Recreational activities at SDA colleges
This website included a list of possible recreational activities available to students at SDA colleges in the U.S. Some of the activities that do not contribute to spirituality included film studio tours; ballet and opera; indoor and outdoor theaters; auto racing; arcades; professional sports teams; and Civil War reenactments.
When SDAs attend non-denominational schools, if they are not well grounded in SDA doctrine, they will give in to doctrinal error. It is sad to realize that this happens even in SDA institutions. Let God’s people be warned that SDA schools and churches as well need to be scrutinized before attending. If not, their chance of eternal life may be in danger.
Selected Messages, Book 3, pp. 231-233
It would be perfectly safe for our youth to enter the colleges of our land if they were converted every day; but if they feel at liberty to be off guard one day, that very day Satan is ready with his snares, and they are overcome and led to walk in false paths--forbidden paths, paths that the Lord has not cast up.
Now, shall professed Christians refuse to associate with the unconverted, and seek to have no communication with them? No, they are to be with them, in the world and not of the world, but not to partake of their ways, not to be impressed by them, not to have a heart open to their customs and practices. Their associations are to be for the purpose of drawing others to Christ.
Here is the danger of our youth. The attractions in these institutions are such, and the teaching so intermixed with error and sophistry, that they cannot discern the poison of sentiment mingled with the useful and precious. There is such an undercurrent, and it works in such a manner that many do not perceive it, but it is constantly at work. Certain ideas are constantly advanced by the professors, and repeated over and over, and at last the mind begins to assimilate and conform to these ideas....
To many of our youth there is great danger in listening to the discourses that are given by those who in the world are called great men. These discourses are often of a highly intellectual nature, and prevailing errors of science falsely so-called and of popular religious doctrine are mingled with wise sayings and observations, but they undermine the statements of the Bible and give the impression that there is reason for questioning the truth of the inspired Word. In this way the seeds of skepticism are sown by great and professedly wise men, but their names are registered in the books of record in heaven as fools, and they are an offense to God. They repeat the falsehoods that Satan put into the mouth of the serpent, and educate the youth in delusions.
This is the kind of education the enemy delights in. It is sorcery. The great apostle inquired, "Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?" Those who receive and admire the sentiments of these so-called great men are in danger, for through the subtlety of the enemy the sophistical reasoning of these false teachers takes root in the heart of our youth, and almost imperceptibly they are converted from truth to error. But the conversion should be just the other way. Our young men who have seen the evidences of the verity of truth should be firmly established and able to win souls to Christ from the darkness of error.
The Desire of Ages, p. 464
In these days we hear much about "higher education." The true "higher education" is that imparted by Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." Colossians 2:3; John 1:4.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 174
We hear a great deal about the higher education. The highest education is to follow in the footsteps of Christ, patterning after the example He gave when He was in the world. We cannot gain an education higher than this, for this class of training will make men laborers together with God.
The Review and Herald, March 31, 1910
The baleful spirit of unbelief is found in every land and is permeating all ranks of society. It is taught freely in many of the universities, colleges, and high schools, and it comes even into the lessons taught in the common schools and the nurseries. Thousands who profess to be Christians give heed to lying spirits. Everywhere the spirit of darkness in the garb of religion confronts the seeker after truth.
Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 535-536
Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly, are gradually led further and further from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings. At what a price have they gained their education! They have parted with the Holy Spirit of God. They have chosen to accept what the world calls knowledge in the place of the truths which God has committed to men through His ministers and prophets and apostles. And there are some who, having secured this worldly education, think that they can introduce it into our schools. But let me tell you that you must not take what the world calls the higher education and bring it into our schools and sanitariums and churches. We need to understand these things. I speak to you definitely. This must not be done.
Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, p. 194
When the heart and mind is submitted to God, when man is willing to be instructed as a little child, the science of education will be found in the Word of God. Higher education of the world has proved itself a farce. When teachers and students come down from their stilts and enter Christ's school to learn of Him, they will talk intelligently of higher education because they will understand that it is that knowledge which enables men to understand the essence of science.
Conflict and Courage, p. 210
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3.
Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists--the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions--is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.
When Battle Creek College failed to follow all of God’s instructions through Ellen White, she encouraged the establishment of a self-supporting institution, Madison College. She became a member of their board, the only position like this that she held. The denominational leaders were not happy that she had done this, because they saw this as a challenge to their authority and control.
History is repeating with the modern-day SDA Church leaders. The majority of SDA schools are not what they should be. While Andrews University includes a horticultural program, most SDA schools no longer do. Instead an emphasis is placed on amusements and sports.
Amusements and sports
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 23
It would be well could there be connected with our college, land for cultivation and also workshops under the charge of men competent to instruct the students in the various departments of physical labor. Much is lost by a neglect to unite physical with mental taxation. The leisure hours of the students are often occupied with frivolous pleasures, which weaken physical, mental, and moral powers.
The Signs of the Times, August 26, 1886
Young persons are naturally active, and if they find no legitimate scope for their pent-up energies after the confinement of the schoolroom, they become restless and impatient of control; they are thus led to engage in the rude, unmanly sports that disgrace so many schools and colleges, and even to plunge into scenes of dissipation. And many who leave their homes innocent, are corrupted by their associations at school.
The Adventist Home, pp. 499-500
I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone.
I shrink always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth to souls that are perishing out of Christ. The amusements and expenditures of means for self-pleasing, which lead on step by step to self-glorifying, and the educating in these games for pleasure produce a love and passion for such things that is not favorable to the perfection of Christian character.
The way that they have been conducted at the college does not bear the impress of heaven. It does not strengthen the intellect. It does not refine and purify the character. There are threads leading out through the habits and customs and worldly practices, and the actors become so engrossed and infatuated that they are pronounced in heaven lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. In the place of the intellect becoming strengthened to do better work as students, to be better qualified as Christians to perform the Christian duties, the exercise in these games is filling their brains with thoughts that distract the mind from their studies....
Is the eye single to the glory of God in these games? I know that this is not so. There is a losing sight of God's way and His purpose. The employment of intelligent beings, in probationary time, is superseding God's revealed will and substituting for it the speculations and inventions of the human agent, with Satan by his side to imbue with his spirit.... The Lord God of heaven protests against the burning passion cultivated for supremacy in the games that are so engrossing.
Today we can find Church periodicals such as the Adventist Review using sports analogies, and we even hear pastors using sports illustrations in their sermons.
One example comes from the Knoxville First SDA Church in Tennessee on February 3, 2007, in which a pastor referred to his favorite sports team for analogies during his sermon and wore a sports team jacket for an illustration. He frequently asked, “Where is your allegiance?” Where is the allegiance of pastors who focus on the popular, competitive games of today? In addition, an announcement was made about a Super Bowl party fundraiser to be held the next day in the Knoxville Adventist School gym. A bulletin insert gave further details, such as snacks, drinks, and desserts that would be sold by the 8th grade class, “Guess the final score and win a prize,” and “Bring your comfy chairs and relax in front of the big screen.”
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, p. 24
He who accepts God as his Sovereign must take the oath of allegiance to Him. He must put on the Christian uniform, and bear aloft the banner that shows to whose army he belongs.
The Review and Herald, June 14, 1892
Be true to your allegiance to Christ; for it is in half-heartedness in the Christian life that you become feeble in purpose, changeable in desire, and find no rest for your soul. This seeking to serve Christ and the world makes you a stony-ground hearer, and you will not endure when the test comes upon you. The religion of Christ permits no compromise, no yielding to the influences of the world.
Creeping Compromise, Joe Crews, Homeward Publishing, Yorba Linda, CA, 2008, pp. 109-110
With shouts and uncontrolled excitement he [a church leader] sits for hours, completely absorbed in an activity that is the very antithesis of everything Jesus stood for and taught. [He] knows all the batting averages and league records, but he’ll sit next Sabbath half asleep in church and will not know a single answer in the Sabbath School class.... Like Mrs. Lot he is bound to the things of the world, and all his stereotyped, platform-religious functions will not change the sentence of death against him. Until that man becomes more vocal about soul winning than he is about a ball game there can be no hope for his salvation.
Sports games foster competition, pride, strife, aggression, can involve physical injuries or become addicting, and destroy a love for useful labor.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 101-102
The leaven of truth will not produce the spirit of rivalry, the love of ambition, the desire to be first. True, heaven-born love is not selfish and changeable. It is not dependent on human praise. The heart of him who receives the grace of God overflows with love for God and for those for whom Christ died. Self is not struggling for recognition.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 6, p. 127
Among the youth the passion for football games and other kindred selfish gratifications have been misleading in their influence. Watchfulness and prayer and daily consecration to God have not been maintained. Converse, communion with God, is life to the soul. The light has been beclouded, and it was well pleasing to Satan to have the impression go forth that notwithstanding the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in behalf of our institutions of learning, and the office of publication and the church, they fell back to be overcome by temptation. Satan and evil workers cast reflection upon God, and His name has been dishonored....
The Adventist Home, pp. 513-514
The welfare of the soul should not be endangered by the gratification of any selfish desire, and we should shun any amusement which so fascinates the mind that the ordinary duties of life seem tame and uninteresting. By indulgence in such pleasure the mind becomes confirmed in a wrong direction, and Satan so perverts the thoughts that wrong is made to appear as right. Then restraint and submission to parents, such as Christ rendered to His parents, seem unbearable.
Good Health, July 1, 1880
True recreation is obtaining fresh vigor of mental, moral, and physical power. This can never be gained by selfish gratification or indulgence. Life was given these youth for nobler purposes. By their habits they are placing themselves among those whom the apostle names as being lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
The Adventist Home, p. 496
There are modes of recreation which are highly beneficial to both mind and body. An enlightened, discriminating mind will find abundant means for entertainment and diversion, from sources not only innocent, but instructive. Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of the highest benefit.
Ibid., p. 499
Gymnastic exercises fill a useful place in many schools, but without careful supervision they are often carried to excess. In the gymnasium many youth, by their attempted feats of strength, have done themselves lifelong injury.
Exercise in a gymnasium, however well conducted, cannot supply the place of recreation in the open air, and for this our schools should afford better opportunity.
Ibid., p. 512
There is a distinction between recreation and amusement. Recreation, when true to its name, re-creation, tends to strengthen and build up. Calling us aside from our ordinary cares and occupations, it affords refreshment for mind and body and thus enables us to return with new vigor to the earnest work of life.
Amusement, on the other hand, is sought for the sake of pleasure and is often carried to excess; it absorbs the energies that are required for useful work and thus proves a hindrance to life's true success.
Between the associations of the followers of Christ for Christian recreation and worldly gatherings for pleasure and amusement will exist a marked contrast. Instead of prayer and the mentioning of Christ and sacred things will be heard from the lips of worldlings the silly laugh and the trifling conversation. Their idea is to have a general high time. Their amusements commence in folly and end in vanity.
There is great need of temperance in amusements, as in every other pursuit. And the character of these amusements should be carefully and thoroughly considered. Every youth should ask himself, What influence will these amusements have on physical, mental, and moral health? Will my mind become so infatuated as to forget God? Shall I cease to have His glory before me?
