Adventists on the Road Less Traveled
administrators, educators, and medical professionals in our ranks are
recommending strange books which teach skepticism, atheism, and New Age
present report draws the curtain back, so you will not be ignorant when
these concepts and their corollary code words are presented in your
may all sound very exciting, mystifying, and life-changing. But it is
old-fashioned Oriental mysticism in a new guise.
are churchmen and medical professionals in our ranks who claim that
these books will change a persons life. We agree.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Peck, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist. His most famous book is The
Road Less Traveled, which was initially published in 1978. It has
been a national best-seller ever since. This book, and its companion
volumes by the same author, are increasingly being urged on our people.
of this book is A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and
Spiritual Growth. Sounds pretty good, does it not? Do not be fooled.
We are giving you an advance warning. You may find these theories taught
at your own church one of these days.
the imagination to lofty flights of fancy while subtly instilling pride
in ones own wisdom. This is the secret of its fascination. It lures
one on to seek a wisdom hidden from, and unavailable to, commonplace
think that M. Scott Peck is a very wise man, in view of the profundity
which people imagine they find in his writings; yet we will learn that,
by his own admission, he is a tobacco and alcohol addict. The wisdom of
the world is foolishness with God.
The wisdom which spiritualism imparts is that described by the apostle James, which descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. This, however, the great deceiver [initially] conceals. Great Controversy, 554.
Peck teaches his readers that they must forsake the half-truths their
parents have taught them and become skeptics in order to attain the
level where wisdom begins:
Science is a religion of skepticism. To escape from the microcosm of our childhood experience, from the microcosm of our culture and its dogmas, from the half-truths our parents told us, it is essential that we be skeptical about what we think we have learned to date. It is the scientific attitude that enables us to transform our personal experience of the microcosm into a personal experience of the macrocosm. We must begin by becoming scientists. The Road Less Traveled, 195.
In the next
paragraph, he claims that true spirituality is to worship the
truth. As you forsake the religion your parents taught you, you leap
far beyond them into a new sphere of enlightenment. You have left the
lie of religion for the truth of skepticism, your new religion:
Many patients who have already taken this begin to say to me: I'm not religious. I don't go to church. I no longer believe much of what the church and my parents told me. I don't have my parents faith. I guess I'm not very spiritual. It often comes as a shock to them when I question the reality of their assumption that they are not spiritual beings. You have a religion. I may say, a rather profound one. You worship the truth. You believe in the possibility of your growth and betterment: the possibility of spiritual progress. In the strength of your religion you are willing to suffer the pains of challenge and the agonies of unlearning. You take the risk of therapy, and all this you do for the sake of your religion. I am not at all certain it is realistic to say that you are less spiritual than your parents; to the contrary, I suspect the reality is that you have spiritually evolved beyond your parents, that your spirituality is greater by a quantum leap than theirs, which is insufficient to provide them with even the courage to question. 195-196.
In the next
paragraph, Peck notes that science is greater than religion and other
things he had been talking about.
Science as a religion represents an improvement, an evolutionary leap, over a number of other world views. 196.
of attaining to the deeper wisdom, Peck declares, is to obey the
promptings or impulses which urge us to do things. We must listen to and
obey unconscious self. We must obey our random impulses!
If we identify our self with our self-concept or self-awareness or consciousness in general, then we must say concerning the unconscious that there is a part of us that is wiser than we are. We have talked about this wisdom of the unconscious primarily in terms of self-knowledge and self-revelation. 251.
attributes this to something of a godlike quality that is in all humans.
The unconscious is wiser than we are about other people as well as ourselves. The fact of the matter is that our unconscious is wiser than we are about everything . . Among the possible explanations, one is that of [Carl] Jung's theory of the collective unconscious, in which we inherit the wisdom of the experience of our ancestors without ourselves having the personal experience. 251, 252.
have read the present writers reports on Neurolinguistic Programming,
LEAD, and Ericksonian hypnosis (see our Hypnotism Tractbook) will
recognize that M. Scott Peck is actually traveling the same road they
are! It is a pathway which leads to destruction. Yet this is what is
being recommended at Southern University. It very likely is at some of
our other educational and medical institutions as well.
