Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Sunday, February 03, 2019

False news from Adventist Today.

I have not written much lately as the two sites I used to mention most often Adventist Today and Spectrum have become nothing more than political Progressive echo chambers. As such I hesitate to reference them or add to their traffic. Most of their articles are incredibly poor and now it appears their so-called news is equally poor. Take for example this news article:

Notice the implication in the title. Require Bible Classes. In fact it would have required elective Bible class options for students. The so-called news article directs to a very short Fox TV post. The issue was covered by much more comprehesive articles such as USA Today's article.

Bible classes in public schools? Why Christian lawmakers are pushing a wave of new bills

Not a great article but at least it gives a little more information. Now real information would be to give people a link to the actual bill. Not hard to find and then the reporter could actually confirm that in fact, the classes were to be electives.

The bill SB2136 amends the present law specifically as follows, they even underline it in the bill so you and so-called reporters can easily see the changes. Apparently, the commenters on Facebook were unable to look up the information as well, so they all appear to work from the same faulty information. Sort of the hallmark of Progressivism in my opinion.

SECTION 1. AMENDMENT. Section 15.1-21-02 of the North Dakota Century Code is amended and reenacted as follows: 15.1-21-02. High schools - Required units. 1. In order toTo be approved by the superintendent of public instruction, each public and nonpublic high school shall make available to each student: a. Four units of English language arts from a sequence that includes literature, composition, and speech; b. Four units of mathematics, including: (1) One unit of algebra II; and (2) One unit for which algebra II is a prerequisite; c. Four units of science, including: (1) One unit of physical science; and (2) One unit of biology; d. Four units of social studies, including: (1) One unit of world history; (2) One unit of United States history; and (3) (a) One unit of problems of democracy; or (b) One-half unit of United States government and one-half unit of economics; e. One-half unit of health; Page No. 1 19.0488.02000 SENATE BILL NO. 2136 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Sixty-sixth Legislative Assembly f. One-half unit of physical education during each school year, provided that once every four years the unit must be a concept-based fitness class that includes instruction in the assessment, improvement, and maintenance of personal fitness; g. Two units of fine arts, at least one of which must be music; h. Two units of the same foreign or native American language; i. One unit of an advanced placement course or one unit of a dual-credit course; and j. Two units of career and technical education from a coordinated plan of study recommended by the department of career and technical education and approved by the superintendent of public instruction; and k. One - half unit of the old testament of the Bible or the new testament of the Bible, or one - half unit of instruction covering both the old and new testaments of the Bible. 2. In addition to the requirements of subsection 1, each public and nonpublic high school shall make available to each student, at least once every two years, one-half unit of North Dakota studies, with an emphasis on the geography, history, and agriculture of this state. 
Legislative Assembly 4. Three units of social studies, including of which any one - half unit may be replaced by Bible studies. Social studies units include: 

The question is why would Adventist Today propagate such a misleading version of the story. Why not say ND has a bill proposal to provide as an elective course bible related courses (or half unit courses to be precise).

There is a reason, when religion becomes politics and Christianity seems to always play a far second to political progressive ideas.

In case you wonder why I don't comment on the Adventist Today Facebook comments section it is because I am not allowed to comment there by their decision. Because free ideas are not apparently all that important to the folks at Adventist Today...where at one time I wrote for them...funny how that works.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rush Limbaugh on hell

Last week I heard a very troubling thing on the Rush Limbaugh show. Granted Rush is not much of a theologian, that mantle is probably carried more by his brother David Limbaugh but this is really a frightening misinterpretation of the Bible. Here is the section from the Transcripts which save me so much time because he posts his transcripts for free!

