I responded to a comment by Mike Manea. It was …

Comment on Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution? by Bill Sorensen.

I responded to a comment by Mike Manea. It was suggested the real issue was more comprehensive than the evolution vs. creation discussion.

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
MIke Manea said, “It seems to me that everyone here including the author is missing the greater point. To use an illustration, the situation our church is in (and even Christianity in general) is as if we are on the Titanic after having hit an iceberg and, as the ship is filling with water, we occasionally take a small cup and throw some of that water back out. That is the basic impact of writing articles like this one.”

There is some viable credibility to this statement. Not to mention, that even if truth is known, it must be maintained with discipline at least in the church community. And this is what has been woefully lacking in the last few decades. After the Dr. Ford fiasco, the church opted for Pluralism so as not to split the church. We see the results of this decision. The truth is, it is a “cop out” for church leaders to ignore their duty and responsibility and so we have what we have as a result.

At this point, the devil will simply wear us all out eventually, and people will tire of all the bickering in the church, just as they will tire of all the political bickering in US politics. The church leaders can pontificate all they want with threats of punishment for the present rebellion. But those who rebel are like children of indulgent parents who threaten again and again until the child knows they are simply bluffing.

In the mean time, the Catholic church sits by and watches Protestantism self destruct with Adventism on the same course. The Pope is Mr. Nice Guy and “the whole world wonders after the beast.”

Some of us don’t expect to see any major issues resolved at the GC this year. It would probably split the church. But what if Abraham Lincoln and those who supported the anti-slavery agenda said, “We can not do anything dynamic, because it may well split the nation.” We are so “hell bent” on unity at all cost, that the truth is being sacrificed on the alter of Baal. And it is doubtful that GYC, ASI, 3ABN, Amazing Facts, Amazing Discoveries, and all the other host of independent ministries will solve the problem. God has used the SDA church in the past and will continue to use it on some level. But unless there is a positive and dynamic move to defend the faith and discipline error with more than idle threats, it is certain the SDA church will eventually be worthless as the final means of grace to accomplish what God intended in the beginning. And those who continue to state “God is in control” apparently do not consider that God can only “control” if and when the human instrumentality yields to His will.

If “God is in control” in some arbitrary way as some seem to imply, we could ask, “Why did He not control in heaven and keep rebellion and apostacy from materializing?” Or “On earth to keep Adam and Eve from doing the same?” or “Israel, or the early church……etc?” The phrase “God is in control” can easily be a “cop out” for our moral accountability for self discipline in leadership in general and all of us individually by the word of God. If Rome is Babylon on some level, modern Adventism is Babylon on an even higher level.

None the less, God will eventually and certainly create a Christian community of believers by way of the bible as the Holy Spirit inspires and motivates His people to accept the responsibility demanded of any and all who represent the kingdom of God. But it won’t be by some “unconditional election of the church” that many advocate in the spirit of apostacy of past history. Such a spirituality undermine moral accountability and leaves the church and its members useless to God and His kingdom.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
Those who advocate some kind of “gap” theory in the first 5 verses of Genesis undermine scripture and will do so on other subjects as well as time goes by. We don’t go by logic or “common sense” when we endeavor to understand the bible. We first accept the clear declarations of scripture, and then seek to understand the continuity of any given revelation as it fits the whole of the word of God.

Neither do we study science and then try to force scriptural declarations to fit any scientific knowledge. The age of anything at creation is not discernable. God created a full grown tree. How old was it? Adam was not a baby. How old was he? The rocks fall into this same dilemma. On day one, they could have been created a million years old. So it is useless and futile to examine any created thing and then declare you can determine how old the earth is by some scientific evaluation. You will eventually become an unbeliever in the bible and be skeptical on any and every other issue that nature can not affirm.

The bible is not validated by human speculation, or even science. There is no viable “gap theory” in the first 5 verses.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
Mr. Helm is typical of those who use a chain saw and hatchet to butcher up the bible to patronize science. The first five verses in Genesis are all “the first day”.

Sean said in his article, “I’m not sure why the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church doesn’t say and/or do more about the teachings of the schools that bear its name?”

Like our U.S. political situation, our spiritual leaders of the church are impotent to do anything but pontificate about punishment for rebellion against the church. It seems likely the church as a corporate legal entity is becoming useless to God to accomplish and finish His work. It is so fragmented into many independent ministries that the independent ministries do far more evangelizing than the official SDA denomination. Probably 80% of evangelism is done by these independent ministries. God has used, and is to some degree still useing the SDA denomination to defend and advocate some important bible truths. But it is becoming less and less viable in both administration and doctrine. We must be aware that these independent ministries are not officially controled by the SDA denomination. Thus, they are not the “official” church. The church has no control of what they teach or advocate. Not to mention that no one “joins” an independent ministry to become and member of the ministry. This also means if a person supports one of these ministries, they have no “official” voice in what they do or teach.

