Sunday, March 28, 2010

NKJV Remnant Study Bible with E.G. White Comments

This is the most beautiful Bible I have ever owned. The craftsmanship is superb! The text is a very readable size and spaced nicely both vertically and horizontally.

The Ellen White comments are beautifully included within the text, and the chain references for various study-topics is top-notch!


Chain-Reference system:




Below you can see the only problem I had with this Bible: a couple pages that weren’t cut correctly…but that problem is very minor and easily fixable. It is just luck of the draw.


A quick snip and bingo, all fixed:


The full-color study helps are AMAZING!

IMG00786-20100328-1400 IMG00789-20100328-1401 IMG00788-20100328-1401IMG00790-20100328-1401 IMG00787-20100328-1400 IMG00793-20100328-1403

This Bible includes:

-Read Your Bible Through In A Year reading plan.

-Each book of the Bible prefaced with a brief description, Author information, Date information, Christ in the book, Keys (key word, key verse, key chapter), and an Overview.

-Prophecies of the Messiah Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

-Prayers of the Bible

-The Parables of Jesus Christ

-The Miracles of Jesus Christ

-How Sin Began

-Biblical Timeline (6,000 years)

-Nothing to Fear Except We Forget (A detailed look at the Sanctuary)

-Prophecies of Daniel (The Four Kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7, The Sanctuary to Be Cleansed – 2,300-Day Prophecy/70-Weeks Prophecy)

-Bible Symbols and Their Meanings

-Monies, Weights, and Measures

-The Jewish Calendar

-Chain-Reference Bible Topics with instructions.

-Concordance (183 pages)

-10 Maps

This Bible is available is multiple colors/styles…to purchase your own from Remnant Publishing, click here.

CONTEST: All Facebook followers of this blog will be entered to win one of these Bibles for FREE! A winner will be randomly chosen on May 1st, 2010. (This one is mine, you can choose which you'd like at the above link)

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Sunday Laws

Hungary Joins European Union Campaign for "Work-Free" Sunday

Click here for the story.

From the North American Religious Liberty Association:

"The Republic of the Marshall Islands is considering the passage of Bill No. 66 which if passed will be known as "the Sunday Observance Act, 2010." The Act labels "Sunday to keep holy."

"No person shall engage in trading, practice profession or conduct commercial undertaking" on Sunday - but there are exceptions. It would allow hotels, restaurants, airport and its shops, and seaports to be open without restriction. "Mom-and-pop" shops that cater "purposely for sale of food" can be open from 12 noon to 8pm Sunday.

Individual violators face a fine up to $200 or up to three months in jail; corporations face fines up to $1,000.

Rob Erich, a High School Social Studies Teacher at the Delap Seventh-day Adventist School in Majuro, notes that there is a general feeling in the community that "the nation has been growing too secular and a Christian nation should encourage church attendance.""

From the Marshall Island Journal:

"Will we be going down route 66? Majuro senators Vice Speaker Alik Alik and Wilfred Kendall want to ban most business activity on Sundays to keep that day “holy.” Bill 66 calls for observing “the Lord’s Day, commonly called Sunday” and to “prohibit engagement of commercial activities on Sunday.”"

It's Adding Up

Croatia, a push from Hungary and the Marshall Islands. And these are just the issues from recent headlines. Also, let's not forget the new Pope Benedict's strong urging of Sunday laws and the fact that here in the United States there are many Sunday laws still in effect which aren't being enforced...yet.

The trend toward enforcing Sunday worship by law is very apparent. But I wonder how many of us are truly being watchful?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Regarding Some Teaching at Forest Lake Church, Derek Morris and Spiritual Formation

Fundamental Beliefs Attacked from Within

A little over a year ago I began having a dialogue with the author(s) of another "Christian" blog called Doctrine Discussion. At first I was under the impression that the author viewed the Seventh-day Adventist church as a cult because this blog was seemingly focused on attacking the fundamental beliefs of Adventism.

Our discussion went on for about in a month, during which time I found out that not only was this person familiar with Adventist doctrines but he was actually a teacher in the church, holding Bible studies at Forest Lake Church.

When I found that the author of the Doctrine Discussion blog, who was attacking the very foundations of the Adventist faith, was teaching others at Forest Lake Church, I made the difficult decision to contact Dr. Derek Morris and inform him of what was going on. I thought that he would want to know about the falsehoods being taught at his church and would take immediate action to bring these gentlemen back into line with the Gospel of Christ or at least stop them from spreading their errors to his members.

What I want to focus on is what I know: there is at least one person (possibly three) leading Wednesday night/Saturday morning Bible studies at Forest Lake Church who is openly opposed to foundational Adventist doctrine.

These are just a few quotes from the author of the Doctrine Discussion blog, called erp and Erin, who is conducting Bible studies at Forest Lake Church:

"i still fascilitate a wed. night and sat. morning bible study at the Forest Lake SDA Church in Apopka, FL."

"I will briefly say, Adam, Shawn, and I and our families are what the world calls adventist. We chose to call it brother and servant. I was even in sda ministry as I think I mentioned before."

"i have been called here so here i serve until the Lord leads elsewhere."

"yeah i know derek. we were in a bible study together for the better part of last year."

"The ten commandments were the first covenant plain as day it says it right here no mistake."

"Now if the law has not ended for you then you do not believe that Jesus did what He said He did. This is not rocket science."

"If your position is that Christ did not take away the law with commands then you are still the old man, do not desire peace, and are working against the purpose of Christ."

"If we don't believe this then we are simply denying the power of the cross and the work Christ accomplished there. The cross has become of no use or effect for us"

"I believe that sabbath rest is achieved in resting from my own efforts to save myself or conform to the written law." - Shawn

"I have been studying into this more lately and have come to the understanding that spliting off into denominations is sin and is not at all what Jesus intended for us to do." - Shawn

"no record is found in scripture of a group claiming remnancy. for this reason i am confident that God's elect and His Self chosen remnant, "He has reserved them unto Himself", are not and will never be a self proclaiming organization or denomination."

