How Education Affects Adventist Ecclesiology
by Richard Winn from the Senior College and University Commission.
Please read the pdf as linked above direct from source. (8 pages, brimming with insight).The article is by Richard Winn referring to "tectonic shifts" in the context of seventh day adventist educational institutions in north america.
A personification as it were of tectonic shifts is perhaps embodied by Ryan Bell, he was an academic at an SDA educational institution and - has shifted from current SDA views, from pastor to now "weak atheist". Consider reading his blog yearwithoutgod.
Adventism is being put under the spotlight especially now that Ryan Bell's "Year without God" concludes. Ryan was a seventh day adventist pastor who left the church, he has been getting international attention and perhaps by proxy the SDA church is being spotlighted? Can the church hold onto outdated ways of thinking? Has it already moved on, at least in part in sda academia? What follows is a guest post another ex sda pastor, my friend, clever guy and all round good human being. please enjoy.
Guest post follows, with thanks by Glenn Weare.
is a very interesting article. He is basically saying that many
thinking Adventists no longer believe in the flood story as told in
Genesis. They no longer believe in creationism, and hence, presumably,
the importance of the 7th day Sabbath. They no
longer see the Bible as some kind of guide book. But because SDAism is
their comfortable social context they remain in the church and downplay
the need for these old SDA doctrines. I am very happy for SDA's to do
this. These are the 'liberals'.
problems arise when traditional SDA's don't like what they are seeing
in SDA institutions of higher learning and in the products of these
institutions who are teaching their children or preaching in their
pulpits. These traditionalists rightly perceive a threat to their God
given church and launch attacks on the people and institutions they see
as creating this threat. Thing is, these people, though in my view dead
wrong, are consistent in saying that the liberals are 'of the devil' and
should be opposed, sacked or whatever. They see themselves fighting on
the side of God against Satan. Perfectly understandable from their frame
when these traditionalists take up their cudgels against the liberals,
the latter complain and denigrate the former. There has been and will
continue to be much blood letting and pain and hurt for people on both
sides of this battle. Liberals say they are staying in the church to
reform it from within. That sounds very noble. Good luck with that. I
know some who have become very pessimistic about that prospect after
some very painful experiences.
further problem is that liberals have to go around being very careful
as to what they say and to whom they say it, because they do not know
who they can trust not to ‘dob them in’. I have tried to get a straight
answer on some of the contentious issues from SDA academics - resulting
in lots of fancy footwork and dissembling. There is a real problem with integrity here, when people
cannot be open and honest about what they really believe.
then, what is the point of trying to make the SDA church just like
other liberal churches, which would appear to be the object of the
exercise. Other churches already exist with their extensive real estate
and extensive administrative structures. Why duplicate these things when
the world is in so much need of resources to help the poor and needy.
answer is to let the traditionalists have the SDA church. After all
they would seem to have the most legitimate claim to it. If you don’t
like it, get out and join forces with an existing group to achieve the
ends you believe in. Why can’t people, or why don’t people just leave
when they find they don’t accept traditional SDA beliefs? I have my
thoughts on that and you may have some too!!
Just expect a lot of pain and hurt to continue!!