My active journey out of Adventism began while I was a student at Kettering College of Medical Arts, in Kettering, Ohio, back in 1995. My family and I moved to Kettering, from Chico, California to pursue my education to become a Physician Assistant.
Prior to leaving California, my wife Rebecca and I had been involved in a "bible" study led by a very sincere and devout Adventist dentist. This particular dentist owned multiple practices and spent many hours on the road visiting each office every week. The numerous hours spent in the car each week afforded him many hour to listen to tapes, specifically, messages pertaining to the work of Ellen G. White.
These many hours of thoughtful study had allowed him, in my opinion, to do what few others, including many Adventist pastor, to do -- make sense out of the Adventist doctrine. We began attending his study sessions and for the first time in my life, Adventism actually seemed plausible, at least it made more sense than it ever had before.
The dentist would come to the meeting with his bible AND a file box with additional study aids! The file box contained his vast amount of research materials including study sheets and handouts for attendees to study from. These study materials were necessary to keep track of the vast complexities that were being presented concerning Adventist doctrine. I would be remiss if I lead anyone to believe that this dentist was anything but a thorough researcher, who was very conscientious about his work. I believe he was sincere in his desire to find God through this work.
I initially thought that this was terrific because I was finally sinking my teeth deep into Adventist theology and "making sense" out of it. But the nagging question from my youth kept rearing its head, "why is it so-o-o-o complex when Christ said you have to be like a child to understand." I had posed this question to "learned" Adventists before but was met with mild ridicule. "Yes," they would respond, "the initial understanding of Christ was simple, But" It was the "but" that was a continuous thorn in my side concerning Adventism.
The most important things that I gained from this study, was his "out-of-the-box" thinking method that he applied to his research. He had developed many creative ways to meld the writings of Ellen White with Biblical scripture. Although I look back and see error in his basic train of thought, it got me to look at the Bible from a different perspective. That inspiration turned out to be the impetus that, eventually lead to my departure from Adventism.
One of the main things that I endeavored to do was to try and share my ideas about thinking "outside the box" when it came to studying the Bible. Ask any Adventist how long it will take to understand God and they would probably state that we will spend eternity trying to understand God. But, ask them about any particular theologic question and they hand you the Adventist Box and say "it's all right here."
It finally became clear to me after one non-descript Collegiate Sabbath School class. I regret to say that I do not remember the exact topic of discussion but it was concerning the plan of salvation issue. I posed a "what-if" question that was outside the realm of normal discussion concerning the topic. I could see that there was some mild confusion on the part of a few individuals. I said what I had to say hoping it would stimulate a wider discussion. What I was met with was a short silence and then a "welldoes anyone else have something to add?" They, of course, did have "something" to add, the "right" answer, in the form of the "right" verse, which lead to the "right" conclusion for that particular topic.
It struck me then that no one appeared interested in growth but just having simple satisfaction of knowing that they had the "right answers" for every question worth asking. It was representative of a common theme that I had been aware of my entire life. I had noticed before that the Sabbath School lessons had, obviously, set an agenda for studying the Bible. With the agenda preplanned and set, you simply open your Bible, connect the dots and sit back in smug satisfaction knowing you have the "right" answers. The whole time you are missing out on the true message of the Bible. The Bible is a personal letter sent by the God Most High to everyone who will take the time to read it. God is passionate about pursuing a genuine relationship with EVERY individual on this planet. That can only take place if we engage God fully and allow Him to teach us.
That Sabbath School class revealed to me the concept of "The Agenda." That's what stuck in my craw. Adventism seemed to be ALWAYS about pursuing "the Agenda." The Bible was never picked up and studied liked it was revered to be -- the inerrant Word of God. The Bible was simply the tool by which Adventists sought to prove the theories and philosophies as interpreted through the writings of Ellen G. White. This is the universal error that MANY churches fall into. People always ask why there are so many denominations and this is why. Instead of reading the Bible and letting the Holy Spirit guide, they read what they want to hear and then use the Bible to support their agenda. Many people want to feel special, like they have something or some understanding that sets them apart. This is pride, pure and simple, and it has no place in our worship and devotion to God.
