Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Exodus Begins

As many have predicted the Adventist church has committed itself to a return to Adventist traditionalism. To this end Ted N. C. Wilson “was appointed by the church's 246-member Nominating Committee and confirmed by the General Conference Session delegation…” as president of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination; as the Adventist News Network reported.  

What this appointment, quasi election demonstrates is a return to Adventist traditionalism and an open opposition to Progressive Adventism. Here is a section from the ANN report:

"This is not just an organization, this is not just another denomination. This is God's remnant church," Wilson said in an address to delegates after his appointment.

"I do not know everything, but I shall seek wisdom from counselors and from the Bible and from the Spirit of Prophecy," he said, referring to the writings of church co-founder Ellen White.

"The Spirit of Prophecy is one of the great gifts God has given to the
Seventh-day Adventist Church," Wilson said. "It applies to the past and to the future. And, we are going home soon."

J. David Newman, Editor of Adventist Today further reports:

“Another priority will be to lift up the Spirit of Prophecy to be more than devotional-level reading, and to employ them for instruction and counsel. Another issue he addressed was the use of Scripture. In interpreting Scripture, we must make sure we are not following the historical critical approach, he warned.”

What these brief excerpts demonstrate is a return to historic/traditional Adventism. They can be summed up by these three points which are foundational to the interpretation of Traditional vs. Progressive Adventism.

  1. Adventist church is the Remnant church of God.
  2. Ellen White as more than pastoral or devotional but as an authority on truth.
  3. Biblical interpretation limited to Ellen White’s method of Bible interpretation, her version of historical grammatical approach.

If we looked further at the above 3 principles we see that they are contrary to Progressive Adventism. Progressive Adventism does not see the Adventist church as the Remnant but that it makes up a part of the Remnant. The Remnant being found throughout the numerous denominations of the Christian world, that the Remnant is the people not any denominational organization. See To be the Remnant or to be part of the Remnant

Ellen White is viewed by Progressive Adventists not as an authority on the truth but as a pastoral writer. Someone whose writing contain errors in theology and science and history, that even if one accepts her writing to be derived from the gift of prophecy that does not equate to being a Prophet of either Old or New Testament standards.

Regarding Wilson’s intention to avoid the historical critical approach in favor of the historical grammatical approach favored by Adventist Traditionalist like Dr. Samuel K. Pipim. “The historical-grammatical method distinguishes between the one original meaning of the text and its significance.” What this means is that “The original passage is seen as having only a single meaning or sense. As Milton S. Terry said: "A fundamental principle in grammatico-historical exposition is that the words and sentences can have but one significance in one and the same connection. The moment we neglect this principle we drift out upon a sea of uncertainty and conjecture." (Above quotes from Wikipedia) Of course there are a number of assumptions here as well. For example if we take the Genesis creation chapters using the historical grammatical method we would assume that the author thought that what he wrote down was how events happened and that the first hearers would have understood it in the same literal fashion. Thus the single meaning of the creation story is the literal story. I alluded that this is based upon assumptions of history but also assumptions of traditions. For example the Isaiah 14 text about Lucifer was neither intended by the author nor was it understood by the first people to hear the text as a reference to Satan, but that will still be the interpretation of those holding the historical grammatical method of exposition.

Progressive Adventists  see the value and the application of using the historical-critical method. Unfortunately it appears that some of the abuses of the historical critical method such as assumptions that there is nothing supernatural have affected Wilson’s understanding about how the interpretations can be useful within the Christian community.

It appears to me that the shift in leadership will serve to force out Progressive Adventists and seek to perpetuate 19th century Adventist Ellen White dominated theology.

So the exodus begins.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review Revival of the Gnostic Heresy

Two of the most intriguing movements in Christian history are Fundamentalism and Gnosticism. These two subjects were placed together in an interesting book entitled: Revival of the Gnostic Heresy -- Fundamentalism by Joe E. Morris (2008 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® a division of St. Martin’s Press LLC, New York, NY). The book seeks to trace the history of the Gnostic doctrines to the arrival of Fundamentalism with as the title portends the idea that Gnostic religion has had a rebirth in what is now termed Fundamentalism.