The best recreation the students can receive is growing gardens and orchards, but so few today know anything about it. Notice below what God stated on this subject.
Education, p. 20
The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all aftertime. As an illustration of its principles a model school was established in Eden, the home of our first parents. The Garden of Eden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson book, the Creator Himself was the instructor, and the parents of the human family were the students.
Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 312
Families and institutions should learn to do more in the cultivation and improvement of land. If people only knew the value of the products of the ground, which the earth brings forth in their season, more diligent efforts would be made to cultivate the soil. All should be acquainted with the special value of fruits and vegetables fresh from the orchard and garden.
The Review and Herald, September 1, 1904
Wise plans are to be laid for the cultivation of the land. The students are to be given a practical education in agriculture. This education will be of inestimable value to them in their future work. Thorough work is to be done in cultivating the land, and from this the students are to learn how necessary it is to do thorough work in cultivating the garden of the heart.
Australasian Union Conference Record, July 31, 1899
The youth that shall attend our school... are to plant it with ornamental trees and fruit trees, and to cultivate garden produce. The school farm is to be regarded as a lesson book in nature, from which the teachers may draw their object lessons. Our students are to be taught that Christ, who created the world and all things that are therein, is the life and light of every living thing. The life of every child and youth who is willing to grasp the opportunities for receiving a proper education will be made thankful and happy while at school by the things which his eyes shall rest upon.
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Below is a partial listing of SDA colleges and universities worldwide with some of their activities.
Andrews University and SDA Theological Seminary (AU), Michigan
These events have been held at the AU campus:
- Easter Passion Play held annually since 2003. The play was inspired by Ron Whitehead, assistant to the president for spiritual life and director of the Center for Youth Evangelism at Andrews. The university leaders unanimously supported the idea.
- Creative Arts Festival held annually for the last 15 years and “created with the purpose of relieving the lull of winter” on campus and in the community. Features crafts, fine arts, poetry, drama performances, workshops, faculty/staff awards, and concerts, including jazz, reggae, and Christian rock.
- Worship services include:
- Mosaic – This is a Friday “late night option” conceived four years ago as an “atmospheric post-vespers experience.” It is termed as a “revolutionary spiritual encounter,” challenging students to “break free from convention” to participate in “interactive cafés, concerts by independent Christian artists, gallery exhibits, and creative prayer experiences.” It “elevates the spirit and opens the door to an enriching Sabbath.” Hors d'oeuvres and hot drinks are served for a “capacity crowd.” Actually, this type of service opens the door to the enemy.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, pp. 257
Your health depends upon the right use of your physical organism. Do not misuse or abuse any portion of your God-given powers--physical, mental, or moral. All your habits are to be brought under the control of a mind that is itself under the control of God. Unhealthful habits of every order, late habits of night, late hours in bed in the morning...are to be overcome.
- Impact – A Friday night service advertised as a place to be “on your feet all night long.” This “power-packed” vespers is hosted by the Black Student Christian Forum and is known for lasting three to four hours. However, they stated that you will not “find anyone glancing at the clock” due to the “astonishing musicianship and electrifying atmosphere.”
- Fusion – A monthly vespers that is a combination of all their Friday vespers and late-night options to “represent the unique cultural diversity” at Andrews and includes “different styles, types, and versions of worship.” It claims to be the “most powerful worship experience” at Andrews that “combines the ambiance and artistry of Mosaic with the vitality and spirit of Impact and includes shades of other Friday evening worship experiences.” God’s Word reveals that His truth and the Holy Spirit will not be found in these types of charismatic services.
- New Life – Known as a dynamic church service. They “bet you won’t go just once,” since they have an “energetic” gospel choir and praise band and “power-packed” preaching that will have you “hooked, on fire, and on your feet in no time.” It is stated that you will find “Spirit and Truth”, in the truest sense.
- Pioneer Memorial – The campus church with Dwight Nelson as the senior pastor. Their worship is advertised as coming in several forms, “from traditional to contemporary.”
- On April 7, 2008, “The Dean’s List” for the Andrews Seminary included an announcement that for the April 14 chapel there would be two guest speakers, Dr. Roger Schroeder and Dr. Stephen Bevans (a Roman Catholic priest). Both have attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and are missiology professors at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.
- Campus activities 2010/2011 – Sports and talent competitions, including all-night volleyball and half-time shows and the Fourth International Music Competition; February Super Bowl party; an opera production; drama ministries, etc.
This Andrews leadership website suggests these authors: Jon Dybdahl, Steve Daily, C. S. Lewis, Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, and many others as well as books on Buddhism and Islam. The excuse is made that if we do not know the details of other religions then we cannot convert the people as effectively. God’s Word says otherwise.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 379
As a preparation for Christian work many think it essential to acquire an extensive knowledge of historical and theological writings. They suppose that this knowledge will be an aid to them in teaching the gospel. But their laborious study of the opinions of men tends to the enfeebling of their ministry rather than to its strengthening. As I see libraries filled with ponderous volumes of historical and theological lore, I think, Why spend money for that which is not bread? The sixth chapter of John tells us more than can be found in such works. Christ says: "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever." "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:35, 51, 47, 63.
Fundamentals of Christ Education, p. 167
The light shining upon those who have eyes to see, cannot be mingled with the darkness of heresy and error found in many of the textbooks recommended to the students in our colleges.
Gospel Workers (1892), pp. 414-415
The presidents of our conferences have become weak and inefficient by making flesh their arm. Trust in the wisdom of man does not facilitate growth in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.
Why do SDAs continue to glean from the world’s ideas to reach people? They are to be sharing the special messages given to the Church, not watered-down theology. They have more to offer, so why give less? The enemy certainly twisted things around. “Come now, and let us reason together.” Isaiah 1:18. When we know all the details of our religion, we can effectively answer others’ questions. When we continue to delve into books written by infidels, we will become confused and end up as infidels ourselves.
/andrews.pdf (select May 30)
The same Andrews leadership website includes a jazz impact PowerPoint presentation from a 2009 Roundtable with photos of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five, Count Basie and Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, etc.; construction of a jazz tune; rhythmic words about needing a cup of coffee; and the terms innovation and transformation.
In another section, there is a painting of fragmented human body parts with lewd depictions. It can only be described as something a demon would paint. The link has not been included because it is better not seen.
The Howard Performing Arts Center is located on the Andrews campus and is also a venue for Southwest Michigan’s performing arts. It is advertised as a “brand new, state-of-the-art performance facility” that has “attracted world-class performers from the international classical circuit,” as well as “top Contemporary Christian artists.” Because of the center’s “acoustic perfection and astonishing design” it is referred to as the “architectural gem” of Andrews that “provides an invaluable resource” and an “ideal environment” for vespers, recitals, and awards banquets.
The “Opening Night 2010” concert series began with a graduate of Andrews and his friends performing “well-known Broadway tunes.” The second half included the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band.
One can only imagine how much their “architectural gem” must have cost to build. Can true Christians honestly say that with all that is heard and seen at this arts center, that it is an “invaluable resource” and an “ideal environment”? Certainly not. The following message from the Lord applies to AU and other SDA institutions today.
Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 12, p. 9
I have sent warnings to many physicians and ministers, and now I must warn all our churches to beware of men who are being sent out to do the work of spies in our conferences and churches,--a work instigated by the father of falsehood and deception. Let every church-member stand true to principle. We have been told what would come, and it has come. The enemy has been working under a species of scientific devising, even as he worked in Eden. I can not specify all now, but I say to our churches, Beware of the representations coming from Battle Creek that would lead you to disregard the warnings given by the Lord about the effort to make that a great educational center. Let not your sons and daughters be gathered there to receive their education. Powerful agencies have been stealthily working there to sow the seeds of evil.
Still Waters retreat house
These websites give information on Tom and Delcy Kuhlman who “felt called to establish a spiritual retreat facility” to be located on 70 acres near AU “in order to allow easy access to ministers, students, and others wishing to enrich their spiritual development.” Still Waters was established in 1989, and in 2009 the Kuhlmans transitioned to Founding Directors. Delcy continues to “journey with people through the gift of spiritual companionship.” It was stated that she spent 25 years “mothering her own and other people's children” which “contributed insights concerning unmet needs for pastoral services to help people surmount everyday stresses.” She attended the AU Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity degree and receiving clinical pastoral education.
Robert & Sarah Fusté have been living and working at Still Waters as co-directors since 2009 and have been a part of the “extended family” since 2001. While taking a course on discipleship at AU, they were invited “to join a group at Still Waters that was looking at the gift of spiritual direction. Participation in this group along with experiencing their first silent retreats and engaging in an ongoing practice of spiritual companionship” led the Fustés to join the board in 2003. It was “a growing call toward some kind of spiritual formation ministry that led them to leave Michigan in 2007 and spend nine months at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, partly to discern whether Still Waters might be a part of this calling.”
The Center for Action and Contemplation was founded in 1987 by Franciscan Father Richard Rohr, “who saw the need for a training/formation center.” It claims to “serve as a place of discernment and growth for activists and those interested in social service ministries—a place to be still, and learn how to integrate a contemplative lifestyle with compassionate service. The Center’s purpose would be to serve not only as a forum for peaceful, non-violent social change but also as a radical voice for renewal and encouragement.” It is also “envisioned as a faith alternative to the dominant consciousness, offering hope, inspiration and challenge to a despairing world,” and “attracts people from around the world—those who seek peaceful, positive alternatives and solutions to the difficult challenges of our often materialistic, irrational and violent world.” They also share the vision and “understand the constructive message of the Gospel that crosses boundaries of religion, ethnicity, social class and gender.”
“Rooted in its Christian identity, Still Waters welcomes anyone desiring to deepen their journey with God. Our guests and friends come from a variety of denominations and faith backgrounds.” The facility “exists for the purpose of providing a place of silence, solitude and spiritual companionship to help one hear the Shepherd's voice and live prayerfully in their world.”
Those who practice these methods make it all sound so wonderful on the outside, but “inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). It is not the true Shepherd’s voice they are hearing. Still Waters invites its guests “into the presence of the Lord.” Yet it is really inviting individuals into methods that lead to the presence of demons. One method is their outdoor walking prayer labyrinth.
The Fall/Winter 2009 Still Waters newsletter stated, “We have the opportunity to share about spiritual direction with the folks at Storyline in St. Joseph and then a few days later on taking retreat with the theology department at Andrews University in Berrien Springs.”
One of their FAQs states: “Is Still Waters a Seventh-day Adventist retreat center?
Even though the founders and the current co-directors both live out their Christianity through the Seventh-day Adventist faith tradition, we don't have any official affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist church. We believe that the timeliness need for silence, solitude and spiritual companionship can help heal, nurture and refresh the soul longings of Adventists and non-Adventists, of Christians and non-Christians alike.”
Included in their website “Spiritual Companionship” section, are links to the Shalem Institute and Spiritual Directors International (SDI). Dallas Willard, Gerald May, Eugene Peterson, and Thomas Merton are referenced.
