Post Number: 14068
|Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:34 pm: || |
I just want to give a preview of an article that's appearing the the next Proclamation!. It's primarily authored by Joanie Yorba-Gray, MSW, who translates Proclamation! into Spanish. She used to work as a clinical social worker.
I'm co-authoring the article, inserting examples from Adventism demonstrating how Adventism functions by exercising control and deception so its members cannot see biblical reality. Adventism fits perfectly into the classic definitions and descriptions of culti, abusive religious groups.
Following is an excerpt:
2. The abuser is narcissistic, using him/herself as the primary point of reference. The dominating leader believes that only “his thoughts, his feelings, his perceptions are fully real…he assumes that what he thinks God thinks, and what he believes is Bible-based…They take it for granted that any idea that jumps into their heads is from the Holy Spirit and that they are only following the promptings of the Holy Spirit whenever they decide to do anything.” “When you (the narcissistic leader) believe that you are right and righteous, then all that you say and do is right and righteous. Any thought to the contrary never enters the picture.”
Even though individual Adventists may disclaim believing in EGW as a prophet, nevertheless she is officially acknowledged as a “source of truth” and is considered God’s messenger to the Seventh-day Adventist movement. She wrote the following about her writings, which have determined the “shape” of the Adventist worldview:
“God was speaking through clay. You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, it was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne.”
3. The abusive church/leader thinks in black and white terms, “either-or” and “we vs. them.” These leaders use terms like “we are the (only) true Christians,” and they are the judge and jury on who is spiritual and who isn’t.
Seventh-day Adventism teaches exclusivity by declaring itself the “remnant church” of Bible prophecy. It believes only Adventism has the two marks that identify God’s remnant people: it keeps all the commandments of God, including the fourth commandment, the seventh-day Sabbath, and it has the “testimony of Jesus” which is the spirit of prophecy (see Rev. 19:10). They identify the writings of EGW as the spirit of prophecy. They believe, based on EGW’s revelations, that in the last days, the seventh-day Sabbath will be the mark that separates the saved from the lost. Moreover, they believe that those who worship on Sunday will have the mark of the beast and will be legally permitted to hunt and kill the Sabbath-keepers.
3. The spiritual abusers promote “legalistic perfectionism” and “perfectionistic legalism.” In reality, these expectations are about power and control, not about holiness. This focus “is a form of religious perfectionism that focuses on careful performance & avoidance of certain behaviors.”
Adventism illustrates this principle by requiring the keeping of the Ten Commandments, especially the fourth, as the evidence of honoring God. It further officially forbids the use of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Adventism encourages vegetarianism and veganism, and these prohibitions and recommendations are for the purpose of prolonging life, suppressing one’s “animal passions” (sexual desires), and enhancing mental clarity and physical health so one can better perceive the Holy Spirit.
4. Many abusive church leaders tend towards being isolationist, choosing not to have fellowship with people whom they consider to be in error, including other Christians and even family members. This withdrawal from Christian acquaintances can also lead to paranoia when the congregation “assumes they are more enlightened and that (others) won’t understand unless they become one of us. Paranoia prevents people from getting the help they need… Leaders cover up child abuse because of distrusting the evil, secular social service system.”
Adventism sees itself as separate from the “world” although in the world. It strongly encourage the young people to attend their private academies and colleges so they will be more likely to marry within the organization and become established as adults within the system. Their Sabbath-keeping is a natural barrier separating them from the Christian community, and they tend to limit their close friendships to Adventists who will understand their diet, their worship, and their worldview.
We've never run an article just like this before. I'm looking forward to sharing it with everyone!