On the other hand, technically a church member has some “official” say concerning the SDA church because they are official members. What we have today is mass confusion about almost all aspects of what is the church, and what is the church teaching. And this is one reason there is no discipline by church leadership when false doctrine is advocated and supported in any local church, school, or any other means of communicating the SDA message. One obvious question would be, “Where do you start to clean up the mess?” If you did discipline one avenue of education, they would simply say, “Why are picking on us, when there are many other issues of equal concern on many other levels?”

So, it seems impossible for any viable discipline on any singular issue unless you deal with every other issue at one and the same time. And this certainly seems unlikely and even unworkable.

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Sean Pitman:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

Paul says, “Sold in in.” and “Children of wrath just like everyone else.”

You may not like this biblical reality, but it is true none the less.

And yes, God has also provided a way of escape so that all who He has created “in sin” can be “born again” spiritually and escape their heritage of sin and shame.

I know a lot of people don’t like this idea, but it is true anyway. We are born lost with the potential to be saved if we accept Jesus and His atonement that is provisional for “whosoever will may come.”

Cain didn’t like it either and resisted the exhortation of his brother, Abel, to offer a sin offering because he was a sinner. Cain says, “No, I’ll bring a thank offering, but no sin offering. Sin is not my fault. God created me this way.”

Most people will be outside looking in because they agree with Cain but a few will be inside looking out because they agree with Abel.

Bill Sorensen

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

Well, Sean, I was not as confrontational as Wesley who said, “Those who deny the doctrine of original sin are heathen still.” … [deleted]

[Oh please…

If you want to have a real conversation, great. However, unless you actually respond substantively to the questions and counter arguments posed to you, without your needless pejoratives, I’m not going to continue posting your repetitive comments on this topic in this forum…]

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
And the topic at hand is “What does it take to be a real SDA?”

It takes someone who is willing to follow the bible and its teaching in every particular. If you don’t believe this, you are not a “Protestant” SDA.

You then bring up the Trinity. Which is fine. But that is certainly not the only thing that qualifies for the topic of your thread.

So, here is what you stated to me…..”To be morally “guilty” of something, however, requires that one is consciously aware of what is right, but deliberately chooses to do what is wrong instead (James 4:17). Without the interplay of free will, there is no moral “guilt”.”

So a person is “born” selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc, but not “guilty” of being, selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc. Your limited view of “guilt” is not biblical. Half a truth is equal to a lie. There is certainly conscience guilt. But guilt is more than awareness of right and wrong. “Sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know. If you break the law, you are guilty of breaking the law.

Just admit the truth, Sean. But don’t accuse me of going outside the intent of this thread when it was not specifically stated as a thread about the Trinity.

Just “man up” once in a while and admit you are wrong. We are all born guilty in the eyes of God. And our ignorance does not free us from this fact.

Bill Sorensen

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Well, Sean, this article is about Dr. Taylor and his argument to negate the bible. Maybe you and Goldstein can persuade him with your arguments.

The evidences of nature function as a “law that is a schoolmaster” to lead us to the bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God…….” but still does not tell us who God is nor the function of His government concerning the moral law.

In fact, natural law is so convoluted by sin that “survival of the fittest” is the only logical conclusion.

At any rate, I wish you well in your endeavors to support the creation account in scripture.
Take care.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

I read Kevin Paulson’s article and he “double talks” around the obvious to deny and/or ignore the reality of what the bible teaches and EGW confirms.

Babies are born guilty of sin because they are born with the spirit of sin. They have no power to do anything but sin unless and until by the special grace of God, they are given the ability to “choose”.

If you add God’s grace to the bible definition of original sin, you can make man free to act all you want. Original sin has to do with the fall of Adam and the results. It is not about God’s grace that has been added by way of the cross. So EGW has stated clearly in support of the fall and its effects on Adam’s children.

” God declares, “I will put enmity.” This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason, fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.” {GC88 505.2}

Those who deny original sin and its effects on the children of Adam always appeal to the atonement and the grace of God. But we see that God “put” enmity between Satan and the human family.

As Luther said to Erasmus in their discussion on this matter when Erasmus claimed the will was free by way of grace,
“Once you add grace you can make the will as free as you like.”

Original sin is not about grace nor what man can do once grace is implied and involved. Original sin is about what man is after the fall apart from grace and/or God’s special action super-imposed in the situation. So, if there is no original sin, neither is there any need for grace.

Kevin Paulson convolutes the issue just like other SDA scholars by making no distinction between how man is after the fall with or without grace.

So, in light of original sin, David says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Ps. 58

David knows apart from God’s grace, no one can do anything but sin. Original sin highlights the necessity and value of the atonement and what it truly means to be “born again.”

Hear the words of Jesus, “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit, ye must be born again.”

Original sin is exactly why Jesus made this comment. No one can read and understand the bible who denies the reality of original sin and its effects on all the children of Adam. We are all born guilty of sin, even before we act. So Isaiah says, “Write the vision and make it plain, that wayfareing men, though fools, need not err therein.”

In closing, original sin is not about the atonement nor its meaning and application to humanity. It is about man as he comes from Adam lost and without hope, power, choice or any ability to do anything about his situation.