263-268, M. Scott Peck discusses the similarity of physical evolution to
spiritual evolution. He says both evolve all the time. Just as man is
ever evolving physically, so his spirit is spontaneously evolving into
higher spheres. We are naturally getting better all the time.
On page 270,
we are told there may be some kind of he, she, or it god, and that we
are to grow into it. We are to become this god. We are to attain all its
power, all its might. We are to be god.
God wants us to become Himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution . .
It is one thing to believe in a nice old God who will take good care of us from a lofty position of power which we ourselves could never begin to attain. It is quite another to believe in a God who has it in mind for us precisely that we should attain His position, His power, His wisdom, His identity . . It [is] possible for man to become God . .
As soon as we believe it is possible for man to become God, we . . must constantly push ourselves to greater and greater wisdom, greater and greater effectiveness. 270-271.
The key to
attaining godhood, Peck says on pages 271-277, is to not be lazy, but
work and believe yourself into divinity. He says the myth of Adam and
Eve can again be used to illustrate this (p. 274). Like the rest of
the Bible, Peck considers Genesis to be a myth (207).
In the next chapter,
The Evolution of Consciousness, Peck again returns to his
theory, that we become God by listening to our unconscious impulses and
obeying them. Do you think it is safe to obey your impulses? Yet that
is the only safe path, according to Peck.
The collective unconscious is God; the conscious is man as individual; and the personal unconscious is the interface between them . . I have said that the ultimate goal of spiritual growth is for the individual to become as one with God. It is to know with God. Since the unconscious is God all along, we may further define the goal of spiritual growth to be the attainment of godhood by the conscious self. It is for the individual to become totally, wholly God. Does this mean that the goal is for the conscious to merge with the unconscious, so that all is unconsciousness? Hardly. We now come to the point of it all.
The point is to become God while preserving consciousness. If the bud of consciousness that grows from the rhizome [root] of the unconscious God [within you] can become itself [the conscious] God, then God will have assumed a new life form. This is the meaning of our individual existence. We are born that we might become, as a conscious individual, a new life form of God. 282-283.
logic we find in the above paragraph is what we find in all false
religions. It is the lie that you are god, the lie taught by the serpent
in the garden of Eden. The last part of the above quotation sounds
exactly like the theories taught by Eastern mysticism. M. Scott Peck has
been doing his homework; he has been studying Hinduism.
And some of
our leading men have been studying M. Scott Peck. And they are teaching
these theories to others.
Will you let
them do it? Mail copies of this report to every administrator you know,
with a plea that something be done to stop this spiritistic
said the Omega would be of a most startling nature. Is not this
At his home
on Academy Drive in Glendale, Merle Vance told me about the Old
Testament reference to the seven-headed serpent. He noted that it was
one of the snakes worshiped by the ancients, and that the Nile Delta
flowed out into seven heads, and was thus considered a reincarnation of
that serpent. Well, we are seeing the Omega in our denomination in this
our day, and it is a seven-headed serpent. The infiltration into our
ranks of M. Scott Pecks theories about the unconscious god within us
is one of those heads; William Loveless with his meditation fixation is
another. Many more could be mentioned.
of the heads of this serpent are calling to us that we can safely
disobey God and His laws! None of them teach that sin must be resisted
and overcome. You will not find it in M. Scott Pecks books; you will
not find it in any of the liberal preachers, or liberal books and
articles in Adventism. Men are going to answer in the judgment for
teaching people they can live in their sins and be saved.
The goal of theology presented here [in this book, The Road Less Traveled], and that of most mystics, is . . not to become a an egoless, unconscious babe. Rather it is to develop a mature, conscious ego which then can become the ego of God. If . . we can identify our mature free will with that of God, then God will have assumed through our conscious ego a new and potent life form. 283.
paragraph may sound deep and profound, but actually says nothing. The
chapter after that, The Nature of Power, speaks of the great
power we attain as we become god in the flesh. The following chapter
says that Grecian myths illustrate mental illness. (Remember, Peck is a
psychiatrist.) And the following chapter is about grace. Entitled Resistance
to Grace, it explains that we receive gods grace simply by
For the call to grace in its ultimate form is a summons to be one with God, to assume peership [equality] with God.305.
chapter, afterward, instructs the reader to seek out a good
psychotherapist, since he can help one attain his godhood. And, as he
says many other times, Don't hesitate to trust your feelings or
intuition (p. 313). When you do so, according to Peck, you are
listening to and obeying the god within.
