Post Number: 2
|Posted on Friday, June 14, 2019 - 8:50 pm: || |
I think I originally posted this in the wrong place. I copied and pasted it here (hopefully it is now where it should be and I apologize for it possibly appearing twice.
I’m very interested in a community of former Adventists who, perhaps, can understand where I’m coming from. I was born into an active SDA family that attended church in Halifax Nova Scotia. My mother was active through her whole life in the music programs and served on many occasions and in many capacities as choir director, pianist, organist or music director etc. She dedicated her whole life to the church. My brother until recently, has been a music director at one of the SDA academies on the west coast of the USA. Having been raised in the church, I was baptized at 13, attended both public as well as Adventist schools, graduated from Kingsway College and then Branson Hospital…and by the time I was 23, I’d walked away from the church and been disfellowshipped.
When I was notified that a meeting was scheduled to consider removing my name from the church books because of my backsliding ways, I was offered the opportunity to come and represent myself in the proceedings. I did not attend and didn’t think it would bother me as I wasn’t attending church anyway. When I was notified (by registered letter) of being disfellowshipped, I was surprised at how much it did bother me – it hurt. I was surprised at just how much is wrapped up in being part of the SDA culture and mini-society. For years after, I’d refer to myself (in a joking manner) as a spiritual amputee and mention I must have been exceptionally bad to get kicked out of church.
For probably 30 or so years, I wanted nothing to do with anything religious. A few years ago, I became more interested in my spiritual side and specifically wanted to see what Jesus really taught and was thus drawn back to the path I’m now on. I am a Christian though I have not joined any denomination. I worship regularly with a small Pentecostal church and have become good friends with the pastor. He is quite happy with my position that I do not wish to take out membership and actually we have great discussions on matters that he’d be reluctant to have with congregants.
I now am quite happy to visit and worship in various churches of different denominations and some independent groups - and made some good friends along the way. Even more recently, I was finally able to visit a couple different SDA churches – and feel comfortable. I felt it necessary to be able to walk back in to a denominational church where I had so many mixed feelings and history. I needed to do this as a therapeutic measure so as to close that chapter and put that finally behind me. I noticed there definitely appears to have been some changes over the years – and I met up with some dear old friends I had not seen for many years. They asked if I was back (in town) and I assured them I was just visiting.
I read a few articles and stories of Desmond Ford and his emphasis on grace and mercy (as I read it). This appealed because it was the legalism, and performance based religion I’d known growing up - which had convinced me I was hopeless and I could not ultimately succeed. Even were I to give it my very best shot, I’d never be able to stand the anxiety whilst awaiting the verdict (saved or condemned). I don’t think my story is unique and I know a number of people my age, who I attended school with, some of whom even became pastors - who also left. Some are still Christian and some either atheist or simply don’t care. My Pentecostal pastor friend assures me that I was not alone and other denominations (his included) were much the same – other than attending Sunday School rather than Sabbath School. Anyway just wanted to tell you a bit about myself and say Hello.
If this is the right place, I'll share more of my story - if this is not the right place, maybe someone can direct me to where I should post. Many thanks.
Post Number: 451
|Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 - 8:44 am: || |
Thanks for sharing your story. I would love to hear more, as I'm sure others would.
We are all in an unique club...not many others can understand our journey and what it was like to be SDA.
I wasn't raised SDA. I joined at age 24. I was biblically ignorant and searching for a spiritual path. Through some unusual events, my friend, who was on the spiritual hunt with me, became an Adventist, and about a year later I did too.
I met my husband at church. He was a generational SDA, and he began a career teaching in SDA schools, being a principal, and an Ed. Supt. We were "all in"...but, I saw things along the way that were odd to me (of course, because I had entered a very unusual culture that was really foreign to me). I was in the SDA church for a total of 27 years. I think if the internet had been the way it is now, I would have been out much earlier. As it was, I was becoming aware that something wasn't right (and not biblical). Long story short...I was done with it, the internet was in full swing, and I did a lot of research into EGW and the history of the SDA church. Wow! What a story of craziness! If I had known all of that, I would never have joined this church in the first place. So much of the real story of EGW and the crazy things that went on is hidden from the members. We have the internet now, but lots of people don't know that there is anything to know, other than the official story. It's maddening to realize how dishonest the church is about so many things.
Well, my husband, daughter and myself have been out of the SDA church for about 15 years. I still have a lot of interest in it...like a strange part of my life that I want to keep tabs on. It's an interesting group to watch and see how things are transpiring.
Thanks again for posting...
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 - 9:57 am: || |
Thank you for replying to my initial post and for sharing your story. I realized that I still haven't posted in the members only area and so will (my error - not quite understanding how this message board works). I'll write more of my story but will do so in the members only area. -R
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 - 6:56 pm: || |
I typed out a message earlier and it disappeared. No idea where it went. But figured I'd try one more time...
