Post Number: 2
|Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 10:02 pm: || |
I have been an Adventist since I was about 11,12 years old. My mother "found" the Sabbath at that time and "as for her and her house, we would follow God". That was one of her things she used to say. Being young and obedient, I followed her into SDAism. There were 4 of us, my 3 sisters and myself being raised by a single parent. Before this, we always went to church on Sundays at a Baptist church. My mother raised us to respect the Lord and did a pretty good job at it. My mother says she's been saved since she was 12. Way before she knew anything about Seventh-day Adventists.
I mentioned all this as a little background info so that everyone understands that my mother and us already had a relationship with God and that my mother, at least, knew Him on a personal level before Adventism came into veiw. We were being raised with an understanding of what the Gospel is about.
However, me being young, I didn't really understand what was going on. Next thing I knew, we were going to church on Saturday. Visiting a small congregation. (This particular church congregation was just starting out having just "spun off" from another local church) I remember a "seminar" that we attended for about a month. Every night except Thursday night. Didn't quite know why at the time, but I know now. That wasn't expained then. This "seminar" was held at a local university auditorium "headlined" by a popular ex-TV celebrity who became a SDA evangelist.
On the last day of the "Seminar" I found out that my entire family was going to be baptized by this evangilist at a local SDA church. Funny thing is, I must have past this church a million times before and never noticed it until that day. I remember my oldest sister gave my mother and the evangelist a hard time about being baptized. She was not happy. One thing that stuck out the most was this: I don't remember exactly how it came about, but I do remember the evangelist offering my sister money to get baptized with the family. I thought that was odd even at 11,12 years old. She refused the money.We laugh about it now. But it wasn't funny then. She said she did it for my mother and made it known to the few people who were around at the time.
Anyway, the next thing I knew, we were in transformation mode. TV off and devotion at sundown Friday night. No more Saturday morning cartoons. (That just about killed me) Jewelry came off. (Which we never really wore much of) No pork (That wasn't a big deal, didn't eat much of it anyway) People starting comeing over with colorful pamphlets and bible study stuff. I didn't know it then, but we were being "evangilzed to". I didn't understand much of what was going on. I do know one thing, though. I was scared half to death. You probably remember. It seemed like everything we did up to that point was wrong.
Anyhow, during that summer, I learned that my youngest sister and I were going to be enrolled in an Adventist junior academy. I was not happy about this at all. I was supposed to start JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, after all! The school, at that time, went up to eight grade. I only had two years to do. So I thought. At the end of my eighth grade year, the school decided to add ninth grade. I went for another year. I have to say, however, I did learn alot in the adventist school. Things that I would never have known if I didn't attend. Also, I must admit, I believe I came into a better relationship with God during those years. I also came into a better understanding of Adventism. I didn't realize then that later in my life what I learned there would help now.
I became active in the small church we attended. Not because I wanted to, however. Because there wasn't too many members, the young people were called-on to handle some of the duties that, at larger churches, people in positions would do. I ushered, deaconed, took up tithe and offerings, did children's story, etc.
At the end of my nineth grade year at the junior academy, my family moved about an hour away from where we lived. We continued to attend the small church that grew slightly since we first started until we learned of a church that was closer to where we lived from another family that attended the same small church and moved to the same neighborhood we moved to. This church had more members and was much more modern than the last church. Oh, I forgot to say. The first church didn't own their own building at the time. They were renting from a AME church. Funny how some SDA churches won't allow other faiths to use their premises for worship on Sunday, but they'll rent other churches for ther worship services on Saturday. (I have a couple of stories about that I'll save for another time)
My mother decided to change our membeship to this new, bigger, more modern church which seemed to be more our speed. My mother didn't force me into being active in this new chuch. I think she was giving me a break. After all, at the last church I was doing more than what a 14 year old should be doing. IMO. But, eventually, I did become active. I joined the choir, became an usher,worked on the AYS commitee, and found my "true love" and what I felt I could do to help spread "the gospel". I found the communication department. This was someting I could do and actually enjoy doing.
