GC document holds LSU professors accountable

By Educate Truth Staff

LSU Prof. Lee Greer

Despite an overwhelming vote by constituents of the Northern California Conference against the Oroville Church’s agenda item #3, it turns out that such a policy is already in place.

On October 11, 1987, the General Conference Executive Committee approved and voted a document titled “A Statement on Theological and Academic Freedom and Accountability.”

Here are some excerpts from the document that are relevant to La Sierra University:

1. “The Church reserves the right to employ only those individuals who personally believe in and are committed to upholding the doctrinal tenets of the Church as summarized in the document, “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists” (1980). Such individuals are issued special credentials by their respective church bodies identifying them as continuing workers in the Church.” (bold emphasis added)

2. “It is understood that the disciplining of such a church employee who persists in propagating doctrinal views differing from those of the Church is viewed not as a violation of his freedom, but rather as a necessary protection of the Church’s integrity and identity. There are corporate church rights as well as individual freedoms. The worker’s privileges do not include the license to express views that may injure or destroy the very community that supports and provides for him.” (bold emphasis added)

At the end of the document it says:

It is recommended that the above Statement on Academic Freedom be presented to each university/college faculty and board by its administration to be used as the basis for the preparation of the institution’s academic freedom statement.

A Statement on Theological and Academic Freedom and Accountability

21 thoughts on “GC document holds LSU professors accountable

  1. Yeh, the policy is “in place” everywhere EXCEPT here in the Pacific Union Conference. Out here, we got a right to “do our own thing” as the old saying goes. The world church needs to keep its outdated, old fashioned nose out of the “progressive” SDA Church’s business out here in California!


    View Comment
  2. Why has not the G.C. President and North American Division President stepped up to the plate. Silence seems to be their motto. Have they been totally naive of this document or simply hoped for the issue to resolve itself. Interesting!


    View Comment
  3. This resolution/statement would have been formulated in the wake of the Desmond Ford debacle, and at least partially influenced by that event.

    The invitation to Ford to speak at Loma Linda in 2008 and dialogue with Loma Linda and La Sierra theologians in a very cordial (and almost apologetic) atmosphere, seemed to indicate that these theologians were re-thinking Ford’s propositions (which caused so much havoc and have not changed) – as well as re-thinking the way that the church dealt with Ford’s academic freedom.

    There must be a number of professors and administrators in Southern California who would not currently agree with the premise and conclusions of this document – not only because of revisionist views about Ford, but because of their views on many other ‘heterodox’ doctrines being promulgated currently there(including theistic evolution of course).


    View Comment
  4. When I was reading this I thought it was something recent and said to myself, “Those dear people have been working hard behind the scenes to come up with something like this and all this time I have been believing they were dragging their feet.” I felt downright ashamed of myself–until I saw this was a stand taken about the time (or shortly before) this whole mess was starting to creep in the doors of LSU (if my understanding of the time frame is correct.) Then I got more upset than I was before I read it.

    This is a very forceful and straight forward document. Will the current administrators ever have whatever it takes to enforce it? Somehow I question it. If they couldn’t come to grips with the issue when it was an “infant” what hope can we have that they will be able to do it now when the “baby” has become a monster?


    View Comment
  5. Lydian, I share your sentiments, the church leadership is not enforcing it’s own policy. The document was approved and voted into effect by the GC Annual Council in 1987 when Elder Neal Wilson was the GC President, since then we have had Robert Folkenberg and Jan Paulsen as GC Presidents and none of them has had the courage to enforce this sensible policy which states,

    “It is understood that the disciplining of such a church employee who persists in propagating doctrinal views differing from those of the Church is viewed not as a violation of his freedom, but rather as a necessary protection of the Church’s integrity and identity. There are corporate church rights as well as individual freedoms. The worker’s privileges do not include the license to express views that may injure or destroy the very community that supports and provides for him.”

    The tenets of this policy is what Shane, Sean, and most of the contributors to this forum have expressed since the inception of this website. It is plain and simple, it is robbery to be on the church’s payroll and then undermine the organization by teaching something contrary to its fundamental beliefs. If these professors want to be true to their conscience then the best course of action, it seems to me, is for them to take their beliefs and theories elsewhere. No one wants to gag them, they have the right to believe and teach whatever theories they hold dear to their hearts, but certainly not at a Seventh-Day Adventist college or university. To do otherwise is a breach of sacred trust. The secular world will not even tolerate this double standard. Will the General Motors Corporation tolerate an employee who spends his work hours undermining the corporation and promoting its competitors like the Ford Motor Company?.

    I hope and pray the churh leadership after this coming GC session will rise up and face this apostasy head on.


    View Comment
  6. That was a great Statement. Too bad no one gave it much thought, much like the Creation summit statements of 2004.

    I am aware the GC recently had meetings on the issue and are working to resolve it. Most of the GC leaders have united in support of literal creation from what I have heard. (this is good news)
    However, it’s clear having meetings and giving out statements of support for Creationism isn’t going to change things very much at LSU. (the bad news)


    View Comment
  7. Let me make it absolutely clear to everyone who has weighed in on the issue of the current F.B.#6, it’s theistic evolution teaching at L.S.U., and the G.C. accountability document.

