Comment on PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood? by William.
Hi Shane and Sean and everyone else,
I am on your mailing list because I agree with you that the issue of what is being taught in our schools is important and that the church has a responsibility to it’s constituents and most importantly to God, to present the truth of the Bible, which includes a recent, literal 7 day Creation week. When I first started monitoring your site I appreciated your zealous defence of that truth.
I do not personally know Prof. Ness, but I do know professors who have been similarly asked to present the counter arguments to our faith. Just because he did so without offering the balance of his faith in that specific lecture doesn’t mean that balance does not exist. In fact, if he presents a lecture like that, who is to say that he doesn’t spend the next 3 weeks explaining counter evidence. Also worthy of consideration is the reality the Ellen White tells us specifically that it will be impossible for us to remove every reason for doubt in the voracity of Scripture. I think we would be wise to be cautious about attempting to get rid of every professor who admits that he/she cannot reconcile all of the “evidence” of science with our fundamental beliefs, particularly when they state publically that they believe the truths of the Bible though they cannot prove them scientifically. We must remember that scientific method is a human creation and that the information gathered by humans using it may not always produce sound “evidence” even if done in the most rigerous and genuine attempts at discovering truth.
Having attended Adventist schools all my life this is an issue dear to my heart and I have personally seen both professors who intentionally attempt to challenge and destroy the tenants of our faith and Bible believing professors vilified for presenting the challenges the world has for our faith in a genuinely contienscious manner that does not discount the truths of the Bible. While I agree that the church has a responsibility to address the former, I am afraid that your site is moving in a direction that is more akin to a witch hunt than a loving zealousness for the Truth of the Bible.
I mention this because I believe that there is a right and wrong way to go about defending the truths of the Bible. There is a way to do so in accordance with counsel given in Matt. 18 and in the light of Rom. 12:9; John 13:34-35; Gal. 5:13; 1 Cor. 13; Prov. 13:10 & 18:6; Phil. 2:13-14. The counsel of Prov. 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” As I have watched this site evolve (no pun intended) and the vitriol and venom of both sides increase, I have become increasingly vexed. If we are to be known as Christ’s disciples, “if we have love, one for another” and “to in honor give preference to one another” I am afraid for us all.
Yes, we have a responsibility to rebuke sin in love, but this site seems more and more about exposing sin and insiting argument and strife than it does about reminding people of a loving Creator who made us and made this incredible world for us to inhabit. Having and promoting the truth is not all that matters, “this you ought to have done”, while not leaving the love that covers sin undone. I would question, who set us up as judges of the church and her institutions, to expose her flaws and failings? Are we not called to a truth that transforms our mode discourse as well as our intellect and comprehension?
Shane and Sean, I don’t mean to single you out as I know this has been far from one sided. I appeal to you all, where is the love of Christ in this discussion? Where is that which unites and builds up the body of Christ? I urge you to consider that this is a public site and that is open to the world to see. Is this the kind of interaction that would attract the world to Christ or would we be seen as just another bunch of people arguing over words?
Have these matters been brought to the Church’s attention? Is our calling to sit in judgment of the Church and it’s institutions? Is it our duty to fight to eradicate from her everyone who does not teach the way we think they ought or is that the responibility of those to whom God has given the incredible burden and responsibility of guarding the flock? I’m not saying that we should be silent, but we are also not to sit as judge and jury if God has not given us that position and authority.
I pray that God will give us the wisdom to know how to address these issues in a manner worthy of princes and priests and joint heirs with Christ.
Your’s in Christ,
William Also Commented
If your goal here is simply one of providing information why is there so much editorializing and castigating of people tolerated on both sides of this issue? I have yet to see much of either side letting the fact speak for themselves and allow people to make up their own minds. Not only do we hear that schools are teaching evolution, but we hear that professors are more or less evil for doing so and further there are numerous calls for professors to be fired. If your goal is really to provide information, you might want to reconsider much of the format of this website. The attacks of the other side are equally strong and negative, so maybe some closer moderation needs to be enacted to keep posts strictly informational.
This is your site so you can do with it as you see fit, and if you want it to be all about attacking, defending, castigating, infighting, backbiting, cold, hard, unfeeling defense of “the truth” while ignoring love, mercy and the cousel of scripture on how address wrongs within the church and doing so in such a way as presents Adventism as legalistic, dogmatic and harsh, by all means keep doing what you are. I believe you have/had good intentions for this site and I agree with you about the seriousness of this issue and it’s fundamental value, but the tone of this site seems to be moving more and more into a polarizing and critical site in which people are not always exercising the love and care for each other Christ says will identify His followers. I urge you to take a step back and consider that and to proceed with caution as you not only represent the truth here, but rather are responsible for representing Christ.
If that is really your goal, I suggest you consider George’s response to this site and the responses of those you are trying to convince here.
As a student at PUC I am very hapy that my science professors have the integriity to not publicly criticize pastors, doctorss and other teachers on a public website. I respect them. I learned a lot about Seventh-Day Adventists here at PUC. Most seem to be nice people. But this website has finally convinced me that SDAs are a bunch of hypocritcal, bickering jerks who I donâ€™t ever want to associate with again. If this is what religion dioes to so-called Christians who cliam to love each other I find it hard to believe there really is a god of love. (Quote)
This is the incredibly heartbreaking reality that I so feared would be the result of the direction this discourse is taking.
George, I can understand your perspective and as I look on this discussion I see so much straining at gnats and swallowing camels that it is painful. The issues of origins and the voracity of the Bible are incredibly important so I can understand the desire to defend the Biblical teaching on the subject, but you are not wrong in accusing us of not carrying out our faith well. Please consider that all of the people involved in this discussion are growing Christians. We are flawed and failing and we clearly do not always well represent the love of Christ the way we ought. Fortunately for all of us, His grace is sufficient to cover our sins of not loving each other well and His power is sufficient to transform us into the loving Christians we ought to be. Unfortunately, this is a process that is often slow and fraught with our own personal battles with pride and self-promotion, often in the name of defending “truth”.
I ask you to consider the reality of what you said, “Most people seem to be nice.” and not judge the value and worth of the whole community of faith on the basis of a very small sample of our worst behavior. This community is one that has many facets and one of those is that it is a place for people to grow, to learn from mistakes, to become the Children of God. In this site you are witnessing people who are still growing and still have room to learn that we will be known more for how we treat each other than for our rightness or wrongness on any one issue. Even if you choose to have nothing further to do with Adventists because we are at times hypocritical, please don’t let it keep you from seeking a knowledge of God and His love for you. Even while the people here are having very heated arguments about things less important than the salvation of souls and not choosing the best tone for doing so, I don’t believe anyone on this site would say that these issues are more important than our love for each other or our representation of Christ’s love, but as we are human, we do sometimes have blinders on that keep us from seeing all the ramifications of our words and responses.
I pray that you will find a real experience with God and His love for you.
Recent Comments by William
This is excellent. But I have a prediction: no matter what the conclusion or recommendations of the AAA, there will be people at EducateTruth who pick apart and find fault in any report that is made. (Quote)
Dear Professor Kent,
I understand your frustration with the lack of recognition of the function of accrediting bodies and the very adversarial tone of this site as I’ve stated on other threads. Still, this very much sounds like you are doing the same and setting up the next fight yourself. Can’t we all please just take a step back and looking for loving, unifying solutions to address these issues rather than pouring more fuel on the fire?