Our story is probably similar to many of you rescued by Our Lord Jesus Christ, startling, miraculous, and shocking both to us and our families and community. Ted and I are 3rd generation Adventist on all four corners of our family. Our grandparents were converted into Adventism from Methodist, Four Square, Christian non churched and Orthodox Jew. Ted and I and our parents all attended Seventh day Adventist schools, we were all baptized as Adventists, studied the doctrine at home, at school and at church. As Ted and I were married and started our family, we learned about God's grace, we became aware that very few Adventist churches met the qualifications required to raise our children to be sold out for Christ. Everywhere we looked, in Adventist schools, churches and homes we saw two extremes, rebellion or legalism, and neither produced Disciples of Christ armed with God's armor and equipped to make a difference in a world full of real problems. We also saw people who had never been able to apply what they said they believed to the real problems of their lives. Of course there were exceptions, but for those exceptions, there seemed to be a real disconnect between what they believed and what the church believed, with unwillingness, denial or fancy footwork applied to the huge chasm between the two. I'm not sure why Ted and I finally were ready the summer of 2004 to honestly seek God on the matter, to search the scriptures, to get on our faces before God and ask Him to show us the truth, but we think it had to do with God's timing, with our schedule, and due to the fact that if we waited any longer it could have been detrimental to our kids. In any case, God showed us so many things, including the fact that we are not under the Old Covenant but the New, that Christ has fulfilled the law and that the Sabbath was a SHADOW of Jesus Christ himself, that Ellen White was a false prophet, that Adventism has cultic qualities that keep so many like ourselves from searching for the truth, and a realization that so many of our beloved friends who had left Adventism had also left God because of the fear that goes with truly leaving Adventism.
The leaving process was terrible and holy at the same time. Every time we started to get cold feet, to become fearful of the path we were on, God would give us a "phone call" through his Holy Scriptures. He would give us just the scripture we needed at that very moment. He showed us that if we are under the law we are obligated to the entire law (Galatians), that He hates those who put words in his mouth (Jeremiah), on and on and on, one issues at a time, one verse after another God showed us that Adventism is similar to Mormonism and other cult like churches who have the "truth" and then add to that truth. God is so good. He has protected our marriage, our family has only gotten stronger through this painful time, and He has been our Father as we have become aware we are no longer "one of" our extended family and the church we use to belong to. I must say that our family has made a real attempt at a relationship, but there's no denying relationships are different.
After taking the entire summer to look for a church, we've landed in A Christian Missionary and Alliance Church. We thought we'd never belong to a denomination again, but are finding that this church has their priorities straight. It's not perfect because it's full of people, but neither are we, so it's a good fit.
We have noticed that it's been exceptionally painful to no longer have the built in community we once knew. Church has provided us with a kind of community, everyone is gracious and kind, but we are still outsiders. Other issues we hadn't thought of but that have become an issues are the fact that we had climbed the "Adventist" ladder to be able to do music, have the right to speak freely with theologians, etc now that's all gone.., Jesus is worth all that has been lost and more so.
Some Adventist may be reading this and wonder, what benefit could I possibly receive by leaving all I've ever known. There are people who love God inside Adventism, I'd rather stay here. I will say that for me I had struggled with an addiction for all my adult life, yes inside the church, and as I move from beneath the veil to Jesus, His Spirit has changed me from the inside out. My family can't stop talking about how different I am. Issues of anger and out of control parts of my life have been healed. Ted has been growing spiritually like a weed; our family is enjoying the absolute gift of life God has given us. What an incredible thing to be given. After years of just living, He's given us LIFE.
The confusing part of this is that our former SDA pastor often preached the truth, but the difference is that when any compromise is taken to keep one's job and the WHOLE truth is not preached there grows bitterness, sarcasm and growth is stunted. I am not saying that some shouldn't stay inside Adventism to stand in the gap, however it seems very difficult to me to honestly live one's life for Christ while compromising. But that is up to God, He is the Judge.
But for Me and My House we will Serve the Lord. Because of the Good News, the Gospel, we have been rescued. Praise God!!!!
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TED AND LISA BOYL-DAVIS