If things don’t change I would not be surprised if …

Comment on La Sierra schism widens by Timothy Perenich.

If things don’t change I would not be surprised if the earth swallowed up the University because of its rank apostasy. Committed believers should refuse to give one cent to a school that cannot follow the basic tenets of our faith. They may not get the message when we protest, but they will get it when the money dries up.

Recent Comments by Timothy Perenich

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@Sean Pitman:


I appreciate your zeal in protecting your friends. But your threats of telling me to “back off” will not suffice. Moreover, your attempt to rebut my argument with a choice quote from the spirit of prophecy buttressed with sprinkling of scripture will not due. Again, I respect your advocacy for this issue and agitation you have raised, but I strongly disagree with your apparent disregard of the manifest evidence I cited in scripture. You ought to reconsider your position to accuse me of doing wrong when you do the same. You assume good motive toward these people when I look at their works and demand a verdict–which is consequently what God does who happens to know motive. How can you attack me saying that I am assuming motive, when you are the one who does so. YOU argue over and over again that these people are innocent, misguided, and akin to little boy making a mess when trying to make breakfast. I advise you to recount the facts. A) YOU do not know their hearts any better than I do B) These people were not baptized yesterday into the church C) Evolution is spiritualism parading as science D) These people persecute conscientious students in our schools who accept the Bible as valid E) Wrong doing, not wrong motivation, is to be punished Biblically–reread the evidence in previous response. F) The people of God in are called by Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy to administer severe discipline in order to save others from salvation shipwrecking error.

[edited by moderator for length and relevant content]


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@Ron Stone M.D.:

Thanks Ron for your words. I am still not sure how motives passes the standard of Scripture. Those who take the Mark of the Beast in their hand are just as worthy of eternal consuming fire as those who accept the mark in their head. Our job as a community is not to assume motive, right or wrong, but to follow the counsel of God and render discipline.

The sad thing about this is that Dr. Pittman would rather have these people who slander the creation narrative and use their authority in class to belittle students who believe in scripture over for Sabbath Lunch than some on like me who puts the Bible before human philosophy. Something is not right when are closer friends to enemies of the truth and those who would uphold it.

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@Sean Pitman, M.D.:


Again and again you keep using the motives line to resist calling these men and women out as false teachers and having them disfellowshipped. But the question is does “motives” pass the Bible test when it comes to judgement.

When God gave his commands to His people he did not counsel them to worry about “motivation” it was obey and believe. As a matter of fact when it came to judgement by the elders and leaders of the camp of Israel motive was not asked at all. Consider Deuteronomy 13:1-5 in dealing with a false prophet: God does not say to them “get to know the false prophet, have lunch with them, and tell them that what they are doing is wrong.” No it actually says “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away evil from your midst.” (v. 5)

Please notice that no one was to ascribe motive or attempt to be an optimistic assumer of intent, instead the facts were to be laid out and false prophet/dreamer etc. was to be killed. The rest of the chapter cuts even closer to home, demonstrating how sacred the home life was God. God decreed that if some one in your own home (wife, brother, mother, very best friend–perhaps the way you feel about these misguided teachers at LSU) becomes an apostate tempting you to worship other gods you are to expose them in front of the congregation and be the first to stone them (Deut. 13:6 – 11). Did God command this because he is evil or vindictive? CERTAINLY NOT!!! He commanded this to teach that it is sin which destroys and that God’s laws cannot be broken without penalty. Moreover, it also taught a valuable lesson that removing sin from your life is painful and God’s judgement is severe. But the one thing absent from all this judgement is the assumption of motive. God does not tell his people to find it out or to assume it, rather the facts are laid out and the soul is extinguished.

But let us consider the other cases from the scriptures Joshua 7:10 -26 No motive here even though Achan attempts to suggest that he was tempted and mistaken, he is still commanded to be stoned. 1 Samuel 15:1 – 34 King Agag was judged by God to be enemy of the camp of Israel and King Saul was commanded to execute his judgement. King Saul was not to sit with Agag by the fire sipping de-cafe lattes talking about the good times they had in academy and the university. Instead Saul was to unhesitatingly execute Agag on the spot and demolish all that he had. But Saul did not do as God commanded and Samuel the man of God rendered the harsh judgment against Agag “cutting him into pieces.” Samuel did not sit and think, what if Agag was not held as a child or did not get his ritalin in the morning before primary school, no it was enough for Samuel that God’s Holy Word judged Agag as enemy and worthy of punishment.