THE DIFFERENT DRUM
Pecks The Different Drum came off the press in 1987. By that
time, his Road Less Traveled had made him a famous man. Here was
a man who told people how to become god, and all it took was thinking
about themselves! Hundreds of thousands loved his claim that they could
have innate greatness and even divinity, without a hint of putting away
And that is
the key to his success! In the beginning, the serpent said that our race
would be gods if they disobeyed the express command of God. Peck says we
will be gods if we follow our own random inner impulses. For some
perverse reason, Satan's messages are pleasing to people.
Drum, Peck approaches the matter from a related standpoint. In Road,
he said we should individually do what comes naturally; in Drum
he says we should unite in a group with others and then, in that group,
each continue his introspection.
Yet, as in
his other books, Peck just wanders around and never really gets to any
objective other than self-pleasing.
his writings (I scanned four books to prepare this report on what is
being taught at Southern University), Peck presents a religion based on
self-serving. As we have already noted, in his first book (Road),
he openly declares himself to be an atheist, and atheistic skepticism to
be the doorway to a new, elevated state of existence. But, in his later
books, he is much more careful. In order to win over as many professed
members of Christian, and other, religions as possible, he alternates
between skeptical sentiments and religious phrases. As far as he is
concerned, the best religious systems are the Roman Catholic monastic
system, and, secondarily, the teachings of Zen Buddhism (which is also
monastic). Very, very frequently, he refers to one or the other of them.
Drum, Peck fills a lengthy chapter with his ideal, which is starting
or joining a Catholic or Catholic split-off monastery and nunnery.
Reading it through, one finds that Pecks plan for it is the same
empty, purposeless, living that forms the basis for regular monastic
living. Indeed, he exalts empty, purposeless, living as an important
goal to be achieved in order to really start living the better life
(186, 202, 209, etc.).
on mankind to become a community (the most-used word in the
book) by individually emptying ourselves of the myths our parents taught
us, starting or joining a group (whether monastic or not), ignoring each
others belief systems (pluralism is the key to worldwide harmony), so
that all the worlds religions and non-religions can live happily
putting away of sin has no part in this picture. Whatever a man does is
right, as long as he keeps thinking about himself and is tolerant of
whatever others do. Yet he still values the rules of the Catholic and
Buddhist monasteries as helpful in maintaining peace in the communities,
large and small.
some sample quotations from this book:
That community, which includes all faiths and all cultures without obliterating them, is the cure for the core of our greatest contemporary problem. The Different Drum, 20.
The members of a group in some way must commit themselves to one another if they are to become or stay a community. 62.
Among the reasons that a community is humble and hence realistic is that it is contemplative. It examines itself. It is self-aware. It knows itself. 65.
The word contemplative has a variety of connotations. Most of them center upon awareness. The essential goal of contemplation is increased awareness of the world outside oneself, the world inside oneself, and the relationship between the two. . . Self-examination is the key to insight, which is the key to wisdom. 66.
above, you notice that his flowery talk leads nowhere. You examine
yourself; then what? Nothing. Just more examining yourself.
community idea is aimed at getting people to accept one another as
The atmosphere of love and peace is so palpable [in a community] that almost every community member experiences it as a spirit. Hence, even the agnostic and atheist members will generally report a community-building workshop as a spiritual experience. How this is interpreted, however, is highly variable. Those with a secular consciousness tend to assume that the spirit of community is no more than a creation of the group itself; and beautiful though it may be, they will leave it at that. Most Christians, on the other hand, tend toward a more complicated understanding . .
This does not mean that community is solely a Christian phenomenon. I have seen community develop among Christians and Jews, Christians and atheists, Jews and Muslims, Muslims and Hindus. People of any religious persuasion or none whatever can develop community. Nor does it mean that a belief in Christianity is a guarantee of community. 74-75.
says there should be rules governing each community.
The vast majority of people are capable of learning the rules of communication and community-building and are willing to follow them. In other words, if they know what they are doing, virtually any group of people can form themselves into a genuine community.
I am able to state the above conclusions as facts because, since the George Washington University experience in 1981, I have conducted scores of community-building workshops. 81.
