Bill Sorensen: All this, because the church refuses to admit we …

Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by Ron.

Bill Sorensen: All this, because the church refuses to admit we are justified by obedience to the law of God and claim, “all you have to do is believe” and God does everything else.

Bill Sorensen: the 1888 fiasco

Bill, My heart is sad for you. It seems to me that you have rejected God’s leading as He brought the church out of the Closed Door teaching and into the truth of Righteousness by Faith in the 1888 movement, then again with Ford, and again, by way of reaction to Brinsmead’s perfectionism.

You are right. There is an easy way to judge the truth here. “By their fruits you shall know them”.

Is is my observation that on the road to salvation many people go through the experience when they recognize that there are certain sins in for which, after years of effort and prayer, they still have absolutely no control. They finally come to the conclusion that if years of effort and prayer are not effective by now, then they might as well give up trying. If Christ chooses not to save them, then they are truly lost. They come to recognize that unless Christ intervenes there truly is no hope.

It seems to be when they abandon all hope of salvation even to the point of ceasing even to attempt to resist the temptation, it is at that point that Christ steps in. Kind of like a lifeguard at the beach. Who swims out to be nearby, just out of reach, until the person gives up and stops struggling completely. Only then is it that the lifeguard takes hold and brings the person to shore.

Going through this experience breeds a profound sympathy, compassion, and tolerance for others. It also breeds confidence that God has not abandoned those who seem to be struggling helplessly, whether it is with addictions, or the confusing philosophies of academia. It also makes you realize that neither God, nor the church are threatened by things like biology teachers teaching evolutionary biology.

I know that your heart will rise up against this description because it is scary to give up all hope and to quit struggling against sin. We have been taught so long, that we need to struggle against sin that this will certainly seem abhorrent heresy to some.

But it is easy to judge. On which side does the good fruit lie?

On the one hand we see anger about the church being taken advantage of in the salaries of it’s employees, we see fear of loosing God’s favor through wrong belief. We see fear of losing the Sabbath, and blindness to all the other reasons to keep the Sabbath that would continue even if it weren’t a symbol of creation. We see conflict between the elder’s and the conference with the splitting of the church. We see the use of force in response to rejection of the conference’s attempts to place a pastor that they presumably think would be helpful to the church. For the sake of purity we see the persecution of our deepest thinkers until they are driven out of the church. We see the rejection of joy and praise in music. We see members wishing other members would leave the church, or even the discussion board. We see churches stagnating and dying.

On the other hand we see peace, and confidence in Christ and the church. We see joy and praise in music. There is free and vibrant debate with the resultant growth and progress in Present Truth. There is tolerance and compassion for those who are “obviously wrong”, or even just seeking. We see warmth and inclusiveness that brings new member’s flocking to meet a Jesus that loves even the most unlovely.

I’m sorry Bill. I have absolutely no desire to go back to your kind of church. If it works for you, then I wish you well. If it means that my faith in Christ and evolution are delusions and that I am lost, then I am lost. If Elder Wilson is successful in driving people like me from the church, then I will go in peace. My only goal here is to keep a clean conscience and to do everything I can to speak out against the bigotry and intolerance that historically leads to abuse and at the extreme, to the inquisition.

Ron Also Commented

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

“This is utter nonsense. To cease to try to resist temptation is exactly what Satan wants, and will cost you your salvation.”

I am only speaking from personal experience. This is the way it worked in my life. I admit that it was very scary to admit defeat and stop trying. But I didn’t just stop trying. I stopped trying; I gave it to Jesus, and I stopped feeling guilty. I had the same fears as you, that Satan would take over. But that isn’t the way it worked. To my great surprise, I didn’t turn into a raving addict. In fact on that issue, pretty much nothing happened. Instead, God redirected my attention to other more important things that needed to be addressed in my life first. Then later, actually several years later, he dealt with the issue that was my first concern, and now I am pretty much free. If it turns out I am lost and deluded, then, I guess I am lost and deluded, because I wasn’t able to do it, even with Jesus “help”. I trust Jesus will do with me whatever He chooses. I am OK with that. At least, for now, I am a whole lot happier.

“neither God, nor the church are threatened: . . . How could you possibly believe such a thing? If, as you claim, you are all about the love of God, how could you stand by and see Him insulted? . . . Anyone who accepts evolution does not love God.”

First, I am not afraid for the church, because I believe Jesus won the battle at the cross. And, Mrs. White had that funny little vision about the precious gems being trampled in the barnyard. When they were picked up and washed off, they were none the worse for wear. Whether we believe truth makes a huge difference in our lives, but it doesn’t make any difference at all to truth itself. Truth is still truth whether we believe it or not, and it will out in the end.

Second, God is a “big boy”, he can take care of himself. He was reconciled to everything that happens on this earth even before he made it, so I am sure he has a plan. I am here to help where ever I can, but in the end, whatever anyone else believes is between themselves and God. I don’t see how threatening a person’s job is going to help them understand, or believe, or think more highly of God.

“I find that incredible that you would trade your salvation for the theory of a mere man.”

I have given my heart and life to God. That is all I can do. Whether I am saved or not is up to Jesus.

“How cheaply you sell it out.”

I haven’t sold out at all. In fact I am here arguing on behalf of God the best I can.

“If you accept evolution, you deny God. How can you not see it?”

I do see it. I think I understand exactly why you believe the way you do. But I see the issue in a larger context. As I have tried to explain in may other threads on this website, I do not believe there is any inherent reason that evolution and creation are incompatible. I think that is a mis-conception developed 150 years ago when the concept first appeared and that both sides of that argument are wrong. Are we bound to the misconceptions of our forefathers? Doesn’t God expect us to learn and grow with time? We have had 150 years to think about this, and our perspective has grown and changed. That is the concept of “Present Truth”.

If Elder Wilson attempts to “purify the church” by this method, he will be going against the direct, expressed command of Jesus himself. Math. 13:30.

I believe the proper way to purify the church, is to do what Sean and PaulUC are doing on another thread. Sean is compiling scientific studies that support his opinion, and he and PaulUC are having a civil debate over the merits of said studies. If enough people did that, then over time, a body of evidence would grow to the point that more people would find it convincing. I believe this is the hard work that our church has neglected to do. I don’t believe it is fair to punish individuals for an organizational failure.

(PS. I want to commend Sean for his efforts in that direction.)

There is no way to short circuit that process. Nobody will be convinced by firing biology teachers. To most people, that looks too much like the Roman Catholic church persecuting the heretics. It didn’t work for Rome, and it won’t work for SDA’s.
In fact, even if evolution is truly a heresy, just your calling it so is disrespectful of the people you are hopefully trying to win over. It is counterproductive to your true interests. That is why Jesus told us not to do it.

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

Bill Sorensen: anyone holding to scripture will also hold to a 7 day literal week. It is an objective given beyond negotiation.

Bill, I am curious, Do the first 3 chapters of Genesis teach you anything else? Have you discovered any truth in those chapters that was not previously spelled out by Mrs. White?

Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case

BobRyan: I think I will take Paul’s advice in 1Cor 7:19, and pretty much all of Romans 6 — instead of that speculation above

I expected as much. You must be one of those rare people who has perfect control. I am not surprised that you cannot relate to the experience I described. Until you get to that spot, Mark 2:17 applies.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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”?