I became frustrated after that episode at Sabbath School. Was anyone truly interested in getting to know God better? Were they content to let their relationship stagnate? How does an earthly relationship grow if it is not nurtured and new experiences shared? We can take a short look around any given neighborhood and be overwhelmed with examples of what happens when relationships are allowed to languish.
It was my observation, that this is precisely what Adventism was doing. Because they have Ellen White, they possess all knowledge and wisdom concerning God. They have "the Truth" so what purpose does genuine, in-depth study serve. Study is rarely or never about finding deeper truths, just about justifying the position they already have. How can a relationship with a real God flourish under that kind of stagnated attitude? Year after year we "danced" around the same pole, discussing the same topics, following the same trains of thought and, always, arriving at the same conclusions.
Growth? That's a very dangerous thing. Let people open up the Bible without assistance? There's no telling where that might lead. "You'd better leave the thinking to us," is the basic attitude. The people might come to a different conclusion and then where would the church be. It boils down to command and control.
THE ADVENTIST SMORGASBORD
The cumbersomeness of Adventism has made it a large burden to carry. Few have the intestinal fortitude to be able to stick with the rigors of "hardcore" Adventism. The people that do are often viewed as "extreme" or "off-the-deep-end." "Moderate" Adventists make up their own minds on many Adventist lifestyle issues, which do not violate the Adventist doctrines that THEY think are important. Examples include: the Sabbath; vegetarianism; movies; jewelry; caffeine and ethanol (alcohol), to name a few. I call this thinking "The Adventist Smorgasbord." They stroll down the "(party) line" taking what they want and leaving what they don't want. This applies to both, the 27 fundamental beliefs and the teachings of E.G. White. Fundamentally, an individual can't keep the Adventist law any better than the Jews kept theirs. The burden becomes to heavy and the compromises start.
I never could understand why there were East-coast Adventists vs. West-coast Adventist. Here in Ohio, they even break it down further with Indiana and Michigan Adventist vs. Ohio Adventists. West-coasters are heretics and don't even need to be regarded. Why this variance? The smorgasbord. People adopt what THEY feel are important and rationalize the non-adoption of other belief. That's when some will say that they live under grace and that gives them the excuse they need to compromise. But Adventism is rooted in the law and can't separate itself from it without losing its identity.
A major source of confusion growing up, were these varied lifestyles that I experienced in Adventism. There will always be a great variance in the spiritual lives of Christians. Everyone is at a different level in his or her Christian walk. But, we are not saved by all being alike, we are saved by having our own, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. While there is only ONE way to God, through Jesus Christ. There are as many ways to Christ as there are people on the planet. It's about your own relationship and that means that the relationship will manifest itself in different ways. This is an intolerable thought to Adventism, and for that matter, to many other Christian religions, as well. Your command and control over the people is SEVERELY limited when people are not walking shoulder to shoulder in lock-step.
When the burden becomes to heavy, the compromises slipped in. The rationalizing soon follows. However, most are rescued from certain "disaster" by some key indoctrination issues: The Sabbath and the fact that Adventists have "THE TRUTH." These points have "saved" so many Adventists from falling out of the precious fold. However, if these "TR UTHES" are what they say they are, why are so many Adventist not in line with the TOTAL message and doctrine of Adventism? IF, Ellen White was an inspired messenger/prophetess of God, there would be validity with ALL she had to say. IF that is the case, there is no room for compromise in ANYTHING that she put forth. Most Adventist aren't fully aware of the extremes to which Ellen White outlined specific behavior for EVERY facet of life. Were most Adventists made aware of the FULL extent of her writings, few could handle the burden. There is always some way of rationalizing away the demands, I did it myself for the first 35 years.