From 3-30-2018 Emphasis Added:
You know, Billy Graham said that he was most often asked the question about hell, is there hell, did he believe that there is a hell. And he quoted scripture. He said in the Bible the person that most often talks about hell is Jesus. He said it might surprise you to learn that the person in the Bible who spoke the most about hell’s reality was Jesus. He repeatedly warned people not to take it lightly. And then he quoted Matthew 10:28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
In other words, be afraid of the devil. Do not be afraid of dying. Be afraid of going to hell. And that this admonition was frequently coming from Jesus. So for that to be contradicted by the pope, believe me, is going to shake some people up, if they can’t sweep this away. And, by the way, what happens now to being devil’s advocate? If there’s no hell, there’s no devil. So how can you ever be a devil’s advocate? A whole line of questioning has also been obliterated by the pope!

What a twisted doctrine hell has become if an intelligent man in his 60's has gone through his whole life and thinks that the Devil is in charge of hell. That the Devil is the one who destroys the soul and body. 

Disturbed artists from hundreds of years ago have succeeded in giving Christians a completely distorted view of God

Even those who believe in eternal torment in Hell know that this verse is not about the devil, so at least we can comfort ourselves with that fact.

Because God is judge in the end, we should not fear even persecutors who threaten death (vv. 26, 28). Mortals can destroy only one's body, while God can resurrect the body for damnation and destroy the whole person (with eternal torture; compare 3:12; 25:46). The choice is not between courage and fear but has to do with whom we will fear more (Minear 1950:169). Jesus may here recall the Jewish martyr tradition, which exhorted its followers not to fear those who think they can kill, because eternal suffering awaits the soul that disobeys God's command (4 Macc 13:14-15).

Saturday, November 25, 2017

More misinformation from Adventist Today.

One of the things I have been seeing is the incredible swing to the left on Adventist sites like and Neither site now publishing anything but Progressive left wing political and religious material. It is published without any type of editorial requirement for truth to be utilized. For example there is an article entitled On Being Offended by Lindsey Painter in which she writes with apparently little regard for facts the following:

Last Thanksgiving Native Americans protested the building of the Keystone Pipeline (and DAPL). For their efforts they were hosed with freezing water in the snow, refused basic amenities and medical treatment, and the pipeline was built anyway. This Thanksgiving what are those Native Americans doing? They are cleaning up the giant oil spill on their land that they feared last year. Are they thin-skinned?
Ignoring the fact that the protestors were mostly not Native Americans the reader must also ignore the fact that the oil leak was not on Native American land and Native Americans are not cleaning it up. As CNN reported:

The spill occurred in the same county as part of the Lake Traverse Reservation. The leak location is not on Sioux property, but it is adjacent to it and has historical value, said Dave Flute, tribal chairman for Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

"The spill occurred about 3 miles southeast of Amherst on private land, which Walsh described as a "flat, grassy area for grazing." The company tweeted a picture of the site late Thursday.
 The county is on the top of the state second from the right on the map and Amherst is nearly to the left side of the Marshall County border. The reservation runs through portions of 5 counties. Going back to her article it sounds a lot like that the Native Americans feared a leak would happen if the Keystone XL pipeline was built and then a year later it was built and leaked. Even though this pipeline has been there for years.  This sadly is what passes for intelligent writing in the Adventist Media today. To maintain the fictions these websites write they usually ban or delete comments, because as per their rules it is not civil to disagree with their authors because to disagree or point out errors is disrespectful. Though they are quite accepting of comments that support errors are are posted by similarly misinformed people.

 Image result for Lake Traverse Reservation map

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Megachurch Pastor makes things worse

This is one of those amazing things where someone says the wrong thing and then makes it worse by trying to explain why what they said wrong was the right thing to do. From The Blaze article entitled Millennial megachurch pastor says Christians criticizing him ‘might know a different Jesus’

First on the TV show The View he avoided answering the question on abortion. Then on twitter, he gave a pretty good answer. Which if he had said on The View would have not caused any problems with other Christians. Then in RELEVANT magazine he explained how he could not answer the abortion question from a non-Christian until he told them about Jesus. Which is somewhat strange as in monotheists religions  (Jews, Christians, and Islam)have no problem assigning abortion in the sinful camp. His conclusion was:

“A lot of Christians that don’t know who we are say things like ‘You’re a coward’ and ‘Truth is truth’ and ‘You need to speak out,'” he revealed. “I just say, ‘I think me and you – first of all – might know a different Jesus.’ I think I did what I would always do, which is try to get to know a person. To me, I’m going in there with the intent of pointing to Jesus and hopefully speaking a language the world can understand.”