Once a quarter, Still Waters offers a Taizé Evensong service. Worship is held the last Saturday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They believe that “knowing God” is more than “knowing about God,” and that “Scripture provides a venue for both.” The worship time “focuses on The Word, provides silence to ponder and listen for God’s personal invitation,” and “group sharing to offer a setting where you may experience God’s love.” However, God is not there for them to “experience,” and anyone who visits Still Waters, including from AU, is not drinking from the fountain of life.
The first link above takes you to the second link, which shows the most recent information from Denis Fortin, the dean at AU, as a rebuttal, because AU has been under scrutiny for the last few years due to their teaching of “spiritual formation.” Fortin states the following: “We are diligent to select good academic books on this subject and the choice of books we adopt for our classes does not mean we accept all of these authors’ points of view. . . . It is unfair and false to state that spiritual formation is evil because it is associated with the writings of Church Fathers, some strands of more recent Roman Catholic thoughts, and some devotional practices of other religions. . . . Yet, to avoid any further confusion, we have decided to change the name of our courses to refer instead to biblical spirituality. We hope this will help alleviate some genuine concerns people have had.”
Somehow that clarification is not comforting. Changing the course name is not enough. AU is still in trouble.
Avondale College, Australia
The information below comes from the SDA college in New South Wales, Australia.
- The college’s Lake Macquarie Crows football team was established in 1997 and belongs to the Lake Macquarie-based Australian Rules Football club. Several players were selected for the first-grade team—the highest level of competition in that region.
- Australia’s famous cricket athlete visited the campus during a “festive forum.” One of the students dressed in a cricket outfit “to face a delivery” as the athlete “bowled down the centre isle of Avondale College Seventh-day Adventist Church.” The college president presented a plaque to the athlete, which described him as “a role model for young Australians.” The article concluded by describing how he won an award and a medal. This is certainly a perfect example of desecrating a church sanctuary.
- In August 2010 the college presented the Broadway fable and hit show, “Guys and Dolls.” http://www.nz-tourism.com/event/574/new-zealand/23/musicals/69442/avondale-college-presents-guys-and-dolls.html
Students studying drama at Avondale College have produced scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. The college’s news article stated that each scene succeeded in “drawing members of the audience in” as they become “part of the play.” Hamlet’s Three Witches “added continuity and perspective.” The play also “included moments of silliness,” “didn’t lack humour or seriousness,” and viewing it was “bliss.”
Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 172-173
I was greatly pained to see on the first page of a recent issue of the Signs a picture of the birthplace of Shakespeare, accompanied by an article on Shakespeare. May the Lord pity our discernment if we have no better food than this to give the flock of God. It greatly distresses me to see those in positions of trust, who should daily be gaining a rich experience, placing such matter before the people.
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He graciously condescends to dwell among them. Let those who are representing the truth for this time pray earnestly for clear spiritual discernment. Let them be sincerely jealous for the honor of the Lord God of hosts. Let them see the sinfulness of exalting such men as Shakespeare, calling the attention of people to those who did not in their lives honor God or represent Christ.
The men in responsible positions in God's work need to be renewed in the spirit of their mind. Let them lift their voices against the worship of human beings, giving honor to whom honor is due. The men who edit our papers need the divine touch. They need the unction of the Holy Spirit.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 19, pp. 42-43
Brethren, let us come to our senses. In more ways than one are we departing from God. Oh, how ashamed I was of a recent number of the Signs of the Times! On the first page is an article on Shakespeare, a man who died a few days after a drunken carousal, losing his life through indulgence of perverted appetite. In this article it is stated that he did many good works. Man is extolled. The good and the evil are placed on the same level and published in a paper that our people use to give the third angel's message to many of those who cannot be reached by the preached word.
The publication of this article robbed me of my rest last night. I was thrown into an agony of distress. If our brethren have not discernment enough to see the evil of these things, when will they have? Why can they not understand the tenor of such things? We are to stand on the elevated platform of eternal truth. The edge of the sword of truth is not to be dulled. We must take a straightforward course, using the truth as a mighty cleaver to separate from the world men and women who will stand as God's peculiar people.
When we give the message in its purity, we shall have no time for pictures illustrating the birthplace of Shakespeare, or for pictures similar to the illustration of heathen goddesses that was used to fill the space on the first page of a recent number of the Review and Herald. We are not to educate others along these lines. God pronounces against [OR, "PASSES JUDGMENT ON."] such articles and illustrations.
I have a straightforward testimony to bear in regard to them. We are to extol neither idolatry nor men who did not choose to serve God. Years ago reproof was given our editors in regard to advocating the reading of even such books as Uncle Tom's Cabin, Aesop's Fables, and Robinson Crusoe. Those who begin to read such works usually desire to continue to read novels. Through the reading of enticing stories they rapidly lose their spirituality. This is one of the principal causes of the weak, uncertain spirituality of many of our youth.
If Ellen White were here today, she would say the same about what is seen on television and in theaters.
- “The Promise” of Avondale College is a vocal group with music ranging from classical to contemporary gospel.
- “Spice Girls” at Avondale College Talent Night 2008: This video showed five young men dancing to rock music and dressed in skimpy female outfits while the audience shouted, laughed, whistled, and cheered.
- “Back Dorm Boys” at Avondale College Talent Night 2007: This video showed five young men being “remotely-controlled” by a young woman as they dance to rock music and perform sexually provocative moves. These are certainly events that heavenly angels would weep over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN37x-RD9hU&NR=1&feature=fvwp
The October 30, 2010 South Pacific Division Record magazine included a news feature on two Avondale College lecturers who wrote a chapter for a book on Australia’s first Catholic saint. Their chapter states that Ellen White and the Catholic saint both “reveal a bond of commonality and this insight provides a lens through which Seventh-day Adventists can appreciate the heroes of the many faith traditions throughout the world.”
This college boasts about “quality education,” yet with its lowered standards, music, drama, and sports, it is no longer about quality but about having a good time. Unless repented of, it will not be fun on judgment day.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 348-349
Recent experiences in our colleges and sanitariums lead me to present again instruction that the Lord gave me for the teachers and students in our school at Cooranbong, Australia.
In April, 1900, a holiday was appointed at the Avondale school for Christian workers. The program for the day provided for a meeting in the chapel in the morning, at which I and others addressed the students, calling their attention to what God had wrought in the building up of this school, and to their privilege and opportunities as students.
After the meeting, the remainder of the day was spent by the students in various games and sports, some of which were frivolous, rude, and grotesque.
During the following night I seemed to be witnessing the performances of the afternoon. The scene was clearly laid out before me, and I was given a message for the manager and teachers of the school.
I was shown that in the amusements carried on at the school that afternoon the enemy gained a victory, and teachers were weighed in the balances and found wanting. I was greatly distressed and burdened to think that those standing in responsible positions should open the door and, as it were, invite the enemy in; for this they did in permitting the exhibitions that took place. As teachers, they should have stood firm against giving place to the enemy in any such line. By what they permitted they marred their record and grieved the Spirit of God. The students were encouraged in a course the effects of which were not easily effaced. There is no end to the path of vain amusements, and every step taken in it is a step in a path which Christ has not traveled.
In an email, the For My People Ministry learned about a man in Australia who was raised as an SDA. However, when he attended Avondale College during the time Desmond Ford was there teaching the New Theology, everything seemed to fall apart spiritually for him. He is now a strong believer in evolution and does not believe in God at all. He had gone to Avondale to study theology but dropped out and later studied science elsewhere. He and many others have gone astray due to the apostasy at Avondale College. What a weight of lost souls these false educators must carry.
Canadian University College (CaUC), Canada
This SDA College in Alberta, Canada promotes the following:
- Contemporary Christian music.
- Staying up late on Friday night.
- Drama ministries.
- Sports varsity teams, club teams or intramurals, including rugby, men's basketball and ice hockey, men's and women's soccer and volleyball, and the Acronaires tumbling/acrobatic team that performs in Central Alberta and went on tour to Jamaica.
- The Campus Connections newsletter advertised the following in the classified section:
- A Harry Potter Levitating Challenge game for sale.
- A Sabbath morning discussion by Drs. Loren Agrey and Joy Fehr of the book, The Furious Longing of God, by Brennan Manning.
- A concert by a group called “Eclectrip,” playing folk and jazz music with dramatic lighting, sound effects, and foot work. The advertisement said to “grab a seat for a great show” and to “get ready for an explosion of musical styles” as the concert series “finishes the season with a bang.”
- A presentation by Bruce Boyd on the topic of Ellen White and drums. It stated that “worship music is often a flashpoint for conflict” in SDA churches and that an Ellen White quote about playing drums and the end of time is “often quoted by those who think that much contemporary Christian music should be excluded” from SDA worship. It then included a question on what Ellen White actually says about drums.
It is obvious that the faculty of this college does not agree with Ellen White’s statements on proper worship music. This subject is a point of conflict, because Satan has fooled SDAs into believing his music is alright. Yes, much contemporary Christian music should be excluded, since it is not approved of by the Great Musician in the heavenly courts.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 92
How little we know of the bearing our acts will have upon the future history of ourselves and others. Many think it is of little importance what they do. It will do no harm for them to attend this concert, or unite with the world in that amusement, if they wish to do so. Thus Satan leads and controls their desires, and they do not consider that the results may be most momentous. It may be the link in the chain of events which binds a soul in the snare of Satan and determines his eternal ruin.
Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica
This SDA university included the following news item in July 2010:
A call was made during a keynote address by the field secretary of the Inter-American Division as delegates and members of the East Jamaica Conference of SDAs began the Third Quadrennial Session at the Kencot SDA Church in Kingston, Jamaica. He stated that if we live a life of grace “we cannot be in the Church of God and clutch the things of the world. We must deny the dirt of worldliness. God’s Grace should give us self control.”
The above sounds convincing and exemplary until the next statement: “The congregation was refreshed with inspirational singing from the Kencot Male Chorale, Carey Sales, One Voice, among others.” One Voice is comparable to contemporary music.
The Mayor of Kingston “lauded the work of Adventists in the city.” He explained, “I have always maintained and I say it without fear of contradiction that the role of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica in creating a path of righteousness and creating a path for our young people, has done more to the benefit of Jamaica than any other Christian denomination in Jamaica.” This was met with a loud applause from the congregation.
While that may be true, the churches still have a great need to come up to a higher calling. The For My People Ministry received emails from two SDAs in Jamaica, who mentioned the following:
- The country is permeated with Satanic music, drug abuse, materialism, a culture of violence, and the people are difficult to reason with.
- Another described the problems encountered in the SDA churches in Jamaica, and of the high apostasy rate after a campaign. It was shared how individuals were invited to church but did not come back, because the churches are low in spirituality.
- The SDA Church has boasted about the large Jamaican membership yet has failed in its mission and become more focused on numbers. The country’s deplorable condition is because the servants of God have been asleep at their posts.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 337
Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!
La Sierra University (LSU), California
Sports: LSU currently competes on ten different sports based on the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s regulations. Included are men’s basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, and golf as well as women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and softball. The Golden Eagles (LSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams) included the following information on their website:
- A list of their games against non-SDA schools.
- Boasting about their fitness center, six-lane swimming pool, and six “state-of-the-art” tennis courts.
