Comment on NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science by Eddie.
Sean, Faith and Holly, I quite agree with you: I am indeed a hypocrite, a judgmental sinner deeply in need of a savior.
I believe in a God of love. I love the SDA Church. I love our educational institutions. I love our leaders, including administrators, educators and pastors. I love all 28 fundamental beliefs. I love the Bible. I love the account of Creation and I love God’s creation. I believe all SDA employees should support the church and its doctrines. I believe theistic evolution should not be taught as fact in any SDA institution. I believe in church discipline by the appropriate methods sanctioned by the church.
Although some of you have labeled me as a liberal, I’m actually quite conservative in my views of the church and its doctrines. I regularly record Doug Batchelor’s program and often watch it on the Sabbath. He has been my favorite preacher since I first watched all of his Net 99 programs. I love Clifford Goldstein’s books–my favorite is “A Pause for Peace.” I love our prophetess and I believe she was divinely inspired. I may not agree with everything conservatives say, but it doesn’t stop me from listening to what they have to say.
I recognize that our leaders and employees are flawed, some more so than others. Our church has always had and will always have both liberals and conservatives, some of whom agitate to divide and conquer the church. It is the heart that accepts or rejects the truth, the Holy Spirit that convicts of truth, and only God who knows the true motives of each individual. Who am I to judge who should and should not be publicly disciplined on the world wide web?
I am not–I repeat, I am NOT the one who is attacking the SDA church! I have never publicly criticized a GC vice president, LSU, WWU, PUC, GRI, the presidents of SAU and LSU, the previous president of PUC, individual professors at LSU and PUC, individual scientists at GRI, various pastors and chaplains, and various students who have valiantly defended their institution and professors. A few who have been criticized here have confided with me how deeply hurt and betrayed they felt. Should I not feel compassion toward them?
As I have previously stated, it irks me when SDAs publicly criticize my friends and my church on the world wide web, where anybody can read what is written. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Something about it strikes me as being unfair and unjust. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s the Devil needling me and I’m on the wrong side. Maybe I should just join the chorus here by condemning all the liberals, evilutionists, teachers of junk science, badventists and Seventh-day Darwinians who are striving to take control of the church. I am, after all, a professor on a SDA campus. I know what some of my more liberal colleagues believe and I could easily name them, expose their beliefs, and condemn them for their heresy. Is that what you want me to do? Is that what God wants me to do?
But somehow I admire those who restrain from fighting back when they are attacked. I admire our church leaders for refusing to publicly condemn each other on the world wide web. And I admire our agnostic friend Ken, who appears to hold a grudge against none, and treats all with the utmost love, courtesy and respect. I admire them for their wisdom, diplomacy, tactfulness and integrity. I could be wrong, but I think they are all motivated by love, the kind of love that I want to be motivated by as well. A love that comes only from God. Why should I not want to emulate them?
So why is it that some of you view me as the enemy? What have I done wrong? Is it wrong of me to defend my church when I feel it is under attack? Is it wrong of me for not joining you in condemning heretics?
Eddie Also Commented
Holly Pham: The facts remain that Shane, Sean, and many others such as myself believe it IS our duty to warn others, which may include conference officials, of what they believe are issues that are undermining our SDA Church. This is what Pastor Harold White did at the Sacramento Central SDA Church. This is what Doug Batchelor did two years ago.
I have two questions:
1. Did Pastors White and Batchelor actually post the names and sins of others on a website? If so, please provide the website address so I can see it for myself.
2. If a student (think of your child) at a SDA institution is caught cheating on a homework assignment, or smoking a cigarette, or drinking alcohol, should the student’s name and sin be posted on the institution’s website so that parents and students will be better informed about what is happening at the institution? If not, why not?
NCSE Report: Adventist Education in the Midst of a Sea of Science
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” James 4:11
<a class="bibly_reference" rel="Revelation 14:12" title="Read Revelation 14:12" href="http://bib.ly/Re14.12">Rev 14:12</a>: If you sit back and watch a cancer eat at our system and do nothing, are you not at least partially guilty for not doing something? If an innocent young person attends one of our universities and loses their faith or eternal life and you know that professors and administrators are teaching or perpetuating error, are you not partially guilty because you knew and did nothing?
First, although I know of some professors on my campus who have liberal views on various subjects, I don’t know for certain that any of them actually promote their views as “truth” to students. I have learned that some professors on my campus are theistic evolutionists, but none of them teach a course in which the subject is discussed in the classroom. I have privately quizzed students on my campus who take courses from professors who teach the subjects of creation and evolution, and am told to my satisfaction they get a fair treatment from both sides of the issue and that the professor is either biased toward creationism or, at worst, neutral (which, by the way, contradicts what some posters have asserted here at Educate Truth). If I knew that a professor was promoting theistic evolution in the classroom, I would wield whatever influence I could muster (which isn’t much) with the administration (but not in the classroom or on a website) to have the professor removed from teaching the course.