"in the Kingdom of God the phrase and title Seventh Day Adventist means nothing, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love. any other focus takes away from the real spiritual journey of believing. to all my brothers and sisters that claim the name SDA, i send my love and pray for your mercy. the high places still remain, and we can not rest until they are all torn down."

Make no mistake that the mission of this person, or persons, teaching at Forest Lake Church is to destroy the pillars of faith on which the Remnant stands, and to bring down the very Remnant itself. Do not think for one second that the "high places," of which these teachers proclaim that they "can not rest until they are all torn down," are anything other than the Seventh-day Adventist church.

The Doctrine Discussion blog was promptly deleted by the author after our dialogues concluded. However, the author currently has another blog called Come Experience Freedom.

Please know that I hold no ill-will toward these men who are teaching error...I continue to hope they will leave these false teachings and return to the truth of Christ. My only purpose in posting this information is to, hopefully, stop these men from spreading their falsehoods within the doors of the very church they hope to tear down.

Originally, this article contained information about Dr. Derek Morris and his involvement with Spiritual Formation, a practice devised by Ignatius Loyola who also founded the Jesuits. I am not a conspiracy theorist and I firmly believe we should keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and not on the various and sundry forms of evil and corruption in the world. We become like what we behold, so let us continue beholding our Lord.

If you want to learn about Spiritual Formation, I suggest the following sermons by Pastor Rick Howard:

Spirit of Prophecy or Spiritual Exercises

Spiritual Formation, Ellen G. White, and Daniel 11:30-36

If you want more information specifically regarding Derek Morris' involvement in Spiritual Formation, I suggest the following article:

Catholic Studies at Southern College - Spiritual Formation

If you would like the complete document of my discussions with the three men who claimed to be Seventh-day Adventists in name only and who are/were spreading their doctrines within the church, specifically Forest Lake Church, message me.

Ordination of Women in the Northern California Conference

Below is a response I posted to an article at Spectrum Magazine which was speaking of the push for the Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to recommend that the current practice of "ordaining" men and "commissioning" women be dismissed in favor of ordaining both men and women to the pastoral ministry.

"Such clever maneuvering.

1st, "The present system of ordaining men and commissioning women is an exercise in semantics." ...this was a modest enough move to slip by the fundamentals.

2nd, "...supporting the concept that the same language “Ordination” or “Commission” be equally applied to both men and women" that the proverbial snake has been let in the door, the final thrust is made.

The feminist agenda, if you can call it that, is very reminiscent of the homosexual agenda inasmuch as first it's tolerance that is demanded...but eventually the demand is for acceptance. "Live and let live" is not enough for some of these groups...they want to hear the opposition confess that, "Yes, it is perfectly OK...there's nothing wrong with it."

Why would women be so angry that they aren't called to all the same positions as men? Doesn't it scream of pride and arrogance?

I have yet to hear ONE proponent of the ordination of women give ANY scriptural support for the practice. Is the Bible our supreme rule of faith or not? Are we to rely on our own reasonings of what is "fair" and "right" and "good"?"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Passage of Healthcare Reform Bill Indicative of Something Worse

The majority of Americans are opposed to the Healthcare Reform Bill that Congress just passed. The vast majority of Americans believe that Congress is doing a poor job. But the politics aren't the real issue, in my estimation.

Here is the issue: We are beginning to see a government that is growing more emboldened by the day with their belief that they have the right to decide, and force conformity to, what is "best for the people."

The lamb-like beast is beginning to speak like a dragon. (Rev. 13:11)

The U.S. government (that should be focused on protecting the people and passing only laws that prohibit actions which are harmful to others and not laws that compel certain actions that benefit oneself) is beginning to take the initiative in telling people not only what they can't do but, now, what they must do.

If its citizens do not act as the government decrees they should, which in this case is obtaining health insurance, there are economic consequences. By the year 2016, anyone who has not purchased health insurance will be penalized $695.00 or 2.5% of their income, whichever is greater.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Read Revelation won't be long until we see these very words come to pass right in front of our eyes.

Please don't take my word for the books of Daniel and Revelation. They are companion books and fit together like a hand and glove.

Go through this quick Bible study and tell me what you think:

Amazing Facts - The USA in Bible Prophecy

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amazing Facts Acquires Satellite Channel

Our favorite evangelist, Doug Batchelor, and his inherited ministry, Amazing Facts, have just announced that they have acquired a satellite television channel on Galaxy 19, which covers North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The new channel, Amazing Facts Television (AFTV) will be available to view starting tomorrow, March 19th.

See the official announcement on the Amazing Facts website, here.

Wet Pants, an Email from My Mom

Every once in a while my Mom will forward me an email that doesn't make me call and ask her to stop forwarding me EVERY email she gets. Below is one of those very ones.


There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives. The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.' He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap. The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!' Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk.

The sympathy is wonderful but as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!'

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, 'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.'

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.. Remember.....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith. This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another.

The Prayer:
Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy.. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask You to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. Amen.

New International Version Bible: Translated to Fit Worldview?

Below is a paragraph from a blog written by a former student of Liberty University, a Baptist University founded by Jerry Falwell:

"I began to wonder if even different translations of the Bible could contain different worldviews; I had a hunch that they did. When I became a student at Liberty University, I found out that my guess was correct. As a student in New Testament History, my teacher was Dr. Elmer Towns. Dr. Towns had been on the committee to translate the New International Version. In one of the lectures for my New Testament class, Dr. Towns was talking about a difficult passage of the New Testament and explained that in translating that portion of the scriptures, the group had just translated it according to their own worldview as Baptist Christians because the way it read in the original didn’t fit with their own understanding."

See the original article in context, here. UPDATE: Immediately after letting the author of the blog know I had quoted her article, she pulled it. Here is a link to her blog, though the post from which this quote was taken is no longer there.