Post Number: 198
|Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 2:18 pm: || |
Colleen and others, I will make a few comments on your above post. About individual SDA's saying EGW is of no consequence to them. My mother used that line. In fact I never saw an EGW book in her house. For the 60 years I was blessed to have my mother her EGW books were in boxes in the garage. However, she would read only religious publications by Sabbath-keepers, the SDB's, The WWCOG, the Church of God (Seventh day) and mostly SDA. The Sabbath School quarterly is mostly nothing but EGW drubble as is the PU Recorder and Adventist world. This is not even getting in to ill that Doug Botchler (pun intended) and Joe Cruz stuff. So, they are influenced by EGW weather they admit it or not. Now to your #2: they say Sabbath this and Sabbath that but they still will not consider other Sabbath-keeping churches. Why? Well, in my families case the Seventh day Baptist was out with the out crowd because of pork and the state of the dead. Here is how it went getting God's approval (no grace allowed. Only approval.) SDA's #1 with God, other Sabbath-keepers #2, Moslems & Jews #3 because of pork and #4 all others were referred to as The Heathens, The Heathens included "Sunday keeping" Christians because we all knew they weren't real Christians anyways. The Hindus, if it came up in discussion were included in with the Jews and Moslems because they don't eat pork. Now to your point #3. Have any of you ever looked into refrifgerators at an Adventist church? They are full of caffinated sodas and chocolate, which has caffine. When it gets to their "health message" the SDA church is full-blown idiots. If EGW was a profit (another pun) of health I wish she would have warned about GMO foods, monosodium glutamate, etc., and more etc. She never warned about HIV or AIDS or other sad health issues folks need to deal with nowadays, let alone what is yet to come to future generations. As far as going to church on Sundays go it's ok for SDA's to go to church on Sunday because they keep/remember the Sabbath but if a non-Sabbath-keeper claims to be a Christian they are referred to as heathens. Looking forward to the next issue. Thanks for letting me vent about this issue.
Post Number: 2849
|Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 3:25 pm: || |
And what's with all the cheese dishes at SDA potlucks? Ellen White said really clearly NOT to eat cheese. The church members would be horrified if someone brought a big plate of fried chicken!
I wonder if it's because following Ellen White is such a heavy burden that Adventists simply pick what's acceptable within the church to ignore. Which of Ellen White's writings to ignore, that is. When I was an SDA, I thought we were avoiding legalism to bring cheesy dishes to a potluck, but the guilt would have overwhelmed me to eat a piece of pork!
Post Number: 8043
|Posted on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 5:06 am: || |
I expect this article will make quite a splash. I look forward to reading the article in its entirety.
Quote:Adventism encourages vegetarianism and veganism, and these prohibitions and recommendations are for the purpose of prolonging life, suppressing one’s “animal passions” (sexual desires), and enhancing mental clarity and physical health so one can better perceive the Holy Spirit. (end quote)
What this says is that man perceives the Holy Spirit through mental ability to think; instead of through the spirit of man, seeing they believe that mans spirit is his breathe.
Isn't that about right?
Post Number: 701
|Posted on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 9:40 am: || |
YES~ IMO this is the "bottom line"~
Post Number: 1002
|Posted on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 4:06 pm: || |
If the Holy Spirit were so weak that He needed me to eat a special diet in order to make Himself heard to me, then He wouldn't be omnipotent, and therefore wouldn't be God.
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Friday, November 02, 2012 - 4:37 pm: || |
Bskillet... Right on!
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 2:21 pm: || |
I cannot express how relevent this article is, especially to me, personally. Thank you for giving us the preview. It answers many questions and has me asking many more.
Post Number: 14069
|Posted on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 12:31 am: || |
Yes, River--that's right. Exactly.
I am looking forward to this next issue. It will be a bit different from others because of the focus on the abusive twist of Adventist confusion/double-speak, but we will also have a wonderful article by Gary Inrig on the Philippians passage about Jesus emptying Himself...and how that did NOT mean He gave up His deity and "God-power".
I appreciate all your comments above. And Bskillet, what a succinct analysis! Yes!
Post Number: 165
|Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 2:16 am: || |
"What this says is that man perceives the Holy Spirit through mental ability to think; instead of through the spirit of man, seeing they believe that mans spirit is his breathe."
Exactly. I have heard Seventh Day Adventists saying that we have to take good care of our brains because that's the only thing we have to communicate with God.
While I doubt anybody will deny the importance of our brains to learn and understand more about God, and thus to get to know Him better, I think they fall too short in their assessment. Once I accepted the reality of man's spirit I realised that there was a lot more to that than just "my brains", and then my perspectives changed drastically. Many things in the Bible started making a lot more sense after that.
That's why I think that, at the end of the day, the SDA religion is a very materialistic one. While some religions tend towards the supremacy of the spiritual side of man and reject the material, Adventist theology seems to reject the spiritual and focus mainly on the material.