Did the world understand? Did he really even point to Jesus? Not really, simply answering like he did on Twitter would have been far better. It would have been far better to admit under the pressure of live TV he did not answer well, instead of trying to demean fellow Christians.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Science loses to politics

This is fascinating. Pew Research finds the following:

The survey also finds that Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more education are more likely than other Democrats to say a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. About three-quarters (77%) of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or more say this, compared with 60% of Democrats with some college and 57% of those with a high school diploma or less. No such divide exists among Republicans.

The question itself is amazing. notice this part of the poll question:

"... say a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth." 

Sex assigned at birth? This is simple biology and the sex except in rare endocrinopathies is not assigned at birth but at conception. At birth the sex is noted, it is not assigned. 

What would be interesting would be to see if those people answered the same way if the question said: "a person’s gender can be different from the  biological sex at birth." Or perhaps  "a person’s gender can be different from the genetic sex".

Maybe ask them if their genotype can change if you want it to. 

Around here I often see the Science is Real signs. Strangely it appears for these 77% of Democrats with Bachelor's degrees Science is not so real.  For them what they probably mean is our pseudoscience is real.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ellen White believed and taught Penal Substitution atonement

I often listen to some of the Sabbath School studies on the internet that are generally opposed to the Penal Substitutionary view of the Atonement (I also disagree with the substitutionary view of atonement.) There are three in particular that I listen to. usually led by Dr. Tim Jennings. Ken Hart and Friends TV and The lesson study offered by PineKnoll

All three of these groups use a lot of Ellen White quotes. All three seem to cherry pick Ellen White statements so that they downplay her Penal Substitutionary views. Today 10/28/2017 on the ComeandReason lesson study lead this week by Lori Atkins, noted and tried to explain away an Ellen White quote that was used in the lesson study guide. You can listen or view here. Here is the lesson study quote which caused her to email Tim Jennings for guidance on how to deal with it (starting at about minute 36):

“Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son.” —Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 367 lesson study guide for Oct 23

Their answer was to read some of the previous paragraphs and interpret them in the light of a more non-penal view. Apparently thinking that the Penal view theorists could not equally read those other paragraphs within the Penal view. In other words, she acted as if she had solved the problem but really did not even deal with the main paragraph problem. Their answer was to fall back to the levels of understanding and thinking that Ellen White was using the words of Penal Substitution to lead them out of Penal Substitution. Which might have some merit if after using the Penal terms than showing a different or better way of looking at things, which of course Ellen White does not do. It should be noted that most all Penal Substitution proponents incorporated the moral influence view with the penal view. Because when the Bible says it is His kindness that leads us to repentance it is pretty hard to ignore that so most all of the atonement views will include the moral influence view but it is not their major component as it is with moral influence theory.

It is to my reading very obvious that Ellen White was a Penal Theorists when it comes to the atonement. I always wonder how these groups can use her so much and not realize this. Several years ago I compiled Ellen White quotes where she states her substitutionary view. Ellen White's quotes on Substitution.

Today I came upon a good dissertation on the subject A Comparative Study of the Concept of Atonement in the Writings of John R. W. Stott and Ellen G. White Lawrence O. Oladini Andrews University The Dissertation I think is pretty clear as it compares the Penal Atonement views of Stott and White.

