Theologians drinking at dirty sources and Sidewalking

Koot van wyk (DLitt et Phil; ThD)

Visiting Professor

Department of Liberal Education

Kyungpook National University

Sangju Campus

South Korea

Conjoint lecturer of Avondale College


15 September 2012


           On Youtube there is some very good material about dr. Walther Veith and his lectures on Creationism and Evolutionism. There are also other good videos from Charles Brooks and others like Mark Finley and Dwight Nelson, especially on the Sabbath.  But lately there are Letters to the President of the General Conference complaining about some other Theologians of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

           Think of a crab. Although he tries to walk straight forward, he always goes sideways. Not only the theologian focused on in the video is a champion in sidewalking, many other names as well.

           This researcher can think of a number of names in the Adventist church which are sidewalkers. Why do theologians of the Seventh-day Adventist church end up sidewalking?

           Sidewalking originates in the following scenarios:

1.     The theologian or Adventist scientist remarried in a divorce situation. The greatest problem makers in the Adventist church, past and present, were either divorced or remarried again.

2.     The theologian is or was a pastor’s kid and they lived a split personality of pleasing father and mother at home and in the closet entertain themselves with skeletons. When they become administrators or theologians, they tolerate sidewalking since they secretly participated in that. Friedrich Schleiermacher is such an example.

3.     The theologian thinks that theology is just an art and a human construction. Thus in contemporary times, what the Bible meant and what it means are separated and we much design our own rules. They become secularized and love money, like the New Testament scholar Karel Bahrdt, who was a Bible skeptic and who died of syphilis since he spent his times in inns in the suburbs, although a theologian from Halle University. He had side relationships with a servant and his wife went through bitter pain.

4.     The theologian has a degree with an outside Adventism University or Seminary, like Fuller, or California University, or Harvard. Anyone who is an Adventist cannot study with an open mind uncritically at these universities. Mainstream Christianity is not Adventism and the ontology [lifestyle] is different, the epistemology [way of thinking] is different, the methodology [the way of approaching the data] is different and finally, the deontology [the outcome or product, book, article, thesis, dissertation] is different. Consensus theology is not Adventist theology and when an Adventist studies at these sources, they are not clean and thus a high premium is placed upon the student to compare all the time and keep the good and keep the truth.

5.     The theologian tries to be creative and thinks that offroad travel will bring better results. It does not. Unless creativity is within truth, outside truth creativity will not add or enlarge the truth. One cannot forsake the foundations of truth and bring new truth to the table.

6.     We know already about lifestyle and theologian in conflict like in Karel Bahrdt mentioned supra and the same can be said about Thomas Payne who died an alcoholic on New York streets and who wanted to operate with the hermeneutics of reason with the Word of God. But there is also the conflict between epistemology and theology. This is where the theologian wants to lock the Bible in its own time but also wants to be religious or pious. Such a person criticizes then the Bible in the classroom and lectures but in the church prays beautifully or preaches beautifully. In essence the person is a Christian psychopath. Semler was such an example. “Having conceived a vague idea of his theme, he wrote hurriedly upon it”. “When he saw one evil of the Fathers, a mistake of the church, or a defect in her doctrine, he generalized it until he believed error to be the rule instead of the exception”. It is concluded about his work: “His method of skeptical-historical criticism [think here of similar Adventist scholars with the same methodology] was the poison which, having been once introduced into the literature and pulpits of the church, produced wide-spread and long-seated disease” (John Hurst, History of Rationalism 1864: 136-137).  Said Hurst, “Göttingen, Jena, Helmstedt and Frankfort-on the-Oder were no longer schools of the prophets, but of Rationalists and Illuminists”.

7.     Why do our Theologians go sidewalking? Divorce, secularism, personal affections, mild megalomania, non-reader of the Word of God and Spirit of Prophecy. As a result of this they develop the historicism replaced by preterism model, or what the Bible means today is more important than what it meant, we have to use our own tools to construct truth just as they constructed truth in their days 2000 years ago.

“The simple believes every word [from outside universities] but the prudent looks well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15).

“Do they not make errors that devise evil? But mercy and truth to them that devise good” (Proverbs 14:22).

Solutions: Truth cannot be conquered. Christ is Truth and has already overcome the Evil one. False doctrines may succeed a short time but in the long run, they are at the feet of the righteous and those who follow truth. Truth cannot compete with falsehood. The only way to arm ourselves with truth is to study, study, study. Creating civil right actions forcing the upper structure of the church to fire this one or replace that one will not solve the issue. Unless you are in a direct position to do this and can do it, if one can add that, it is not wise to try to fight evil.

“The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant words” (Proverbs 15:26).

Furthermore, it is predicted that just before the Latter Rain, there will be an exodus from truth. Thus, if we are close to the End of Time, and if we are near the Latter Rain event, then these things must happen.