To this end the book begins with a section on Gnosticism followed by a section on Fundamentalism. This is where the book shines. Written clearly and concisely it gives an excellent introduction to Gnosticism in Christianity. Christians for far too long have ignored the Gnostic doctrines and have assumed too little about fundamentalism ignoring some of the subtler ideas it encompases. The ignorance of the Gnostics is however understandable since it was not until the Nag Hammadi Library find in 1945 that we really had a good collection of the Gnostic documents. As the author points out:

“There are some who say that Gnosticism simply never left and that the relatively

recent discoveries of old books and publications of new ones had little to

do with “jump starting” a movement that never died. Those confident of this

belief are members of Ecclesia Gnostica and other Gnostic congregations like

them scattered around America and throughout the world. They were here first,

before James Robinson translated the ancient Nag Hammadi texts for the world

to read and before Elaine Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels was published.These latterday Gnostics will direct your attention to history and point out that the Cathars,

Rosicrucians, Knights Templar, Esoteric Freemasons, and Theosophists had roots

in Gnosticism.7” (Introduction page 3)

Gnosticism however is not some unified doctrinal statement of beliefs so the author takes some time to introduce us to some of the basic tenets. After Athanasius in 367 C.E. sent out his letter listing the 27 New Testament books and proscribing for destruction those writings which were not in harmony with the 27 the author writes:

“A secondary outcome of Athanasius’s declaration was an action at a remote

Coptic monastery. To protect their valued manuscripts, they buried them in the

desert. For seventeen hundred years, all we knew about Gnosticism was what

scholars could glean from a handful of texts and filter through the heavily biased

writings of the early Church fathers. The discovery of thirteen codices at the

foot of the mountain Jabal al-T_rif, near the village of Nag Hammadi in Upper

Egypt, changed all that. These forty-six treatises, often referred to as the Gnostic

Gospels (though some are more Christian than Gnostic), have shed considerable

new light on Gnosticism, a very diverse phenomena represented by many groups

with myriad religious beliefs and practices. The task at hand, based on this new

knowledge, is to condense all of this data into a core of basic tenets.”

On page 26 the author summarizes the Gnostic concepts as follows:

Gnosis means knowledge, and it is knowledge that saves. For Gnostics, salvation

lies in discovering the truth of their identity, their origin, how they came to

this earth, and how they can return to the divine heavenly realm, which is their

ultimate destination and goal. This is the knowledge, the truth that leads to salvation.

But it is grasped by only an elite few who are “in the know.”

Gnostic cosmogony, or worldview, is dualistic. Reality is composed of spirit

and matter. Spirit is good. Matter is evil. Because there is evil in the world, it

could not have been created by the one True Divinity, or God. Therefore, evil

came about through a catastrophic cosmic disaster. As a result, the spirit became

trapped in the evil, material world. In order for this spirit, represented as divine

sparks in certain humans, to return to its heavenly divine realm it must acquire

saving knowledge. This saving knowledge comes from a divine redeemer. This

divine redeemer came into the world to save the lost sparks of the spirit.

So far, all of this sounds vaguely Christian. Then comes the significant factor,

or hermeneutical key, that differentiates Gnosticism from Christianity: flesh

is evil; therefore, the Gnostic redeemer is all spirit and never became flesh. For

Christians, “the word became flesh.” For Gnostics, the word became spirit. No

flesh was involved. From the Christian perspective, the Gnostic divine redeemer

was impotent. He (or she) lacked humanity.

Gnostic Christians were active in Christian Churches but did not believe all

Christians would be saved, primarily because they did not have access to the

saving knowledge. Because many belonged to the Church, and because of their

insistence that the one true spiritual God could not have been human, Gnosticism

posed a very real and major threat to the existence of the young struggling

Church. Their ascetic ethic was another serious challenge.

As with Gnosticism Fundamentalists also contain a variety of beliefs, thus there are different fundamentalist denominations and there are fundamentalists within most all denominations, the 5 Fundamentals then are starting points but do not encompass all of Fundamentalism. As the author states on page 86:

These five concepts are the “Fundamentals” of Fundamentalism. However,

Bawer reminds us that not all legalistic Protestants are Fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are elitists, he states and “keep themselves apart from the evil mainstream culture and thus pure.”21 William Loader also cautions against viewing Fundamentalism as a monolithic system of thought.22 Many who are fundamentalist in their thinking are not fundamental in their demeanor, outlook, or behavior.

They possess Fundamental beliefs because they were raised in a Fundamental milieu and knew nothing else. Their spirituality, however, functions on a different level. They are not ideologues. They manifest an openness, compassion, and flexibility not usually associated with their more rigid and purist cousins. “Their approach to the Bible is just an element of their spirituality.”23 He advises this additional caution: "Some assume all too readily that to espouse anything other than a fundamentalist stance towards the Bible means to devalue it.”24 The Bible is not an all-or-nothing proposition. In spite of its flaws, it is appreciated and valued. There are many differences and variations within the multiple Fundamentalist denominations. Some espouse themes and concepts not included in the Five Fundamentals.