    We need to go back to 1980 when F.B.#6 was implemented by the G.C. at it’s session in Dallas TX. The authors of the current wording of F.B.#6 were Fritz Guy and Larry Geraty. These two individuals intentionally changed the wording and omitted correct wording as voted by the G.C. committee prior to final approval at the G.C. session in 1980. Both men were employed by the Andrews University seminary at that time. Their intent was to re-write and word it in such a way which left the door open for own interpretation. Shortly thereafter their employment took them to L.S.U. which is the center of controversy in their teaching of evolution. It is clearly seen that the teaching of Evolution at L.S.U. is real and has been going on for some time, and intensifying year after year. So what does all this really tell us.

    In June of 2009 Fritz Guy specifically stated that the current wording of F.B.#6 (which he was an author of) is open for own interpretation, teaching of evolution, and therefore daring anyone to take on the University. President Wisbey is well aware of this and feels very strongly that the school is not violating F.B.#6 as currently written. The G.C. I believe has been aware of this for some time and therefore has not enforced it’s Accountability Document by disciplining all those at L.S.U who are in violation. It was well stated by Ron Stone, when he says “L.S.U administrators received the G.C. document, and simply tossed it in the trash can”. It is all the more reason and urgency that F.B.#6 be re-written, voted and implemented at the G.C. in Atlanta. The current wording as voted on at Andrews University Seminary which I read on this web-site is the one urgently needed. It is my earnest hope and prayer that church leadership at this coming G.C. session will rise up, step up to the plate and deliver. That certainly would be good news for all of us.

    Also I personally respect the many positive responses of many Godly men who respond on this web-site. The Lord bless each one of you for your courage and Christ-like spirit the way you respond. Forward in prayer and always be of good courage.


    View Comment
  8. F. Weber writes –

    In June of 2009 Fritz Guy specifically stated that the current wording of F.B.#6 (which he was an author of) is open for own interpretation, teaching of evolution, and therefore daring anyone to take on the University. President Wisbey is well aware of this and feels very strongly that the school is not violating F.B.#6 as currently written.

    I agree with your point that Fritz Guy and Larry Geraty ignored the GC committee on FB6 nd that they were seeking to insert an opening wedge for an evolutionist agenda.

    However Guy himself admits that all they did is provide a small step with the most glowing achievement beint the “preamble” that allows for “more changes” in the future.

    Fritz Guy

    Perhaps as important as the revisions that were made were the revisions that were not made. These included a number of suggestions for greater specificity regarding the days of creation week, the beginning of the Sabbath, the place(s) of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, ways of supporting the church financially, and proscribed behaviors such as card-playing, theatergoing, and dancing.34

    One extraordinarily good thing occurred at the Dallas session, even as the committee of two thousand was designing its theological camel: the addition of the preamble, the most important sentences in the whole document. Unofficially known as “the Graybill preamble” because it was initially drafted and proposed by Ronald Graybill,

    Fritz Guy argues that to get to the evolutionist vision he has for the SDA church we need to change a great many doctrines.

    Fritz Guy:
    The accumulating evidence has come from various sources—radiometric dating, genetics, comparative anatomy, geology, and paleontology—and it “has convinced virtually all working biologists” that a “framework of variation and natural selection is unquestionably correct.”35

    At the present time there seems to be no good reason to doubt the gradual development and increasing complexity of life over an extended period of time. The fact that this recognition complicates our theology hardly justifies discounting the overwhelming empirical evidence

    Fritz Guy urges that we take a page from the Millerite–>SDA transition and learn to once again toss out our firmly held beliefs and adopt new ones that favor the evolutionism of modern day atheists.

    Fritz Guy
    In 1844 our Adventist forbears recognized the empirical evidence that their theology was mistaken, and they revised it accordingly.

    So our intellectual efforts in the 21st century ought to be directed not to attacking various details of the prevailing developmental model, much less to denying it outright, but either (a) to developing a comprehensive alternative model, which no one has done
    or is likely to do, or (b) to incorporating into Adventist thinking the idea of a gradually increasing complexity of living organisms over a long period of time36 as an alternative to the traditional paradigm of a six-day creation less than ten thousand years ago.37

    Fritz Guy knows full well that for his agenda to win – Adventist voted doctrine needs to “change”.

    Thus it is clear that they did NOT “sell the farm” in 1980 as some have supposed. They merely slammed the door on efforts to make the barn door bullet proof.