Summary of Images of Atonement
Though she employs different images to present her understanding of the atonement, nevertheless, it is the penal-substitution theory that seemed to predominate in the writings of White on atonement. In her thought, this view is closely related to the satisfaction theory. Christ is the sinner‘s substitute who bore the penalty in order to satisfy the holy requirements of God‘s justice. It is usually in the context of penal substitution that she discusses the theme of justification by faith. Essentially her position is that God can justify sinners because Jesus has satisfied God‘s just requirement by both His perfect obedience to the law and by bearing the penalty of the broken law as the sinner‘s substitute.395 In this regard, White has written:
 Christ bore the penalty that would have fallen upon the transgressor; and through faith the helpless, hopeless sinner becomes a partaker of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. . . . Christ rendered perfect obedience to the law, and man could not possibly obey the holy precepts had it not been for the provision that was made for the salvation of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam.396 

 Christ‘s substitutionary atonement originates in God‘s love for us. White argues that ―the atonement of Christ was not made in order to induce God to love those whom he otherwise hated; it was not made to produce a love that was not in existence; but it was made as a manifestation of the love that was already in God‘s heart.‖397 In her classic on the life of Christ, Desire of Ages, White has written on what Christ‘s substitutionary atonement involves. She writes, ―Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.‖398 Therefore, the atonement originates from the love of God; God does not love us because of the atonement provided on the cross. 

 In light of her argument presented above, it is clear that White employs the different images of atonement (theories) in mutually complementary, but not contradictory, ways. Nevertheless, one must point out that the heart of her atonement thought centers in the concepts of penalty, substitution, and satisfaction. For the believer, the concepts of penalty, substitution, and satisfaction become the foundation of all significant victory over sin and sinfulness.399 Whidden concludes that ―the heart of her atonement thought revolved around the dialectic of law and grace, justice and mercy and the demonstration of this right relationship in the life of Christ—and ultimately—in the believer.‖400 In this way, the death of Christ becomes the basis of a universal vindication of God. The dialectic of justice and mercy permeates all that God does in the process of atonement.
This Dissertation also contains a good listing of the various atonement theories Similar to my old article (why did Jesus have to die) but more detailed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

what biblical mandate for church orgainization

With the sending back of the PROCEDURES FOR RECONCILIATION AND ADHERENCE 4 IN CHURCH GOVERNANCE to committee instead of going up for a vote I found it interesting this section of the document. Note the numbers represent line numbers.

The New Testament Church faced challenges but made decisions together to solve those 7 challenges (Acts 6, 15). The establishment of a system of elders and deacons was one of the 8 factors in the organization of the church that kept it focused on its mission and faithful to its 9 biblical ideals (Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 2:41, 42, 48; Acts 6, 15; 1 Tim 2, 3; 2 Tim 10 4:1-5). Commenting upon Christ appointing the disciples, Ellen G White shares this divine 11 insight, “The first step was now to be taken in the organization of the church that after Christ’s 12 departure was to be His representative on earth.” (DA 291). 13 14
Church organization is also a clear biblical mandate and foundational biblical teaching 15 for God’s end-time people (Eph 4:1-16). The organization of the Church is rooted in scripture. It 16 is one of the ways that the Holy Spirit unifies Christ’s Church. Church policy is an outgrowth of 17 church organization and governance. The policies of the Church are not infallible. They certainly 18 do not equate with or supersede biblical teachings and doctrines, but they do play a significant 19 role in helping the Church work in harmony.
The idea that "Church organization is also a clear biblical mandate and foundational biblical teaching for God’s end-time people" seems incredibly wrong and self-serving.  You really have to stretch to think those verses are about church organization.  Go ahead look up the verses.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

One is not like the others.

This is kind of sad and humerous at the same time. On ATODAY they have an article entitled: 
Annual Council, Day 1: The LEAD Conference. In it Loren Seibold writes: 
..."The nomenclature “mission centers” seems to indicate that these folks have study groups to reach specific audiences: Jews, Moslems, urbanites, secular people, Buddhists, Hindus. (Interestingly, no group specifically to reach out to gay people. I wonder why?)"

Let us take a look at that list. Jews, Moslems and Buddhists Hindus, those are all world religions.  Next are the other two groups urbanites and secular people. So the groups involved besides the named world religions are people living in cities and secular people. But the author wants to know why not deal with sexual orientation groups, namely gay people. Clearly, the emphasis is large groups; world religions people in cities and secular people. So if they included what the author wants to see (otherwise why would he mention it all) it becomes one of these elementary school kind of questions.

One of these things is not like the others: Jews, Moslems, urbanites, secular people, Buddhists, Hindus and gay people.