In the summary of the chapter on The Basic Tenets of Fundamentalism Similarities between Early Christianity and Fundamentalism page 88 the authors writes:

Today’s Fundamentalism is a relatively modern phenomenon that began as a reaction

to modernity. The basic tenets of Fundamentalism were first generated in a series of pamphlets written between 1910 and 1915 entitled “The Fundamentals,”

which were reduced to the “Five Points” generated by the 1910 General

Assembly of the Northern Presbyterian: biblical inerrancy, the virgin birth of

Christ, substitutionary atonement of Christ, bodily resurrection of Christ, and

the historicity of miracles.

It is significant that the first tenet is biblical inerrancy. Without it, the others

would not be tenable. Of the five, the one less commonly held is the substitutionary

atonement that portrays God as punishing his Son. There is linkage

among the remaining four to the extent that they all rely on each other. If one

falls, the others fall with it. This reasoning suggests that, for Fundamentalists,

salvation comes from “right belief ” and not grace, a concept that aligns them

with Gnosticism.

One is cautioned against lumping Fundamentalists into one theological mold.

Not all Fundamentalists share every principle. In cases where they unanimously

agree, emphasis often falls unevenly across the spectrum. There are differences

and variations among the multiple denominations. Some have dominant themes

that are not included in the “Five Fundamentals.” Examples of those differences

include snake handlers of Appalachian notoriety and foot-washing Baptists.

In some ways, current Fundamentalism is similar to primitive Christianity.

Early Christianity, in a short period of time, understood its beliefs and practices as

representative of the one true religion. All others were excluded from the circle of

salvation. Some Fundamental denominations and sects are preoccupied with the

“golden past” of the Church’s history. This “golden” time should be maintained

and relived at some future time.

The idea that “right belief” aligns the fundamentalist to Gnosticism is interesting. The first reaction most would think to this comment is “well don’t all Christians believe that right belief is important if not critical to Christianity.” Here I think the author is wrong. Having grown up after the age of Fundamentalism in a church filled with Fundamentalist perhaps my view of Christianity is thoroughly indoctrinated with Fundamentalism’s philosophy. Yet I don’t really think he is right because as he noted this idea of right belief existed in the early Christian church and it most certainly existed during the Reformation. Where even remarkable Protestant thinkers thought other Protestant thinkers were so completely wrong as to be of the Devil. He may be correct in regards to the Gnostic idea that right belief causes salvation and Fundamentalist think that their right belief causes salvation whereas the majority of Christianity see the salvation process as up to God’s grace. But even there it is doubtful that many Fundamentalist would think that it is really their right beliefs that save them as opposed to God’s grace.

The author attempts to identify dualism as very similar between the Gnostics and the fundamentalists. However here I think he fails because it is simply a part of Christianity, dualism is even as the author notes prominent in the New Testament.

For some, dualism and Gnosticism are synonymous.11 Dualism is certainly

not a foreign concept to Christianity. It is ever present in the New Testament and

in some parts of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha. That is hard scriptural

fact. Themes in the Gospel of John and Letters of Paul are unmistakably dualistic.

They are conspicuous in the Gospel of John. When the writer (or writers)

speaks of light and darkness, the spiritual versus the physical world, he is in the

realm of dualism. Though he does not speculate about the divine or lower worlds,

Paul’s letters are replete with the antithesis of flesh and spirit, where “flesh” represents

fallen humanity. Perkins expresses that “Paul’s perception of the flesh as

the entry point for the sinful desires that ultimately bring death to humans unless

they receive the Spirit of Christ comes very close to what one finds in Gnostic

mythologizing.”12 This dualism of evil and good, flesh versus spirit, surfaces in the

synoptic gospels and Johannine epistles, which, most scholars agree, were targeted

by the writer specifically against a Gnostic group or sect that had broken away

from the Church.

These dualistic themes within the New Testament, however, are within the

context of an incarnated Christ, “The word became flesh” (John 1:14). They are

pulled together, gathered into that singular event and person, so the polarities,

the contradictions, are subsumed and held in balanced tension. Except in parts of

the Gospel of John, a theological dialectic is maintained between the humanity of

Christ and His divinity. Conflicts would rage about this issue for centuries. The

strife continued through the Councils of Nicaea (325 CE) and Chalcedon (451

CE) where the two natures of Christ, the divine and the human, were hammered

out and articulated in creedal form.13 The dualism of Gnosticism and Fundamentalism, of the physical world versus the spiritual world, is another matter. Most scholars contend that they are not only imbalanced but also significantly skewed toward the divine pole of the theological spectrum.