Thanks for posting a part of our story! I did go and look but couldn't see a post of yours in the Members Only section. Had thought I'd reply there.
I was a "born n raised" SDA. My wife was one for about 20 years. We met on a church website, online. No one thought it would last 6 weeks. We were married 18 years this March!
I was the one who first started questioning. The health message was one of the first because I kept seeing very unhealthy people trying to tell me how to live. And I got rather unhealthy trying to live that way. It wasn't good. Made some serious changes and got better but went directly against EGW's writings on what's "healthy" to do it. Started questioning the Investigative Judgement. Never could figure out where in the Bible that was supported. And then came the Sabbath. I couldn't figure out how the Sabbath was so important and yet the feast days were poo-pooed. As I read my Bible, it didn't seem like it was something I could just choose. They seemed to be a package deal.
I got very fed up with hearing "Ellen White said", "my favorite author said", and even "a little lady that wrote a lot of books said". One of the later SDA sermons I sat through was a disgusting display of Ellen White worship. Oh, they didn't call it that. But it was full on worship... disgusting.
This past January, my wife and I went to visit our son in Phoenix, AZ and spent several months there. The very first week of the year, we went to a well known SDA church with some well known people there. It was a "dog & pony show" with politics and self-righteousness on full display. I told my wife I didn't want to go back. Not only did I not want to go back to that church, I didn't want to go back to an SDA church. So we didn't. That was the last time we've set foot in an SDA church.
I had decided I would like to meet Mark Martin. He's one of the pastors at Calvary Chapel in Phoenix. He's a former SDA. So we went. Hit it off well with Mark and spent the rest of our time in Phoenix attending there.
Returning to Tennessee in early March, there was a hole as we were then determined that our days as SDA's were OVER. DONE. NOT going back. There isn't a Calvary Chapel close but we've been attending a Baptist church most Sunday mornings. (We did go to a Calvary Chapel in Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago and loved it. But it's over 2 hours drive one way.)
The hardest thing for me has been the music. I was a traditional SDA musician for 40+ years. Started playing piano at 5 and kept on going. When we left SDAism, that all ended. I was offered some work playing in barroom settings but I just never felt right about that. I do play some jazz. But the contemporary music in most of the churches we've been to just doesn't speak to me. I understand it does speak to others, though, so I don't think of it as "evil". But I miss music as I've known it. I'm still hoping that God has a place for me in that regard.
The other thing that's been hard is friends. People talk about friends and family giving them a hard time about leaving the SDA church. For us, it's been mostly the opposite. It's as though we died. All but maybe 2 or 3 of our SDA friends, ones we rarely saw even a few times a year, have pretty much abandoned us. A few took a few jabs at us with things like, "you're going to church on the wrong day". (Little did they know that sometimes at Calvary, we went on Saturday. But they didn't care. It wasn't THEIR church.) So we found ourselves very much without friends. Sure, we've met some people online in various Facebook groups. But it's not the same as friends you hang out with and do stuff with. We've struggled with that.
Something very positive... my wife and I are together 100%. Love my wife with all my heart and know it would be extremely difficult if we weren't together on this.
Anyway, I'm getting pretty long-winded. Hadn't intended to. Plus, I'm not positive this thing will actually post, so we'll see.
I look forward to reading more as you write it!
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 - 8:27 pm: || |
Thanks Brian, I very much appreciate your post and sharing from your story. I hadn't yet posted in the members only area but am doing so now (as soon as I finish this reply) Thanks again. -R
Post Number: 15592
|Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 - 11:54 pm: || |
Welcome, R–e–h2001! I'm glad you're here. You really have found a place where people will understand your story.
As Foofighter said above, the internet has changed people's access to information. The Lord has been in this phenomenon, I am convinced. Adventism is deceptive, a clever look-alike of Christianity.
Once one discovers the true Jesus, though, it's really not possible ever to go back. The real, biblical Jesus could not have failed and finished the atonement. He has done all we need. Being made alive in Him changes us; Adventists generally have no idea that our experience of being born again makes us completely new!
We look forward to hearing more from you. Again, Welcome!
Post Number: 3274
|Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 9:31 pm: || |
Welcome Brian & R_e_h2001,
I really identify and understand what both of you have shared.
I dropped out of Adventism at age 16 which was a big step into the unknown as I was a 4th generation SDA and that is really all I knew. That was 62 years ago but was living a worldly life for about 10 years before I was introduced to the real gospel.
(Message edited by philharris on July 10, 2019)
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 - 1:30 pm: || |
It's been amazing how the Bible has been opening up to me as I've been reading without the SDA / EGW glasses firmly planted in front of my eyes. I see things I've never seen before, and old things I'm seeing in new ways. God is good!
The longer I'm away from SDAism, the less I'm inclined to even think of going back.