Written by: Christopher Sernaque
Part 2 |
Note: I have given Jones several months to respond, however, as evidenced by our conversation on YouTube, it seems as though he was dissatisfied with the initial article, as he denies the fact that his video is an example of the association fallacy, as this secondary response demonstrates.
Dear Michael Jones,
A Word of Greeting and Commendation
Greetings in Christ Jesus. First and foremost, thank you very much for taking the time to read my paper. I am sure you have much to do, and so, I am grateful that you made time to look over my response.
Secondly, I did a brief walk through on the rest of the videos on your channel, and I would like to commend you for your defense of the resurrection of Jesus and for taking the time to address the problem of evil. While I cannot say that I endorse or espouse all of your beliefs or practices, I again express my admiration for the zeal you have for defending your beliefs.
A Call to Reconsider
Again, while I disagree with your response to my article, this follow-up is by no means a call to question your experience as a Christian, or your sincerity as an individual.
In fact, though we may end up simply agreeing to disagree with one another on the matter, I hope that you will reconsider the points you raised about the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith, and Young Earth Creation for that matter, as the points do not reflect what Seventh-day Adventist Christians believe.
Again, as stated in my initial response article, Seventh-day Adventist Christians do not hold the writings of Ellen White to be on par with the Bible, nor do we hold to a Six-day Creation because of Ellen White’s writings; rather we hold to a Young-Earth because we are convicted that that is what the Scriptures are teaching.
Thus, Michael Jones, I ask you to please reconsider the statements that you made concerning the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith.
To further the point, not even Ellen White herself regarded her writings as being on par with the Bible. Ellen White, in the Review and Herald, on December 15th, 1885, said this concerning the Word of God:
“The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. Our own views and ideas must not control our efforts. Man is fallible, but God’s Word is infallible. Instead of wrangling with one another, let men exalt the Lord. Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, “It is written.” Let us lift up the banner on which is inscribed, The Bible our rule of faith and discipline.” (Emphasis added)
Indeed, the Seventh-day Adventist Christian does not base their faith on the writings of Ellen G. White, rather, their faith is based on the Bible.
The Point of “The Origins of Young Earth Creationism” Video
The thumbnail of the “Origins of Young Earth Creationism” features only one figure of religion, unless one counts Darwin or the depiction of Eve or Bible, and that one individual is Ellen G. White, who is one of the four founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church.
For a video that is supposed to have “merely covered the history of belief to show genesis (sic) has been interpreted in a multitude of ways”, the question is begged as to why Ellen White is being so prominently featured.
Again, as a former Lutheran Christian, I have never associated believe in a Young Earth with Ellen White. Furthermore, while most who profess to be Seventh-day Adventist Christians do believe in Young Earth Creation, most who profess belief in a Young-Earth are not Seventh-day Adventist Christians. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, as of the year 2018, has over 1,545,124 members confirmed and 1, 968,641 baptized. This Lutheran Christian Church has affirmed creation in six-
days. While I cannot speak for every Lutheran Christian who has ever lived, all I can say is that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is a Young Earth Creation church, and is so, not because of belief in the writings of Ellen White, but because of their belief in the writings of the Bible.
Now, I am not making an argument from popularity. In other words, I am not saying that because millions of Christians believe in a Young Earth that belief in a Young Earth is correct, rather my point is that Young Earth Creation is not an exclusive belief to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, preceded the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church, exists independently of the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church, and is not a modern dogma of the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church.
A History Not to Be Ashamed Of
The description begins by saying, “This is the history that young earth creationists do not want you to know about.” (Emphasis added)
Indeed, to reference the thumbnail again, it reads, “The Shocking Origins of Young Earth Creationism.” (Emphasis added)
The question is naturally begged, “What is this supposedly shocking origin of their model that Young Earth Creationists are so alleged desperate to hide?”
To quote from the actual verbiage of the video “The Origin of Young Earth Creation”, these questions are raised:
“Why today is the word ‘Creationist’ synonymous with Young Earth Creationists? And, if Young Earth believers were a minority 100 years ago, even among self-proclaimed Creationists, why do they appear to be a major group among Christians today and have so much influence?”
The video then proceeds to immediately answer this set of questions, beginning with, “In the first half of the 20th century, there was only one group that was mostly comprised of Young-Earth Creationists, which was the Seventh-day Adventist movement.”
So, then the question is begged, based on the phrasing of the thumbnail title, the description, and this aforementioned set of questions, and as will be seen the very conclusion of the video, what is this alleged “shocking” history that Young Earth Creationists “don’t want you to know about”, except Young-Earth Creation supposedly being a “modern dogma” of the Seventh-day Adventist Christian church?
The Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church is then presented with disfavor being presented with the phase, “The Seventh-day Adventists were considered heretical…”
The video is just over 25 minutes in run time, and in the latter half of the video the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith, Ellen White and her writings and visions, are mentioned numerous times. There is even an excerpt from Numbers who claimed Young Earth Creation is an “interpretation of Genesis” that was “almost entirely limited to the small Seventh-day Adventist community.”