Perhaps it shouldn't have been such a surprise but, to me, it still was. I was aware of the gender-neutral controversy regarding the NIV translation and have also heard that there were several self-proclaimed homosexuals who worked as translators on that version, but to so openly admit that the original texts were altered to fit into a Baptist's theological presuppositions? Amazing.

I don't condemn the NIV version of the Bible, nor do I condemn any of the translators. It is not my prerogative to judge someone in that manner for only God can see the heart of man.

The NIV is used by many Seventh-day Adventist pastors where it more eloquently translates a certain passage of God's Word, and it doesn't bother me at all. Yet, I still feel the need to reference the same passage in a King James or New King James version.

I believe God's Word and God's inspiration of its authors, is inerrant. I believe the Bible is as far above reproach as is God Himself...but we should always remember that "to err is human, to forgive is divine."

Do I believe in verbal-inspiration or thought-inspiration? I'd only answer that it doesn't really matter anymore. I don't believe in the verbal inspiration of any translations of the original manuscripts (yes, not even the KJV)...and those originals are long gone. But the thought-inspiration was surely preserved by the hand of God.

Click here for Dr. Towns' web page. I wanted to send him a message inquiring of the aforementioned incident, but he has no contact information on the site.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Conversations with Rowland (part 3), Does God Love Those with Knowledge More Than Those Without?

Rowland Nelken
So, of all the Biblical representations of God, you go for the loving Christ. Let us forget, for a moment that you have to ignore the genocidal God of Exodus and Joshua and the manic destructive God of Revelation. (Ignore , or come out with some 'mysterious ways' expo.)

Do you maintain that Jesus/God's love is unconditional? I get the impression that you think He would love more those folks who, like you, get excited about all those Biblical number puzzles.

Does He love less those who, like me, will dismiss all that stuff as of purely historical interest, or even those who, like Ariadne, rate 1948 as more important than 1844 in the Great End Times countdown?

I hope you can see why, to any outsider, your ideas seem ridiculous. To an outsider like me, who was once inside an SDA offshoot (the JWs) which got even more excited about similar, albeit ever changing, Biblical sums, your outfit is definitely one to warn folks about.

Best wishes,


Fundamental Adventist
Not at all, brother...

"For there is no partiality with God." Romans 2:11

God loves people like you and I just as much as He loves people like mother Teresa, or whoever we see as "good" in this world, because
"we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousness is as filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6

I've heard it said that in God's eyes the distance between the world's greatest saint and the world's worst sinner is virtually zero. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

Seems like the key word in these verses is "ALL"...we are all in the same boat. If you gave your heart and life to Christ today, He wouldn't love you any more than He already does and always will. If you became a monster like Hitler and slaughtered millions of people God would love you no less than He does right now.

Those "biblical number puzzles," as you like to call them, have no merit in God's eyes...

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." - 1 Cor. 13:1-3

It's all about love in God's eyes. "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

It is His love that compels Him to destroy sin and those who refuse to let it go...because He knows that destroying sin is the only way to bring His creatures true happiness...a happiness we can never know or even imagine until we experience a world without sin. But, please believe God when He cries out,

"...As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" - Ezekiel 33:11

When that day of judgment finally comes and our God of love must finally destroy sin once and for will be the most painful moment in eternity Him.

Rowland Nelken
I'll go with the unconditional love thing, fundy. In order to follow that, though, much of the Bible - all the violent hate bits that I've pointed out - have to be sidelined. And the numbers, dates and beasts are no help in the love direction either. Their study, and the crazy assertions that some folks make as a result of that study, has been at
the root of much sectarian, religious and racial strife.

Interpretations of Biblical and Koranic prophecy are at the heart of much of the hatred that is poisoning the place known as 'The Holy Land'.

Fundamental Adventist
I think you're absolutely right...interpretations of Bible prophecies have caused much pain and strife in this world.

If none of them were ever placed in the Bible the Gospel message of God's power and love would remain the same...they are completely non-essential to a Christian life of love. The only difference would be that we'd be flying blind, never sure of how long we've got until Christ returns.

I'm not sure of God's purposes in having these time prophecies, but I could speculate based on passages such as the following that they are calculated to increase our faith in God when we see events unfold just as the Bible predicted, and to encourage us to let Jesus Christ, the Morning Star (Rev 22:16), reign in our hearts...

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." - 2 Peter 1:19

Conversations with Rowland (part 2), Can We Understand God or Not?

Ariadne Vassiliki
Jesus is coming in the generation since 1948. Jesus said learn the parable of the fig tree which is Israel which became a nation in 1948

Rowland Nelken
In one post, Fundy, you say you cannot know the mind of God. Next post you tell me that you know God loves me. He did not love the Amalekites or Mrs. Lot. In Revelation he clearly did not love 7 Christian congregations, the Kings of the World or the Scarlet Woman. I do not read in the Bible about a God of universal love.

This return to Israel thing, Ariadne, beloved of the US religious right, is a great impediment to Middle East peace. There is a range of crackpot End Times scenarios there. Rapture? Mass Conversion of Jews? Divine Annihilation of Jews who not recognise JC as the Messiah? Does the Temple descend from Heaven?

You realise, of course, Fundy and Ariadne, that Muslims are convinced that God's promise to Abraham applies to them and not to the Jews. Some of them await the return of JC, not in his own right, but as the aide to the Mahdi.

Like you two, (and Patrick Rampy) the Jewish and Muslim apocalyptic Biblical/Koranic literalists are absolutely certain that they are right. Much remains unknown about the Universe. Holy Books are interesting guides to thoughts on these matters from the ancient Middle East. To regard them as the infallible Word of God is not only absurd. It is dangerous.

Best wishes to you both.


Fundamental Adventist
Ariadne careful about that is one espoused by the twisted mind of Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel.

In truth, to say that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel would be reading way more into the words of Christ than He intended. You're right that it is a parable which tells us to keep a watchful eye for the signs of His soon coming, which He had just finished telling His disciples about, because when we see these signs come to pass we'll know that His coming is near...just as when we see the leaves start to grow on the fig tree we know that summer is near.