- Mention of how the upgrading of their facilities is a “major priority,” because the athletes “deserve to showcase their abilities on fields and courts that match.” They are also installing new turf for the men’s soccer team, which will make it “one of the premier collegiate fields in the area” and will help bring new athletes to them. In the past, the condition of the field kept the students from being able to use it. Even though they do not realize it, that is a blessing, considering all the competition they are involved in. It was stated that the fields have been made to “look and play at the level we now desire.” The gym was renovated by redoing the logo and sealing the floor “in preparation for what will be an exciting season.” Also the grass field was replaced inside the running track with new artificial turf. It was done in order to “provide a safer, more attractive space that can be used more regularly for classes, intramurals, athletic events, and general recreation” for the students.
Drama: The “News and Events” section for November 2009 was entitled “LSUDrama raises curtain on popular holiday comedy” where “all comic chaos breaks loose” and “delightfully eccentric characters attempt to cope with seasonal traumas.” It suggested bringing the whole family to join in the “holiday mayhem” of the “hilarious sequel to the hit comedy, ‘Greater Tuna.’ ” Additionally, a Hollywood film producer, writer and director showed one of his award-winning PG-rated films at LSU in order to share his movie-making knowledge. The announcement went on to describe more Hollywood details.
Another LSU event included a reading and signing by a world-famous award-winning poet, playwright, and screenwriter. His poetry is known as “arresting and distinctive,” witty, and authoritative. http://www.lasierra.edu/index.php?id=1743
Logo: It is interesting to note that the previous LSU school logo included the words “From Diversity, Community” and displayed a Maltese/iron cross. The current logo expresses the same motto. A description by Fritz Guy, the professor in LSU’s School of Religion, described the circle made by the eight figures (individuals with raised hands) as expressing the “underlying unity enriched by our diversity” through values, attitudes, and activities. He also stated that the figures display an “attitude of joyful worship.” The sun in the center “expresses the overall role” of LSU: to “enhance the light of God’s truth and the warmth of His love in all of its people, in its sponsoring church, and in the surrounding world.” One can only wonder how LSU can enhance God’s truth and love through its unbiblical practices.
New Age and Spiritualism: In April 2009, LSU held a weekend conference entitled “Adventist Women and the Earth: A Response to Ecofeminism,” which took place at the LSU Church. The conference featured talks, workshops, panels, a film screening of “Earth” at a local theater, a prayer labyrinth, and community outreach activities. On Sabbath morning, Somer Penington, Redlands Adventist Academy chaplain, discussed the Global Issues Experience prayer labyrinth and gave a talk entitled “I Came For the Wildflowers, and All I Got was a Snake.” Yes, indeed. When you utilize prayer labyrinths, you are inviting the serpent who beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sabbath afternoon featured Claremont Graduate University theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether who spoke on “Ecofeminism and Theology: A Comparative Perspective.” Sabbath afternoon workshops and panels included Sheryll Prinz-McMillan, the executive director of the Christian Counseling Center in Redlands and a pioneer of SDA women’s writings on ecofeminism; Warren Trenchard, LSU provost and professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature; and Ginger Hanks-Harwood, LSU Associate Professor of Religious and Theological Studies. The Art and Ecology workshop breakout session included Frances White, a Roman Catholic nun, artist, teacher, and peace educator. The former president of LSU’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) as well as current members of SIFE’s Environmental Sustainability Team, discussed their environmentally friendly project, which included on-campus construction of demonstration eco-domes. They also talked about “simple solutions to a brighter, greener future.” There is no bright future for those involved in the ecumenical ecology movement, which teaches there will be a millennium of peace on this earth, thus we must preserve it. There is no room in that idea for a Savior who is about to return to take His people to heaven and one thousand years later return to this desolate earth to recreate it. That is the solution to a brighter, greener future.
Competition: The Pacific Union Recorder for July 2010 featured the LSU SIFE team delivering “topnotch presentations during recent national competitions, ultimately placing among the top teams in the country during the 2010 US SIFE National Exposition at Minneapolis in May.” The team is the winner of more national titles than any team in the world, with six U.S. trophies and two World Cups.
Evolution: According to David Asscherick, evangelist and Director of ARISE, LSU teaches evolution. In a letter sent to the then General Conference President, Jan Paulsen, and others, Asscherick writes:
Dear Pastors Paulsen, Schneider, and Graham,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. Like each of you, I am an ordained pastor of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. I write these words with my heart on full display--from pastor to pastor. This letter concerns the teaching of evolution at La Sierra University. While I am not a formally trained scientist, I am, however, familiar with many of the apologetic, philosophical, and theological issues surrounding the theories of naturalistic evolution. I have made this an area of special study in my life and ministry. So, I feel both comfortable and qualified to speak to the issue, especially in its ecclesiastical ramifications.
It is a matter of incontestable fact that naturalistic evolution is being taught at La Sierra University. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. Evolution should be taught at our denominational universities. But it should be taught as a competing and inimical worldview to the biblical worldview. We need our young people to know what it is they are up against, yes, but when naturalistic evolution is taught as fact or as the preferred and normative worldview, then we can be sure that the enemy has breached our lines.
There is no point in equivocating. I have seen the class materials with my own eyes. Frankly, I think every Seventh-day Adventist deserves to see them. Our people need to know what is happening. Many of them have heard various rumblings, but being the conscientious, confiding, and hopeful people they are, they have generally assumed the very best. We are making capital of their trust.
Former chair of the biology department at LSU, Larry McCloskey, states in his Biology 112 syllabus from 2009 exactly the kind of material David Asscherick was referring too. On Slide 12 he states, “Evolution is supported by an overwhelming and constantly growing amount of scientific evidence.” Further he states on slide 35 of lecture 3, that “There is nothing ‘theoretical’ about the evidence supporting evolution.” The syllabus continues by stating, “The research about evolution is ongoing and continues to support and refine Darwin’s original ideas.” Unashamedly, McCloskey boasts that “No data have been found to refute the idea” of evolution and that “It is the single unifying explanation of the living world, and nothing makes much, if any, sense outside of this unifying theory.” The next slide continues to indoctrinate students into believing evolution is the only logical and scientific explanation for life on earth by stating that it has “stood up to intense, thorough, continual observation and criticism.”
McCloskey is just one professor from LSU that has helped to destroy the faith of those who were seeking an SDA education. You can find more information about this subject at:
A testimony: To show that the apostasy had already entered the SDA Church decades ago, the following information is included from an individual who attended LSU in the late 1960’s to the early 70’s:
- I recall being in a room where two LSU professors talked about viewing a movie that included violence and pornography.
- Rock & roll was the music that most students listened to. I remember one student listening to the Woodstock album and stating that he wished that he had been there. Held in New York, it was a three-day orgy of rock & roll, drugs, and sex. Of course at the time, SDAs had their own music stars—the Wedgwood Trio, which was widely known as the “Adventist Beatles,” to copy the name of “The Beatles” rock band formed in England in 1960.
- Two Buddhist students received a full scholarship to attend Loma Linda University from undergraduate to medical school by the SDA mission where they lived. They shared with me how they worshipped Buddha in their dorm room where they had set up a shrine to Buddha.
- In my first year of Bible class, instead of holding up the truth of Ellen White’s statements against the idea that the “wine” provided by Jesus at the marriage in Cana was grape juice, the professor agreed with my suggestion that it did not matter, that it was the miracle that was important. Being a liberal professor, she believed it was real wine. Today I realize that I was wrong on that matter and that it was the Jewish culture to not drink wine.
Temperance, p. 97
The Bible nowhere sanctions the use of intoxicating wine. The wine that Christ made from water at the marriage feast of Cana was the pure juice of the grape. This is the "new wine . . . found in the cluster," of which the Scripture says, "Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." Isaiah 65:8.
It was Christ who, in the Old Testament, gave the warning to Israel, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Proverbs 20:1. He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. He never places before men that which would be a temptation. His whole life was an example of self-denial. It was to break the power of appetite that in the forty days' fast in the wilderness He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour's blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil.
The attitude of many of the students was far from being like Christ. I know; I was one of them.
Loma Linda University (LLU), California
Drama: In January 2008, the LLU School of Religion, the Center for Spiritual Life and Wholeness, and Campus Ministries started a program called “Faith & Film” to connect faith with the arts. Two or three times each month during the lunch hour, faculty and students meet to watch a film and talk about its implications for modern Christians. The films include Hollywood drama, crime, and making “heroes” out of humans rather than Christ. Because of this, the implication of watching these films for modern Christians is that it is detrimental to their spiritual life.
Psychology: LLU’s Wholeness Portal website includes a section entitled “Jung Typology (Myers-Briggs)” in which it is promoted and offers a link to take a test.
Spiritualistic book: The For My People Ministry received the following experience as shared in an email:
Six years ago, I found a book at the Loma Linda University campus store on quantum (vibrational) energy. At the time, I did not realize that the book was on New Age spiritualism. I read the entire book, which included a section on how your body supposedly has extra intuition. It stated that you can close your eyes and ask a question, and if you lean forward it is a “yes” answer. If you lean back it is a “no” answer, and if your body keeps rotating that means you are “unsure.” It was so deceptive because the book used scientific names and because it was sold in an SDA bookstore. Because of the book, I began to dig deeper into such practices as “dowsing” and bought “alpha wave” equipment as well as crystals and amulets. Those led me into visual meditation and the false prophet Edgar Cayce, who was hypnotized at a young age. He also went into vision during trances and would have supernatural insight, which enabled him to teach doctrines opposed to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. When I realized I must quit what I was into, I sincerely prayed and repented. I threw my “idols” away, and in God’s mercy I was delivered. Then God led me to Ernie Knoll’s ministry, and I kept searching for truth. Once I broke free from spiritualism and read about it in the Spirit of Prophecy, God opened my eyes about the pervasiveness of spiritualism in the world today.
This person was under the opinion that all the books at the LLU campus store are trustworthy. That should be the case, but tragically it is not.
The LLU School of Public Health announced a “Healthy People Lifestyle Conference and Expo” for March 8-9, 2011. The first day’s program included a time for yoga. Is LLU aware of the fact that yoga will not produce spiritually healthy people? It is a serious offense how this influential school is leading people astray through New Age and spiritualism.
Newbold College, United Kingdom
The Newbold College website stated that its students “like a good night out” and also “enjoy extra-curricular activities like sport, music and drama.”
Sports: May 2010 featured the 15th Annual International Football Tournament on Newbold’s campus, which was “bustling with visiting footballers from all over the world” who were “excited to play for their home teams.” Large crowds supported and cheered for their favorite country’s team. Eleven teams “played their hearts out.” As the games continued, the cheering and matches “became more intense.” After the winner was announced, the “much-anticipated trophies and awards were distributed.”
Art: An art festival was advertised as a “celebration of creativity” with the “many genres of art” done by students.
Music: The students’ musical talent consists of a wide range of music, including contemporary styles. April 2010 included an “evening outing to London” to enjoy Oliver, a musical production based on a novel.
