A Firing Troubles Educators, Pastors, and Donors in the Oregon Conference

There are several issues that don’t pass the smell test. Assuming the supporting testimonials are credible, the real reason for termination was not primarily financial, unless Crosby was getting income off the books. As an employee, I might be jealous for the bonuses that were part of the program, but I could be persuaded that leaders of Adventist education are deserving of a few perks. ExComms are quite pliable to the will and wishes of administrators, but to do this prior to the Nominating Committee and Conference Session really looks bad for administration. We can understand that administration has to respect privacy and cannot publicize the reasons for termination. They will have to bear the consequences when the limited facts that are known do not add up.

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How do we know the Conference President “can’t back it up”?

I think there is a lot of surmising going on here with not a lot of knowledge. I’m a friend of Gale’s as well as a friend of four or five people on the executive committee. I know all of them (Gale and the executive committee) to be careful and thoughtful as well as full of integrity I do not know the facts and most of us likely never will because of confidential personnel issues. I think we should stop casting blame and wait for those facts. If they ever come….

Not in the church! Within Adventism, and especially if you are progressive, you are presumed guilty until you prove your innocence.

In my experience, whoever pushes for the most conservative outcome - clearly the most holy - is automatically the winner. Progressive ideas are not welcome, despite the church’s mantra about the “present truth”, by which they mean the truth from about 1880.

For example, let’s say you send your kids to Adventist school. One day you get a call saying your kid is “dressed inappropriately” and isn’t wearing appropriate “Christian attire”. Who do you think got to set the standard for the completely-non-biblical idea of “Christian attire”. You can bet it was a committee of conservative parents (or grandparents), a pastor, and maybe some Dorcas ladies.

Similarly, church employees often feel the need to present themselves as if they are more conservative than they really are, and as if they follow all the church’s rules and restrictions, all the time. And if they don’t they often keep it a secret. Because if you’re progressive, or a little loose with the rules, you may well be fired or your carrier may be limited.

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Because the conference president was willing to allege moral malfeasance when it came to Crosby’s fiscal responsibility but didn’t provide any evidence for it. In other words, he’s dragging him through the mud to sully his reputation even though he can’t prove it happened. A typical weak-minded play. Either back it up or admit it was an at will firing because the conference president was jealous and chagrined like a David and Saul thing.

So far, Crosby is winning and the conference president looks really bad right now. He’s the one who dragged Crosby halfway through the mud and now thinks he can get by without saying anything more while allowing Crosby’a reputation to drown. So either we watch from a distance or reach in and bring Crosby to shore and find out what’s happening. I vote for the latter and if the conference president says nothing more than what he already said, the president should be fired or at least not re-elected.

As I said above, if you’re not working for the church, don’t. Treatment like this is more like the rule than the exception. No other employer except a cult will connect tales of your employment with suppositions about your eternal destination.

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“No other employer except a cult will connect tales of your employment with suppositions about your eternal destination.”

Unfortunately, no matter what institution you work for the, or what “church” you work for, the institution always comes first, not the individual. I have had family work for the Congregational Church, the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran and others. Treatment is similar when it comes to institution first. As far as eternal destination, the Adventist Church has severely belly-flopped but from my angle is getting better - maybe not your angle???

I will still reserve judgment for or against Crosby or the Oregon Conf. I have heard 2nd hand, not first, many, many concerns about Crosby. None of which interestingly were mentioned in the article. This may change though? We will see. Stay tuned.

Alexander,

Congrats on your extended coverage of the Crosby firing. This is the sort of investigative reporting that Adventism desperately needs!

You included a key insight that lies at the crux of this story–your paragraph about the age-old tension in Judeo-Christian history between the prophet and the priest. This is a modern-day case of the formidable organization that Adventism has built up not being big enough for a dedicated, upright innovator who raised funds so Adventist’s education could make great strides forward.

Thank you!

Jim

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”

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Yes, @Lindy, the American legal system is based on this premise. But in the case of SDA’s, the answer as found in Article #7 of the SDA Statement of Beliefs is a resounding “NO!”:

When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death.

Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences.

As has been annunciated by several commenters in this forum, this is taken to mean that humans are condemned from before birth, as everyone’s “original sin” goes all the way back to The Garden of Eden.

Thus, to be baptized into the church is a tacit admission that you concur with this predetermined death sentence and consider yourself guilty in the sight of god and man. For their part, and instead of allowing you to work out your own salvation, the church membership believes it has a duty to point out what those sins are.

To my mind this is an ungodly, anti-Christian enterprise and it is just one more in a long list of reasons why I renounced my baptism over 40 years ago and decided to confess my sins only to god and any person I have aggrieved.

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Reminds me of a situation 2000 years ago when a successful teacher became challenge to others ineffectiveness. Satan works in mysterious ways.