But the interpretation you are giving is false, and not the Adventist position.

More to come...

Fundamental Adventist
From Amazing Facts founder Joe Crews:

"He gives us a whole chapter there in the gospel of Matthew telling exactly what great signs would mark the approaching end of all things. "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?" And so Jesus gave answers to those disciples who wanted to know about the end of things. This is the same question we're concerned about today, isn't it? We would also ask, "How can we know when it is near?" Jesus said, "I'll tell you how to understand. There will be certain great fulfilling signs to let you know when my coming is near." He said, "You must watch for this event and for that sign." And so He described in detail certain things that would have to take place near the very close of world history. After giving a long list, He said this: "Learn a parable of the fig tree, when his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves ye know that summer is nigh. And when you see all these things know that my coming is near." Now what are some of those things, friends, that we should be looking for today? Are we actually seeing today before our very eyes what Jesus spoke about? The final things? Well, let's see for a moment.

Notice Matthew 24:6, "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." Somebody says, "Well, we've always had wars, every generation has had its share of conflict, violence and warfare." Yes, that's true, but notice that Jesus went on to say something more about the kind of warfare that would be taking place in the very last days.

In verse 7 He said, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines. ..." Now it's true that nations have been fighting each other in every age of the world's history, but there has not been world involvement until very recently. Jesus indicated that local battles and conflicts would not be the major sign of His coming, but that His coming would be preceded by world wars. He said, "... nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." Now the first world war actually took place back in 1914. Seven-eighths of the world was involved in that mighty conflict, and ten million soldiers died. It cost four hundred billion dollars. But then about twenty years later, more or less, another great war broke out which cost four times as much as that first one. In fact the cost of it is so stupendous that we can hardly pronounce it. But it was four times more than World War I. But was that the end of conflict? Of course not. We know all about the other wars that have consumed nations."

The sermon goes on into much more detail about the other signs Christ spoke of, and can be found at the Amazing Facts website, here:

Fundamental Adventist
The reason that teaching is so dangerous is not because the time is incorrect...because surely by the time Israel became a nation again in 1948 we were well into the time of the end...BUT it's so dangerous because it places prophetic emphasis on the literal nation of Israel, which is completely unbiblical.

This is the same line of thinking that produced movies like Left Behind, etc., and false teachings about Armageddon involving the Russians or Chinese or whoever attacking the nation of Israel in the middle east, etc...and the drying up of the river Euphrates meaning some nation is going to literally stop the flow of the little old Euphrates in the middle east so they can attack Israel, etc.

We, as Adventists, have let scripture interpret itself and found that the Israel which is spoken after Christ, esp. in the prophetic sense, as in Revelation, is *spiritual* Israel...which are all those around the world who are true followers of Christ and can be found in every denomination and walk of life.

Fundamental Adventist

True that as high as the sky is above the earth, so are His ways above our ways...and He is beyond understanding...but,

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." - Deut. 29:29

And one of the things God has revealed to us is that it's because of His love for us that He sent Jesus Christ to die in our stead (John 3:16) and that He doesn't want even one single person to perish and miss eternal joy (2 Pet. 3:9).

Put those two revealed truths together and you've got a God, Creator of the universe, who loves you (YOU) so much that He would have, and did, die to save only you...even if you were the only person He ever created.

That is how I can say that our understanding God is like an ant understanding the vast cosmos, which is an infinite understatement, yet I can still say that I know for a certainty that He loves you so dearly, my friend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Conversations with Rowland (part 1), What Would YOU Say?

Below is a conversation I am having with someone on Facebook...I had/have no idea how to get through to his heart that God is real and that He loves him.

Rowland Nelken
And if I judge that the Bible is a fallible, man made creation; that Daniel's prophecies apply only to his anger at the Greek occupation, and that Revelation is concerned purely with anger at Christian collusion with the Roman Empire, have I thereby condemned myself to destruction, according to your weird theology?

Fundamental Adventist
How can you judge Daniel's prophecies to be "only his anger at the Greek occupation?" Regardless of whether he was angry at being carried away captive to Babylon, his prophecies are still testable, yeah?

I mean just the simple prophecy in chapter two with the image...of which he clearly states that the head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar (sp?) and his kingdom, Babylon, and that it would be followed by 3 successive empires then be split into ten divisions as opposed to conquered by a 5th empire. Seems like you'd have to either speculate that the book of Daniel was written AFTER Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome's rule OR believe that it was a prophecy that nailed hundreds of years of history in advance.

Rowland Nelken
It is well known and accepted that Daniel was writing in 165 BC, two years after the defilement of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes IV. He pretended to have been living in the last years of the Babylonian occupation and the first years of the Persian. He was 'prophesying' after the fact.

Fundamental Adventist
I dunno, man...I was just reading this article that has some compelling evidence otherwise.

Fundamental Adventist
Plus...if Daniel was a liar then the entire Bible couldn't be trusted, but most importantly, Jesus Himself would have to be a liar because He referred to what was "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" He would have been endorsing a liar, making Him decidedly NOT God.

Rowland Nelken
It seems that 'lying' or, to use a posh word 'pseudopigraphy' was an acceptable genre in Daniel's time. The Books of Enoch and Jubilees claim to be authored by Enoch and Methusaleh, though the language is contemporary with that of Daniel. You are right, sir, the Bible cannot be relied upon as a history book by modern standards, and Jesus, whoever he was, was certainly not God. Whether or no there is a God, I would not presume to know. It is beyond proof or disproof. Such depictions of God as we have, in a range of Holy writings, though, are quite definitely works of the human imagination. Alone amongst the animal kingdom, we humans have a curiosity about our origins and purpose. The Bible and Koran are attempts to satisfy that curiosity in a distant, pre scientific age.