Entertainment: In March 2010, the college and community “celebrated” International Night. “Excitement filled the room” as representatives from 15 countries “took the stage.” Two “noble Newboldians” were the Masters of Ceremonies. With “hilarity and wit,” they “shared jokes between numbers, changed costumes with each appearance and announced the upcoming acts with great enthusiasm.” The night included national dances, comical skits, musical acts, as well as trivia questions with prizes. Newbold has the “uniqueness of celebrating diversity while coming together as one.” One participant stated, “I’ve learned more about the world at Newbold than anywhere else.” Yes, and much of the world that is taught should not be learned.
Fellowship: “ACTS 2010/A Day of Renewal” was Newbold’s “long-anticipated” Youth Day of Fellowship on a Sabbath, which became an “exciting reality” in February with 835 youth in attendance. One workshop involved a theology student who presented “Bridging the Gap: Creating Authentic Community.” He chose the topic because he is “passionate about doing church in new ways and trying to reach people in the culture around us.” A Newbold theology graduate and Christian politician held a workshop on “Christians Running for Public Office? Get Real!” (A statement under the “Arts and Humanities” section of Newbold’s website states that their graduates “have found success in a wide range of fields, including law, international development, events coordination, politics, academics and teaching.”) The workshops were followed by a baptism “celebration,” and the evening was “full of festivities and treats,” concluding with a concert of the “best sounds from around the UK.” One of the attendees claimed that the concert was better than X-Factor and that the group “4 Christ” could have “beaten JLS hands down!” JLS is a music group from the UK who do pop, R&B, and dance-pop. X-Factor is a British television singing competition to find new talent. The coordinator for the event stated that “to see people smile and be happy is well worth the effort.” It is sad to say, but when people smile and are “happy” because of learning how to “do church in new ways,” how to get into politics, and how to celebrate with festivities and foolishness, it is not worth the effort.
The Gospel Herald, August 1, 1899
God has warned his people not to become absorbed in politics. We cannot bear the sign of God as his commandment-keeping people, if we mingle with the strife of the world. We are not to give our minds to political issues.
The Review and Herald, June 21, 1898
In regard to the world, Christians will say, We will not dabble in politics. They will say, decidedly. We are pilgrims and strangers; our citizenship is above....
The Lord has been greatly dishonored by his people catching up the issues that arise in this time of test and trial. His people are to keep free from politics. They are to stand as a separate and peculiar people; the name of God, our Ruler, is to be in their foreheads, showing to all that he is their Sovereign.
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 3, pp. 40-41
God's people have been called out of the world, that they may be separated from the world. It is not safe for them to take sides in politics, whatever preference they may have. They are ever to remember that they are one in Christ. God calls upon them to enter their names as under His theocracy. He cannot approve of those who link up with worldlings. We are entirely out of our place when we identify ourselves with party interests. Let us not forget that we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We are soldiers of the cross of Christ, and our work is to advance the interests of His kingdom.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 334
Here we should reserve all our influence to act in upholding the truth. The sentiments brought to the front by politicians will be voiced by some who claim to be Sabbath keepers. What angels attend these in the pulpit as they stand up to give the flock poison instead of pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed? Here is the working of satanic agencies to bring in confusion, to bewitch the minds of old and young. Those who have been walking humbly with God will not be engrossed in advocating either side of this question. They will place themselves under His guardianship, and reveal that they are learning lessons from the Great Teacher, who has said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
Miscellaneous: A diversity seminar included a lecture entitled “The God Delusion” by a Jewish rabbi, who is a broadcaster, writer, and a minister of a synagogue.
A devotional on the college’s website quoted Morris Venden from his book, Faith That Works. As stated earlier in this chapter, he is a promoter of the New Theology, specifically the unbiblical idea that we are born sinners.
The Media Arts course includes “Shakespeare on Film” as an approved elective.
Newbold College began in 1901 as Duncombe Hall College. It educated ministers and church workers for the SDA Church. Its name has changed many times since it was a missionary training school. It is now advertised as a “fully-fledged international college of higher education offering degrees and diplomas in a wide range of subjects.” Yet it is stated that “in the hearts of many staff and students, there is real commitment to the Christian gospel.” Any faithful SDA today will acknowledge that Newbold would have been better staying as a missionary training school. Its “Christian gospel” of today is not the same as it was in 1901.
Oakwood University (OU), Alabama
Sports: Oakwood includes intercollegiate athletics and intramural sports. The intramurals are the most popular activity on the campus, offering “team competition in the men’s and women’s divisions.” Every year over 2,000 students, faculty, and staff “participate in one or many of the competitive and/or recreational sports activities offered.” The following sports are offered on campus: Men's and women’s basketball; men's and women’s soccer; volleyball; and track & field.
Guest speakers: Speakers at Oakwood have included such guests as non-SDA university presidents and professors, Baptist ministers, and film and television celebrities. It has become a habit for SDA colleges to invite non-SDAs to give lectures. We can only imagine what kind of ideas are being put into the minds of these students.
- A “Miss Oakwood University” pageant is held yearly, with the 16th pageant held in 2009 at a United Methodist Church where six young ladies competed. After an invocation, the six contestants began with a praise dance. The young women “prepared for the pageant through etiquette seminars, community service activities, and other training.” Resembling Hollywood’s “Miss America” pageant, each contestant competed in a talent and evening gown segment and was given a question to answer. There was a first and second runner-up and final walks. The finalist will be “featured along with campus queens from other historically Black colleges and universities in an upcoming issue of Ebony magazine.”
Child Guidance, p. 139
Vanity should not be encouraged by praising their looks, their words, or their actions.
- The Adventist Review of April 23, 2009 wrote about OU competing in the three-day Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. It stated the following:
- “While college basketball teams were competing for March Madness bragging rights, other highly gifted students were doing the same—just not on the basketball court.”
- OU “emerged victorious as the 2009 National Champions.”
- OU “beat second-place finisher North Carolina Central University to claim the championship and take home grant money for its school.”
- OU was allowed “to complete its rounds outside of the hours of the Sabbath.”
Being able to keep the Sabbath hours does not justify the competition and time wasted learning trivial knowledge. To receive grant money by competing is to receive ill-gotten gain.
The Signs of the Times, August 1, 1892
If your associates are worldlings who flatter you, telling you how smart you are, and what great things you can do, and you love this unhallowed nonsense, you may well feel that you are in peril; for your moral taste is perverted, your perceptions are blunted.
Music: An a cappella singing group from Oakwood competed on NBC’s “The Sing-off” and won the national singing championship title. They sang one of Michael Jackson’s songs as well as other popular music. First prize was $100,000 and a Sony Music recording contract. How tragic that our young people today are being encouraged to join with the world in its fame and fortune, rather than seeking the humble life of Jesus and heavenly treasures.
The university’s radio station plays a blend of “Inspirational Christian, Lite Urban Gospel, and Adult Contemporary music.”
Student activities: Oakwood’s United Student Movement includes these activities: Back to School Block Party; Intramural Sport Competitions; Oak Awards; and Academic Bowl Competitions.
Pacific Union College (PUC), California
PUC’s diversity statement says “to welcome students of other faith traditions into our community and conversation, valuing their perspectives while respectfully sharing our own.” While it is biblical to respect mankind, it is not biblical to value their perspectives if they are unbiblical.
Many SDA colleges, including PUC, have recently added a film and television major, including drama.
Worship at PUC involves the following:
- “Sunset Med” on Friday night after Vespers to “celebrate” with “modern praise and worship,” singing with friends and a “wide variety of bands.”
- “Virtuous Dudes” is a “group of extraordinary men” who meets on Monday nights to “worship God in the Newton sauna.” They are “digging deeper into spiritual views” or hearing special guests speak. It is “where inspiration meets perspiration.”
- In Dauphinee Chapel, you can “stumble upon several dozen girls in PJs and slippers, singing at the top of their lungs.” It is called “Virtuous Women,” which meets once a month with “powerful speakers, fun giveaways like fuzzy slippers and jelly beans, and all-girl praise bands to help the girls get their jam on and sing the stress away.”
- The collegiate Sabbath School includes not only lesson studies but “lots of contemporary Christian music.”
- “The Gathering” is a contemporary worship service held at the PUC Church at 12:10 p.m. for people who prefer “modern and popular genres of music.”
- Each Sabbath from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the PUC Church families “host tables with drinks, food, and conversation to get you connected and nourished.”
Sports and athletics includes the gymnasium where students play sports in “formal and informal groups,” the fitness center and weight room, climbing wall, pool, track, tennis courts, and “popular intramurals to league sport teams.” The Pioneers teams include men’s and women’s basketball and cross country, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, in which they play in the California Pacific Conference, a division of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics. PUC’s Winter 2010 Viewpoint magazine included a photo of PUC students with the caption stating “Midnight Madness: At a late night pep rally, students met the Pioneers teams, held contests, and won t-shirts.” The school’s Intramural Program involves “playing everything from ultimate Frisbee to floor hockey” and “offers team schedules, sports-talk podcasts, and photo galleries.” Mountain bike races are held twice a year.
The Pacific Union Recorder for July 2010 included information on 16 PUC psychology majors and 4 professors attending the Western Psychological Association convention in Cancun, Mexico. The convention was sponsored by Psi Chi, which is the National Honor Society in Psychology. Besides being Greek letters, psi and chi are also used as psychology terms. “Psi” is a term from parapsychology and related to extrasensory perception (ESP), mental telepathy, and “energy transfer.” In modern times, it is known as “psychic.” “Chi” in Chinese philosophy is the “circulating life energy” or “universal life force” that is believed to be in all things. It is also thought to be an “internal energy” that flows through the acupuncture meridians to bring “life-giving force” to the body’s organs. Does this sound like a society that a Christian should be involved in?
PUC’s Winter 2009 Viewpoint magazine included the following:
- The cover graphic displayed a prayer labyrinth.
- Professor Greg Schneider, who started PUC’s Chapter of Amnesty International, stated that “finding spiritual balance is like finding this core balance in the physical sense — finding ‘your Zen center’ even though sometimes it takes floundering around to get there.”
- Robert Kurtz, who is the dean of men in Newton Hall, emphasized the importance of “being still as part of developing spiritual discipline.”
The radio station at PUC, known as “The Candle,” plays Christian rock. Below are some advertisements from its website.
- A “West Coast Women of the Word” non-SDA retreat with a statement from their website that their “goal and prayer is for this circle of sisters in Christ to become a connection to other sisters so that all Women of the Word from all denominations, serve and worship GOD together.” As wonderful as it sounds, true SDA women of the Word cannot go to worship with other denominations without the risk of becoming “women of the world.”
- Audio Adrenaline Unplugged (Christian rock and alternative rock group) concert held on Saturday to benefit the Rock of Ages Festival (Christian hard rock). It was an “intimate evening with a catered dinner & private concert in the Napa Valley vineyards!”
- “David Crowder Band” playing “progressive electronic rock.” Their latest album “Church Music” was advertised as a “reminder of the continual evolvement of music within the Church.” Regrettably, Christian music has evolved into Satanic music. On one David Crowder video it is interesting to note that video graphics displayed a unicorn, a leprechaun, an owl, and fairy dust. Notice the following descriptions.
