Dr. Bryan Ness just wrote (in the comment section of …

Comment on Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage? by Sean Pitman.

Dr. Bryan Ness just wrote (in the comment section of the Spectrum website) a response to the article I wrote here, as follows:

This saddens me more than anything. When someone who knows nothing about how or what I teach in my classes assumes they know. It seems that the assumption is that I am indoctrinating students into a belief about LGBTQ+ individuals that runs counter to SDA teachings, when I am doing no such thing. I say very little about same-sex marriage to my students, but rather take the approach recommended by the NAD in it’s very fine booklet “Guiding Families” and approach the LGBTQ+ students I come in contact with in the fashion described here (which is from the booklet):

“While it is tempting to focus on causation, I want to resolve this question up front: the origins of sexual orientation and gender identity are highly complex, multi-factorial, and likely rooted in both nature and nurture. For any one person, it can be impossible to know the exact cause. For this reason, we propose that we shift our focus from causation to compassion .”

I also encourage non-LGBTQ+ students to relate to LGBTQ+ students in this fashion. I also encourage abstinence in the LGBTQ+ students I know just as much as I encourage it among non-LGBTQ+ students. I encourage a compassionate and loving attitude and open acceptance of all individuals regardless their sexual or gender orientation.

I do not go out of my way to encourage same-sex marriage nor do I promote on our campus and so it baffles me that the headline of the article cited here says PUC is “encouraging Homosexual marriage,” whatever homosexual marriage is. Neither do I keep it a secret that I think same-sex marriage should be affirmed, which as far as I am aware is not a punishable offense in any setting. I know numerous pastors who believe the same way, some of whom will not say so openly because they fear the kind of judgmental and hateful backlash that an article like mine engenders in some people.

What seems to get repeatedly lost in these kinds of discussions and attacks is that people’s lives are at stake. Suicide among LGBTQ+ individuals runs several times higher than in the general population, and those that experience religious persecution around their sexual or gender orientation are especially seriously affected. If for no other reason than to show true compassion for such individuals, this kind of judgemental and angry discussion and attack should never happen. I think, as I repeat often, that we must take seriously Jesus’ words from Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” I fear that those who speak out so forcefully against our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters are more willing to sacrifice these people than to try and understand and truly love them.

You just published a very public article expressing your position on this topic – a position that is in direct conflict with that of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Link). Have you not, therefore, as a paid representative of the SDA Church, taken a very public position that is in fact in conflict with the position of your employer? That’s a real problem as I see it. How do you see yourself around the conclusion that you are in fact actively undermining the clearly stated goals and ideals of your employer? How is this not an ethical problem for you? How do you not see it as a form of theft from your employer?

Beyond this, how is it being “loving” to our LGBTQ+ friends and family to say that the Bible says something that it just doesn’t say? I personally think the most loving thing to do, as a Christian, is to be honest about what the Bible has to say on this topic… even if I personally might not entirely understand exactly why the Bible says what it says.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?

“Essentially all the administrators, staff and faculty on our campus, including the pastors on our campus already know where I stand. I have never kept any secrets. I have to laugh when I see you say that I am upset because you ‘blew my cover.’ There was no cover to blow.” – Bryan Ness

You’re not the main problem here. I’d have no problem with you personally and what you personally believe at all except that you are a professor in an Adventist school – Pacific Union College.

It’s this school who presents itself as being in line with the primary goals and ideals of the Adventist Church, when it really isn’t. I have friends of mine who have gone to PUC and talked to the leadership about sending their children to PUC. They’ve specifically asked about the situation at La Sierra University and asked the PUC leadership and heads of departments what their position is on teaching the theory of evolution as “the truth” – and if the teachers at PUC support the SDA position on origins and other issues? They were told that PUC does not condone what happened at LSU and that the professors at PUC are fully in line with the SDA position on origins and all of the other fundamental positions of the church.

Of course, you know and I know that this just isn’t true. You, for one, publically speak and teach against the church’s position on origins as well as human sexuality. This reality is not being presented by the leadership of PUC to the parents of potential PUC students. This reality simply isn’t being advertised to the general church membership at all. What PUC should be advertizing to parents and the church membership at large is,

    “Yes, we do maintain professors who teach our students that the church’s position on various fundamental doctrinal issues is in fact wrong and should be changed to reflect the more popular secular position on these topics.”

That’s what it should be telling everyone, but this just isn’t what is being done.

I am attacking no one… Since when is a difference of views an attack on the church?

Since it was placed as one of the church’s “fundamental beliefs” by the church (Link). When you publically publish an article stating that the Church’s position is clearly mistaken and should be changed, that’s an attack on the church’s position.

And of all the issues facing the church, same-sex marriage hardly rises to the level of a “primary goal and ideal.”