I must pause here, because invariably the Adventist like their evangelical counterparts are quick to believe that God Changes and that some how things are different in the New Testament and Jesus is different altogether from God. While it is clear Christ did not come to destroy his enemies with divine vengeance, he did, as in the Old Testament, commanded his disciples to examen the facts and render judgment without knowing motive. For example the ministry of John the Baptist, which was highly esteemed in the eyes of Christ (Luke 7:24 – 29), condemned the religious leaders for what they did and what they failed to do (Luke 3:7 – 14). Jesus himself not only condemned the same recalcitrant religious leaders but resigned them to a special resurrection (Mark 14:61 – 63; Rev. 1:7). Moreover, he cleansed the temple with a whip and divine authority to rid the unjust practices (Mt. 21:12 – 17). While it is true he could see motivation, he counseled his disciples to judge in the same ma manner according to actions. For example when commanding His disciples to engage in evangelism he bid them to find who was “worthy” and stay in their house and bring “peace” to it. However, if men and women refused to hear the word of God the disciples were commanded–not knowing the hearts of the people–to wipe the dust off their shoes as a testimony against them (Mt. 10:14) as symbol of impending judgment. Bear in mind Christ did not send his disciples to sit men and women on the couch and determine their status of self-actualization–as many SDA pastors are trained to do–no they were to offer them a message of peace and give them a symbol of judgment if they did not accept it.

This was obviously not the first time Jesus counseled his disciples in Judgment for we find Peter rendering severe justice against Ananias and Sapphira (Act 5:1 – 11). If you read the passage absent from Peter’s declaration of doom, is assumption of motivation. He neither assumes the best or worst about them. He simply points out their crime against God and doom falls.

At this point I would like to point to Paul’s counsel for judgment against sinning members of the Corinthian Church, but M. Farris has done an excellent job of elucidating the key points of that passage, which no one on this chain has addressed so far.

Finally, you ought to reconsider your stance on doctrine:

All of the SDA doctrines are very important in my opinion, but they aren’t the basis of salvation. Again, the only thing that saves a person is their motive of love toward God and toward their fellow man as best as they can perceive how to express their love.

I am not sure how this matches up with scripture. It is only through doctrine we can have accurate understanding of God’s love, mercy, grace, holiness, sanctification, and righteous requirements. If doctrine had nothing to do with Salvation then why is at the end of time that doctrine, not love or motive, is considered? The question at the end of time is whether or not you receive the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:9 – 10). As a matter of fact the doctrine of the Mark of the Beast precludes motivation as well. You are saved or lost by believing and obeying the Word of God over men. But remember, whether you receive it on your forehead because you are deceived and believe it or receive it in your hand even though you know it is wrong, you are still condemned to experience the wrath of God. Think about it Sean receiving the mark in the hand is just as bad as the head. Your appeal to motivation–which you assume to be an honest mistake, even though you admit we are not to judge–is without warrant in comparison to the word of God.

In sum, I really do appreciate your efforts to hold teachers at LSU accountable, but I think you have just as little right to assume that their motives are pure as I do bad. How do you know that they aren’t deceiving you? We are not talking about new believers, some of these people are 3rd and 4th generation Adventist. Bear in mind that many of these teachers persecute those in their classes who dare to stand for the Bible and literal creation. Not to forget that the University itself instead of following the counsels of God places men in positions that God would never approve, to do just as they are doing. So you want to say that they are misunderstood good guys and I want to say that they are deliberately deceiving, it matters not, the scriptures counsel us to render judgment as a church and through such men and women out–in the hope that they will return to God–for the love of the truth.

T.R. Perenich

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@Sean Pitman, M.D.:

Dr. Pitman,

First of all while no one, not even the most preeminent psychiatrist, is able to discern the heart (Jer. 17:9), we are counseled to bring everything before the unerring standard of righteousness, which CAN discern the “thoughts and intentions of the heart…which no creature is hidden from it sight,”–the Word of God. Using this standard we are to judge a tree by its fruits, use Church discipline, warn of false teachers/false prophets, and condemn sin. As a matter of fact it is in this life time that our powers of discernment are to be shaped, for when get to heaven we will be in charge of judging angels.