    But the farm remains (doctrinally speaking) more or less the same as it was before. Thus their plan has to be to make a move when they feel they have taken over enough universities and graduated enough pastors and science teachers to then “have their way” with the voted doctrinal statements of the church.

    in Christ,



    View Comment
  9. Here is a recent post that I appreciated from Professor Kent at Adventist Today:

    Last evening I was reading to my wife the poignant chapter on Christ’s death from Desire of Ages (available at http://www.ellenwhite.info/books/ellen-g-white-book-desire-of-ages-da-78.htm). Note the description of the thief on the cross:

    “When condemned for his crime, the thief had become hopeless and despairing; but strange, tender thoughts now spring up. He calls to mind all he has heard of Jesus, how He has healed the sick and pardoned sin. He has heard the words of those who believed in Jesus and followed Him weeping. He has seen and read the title above the Saviour’s head. He has heard the passers-by repeat it, some with grieved, quivering lips, others with jesting and mockery. The Holy Spirit illuminates his mind, and little by little the chain of evidence is joined together. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he sees the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Hope is mingled with anguish in his voice as the helpless, dying soul casts himself upon a dying Saviour. “Lord, remember me,” he cries, “when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” ”

    This is exactly the concept of faith that I have argued for and which, I have felt, has been unjustly belittled. There was no apparent familiarity with scripture; no thunking on the head about flood models; no rock unearthed with the label “Made in Heaven 4004 BC;” no snarky arguments about truth, fsaar out probabilities concerning complexity, and radiocarbon abundance in ancient atmospheres. Just what was the “evidence” that transformed this redeemed soul? A single encounter with grace personified (on the heels of rumor and claims that could easily have been dismissed; sorting out fact and fiction is, of course, no easy task). That’s really it, my friends. A personal experience with God is, in my mind, the single most valuable and meaningful evidence one could ever wish for as a basis for faith. Even though any such experience with Christ today may lack the sensory perception provided by an encounter with anyone else, we must, like a child, simply accept in faith that His presence was real and spoke of a truth that we could scarcely fathom (much less educate).


    View Comment
  10. Mr Weber wrote “Also I personally respect the many positive responses of many Godly men who respond on this web-site.”

    Many women have responded on this web-site. Are they too unGodly to earn your respect or even bear mention?


    View Comment
  11. Sister White wrote about how to deal with fanatacism. She stated, “A spirit of fanaticism has ruled a certain class of Sabbathkeepers..They have sipped but lightly at the fountain of truth and are unacquainted with the spirit of the message of the third angel. Nothing can be done for this class until their fanatical views are corrected…

    There are many restless spirits who will not submit to discipline, system, and order. They think that their liberties would be abridged were they to lay aside their own judgment and submit to the judgment of those of experience. The work of God will not progress unless there is a disposition to submit to order and [a willingness to] expel the reckless, disorderly spirit of fanaticism…All should thoroughly acquaint themselves with the evidences of our faith, and the great study should be how they can adorn their profession and bear fruit to the glory of God.

    The truth of God will never degrade, but will elevate the receiver, refine his taste, sanctify his judgment, and perfect him for the company of the pure and holy angels in the kingdom of God” (Maranatha, p. 155).


    View Comment

  12. News Item of Interest

    A math teacher who said in an online survey that she did not believe in God has been fired by an Iowa Catholic school after her views were discovered on her Facebook profile and after officials found she had posted a comment at an atheist website.

    Last August the teacher, 27-year-old Abby Nurre, who had just been hired to teach eight-grade math at St. Edmond School in Fort Dodge, checked “no” in a Facebook survey about whether she believed in God, heaven and angels. Then in November she posted a link to a news article about federal funding of research on prayer in an online discussion forum run by atheists.

    In December, five weeks after that posting, a student brought printouts of the websites to school officials, and Nurre was fired. The Catholic school, backed by the bishops of Iowa, also sought to deny Nurre unemployment benefits, which prompted a court hearing that concluded in her favor this week. She will still not be able to return to St. Edmond School, however.

    “Each one of our teachers signs a contract when they are hired and one of the first things on the contract is the condition that they have to uphold our faith and teachings,” Kristie Arlt, director of communication for the Diocese of Sioux City, which covers Fort Dodge, told Politics Daily. Arlt said it did not matter that she taught math and not religion or a subject directly related to faith or morals.

    “We have wonderful teachers who are not Catholics — some are Lutherans — but they cannot willingly and publicly take a stand against the Catholic faith. So this should not have been a surprise to her [Nurre].”…

    “There were printouts of the Facebook page and of that Nexus group that the kids actually had,” he said. “When students in a Catholic school are running around the school with this survey and it says, ‘Do you believe in God?’ and it says, ‘No,’ well, that’s in conflict with what we are teaching.”


    The Week, June 11, 2010, p. 6

    Sean Pitman


    View Comment
  13. Geanna Dane says:
    May 26, 2010

    “And the fanatics are?”

    Geanna Dane says:
    May 26, 2010

    “THe women I take it?”


    I humbly submit that the first quote from you is directed at me. Is the other? As far as fanatics are concerned, in the Great Controversy, Sister White described fanatics as “…those who circulate unfavorable reports that had not the slightest semblance of truth…and those in a state of doubt and perplexity…” She continues further that fantaticism “[advocates] absurd and seditious doctrines.” She finally stated,
    Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the Word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.”

    As far as women being fanatical, they certainly can be, as so can men. If you are implying that I think women particularly are fanatics, I would beg to differ, since I do belong to a church whose pivotal founding member was a women.


    View Comment
  14. Good post. I study something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It should at all times be stimulating to learn content from different writers and observe a bit of something from their store. I’d desire to use some with the content on my blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.


    View Comment

Leave a Reply