The SDA Church has chosen to describe the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman as one of the “fundamental” messages to spread to the world – as one of the fundamental reasons for its very existence…

Now, you call what you’re doing, not an “attack”, but a “plea for compassion”. However, your plea for compassion is presented as a clear statement that the church’s position is absolutely mistaken – that the church’s position is not at all “compassionate” or even biblical. Now, you may be very honest and sincere in your views here, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not attacking the church’s position in a very real and fundamental way. The fact is that you are making a very clear attack on the church’s position while accepting money from the church as a representative who is supposed to be supporting the church as a paid employee.

Why do you want to cause such people so much pain?

That’s not my goal. However, if a person wants to know what the Bible has to say about what they are doing, I’m not going to pretend that the Bible has nothing to say when the Bible does in fact have something to say. If what the Bible says “causes pain” to a person living in what the Bible says is a “sinful” lifestyle, that’s between them and God. The very same thing is true of me and my own sinful tendencies. If what the Bible says about what I’m doing causes me pain, I can either respond to that by ignoring what the Bible has to say, or I can ask God for help in changing my ways.

Jesus himself said that He did not come to bring peace to those who are living in rebellion against God’s ideals for humanity, but a “sword” (Matthew 10:34). The denial of self and what we naturally want to do given our fallen condition, in order to follow God and what He calls us to do, is often quite painful indeed. That doesn’t mean it’s not the best path to follow. There simply can be no peace between God and those who wish to hang onto what God has said to give up. God does not condemn the sinner for being born broken, but He does warn those who refuse to accept His offer of help to escape their broken condition that, eventually, such refusals of help will not end well for those who are determined to follow their own way.


Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Response from Bryan Ness:

Yet, these professors get very upset when their actions are made public – when they can no longer hide what they are doing from the church at large. – Sean Pitman

Uh, I have never hidden my support and affirmation for LGBTQ+ individuals, and any parent who wanted to know my views on the subject could easily look up what I’ve written, or they could just plain ask me. I openly acknowledge where I stand on these issues on social media too. Essentially all the administrators, staff and faculty on our campus, including the pastors on our campus already know where I stand. I have never kept any secrets. I have to laugh when I see you say that I am upset because you “blew my cover.” There was no cover to blow.

You have not simply let people know what I advocate, you have attacked me personally and impugned my motives and personal spiritual path. You are causing pain not just to me, but to the very people I am trying to comfort and encourage. Your words are not just being seen by the legalistic and judgmental people like yourself, but by parents of LGBTQ+ children and those LGBTQ+ individuals themselves, many of whom are likely already heavily weighed down with self revulsion and depression. And you are doing this for who’s good?

And you wonder why I might be angry and upset? As hard as it is for me to do, I have daily decided to pray for you and those like you that God would soften your heart and show you the grave wounds you are inflicting on God’s beloved. I pray God will help you find compassion and clearer spiritual insight.

Do you really think it’s a “little thing” when our own professors are attacking the primary goals and ideals of the church from the inside? – Sean Pitman

I am attacking no one. You act as if you have not even read my article. I did suggest in there that I think it is time for the church to change and affirm same-sex marriage, but that is not an attack, that is a plea for compassion, a plea that the church return and study this topic again, and I laid out the reasons I think it is fully warranted that we do so. Since when is a difference of views an attack on the church? And of all the issues facing the church, same-sex marriage hardly rises to the level of a “primary goal and ideal.” You are inflating the importance of this topic. the only place where same-sex marriage really rises to a high level of importance is when you are an LGBTQ+ person contemplating marriage, or are the parent, relative or friend of an LGBTQ+ person. Why do you want to cause such people so much pain?


Pacific Union College Encouraging Homosexual Marriage?
Posted by ArkDrey:

The purpose of the H.E. is not to wall people off by modifying curriculum of every subject to fit dogma. The dogma itself has to be enhanced with broader understanding of how to relate various perspectives to these fields of human enterprise.

Certainly, Adventist schools should by no means isolate students from popular ideas that are prevalent within secular culture. If anything, students educated in our schools should have a much better understanding of ideas like neoDarwinism or homosexuality than students educated in secular institutions. However, the education of students within Adventist schools shouldn’t stop here. Adventist education should also give students a reasonable explanation as to why the Adventist perspective on these ideas is actually supported by the Church – by professors who actually personally hold to the Church’s positions on these topics (like the topics of origins or homosexuality, etc).

Again, it is simply counterproductive to have a church school if professors in that school teach that the church’s position is not only wrong, but downright ludicrous, outdated, and completely opposed to the overwhelming weight of “scientific evidence”. Such teaching, by professors that are respected by the students, will strongly influence most students to be naturally opposed to the church’s position on these topics. Clearly then, this would not be in the church’s best interest. It would be far better, from the church’s perspective, not to form church schools at all than to have professors within their own schools attack the church organization from the inside.

But there is world of difference between presenting it as fact that the teacher believes, and a theory with problems. – @ajshep (Allen Shepherd)

I’m in total agreement here. Again, it is one thing to teach about a particular concept that opposes the teachings of the church. It is a far far different thing to then support this particular concept as “true” as compared to showing the students why you, as their teacher, don’t find it convincing.