I became one of the main audio/visual operators. Worked cameras, recorded audio/video, radio ministry, etc. I was very comfortable in the many positions in communications that I held over the years. From the time I was 15 until I was 30 at the same SDA church, I was comfortable. But not completely satisfied. By this time, I was married (still am) with children. Raising my kids in the church. Going every Sabbath. Getting them envolved. Everything was good. My family(My wife and kids) were well known and dependent upon for the things that we did at that church.
As long as I and my family were contributing to the church, I was good. So I thought...
I'll continue another time. I didn't realize I would go on this long. I apologize for being so long winded. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Post Number: 5193
|Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 10:19 pm: || |
Welcome, Godssonjp! We're happy to have you with us! Thank you for sharing your story's beginnings. I'm looking forward to reading more! Make yourself at home!
Post Number: 761
|Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 7:14 am: || |
Welcome to the forum GodssonJP. I look forward to hearing more!
Post Number: 368
|Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 9:46 am: || |
Welcome and thanks for sharing your story! Can't wait to hear the rest
Post Number: 851
|Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 12:28 pm: || |
Wow. I haven't heard much from people who weren't born into SDAism. That must have been some transition to be a "teen" and have to conform to all that SDAism embodies. Interesting story...can't wait to hear more!
By the way...my niece was a teacher at an SDA elementary school and when she pulled her boys out to home school them (in the evenings) the church school threatened to fire her!!! You can't go against the norm in SDAism, can you?! (What would that look like to others?!)
Post Number: 299
|Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 6:23 pm: || |
Welcome from me, too! I enjoyed reading your story. Please continue when you are ready...it was so interesting and I didn't find it long-winded at all!
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 11:54 am: || |
Thank you all for allowing me to share my story. Iím currently still in transition out of Adventism. Iíve only shared my thought, beliefs and feelings with a few. Those who I know wouldnít look at me funny or treat me differently. So, this forum is a great outlet for me. I have read through many posts here and felt comfort and excitement and relief from them. Many of your stories here are just what I needed to help make the transition easier. Thank you much.
As you could probably assume from my last post, my mother has had a great impact and influence on my life. I credit her for keeping me grounded and encouraging me to always keep my faith in Christ. Thank God for her. I would have probably left the church long ago if it wasnít for her.
She also held many positions in the church throughout the years. One which she held from time to time was Sabbath school teacher. I remember a few years ago the lesson focused on the investigative judgment. My mom had a hard time with this one. Whenever the topic came up, she tried to understand it but it never made since to her. It didnít make since to me either. See, I was always taught that whatever we do, whatever we believe, whatever we practiced, should be in-line with what the Bible says. Everything we need or need to know was in the Bible. So, when the topic of the IJ came up, she always looked for ìdoes the Bible say thatî. And because she couldnít see it, she decided not to teach that particular lesson. One of the assistants who ìunderstoodî the IJ had to teach it. My mother didnít give up on it though. She did exactly what she told us kids to do. ìProve it by the Bibleî. So, she took off on her personal study on the IJ according to SDA, and saw problems. Another thing she has always taught me since I was young was to not just read a couple verses here, a couple verses there. We should read entire passages to get a full understanding of whatís going on. As far as she was concerned, the investigative judgment just didnít make since and the Bible didnít support it.
I remember talking to her about it. She started saying things like, ìsomethingís not rightî and ìI feel God is about to do something in my lifeî. These words she said concerned me some since I never really heard her talk like this before. This is one of the few times that my mom seemed uncertain about what she believed. She was always certain of what she believed before. What was going on?
Meanwhile, I was busy doing my duties in the church. Helping to ìspread the Wordî. Weeks went by. Things were good. They had actually gotten better since previous years. (Many of us at the church noticed things had become stagnant in the last, letís say decade or so) Things were picking up now, or so I thought. More new members and returning members. (More new technology, I think I may have been a little more excited about that)
Around this time our pastor was on a mission to bring us into ìmore truthî by bringing us back to our core beliefs. Many sermons focusing on SDA core doctrines followed week after week. Except on ìspecial daysî and even then, sometimes. So, as you can imagine, more EGW quotes, more end time events scenarios, SDA teachings galore. Trying to validate Ellen White and SDA doctrine. Pastor felt we, as a church, were falling away from our true message. He preached about large, ìcharismaticî, ì ëso-calledí (his wordís) grace-teachingî, ìNTî, ìSundayî non-adventist churches. He ran down the whole, Babylon, Mark of the Beast, etc. stuff. I wasnít feeling this at all. It actually upset me a little. I knew calling out churches, other Christians at that, was not right. But, he had no problem doing that. He would say stuff like, ìI know the truth may hurt, but, itís the truth, anyhow.î He was doing what he said the Lord has called him to do. Who was I to question that?