The sad part is that is a demonstration of the special interest groups that have taken over ATODAY.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Satan as symbol or real being

There is a new survey that finds that more and more Christians view Satan as a symbol rather then a real being. The  Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)  recently published the following:

A more recent survey indicates that people are not likely to believe in a “creature.” For many, the devil or Satan is a symbol of evil rather than a being (…CARA would have worded the question differently). Among the 85% of U.S. adults who believe in God that were asked the question, 69% see Satan more as a symbol of evil and 31% say their believe Satan is a “living being.” Evangelical Christians are among the most likely to believe Satan is a being (55%). Catholics are among the least likely to agree (17%). Eighty-three percent of Catholics say they see Satan more as a symbol of evil.

This raises what I think is an interesting question. Does a belief in Satan as a real creature or as a symbol for evil change your theology? What is interesting to me is that I am guessing most Adventists would say yes. That their theology would change if they did not believe in a literal being called Satan. In particular because a lot of Adventist believe that it is Satan's accusations that are answered by Jesus' death. This view is often called the Great Controversy view. Here is a summation taken from A spectrum Sabbath School column from 6 October 2008 | DONNA J. HAERICH entitled Cosmic Crises

Many have seen Ellen White’s account of the cosmic struggle as simply a retelling of Milton’s Paradise Lost. But Milton’s account, like that of the pseudepigraphal writers, merely pitted Lucifer and God in a battle between good and evil for the souls of men. White’s unique contribution was to focus on the underlying reasons for the battle.
White picks up on Jesus’ theme of Satan’s lies. She says that Satan sought to invest God with his own evil characteristics. Furthermore, he “led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice, one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor.”2 Satan represented God as being severe, exacting, revengeful, and arbitrary. Thus, according to White, Jesus’ mission was to remove the dark shadow of misapprehension of God cast by Satan.3
Evil, she maintained, will not be overcome by force. “Compelling power is found only under Satan’s government.…God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.”4

Here is how Jon Paulien puts it in his blog from his article called The Book of Romans and Why Jesus Had to Die

...But the natural connection between sin and death is not the only charge leveled against God. We also recall Satan’s charge that God had lied about His concern for human good. Look at Genesis 3:4-5: “But the serpent said to the woman, `You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it [the Tree of Knowledge] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God'” (RSV). Notice the additional charge that God is selfishly withholding something that would be for their best good.
Now who is telling us the truth? God, or the great former lightbearer, Lucifer? How do you determine who is telling the truth? Did God gather His family together and say, “I am telling the truth, the Devil is lying!” Which would only encourage the Devil to say, “No, I am telling the truth. God is lying.” As we have emphasized so much, matters like this cannot be settled by claims or denials. God’s way was to take His case into court. Look at the marvelous words of Romans 3:4: “That you may be shown to be right in what you say, and win your case when you go into court.” (Goodspeed)

Now when we think about these things we see that we have no record of Satan saying these things. Not much at all about Satan in the whole Bible and that is our only source for information about Satan unless we choose to accept some other more modern prophet. Which would be problematic for theology as you would have to convince someone that your more modern prophet is first of all a prophet and that what they say is true, then retroactively let the prophets view dictate your understanding of Satan. So that would naturally change your theology unless you began with acceptance of that prophet. I would point out here also that Goodspeed's translation is most definitely wrong. He only translated the New Testament and his minority translation would make no sense when you look up what the original in the Psalms verse actually says. 

Psalm 51:4New International Version (NIV)

Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

Now if Satan did not actually say these things but they are thoughts of human beings who said that God is arbitrary, harsh and revengeful and just plain lying, would that change your theology? Because we know people say those things and some of those people are Christians even. 

I can't think of any real reason that one needs to hold to a literal view that Satan is a creature rather then a symbol of evil. When you think about it most of the times in the New Testament when Satan is mentioned it is either symbolic or metaphorical at least in part, as in the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We don't really find people who have been devoured like a lion would devour them. Certainly the Genesis story of the serpent and the tree in Eden is symbolic or a metaphor, the question would be is it symbolic of evil in people's free choice or that of a literal creature. In John 16:11 Jesus says: "and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned." Would there be any difference if Satan was condemned in the time of Christ or evil was condemned at the time of Christ. If Satan had been killed at that time would anything be any different today? 