But we find
his rules to be vague and nebulous as the rest of his message. His key
point is that, when we must empty ourselves and accept others as they
are, then we have a community. To remain emptied, we have to keep
thinking about ourselves.
Groups assembled deliberately to form themselves into community routinely go through certain stages in the process. These stages, in order, are: Pseudo-community, Chaos, Emptiness, Community. 86.
the ideal community as letting everyone think any way he likes. Total
cohesion is to be achieved through total acceptance of plurality of
belief, religion, and practice (p. 91). He says that organization and
community are incompatible (p. 93).
says, takes us from chaos, through emptiness, to
community. But this sounds like the end result is still chaos.
community should also have periods of silence. During his training
worships, to induct people into his spirit-filled community fellowship,
Peck uses induced silence to prepare the mind to accept the new spirits
(Luke 11:24-26). Those who have read my analyses of neuro-linguistic
training, will recognize that Peck is using a form of Ericksonian
hypnosis. Demons direct the submitted minds of his audience to want what
Peck offers them.
Silence is the ultimate facilitator of emptiness . . I ask the group to reflect during these silent periods on what they as individuals may particularly need to empty themselves. Whenever I discern that the group as a whole is having a specific problem with emptiness, I will usually mandate an additional period of silence to deal with the problem. So it was that I ordered the group of Midwestern civic leaders back into silence in order to empty themselves of their well-meaning but pet projects to help their city. 130.
considers much of the Bible to be a myth. Consider this:
Myths are found in one form or another in culture after culture, age after age. The reason for their permanence and universality is precisely that they are embodiments of great truths . .
As a mythic symbol, and all myths are about human nature, one way or another, dragons are relatively simple. But as in dreams, many meanings can be condensed into a single myth. Take the wonderful story of Adam and Eve, the Garden, the apple, and the snake (dragons have slipped in, even here). Is it a story of our fall from grace and alienation from our environment? Or is it a story of our evolution into self-consciousness? . . Myths are required to contain and embrace the richness of human nature. 171, 172.
is a myth theme occurs frequently in his various books.
theory often figures prominently in Pecks thinking. But, in order to
attract the religionists, he tries to combine the two:
There are those who believe that our freedom, our ability to exercise control over our behaviour and our environment, are gifts of God. Others believe that they are the end result of eons of human evolution. Perhaps they are both. 180.
On page 188,
Peck lists the four stages of growth into maturity. They are (1)
Chaotic, antisocial; (2) Formal, institutional; (3) Skeptical,
individual; (4) Mystic, communal. Organized religion is placed in
stage two, skepticism of ones beliefs is closer to maturity, and
mystic introspection in groups is the highest level.
On page 191,
Peck declares that those who arise above the foolishness of religion
arrive at a higher, third level:
[Those about to reach Stage III] are no longer dependent on an institution for their governance. Consequently they begin to say to themselves, Who needs this fuddy-duddy old Church with its silly superstitions? At this point they begin to convert to Stage III skeptic, individual. And to their parents great, but unnecessary, chagrin they often become atheists or agnostics. Although frequently nonbelievers, people in Stage III are generally more spiritually developed than many who content to remain in Stage II . . They make up their own minds about things and are no more likely to believe everything they read in the papers than to believe it is necessary for someone to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior (as opposed to Buddha or Mao or Socrates) in order to be saved.
On the next
page, Peck says Stage IV mystical thinking occurs when people see
the unity of an underlying connectedness between things: between things, between men and women, between us and the other creatures and even inanimate matter as well, a fitting together according to an ordinarily invisible fabric underlying the cosmos.
paragraph is foolishness. Peck says that noticing a connectedness
between things is the highest goal in life, the deepest wisdom. This
is talk without substance. Satanic theories always lead to chaff. The
devil has nothing to offer but dazzling trinkets, which really amount to
But such are
the books that are being distributed at Southern University.
Anything that can't be measured scientifically cant be known and isn't worth studying. They must begin to doubt even their own doubts. 201.
Stage IV thinking leads to world community and a planetary
culture (p. 202), not only mystical but global consciousness and
world community (206). Those in Stage IV must lead the nations
toward global community (p. 232).
is said to be the key to upward progress. Emptiness is the bridge
between chaos and community (p. 209). This requires emptying your
mind of the religious myths your parents taught you.