At the time of the infamous Sabbath School class, I was fully engaged in my Physician Assistant studies at Kettering College. The challenging work and long hours of study quickly took their toll. Tiredness and fatigue were my initial excuses for stay home from church. This was, indeed, the truth but it also represented my desire not to attend church anymore. However, at this point, I was not aware that I was truly trying to avoid church. My wife was patient for a time but soon became angry that I refused to attend church This left her alone trying to take our two (at the time) children to church. This placed a strain on our relationship but I was unable to reconcile my thoughts and feelings at that point in my journey.
I wasn't necessarily a "compliant" person but I did have respect for the leaders in the Adventist church and never could believe that any of them would not have the people's best interest at heart. I figured that the problem was with me and my own feeble intellect, which prevented me from grasping the complexities that constantly surrounded me and my studies in Adventism.
This avoidance of church continued for over a year, then God intervened. In the fall of 1997, a friend suggested that I check out a new Saturday evening service that the Kettering SDA church had started. It was called "OASIS" and was originally designed as an outreach ministry to reach the "un-churched."
I was, now, in my clinical rotations in PA school. It was still challenging but I was functioning on fairly, regular hours. I now had some time available and wanting to do something, therefore, I volunteered to help out. Initially, my only interest in the service was its opportunity to serve God in some capacity and play the drums.
I was blessed because God had placed a "seeker after truth" in charge of the music ministry. Initially, he was happy to have a drummer who didn't have a lot of attitude or arrogance, which plagued others in the group. He was, also, patient with my limited skills as a drummer and nurtured my growth as a musician. His wife and he opened their home and re-introduced the concept of "living in community" to my family and me. We developed a deep friendship and began spending time together outside of just ministry-oriented activities.
The more time we spent together, the more comfortable we became with discussing our views of Christianity, Adventism, and various religious issues. Although, it was not true for all, it became increasingly obvious that many of us had considerable difficulty with many aspects of Adventist doctrine. Our community time was soon filled with discussions concerning our different backgrounds in Adventism.
It was a great joy to finally discover people who were willing to challenge the "establishment" and its traditions. Our topics were initially focused on the innumerable contradictions that we had experienced within the church. Issues I experienced included: The Sabbath is paramount in Adventism but it was absolutely mandatory to work one weekend per month in the college cafeteria at Southern College, if you wanted or needed employment there. There was no exception, even to the most conscientious Sabbath keeper. I found it odd that no Sabbath-respecting faculty member would take their family to a local restaurant and swipe their VISA card. However, most did not have any attack of conscience taking their spouse and kids to the college cafeteria after church to enjoy a Sabbath dinner and swipe their Faculty ID card. It's nice to be able to give your wife a break after a long hard week. It did not seem to matter that twenty or thirty college kids were not given that same freedom of choice.
Later in my college years when my religious fervor had been tempered by the realities within the church, I had no problems taking on duties with other campus employers that requested work on Sabbath. I should note that in my experience, only the cafeteria with its faithful Adventist clientele was the only campus employer that I worked for that mandated Sabbath work.
While serving with Adventist World Radio in Guam, I came face-to-face with further contradictions. A visiting General Conference finance officer was discussing various finance issues with the radio station's business manager. He was telling how a recent international meeting of many Adventist leaders, which was held in South America, was financed through black-market currency exchange. He freely admitted that it made good business sense, due to the fact that the country's legitimate financial institutions gave them a much less equitable exchange rate on their money. Sixteen years later, I am still baffled at the lack of faith this demonstrated. They felt the need to deal in illegal business activities to accomplish Christ's work? Jesus is not sovereign enough to supply sufficient resources for business to be conducted in a legally acceptable manner? This was an early demonstration to me that the church leans on its own understanding rather than allowing God to honor its integrity and faithfulness.