Second, professors who refuse to publicly condemn heretical colleagues shouldn’t be accused of “doing nothing.” Do you seriously think any student would respect a professor who publicly criticizes a colleague in the classroom or on a website? I can think of many, many, many positive and better ways in which a professor can counteract the negative influences of a wayward colleague, such as being a concerned and trusted advisor, sharing the love of God in the classroom and in the office, praying with a student, encouraging students to maintain their faith, sharing evidence that bolsters their faith, etc. Young people respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. And positive reinforcement should not be dismissed as “doing nothing.”
Finally, I would like to know whether anybody here believes it is appropriate, ethical, professional and morally justifiable for a professor to publicly criticize another professor in the classroom or on a website.
Recent Comments by Eddie
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Stephen Ferguson: Sean, how did we get to this position? In particular, why after spending decades and millions of dollars has the official Church’s own pet organisation, the Geoscience Research Institute, done so little to disprove evolution?
Why if it is all hogwash has it been thoroughly not been disproved over the last 150 years? Why do some 99% of scientists across a multitude of different fields (e.g. paleontologists, physicists, archaeologists, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists, historians, cosmologists and geologists etc) all consider evolution to be the most plausible model?
Maybe because the evidence for microevolution and speciation is overwhelming. And some evidence for megaevolution (e.g., sequence of fossils) and long geological ages can be perplexing to explain from the perspective of most (but not all) young life and young earth creationists.
Stephen Ferguson: Why, if it is all rubbish, is there Adventist scientists and theologians who believe in evolution? Why would they risk their careers and standing in the Church to promote something they consider truth, given the huge pressure to just shut up, if they didn’t believe there was something in it?
Maybe because they’re not as honest as some prominent supporters here. Or their faith is weaker. Or, perhaps, physicians and lawyers are simply better trained than scientists and theologians to evaluate scientific evidence.
Stephen Ferguson: I really, really hope Christian scientists, especially Adventist ones, will disprove evolution some day.
Stephen Ferguson: If the SDA hierarchy wants someone to blame for all this, they should blame themselves. It has been their pet organisations that have so spectacularly failed to offer scientific arguments in favour of YEC. Ted Wilson must accept some of the blame onto himself – if not personally then on behalf of the hierachy he leads.
I wouldn’t blame anybody. But if they were to fire the current GRI staff, hire certain supporters here, and then move GRI from LLU to SAU or SWAU, I suspect a certain faction of the church would be happier.
La Sierra University won’t neglect creation teaching, president, chairman vow
Sean, you have essentially written enough about this to publish a book, which you ought to do, exhorting SDAs to abandon Sola Scriptura and rely exclusively on empirical data, which surely will be a best seller among neoconservative SDAs.
Dr. Ariel Roth’s Creation Lectures for Teachers
Like Ken, I am puzzled by the lukewarm reception of his suggestion to establish an endowed chair for intelligent design at LSU. Perhaps there was confusion about his term “intelligent design.” I think he had in mind the kind of creationism that most SDAs believe in, specifically young earth creationism or young life creationism (I realize some of you view ID negatively). So it could be called an Endowed Chair of Young Life Creationism, or whatever term is preferred.
For what it’s worth, I like his idea for several reasons:
1) SDA professors in all our institutions with the exception of LLU have relatively heavy teaching loads and scant time available for research, which means they have little time to conduct and publish research on creationism (I’m quite certain Art Chadwick would concur). That’s why as a denomination we have no well published and respected researchers with expertise on the subject, with the sole exception of Leonard Brand at LLU–who ranks among the world’s most successful scientists whose research focuses on YLC (if you believe there are other SDA experts with more expertise, you might be disappointed if you conducted a search of their publication records).
2) Most students in our institutions are seeking a career in a health profession, therefore SDA professors by necessity focus mostly on subjects that prepare students for the biomedical fields. Few have time to keep up with issues related to creationism and evolution, let alone conduct original research on the subject. You can’t really expect all professors to be as well informed with the subject as Leonard Brand.
3) It would be fantastic for LSU to have a professor with the available time and resources to pursue high quality research on creationism, which I believe was the intent of Ken’s wish. We already have one such professor at LLU; why not another at LSU? I’m astonished that some here seem to think it is undesirable to have another expert SDA researcher on the subject. Perhaps some of you naively imagine that ALL professors have the unlimited time and resources to become world-class researchers on creationism–and are wasting the denomination’s money by not doing so.
4) SDA institutions struggle to meet their payroll obligations and can benefit by obtaining financial assistance from donors.
5) If the evidence overwhelmingly favors the traditional SDA position of origins, as some here claim, what harm is there in funding a professor with the time and resources to discover even more evidence? It’s pretty hard to convince the world that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly favors our position unless the evidence is published in respectable scientific journals–as Leonard Brand has done repeatedly. It won’t ever happen unless there are more full-time researchers who focus exclusively on issues related to creationism.
Sean Pitman: Most scientists who believe in the Biblical model of origins interpret Tertiary sediments as post-Flood sediments.
So if Noah’s flood ended at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, which coincides with a period of high global sea levels according to geologists, does that mean Noah’s flood is represented by the second of two worldwide floods in this graph?
How would you account for the geological evidence for a worldwide flood during the Paleozoic and the lack of geological evidence for high sea levels during the early Mesozoic?