It is certainly one thing to be an atheist knowing nothing about God or the Bible and not fearing the Lord. It is entirely another to deliberately deceive and attack the teachings of the Bible, while holding yourself out as Christian educator. It is even more specious to claim fidelity to the authoritative writings of Ellen White while expressly running an institution in a manner that makes her writings of none effect. If we were given a inspired template for higher education don’t you think it is a sin if we fail to follow it? Compromise over the standards that God has given us is not a mere philosophical difference. When Hezekiah disagreed with his advisors in the kingdom who wanted to solicit Egypt for aid, it was not a simple disagreement it was sin. One side was in harmony with God’s will and one side was against it.

This debate about supposed Adventist “scientists” teaching evolution is not example of poor work ethic or not being a team player, it is sin. To be honest, I don’t think it is too much to say that is an issue of unrighteousness and even a loss of eternal life. If it is an issue of sin is it judgmental or unloving to call these men and women out as workers of iniquity? Would we today condemn Elijah for not giving Ahab his due respect by calling him “the troubler of Israel.” Are we embarrassed of the conduct of John the Baptist who called the religious leaders of his day poisonous snakes? Perhaps Jesus overstepped his bounds too when he railed upon the religious leaders calling them hypocrites, blind, and foolish.

This is not about name calling to me. This is about serious sin in the camp of God. While we may shudder at the violent and severe methods in the Old Testament to root out sin, we have to consider due to our faith in the inspired record, that the same Jesus who died upon the cross commanded men like Achan to be stoned for sin. Would we today sit Achan down an point him to belief # 10 and review with him the code of conduct for living in the camp of Israel? There has to be a time when we call sin by its right name and judge men according to standards of scripture versus policy. We know that God’s mercy was manifested in the severe judgement upon Achan. For God knew that if such a sin were allowed to slide soon the whole camp would be infected. But cauterizing such behavior–rather painfully–making is disapproval known many were spared the same fate realizing that sin against God will be punished.

While it is true no one knows the heart except for God, the darkness of the heart is often brought to light by the actions we commit. Thus God judges us according to our deeds and expects those who love His Word to discern the teachers of truth and error by the same process. Everything is Spiritual how many countless souls have been lost to this leaven which contradicts the inspired record? How many pastors looking up to such men (especially their colleagues in the Religion Dept.) are stationed in pulpits across the world sowing seeds of infidelity to unsuspecting masses who nod their heads during the sermon. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Though disciples loved Jesus it was their faith in the false teachings of the Jewish leaders that lead them to be deceived and reject Christ at his most trying hour. False doctrine no matter how small always produces a bitter fruit. Is it not our job as watchmen on the walls to warn of this delusive sin?

T.R. Perenich

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Here is the problem I have: I respect their advocacy of this issue (Assherick and Pittman), but the church is not a business neither is simply an ethical fraternal non-for-profit organization. The Church has been given a command by God to be faithful! We are expected to live and do according to the Bible and the Bible alone. Church policy is only of any value as it corresponds to the Word of God. Who cares about towing the company line or giving the same message!?! Our command is to follow Jesus and preach the Word of God. If we are not faithful to the Word of God a simple letter or “company” censure is meaningless. Our charge makes us personally liable to the Creator and destroyer the Savior and Judge of the whole world. This issue is about salvation, infidelity, apostasy, and destruction. I cannot imagine Elijah sitting back for an interview saying “well king Ahab, as king needs to tow the company line or resign his charge, because we are a world wide organization with a particular mission…” No Ahab has sinned against God and those who follow him will be destroyed. I like both of those men and commend what they are doing, but their attitude and argument strikes me as insipid. What is going on in our schools is rank apostasy and sin, no less. It is not a philosophical disagreement among friends or a dispute over the copy machine in a business. This is about the very Word of God and ultimately the direction of souls. The way we even talk about it betrays the worldliness of our own heart. To say that this is not a moral or sin/salvation issue is to regard such teachings not a God regards them. If these teachers were holding seances could we say the same thing? Yet the legacy of Darwinism has lead to the Nazi concentration camps, the Stalin death marches, the religious reprograming if N. Korea, re-educations centers in China for the deeply religious. Are we to sit back and say that those in our Church who accept such a God dishonoring message are members in regular and good standing? If the Bible is our only creed, how could we even fellowship? I cannot imagine that God looks upon those in our Church who believe and teach this apostasy with a smile, a nod, and and wink but only desires that tithe dollars be diverted else where. Make the stand for Jesus or make it not at all.