The ultimate purpose of emptiness, then, is to make room. Room for what? Room for God, the religious would say. But since God means so many things to different people, including nothing at all, I prefer generally to say that emptiness makes room for the Other. What is the Other? It can be virtually anything; a tale from a strange culture, the different, the unexpected, the new, the better. Most important, for community, the Other is the Stranger. 212.
is this Other? By rejecting the Word of God for novels, adultery,
or anything new, the door is opened to demons.
times, he speaks of God while frequently calling Him a He/She.
For if God is entirely outside of us, then how can He/She communicate
with us mere mortals? (p. 243).
earlier, throughout his books Peck frequently quotes or refers to Roman
Catholic or Buddhist associates, mentors, writers, and concepts. Both
Catholic monasticism and Buddhism teach that the individual personality
must be submerged in the group, which Peck calls the community.
Indeed, Buddhism teaches that the very notion of the self as an isolated entity is an illusion. It is an illusion that many fall prey to because they do not or will not think with integrity. 239.
Scott Peck is leading people to march to a different drummer. But it is
a broad road, and the drummer is a demon. Do not let your children go
where concepts such as these are being taught.
FURTHER ALONG THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
In 1993, M.
Scott Peck wrote Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending
Journey Toward Spiritual Growth. By now you can recognize that,
although he would deny it, he is teaching a religion, and a pagan one at
book, you will find a repetition of the concepts mentioned in his
earlier books: the four stages, the community, the annihilation of self
and arrival at reality by thinking about self, the Bible as a myth, the
male/female god, etc. There are also a few new ones:
We do not have to make the journey alone. We can ask help of the force in our lives that we recognize to be greater than we are. A force that we all see differently, but of whose presence most of us are aware. Further Along the Road Less Traveled, 14.
Force, of course, is the power and guidance of demons. The Holy
Spirit and good angels never force.
strongly recommends New Age thinking, declaring the New Age movement
is, in my opinion, a reaction against the institutional sins of Western
civilization and a movement away from Western religions to Eastern
maintains that most Christian denominations are cults, but the Roman
Catholic Church is not a cult (215).
As do the
new theologians in our own ranks, Peck believes that sin is inevitable:
Genesis 3 is a myth about how we human beings evolved into consciousness . . This wonderful story teaches us about the power of choice. Until we ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we didn't have real choice. We did not have free will until that moment described in Genesis 3 when we became conscious, and having become conscious, we were faced with the choice of going after the truth or going after the lie. Thus the Eden story also has a great deal to do with the whole genesis of good and evil. You cant have evil unless you have choice. When God allowed us free will, He inevitably allowed the entrance of evil into the world. 108, 109.
I sometimes tell people that one of the great blessings of my life was an almost total absence of religious education, because I had nothing to overcome. 113.
In the last
chapter, Peck makes some remarkable statements. He says only the
sexually passionate can really know God (pp. 223, 229-230) and be
converted to Christianity (225-226). He even says that his best
experiences at waylaying women into sin have been done with the help of
angels (p. 227).
send your child to a school where they will be taught this:
The Bible is . . a mixture of legend, some of which is true and some of which is not true. It is a mixture of very accurate history and not so accurate history. It is a mixture of outdated rules and some pretty good rules. It is a mixture of myth and metaphor. 107.
IN SEARCH OF STONES
One of M.
Scott Pecks latest books is the 1995 In Search of Stones. It
is described as a pilgrimage of faith, reason, and discovery. He has
developed something of an obsession to locate such stones at various
spirit-worship sites throughout Wales, Scotland, and England.
He says that
animism is a belief in little gods in the trees and stones, and this
probably is about as close to the right religion as one can get (p.
gives us a closer insight into Peck himself. He speaks of the inner
light moving me to say things wiser than I know I had in me to say
(p. 115). Yet what have M. Scott Pecks theories and guides done for
him? Nothing; he cannot even control himself. On page 45, he says he
illegally smoked marijuana frequently for over a decade, and that he is
an inveterate smoker and a heavy drinker. I am strongly habituated to
alcohol in quite hefty amounts, at the end of the day (p. 43).