One Sabbath, between Sabbath school and divine worship, I noticed my mother was wearing earrings. Now, she never thought or taught us that wearing jewelry was wrong or a sin. As a matter of fact, she never really wore a lot of jewelry before we became SDA. Only on occasion would she wear any. Never to church on the Sabbath, though. I was a little surprised. Not terribly surprised, however. Remember, little changes were taking place in her life and I noticed a difference about her. I believe this is when she started to be more sure of what she believed again. I went over to her to greet her and, of course, inquired about the earrings. Conversation went something like thisÖ
ìHey Mom, did you forget you had your earrings on today?î
ìNo, I didnít forgetî
ìI wore them last week, too. When I sang with the choir.î
ìYea, Pastor wants to talk to me about itî
Within the next week or so my mother talked wit the pastor first privately. Then met with the church board. From what I understand, the pastor told the members of the board, ìyou deal with herî and dismissed himself from the meeting. Knowing my mom, she probably asked them to prove things straight from the bible without any aid from EGW, and they most likely couldnít come up with answers.
One thing that my mother told me that sticks out the most is this. She said she told the pastor that her Bible says that Jesus went to sit at the right hand of the Father after he ascended to heaven. Where in the Bible does it say he didnít? I believe she didnít receive a satisfactory answer.
Then it happened. My mother announced to me and some of her friends that she was leaving the SDA church. I wasnít shocked or disappointed. I kinda knew it was coming. Just didnít know it was coming this soon..
Iíll continue next post.
Post Number: 5208
|Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 4:19 pm: || |
So interesting, Godssonjp. Waiting for the next installment....
Post Number: 309
|Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 5:51 pm: || |
Post Number: 374
|Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 5:55 pm: || |
Welcome, Godssonjp! You've come to the right place. Thanks for sharing your story.
I just love your mother... I hope if she's still alive that she'll join us too sometime.
Post Number: 463
|Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 9:23 am: || |
Yahoo, so exiting Godssonjp!
Post Number: 327
|Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 11:49 am: || |
Me too,I am waiting for the next installment.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 8:15 pm: || |
I'll try to finish my story in this post, if possible. Trying to leave out all of the "non-important" things has proven to be a bit difficult. So, here goes.
Now. My mom leaves the church. Okay. Here, I'll back up a little, say, early 90's. My second oldest sister left the SDA church, her and her family. She was never happy as an SDA. We had many discussions about why she left. I remeber her telling me how free she was and how we never can be perfect before Jesus comes by folowing the ten commandments. I also remeber her telling me years before when she went to AUC (I still don't know why she chose to go there) how, in one of her Bible studies classes, she read a book about cults. In this book, the SDA church was mentioned as a cult. At that time, I wasn't really into these things. So, it went in one ear and out the other. After all, I was a bit younger. Anyway, she seemed to be alot closer to God than previously. There was a difference to her that I had never seen before.
Also, my oldest sister left the SDA church a couple of years after my second oldest sister left. They both attend the same Bible teaching church now. Both are active and very secure of their salvation there.
So, back to the future. My two oldest sisters, gone. My mother, gone. What was I to do? I didn't believe they were lost because they left. At that time, I didn't have any real support to believe this. I just didn't believe that only Seventh-day Adventists were the only ones making it to glory.
Actually, I felt happy for them. I knew God was working in their lives. But what about me? Was I missing something? What if some of what SDA teach was right? What if they abandon some of the "right" doctrines. Could they be lost. Worst yet, what if some of the SDA doctrines that I believe, or at least, what I upheld and practiced wasn't right? Would I be lost? These questions and questions like these I pondered. What should I do? I didn't want to be a follower and follow my family out the door. I needed to know for sure before I made any move.