Fundamental Adventist
There must be something inside you searching to know seem so interested in these things

Rowland Nelken
I was raised partly as a JW via my mother, though my father was both Marxist and Zionist. All three movements, I have concluded, are ridiculous. They have, however, inspired millions of people, not all of them stupid. Many, indeed, have demonstrated prodigious learning.

The power of delusory notions, is dangerous. I t has been the engine for religious persecution, for ethnic cleansing, for the Nazi Holocaust, for Stalin's purges, for the current troubles in the Holy Land, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more places.

A 'search for understanding' no way implies that I expect to find a God at the end of it, any more than I expect to define a master race or a perfect political/ economic system. Crackpot notions, JWdom in particular, overshadowed my childhood. I believe that a world without the notion of God written books, would not, of itself, create happiness. It is, however, an essential step on the route...

Rowland Nelken
Further, were I to conclude that there is probably a God, it would bear no relation to the genocidal God of the early Old Testament or the vengeful, arbitrarily destructive God of the Book of Revelation.

Fundamental Adventist
From what I've observed in the world...the only hope humans have of achieving any kind of lasting happiness is if God miraculously steps in and destroys the sin that makes us act so vile to one another.

I carry that hope around with me because He promised there WILL be a day when "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:4

Rowland Nelken
The preordained paradise delusion is a copout. Sure, life is messy, unpredictable, unfair and often cruel. It is up to us, the fallible human race, to do what we can to improve it. Lenin thought that helping with famine relief during the Czarist era was a waste of time. The preordained Communist Paradise would render aid superfluous and irrelevant. Lenin believed in the economic numbers of Karl Marx. JWs trust to the Biblical numbers of Daniel, Revelation et al. to give them the excuse to shut themselves off from the world and await Divine deliverance.

I agree that the poetic imagery, in your quote from the end of Revelation is beguiling. This peace and beauty only arrives, however, after an orgy of arbitrary destruction. If Paradise means living in a world where virtue is defined as believing in Hebrew number puzzles, then I prefer the world as it is.

Fundamental Adventist
I've heard it said that once we reach a certain age we start to become the architects of our own demise by the way we live, the choices we make...smoking, drugs, unsafe sex...whatever they may be. I think the same can be said of our species as a whole: the weapons we create, the ecosystems we destroy, the natural resources we drain, etc.

My hope of the eternal paradise God has waiting for those who surrender to His goodness does is not something to be used as an excuse for excuse to put my head in the sand and wait for Christ to make everything better. On the contrary, my belief in God's words compel me to go and make things better. For Jesus is my example and He said He came not to be served...but to serve. God calls us to be good stewards of this planet and its creatures.

So whereas some belief systems cause its adherents to "copout" and turn their backs on all the good that needs to be done and simply trust that the system they follow will fix everything for them, I believe Christianity...true Christianity, not religion, causes the opposite.

Rowland Nelken
Evidence of doom mongers recurs throughout human history. Zoroaster, 'Daniel', the Revelation man, whoever he was, and you, are but a small sample. Read Act 4 Sc. 4 of Shakespeare's 'Winter's Tale' - you will see a classic - yoof today - the world's going to the dogs' type whinge.

Try getting some ecstatic visions of your own, writing them down and having them appropriately bound. With the right PR machine you could generate a doomster cult of your very own. Why stick with the Hebrews of old?

Rowland Nelken
'Beloved men, know that this is the truth: This world is in haste, and approaches its end,

and therefore always in the world
The longer it is, the worse it gets

Wulfstan, Archbishop of York (died AD 1023)

Rowland Nelken
Have just now read your link, 'Fun. Ad'., to the Apologetics bit on Daniel. It is meaningless. The author of the 'APologetics' piece says that Daniel's Babylonian/Persian pedigree is questioned on account of the prophecies' uncanny accuracy. That is not the case. It is the style of Hebrew and Aramaic that has led scholars to place it in the 2nd century BC. The writer also refers to Daniel's canonical status in Qumran. This, it is said, would be impossible with a contemporary work. Veneration demands antiquity. 'Jubilees' and 'Enoch' are also Qumran sacred works, contemporary with Daniel, and, like 'his' book, are pseudopigraphical.

I appreciate your wish to see the Bible as a unified and sacred document and a guide to our future. Facts, alas, (or fortunately, respecting the Bible's horror stories and its sometimes murderous God) obstruct the realisation of that wish at every turn.

Fundamental Adventist
Have faith, bro...God won't let you down

Fundamental Adventist
In regard to the article, the date of Daniel is questioned by critics for a few reasons, the prophecies being one but the style of Aramaic being another...and the author does address the latter.

"A final contribution from Qumran to the biblically claimed date for Daniel’s composition comes from linguistic considerations. Though, as we mentioned earlier, critical scholars argue that the Aramaic sections in Daniel indicate a second-century B.C. date of composition, the Qumran materials suggest otherwise. In fact, a comparison of the documents at Qumran with Daniel demonstrates that the Aramaic in Daniel is a much earlier composition than the second-century B.C. Such a comparison further demonstrates that Daniel was written in a region different from that of Judea. For example, the Genesis Apocryphon found in Cave 1 is a second-century B.C. document written in Aramaic—the same period during which critical scholars argue that Daniel was composed. If the critical date for Daniel’s composition were correct, it should reflect the same linguistic characteristics of the Genesis Apocryphon. Yet, the Aramaic of these two books is markedly dissimilar."

Fundamental Adventist
"The Genesis Apocryphon, for example, tends to place the verb toward the beginning of the clause, whereas Daniel tends to defer the verb to a later position in the clause. Due to such considerations, linguists suggest that Daniel reflects an Eastern type Aramaic, which is more flexible with word order, and exhibits scarcely any Western characteristics at all. In each significant category of linguistic comparison (i.e., morphology, grammar, syntax, vocabulary), the Genesis Apocryphon (admittedly written in the second century B.C.) reflects a much later style than the language of Daniel (Archer, 1980, 136:143; cf. Yamauchi, 1980). Interestingly, the same is true when the Hebrew of Daniel is compared with the Hebrew preserved in the Qumran sectarian documents (i.e., those texts composed by the Qumran community reflecting their peculiar societal laws and religious customs). From such linguistic considerations provided by Qumran, Daniel hardly could have been written by a Jewish patriot in Judea during the early second-century B.C., as the critics charge."

