Go, join a different church? How is that solution …

Comment on Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs by Ron.

Go, join a different church? How is that solution consistent with mission and evangelism? This is my church. I think I’ll stay.

Sean Pitman: What you are proposing is that the Church organization have no basic goals and ideals for which there should be any requirement of any employee to support.

No, that is not true, but I might have different goals and ideals than you.
It seems to me that supporters of Educate Truth value orthodoxy and doctrinal purity at the expense of being an inclusive community which values spiritual growth.

I think the most Fundamental of Adventist beliefs are freedom of conscience, by which I mean the right to think and act according to ones personal understanding of truth.

I do not believe that people can be forced to believe by dogma and creeds, but that each person needs to be convinced by close and diligent reasoning. Yes, I believe that evolution is a serious problem for the church, but the church has not done the hard work of reconciling its dogma with reality. I do not believe it is right for the church to punish biology teachers for simply teaching science, when the church as a whole does not have any reasonable explanation that is consistent with its theology.

I also think that Present Truth is a fundamental Adventist belief. The Adventist church as rejected many well established fundamental beliefs (Hell is a major one) of Christianity, because we believe God has continued to shed new light. I believe that the process of discovering Present Truth requires that it be safe to submit any and every thought to the close scrutiny of debate. I believe that truth has nothing to fear in such a process.

The establishment of a creed was widely discussed and rejected by our forefathers precisely because it inhibits the process of truth discovery, and the “Fundamental Beliefs” themselves are an apostasy from from the course set by our fathers.

What you are proposing – persecuting teachers and other believers, even by something so simple as telling me, I should leave the church is of the same spirit that motivated the inquisitions of the Catholic church, and even the persecutions of one protestant group by another. It is the pursuit of purity and orthodoxy by force that is the Mark of the Beast, in Catholicism the the image of the Beast in Protestantism. Adventism should have none of that.

Ron Also Commented

Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs

BobRyan: If this attribute of design, as observed in nature, is so blatantly obvious that even our evolutionist friends cannot help themselves when speaking about it – who are Bible believing Creationists to deny Intelligent Design?

So Bob, am I to conclude from your comment that you are becoming a theistic evolutionist, since you seem to equate evolution and ID?

Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs

Sean Pitman: In no meaningful sense of the word can this sort of expectation be called a “persecution”

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. I think that threatening one’s employment is pretty coercive. As far as I am aware, none of the teachers took the position that the churches theology was wrong. It seems the church is persecuting them for simply teaching science to the best of their ability.

I don’t think it is an individual teacher’s responsibility to reconcile the whole churches theology to the science. I think that leadership really needs to come from the theology department. It probably makes more sense to fire the theology department for negligence.

Creeds and Fundamental Beliefs
??? Your comment makes no sense.

BobRyan: Instead of that Darwin, Provine, Meyers and Dawkins all claim that evolution is what destroys christian faith.

At this point – I only state the obvious.

I think that is one of the problems. Both sides in the debate have jumped to the obvious conclusions which just happen to be wrong. They are then so invested in defending themselves that they refuse to see the obvious truth that there is no inherent conflict. There is no rational reason why God can’t create organisms with the capacity to adapt to new environments (another way to say “evolve”).

Bob, I know you will deny it, but I think you really are a theistic evolutionist, you are just afraid to acknowledge your own reason.

Recent Comments by Ron

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Sean Pitman: No one is demanding that they “get out of the church”. . . . . anti-Adventist views on such a fundamental level.

You don’t see how characterizing a dedicated believer’s understanding of truth as “fundamentally anti-Adventist” would drive them out of the church?

I guess that explains why you don’t see that what you are doing here is fundamentally wrong.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Professor Kent: Nothing saddens me more than the droves who leave the Church when they learn that many of their cherished beliefs regarding this evidence don’t hold up so well to scrutiny.

I agree. I am sure that Sean and Bob don’t mean to undermine faith in God, but every time they say that it is impossible to believe in God and in science at the same time, I feel like they are telling me that any rational person must give up their belief in God, because belief in God and rationality can’t exist in the same space. Who would want to belong to that kind of a church?

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation

Sean Pitman: and have little if anything to do with the main point of their prophetic claims

And by analogy, this appears to be a weak point in the creation argument. Who is to decide what the main point is?

It seems entirely possible that in trying to make Gen. 1 too literal, that we are missing the whole point of the story.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Regarding falsifying the existence of God through the miraculous:

While it is true that one can’t falsify the existance of God and the Biblical miracles at a philosophical level, it seems to me that it is possible to falsify it at a practical level. For instance prayer for healing. How many families who pray for a miracle for a loved one in the Intensive Care Unit receive a miracle?

While the answer to that question doesn’t answer the question of the existence of God at a philosophical level, it does answer the question at a practical level. After 36 years of medical practice I can say definitively that at a practical level when it comes to miracles in the ICU, God does not exist. Even if a miracle happens latter today, it wouldn’t be enough to establish an expectation for the future. So at a practicle level it seems it is possible level to falsify the existence od God, or at least prove His nonintervention which seems to me to be pretty much the same thing at a functional level.

Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
@Sean Pitman:
Sean, what is your definition of “Neo-darwinism” as opposed to “Darwinism” as opposed to “evolution”?