To the credit of the video, as I mentioned in my previous response, it is acknowledged that Young Earth Creation existed prior to and independently from the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith:
“Now I am not saying that there were no Young Earth Creationists before the Seventh day Adventists. As we noted earlier, in centuries past, many believed the earth was relatively young, but with the rise of fields like geology and paleontology the majority of Christians that
left writings behind abandoned Young Earth Creation.” (Emphasis added)
Indeed, as documented on the Creation scientists index, there were many scientists of the past, such as Louis Pasteur and Nicolaus Steno, who believed in a literal Genesis. Further, esteemed scientists like Dr. Raymond Damadian, the inventor of the MRI, who I’ve had the privilege of interviewing, accept the historicity of the first 11 chapter of Genesis and a Six-day Creation.
The video then concludes by associating Young Earth Creation with Ellen White: “The modern movement did not come from an official church interpretation of Genesis that was dogmatically accepted before Darwin, it was simply eroding away in light of modern sciences. It stems from Seventh-day Adventist apologists who based their belief in a Young Earth on the visions of Ellen G. White. Long before Darwin, Christians were interpreting Genesis in a plethora of different ways; the age of the Earth was not a huge issue until very recently. So, despite the claim from organizations like Answers in Genesis, they are not defending something that was pivotal Christianity and undisputed before Darwin. Christianity has always been compatible with multiple interpretations of Genesis and the modern dogmatic adherence to a Young Earth, really traces back to the visions of an alleged prophetess.” (Emphasis added)
Here we find that Young-Earth Creation is claimed to not be what the early New Testament Church taught; this idea goes directly against what Young-Earth Creationists believe, as we believe that the New Testament church did hold to a young-earth. After it was implicitly stated that Young-Earth Creationists are wrong, belief in Young Earth Creation was coupled with the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith, which was presented as being “considered heretical.” In other words, according to the presentation, Young Earth Creation was not the “official church interpretation of Genesis” rather it is associated with the “heretical” Seventh-day Adventist Christians, i.e., “stems from Seventh-day Adventists apologists…(and)…the “visions of Ellen G. White.” (Transition added)
While Seventh-day Adventists are officially believers in a “recent six-day creation”, Young Earth Creation is not a modern dogma which traces back to our church, or the writings of Ellen White.
As stated in the first article, Young Earth Creation is not a modern belief coined by a “fanatical” desire to combat evolution; it is the teaching of the Bible.
Dr. Donald Batten has documented this in his article “Old-earth or young-earth belief: Which belief is the recent aberration?” an excerpt from which is seen below:
“Churchian critics accept the billions of years touted today and claim that the ‘young-earth’ view is a recent invention of Protestant ‘fundamentalist’ churches. They claim that various Church Fathers or other ancient authorities wrote things that suggested they did not hold a ‘young-earth’ view. However, such claims about the Church Fathers and Reformers have been shown to be wrong…” (Emphasis added)
As evidenced by the documentation of history, a 6,000-year-old earth is not the thought-child of, or does not “trace back to”, the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church.
The Record of History
As early as the 5th century, we find this statement from Augustine: “Unbelievers are also deceived by false documents which ascribe to history many thousand years, although we can calculate from Sacred Scripture that not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man.”
Furthermore, Dr. Benno Zuiddam, who obtained his Doctor of Theology in Church History and his Ph.D. in Greek, had this to say about the church’s view of Genesis:
“For several early Church Fathers the doctrine of creation was important. This affected not only the way they looked at this world, but also how they saw God, as well as what they expected of him for the future. Chrysostom, Irenaeus and Theophilus of Antioch taught that the beginning and the end of this world belong together. The paradise once lost will be regained. They taught that this present world, including the animal kingdom, is essentially in discontinuity with the original creation. The suffering and death of animals was something that did not belong to God’s good original creation. Irenaeus and Theophilus specifically claimed that God’s future will include the restoration of the animal kingdom to a state that excludes violent death and suffering.” (Emphasis added)
Indeed, the church fathers recognized that death before sin was an intractable problem for theology, i.e., not consistent with the teaching of Scripture which teaches death occurred only after sin. (Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12, Romans 8:20-22)
The idea that the Earth is young is not a modern dogma which traces back to the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith. While it certainly is the case that there has always been discussion over how to “rightly divide” the passages of the Bible, it is not as though Ellen White’s visions can be held responsible for the “modern dogmatic adherence” to a young-earth, as Church Fathers, like Augustine, and movements such as the Lutheran Christian Church, likewise adhere to this dogma independently of influence from Ellen G. White, her writings, or her visions.
Once more, neither my first response or this present one are calls for questioning the Christian walk of Jones or his subscribers. Rather, this response was to serve as a correction to the incorrect statements made about the Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church and the Young Earth Creation model.
However, regarding responses, neither Jones nor I have the time to go back and forth on these issues for all eternity, and so this will be my final word on the matter.
While this response is initially going to be posted into the Official Facebook Group of the Advent Defense League, it may later, if having been reviewed by Professor Lake and edited, end up on the Christ Jesus Ministries LLC website and perhaps on an upcoming website project.
Indeed, this verse will always ring true:
“For by him (Christ Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)
My first comment:
Jones’ first response:
Edwin Cotto’s first comment:
My second comment:
Jones’ second response:
My third comment:
Original Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLcNTAi0Cw4
Response 1: https://www.christjesusministriesllc.com/post/the-seventh-day-adventist-christian-response-to-the-origins-of-young-earth-creationism?fbclid=IwAR2Y31d2MzI5J7SK1pyBJvyYEKC-aD6WY0WgCKAoZ1uppoI9p6uyTj68TKw
Augustine. The City of God, translated by G. G. Walsh and G. Monahan (1952), Book 12, Chapter 11, p. 263. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press.
Comments on the first response: