|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 3:58 pm: || |
So true, Lydell! Love for Jesus solves the doctrinal problems. As you learn to know Him, He literally teaches you and unfolds scripture to you. And, as many of us have discovered, you really can't fall in love with Jesus until you discover that your salvation is absolutely secure and completed.
I agree wholeheartedly with the "singing" idea. I can't begin to tell you how often I've been struggling with being overwhelmed or frantic or discouraged, and when I play worship and praise music (and even sing with it), God really calms my heart and places himself in my line of focus, so to speak. The Holy Spirit gives the deep response of worship to God that fills us with emotion that I can't explain. These deep responses of worship and sometimes joy and sometimes sadness mixed with hope and sometimes tears are feelings I never experienced during Adventist song services.
I still am in awe of the fact that I actually feel love for Jesus. I always knew I was supposed to love him, but I never actually felt like I loved him until I realized that he has set me free and saved me FOR SURE! And he never leaves us!
|Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 8:38 am: || |
Carla, I just want to tell you that many,many of us share your experience as you leave Adventism. If people say it is easy they have not been connected to Adventism for very long. I grew up within the denomination and then pastored as a SDA pastor for 15 years. Even though theologically, I have moved on and out, it is still hard to leave the cultural connections. The last church I pastored as an SDA, I pastored for 8 years and you build strong friendships in that time. I still attend once in a while because I love those people and just long for them to experience the freedom of the new covenant gospel as I do. They are a very open minded and liberal thinkig church and most have moved away from EGW and other fundamental SDA doctrines, but they still feel the Sabbath is a major truth even though they may be extremely liberal in keeping the Sabbath. A lot of them are comfortable where they are and are not interested in really wrestling with scripture. So my heart goes out to them and I want to be there when and if they should one day seriously ask the heavy questions.
My wife and I visit many Sunday churches and just keep praying that God will lead us to the one he wants us to attend. We feel we are at home worshiping in almost any Christian church as we know in every church there are sincere believers who love Jesus and are seeking to walk in the Spirit each day.
I will tell you Carla that you may have to do as I have done and constantly go back to the scripture to reinforce what the Holy Spirit has shown you and to solidify the truths of the New Covenant in you heart and mind. Our conscience has to be fed new truth and sometimes it takes much prayer and re-study to sort of re-program our conscience.
For example, regarding the 7th day sabbath, I had to go over my study notes on the sabbath many times and each time it would become clearer to me. Then I had to follow-up my beliefs with action by deliberately working on saturday or go shopping. At first it felt strange, but now I can do so with a clear conscience because in my mind and heart I know the truth of the sabbath-rest that the New Covenant teaches.
The joy and peace I have experienced by seeking to rest in Christ 7/24's has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Jesus offers us the Sabboth-like rest continually, but I will say it requires all the faith we have to rest in Him in every aspect of our life but when we do....WOW!
Carla, you do not walk alone in the journey, the Holy Spirit walks with you and in you, and we your fellow travelers, walk with you as well in our prayers.
Be patient with your husband,make it convenient for him to pick things up to read without any pressure. If he is seeking, the Holy Spirit will guide him.
Blessings to you.
|Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 10:51 am: || |
This was the closest currently active topic to what I'm going to share, so here it goes:
Today I went to get my mail, and what should I find? None other than some anonymously sent piece of mail that contained in it a book entitled 'The White Truth' by J. Robertson. Apparently someone is trying to re-brainwash me. I've glanced through it and compared the conclusions of the author with what I currently believe, and I must say-he is quite brainwashed, and downright delusional. His conclusions are undiluted rubbish. He grasps at such staws that anytime EGW wrote 'I was shown..' or something of similar vein, he takes that statement as an 'authenticator' as he calls it, of her authenticity. So apparently now all you have to do to be recognized by them as a prophet is to claim you were shown!! Bah. I can claim I was shown all manner of things, but a prophet I am not.
I'm a little bit annoyed at having received this mail because of whoever sent it to me didn't have the decency to put their name on it, instead choosing to mail it to me anonymously.
Has anyone else read or viewed that book? I'd like some other peoples comments if anyone has any to share. Thank you.
|Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 4:43 pm: || |
I have not read 'The White Truth', but if this is the book I think it is, it was written about 15 to 20 years ago as a reaction to Walter Rea's 'The White Lie'. At that time it was not as well known that many of White's statements following the phrase "I was shown" are in fact copied from various sources. I would not expect this arguement of Robertson's to be taken seriously by anyone familiar with the facts.
|Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 5:03 pm: || |
It is indeed the book you think it is, Darrell. Written in 1981 by John J. Robertson.
(gag, cough, cough)
It is amazing how you see the same documents resurface after they are discredited.
Another such book which showed up in my house a few months ago was "I was Canright's Secretary"
I guess the idea is the same as Goebel's philosophy:
Tell a big lie, Tell it often, Tell it loudly, and eventually people will believe it.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 9:18 am: || |
I haven't been here for a few days, but thank you for the messages of encouragement and advice. My husband and I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend studying the Bible and had some good discussions about where we stand on certain issues at the current time. Hopefully, we are both open-minded enough to follow the Spirit's leading, even if He leads us away from some of our pet beliefs. Once I stop and really think about it, there are many little tidbits of SDA teaching that have bothered me for a long time, perhaps because deep down I recognized them as being incorrect and/or trivial. These issues just keep resurfacing even though I'm trying to concentrate on Jesus' perfect and complete plan of redemption.
I don't know why, but I've been reminded of a controversy in our local church several years ago regarding church members, especially church officers, wearing jewelry. This was really a big deal at the time, and resulted in a business meeting and vote devoted entirely to this issue. I've never seen so much energy and emotion (yes, emotion!) put into an endeavor as was present at that meeting. I'm ashamed just thinking about now. If all that effort had went into winning souls (maybe even our own), what a difference it could have made. Anyway...enough of that.
I just had a visit from my very Adventist parents. They are dissatisfied with SDAism too, but for much different reasons. They are of the opinion that the church is getting too liberal, and it needs to get back to the teachings it promoted when they joined. Apparently in one of the newer SS quarterlies, the church is not blasting Catholicism like it has in the past, and is now claiming that no one knows what the mark of the beast will be, etc. My parents are affiliated with the so-called "historic Adventists", so this is an outrage to them. In a way, this makes them harder to witness to than a mainstream Adventist. They certainly are hard-headed, especially about EGW. I'm praying once I have my own head on straight that the Lord will use me somehow to bring the truth of the gospel home to them.
I guess that's enough rambling for today. You guys said I could say anything here, so I'm taking you at your word.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 5:15 pm: || |
Carla, I have relatives much like your parents. While mine aren't overtly affiliated with Historic Adventists, that is essentially how they believe. The change in the Quarterlies presentation of the mark of the beast is consistent with the church's change in emphasis on the seal of God as well. While the two used to be identified as Sunday keeping and Sabbath keeping respectively, it's hard to keep teaching those things when the members are discovering that the Bible doesn't support those ideas.
One of the ways I've heard the significance of the Sabbath explained recently is that it is the sign of the seal of Godóthe seal, they now say, is the Holy Spirit. The Sabbath is the sign that people have accepted the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives.
I guess what this change of teaching says to me is that many Adventists are searching. Some are honestly searching for Biblical truth. Some are searching for Biblically "supportable" ways to keep the church viable in the face of criticism and exposure. Dale Ratzlaff has prayed for years for a revival of the church much like that of the Worldwide Church of God. I believe that either a revival will happen, or there will be an increasingly growing stream of people leaving as they discover Jesus.
For a true revival of the church to happen, it will, as an organization, have to renounce EGW and apologize for the unbiblical doctrines and confusion it has taught. It will not be enough to "clean up" the doctrines. They'll have to acknowledge and deal with their history and let go of Ellen officially. If that doesn't happen, I believe that there may eventually be a mass exodus or even a split. As Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters, and a house divided against itself cannot stand. The church will not be able to hold fondly to EGW but discount her importance while sliding seamlessly into evangelical Christianity. As long as EGW is held and the "distinctives" defended for whatever reason, the church is compromised.
I do believe, however, that God is causing Adventists to awaken and begin discovering the Bible. They are being called to embrace Jesus exclusively.
I continue to pray that God will reveal the true nature of Adventism and that He will draw those desiring truth to himself.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 8:33 pm: || |
Carla, great to hear from you again! I am continuing to keep you and your family in my prayers.
God bless you,
|Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 9:46 pm: || |
I'd like to concur with your conclusion. I do believe that very many adventist are feeling empty and confused and long for a true relationship with Jesus Christ. There are several factors that account for that in my opinion.
First, they observe believers in Christ, who portray joy, sincerity and integrity which is in stark contrast to what they are accustomed. Next, they cannot ignore the numerous Bible teachers on radio and T.V. who preach the unadulterated gospel. They hear it and many try to fit truth into their worldview. It is difficult.
Also, I am sure people are tired with the cognitive dissonance they are realizing within themselves. They long for spiritual nourishment and discipling.
Most importantly, I believe God is calling His people to himself. "My sheep know my voice, and they follow me." I truly believe that more people than we know are leaving the church, or are on the verge of leaving if they could find support.
Therefore, we cannot relent in our intercessory pray that God will remove every barrier which stand in the way of any Adventist God is calling to Himself.
It was for freedom Christ came.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 7:16 am: || |
I think that 2 Cor. 13:14 sums up what the Christian way of living is all about:
1. May the GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST be with you!
2. May the LOVE OF GOD be with you.
3. May the FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT be with you!
These three elements are where the peace, joy and inner happiness come from!!! Through the fellowship with the Holy Spirit we enrich our understanding of Grace and thereby amplify our perception of God's Love.
In stark contrast are the means by which many attempt to have a relationship with God:
1. Go to church at least once a week.
2. Pay your tithes and offerings.
3. Abstain from certain things.
These are just a few of the ways in which religion makes its attempt to appease God.
I have often heard these sayings:
Religion is the devils ace trump--it is mans attempt to reach God through his own merit.
Christianity is God's way of reaching out to man through his Son, Jesus Christ.
I know as an Adventist, I did not understand those first three things. I was solely relying on my knowledge of the "final test question". I knew about the true Sabbath day and when the time came I would have to be loyal to the Sabbath in order to be saved.
I gave offerings and tithe because I had been taught that whatever you gave God would give back to you three-fold. I was giving, not out of a love for God, but as a means of being blessed.
I abstained from activities that fell during the Sabbath hours. I abstained from the unclean foods. I abstained from jewelry, alcoholic beverages, etc...so that I would be recognized as being "set apart". I didn't do these things out of a love for God; I did them out of....fear.....I was afraid since I knew not to do them, if I did them anyway, something terrible would happen to me because I disobeyed.
So, what is different now:
I have experienced the Grace of Jesus Christ. I know there is nothing that I can do to ever earn or deserve salvation. The only way I can have it is if it is given to me!!!
I have learned to love God!!! Not because of what he can give me!! But because of what he already did for me before I ever knew him!!! I have learned that The Source of Blessing is more important than the blessings themselves!!!
I have learned that the only thing we lose when we are sinful is the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. (The Gift of Grace is never removed and I can trust God completely!) And we can be back in fellowship with the Holy Spirit in a heart beat. All we have to do is tell God what we did wrong and we are cleansed from all unrighteousness. At this very moment we are back in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and we can utilize the thinking of Christ to endure any trials!
I didn't understand this as an Adventist. And, I'm quite sure that most of the Adventist I know don't understand it either. I long for them to be able to "see" the difference--to experience the real way of Christian living so they will realize what a poor substitution they are clinging to.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 12:17 pm: || |
Thank you for articulating those thoughts so beautifully. Yes, I too do "long for them (the Adventists) to be able to "see" the difference--to experience the real way of Christian living.."
I have had both the priviledge and joy to be there when God ripped the veil off some hearts, and rejoiced because they "got" it finally.
I also know and feel frustrated at times when I see so many of them cling tightly to the "poor substitute" and remain willfully ignorant and contentedly blind in their condition.
Praise God for being Sovereign. He draws people to Himself in His time.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - 3:19 pm: || |
That is so true, Bmorgan! It happens in His time. And I have to remind myself that the public perception of Adventism is also in God's hands and in God's time. I'm sure there are variations of this theme in different geographical locations, but in So. Cal. Adventists have "evangelicalized" their profile immensely in the past couple of years. I frequently get Christians I know through work or church saying, "Adventism is changing. Thet're not all adhering to those legalistic doctrines. They're completely different than they were a few years ago! Maybe the church will change?!"
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the realization that when I tell these people what I know to be true--that the church itself is NOT changing and, indeed, is battening down the hatches, so to speak--they change the subject as if to say, "I understand--you have bad feelings about the church. But it's different since you left!"
I have to surrender--all over again--my feelings of wanting to set the record straight! God knows the truth,and he sees the "whitewash" that's going on in strategic places. I can keep praying, and I can keep surrendering to Jesus the solution and the outcome of this situation.