He says his Alcoholics Anonymous friends call him an alcoholic.
brief overview, you have learned the code words and the concepts. Now
you know what to guard against. Do not let your children attend schools
where these atheistic New Age errors will be instilled in their minds.
If they start bringing home these kind of ideas, take them out as soon
The prince of darkness, who has so long bent the powers of his mastermind to the work of deception, skillfully adapts his temptations to men of all classes and conditions. To persons of culture and refinement he presents spiritualism in its more refined and intellectual aspects, and thus succeeds in drawing many into his snare.
The wisdom which spiritualism imparts is that described by the apostle James, which descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. This, however, the great deceiver conceals when concealment will best suit his purpose. He who could appear clothed with the brightness of the heavenly seraphs before Christ in the wilderness of temptation, comes to men in the most attractive manner as an angel of light. He appeals to the reason by the presentation of elevating themes; he delights the fancy with enrapturing scenes; and he enlists the affections by his eloquent portrayals of love and charity.
He excites the imagination to lofty flights, leading men to take so great pride in their own wisdom that in their hearts they despise the Eternal One. Great Controversy, 553-554.
summarizes M. Scott Peck and his theories.
it is that our people awaken to what is happening on our college and
university campuses. Without the prayers of our people and the help of
God, surely our schools will keep heading downward. If we do nothing,
why should we expect Heaven to solve our problems for us?
arise and resolutely meet these challenges, and require that changes be
made. Christianity is not just sweetness and light. It is also earnest
determination to stand for the right, though the heavens fall.
great final hour of Gods reckoning, what answer will we give if we
have filled our days on earth as dumb dogs which would not bark?
people, pray and get to work!
NEW PRESIDENT AT SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
As of June 1, 1997, Gordon Bietz will be the new president of Southern University of SDA, in Collegedale, Tennessee.
Since the president of Southern University and the president of the Southern Union are the two most influential Adventists in the southeastern U.S., this article may provide us with a closer look at the belief system of this man who, for much of the coming decade and perhaps beyond, will profoundly affect the teachers and students at that university, as well as, through his speaking appointments, the 162,000 members and pastors of 890 churches in that vast section of America.
It is remarkable that this strong liberal has risen to such a position in, what is generally considered to be, the most conservative Adventist union in the nation.
While Gordon Bietz was pastor of the Collegedale SDA Church, he gave the new theology faculty his full backing. He also served on Folkenberg's Governance Commission and, we understand, was a key committee man in guiding its progress toward the goals the General Conference president had in mind.
In 1994 he was elected to the presidency of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, where he led out in enacting new regulations which will gradually begin closing down smaller local churches in the conference, on the pretext that this will strengthen the churches (see Planning to Close the Churches Part 1-2 [WM763-764]).
At about the time you receive this report, Gordon Bietz will have become the new president of Southern University, replacing Donald Sahly who has been moved up to the General Conference Department of Education.
Unfortunately, during the time he pastored the church at that educational institution, Gordon Bietz took an active roll, along with others, in bringing M. Scott Pecks teachings onto the campus.
Bietz has recommended and loaned Pecks peculiar bookswhich are wholly at variance with fundamental Christianity!
One young man can testify to the fact that he heard Gordon Bietz ordering an extra copy of Pecks book, The Different Drum, at the Adventist Book Center in Collegedale. Shortly thereafter at the Collegedale Community Center, Bietz gave the book to Henry Uhl, director of his Georgia-Cumberland Evangelical Council, to read on his vacation. Henry mentioned this publicly at a GCEC meeting. (We mention his name for that reason.)
Prior to that, Bietz, and probably others, had persuaded enough Adventists in the area that M. Scott Peck was a great and wise man. Therefore Peck was invited in October 1989 to the HCA Valley Psychiatric Hospital to give a seminar.
This seminar was advertised at Laura Gladson's office, at the Medical Center at Collegedale. It was also posted on the entrance door of the University-owned Collegedale Mall, near where the Village Market is located.
The seminar was also advertised on the bulletin board in the Collegedale Church Community Services Building.
In addition, a number of local Adventist psychologists and psychiatrists recommended that the CODA Group (which regularly met in our Community Services Building) also attend the seminar. The CODA Group are composed of Adventists and non-Adventist trying to get off hard drugs. They were told that this book would help them!
