that which wasn’t theirs when they ate the fruit – of stealing from God and breaking the Royal Law of Love. Otherwise, if God had convicted them of sin for eating of the forbidden fruit, without having ever told them that it was forbidden first, God would rightly have been seen as unfair and unjust, and therefore unlovable. Satan’s charge that God’s commands and actions are unfair would have been supported before the eyes of the universe.

You have to admit, if you are honest with yourself, that no one could love a God like this – one who punishes a person for honest ignorance. If God had punished Adam and Eve for eating forbidden fruit without first warning them that it was in fact forbidden, Satan would have won the day before the universe of candid intelligent minds in his claims for the arbitrary capricious nature of God and his laws.

If you break the speed limit and are stopped, you may plead, “I didn’t see the sign regulating the proscribed speed allowed.”

And then you may say, “Because of this, I did not break the law.”

How impressed will the cop be with your supposed claim of innocence?

No one can make the claim of honest ignorance when it comes to breaking the Royal Law because this Law has been written on the hearts of all mankind. What people can honestly claim ignorance of are particular commands that were not intuitively known or knowable. Honest ignorance in such cases is a very good excuse indeed and is not counted as sin.

This is why Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason'”… “If you were blind, you would have no sin…” – John 15:22-25 NIV and John 9:41 NIV

Notice that Jesus specifically ties in sin with conscious rebellion against a known Law. He specifically argues that ignorance does not equate to sin. I’ve presented these texts before for your consideration, but beyond these texts, the concept is intuitively true. One cannot be held morally accountable for what one honestly doesn’t know and could not have known…

Mrs. White explains this a bit by noting that, “Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity to know the will of God.” (GC, 597-598)

This implies, of course, 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.

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

Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

After the Flood
Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!

The Flood
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…

The Flood
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…

Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Where did I “gloss over it”?

Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine
I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.

Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).

Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.