That is why a teacher, employed by the church, is actually stealing from the church when they attack the church’s position on a given topic from within their own classroom or via a public forum. Such activity simply goes against what a teacher is being paid to do by his/her employer.


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
If you understood how these vaccines actually work, you would understand that they are part of helping to preserve life and health – part of ending all the death and suffering that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is causing on this planet.

Not all science is bad. Most of the discoveries of science are actually good – especially when it can be tested and observed in real-time. True scientific knowledge and medical advancements are a gift of God to ease the pain of humanity in this fallen world…


Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
I don’t know when Novavax will be approved? Here’s the latest on their clinical trials: Link


Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
I don’t know what is happening in Orange County, but I do know that the vaccines have not been approved for anyone under 16-years-of-age. And certainly, any medical procedure done on a child or a minor should first be approved by the parents…

That being said, I would certainly have my own two boys (9 and 11) vaccinated as soon as the mRNA vaccine is available for children.

Again, the evidence is very very clear that the risks associated with the mRNA vaccines are far far outweighed by the risks associated with getting the actual live COVID-19 infection where up to 1/3 of children sustain long-term/permanent injuries – not to mention the risk of passing it on to others who may also be die or be permanently injured.


Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
If that makes you more comfortable, that’s fine. However, when it comes to the mRNA vaccines, in particular, there really are no more remaining questions of any real seriousness to be answered. The technology has been around and studied for over 30 years now and the vaccine trials were a great success, demonstrating amazing efficacy as well as safety. The same has been true of the general rollout around the world. Those countries with the highest percentage of vaccinations are doing the best regarding a reduction in death rates and injuries from the COVID-19 virus. The longer you wait, the greater your personal risk and the risk to others around you.


Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche

Can you talk about the blood clot side affect — the rash side affect — and the other side affects listed in the VAERS document? Are these deaths and suffering are just “ho-hum” dispensable humans to the cause of good for all?

I talk about VAERS here (Link). The Herpes Zoster rash happens in a low percentage of immunocompromised people who have previously been infected with the Herpes virus (Link). While certainly uncomfortable, it’s not life-threatening and it isn’t a risk for most people. The blood clot risk is a very rare risk (about 1 in a million for young women) for the DNA vaccines, possibly related to the adenoviral vector used for the vaccines. I talk about this here (Link). There is also a very rare risk for severe immune thrombocytopenia (Link). Note that for all of these risks for the vaccines, the very same risks are much much much higher when it comes to being infected by the live COVID-19 virus. So, if you want to reduce your risk as much as possible, the best way to do that is to get vaccinated.

What is happening to cause so many side affects? How is one to know if there is a chance of dangerous side affects of the vaccine for a person?

The thing about risk is that it is impossible to know, ahead of time, exactly how a particular person will react. That’s just the nature of the concept of “risk”…

Are vaccinated women who get the vaccine during pregnancy, or get pregnant and give birth having any side affects among their babies?

No. I talk about this rumor here (Link).

Also, have your children been vaccinated? What is your opinion of elementary or high schools requiring the vaccine for school children? Which childhood conditions need to be studied before administering the vaccine to children with these conditions?

The mRNA vaccines are not approved for children under the age of 16. They are currently in the trial phase of testing for younger children. My own boys are 9 and 11 years of age, so no, they haven’t been vaccinated yet. However, once approved, I would be getting them vaccinated since even children are at risk for long-term injury and sickness from COVID-19 (30% of children get Long-Hauler’s following even asymptomatic infections with COVID-19). As far as childhood “conditions”, I know of no common childhood conditions which would preclude vaccination…

What “empirical evidence” is there that mRNA vaccines do not cause any side affects “a year or two or three down the line”? Is there a study I can read – link?

As I’ve already mentioned, the evidence for this is the very long history that we’ve had with vaccines and understanding how they work with the human immune system. When complications arise, they do so within the first few months for large populations (Link). It is extremely unlikely that something brand new and unexpected will come to light years down the line (Link). Also, by that time, millions will have been killed and permanently injured by the very real and very well-known risks of the COVID-19 virus itself.

Yes, your glowing recommendation is convincing with several issues not addressed in the glow.

I have addressed most of your questions already in other posts on this topic…

Do you recommend a yearly booster vaccine like now is being developed? I think big Pharma announced a flu/covid combo vaccine coming out for next fall. What is your opinion please?

For now, it seems likely to me that the mRNA vaccines will produce immunity lasting more than a year, likely several years. However, as with most viruses, the COVID-19 virus mutates. If a new mutant strain comes along that “breaks through” the immunity provided by the original vaccine(s), then yes, a booster would be necessary. However, if enough people would get vaccinated quickly, it would make the odds of such breakthrough mutations less likely.

Thanks for your help in understanding the full spectrum of topics about these mRNA vaccines.

Thank you for your thoughtful questions.