Paganism and its adherents believe the Unicorn is a symbol of the coming World Teacher, The Christ, who will eventually appear to lead mankind to collectively higher consciousness level and to a thousand year period of peace and safety.
“The Christ” will actually be Satan when he comes to impersonate the true Christ before His Second Coming.
(continued from above)
...owls in the occult are associated with death, sorcery, and the dark side of life.
Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny creatures who could use their magical powers for good or evil. In Celtic folklore, the lobaircin were cranky fairies who mended the shoes of the other fairies. They were also mischievous and delighted in trickery, which they used to guard their fabled treasure.
- Sabbath announcements have included such non-SDA Saturday events as holiday craft bazaars; dropping off and unloading of mission fundraiser items; listening to a bishop at an apostolic church; a Peace & Unity Prayer Walk at a Church of God in Christ; and a Christian rock concert to “honor the troops” on Armed Forces Day.
Why does the faculty of PUC allow such advertising on the school’s radio station? Do they not realize what kind of messages it sends to those who listen to it or what it does to the students and community who may be involved in such activities? The station’s music and ads leave its “candle” unlit.
The Rasmussen Art Gallery is located in the PUC campus mall and “offers students and community a stimulating and enriching cultural dimension in the visual arts. The gallery’s exhibitions provide exposure to contemporary work as well as to historically significant art.” It is open 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during exhibitions. One campus poster displayed artwork at the gallery featuring a collage with parts of faces which can only be described as defacing the image of God.
A poster about donating blood included a photo of a young woman in a martial arts pose and outfit with the words “Find the hero in you.”
Another poster included the following information, along with a clown photo: "PUC Student Association and the senior class of 2011 present: Cirque du Soleil: Quidam. Tickets are $40 . . . First 50 people to buy tickets are entered into a raffle to win a $25 gift card from restaurants.com."
The Grind coffee shop is located in the PUC Campus Center. The center’s nightly schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Neighborhood Night, where clubs and groups are encouraged to be active in the community.
- Tuesday: Tournament/Game Night, which includes multiple games or group games like bingo.
- Wednesday: Open Mic Night, which is a mini talent show.
- Thursday: Movie Night, where everything is shown from old classics to new releases.
- Friday: Interactions, an after vespers time of “fun” for students to “hang out and socialize.”
- Always at the Campus Center: 24/7 CNN and daily New York Times, billiards, cinema room to “play your own movies,” etc.
A plaque has been inlaid into the sidewalk at PUC that reads, “Adventist Education: A Journey to Excellence.” Also inlaid is an individual star shape for each SDA college with its name’s initials, along with students’ hands and names imprinted around each star, like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. With what has been described in this section, PUC’s education is not a picture of excellence. On God’s records, it is flunking. What would Ellen White say today about this school on the hill not far from her last home, known as Elmshaven? PUC is no longer preparing its students for the heavenly world.
Southern Adventist University (SAU), Tennessee
Columns, the SAU magazine, featured the following information:
- Four graphic design majors were awarded two Silver ADDY awards and one Best of Show; an associate professor won two Gold and two Silver ADDY awards. One student “felt very honored to receive such a prestigious recognition.”
- A student wins the Southern 6 Trail Race held on campus. He “swept past 129 other racers to take home the first place prize.” After the winners received their trophies, the racers were encouraged by the reminder that “everybody who won first place just set a course record.”
- The intramural sports program is to “enhance the educational, recreational, and cultural experiences for students and employees.” “We are going to strive to make God, our Creator, proud by recognizing that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).” The program fosters a “social, moral, healthy, and safe environment. Sports are not an end, but rather a means to an end: a healthy, balanced life.” Where in God’s Word does it mention that intramural sports will do all those wonderful things?
- SAU has nine performing groups that travel worldwide, “showcasing Southern's talented students. Whether you're into music, gymnastics, drama, or simply enjoying the show, Southern's performing groups are sure to please.”
- Destiny Drama Company is SAU’s “theatrical ministry, performing sketches and plays with an uplifting message.” They are “committed to communicating these stories [from Scripture] in ways that are culturally relevant, artistically engaging, and excellently performed.”
- Gym-Masters, SAU’s anti-drug acrobatic team, has “wowed crowds of school children, NBA [National Basketball Association] fans, and Southern students for more than 25 years. Gym-Masters promotes a positive, healthy lifestyle through its roof-raising performances.”
- “From cool jazz to heavenly choral arias . . . musical groups at Southern run the gamut. The campus is also home to numerous independent bands from almost every genre.”
- Student organizations include the Film and Animation Research Society (FARS), a juggling club, and a Psi Chi club.
SAU’s radio station plays classical music during the week and some opera on Sundays. Below are some advertisements from its website.
- Hamilton Community Theatre presenting “The Belle of Amherst,” a play based on the poet Emily Dickinson, with performances staged at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
- Chattanooga Theatre Centre presenting the comedy “The Book of Liz.”
- Fundraiser: 5K Mud Run by Habitat for Humanity, featuring a military-style obstacle course race in the mud. (This event took place on Saturday, August 28.) http://www.chattanoogamudrun.com
- A free concert (at a non-SDA college) featuring classical and jazz music. (This performance was held on Friday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.–after sundown.) http://www.bryan.edu/arts
- The Girls Preparatory School (non-SDA) hosted “Barrage,” a string group eclectic show of music, song, and dance.
- Lee University (non-SDA) hosting the puppetry company Wood and Strings Theatre in the stage productions “Out of the Mist a Dragon” and “Ananse! Early in the Day.”
This link shows SAU students in September 2006 on the campus lawn playing their guitars, drums, singing, swaying, clapping, and cheering to a Christian rock song—all approved of by the faculty.
The November 18, 2010 Adventist Review proudly featured an article about the SAU student who appeared on the Jeopardy College Championship and stated that he is the first to represent the school on the popular national television quiz show. The student said that “to have the opportunity to put my college in the national spotlight is truly an honor.” He also stated that he appreciates the fact that SAU provides the college bowl competitions and that these were a major factor in keeping his interest in trivia alive.
Why do our Church papers and websites bring attention to those who compete in game shows, music shows, and so on? They should be ashamed and instead be warning against it, explaining why it is not something Jesus would do. Not only is the attention on self and the competition destructive to spirituality, most of the trivia that must be learned is not conducive to eternal salvation.
The Ministry of Healing, p. 456
We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are so often given to comparatively insignificant things.
...Even an acquaintance with facts and theories important in themselves is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life....
The question for us to study is, "What is truth--the truth that is to be cherished, loved, honored, and obeyed?"...What they need to inquire at this time is, "What is the truth that will enable us to win the salvation of our souls?"
The information below comes from a theology student who attended SAU.
- Student socials including Karaoke with rock music and entertainment; a “fall festival” and dressing up in costumes at Halloween time; SAU’s president walking around campus in a Santa Claus suit at Christmas time.
- Worship involving contemporary Christian songs with no hymnals.
- “Connect” is a contemporary worship service held at the Collegedale SDA Church. “After Glow” is a late night Friday program after Vespers.
- Non-SDAs invited to speak, such as a New Age pastor, with those types of books promoted in the school library.
- Jewelry allowed to be worn, in spite of the school code to the contrary.
- Majority of the students dressing immodestly, even the young men.
- Not a lot of practical teaching, mostly book work.
- Evolution taught as an option.
- Teaching modern psychology ideas, which are not from the Bible.
- More focus on being successful rather than on missionary work.
- Joking about the health message.
- Intramurals for all sports, separated by competitive leagues.
- Immersing the theology students in New Theology books and those that show the Bible as just another book subject to the speculations of men. The student acknowledged the importance of receiving a brief introduction into the thoughts and ideas around us, but that SAU expects the ministerial students to immerse themselves in darkness and still come out filled with light. The student concluded with, “God help the future of Adventism.”
- Beliefs and actions of certain religion teachers: Society should be the rule on women’s ordination, not the Bible; we are not seeing signs of Christ’s soon return; teaching of spiritual formation, New Age, etc. and leaving the conclusion to the students; discussing political preferences, such as who should be voted for as president of the U.S.; discussing movies watched, such as “Training Day” (drama/thriller/crime); and downplaying Ellen White.
Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 107-108
By many, man's wisdom is thought to be higher than the wisdom of the divine Teacher, and God's lesson book is looked upon as old-fashioned, stale, and uninteresting. But by those who have been vivified by the Holy Spirit it is not so regarded. They see the priceless treasure, and would sell all to buy the field that contains it. Instead of books containing the suppositions of reputedly great authors, they choose the word of Him who is the greatest author and the greatest teacher the world has ever known, who gave His life for us, that through Him we might have everlasting life.
Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 477
Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. The tithe should not be used to pay any one for speechifying on political questions. Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm.
Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 48
There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 217
The church has turned back from following Christ her leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus.
The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 172
I would warn all my ministering brethren, and especially the young, never to touch an infidel book, never to present infidel cavils. Some have thought it essential to understand these, that they might know how to meet objectors. In our college, debaters have been educated by considering objections to the Bible. This has sometimes been done by our students for the purpose of bringing the light of truth in contrast with infidel arguments. In times when the soul is under temptation, Satan causes the seeds of doubt that are thus sown to germinate, and they blossom into fruit. Discipline of this order is a dangerous discipline for our students. Never give the least sanction to the presentation of infidel arguments. Turn from them as you would from a serpent, for there is concealed in them a sting that would wound the soul.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 532-533
God has revealed to me that we are in positive danger of bringing into our educational work the customs and fashions that prevail in the schools of the world. If teachers are not guarded, they will place on the necks of their students worldly yokes instead of the yoke of Christ. The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing years of the message is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted.
For this reason, God bids us establish schools away from the cities, where, without let or hindrance, we can carry on the education of students upon plans that are in harmony with the solemn message committed to us for the world. Such an education as this can best be worked out where there is land to cultivate and where the physical exercise taken by the students can be of such a nature as to act a valuable part in their character building and fit them for usefulness in the fields to which they shall go.
God will bless those schools that are conducted according to His design.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU), Texas
Sports: SWAU’s sports include men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, and women’s volleyball. Intramural sports include softball, volleyball, flag football, basketball, futsal, and hockey. There is also a gymnastics team, S.W.A.T. (Southwestern Acrobatic Team). The following SDA colleges and universities are involved with Acrofest: Andrews University, Washington Adventist University, Southern Adventist University, Southwestern Adventist University, and Union College. Here are sample videos and what is shown:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXU5RtWhpjk: Acrofest 2010 Gym-Master Promo
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa9gvod8ORo&feature=related: SWAU Acrofest 2009
Ozark Adventist Academy Acrofest 2009 Routine at SWAU
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_aMD_CbviQ: Sports Report on the SWAU Knights Flag Football League for KGSW Channel 31
Humanities competition: On March 24-26, 2011 SWAU hosted its seventh “Brain Games” weekend with an Intelligence Quotient Humanities competition held on Saturday night. The theme, called “Code JFK,” will be based on the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The competition is an endeavor to “foster students’ appreciation of the humanities” (literature, art, history, communication, economics, etc.) and is hosted by five different departments at SWAU. Participants come from high schools around the U.S. Each school is encouraged to bring their top three humanities students, as well as a sponsor. There are first, second, and third place Team Knowledge Competition winners. Friday included sniper training and paintball sniping with the best team getting a head start on the code breaking. Why would an SDA university want to glorify shooting and dwell on an assassination?