Where is dualism, the splitting of reality into physical and spiritual (evil and

good) compartments, evident in Fundamentalism? On the surface it is not openly manifested. Nothing in its creedal statements, resolutions, or “Five Fundamentals”

overtly states that the Spirit is good; matter is evil. There are no seminary

classes in conservative schools of theology labeled, “Dualism 101.” It is neither an

obvious theme preached from pulpits nor sung specifically from hymnals. Dualism

is not among the Fundamentalist “formulas” one hears—sin, salvation, judgment,

redemption, atonement, and so on. But dualism is there. It is imbedded

in the themes of evil flesh and saving spirit. Dualism is evident when one speaks

of the bad world and the need to set oneself apart from that world by leading a

spirit-filled, or spiritual, life . . . by knowing Jesus. It is implied in any messages

one hears about a God who is good and a Satan or devil who is bad.14 (page 94)

What appears to be the case here is that the author wants to make the dualism his corner stone argument but it simply does not work because dualism is simply a part of Christianity. On a related not however he does present a better argument:

Gnosticism is basically a return to salvation under the law. “The Gnostics

believed that salvation must be earned. They believed the individual must make

a science out of his own redemption.”26 This also sounds very much like Scientology,

where one works through a number of spiritual levels to attain the pure

spiritual self through a process called “auditing.”27

In Fundamentalism, one achieves salvation through personal decision.

This is not a divine act of pure grace and acceptance from above. This is conditional

grace. One must accept, and “know,” Christ before salvation is possible.

There is no other way. This is one of the results of dualism. Religions advocating

their way is not only the way, but the only way, imply an either–or dualistic split

in reality. This is Fundamentalism. It is Gnosticism. (page 98)

This has always been a weakness in the Fundamentalist Christian worldview where they use the text that says there is no other name by which men can be saved than Jesus. So what about all of those who have never known about Jesus? It is a terrible limitation on God but it is a wonderful inspiration for the Christian to tell people about Jesus. It unfortunately has lead to the kind of street corner evangelists who draw a crowd telling how Jesus loves them and condemning them as horrible sinners and then asking to pray the “sinners prayer” for salvation. They get to hear about Jesus but that is about all and it is not a very attractive Jesus at that. No doubt it has led to others doing true evangelism and missionary work also out of a genuine desire to spread the gospel and save souls.

According to the book the dualism’s keystone is as follows:

The most significant similarity between the two religions, the keystone of both

and the one upon which this book is predicated, is their concept of divine

redeemer, the Anointed One, the Christ….(page 98)

Doctrinally, Fundamentalists give a tacit cognitive (literal) nod to Christ’s

humanity. At deeper more visceral levels, with their near-obsessive need for inerrancy

and purity, it is very difficult for them to conceive of the Christ as capable

of doubt, fear, despair, sadness, depression, or loneliness, or to see him as human,

of being compatible with sin . . . of being sin. They are much more comfortable

with Luke’s patient, serene, and resigned righteous martyr who, during his crucifixion

from the cross, utters, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” (23:46);

as opposed to the hostile, lonely, despairing, and agitated Jesus of Mark who

becomes “deeply distressed and troubled” (14:33); whose soul is “overwhelmed

with sorrow to the point of death” (14:34); who asks his Father to “take this cup

from me” (14:36); and who, eventually, from the cross, cries out “My God, my

God, why have you forsaken me” (15:34)?29 In short, for Fundamentalists, divinity

dominates humanity.

This is the key similarity between Gnosticism and Fundamentalism. Their

redeemers never achieve humanity; they never become flesh and blood. They

never become real but evolve into fantasies and magic that many scholars argue

is the Oriental mystical cradle from which Gnosticism came. It is easy to see how

this type of one-sided Christology might affect one’s approach to the Bible and

scriptural interpretation. The Bible truly becomes the divine. (page 99)

While he may be fairly accurate here as to what people see that does not make it accurate as to what the Fundamentalists are teaching. As he notes the Fundamentalist has a cognitive nod to Christ’s humanity, that it may not encompass the passion the author wants it to encompass does not warrant it as the keystone connecting Gnosticism to Fundamentalism. It is not only Fundamentalists who see that “divinity dominates humanity” it is all of Christianity because if humanity dominate Divinity there is no hope, salvation would be a dream that God Himself could not grant. After all the New Testament focus is “God with us” we already know what humanity is like and it is not pretty even when not involved in sin agitation, despair and loneliness plague us, it is a comfort to know Christ felt those pains also but far more comfort to know that the divinity conquered all of those and death as well.