Also while on Guam, I was astounded at the level of sexual immorality that was tolerated by many church members on the island. It looked as though many of them chose not to look for it. While attending youth vespers, I noticed that the young married pastor was a bit more affectionate with one of the older teenaged girls. I voiced my observation to one of the youth members. I was told very forthrightly that the young pastor and the girl were involved in a sexual relationship. This relationship was apparent to most of the youth but no notice was ever taken, that I was aware of. It was accepted out-of-hand by the youth and no one seemed overly concerned. I learned many months later that is was a huge concern for his wife. However, she bravely smiled and soldiered on like a good Adventist pastor's wife should. How humiliating and painful.
Credible accounts of spouse swapping, extra-marital affairs, and homosexuality were common and turned a blind eye toward. I later learned of the unspoken policy popularized by the U.S. military "Don't ask, don't tell." No one asked, no one told and "life," in the flesh, went on.
The church's standard response to these types of stories is usually the same lame excuse that, "The church isn't perfect and it's run by sinful people that make mistakes." That's is very true but there should be some accountability and the desire to want to change. I rarely if ever saw any desire to change. The church is always on the lookout for "ball-players," people who will knuckle under and get with the program. Calling people out of sin is messy business. If one person expects it from someone else, maybe they will expect me to confess my sin, too. That kind of living could become very embarrassing. How about I look the other way and "you don't ask and I won't tell and we'll make sure we keep our lifestyle issues to ourselves." There!Everything is just fine.
The burden of Adventism, like all law-based religions, is not something we were ever designed to carry. The pressure of trying to live up to an unattained standard eventually needs to be released. The release is usually in some form of sin, such as, ethanol (alcohol), drugs, or various forms of sexual sin.
If ANYONE takes the time to ask other Adventists whether they've seen what I have seen, and far worse, they will probably be inundated with stories. Why do I state these things? It's the pattern of underground, deviant behavior that is tolerated within Adventism. The "Don't ask, don't tell," policy is alive and well within Adventism and nobody wants to change it. I wish I had the statistics and research to intelligently talk about child sexual abuse within Adventism. That would have to be a book of it's own. Why do I know that it is a huge problem? I've met the survivors and know their stories. Without naming names it is pointless to tell the stories and this is not the forum for that type of discussion, anyway.
The truth is, it would be painfully difficult to change the problems. According to E.G. White, we must attain perfection to be accepted by God. To admit frailties, failures and sins would tarnish our precious reputations and that cannot happen. The power structure within the local SDA churches and the church at-large could not tolerate "sinners" within its midst, even though, that is exactly who Jesus came to call. I'm sick, I need THE PHYSICIAN to heal me. But, sins or other short-comings disqualify people from service. Sosecret sins, must remain just that, secret, if people are to remain in the coveted spots that they have attained within the church. Everyone parades around in their Sabbath best, hiding the sins and debauchery that lies beneath. "What people don't know, won't hurt me," right? How many people have endured life times of pain because they could not reach out to someone for fear of rejection or loss of status within the church. Bury it or it will bury you.
After three and a half years of working with "Oasis," many in our music team had come to the conclusion that there is no way to reconcile Adventism with the Bible. There had, also, been frustrations with a "new" direction that "Oasis" was taking. While it had originally been designed as an outreach ministry, pressures on the senior pastor had reduced it to nothing more than a vespers service for Adventists. "Oasis" had been the brain-child of the senior pastor and had met with moderate success due to his full support and encouragement. His "baby," however, was not appreciated by all the brethren and the considerable time that the pastor had devoted to "Oasis" distracted him from taking care of the needs of the "influential" (i.e. the power-brokers in the church.)
The decline of "Oasis" provided our small group a good departure point from Adventism. We had stepped outside the box of Adventist theology and there can be no going back when you discover what the Bible is REALLY all about. Now with the outreach ministry having run its course, there was nothing left to hold us back. I knew God led us to this point. Most importantly, He had provided a group to leave with.