Rowland Nelken
Some folks will stop at nothing to try and salvage the Bible's reputation as a unified work, which tells the story of mankind from Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained. Historically, due to its influence in shaping nations, its role as a factor in Christendom's wars, the Bible is of huge importance. With careful selection, some transcendental teachings can be found within it.

Where, though, is the virtue in having 'faith' in the strange imagery and number puzzles? I would not put my faith in a God who starts off as one of many Gods (in Genesis), becomes a supernatural racist warrior (Joshua), and an arbitrary murderer of much of humanity (Revelation).

En route, he has decided that he is the only God. The other rival Gods, are suddenly, and arbitrarily, declared fictional. This 'same' God in the psalms promises a return of the Jewish people to their homeland and rich harvests. COmes Daniel and the promise of resurrection and everlasting life is thrown into the mix.

A preacher appears, a freelance rabbi with some new teachings for a post nationalist age. After his death Jesus is ascribed a miraculous birth, a Davidic lineage and an ascension to Heaven. With John's Gospel his story is taken back to the beginning of time.

A successor (Paul), creates a radical Jewish sect awaiting an imminent rapture to Heaven. When the rapture is delayed the sect morphs into a separate religion. Gentile recruitment requires a toning down, and then an abandonment, of Jewish law.

Where is the virtue in believing that this intriguing historical development of ideas, nations and sects is some Divine Truth, which belief will give a chance of everlasting life?It is preposterous. As a JW kid, I believed a version of the above implicitly. I have since discovered that End of the World doomsters have been around, certainly since the time of Zoroaster.

Wm. Miller, Ellen WHite, Pastor Russell, David Koresh can join the ranks of CHristopher COlumbus, Archbishop Wulfstan, Isaac Newton, St. Augustine of Hippo, Gerrard Winstanley, Mahomet, Several pretend 'Mahdis' as well as Rudolf Steiner and Peter the Hermit.

The APocalypse is a figment of the human imagination.I am not going to sign up to one of the current options and I hope you recover from your delusions.

Best wishes,


Fundamental Adventist
Maybe you won't come to God, but humor me because I enjoy the conversation. Your posts leave me with more questions than responses so if you'll lend me even more of your time and thought I'm curious about your answers. (side note: I've placed this dialogue we've been having on my blog but will change your name to "anonymous" if you want?

Which passage in Genesis are you referring to when you mentioned "starting off as one of many Gods"?

In regard to the "arbitrary murderer of humanity," I don't see it as arbitrary at all...but as the only possible way to get the universe back to a state of perpetual happiness, i.e. to destroy sin.

I suppose someone could say, "Why not destroy the sin and leave the people alive, sinless?" But that would essentially be creating slaves that behave as God sees fit. As opposed to beings who enjoy the freedom of choice and decide of their own free will that they want to follow God's way of happiness and peace.

What caught a glimpse into the future to see the Bible really is God's word and that Jesus truly is the Saviour of mankind? What if someone you found that the reality you so firmly believe at this very moment was actually an illusion created by your past and the various teachings that colored the lens with which you evaluate all things Holy? Is it possible...only if for a step outside of all your beliefs and opinions and say "What if...?"

It's obvious you are an intelligent guy so I know you are familiar with the Bible verses that speak of scoffers in the last days who say things have been the same since the beginning, there's always been people around saying "the end is near! the end is near!"...knowing you think it's truly safe to base any conclusions on what other people have done or said in the past?

If you don't want to continue the conversation that's okay, and best wishes to you as well.

Rowland Nelken
'COming to God?' What does this mean? The God of CHristopher Columbus, he who was cited by Isaiah as the one who would bring the Word of the Lord to the distant isles? (i.e. Cuba and Hispaniola). If one were raised as an Egyptian Soldier, doing one's sacred duty chasing after runaway slaves, a drowning in the Red Sea would seem an arbitrary punishment. The early OT God is a racist. I do not want to 'come' to such a God.

I wonder did COlumbus enquire of scoffers what might be their reaction if, having glimpsed the future, they could see that COlumbus was right and the World would End a la Revelation in 1658?

I was hoodwinked by a bunch of JW doomsters as a kid. I am not going to leap into believing some related APocalyptic myth simply because you are going through a stage of finding such a preposterous idea appealing.

I have no wish to hide my name, and will get back to you, Chapter and Verse, on the nature og the OT God as simply one of many.

Rowland Nelken
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95. 3 - The above implies that the belief in God as a top God, rather than the only God, was abroad amongst the Hebrews when the Bible was compiled and redacted, early in the Persian period.

Fundamental Adventist
True, the Hebrew people many times not only believed in other gods, but worshipped them instead of the true God. But again, I simply cannot base what I see as truth on what other people throughout history may have said or thought...I can base reality only on what God has said and done.

As far as the Egyptian soldiers...I can only say that as a human we are nothing if not fallible and blind so I must defer to the mighty God, who created all things and can see the thoughts and intents of men's hearts as clearly as the noon-day sun, to judge, and judge righteously, the people He has destroyed.

I often wonder about the "What if"s of God's judgment, such as, "What if one of those Egyptian soldiers would have eventually come to believe and follow the true God and been saved had not he been destroyed before he got the chance?" Or, "What if some of those destroyed by Christ's second coming would have, if given more time, chosen to follow Him and been saved if only Jesus would have delayed His coming a bit longer?"

To these questions, again, I can only believe that because God is all-knowing and exists outside of the constraints of space and time, always seeing the beginning from the ending, He knew who would continue in their sins regardless of how much time they were given.