Hopefully I have covered adequately the major considerations of the book, at least the major portions which I think are encompassed in the title of the book. But you will notice I end at page 99 of a 230 page book not counting the Bibliography. While I can’t fully agree with the proposition the book puts forward I do find this book to be packed with useful information and challenging material. The book written in a very easy to read style that is wonderful to find on the subject of history and religion. And after all how could anyone pass on the chance to read a book attempting to connect Gnosticism to Fundamentalism?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Glenn Beck and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I like Glenn Beck, I listen to his show regularly and I think he is very well informed on America's founders and a number of political issues. But I cringe whenever he talks about religious specifics and the Bible. And most recently the following comment concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls on May 27 of his radio show.

All right. So here’s what happened. When Constantine decided he was going to uh… cobble together an army, um, he did the uh… Council of uh… Nicaea, right, Pat? … Council of Nicaea. Um… and what they did is brought all of the religious figures, uhh, together, all the Christians and then they said, “Ok, let’s uh, put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s, you know, you guys do it.” So they brought all their religious scripture together, and that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. And then they said, “Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and… off with their head!” Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that they said, “They are destroying all of this truth.” Whether it’s truth or not is, is up to the individual, but that… at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved and so they rolled up the scrolls and they put ‘em in clay pots and they, they put ‘em in the back of caves where no one could find them. They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicaea and Constantine. That’s what those things are.

Naturally this mistake made it to Media Matters and other anti-Beck blogs and though I don't always hear all of Glenn Becks shows on radio I hear most of them and I never heard him correct himself on this matter. Thus the anti-Beck blogs calling him an idiot etc. While I would never trust Glenn Beck on religious issues or Bible interpretation or even church history he is not so far off as one might think. What he describes is not the Dead Sea Schools but the Nag Hammadi library These were Gnostic texts which "and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the uncritical use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD." Not hard to confuse the two both being ancient documents found in caves. Though the Dead Sea Scrolls tend to confirm the manuscripts of certain Bible texts and the Nag Hammadi confirms what Early Church Fathers wrote in their arguments against the Gnostics.

Now there are some other subtle things going on here I am sure, since Beck is a Latter Day Saint and their belief is that early on the Christian church lost the truth, the way Beck describes the Dead Sea Scrolls when he is really talking about the Gnostic gospels is kind of telling. The Latter Day Saints believe that the keys were given to Joseph Smith to restore Christianity and Beck's description seems to fit into that mindset. I have no doubt that what he said on the radio is something he heard in his church. And since it has little to do with humor or politics or American history he probably did not and has not examined much of the material that he is taught in his own church. And that is a big problem...not just for him but for many other denominations. People who do not test what they are told but simply accept it. It leads to both religious distortion and political distortions. All it takes is the willing mind to believe and follow someone, but for those of us who value truth we look for the facts and when they don't line up with reality we call for a correction and warn people to be careful what they believe.

So on Biblical interpretation and church history don't put too much stock in Glenn Beck. Pay attention to the things he says when he puts forth facts, with scholarly support and quotes, (and some of his humor is pretty good too). He would have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had done just a little research before making his comment on the Dead Sea Scrolls. But as with those Christains who are so certain that God says love me or I will kill you, the good old penal atonement folks we have to remember that not all Christians believe the same way about God and the LDS have some even more peculiar beliefs than many Christians. There still are certainly commonalities we have with people both Christian and LDS but it is the differences which really define us all.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Adventist Today Needs Moderator Re-Education,

There is an underlying corrupt philosophy inside many Seventh-day Adventists. It appears whenever they are given power and power over ideas. Somehow once given some authority over others in the realm of ideas certain Adventist forget even about their own rules or guidelines and take upon themselves extra responsibility to protect other Adventists. I saw it effectively destroy when the moderators became petty tyrants and now I see it happening over on the blogs at

Here is just one example of a recent experience I had there. Of course when I did write them of my complaint the natural behavior of the corrupt is to ignore their responsibilities and hide their activities. Which would have happened to most others who go through this type of moderator abuse, but I have learned a few things along the road dealing with Adventist gatekeepers.

