@Christina: Even a 5-year-old would recognize the moral distinction between …

Comment on NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science by Sean Pitman.


Even a 5-year-old would recognize the moral distinction between someone who publicly engages in name-calling and bullying versus someone who defends the ones who called names and bullied. Yet Dr. Pitman, with his advanced degrees, chooses to obfuscate.

Where have I engaged in “name calling” against anyone? Please do reference where I have done so…

What I see myself as having done is very much the same as what I’m sure you see yourself as doing – publicly defending those who have had no defense. I’m defending Adventist students and parents against the ardent and persistent attacks, by LSU professors of both science and religion, against the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church. I have no need for name calling or personal attacks. I’m simply presenting the facts as they really are and pointing out that this situation is not in line with the fundamental Adventist position on origins. I do this, yet again, in defense of those who have been defenseless for decades at LSU, who have had no voice, who have been overpowered and bullied by professors who hold their futures, their careers, in their hands.

Through many years prior to making this issue public, I spoke directly at LSU trying to encourage changes to take place there. I wrote numerous letters to and had several phone and personal conversations with the leadership of LSU as well as with the leaders of the local conference, union, division, and even to the General Conference President about these issues – all without any effect. Finally, I saw no further option but to warn parents and students and the church body alike of what has been happening at LSU for decades. All deserve to know. There is simply no reason why our young people should not be defended against such strong internal attacks by some very public method – just as you see yourself doing here with your public attacks against what you see as some kind of grievous wrong.

So now Dr. Pitman conviently dismisses PRINCIPLE and proclaims innocence by declaring POLICY, much like one would expect of a 5-year-old name-calling bully. Where in scripture or in Ellen White’s writings does one see an attempt by Jesus or the prophetess to shame others publicly and behind their backs, in front of believers and unbelievers alike, to harm their reputations and enforce behavioral change?

Where have I done anything behind anyone’s back? As far as I know, I’ve been very upfront and open about what I’m doing and what my concerns are for our schools.

Mrs. White was just as open and forthright over her concerns with the rebellious schools of her day, such as Battle Creek. She publicly warned parents not to send their children there. Regarding the education at Battle Creek she wrote, in no uncertain terms:

I was shown that it is Satan’s purpose to prevent the attainment of the very object for which the college was established. Hindered by his devices, its managers reason after the manner of the world and copy its plans and imitate its customs. But in thus doing, they will not meet the mind of the Spirit of God. – EGW, 5T, p. 22-23

And, as already noted, Jesus used very strong language, in public forum, to address the attacks on the church of his day from those leaders on the inside (Matthew 23:27, Matthew 23:33, John 8:42-44, etc)…

Consider also the founding fathers of the early Christian church (St. Paul minced no words in this regard). The early church fathers publicly called out those who were attacking the church as a warning to all not to follow their advice or example. Along these lines consider also, yet again, the passages found in 1 Timothy 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:11,12

Also, consider the reformed Christian church and what the fathers of the Christian reformation called out in public as wrongs against the people of God (as in Martin Luther’s 95 theses being publicly nailed to the castle church doors in Wittenberg).

The official SDA leadership will never stoop to Educate Truth’s tactics, and all SDAs should be proud of that.

I happen to know that a number of the leaders of the SDA Church regularly refer to the information on this website and have used this information to act, in a positive manner, to address the problems at LSU that have long been swept entirely under the rug…

While things may not be happening at the pace that many would like, positive things have happened and are happening which would never have happened without the impetus initiated by this website.

Of course, if you know how things could/can be done better, I’m all ears…

Sean Pitman

Sean Pitman Also Commented

NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science

Again, I agree that the public confrontation of this website is not the most ideal method given any other more private method that would have actually worked. However, what else would you have done that has not already been tried to substantively address the long-standing and entrenched problem at LSU? I’d really like to hear some other reasonable approach to this problem that has not already been tried without any effect…

I’m sorry, but you guys seem to me to be more concerned about the reputation of teachers and institutions than you seem to be over the undermining of the faith of the youth of our church or the very long standing and determined attacks on various fundamental goals and ideals of the SDA Church – the SDA position on origins in particular.

