@Professor Kent: Stop it! No one but you is arguing …

Comment on Biblical Interpretation and Credibility by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

Stop it! No one but you is arguing about a “naked command.” I can say repeatedly YES, THERE WAS EVIDENCE, and your comeback is always, “you’re talking blind faith, dude.” You seriously need to stop this “blind faith” garbage.

When you and Phil Brantley argue that the Bible’s credibility cannot be subjected to testing or potential falsification, you are actually saying that faith is not at all dependent, in any sense of the word, on the backing of evidence. That’s what Phil Brantley is in fact saying…

Taking God’s word “at face value” is not devoid of evidence.

The term “at face value” means that no other evidence is needed besides what is right there in front of you. That’s it. No other evidence. It means, “to accept something because of the way it first looks or seems, without thinking about what else it could mean.”

It certainly does take into consideration evidence, but it often goes beyond this, where no evidence may be available to guide one’s reason.

It is my position that faith must take into consideration evidence if it is to be rational. It is this evidence that always guides one’s reasoning abilities when one takes a leap of faith beyond what can be absolutely known. That doesn’t mean the such a leap of faith is blind. It isn’t.

It also means that such a leap of faith has the potential to be wrong – to be falsified. But, of course, Phil Brantley doesn’t allow for this potentiality…

Stop making it into something different. Yes, Eve had MORE evidence that should have backed God’s word, but this was not about who gave more or better evidence. It’s about the DECISION she made, in which she put more credence into the serpent’s word than God’s word. Big mistake. She failed to take God’s word at face value.

It’s about why she believed the Serpent rather than God even though God had given her far far more evidence. Eve actually displayed greater blind faith in the Serpent’s word since the Serpent offered far less evidence that God had offered.

That is why I said it was more about desire than about evidence for those who really don’t like what the evidence is telling them. This is why the wicked will be lost despite there being overwhelming evidence in God’s favor – because they don’t like what they know is true.

In comparison, for those who are honestly searching for truth, additional evidence is the means for increasing one’s faith in the truth.

When God says, “Jump,” no one but you is arguing that, at face value, there is no evidence of God’s authority and foreknowledge that should be taken into account. Rather than look for additional evidence to understand his command (perhaps a snake at your feet), you need to simply do as God commanded–jump. That is what we do when we take God’s word at face value. It’s not a blind or naked decision.

All I said is that a rational leap of faith requires a basis in solid evidence that has proven itself reliable after careful investigation and testing. Once this evidence is established, obviously it can be quite rationally used as the basis for increased faith.

Of course, this is directly contrary to what Phil Brantley proposes – that faith exists independent of the need for any evidentiary support – to include the fulfillment of prophecy in real history. That’s simply not a rational position in my book…

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
To All,

Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of this thread and this website. There are many hot potato issues within the Adventist Church. Other topics that are not directly related to the limited scope of this website will most likely not be posted or will be deleted. You are welcome to carry on such conversations privately via the chat group that is provided by this website.

Thank you.

Educate Truth Staff

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Bill Sorensen:

Everything anyone does outside of Christ is sin. Even honest mistakes made by the angels of heaven are “forgiven” by virtue of their relationship with Christ.

Yes, it could be called “sin” in a comprehensive and generic application. In the bible “sin” has many aspects and defined in application in many ways.

Don’t you think that Jesus may have accidentally stepped on someone’s foot, or accidentally bumped into someone, while on this Earth while subject to limited knowledge as we are subject? Did Jesus “sin” when making such honest mistakes?

Your problem is that you define “sin” as any and all mistakes – even an angel accidentally stepping on his friend’s foot would be sinful or evil according to you. And, it seems, as if such “sins” will continue on for eternity in Heaven due to a lack of perfect knowledge.

What then makes the sin of eating the forbidden fruit so different? Adam and Eve were created “in Christ”, just as unfallen angels are. Why then did their sin cause them to be removed from their garden home and place them in the need of the sacrificial suffering and death of Jesus on the cross? Why wouldn’t an angel accidentally stepping on his friend’s foot require the same actions on the part of God?

What you don’t seem to understand is that there are different types of mistakes or “sins” if you want to call them all by the same word. Certain mistakes are not sins against one’s conscience and are therefore not moral wrongs and do not lead to a lost relationship with God – i.e., they do not lead to death.

The difference between accidental mistakes and deliberate sins against one’s neighbor is that accidents are not sins against one’s conscience; against God. Therefore, they do not lead to a loss of one’s relationship with God. Deliberate sins against one’s neighbor, on the other hand, do lead to a loss of relationship with both one’s neighbor and with God.

It is for this reason that sins against one’s conscience are in a whole different class altogether from truly honest accidental mistakes. The conscience is what defines the morality of an individual – what defines true obedience and/or rebellion against God or “sin” – i.e., true iniquity.

You know, at this point I’m not sure if there is anything further I can share with you on this topic that will help you see the difference between honest mistakes and true moral sins? I think you’ve made your position look pretty silly by now. I don’t think very many people are going to find it very difficult to see the difference between accidentally stepping on someone’s foot vs. what Adam and Eve did in eating the forbidden fruit.

For these reasons, comments regarding the supposed moral standing or “sinfulness” of those who hold to opposing doctrinal perspectives from me or you or anyone else contributing to comments in this forum will not be posted. While we disagree with what certain staff members have done and are doing at LSU, and think that these individuals should either resign or be removed from their positions as paid representatives of the Adventist Church within our schools, we do not judge their moral standing before God.

There will be no further discussion along these lines.

Sean Pitman

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
@Bill Sorensen:

Even your angel in heaven illustration will not support the idea that Gabriel is innocent and/or not guilty. It just means forgiveness is a natural result of ignorance. It is a spiritual faux pau. Not unlike a simular incident in this world where you might bump into someone by accident and say, “Oh, excuse me, I didn’t see you there.”

Oh, but are such errors sinful? – in the same sense that they would require the blood of Jesus for atonement? Why wouldn’t such errors be classified in the same manner with the sin of eating the forbidden fruit? – which did require the blood of Jesus for atonement?

The issue is pardon, or no pardon. Not, guilty or not guilty. People are pardoned because they are guilty, and we don’t plead innocence before God just because we didn’t know better.

You’re mistaken. People have successfully used the argument of ignorance with God many times. – Gen. 20:3-7 NIV.

Ignorance means that one has not sinned against one’s conscience. A deliberate sin against one’s own conscience, against what one knew to be right, is what demanded the blood of Jesus for atonement.

According to your view, sin will always continue in Heaven for ever and ever. As long as we are subject to imperfect knowledge, accidents will happen – even in Heaven. While we will no doubt apologize for these accidence, they will not be classified as moral “sins”.

Note that Mrs. White and the Bible both point out that moral sin will not arise a second time in God’s universe.

Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God: “Affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.

EGW, GC, p. 504

This situation would be impossible given your view of sin and your misunderstanding as to what makes sin so evil.

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.