In reply to part 5 in Herb Douglas' series on Emergent Churches I posted the following as it appears on the Atoday website:

"Re: What Authority Do You Trust Most? (Emerging Church, ...
On May 28th, 2010 RonCorson says:

You ask Gary to give you examples when you have now done a series of 5 articles with practically no examples to back up your assertions. In this article's examples you give go against your opening premise in this article.

[attempt to steer discussion to another website deleted by moderator]

What you call Bible authority is acceptance of your definition of what the Bible says. The conversation you don't like is about what does the Bible say to you (others) and what does it mean to you (others) in your (their) situations. What you call Bible authority is when you or your church or your philosophical division of the church declare this is what the Bible means to you and that is what it should mean to everyone and if you don't accept that you are rejecting what is holy.

There is little doubt that traditional Christianity is in desperate need of redefinition actually I thought that was what Adventism originally tried to do, now it appears such ideas are anathema"

What was cut out was a sentence or two from my article on the first 4 posts of Herb's series. Instead of allowing the quote and the link the moderator removed my quote and the link to my article. Of course there is nothing wrong with posting links it is a common blog practice and certainly allowed in's guidelines which state under comment guidelines:

Here are our comment guidelines, which is posted for all registered readers when making a comment. Please make sure your comments follow our guidelines, or they will be edited or deleted before being published:

* No profanity.
* No personal attacks.
* Absolutely stay on the topic that began a given blog or article.
* No copying and pasting whole articles from other websites. Use the link button to refer the reader there.
* Repetitive rants and tirades for or against any particular point of view is highly discouraged. Nobody likes repeated tongue-lashings from condescending know-it-alls.

As you can tell there is not restriction against posting links, it is in fact preferred. Yet my usage was perfectly acceptable per their rules but declared by some no name moderator to be an; "attempt to steer discussion to another website" If that was an acceptable reason why would the guidelines state use the link button to refer the reader to other websites?

Here is what I submitted to the comment section, I of course don't know who the moderator is or if they have several, what I do know is that my comment was not posted and no one from Atoday responded, I wrote:

"Regarding the moderators comment:

[attempt to steer discussion to another website deleted by moderator]

How is quoting a small portion from my blog that is a response to Herb's first 4 articles on this subject an attempt to steer discussion to another website? Because I don't come in and create a 3 page comment?

But if that is they way you direct discussions so be it. I guess I should cease to link to Adventist today articles on my blog because surely you would not want me to steer discussions away from my articles to your articles. It is interesting to me that you folks don't seem to know how blogs work, I suppose it is a remnant of the editor as gatekeeper of information of the past when publications were on paper and only selected ideas were permitted. All this actually aside from the content of my blog article relates to the emergent church which uses modern media and is less encumbered by information gatekeepers of orthodoxy. But in fact I will actually continue to link to your articles because I care about my readers more than protecting my space with some sense of censorship."

It makes me think there is something deep in the Adventist mindset that is foul and opposed to allowing people to express themselves. It rather fits in with the last article I posted about the controversy in Collegedale. Of course we all know that my solution, my idea to bring something good out of the controversy will never be used. Because there is something insidious inside of the Adventist psyche and it boils to the surface all to often. The all wise gatekeepers most retain their power legitimately or not, right or wrong. That is a tragedy.

Update 6-05-10:

This morning I was reading through the Spectrum blog and found that the effort to maintain the gatekeeper mentality is active there as well. A Richard Meyers posted a comment and this is in part what Alex Carpenter one of the people in charge over at the spectrum blog wrote:

Spectrum is really just folks who for a variety of educational, spiritual and experiential reasons tend to not go around telling other people what to believe as loudly. We also don't go around promoting our own site by taking advantage of others' open publishing policy like you did, Richard Myers. And yes, your URL has been removed."

The only offense was posting a link. Which I don't know if Alex realizes is still there attached to the name Richard Meyers. I have to get back to why are these Adventists so afraid to allow other people to link to other ideas on blogs when blogs are largely about linking to other material. That is how blogs work as a symbiosis to spread ideas or information. Nobody is forced to click on a link and even if they did if they don't like what they see they can quickly leave. It even has a term "bounce rate". In the SDAnet moderator problem I referred to it was conservative moderators who destroyed the content and here we are seeing those who proclaim to be progressive Adventists stifling the links of others for no valid reason. (I will admit that at Spectrum Progressive is not restricted to an adjective about Adventists but to political progressives as well and they do have a long history of hypocrisy and attempts to limit opposing views.)