Citing Apostasy, Michigan Conference Removes La Sierra University From Employee Subsidy

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This was sent to Spectrum by a Michigan conference employee.

FROM: Jay Gallimore, President of the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

SUBJECT: Actions of the Michigan Conference Executive Committee following up on the promises published in the August 2009 Michigan Memo on “Evolution in Education?”

Preamble:
In 2009 the Adventist Review and Adventist World came out with articles by Dr. Jan Paulsen, President of the General Conference, and Dr. Angel Rodriguez, Director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, and Elder Clifford Goldstein, Editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide as well as others on the disturbing issue of evolution being taught in higher education of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In light of these and other developments the Michigan Conference published an article in the Michigan Memo entitled “Evolution in Education?”

We noted that this was a “defining moment” in Adventist higher education. We also promised that “if the situation does not change, we may find our responsibilities to Michigan members” putting us in the position of informing our membership publicly concerning institutions that have “flagrantly strayed.”

Apostasy is a heart-breaking thing to watch. The results are always ugly and devastating. One cannot help but weep in sympathy with Jeremiah’s grieving over the destruction of Jerusalem because of its apostasy. When the author of 2 Kings mourns the destruction and captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel because of its apostasy you feel the hurt in your own heart. Both authors describe the incomprehensible pain and suffering of apostasy in clear detail.

The Lord loves His people. His own great heart of love is broken at the needless suffering that unfaithfulness brings. That is why God pleaded with Israel through Moses and the prophets to be faithful. No one can fathom the outlay in pain and suffering that our salvation has cost the Lord of glory.
The faithful Israelites found no joy in pointing out plainly the sins of Israel and its leaders. They were certainly mocked and persecuted for doing so. Nevertheless, it was their love that moved them to speak.

Please know that the following actions from the Michigan Conference Executive Committee (MCEC) come from hearts that have great affection for Adventist education. They continue, with the support of this wonderful constituency, to sustain Adventist education in Michigan and beyond with millions of dollars. Having said that, neither the MCEC nor its churches are willing to see our youth sacrificed on the altars of evolution and skepticism without doing what we can to prevent it. We believe in Adventist Christian Higher Education as long as it is based on the principles of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy. It is our prayer and hope that the situation at La Sierra University will be corrected. We would rejoice to be able to reverse some of the actions we took. Nevertheless, since Adventist youth in Michigan attend a wide variety of Adventist colleges and universities, we have a responsibility to speak clearly to our brothers and sisters in the Michigan Conference. We do this so they may be able to intelligently make decisions concerning the education, spiritual training and faith of their youth. For this we offer no apology.

Michigan Conference Executive Committee Actions voted May 25, 2010:

Whereas, the Adventist Review (in the article by Mark Kellner in April 15, 2010) has now publicly addressed the issue of evolution being taught at and supported by La Sierra University; and, whereas their board of trustees and constituency have collectively been unwilling to rectify this vital spiritual issue, the Michigan Conference Executive Committee has voted the following actions:

1. Effective June 1, 2010 the Michigan Conference has removed La Sierra University from its list of Adventist Colleges and Universities which qualify for employee subsidy. This means that no employee may expect tuition support if they have a dependent attending La Sierra.

2. With sorrow we feel it is our spiritual responsibility to notify Michigan Conference members that we do not believe that La Sierra can currently be trusted to be supportive of Seventh-day Adventist spiritual values especially in reference to faith in the biblical understanding of creation, and thus the authority of Scripture in the life and practice of the believer.

3. Resolved: To encourage each Seventh-day Adventist college and university to continue to strengthen the principles of biblical authority and faith. In support of these principles we urge continued development of educational strategies and faculties which would move these institutions to becoming centers of excellence in promoting, cultivating and defending creation science. We define creation science in the context of the recent creation week of seven ordinary, literal, historical, consecutive, contiguous twenty-four hour days of divine creation and rest as described in Genesis.

4. Furthermore: We request that the 2010 General Conference session vote a resolution affirming number 3 above, with the direction of bringing to the following GC session a statement that would serve to strengthen our fundamental belief number six. Hence, our Creation doctrine would clearly articulate our biblical view of “a literal, recent, six-day Creation,” in which “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,” as the statement affirmed by the General Conference Executive Committee in October 2004 noted.

This "memo" was also sent to the following church leaders:
xc: Elder Jan Paulsen, GC President
Elder Matthew Bediako, GC President
Elder Robert Lemon, GC President
Elder Don Schneider, NAD President
Elder Alexander Bryant, NAD Secretary
Elder G. Thomas Evans, NAD Treasurer
Elder Don Livesay, Lake Union Conference President
Elder Rodney Grove, Lake Union Conference Secretary
Elder Glenn Scott, Lake Union Conference Treasurer
Elder Carmelo Mercado, Lake Union Conference Vice President
Dr. Angel Rodriguez, BRI Director
Elder Clifford Goldstein, ABSG Director
Dr. Bill Knott, AR Editor

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