I wonder if we are just clinging to a tradition.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Historic Christians take SPLC to court

A recent article about " D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)" The SPLC has for some time called Christian groups that did not support Gay Marriage as hate groups. It is important to realize that the SPLC is a very leftist group. To see more about their groups see the article 7 Things You Need To Know About The Southern Poverty Law Center.

This comes at a time when an article on AToday recently suggested to White people to  support SPLC. In the article #charlottesville & #whiteprivilege. The author wrote the following list of what White people should do to not be racist.

"Here are some ideas we as white people can do right now in response to the events in Charlottesville.
  • Educate ourselves. There are numerous resources online for learning about the small ways we benefit unfairly from our skin color. Please don’t just go ask a black friend to educate you. If you want to hear what black people have to say about racism go check out some black voices on twitter. You might start with Ijeoma Oluo, an author and speaker who has made it her life’s work to educate people about racism and privilege.
  • Talk to our white family and friends about racism and privilege. This is one of the hardest things to do. It means having some uncomfortable conversations. But it is one of the most effective ways to end racism in America. If you have children, teach them about racism. Tell them what’s happening in America and teach them to be better.
  • Support one of the many organizations fighting against white supremacy. The Southern Poverty Law Center is one good resource, among others. There are some organizations set up specifically in response to Charlottesville also if you’d rather go that route.
  • Pray. Prayer is best combined with action but it is a valuable exercise at all times. God is a God of love and I believe his heart breaks to see such hate and evil exercised so openly in the world."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Women's ordination, rebellion through witchcraft!

I am sure some have wondered why I have been so hard on Adventist Today Website. If one does not critically read their articles it is not uncommon for them to only see what they want to see. But what is actually happening is manipulation of information for a set objective. Maybe later I will deal with their objectives which require such manipulation. First I want people to start reading and thinking about how the articles are presented and if they are truthful and accurate.

This week ATODAY came out with an article from one of their board members. The article entitled United in What? By Bill Garber begins with this paragraph:

When Michigan Conference President Jay Gallimore accuses the leaders of ten union conferences from four divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of having “surrendered to carnal worldliness” and having placed their regions into a state of “insubordination” and “rebellion” through “witchcraft,” starting with the issue of women’s ordination, something unusual is happening within the church.

Scary stuff, especially that rebellion through witchcraft! What is that? Is that women's ordination, women Elders being witches? Well I don't know, but I can tell you unlike the other quotes which are more or less accurate to the Jay Gallimore article. The rebellion through witchcraft is completely bogus. here is what the article had to say about witchcraft. 

People in the church may have differences of opinion. That's fine as long as we treat each other with Christian courtesy. And respect due process! But an attitude of rebellion is like witchcraft 2 (1 Samuel 15:22)

The Jay Gallimore article in the Michigan Memo incorrectly lists the bible verse above but that appears to be an error and they meant verse 23 Which reads:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
 You may think that is a minor point, but it seems to me to show that someone is not paying attention to what the article says and they did not intend to say "through" witchcraft, or and this is more likely they want to make Jay Gallimore sound more like a fool so they choose to say "through" witchcraft.

Personally I think one can quite well show Gallimore's specious position by using his statement: 
"In Western Adventism much has been surrendered to carnal worldliness for example, when unfaithful secular churches opened the doors to the degrading and rebellious rock music culture, many Adventist churches ignored the Church Manual and followed suit."
The AToday author would not have to create a false statement by simply using the actual words of Gallimore. Most likely judging by the comments on Facebook the commenters did not bother to read Gallimore's article. Which presents a big problem when AToday is posting false information and people like me who might point it out are persona non gratis, so we can't point out their errors and bad logic. They don't seem to be able to handle that in their Big Adventist Tent! Apparently not a terribly big tent if you pay attention to the thrust of their articles.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Resisting the politically correct line on Protests

