Comment on Record enrollment for LSU by Phil Mills.
It is not possible to be supportive of the Seventh-day Adventist Church while undermining, and/or blatantly teaching against the churchâ€™s fundamental beliefs. I am confident that if LSU under a pseudonym submitted to the General Conference its actual syllabi and course contents in the areas of religion and biology and petitioned for the right to use the SDA name, they would be denied.
That is an interesting and perceptive point with a lot of implications. Thank you.
Phil Mills Also Commented
Record enrollment for LSU
I was thinking about how Satan sets things up to make it appear that truth is a failure.
Just suppose that many parents and students are choosing La Sierra for its stand on evolution.
1. Over time why would these continue to support a school that is expensive and increasingly less distinct and unique. Why pay a high tuition for what could be much more inexpensively obtained in a state university. After a short high mark in attendance, there would be the inevitable plateau, then the slow fade into insignificance as the university continues either morphing into a struggling community college or a struggling “church” related university.
2. Suppose that Christ cleansed the school as Christ cleanse the temple. These same students may withdraw and the enrollment would decrease. Testing truths decrease evangelistic attendance. Testing truths decrease school attendance. Heaven would declare this decrease a successful pruning. Satan’s followers would declare the reforms a failure and trumpet the decreased enrollment as proof their approach is superior.
Record enrollment for LSU
Why is higher enrollment “always wonderful news for a university”?
Often short-term, and short-sighted “success” is the prelude to long-term failure and collapse. This is seen in every type of endeavor, but may be easiest to understand in the financial world. Enrollment, like income, is only one measure of an institution. And academic enrollment, like all measures of convenience and popularity, fails miserably as a reliable predictor of outcomes. The drunk who is loudly rejoicing at the party, may be throwing up at tomorrow’s hangover. Our greatest danger is apparent success. When David was winning wars and at the peak of his popularity, he suffered his greatest shame with the fatal beauty of Bathsheba.
Universities with increasing enrollment (including Southern, by the way) would do well to ponder Christ’s warning, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” Luke 6:26.
As Christians, we do not take a short-sighted view of success. Success is measured by faithfulness to God. How often today’s heroes are tomorrows villains.
For a time David failed to take a longer term view, “For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” Ps 73:3 NKJ.
Daniel was shown a power that would be mighty, and “destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper” but would “destroy the mighty and the holy people” Dan 8:24.
The well-known and often quoted reference should never be forgotten:
“If you lower the standard in order to secure popularity and an increase of numbers, and then make this increase a cause of rejoicing, you show great blindness. If numbers were evidence of success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for in this world his followers are largely in the majority. It is the degree of moral power pervading the college that is a test of its prosperity. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our churches, not their numbers, that should be a source of joy and thankfulness” 5T 31.3.
Recent Comments by Phil Mills
Back to Square One…
David, here is a familiar statement I like with instruction for what I can do AT THIS TIME:
“At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason” (5T 136).
If apostates are fearless about trumpeting their apostasy, why should I not be even more emboldened with the truth. Error has no future. Gaddafi was a strong man yesterday, where is he today?
What we sow we reap (Gal 6:7) is a law throughout the universe. Sow faith, reap faith. Sow hope, reap hope. Sow love, reap love.
There are two sources of seeds to sow. One source is the word of God. The other is the enemy. One sows good seed, the other tares. By the command of God, the tares must grow till harvest (Mt 13:30). The fruit alone can expose the seed for what it is. The seeds of darkness and doubt that have been sown for 6,000 years must fully ripen.
We are not surprised by anything today, because the harvest is near and the fruit is ripening. But though there will be a pitiful harvest of evil, I rejoice that there is a much more abundant harvest of righteousness. We can see it by faith. The word of God is not going to return void. The weeds of sin are not sufficient to crowd out the harvest of righteousness. The death of Christ, his mediation in heaven are not in vain. Sin, and those who insist on clinging to it, will be destroyed, while those who cling to Jesus have a sure refuge.
It is interesting how easily three can be dropped from the board when leadership decides to act.
How wise God is. As He has done in the past, so He works in the present. He removes our excuses and lets us reveal reveal our true character by the varying circumstances of life.
We could multiply examples. The Cain that was too kind to “cruelly” kill a lamb for a sacrifice in obedience to God’s command, could easily kill Abel in defiance of God’s command. King Saul, who was too merciful to execute Agag in obedience to God’s command, could kill the high priest in disobedience to God’s command.
Thus it has been through history. Ellen White makes insightful observations about Uriah Smith’s being too weak to provide energetic leadership for right, yet being plenty strong to provide energetic leadership for wrong in the original Battle Creek College crisis of the early 1880’s.
We have certainly seen this same pattern at La Sierra. The same leaders that could not seem to act decisively and firmly when God’s character and truth were under attack, suddenly found the decision and firmness to fire the four men who attacked their own character.
Now other LSU leaders who can’t act decisively in the face of rebellion against the church can suddenly act decisively against those who are seeking harmony with the church. All this reveals that these leaders could have acted decisively and firmly all along, IF THEY CHOSE.
Of course, it should help us reflect on our own lives. What are we revealing by our own inconsistencies?
Former board member never talked with biology faculty
I wonder if “due process” was afforded those who were dropped, since that is very important for accreditation. I wonder if this is being explored.
ken: If I understand Phil correctly, the SDA church is a form or a representative democracy where each local church gets to vote upon and elect its delegates to the GC
No. That is not true. Each local congregation votes it’s representatives to a conference constituency meeting. The constituency votes the conference officers. Conferences then may vote representatives for unions and union constituencies. Unions and division organizations then have representatives at the general conference. At the general conference level it is quite removed from the local church representative. But I am still over simplifying.
Ken, you couldn’t be farther from understanding me.
This is NOT doctrinal change, it is merely attempting to better express the doctrine that has always been taught in the Bible and generally held by the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist church. There isn’t a marginal doctrine in the lot of the 28 fundamental beliefs.
The church doesn’t make doctrines only the Bible can make doctrine. Bible truth and Bible doctrines don’t care a straw about committees or majorities, neither does it change regardless of the views and votes of others.
To understand the phrase commonly used by Adventist “truth is progressive” is to understand that a first grader learns simple truth, then building on the truths he moves to second grade and continues to add to the basic truths and how to apply them to life.
1. Truth is objective, not merely subjective. Truth has evidence. The best possible evidence of truth is that God says it. But other evidence, such as the evidence of science, while weaker, is available. Science cannot “prove” God’s word, but when properly understood, will always provide documentation to the truthfulness of God’s word.
2. Progression is not a rejection of old truth, but a building on, an amplification of previously discovered truth.
Error never will evolve into truth, it simply mutants into greater and greater error.
Truth never changes. It remains far more stable than the Rock of Gibralter. God creates in my heart a love for the truth. As I investigate more and more carefully the word of God, my understanding of life becomes more and more accurate. I can change, but truth does not.
In the area of doctrine: Only the Bible can make true doctrine. The church can only express a summary of key Bible doctrines in a statement of belief.
There is no contemplation of changing doctrine in the modification of the wording of the churches belief. It is simply clarifying its original intent.
And if the church abandoned its fundamental beliefs, as the Jews did, and many Christians did, the truth has not changed. Because truth and doctrine is not democratically determined, all that has happened is that a group of people have united to leave the truth. We call it apostasy. Sadly it has happened to groups in the past (see John 6 and the multitudes leaving Jesus) and sadly it happens sometimes to individuals even within the Seventh-day Adventist church today.