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i think you’re getting way too worked up over this original sin issue…first of all, people who actually know that the bible and egw teach that we are condemned and lost because of Adam and Eve’s sin, and through no act of our own, generally also know that we are approved by god and saved because of christ’s righteousness, also through no act of our own…so while it is true that we are fallen and subject to death because we are descended from Adam and Eve, it’s all the more true that we are fully justified and slated for eternal life because we are adopted by god through christ…

this profound, freeing truth that Paul teaches in Rom 5 overcomes all possible bitterness over the knowledge that we are negatively affected by Adam and Eve’s sin through no choice of our own…the point is that through the choice we are able to exercise in christ we are gaining much more than we have lost through Adam and Eve…and knowledge of this parallel contrast between inherited condemnation and justification in fact liberates us to accept with full assurance that our inherited condemnation no longer matters…in christ, we are sinless, and fully justified, as if we weren’t descended from Adam and Eve…

people undergoing baptism into the adventist church aren’t doing so in order to tacitly admit some concurrence with a predetermined death sentence…this is patently ridiculous…if they even understand original sin in the first place - and many don’t when they choose baptism, or ever - all they’re thinking about is the sure promise of eternal life through the life and death of christ…this is what they’re concurring with through their decision to be baptized…

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original sin teaches that the reason we die is because we’re related to Adam and Eve who made the choice to forfeit immortality…if. you don’t believe that that’s why we die, it doesn’t change the fact that everything in science demonstrates that we die…

original sin teaches that the reason there is evil within humanity is because we inherited this propensity from Adam and Eve who chose to introduce it into our genome…if you don’t believe that that’s why there is evil with the good in the human heart, it doesn’t change the fact that everything in history, from the cruelty practiced by the Incas and now the Russians, demonstrates that there is evil in the human heart…

original sin merely explains what we see with our own eyes…you can argue with that explanation, but you can’t argue with the facts that are being explained…by doing away with the explanation, you aren’t doing away with the evident reality that is being addressed…death and evil exist, whether you use the doctrine of original sin to explain it or not…

are people being damaged by the reality described in the doctrine of original sin that they’re seeing all around them…if so, they have the option to close their eyes…but they also have the option to understand the remedy that god has provided for the original sin problem, namely everlasting life and happiness through jesus christ…

no-one who understands the way original sin is taught in inspiration is losing sleep over it…they’re just not…

Preach to the choir all you like but you have no evidence for any if it.

For example, science has never claimed to have shown a causal link between the fact that all things die and all things have sinned.

The assumption of such a link is not merely idle speculation on the part of superstitious religious thought but is, instead, an attempt to scare humans with fantastic beliefs about heaven and hell, eternal damnation or bliss, the existence of which cannot be verified by any rational process known to man. In lieu of this, there is the ubiquitous resort to magical thinking, as implied by the notion of supernatural inspiration which is also unfalsifiable and is subject to logical disbelief and reasonable skepticism.

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this is where you’re looking for apples on orange trees…faith has nothing to do with evidence, but everything to do with understanding and accepting correctly established standards of inspiration, which are confirmed on the basis of their own tests…

science, on the other hand, cannot comment either for or against faith or inspiration…it can’t even comment on physical evidence, but can only apparently affirm or exclude possible connections between physical evidence and conclusions and their premises on the basis of probabilities…there’s no point in claiming for science certainty that can sit in judgement on faith…

science and certainty are necessarily antagonistic, if not oxymoronic…by way of contrast, faith and certainty are synergistic and interdependent…this means faith and science necessarily occupy non-intersecting domains, although it is true that the same mind can appreciate both, and bring the same abilities and study tools to both…

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I’m reminded of the firing of and subsequent smear campaign toward GC accountant David Dennis by then GC president Robert Folkenberg. Tragic story about the abuse of power by those in “trusted” positions. I once downloaded a PDF of Dennis’ book from an online source, but this is the best that I could find this morning with a brief search. DAVID D. DENNIS - Members For Church Accountability Inc Pages 101-147 - Flip PDF Download | FlipHTML5.

EDIT: I believe the Print option can provide a full PDF of the book.

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religious faith can only be right if the inspiration it’s based on is right, and if that inspiration is properly understood…because god obviously isn’t the only supernatural power, there’s no guarantee that what purports to be inspiration really is inspiration…there’s even less of a guarantee that what purports to be a correct interpretation is really valid…

there’s plenty of scope for our god-given mind to work without resorting to the reflex, however comforting, that everything that purports to be inspiration is suspect because it challenges science by definition, among other considerations…real faith isn’t mindless…it takes effort to understand, and sort out…

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I am beginning to understand why Spectrum limits discussion to a given number of days if most topics wander from the original subject as much as this one has. My mind just doesn’t go from a personnel discussion to original sin and types of inspiration. Maybe I lack imagination but I somehow doubt that I am the only one with that problem if it is a problem. One thing that we can all agree on is that everyone connected with this incident needs our prayers.

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I have no issue with challenging science given how many times it has been shown to be incorrect in the past. But science has also shown-grudgingly in many, if not most cases-that it accepts such confrontations and is okay with being ultimately affirmed or proven wrong.

People who have faith typically have little or no tolerance for such questions and insist that I must accept the word of their preferred personality (typically a dead person) who has made fantastic, unfalsifiable claims and absolutist assertions long before I was born which statements cannot be clarified by the original speaker, nor verified by anyone, under any circumstances or at anytime.

In such cases, history tells me that skepticism is not only warranted but is very often most prudent.

For example, I think it would have been best if the both the believers in “Manifest Destiny” and the 9/11 Terrotists had questioned the dogma supposedly gleaned from their “holy” books.

Similarly, there are ample reasons for me to reject anyone’s “cure” for original sin as I only have hearsay and circumstantial evidence to even hint at the purported “reality” that I suffer from this affliction. Further, I wish had challenged anyone in my childhood who believed otherwise in order to avoid the damage to my psyche and inevitable self doubts caused by my decision not to do so.

(As an aside, it seems disingenuous for you to use the term “correct understanding” when talking about how one should view these issues as this is invariably a euphemism for “your understanding” of the situation which you obviously assume to be “right” and the only valid perspective.)

Regarding @Susansickler1 ’s complaint that my comments are too far afield, I agree so this will be my last…(at least in this thread!)

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