In my last article I dealt with the confusion developed by the misuse of the term “moral equivalency”. Here is a quick example from the news recently. Robert Spencer, noted Alt-Right creator and racist. By the way he is not trying to say he is not a racist that is one of the differences between real racists and people who are simply accused to be racists by political opponents. In the video we see Spencer during an interview hit sidelong by a guy coming at him from the side. As the recent news program said this incident lead to internet discussion of whether it was even a crime to attack someone who is a racist.  To many people moral equivalence means that both sides in an argument have the same moral authority or the onlooker can say no, one has the moral high ground so there is no moral equivalence. That is not the meaning of the fallacy of Moral Equivalence! (short meaning; Moral Equivalence: This fallacy compares minor misdeeds with major atrocities.)

The second point of the article was that demonstrations and counter demonstrations, protests and counter protests, marches and counter marches etc. are all about symbols. They are groups getting together to declare their belief in something and the group represents a symbol of the many who hold similar views. In simple terms if a racist group was holding a demonstration or march they are going to give speeches about their beliefs, they are not going to actually enslave others or take away someone’s job or work. The same goes for the counter protester. In the above example they are stating they disagree with the racist but they are not freeing slaves or giving jobs and housing to someone that the racist has taken away. It is all symbolic, either in the symbol of a group or the symbol of the words.

Numerous people who have argued point on internet discussion forums or often just people on Facebook have learned that even with written arguments it is extremely rare for someone to change their belief on something. Having been on discussion forums for years since the late 1990’s I can say that it is pretty rare to know that someone was actually talked out of a specific view. I think I have seen it happen, though it was maybe 10 years later, so perhaps a seed was planted somewhere but it is pretty difficult to know if it was from something that was said in the discussion forum years ago. If that is such a rarity where people are trying to communicate with reasonable arguments what are the chances that some counter protest or demonstration will change anyone of the people being counter protested?
Here are a few chants from the website
Who can you trust, not the police
How do you spell Racist? NYPD
Hands up don’t shoot

Recently in Seattle we heard this chant. “Cops and Klan, Hand in hand. Then there are all the hey hey ho ho chants and the numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 4 We don’t want your f******g war 2, 4, 6, 8 stop the violence stop the hate.
It does seem that in the world of protests we are not dealing with well thought out arguments. We have slogans which again are symbols for the positions that the protesters wish to identify. They often don’t even make sense as the how do you spell racist covers a whole lot of Police men and women of color and no doubt many of them have felt like they are the subjects of racism in their lives and most certainly would not claim the title of racists.
This is where we come up against the politically correct worldview. The politically correct view is that the protesters are standing up for some moral cause. But the reality is that they are not standing up against anything beyond the symbol of their disagreement of belief. They most certainly are not standing up as counter protesters against other protesters by yelling, chanting or spitting or hitting or throwing things. They are not going to change anyone’s views by those kinds of activities. If it is difficult to change someone’s opinion with a reasoned dialog what chance is there for someone yelling a in a scrum at a protest! Or even worse what chance is there when some Antifa member with their head swaddled so they can’t be identified to going to make in changing someone’s opinion?  Zero is the number I would say.
This upheaval in society is not an attempt to stand up against other’s beliefs it is an attempt to divide and belittle. It is not standing up to oppression or racism or Nazi’s or communists or anarchists. It is emotion without reason; it fires up people on either side of the issues and digs the ruts in the road that each side is on deeper. We could remove most of the emotion by simply having the demonstrations without the counter demonstrations. They could have a counter demonstration at a different date or time, the symbols will be the same but there will no longer be the conflict.
If your churches/denominations/organizations have fallen into this fallacy of symbol over substance you must point the way to reason and dialog as the only way to address the issues. We are blessed to live in a Republic where we have representative government and we can call for a redress of concerns. Let us use our well laid laws and Constitutional Foundation to avoid the emotional and irrational abuses that we see in so many protests and counter protests today in America.