Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wilson: No room for evolution as truth in Adventist schools

Wilson: No room for evolution as truth in Adventist schools

Adventist News Network | August 18, 2014

Seventh-day Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson forcefully asserted that life has existed on the Earth for only a few thousand years, not millions of years, as he opened an educators conference in Utah on Friday, and he said teachers who believe otherwise should not call themselves Seventh-day Adventists or work in Church-operated schools.

Wilson spoke to a crowd of mainly teachers at the start of a 10-day international conference on the Bible and science in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the opening session of the conference, prior to traveling to St. George, Utah. The location was chosen for its easy access to three geological sites that the 350 participants will explore between conference sessions on archaeology, geology, paleontology and biology.

“As teachers on the campuses of Seventh-day Adventist academies, colleges and universities, and leaders in God’s church … hold firmly to a literal recent creation and absolutely reject theistic and general evolutionary theory,” Wilson said in his keynote speech. “I call on you to be champions of creation based on the Biblical account and reinforced so explicitly by the Spirit of Prophecy,” he said referring to the writings of Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White.

He pointed to Bible passages such as Genesis 1, 2 and Psalm 33:6, 9 and the writings of White to reject a popular teaching that each day in the biblical creation week might have lasted millions of years, thereby making the world much older than the 6,000-odd years that Creationists believe have passed since the Earth was formed.

The popular teaching, which mixes the biblical story with Darwin’s theory of evolution, has crept into some Adventist schools in recent years and prompted, in part, a decision by the Adventist Church to start organizing Bible and science conferences in 2002.

In his speech, Wilson quoted from White’s book Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers: “When the Lord declares that He made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, He means the day of 24 hours, which He has marked off by the rising and setting of the sun.”

“How much plainer could it get?” Wilson asked.

He said that the very name “Seventh-day Adventist” pointed to a literal six-day creation because it would make little sense to commemorate a seventh-day Sabbath if the original Sabbath had lasted for years instead of 24 hours.

“If one does not accept the recent six-day creation understanding, then that person is actually not a 'Seventh-day' Adventist since the seventh-day Sabbath would become absolutely meaningless historically and theologically and most of our Biblically based doctrines centered in Christ and His authoritative voice would become meaningless as well,” Wilson said.

He cautioned against associating with scientists, humanists and “some who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists” who have embraced an evolution-based creation theory.

“Do not believe them nor participate in this manipulation of biblical truth regarding creation and the visible commemoration of creation—the Sabbath,” he told conference participants. “In essence, evolution is not a science.”

He said educators should support creationism from the heart or do “the honorable thing” and resign.

“It is that important to God’s ultimate mission,” he said.