It seems that God can no more do something arbitrarily than He can do something evil....and even beyond that: what I believe about God, my opinions and assumptions and beliefs, mean less than nothing. It would be as if an ant could judge the infinite cosmos accurately and precisely.

Ultimately, our perception of what is real has no bearing on what is actually true in this life or the one to come.

Rowland Nelken
I appreciate that human knowledge about the universe is still partial, albeit iincreasing enormously. I can see that you are likely to remain, as I was as a JW kid, a Bibliolater. FOr you there is a connection between virtue and an implicit belief in the literal Truth of the Bible. I see no such connection. You sound like a decent guy. I do not envy you the mental gymnastics essential for reconciling this violent God, whose proclaimed Word has generated such fruitless and destructive prophetic speculation, with your own, apparently benign attitude towards humanity.

I look forward to the day when the Bible and Koran are recognised as significant purely for their historical interest. It may one day be a source of wonder how these works from a distant primitive age, continued to be regarded as complete guides to life, past, present and future, for so many centuries after the scientific revolution should have consigned their importance to history.

Fundamental Adventist
I'm sure you already know which day it is that I look forward to.

Until that day, friend. :-)

Fundamental Adventist
God loves you.

Rowland Nelken
What is your Christ returning/Rapture/Armageddon/Day of Judgement date? As you know, from Biblical text juggling a whole range of End Times scenarios can be dreamed up. 1658? St. Augustine of Hippo and Christopher Columbus.
2062? Isaac Newton - 1843/4? - William Miller, 1881/1914/1915? Pastor Russell - 1925/1941? - Judge Rutherford. 1834? Elspat Buchan. 1975? Nathan Homer Knorr.

When they fail you can use the 'Thief in the Night' quote.

I have no evidence that God would love me. The God of my childhood was due to murder all who did not attend the Kingdom Hall or go door to door with a bag of mags. The OT God killed Mrs. Lot on account of normal human curiosity.

The OT God massacred the Amalekites for belonging to the wrong race. What makes you so confident that this strange God creature of your imagination would love me?

Best wishes Fundy; I hope that one day you recover from your delusions.


Fundamental Adventist
Ahh I can't tell you when Christ is coming...and the thief in the night quote would be certainly misapplied in that situation. Sometime after 1844 is all the Bible tells us...there are no more time-prophecies left to be fulfilled.

A passage not out of context would be Christ's words when He said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

Anyone who sets a date has always been and will always be in error. Don't forget the even more recent predictions of the 1980's return by Hal Linsey and Arnold Murray, etc.

In response to your other question...I am confident that God loves you because He created you...everything about who you are He made and loves and wants to be with forever. He is more your Father than any man or woman could ever be. Your intelligence, your wit, your heart...everything good in you is His creation and He loves it, because it is who He made you to be...holy, happy, loving, compassionate, kind, humble, forgiving, trusting, believing...full of joy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

David Asscherick's Letter to the General Conference

April 30, 2009

Pastors Jan Paulsen, Don C. Schneider, Ricardo Graham
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Dear Pastors Paulsen, Schneider, and Graham,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. Like each of you, I am an ordained pastor of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. I write these words with my heart on full display–from pastor to pastor. This letter concerns the teaching of evolution at La Sierra University. While I am not a formally trained scientist, I am, however, familiar with many of the apologetic, philosophical, and theological issues surrounding the theories of naturalistic evolution. I have made this an area of special study in my life and ministry. So, I feel both comfortable and qualified to speak to the issue, especially in its ecclesiastical ramifications.

It is a matter of incontestable fact that naturalistic evolution is being taught at La Sierra University. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. Evolution should be taught at our denominational universities. But it should be taught as a competing and inimical worldview to the biblical worldview. We need our young people to know what it is they are up against, yes, but when naturalistic evolution is taught as fact or as the preferred and normative worldview, then we can be sure that the enemy has breached our lines.

There is no point in equivocating. I have seen the class materials with my own eyes. Frankly, I think every Seventh-day Adventist deserves to see them. Our people need to know what is happening. Many of them have heard various rumblings, but being the conscientious, confiding, and hopeful people they are, they have generally assumed the very best. We are making capital of their trust.

In 2003 I preached a two-week evangelistic meeting on the Loma Linda University campus. The event was student-led and university-sponsored. Many students from La Sierra University attended those meetings, and I personally visited with many of them. They told me what was being taught in some of their science classes. I shall never forget the looks and questions of unadorned incredulity that I witnessed among those students. I have talked to many more since. “What should I do?” “Should I say something?” “Should I just attend a non-SDA school?” “Do our leaders know about this?” “How come these people are allowed to teach at a Seventh-day Adventist University?” These young people, and many others like them, are justifiably nonplussed. Frankly, I share their confusion!

What deeply concerns me is that the faith of many students, who look up to their Adventist professors as more than just academic instructors, but also as spiritual leaders, is being undermined. Jesus’ words in Luke 17:1, 2 about causing “one of these little ones to stumble” carry inestimable weight, and they should be reason enough to propel us to responsible action. Brethren, what are we doing and allowing? Will not God hold us accountable in our respective spheres for what happens on our watch?

I am aware, of course, that the church’s governmental structure gives institutions like La Sierra University a necessary degree of administrative freedom. This is a good and wise arrangement. But this freedom, surely, is not synonymous with virtually unaccountable autonomy. La Sierra University is, after all, a denominational university. If the board has not yet adequately addressed this matter, then doesn’t that evince a kind of complicity, if not outright mismanagement and denominational disloyalty? I genuinely ask, at what point is La Sierra University’s board accountable and answerable to you men and the levels of church government that you represent? When, if ever, can someone step in and save our children and the institutions they attend?

Governing and administrative structures are not the church. The people are the church. The governing and administrative structures are the scaffolding of the church. Scaffolds are for building and strengthening a thing; they are not the thing itself. But what if some are using the scaffolding to tear down the very church they were commissioned and created to build up? What then? I genuinely want to know. Where does the buck stop?