After mom left and the pastor started speaking on "back to basics" issues, I started researching the beginnings of the SDA church. This was about 2 years ago now. I was actually serving in an office as an assistant to one of the department heads then. This church officers serve for 2 years. In the month of Sept., at a monthly meeting, I announced that I needed to take a break at the end of the year, Dec 2005. That I wasn't sure when I would resume my responsibilities. I felt uncomfortable helping to push a messege that I didn't totaly believe and was unsure of. I had to be 100 percent with it.
The next three months were "crazy". Researching the history of the church is easy if you're not incorporating the Bible into it. But whenever I tried to tag the Bible along with what the founders taught it never meshed. I came accross websites that gave more SDA history than what I learned from the church all the years I was there. I orded Sabbath in Crisis and Cultic Doctrine which basically did it for me. My eyes have never been so open. Bible verses that I have read in Bible class at the junior academy, AYS Bible Bowls and games, became so very clear. They took on different meaning than what I thought they meant before. God continues to show me things now even when I'm not looking for anythig special. But, that goes to show that there is something special about every part of God's word. Even some of the insignificant thigs are significant.
December 2005 is when I decided that I could no longer consider myself an SDA. And I feel good about it. At first I didn't. But God continues to reveal truth to me on a daily basis. I have alot of things to unlearn. But I have already learned alot. I know for sure that Jesus is THE ONLY WAY. There is no other way. I know there is nothing that I can do to be saved. He's aready done it all. That takes on a whole different meaning for me than it did 2 yars ago. The Father seeing me through Jesus' blood means so much more than it did before.
God is Good.
Since then, I've been back to that church throughout 2006 about 4 times for special days. Dear friend have invited me and my family back from time to time. We still get asked to come back. Some who know how much I enjoyed working keep asking me to come back, but I keep putting them off in a nice way not trying hurt or offend some.
Pray that I will find a place of worship where Christ is center and Biblical doctrine in taught.
Thanks for allowing me to share my story. There's more. I'm sure I'll be able to share snipets of it in later posts on different discussion threads.
Post Number: 3273
|Posted on Sunday, January 07, 2007 - 8:32 pm: || |
Thank you for your story of your journey with Jesus Christ. God is leading you and He will not mislead you or drop you. He has a hold of your forever.
I do not know why I missed this part of your story until now, but I am thankful I found it.
You will be safe sharing here.
Post Number: 5222
|Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:00 am: || |
Godssonjp, thank you for your story. Praise God for His leading you!
Praying now that you will find a church where you can grow in Jesus.
Post Number: 335
|Posted on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 7:21 am: || |
Thanks for for sharing your walk out of Adventism and into the glory of salvation by Jesus alone. God will guide you in your quest for a church. He will place you exactly where you need to be.
Many Adventists are shocked when they discover the history of the movement that is not easily found. I am not sure if the ABC still publishes some of the books that I had on the history of the SDA movement. It's funny though, that when you have blinders on those words don't seem to mean what they do when the veil is removed. I thank the Lord for the internet where that history can no longer be hidden.
I had the uneasy feeling in the back of my mind as well that I might be wrong and be lost if I left the church. It takes a different time for each person to transition out. Your mom had great courage to stand up for her beliefs, and so did you and your sisters. You are all walking in the light of the pure gospel now, and God's perfect love will cast out all our fears.
As Diana said, God will not lead you or drop you. What a wonderful gift we have in the Holy Spirit who is now dwelling in us to guide us into all truth! You are safe with Him, and safe here.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights here.
Post Number: 34
|Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 8:49 am: || |
I just found this post (somehow it shows up at the bottom of the screen, not sure why).
You mentioned a sister going to AUC years ago. I was there only from 1984-'85 (only God knows why I went there; I think my parents were sensing I wasn't happy about being in church; the funny thing is I rebelled when I hit the SDA college and did not really consider myself a Christian nor SDA anymore; I left the church at that point only to rejoin 10 years later).
Anyways, I've always wondered if anyone in the forum has attended AUC.
Post Number: 35
|Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 - 8:55 am: || |
Forgot to welcome you to the forum, Godssonjp! Great story, thanks so much for sharing with us! Seems everyone starting with your mom were pretty bold (I can picture your mom showing up to church with earrings on, oh my!!! how did she do that?).