The scariest thing about leaving Adventism is leaving your culture behind. It is down-right scary to have to leave everything and everybody you've ever cared about. My beloved Pathfinders would no longer hold any place except in memories. The significance of which Adventist grade school, academy, or college you attended doesn't matter anymore. Friends and previous classmates stop calling and emailing or become distant. Family can't understand how you can possible leave "The Truth." All the memories that you hold dear lose some of the fondness when they are now viewed in the light of your new understanding. You are no longer part of the club and some club members let you know this clearly. However, I still have many dear friends who still remain close and I hope, one day, that they will take the same steps as my family did--out of Adventism.
ADVENTIST REJECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
In my search for truth while leaving Adventism, I was wrestling with the concept and usefulness of any type of prophet in the post-resurrection era. In reading the Acts, chapter 2, account of the birth of the early church, I was struck by the gloriousness of Pentecost. I was initially confused as to why this event was "low-keyed" in my Adventist education, but further prayerful evaluation revealed the significance.
It has been my experience that Adventism, and for that matter, some other Christian churches, have missed the awesomeness of Pentecost. Pentecost represents, what I believe to be, one of the most important events of the Bible, surpassed only by the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I think people get caught up in silly arguments about Pentecostalism and speaking in tongues and COMPLETELY miss the true significance of this event.
Prior to His Crucifixion, Christ clearly outlined the future purpose of the Holy Spirit.
"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans-I will come to you. (Emphasis added) John 4:15-18 (NLT)
"But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative-and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you." (Emphasis added) John 14:26 (NLT)
"But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and none of you has asked me where I am going. Instead, you are very sad. But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Counselor won't come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world's sin is unbelief in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the prince of this world has already been judged.
Oh, there is so much more I want to tell you, but you can't bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas, he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me. All that the Father has is mine; this is what I mean when I say that the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me." (Emphasis added) John 16:5-15 (NLT)
I read this in utter amazement, my eyes unmasked. Jesus Christ was promising something even better than Emmanuel, "God with us." He was promising God IN us! Isn't this what we have longed for since being cast out of the Garden of Eden. In the Garden, we were separated from God due to our sins. Due to this separation, God communicated through a select group of men, prophets and kings, and a select few others.
The more I contemplated it, the more amazing it became to me. Growing up Adventist I had dutifully learned that, Indeed!, my body is the "Temple of God." Befitting such a magnificent honor, I was instructed on numerous temperance issues to the neglect of the true significance of having the God Almighty residing IN ME! I was careful to avoid pork, alcohol, tobacco and drugs but failed to understand God's full intent for my life.
I should qualify that I think that many aspects of healthful living taught by Adventists are completely valid for leading a healthy lifestyle. But I see living a long and healthy life only in the significance of living a life fully-alive in Jesus Christ. This means that there is vastly more significance regarding the indwelling of the Holy Spirit than whether or not there is ethanol in my cough syrup or caffeine in my cola.
It is, therefore, my opinion that the true purpose of the Holy Spirit in our live, has been attenuated by Adventism, for the preservation of its "Spirit of Prophecy" doctrine. In order to hold their fragile doctrines together, the writings of E.G. White must be held in supreme regard. Due to the "fact" that E.G. White has "THE" gift of prophecy with special anointing of the Holy Spirit, the church could NEVER survive if the lay-Adventists learned that God had promised the same or other just as important gifts to EVERYONE who accepts Christ into their lives.