In 2008, SWAU students performed a French comedy entitled Tartuffe in which a hypocrite attempts to destroy the domestic happiness of a citizen who is charmed by his seeming piety. The play includes theft and lust.
The Resurrection Pageant is held yearly at SWAU on a Saturday during Easter time. In 2009 (the fourth year of performance), there were six showings held from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. which took the crowd through stages of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It was sponsored by SWAU and Keene SDA churches, along with the assistance of the community and local businesses. In 2008 about 200 community members, SWAU students, and members from the Keene SDA Church volunteered to be actors, actresses, or support staff. There were eight performances (six in English and two in Spanish).
Music and entertainment:
In 2008, The Southwesterner (published by the SWAU Department of Communication) included information about SWAU’s 2008 formal banquet (Mimosa), which was held at a modern art museum, with fun, food, “great modern art” and “great entertainment,” including a live jazz band. A photograph was included of four student couples with the ladies in provocative evening gowns. The same year, two SWAU student musical groups (Sernsations and Elevan) performed contemporary music at a concert for a local Dallas band (Tonite Tonite). These two groups met during a Music Fest and decided to join together.
The university’s radio station plays contemporary Christian rock music. Below is a sample of advertised events.
- An ecumenical women’s conference held annually.
- “Coffee Talk”: Held at a Presbyterian church on a Saturday morning as a time for women to share their “faith journey” and “come together in a simple comfortable fashion to enjoy breakfast and conversation.”
- “InsideOut”: A Christian conference for teen girls held on Friday and all day Saturday at a conference center to learn “issues such as self-esteem, self-respect, relationships, etiquette, and style.” Features include a Christian speaker and author and a contemporary Christian rock group. Friday featured “an amazing VIP after-party.” Saturday featured a luncheon, style-show, and lots of drawings for great give-aways!”
- “Nurturing of Women's Hearts – Solitude, Silence and Prayer”: Held at a Church of Christ on Saturday morning and afternoon for women to “explore ways in which Jesus balanced rest, renewal, mission and ministry in His life and how solitude, silence and prayer provide a foundation addressing the demands of work and daily living.” The guest speaker was the Senior Advisor to the President of Abilene Christian University. She also leads the StillPoint ministry for faculty and staff that helps them “learn and experience the spiritual disciplines of solitude, silence and prayer.”
Union College (UC), Nebraska
Music and drama:
- Those in the Music Club attend various musicals each year, such as Wicked (based on a novel about witches), Camelot (comedy/drama/fantasy), and West Side Story (based on a modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare).
- UC’s drama department presented a Shakespeare play entitled The Tempest, which includes revenge, hurt, loss, and betrayal. The director of the play shared that she was “honored and excited to be directing it” and that they have “hard-working and talented actors and a passionate and enthusiastic creative team.” It is a shame that all that hard work, talent, passion, enthusiasm, and creativity is not used for something worthwhile.
- An annual Talent Show was held on the UC campus with a request to “see your fellow students showing off their amazing abilities.” The “most outstanding performances” were rewarded with cash prizes. The musical acts ranged from traditional to modern and entertainment that “may score some laughs or even bring a tear to your eye.” True SDAs are shedding tears of sadness to see their young people entertaining, playing modern music, and being rewarded for “showing off.”
Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 286
In our institutions of learning there was to be exerted an influence that would counteract the influence of the world, and give no encouragement to indulgence in appetite, in selfish gratification of the senses, in pride, ambition, love of dress and display, love of praise and flattery, and strife for high rewards and honors as a recompense for good scholarship. All this was to be discouraged in our schools.
- A musical comedy entitled That's What Makes Them Pirates! was premiered on the UC campus. It was written and composed by Mike Mennard, an English professor at UC. Campus Conversations included an announcement that after opening night, the musical “sold out every performance,” which inspired an encore show. Attendees were also encouraged to “don their piratey best for a costume contest at each performance.” A UC student, who plays the part of a parrot, believed that the children would be their best audience. She stated that “children tend to get intensely involved in a story until it becomes real to them.” It was stated that “throughout the dancing, avenging, and romancing of the pirates, the audience will be asked to participate in this musical comedy for all ages,” that it would be “one of the most special events Union College has ever put on” and that “there is a magic in this play that is contagious.” If this type of event is “one of the most special” that has been held on this campus, it is in deep trouble, because the “magic” comes from beneath not above.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 367-368
Those who take the lead in these frivolities bring upon the cause a stain not easily effaced. They wound their own souls, and will carry the scars through their lifetime. The evildoer may see his sins and repent, and God may pardon the transgressor; but the power of discernment which ought ever to be kept keen and sensitive to distinguish between the sacred and the common, is in a great measure destroyed.
Mennard performed contemporary gospel music throughout the U.S. in the 1990s. His music has been incorporated into children’s or family music, known as “fun, zany songs.” In 2004, he recorded his first “family project—Something's Rotting in the Fridge, a collection of utter weirdness,” and a “constant parade of laughs.” He teaches college students “about the values of poetry, yet he believes that one is never too young to learn to appreciate rhythm and rhyme (and wacky humor!).” He has also performed at local public schools and libraries and for Parks and Recreation as well as other cities in Nebraska. Mennard states that he loves children’s audiences because he feels the “freedom to be me—which means to be wacky—and to play with all styles of music,” such as “bluegrass next to rock and roll next to opera.”
The following was held by the UC Associated Student Body (ASB):
- A holiday Madrigal feast hosted by “Lord and Lady Mennard,” (the English professor and his wife). (A madrigal is 16th century, secular, vocal music without instruments.) The show included music, a “splendid feast,” and “even a dueling of swords.” Renaissance attire was recommended.
- An Indian “adventure” at ASB's fall banquet. The theme was Indian formal attire including a costume contest with cash prizes. There was Indian cuisine and entertainment, henna painting (temporary skin tattoos), and Bhangra dancing. Bhangra is a type of music and dance known for its lively rhythms and drum beats and is becoming popular worldwide.
- An ASB mafia-style video, introducing the new ASB officers. It was stated that “it was a lot of fun to shoot,” and “so enjoyable to see the end-result.” Unfortunately, these students are involved in activities that one day they may regret. If continued, the “end result” will not be enjoyable. Why are teachers allowing these types of videos?
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 127
Whatever is crooked, whatever is twisted out of the right line, is to be plainly pointed out and avoided; for it is iniquity not to be perpetuated. It is important that every teacher should love and cherish sound principles and doctrines, for this is the light to be reflected upon the pathway of all students.
- A video was made for a 2010/2011 literacy fundraising project for Hope for Humanity (formerly called Ingathering). The video was not representative of SDA Christian young people. It was difficult to tell if they were students from an SDA college. http://asb.ucollege.edu/node?page=1
Sports included the following:
- UC advertised the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosting the “Shaolin Warriors,” an acrobatic martial arts team.
- Sports at UC include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s volleyball, the Gymnaires acrobatics, as well as flag football, softball, floor hockey, and Ultimate Disc.
- An annual World Cup Soccer Tournament was hosted by the ASB and the International Club. It was announced to come to the 49ers field (on campus) for “great food and sports entertainment.”
- The Thunderdome (UC’s gymnasium) “rocked again” at the annual ASB Dodgeball Tournament. Cash prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place winners of the tournament and the “parade of teams” costume contest. It was announced that they hoped “to see all your game faces at The Dome.”
- “Moodle” is UC’s website for intramural sports leagues. It stated that athletic performance groups visit churches in the Mid-America Union Conference of SDAs.
- UC’s competition includes games against non-SDA colleges.
Walla Walla University (WWU), Washington
The WWU Drama Department is a Theatre Arts program on campus that is “dedicated to creating uplifting, creative and professional theatre for the community.” It has performed shows since 1961 with everything from Alice in Wonderland, Shakespeare, Hamlet, Mark Twain, The Pirates of Penzance, to Mystery College Theatre 5000: Plan 9 From Outer Space in 2005, which is a 1958 horror and science fiction movie. Those types of shows most assuredly do not uplift Christ.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare, which was directed by WWU students, was included in the 2009-2010 season. It is a “classic tale” that involves four lovers in an enchanted forest who are helped by a mischievous trickster, fairy royalty, and a magic flower in order to learn that love is still a hope worth having. This show “won six awards, including the rarely received ensemble award.” The 2010-2011 season includes an adaptation from C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was given four awards and two nominations by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The cast and crew “put in around 100 hours of rehearsal time,” not including time spent “building sets, costuming, finding props, learning lines, and other miscellaneous activities.” All the hours, energy, and money could have been put toward something that brought glory to God rather than to “lovers of pleasure.”
The WWU Spanish class was required to create a 30-minute television show mini-drama for the final project in Spring 2008. A two-minute “commercial” for the video was entitled “Viva La Fanta!” and was filmed on campus. It portrayed a male student skateboarding to rock music in shorts and no shirt, with fake tattoos. Next he is seen speaking in Spanish with evil facial grimacing and appears portrayed as a gang member. The next scene shows another male student pouring a bottle of Fanta drink over this “gang member’s” head, then a pie thrown in his face and more drink poured over his body while he rubs his chest and gyrates his body.
A 2009 WWU Amateur Hour video entitled “I'm in a Church” featured the students doing a rap song while acting in the sanctuary of a Walla Walla SDA church. It was a parody of a worldly and vulgar video entitled “I'm on a Boat,” and surely offended the heavenly Father in many ways.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hsm912iStM
This video featured WWU students at an October 2010 “barn party,” one of the largest school events of the year. Many students were dressed in silly, provocative, or Satanic costumes. Pumpkin smashing and line dancing were included in the events. http://vimeo.com/18452564
Are the minds of the students dwelling on Jesus while involved in the above activities? What is the school administration thinking when they allow such foolishness?
Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 126
Could the curtain that separates us from the invisible world be rolled back, you would behold the Saviour grieved to see men absorbed in the pleasures of the table, in hilarity and witticism, that put Christ, the center of the world's hope, out of their thoughts.
In April 2007, WWU debuted the first jazz band the university has ever had. Mike Agidius, the university’s jazz ensemble director, shared with a Union Bulletin reporter that it was “an honor to have been chosen to lead Walla Walla College students into uncharted territory” and that many had never played jazz before and some had never been exposed to that style. He added that he has tried to have the students “understand the elements of swing, rock, funk, ballad and Latin music.” For 17 years, Agidius has taught jazz and the saxophone from sixth-graders to a jazz band that has “consistently brought home trophies.” As a lifelong SDA, he believes that the Church “threw the baby out with the bathwater by dismissing jazz in the past” and that it was the “associations that went with the music, not the music” that was bad. He is “thrilled” that there is a jazz band at WWU, that it is a “valuable part of the college.” Agidius goes on to explain that jazz concerts “are more likely to appeal to different audiences, bringing in those from outside the religion,” that it is something “to get us out of our bubble,” and that it would come from the young people. He concludes by saying that he expects WWU to be “one of the top college jazz bands anywhere.” One student who is a newcomer to jazz shared that playing it on his trumpet is “very exciting” and that it “gets your pulse going.” He believes it will “make him more marketable as a high school music instructor.” One can certainly see an underlying theme of wanting the world’s success and popular music. Is that what SDAs are to crave? If so, then they will never have the joy of making “heaven’s arches ring.”