Bietz also quoted from M. Scott Pecks books in his sermons (see page 8 for one example).
Donald Sahly has been president of Southern University of SDA (formerly Southern College of SDA; formerly Southern Missionary College) for nearly 11 years. During that time he has staunchly supported the liberals on campus.
In early February, Sahly attended the annual NAD Higher Education Meeting at world headquarters. While there, he accepted an appointment as GC associate director of education. He will move to Maryland at the end of the current school year, which ends in May. Bietz will be a far more energetic liberal than Sahly was.
BIETZ COMIC BOOK
While pastor of the Collegedale Church, Gordon Bietz conceived the idea of writing a pictorial children's book about little talking animals living in the forest. Each of the ten short stories in the 30-page booklet was about the adventures of a different animal. The table of contents said that the story on page 20 was titled Only on Sunday, with the subtitle, Sabbathkeeping isn't useful unless it affects the other six days.
Turning to page 20, we see a sketch of Freddy Fox, sticking his head out of his den in the ground. In one hand is a pencil and in the other is a calendar with all the Sundays in the month marked. The text starts out, You would not recognize Freddy the Fox on Sunday, and then goes on to explain that he does not hunt mice and other creatures on that day, but instead sits quietly in his den and talks softly to his family. Although the story concludes on a confusing note, the title, Only on Sunday, the marked calendar, the emphasis on keeping Sunday special, and the table of contents subtitle clearly links Sunday as the Sabbath, the rest day.
Of course, this little pictorial instructional book for children probably taught many impressionable Adventist children the same lesson.
After completing the book, Bietz presented it to the administrators and faculty of the college, as well as his church board, and got them to agree to send the youth of Collegedale out to sell the book to Adventists and non-Adventists, to help raise money for a new church building.
Thousands of copies were sold to Adventists and non-Adventists. By the time it ended, the fund-raising project was considered a resounding success.
There was no other mention of a weekly rest day in that book.
At the time that Bietz was elected to the presidency of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, he arranged for the complete book to be published in serial form in Chattanooga's largest newspaper.
GORDON BIETZ SABBATH SERMON
Gordon Bietz has been recommending the writings of M. Scott Peck for over a decade, to students, faculty, pastors, and medical and other professionals. For example, we have a tape of a Sabbath morning sermon that Gordon Bietz gave at the Adventist University Church on February 20, 1988.
After mentioning that he had attended a joint meeting the previous week in Chattanooga with a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and several Protestant ministers, Bietz said he was going to read a quotation from Scott Pecks latest book, Different Drum.
After reading it, Bietz used several illustrations to illustrate the oft-repeated theme of the sermon, which was that community with non-Adventists should be the goal of our people. Here are some of the points:
God created Adam and Eve for community. By eating the apple, the problem was that they had lost community. Jonahs problem was that he rejected community. The Pharisees in Christ's time had made religion a barrier to community with the gentiles. That was why Christ said they made converts into a child of hell.
Bietz then said that if the Adventist religion becomes a barrier to community with non-Adventists, then those converted to it become twice a child of hell. If our doctrines do not lead to breaking down barriers between us and other people, then we are children of hell.
He added that the gifts the Adventist Church have received are only gifts when they lead to community with the world. The gospel, he said, makes men free to live in community. We are to be in brotherhood to all.
He then concluded his sermon with a peculiar story that could only have come from the Catholics; there was nothing Adventist about it.
There once was a monastery that had dwindled down to only five monks. They wondered what to do. Walking outside one day, the abbot (one of the five) met a Jewish rabbi and told him their problem. The rabbi said he knew the solution. The monk asked him what it was, and the rabbi said, The Messiah may be among you.
Hurrying back in, the abbot shared this with the other four monks. They all wondered what it could mean. Could this monk be the Messiah? Could that monk be the Messiah? Could the abbot be the Messiah? Each was named. Could I be the Messiah? Maybe it was one of them.
Thereafter, they treated each other with more respect, since one might be the Messiah. Finding them more respectful of one another, visitors came more often. Soon several young men decided to join and become monks. Then the monastery grew strong and flourished again.
At that point, without further comment, Gordon Bietz offered a prayer that the assembled student, faculty, and village church members might do whatever it took to have community.
It makes the faithful to want to weep.