Comment on Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation by Sean Pitman.
Just because I wouldn’t be an Adventist or a Christian if I questioned the Divine origin of the Bible doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t strive to be a good “moral” person. Morality can be derived independent of the Bible. There have been a lot of “good” people who have lived on this planet who never heard of the Bible.
The question is, what makes the Bible’s claim to be of a Divine origin, to have access to privileged information, any more credible than the same claim being made for the Book of Mormon or any other book that claims to have come from God? What makes the Bible any more special or credible than a collection of good moral fables? – which seems to me to be your view of the Bible.
As an aside, the Bible doesn’t say that the Sun, moon and stars didn’t exist before the creation week. It says that they did not become visible from the limited perspective of the observer until the 4th day.
In any case, it is quite clear from the text that the author intended to convey to his readers that the creation week for this planet was a literal week divided into identifiable “evenings and mornings”. On this point, there really is no argument – even among secular scholars of Hebrew.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
So, now all of a sudden, you DO believe in Darwinian evolution. Have you talked to Bob about that? Is he going to allow you to stay in the church?
There is no “all of a sudden” about it. We’ve believed in very limited forms of evolution via random mutations all along. Mendelian variation has also always been accepted as a fact of nature by creationists. I’m still not quite sure how you could have concluded otherwise?
Why then are you arguing against us? If you are perfectly content with a literal six day creation week, then where is your argument with us? We are all fine with the existence of very limited forms of Darwinian-style evolution occurring at low levels of functional complexity since the Fall. Our only problem is with those teaching in our schools telling our students that the neo-Darwinian story of origins, to include the existence and evolution of all forms of life on this planet, from a very simple common ancestor over hundreds of millions of years, is the true story of origins – that the literal six-day creation week is nonsense. That’s what we’re having a problem with.
If you agree with us in this regard, what then is your concern?
The founding fathers did indeed argue against creeds, organization, and church government of any kind. However, they soon discovered the impracticality of this position and changed their minds. They all, including Mrs. White, ended up supporting standards of church order and government, to include the adoption of rules of enforcement particularly in regard to who could officially represent the church in a paid capacity.
Of course, those who were not considered to accurately represent the views of the early SDA Church did not receive “cards of commendation”. In other words, they were let go from church employment. And what was the attitude of such persons? – according to Loughborough?:
Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”
One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc… All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.”
Loughborough, JN. Testimonies for the Church. p. 650. Vol. 1.
It seems to me like you have the same attitude as those who where excluded from being paid representatives of the early SDA Church by our founding fathers…
Also, the fact that Mrs. White clearly claimed to have been shown, directly by God, the literal nature of the Genesis account of the creation week, completely undermines any leeway you could possibly claim in her writings for the neo-Darwinist position. The neo-Darwinist position is fundamentally opposed to the SDA position on origins and always has been. It is also opposed to the rationality and credibility of Christianity in general.
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Thank you Ariel. Hope you are doing well these days. Miss seeing you down at Loma Linda. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving!
Thank you Colin. Just trying to save lives any way I can. Not everything that the government does or leaders do is “evil” BTW…
Only someone who knows the future can make such decisions without being a monster…
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Where did I “gloss over it”?
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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.