At WWU you can hear anything from “praise songs, classical piano, a steel drum band, a gospel choir or even a full orchestra.” Or you could “enjoy a rockin' early morning worship service at the Awakening.”
WWU’s radio station, Positive Life Radio (KGTS), plays Christian contemporary music. It advertises that it “brings the glory of God to its listeners through the beauty of his words and music.” As stated before, this kind of music is not from God.
The following announcement comes from Facebook online by the Associated Students of WWU (ASWWU): “Want to spend a semester away in Nashville learning the music biz? Study Rock n' Roll? Record in a professional studio? Learn songwriting from the pros? Design lighting for a rock show? and get 16 credits toward your degree at WWU?? It can happen at The Contemporary Music Center... apply for spring 2011 now!” Much more absurdity can be viewed on ASWWU’s Facebook, such as the ad for “Tribal Feast”: “Feed the appetite. Come enjoy some screaming, pizza, kebobs, and fire. It will be screamin' delicious!”
Sports: The WWU sports include men’s soccer and basketball and women’s volleyball, basketball, and softball. Floor hockey and Ultimate Disc are also included. Teams compete against non-SDA schools.
The North Pacific Union Gleaner featured an article announcing Tony Campolo as a guest speaker at WWU in February 2008. What was the school thinking when it decided to invite someone like Campolo who promotes contemplative spirituality? The opening remarks of this article stated that the mission of the SDA educational system is to “prepare young people for success in the 21st century and beyond.” By promoting those such as Campolo, the young people are being prepared for worldly success.
One January 2008 seminar was entitled “What On Earth Are We Doing: Christians and the Environment.” A more appropriate seminar would have been “What On Earth Are We Doing: Adventists and the Ecumenical Movement.” http://www.gleaneronline.org/103/1/34188.html
An email sent to the For My People Ministry told of an individual who had attended a couple of SDA schools and, particularly, that when he left WWU, he did not know what he believed and left the SDA faith for a period of time. It is only by God’s grace that he has come back. Many will not.
The leadership at this school is doing as Aaron did when he allowed the dancing around the golden calf. He made the excuse that it was the people’s fault, not his. The WWU administration has used the same excuse. Leaders should lead others to Christ, not follow the world’s ways.
Washington Adventist University (WAU), Maryland
WAU is proud of their 13 sports programs, where students “compete around the country,” while “putting Christ first.” How can students put Christ first when they are not even following Christ’s words or His example? WAU sports consists of baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball, as well as “a renown gymnastics performance squad” named the Acro-Airs. Each squad “has its own bragging rights and looks to continue to improve.” The team also performs half-time shows for NBA games (National Basketball Association). Competition is held with non-SDAs and the new name for the teams is “The Shock.” SDAs should be in shock by the competition that occurs on this and other SDA campuses as well as by the honor given to “exceptional” players and mention of defeating their opponents. Instead of defeating other teams, they should defeat Satan’s temptations and give honor to God.
WAU history and political studies majors are involved in mock trial competitions with non-SDA universities by receiving “Best Lawyer” and “Best Witness” awards. One of the WAU winners stated that she was “confident from this point on that we will do nothing less than build on our success.” Those students may be receiving “Best Witness” awards now, but when Christ returns, will He be able to say they were the best witnesses for Him?
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 64
There is an education which is essentially worldly. Its aim is success in the world, the gratification of selfish ambition. To secure this education many students spend time and money in crowding their minds with unnecessary knowledge. The world accounts them learned; but God is not in their thoughts. They eat of the tree of worldly knowledge, which nourishes and strengthens pride. In their hearts they become disobedient and estranged from God; and their entrusted gifts are placed on the enemy's side. Much of the education at the present time is of this character. The world may regard it as highly desirable; but it increases the peril of the student.
Child Guidance, p. 141
The parent or teacher who keeps in view the true ideal of character and the possibilities of achievement cannot cherish or encourage self-sufficiency. He will not encourage in the youth the desire or effort to display their ability or proficiency. He who looks higher than himself will be humble, yet he will possess a dignity that is not abashed or disconcerted by outward display or human greatness.
WAU’s station is advertised as a “family friendly contemporary Christian music station.”
Its mission is to “introduce and nurture a relationship with Jesus Christ, through music consistent with God’s Word and today’s adult music tastes.” In order to do this, they will “provide an entertaining family friendly safe haven; provide hope and encouragement for the Washington D.C. area; and provide resources to grow in Christ.” The radio staff will accomplish that mission by being a people of “prayer, integrity, compassion and self-sacrifice, while at all times giving their best for His glory.” Can we honestly say that the station’s mission will be accomplished by the following?
- Playing Christian rock music.
- Advertising concerts by the world’s music idols of Christian rock music and calling it “a powerful praise experience.”
- Sponsoring Gateway Fellowship as a Christian gathering every Saturday night, with the goal “to show the importance of loving God and loving people,” a place to hear short inspirational messages and sing favorite songs from the radio (including Christian rock).
- Including the following on their morning show: Ads for movies and movie reviews; a story from Oprah Winfrey’s website; discussion of Oprah (again) and the fall television season; “Dance with Cinderella” Walt Disney World ad; and plenty of other nonsense.
We wonder why our college radio stations cannot play traditional hymns and soft gospel songs all week with Bible readings and discard movie, television, celebrity talk, and so forth. Some radio stations worldwide follow that plan with no problem. That is the only way to carry out the mission of providing a family friendly station that gives their best for God’s glory.
Music and Drama:
Each fall, WAU hosts a writers’ conference for academy students. After arriving on campus and “settling in,” the group took a WAU coach ride to Baltimore’s CenterStage to “take in a production of The Wiz.” It is a 1970s musical play based on the The Wizard of Oz. It was announced as a “big hit,” and many of the students “had their pictures taken with the cast after the program.”
WAU advertised a “family friendly concert series” “for all ages” to benefit a food bank. It featured “D.O.G.S. of Pray,” a Christian metal (hard rock) group. The “soft” rock is bad enough. How can an SDA university approve of even more Satanic music as alright for children? Because the event is for a “good cause” does not justify this type of music. An online description of the rock group stated that they are “far from your grandmother’s Christianity of clean cut brow beating self righteousness,” and that they “seek to bring Christianity back to the meek, the lost, and the oppressed.” It went on to say that “for far too many people, the word ‘Christian’ has come to mean bigot, and hypocrite,” but that D.O.G.S. of Pray “are working to redefine it into what it should mean: Love and service to God.” More than likely this group does not realize that their service is not to God. However, the SDA administration at this school should certainly know better.
WAU students have performed or watched musical plays such as My Fair Lady, Cinderella, South Pacific, and Phantom of the Opera. The director stated that “these fun performances will offer good singing” and feels that this is a “great opportunity to showcase” WAU’s talent to the community. She explained that the music department “does so much in the areas of sacred and choral works” that the musical plays will allow students to “be well-rounded in their liberal arts education.” The education may be well-rounded as far as the world is concerned, but it is not well-grounded as far as God is concerned.
Friday evenings include “Singspiration” where students “testify, sing and seek the power of the Holy Spirit.” The power of the Holy Spirit will never come to WAU or any other SDA college as long as there continues to be the kind of activities that have been mentioned and that have been made worse through accreditation. The State can and has represented the academic freedom of the schools’ instructors. In God’s eyes, those teachers will be held accountable for leading students astray.
Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 98
In what consists the superior excellence of our systems of education? Is it in the classical literature which is crowded into our sons? Is it in the ornamental accomplishments which our daughters obtain at the sacrifice of health or mental strength? Is it in the fact that modern instruction is so generally separated from the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation? Does the chief excellence of popular education consist in treating the individual branches of study, apart from that deeper investigation which involves the searching of the Scriptures, and a knowledge of God and the future life? Does it consist in imbuing the minds of the young with heathenish conceptions of liberty, morality, and justice? Is it safe to trust our youth to the guidance of those blind leaders who study the sacred oracles with far less interest than they manifest in the classical authors of ancient Greece and Rome?
The Review and Herald, October 30, 1900
How can our youth be shielded from these contaminating influences? There must be schools established upon the principles, and controlled by the precepts, of God's word. Another spirit must be in our schools, to animate and sanctify every branch of education. Divine co-operation must be fervently sought. And we shall not seek in vain. The promises of God's word are ours. We may expect the presence of the heavenly Teacher. We may see the Spirit of the Lord diffused as in the schools of the prophets, and every object partake of a divine consecration.
The SDA academies and elementary schools are just as much in trouble morally as the colleges. It is up to parents to know what their children are being taught. The educational leaders should be appalled at what they have allowed in SDA schools. If they do not repent of this apostasy, God will hold them accountable for the eternal loss of the majority of the students. They are far from realizing the seriousness of the current situation.
Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 108
Teachers who mingle the sentiments of infidel authors with the education they are giving, plant in the minds of youth thoughts that will lead to distrust of God and transgression of His law. Little do they know what they are doing. Little do they realize what will be the result of their work.
Christian Education, p. 247
Shall the powers of mind and soul be misapplied? Shall opportunities be lost? Shall a form and routine be gone through day after day, with nothing gained? O, awake, awake, teachers and pupils, before it is too late! Awake before you hear from pale and agonized lips the terrible wail, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!" [Jeremiah 8:20]
The Review and Herald, January 10, 1899
The Lord would have the education in our schools such as will advance every pupil in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. A great mistake is made by teachers when they give their students the impression that in order to reach perfection in literary attainments, they must sip at the impure fountain where customs and traditions and errors that are hoary with age continue to flow. This is the greatest dishonor that can be done to God.
Christian Education, p. 71
Shall the sentiments of unbelievers, the expressions of dissolute men, be advocated as worthy of the student's attention, because they are the productions of men whom the world admires as great thinkers? Shall men professing to believe in God, gather from these unsanctified authors their expressions and sentiments, and treasure them up as precious jewels to be stored away among the riches of the mind?--God forbid.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 402
I am instructed to say to students, In your search for knowledge climb higher than the standard set by the world; follow where Jesus has led the way. And to teachers I would say, Beware how you sow the seeds of unbelief in human hearts and minds. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. The crowning glory of Christ's attributes is His holiness. The angels bow before Him in adoration, exclaiming, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." Revelation 4:8. He is declared to be glorious in His holiness. Study the character of God. By beholding Christ, by seeking Him in faith and prayer, you may become like Him.
There is hope for the SDA educational system, if they follow the instructions as penned below.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 145
Though in many respects our institutions of learning have swung into worldly conformity, though step by step they have advanced toward the world, they are prisoners of hope. Fate has not so woven its meshes about their workings that they need to remain helpless and in uncertainty. If they will listen to His voice and follow in His ways, God will correct and enlighten them, and bring them back to their upright position of distinction from the world.