If God has truly taking up residence in my heart, then what purpose does a prophet serve in any capacity? As noted in John 14 & 16, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for the specific purpose of being able to communicate DIRECTLY with the hearts of men. Pardon me if I'm a simpleton, but if Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to communicate DIRECTLY with me, isn't that precisely what he did through the prophets of old? Although I do not have the spiritual gift of prophecy that does not mean that God does not have the ability to talk to me directly and share personal insights. He promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
This led me to ask again, "What purpose does a prophet have in the post-Pentecost era?" If God lives in the hearts of every man that has accepted Jesus as Lord, then what elevates one believer's relationship with God above another's? The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was promised to ALL believers. I am unaware of any extraordinary relationship promised other than the spiritual gifts as outlined in the New Testament. None were considered superior to another; some just have more responsibility associated with them. We are all part of the same body of Christ. Claiming superiority is just admitting pride and arrogance.
I realized that what we lost through sin in Eden was restored to us at Pentecost. The Spiritual connection with God was reestablished. We still await the Physical reconnection at the Second Coming but God is now a part of us again! Jesus has closed the gap created by sin and we are now in direct communication and communion with God. If this is true, the purpose of a prophet in this day and age is about as practical as the need for a prophet in Eden!
I came to a startling conclusion. Adventism has staked its very existence on the extra-biblical insights of Ellen White to establish the foundation of the church. Innumerable times in my decades in the church, Ellen White was used to provide interpretation for the Bible. Many times her interpretations were in direct conflict with the Bible. I was told that Ellen White had an extra-ordinary relationship with God that allowed her to render authoritative interpretation on the Bible, even when the conclusion ran contrary to the explicit theme in any particular Biblical passage she might refer to. For years, like other Adventists, I assumed that I was incapable of knowing how to skillfully interpret the Bible. The startling conclusion was when I realized that I had been buying into the extra-biblical word of (wo)man in place of the direct guidance of the God through the Holy Spirit.
I was dumbfounded when I realized that this is tantamount to rejection of the Holy Spirit. Some might think this assumption absurd. I searched for the possibility that I might be over-reaching in my conclusion. However, my research, including the passage from John 16, left me more convinced than ever. In Jesus Christ's own words, the Holy Spirit is our personal guide sent by God to help lead us into ALL truth. If I have God in my heart and prayerfully ask for his guidance and faithfully study his word, is He not faithful and just to lead me to truth? The mere fact that Adventists claim a purpose for a prophet means that they question the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the post-Pentecost era, the Holy Spirit is available to ALL who accept Jesus as their Savior.
For me, the Sabbath was one of the most difficult issues for me to deal with. I think that this is the case for most people who contemplate leaving Adventism. The Sabbath is the "sign" and/or "seal" of the "remnant" church. How do you dispense with such an important issue? Answer: Don't be sucked into the classic argument.
I'm a bit of a sports fan, mostly football and hockey. Often when I listen to the player's analysis of the game, I often here them talk about how they, "got the other team to play 'their game.'" For those not familiar with this term, it refers to a team setting a game strategy that, if executed well, forces the opposing team to adopt a predictable defense that can be easily exploited. I feel that this strategy has been extremely well played within Adventism.
For years, Adventists have vigorously defended the notion that the Sabbath was never changed from Saturday to Sunday. Their argument was even reinforced a number of years ago when Pope John Paul II published a document on the internet defending the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday and justify their authority to make such a change. There it was, the "antichrist" itself confessing its crime. That defense of the issue seemed to validate the Adventist argument regarding a "change." DON"T CHASE THE RED HERRING!
While discovering the real role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, I revisited the concept of our bodies being the "Temples of God." Adventism, certainly, preached this but conveniently left out a very important part. As I was reading the Old Testament to my children, I was impressed by the grandeur of the Old Testament Temple/Tabernacle: the use of only the finest materials available; the high drama and sacredness that surrounded each and every element of the sacrifice and atonement; the absolute holiness of the temple. The fact was THERE, and ONLY THERE, was where Israel could meet God.