Perhaps you feel that your hands are tied by policy and protocol. But surely they cannot be tied completely. What should I, as a church pastor, do if someone is teaching doctrine that undermines the church’s biblical positions in one of my Sabbath School classes? Wouldn’t it be expected of me, the pastor–shepherd–of the flock, to address it? To ask this question is to answer it. Of course, I would work though the Sabbath School council and the church board, but you can be sure that I would deal with the problem. My conference president, to say nothing of my Lord, would surely hold me in contempt if I told him lamely that my hands were tied, no?

Furthermore, the greater the errancy, the greater the urgency. As even a cursory analysis plainly reveals, few doctrines are at greater philosophical odds with Seventh-day Adventism than naturalistic evolution, the arguments of well-meaning theistic evolutionists notwithstanding. Our Magna Carta is Revelation 14:6-12. If naturalistic evolution is true, Creation is cremated, the Sabbath is sabotaged, and our very name is neutered. What becomes of Scripture? And of our unique eschatology? We are not talking about bongo drums, wedding bands, and Christmas trees here.

If our hands are tied, then surely we must let an unfaltering love for God, for His Word, and for His young people dash these fetters into so many deserved pieces! We must do something. You must do something.

Who knows but that you have come to your positions for such a time as this. My ministry places me in somewhat of a unique situation in the world church. In partnership with the Central California Conference, I run ARISE, a mission training school that has seen hundreds of young people over the last seven years. I also have the privilege of preaching regularly on 3ABN and the Hope Channel. Too, I travel all over the world holding evangelistic meetings and preaching at camp meetings, youth conferences, weeks of prayer, etc. I genuinely feel that I have my finger on the pulse of the “average lay person” in the Seventh-day Adventist church the world over. Especially the young people ages 15 to 30. I can say with unblinking confidence that God is working in His church! Praise Him!

I just arrived home from the Youth Mission Congress in Frankfurt, Germany. Over 1600 young people attended the meetings. Night after night I preached the Adventist message–I preached Christ! The theme chosen for the congress was Follow the Bible, and what an indescribable joy it was to see, at the end of my last sermon, hundreds and hundreds of young people streaming forward. All of them had personal decision cards in their hands. A beautiful, five-foot-tall wooden Bible had been constructed for just this moment. On the side of the Bible was a slot designed to receive the decision cards the young people clutched in their surrendered hands. One by one, each placed his or her card in the Bible. The symbolism was rich and thrillingly profound. It was impossible to not be moved at a fundamental level as each eager young person placed their decision, and thus their life in that wooden Bible. My translator openly wept at the sight. “We will follow the Bible,” they were each saying. All over the world, God’s people–and in particular, it seems, His young people–are saying We will follow the Word–the Living Word, Jesus, and the Written Word, the Bible.

God has entrusted us with these young people. They are His. He has given us His wise counsel to raise up institutions of learning to educate, equip, and empower them. To build them up.

But what do we do when one of our institutions turns from this inestimably important responsibility, a responsibility that is fraught with eternal significance and involves the souls of those Jesus died to save? This is what I want to know.

And so do many, many others.

I thank each of you for your time, and, in advance, for your thoughtful responses.


David Asscherick
Director, ARISE

Jan Paulsen's Response to the David Asscherick Letter


I place this before you in awareness of an ongoing discussion in some quarters between faith and science, particularly as it relates to origins and creation.

For us as a community it has always been of utmost importance to stay close to the Scripture. Faith has that as its final point of reference. We must not allow ourselves to come adrift from the Bible in defining our values and in stating what we hold.

Our position as a church in the matter of origins is clearly although somewhat broadly stated in our Fundamental Beliefs. This position is further amplified in a statement voted by the General Conference Executive Committee at the 2004 Annual Council. To remind ourselves of the details of that action, I have included the wording in this appeal:

  • "We strongly endorse the document's affirmation of our historic, biblical position of belief in a literal, recent, six-day Creation.
  • We urge that the document, accompanied by this response, be disseminated widely throughout the world Seventh-day Adventist Church, using all available communication channels and in the major languages of world membership.
  • We reaffirm the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the historicity of Genesis 1-11: that the seven days of the Creation account were literal 24-hour days forming a week identical in time to what we now experience as a week; and that the Flood was global in nature.
  • We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church's position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.
  • We urge church leaders throughout the world to seek ways to educate members, especially young people attending non-Seventh-day Adventist schools, in the issues involved in the doctrine of creation.
  • We call on all members of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist family to proclaim and teach the church's understanding of the biblical doctrine of Creation, living in its light, rejoicing in our status as sons and daughters of God, and praising our Lord Jesus Christ--our Creator and Redeemer."

I appeal to all engaged by our church in the ministries of administration, preaching, teaching, and writing to articulate and reflect our stand as a community on Creation. We are a faith-community, and the world of faith is the world in which God's creative powers are on constant display. Sometimes the findings of science may reflect some of this, but often not. Faith is certainly not subject to findings of science.

To those who teach at our colleges and universities, let me say that you have a demanding, often difficult, but sacred assignment. It is a ministry you hold in trust. It is understood that to care for your ministry responsibly you have to take your students on many a journey of findings into various disciplines of study. They need to know what they will meet in their profession and in life. As part of that exercise you will also expose them to the elements and concepts of evolution. That is understood.

As your pastor, however, I appeal to you that when you take your students out on the journey, you bring them safely back home before the day is over. And their home must always be in the world of faith. You owe it to the students, you owe it to God, you owe it to their parents, you owe it to the church, and you owe it to yourself as a believer to safely guide them through difficult moments on their journey.

This appeal comes with the greatest respect for your integrity and your professional skills. But you are also my sister and brother in faith, and we share a common commitment to God to whom we shall ultimately bring the fruits of our labor. I pray that he will give to each of us the strength that accompanies faithfulness.

Jan Paulsen