Again, I ask you, why is it such a problem to publicly declare, in no uncertain terms, what parents and students can expect from our own schools? – especially given the great personal cost involved for most parents who send their children to our schools? Shouldn’t our primary concern be for them? How can such an effort to inform parents, students, and the church membership at large rationally be referred to as a “scorched earth policy”?

If our schools cannot proudly and publicly proclaim the honest truth of what they are teaching our young people, we obviously have a real problem. I don’t think it is right for individuals or institutions to hide behind arguments for Adventist privacy over what we actually teach in our schools while they attack the very fundamentals of Adventism, on the Church’s dime, for decades. It’s time for this sort of thing to stop.

If you have a better idea on how to get this done, I’m all ears…

Sean Pitman

NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science

As I’ve explained many times before, the maintenance of church order and government (i.e., only hiring those paid representatives who will actually represent what they are being paid to represent) has nothing to do with salvation.

These are not moral judgments. These are practical judgments regarding the maintenance of church order and government. One does not have to be SDA to be saved you know. However, one does need to be SDA to be an effective leader or paid representative of the SDA Church.

If you don’t believe in the SDA message, that Ok, just don’t expect to get a paycheck from the SDA Church while you go about undermining the basic goals and ideals of the church. Try working for an employer who has goals and ideals more in line with your own.

Also, no one is arguing for the exclusion of anyone from basic attendance and worship with us in our churches. Anyone who actually wants to fellowship with us is welcome. Many of my best friends are not members of the SDA Church, a number are even agnostic and a few are pretty ardent atheists. Yet, we get along just fine and occasionally these same friends of mine come to my church with me to support something I’m doing.

You see, the problem here isn’t over basic socialization or diversity in worship. The problem is over paid representatives of our church attacking the church on the church’s dime. That’s the main issue here. No organization of any kind can long tolerate such subversive activity coming from within…

Sean Pitman

NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science

I actually agree with you on one level. I most certainly agree that a public forum is not the most ideal place to air any form of the church’s dirty laundry. However, at some point for certain important issues one is left with little choice but to use less than ideal methods to address very important issues within the church. For example, I’m sure Martin Luther wished there were some less public way to effectively address the significant problems of the church of his day rather than to nail his 95 Theses to the most public forum available – the front door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. Likewise, I very much wish there were some much more private and inconspicuous way to effectively address the active and long-standing attack on the church from within one of our own universities. Unfortunately, I was unable to think of any other way (which had not already been tried).

If you know of another way, by all means do share it with me…

You’ll have your reward one day.

You certainly sound gracious and Christlike to me 😉

How about at least giving me the benefit of the doubt as far as my motive and possible ignorance is concerned before passing moral judgment? How about at least pardoning me as far as Jesus did when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”? – Luke 23:34

But, perhaps, I’m beyond all hope? My doom is sealed? – for trying to protect Adventist young people in our own schools from the unending attacks on Adventism from within – from our own hired professors?

Oh, and by the way, while I get many anonymous E-mails and even hand written letters on occasion (which I do not read unless they are signed) I’ve only been privately contacted by a handful of individuals who’ve identified themselves and who’ve expressed concerns about the effect of this website. As far as the one’s who’ve actually identified themselves, all have been male (as far as I recall). So, I assume your private message must have been anonymous?

Also, you should know as well as anyone (and should explain to your friend in case she is not aware) that public comments to the articles posted to any discussion website like this do not necessarily represent the perspective and/or goals of the managers/owners of this website. The attitudes of many commenters certainly do not reflect my own positions or attitudes. What then should I do? – block all comments with which I personally disagree? – including yours?

Also, you’ve failed to respond to my most sincere question as to how the issue at LSU should have been dealt with? How would you have dealt with the problem? What, specifically, would you have done? I’m really interested in any useful advice along these lines…

Sean Pitman

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