"I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel." (Emphasis added) Exodus 25:22 (NLT)
"I will meet the people of Israel there, and the Tabernacle will be sanctified by my glorious presence." (Emphasis added) Exodus 29:43 (NLT)
In these two brief examples, and others throughout the Old Testament, God MEETS the people THERE His was not in their hearts, He was THERE. External. Not within. In Adventism, you have tacit lip-service given to the concept of the Holy Spirit being in you but you still have to go THERE, to the Sabbath, to find God. Adventism seems to overlook the fact that the ONLY reason that the law was so important to the people of Israel was because THAT WAS ALL THEY HAD! There was no loving relationship between Abba Father and child. It was GOD and pitiful human. Jesus erased that and re-established God with man
This conclusion meant that EVERYTHING that was high and holy about the Old Testament Temple/Tabernacle, the Holy Place AND the MOST HOLY PLACE, now resides IN me. The "enter it unholy and/or touch it and die," absolute holiness is IN me when I choose God, and His Holy Spirit enters my life. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade, I am in the direct presence of GOD! WHY would I limit my relationship with God to just one day a week? Which second, minute, hour, day, month, year, decade, is more holy than the other when God resides IN YOU?
God can ONLY reside in holy places, and when I confess as, Romans 10:9 says, "Jesus is Lord," He comes INTO me and resides in a holy place, HIS HOME. This nonsense about Jesus entering the Most Holy Place in 1844 is a mute point. Jesus enters the Most Holy Place when anyone surrenders their life to Him, confesses their sins and asks Jesus into their lives. It's His temple, He can only reside where it is holy.
It just didn't' make any sense at all. Ridiculous issues about whether there is pork in those sandwiches appears ludicrous in light of the God of the Universe living in me 24/7.
I grew up with the quaint picture of Jesus knocking at the cottage door with no outside handle. A great image but wholly inaccurate. Jesus is knocking and there is no outside handle but the door is grander than ANYTHING Solomon ever had on his temple.
NO! THE SABBATH WAS NOT CHANGED FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY. IT WAS LIBERATED FROM A SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK TO EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES, IF WE HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LORD. DON'T CHASE THE RED HERRING! DON'T PLAY THEIR GAME!
Shortly after we received confirmation that our names had been removed from the Adventist books, we received one of our last copies of the "Review." (Adventist Review Special Issue "Searching," Volume 180, Number 36, September 4, 2003) I was extremely disappointed to read one distortion after another about what happens to Adventists when they leave "the fold." Many of the articles centered around how those that leave the church are somehow driven out by some sort of offense that had been done to them.
I have met numerous former Adventists and NONE that I have met personally have left because "someone offended them, treated them poorly or they were just simply unhappy in the Adventist church." From my experience, ALL who have left did so because they could no longer reconcile Adventism with the Bible and left for purely theologic reasons. This is, yet another, deception that the Adventist church leadership has fed to the masses.
So what does happen to all those poor souls who fall away from "the fold?" WE FOUND LIFE AND FREEDOM IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD! In our case, we were introduced to a dynamic, healthy, growing, non-denominational church in south Dayton called Southbrook Christian Church (www.southbrook.org).
I am currently a volunteer Pastoral Care Team Leader for one of the five services that are held each weekend. Five services are needed in the (physically) small church, which handles 3000+ people that come to hear ONLY the word of God preached each week.
The church has an awesome Children's Ministry program and we were floored, when after a few week of attendance, our children were excited to be going to church. I'm sure that many an Adventist would refuse to think that any TRUTH could be taught while the kids are laughing, playing, singing, watching puppets, making crafts and studying in small groups. Wellmy son is seven and is adamant about being baptized. Does he understand EVERY truth necessary to make that big step? Not quite yet. But, he does know that he want to give his heart to God and be a blacksmith and/or an "Adventurer" for Jesus. We'll have to see where Jesus leads him. However, his heart has been lit on fire and he wants Jesus in his life! He, and my daughters, will never know anything but Jesus. They will never have to wrestle with the complexities, struggle with the contradictions or have to seek compromise to carry the burden of Adventism. THAT is my confirmation of why I left Adventism.
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