Although I'm not very knowledgeable in these topics, I would argue that this shows the Adventist religion to be a form of dualism. In dualism there are two opposing principles at fight. In this case it is a spirit-body dualism, stating that there's no spirit and only body.
It's also possible to find other cases of dualism in Adventist belief. For example the presence of two opposing powers in the universe, Christ and Satan. Although Adventists would say that Christ will eventually defeat Satan, Satan is presented as very powerful and as even having some chances of winning. Instead of showing Christ as almighty God and Satan simply as a creature, both of them are somewhat levelled. Christ is made a bit weaker, ultimately depending on our actions, and Satan is made very powerful. One is put down and the other is raised.
However, I do believe that God, in the Bible, shows us that both the spiritual and the material sides of man are good and, ultimately, will be restored together in the new creation. And there's no doubt that Christ is God and, as such, He is victorious because of who He is, independently of us, and Satan does not stand a chance against Him!
Post Number: 1277
|Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 2:41 am: || |
I believe this article will be powerful in helping formers fully understand what they have left. As a Seventh-day Adventist we simply took what we were told or what we knew as something Biblical - rather than realizing it was controlling and abusive and not substantiated from scripture.
Seventh-day Adventism's teaching and prophetess uses language that is akin to mind control.
Post Number: 2771
|Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 5:55 am: || |
I agree with the 'mind control' statement.
The few SDA family I have any real contact with simply have 'glazed over' looks when I dare say something that contridicts their beliefs. Once, when I was asked to lead a devotion I went to I Cor. chapter three and pointed out that it had nothing to do with a 'health message' or that it was in support of what you eat pollutes the temple of the Holy Spirit they simply ignored me.
Post Number: 14075
|Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 3:05 pm: || |
I agree, Martin, Carolyn, and Phil. Adventism is material. They deny the reality of how we know God, and I like your thoughts about the dualism, Martin.
Phil, I have SO seen that glazed-over look. It really is mind-control. It's very subtle and powerful because it uses normal words. But wow...the power of being told those wrong definitions were the only real truth...that's life and death power.
Post Number: 2857
|Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 4:26 pm: || |
I too, have seen that "glazed-over" look. When some of my SDA relatives came to visit, they brought an SDA friend with them. My sister that came, stressed that I not say anything about Christianity versus SDAism, so I was being quiet about it. I had to speak up, however, when the friend they brought gushed about how wonderful Ellen White was.
"She's a false prophet," I said.
"No, she's not," she said.
So then I proceeded to show how Hebrews 6:19-20 says that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place in Heaven when He arose.
Then I asked her: "Could there be a HOLIER place in Heaven than where God is?"
She answered: "Of course not!"
I showed her Hebrews 10:12 "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God," and told her that verse too, shows that Jesus went right away into the Most Holy Place. It seemed that she could understand the Bible only up to point where it contradicted Adventism and then a glazed look came over her eyes.
"Adventists believe that Ellen White is as equally inspired as the Bible," I told her.
"No, we don't!" she emphatically replied.
I pointed out to her that she had only brought Ellen White to read and not the Bible.
"You're judging!" she exclaimed, pointing a bony finger at me. "You're judging!"
(She was one of the ones who had a vegatarian sandwich at the Subway sandwich place we went to, while I had a delicious "Subway Melt," which has both ham and bacon on it!)
Post Number: 203
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 10:52 am: || |
Martin, my mother was a lifelong SDA, she's passed away several years ago at a very old ago. Over The years gave mucho money to every SDA cause, went to campmeetung as long A's possible, three whole nine yards. So, is what you area saying the reason no SDA 's came to visit here after she's got the Alzheimer s? Nope, no one. She did yet visits from folk's at The Lutheran church i attended.
Post Number: 14079
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 3:38 pm: || |
Punababe, I absolutely believe your conclusion is correct. Adventists do not believe that a person with impaired mental function can understand the gospel. They believe that the developmentally challenged or mentally challenged will die and be "as if they had never existed". They will be mercifully annihilated.
But is is through our spirits that we know Jesus. Yes, He absolutely renews our minds, but unless are spirits are alive, there is no mental renewal possible. Adventists don't see any real value in visiting with a person who has lost cognitive function..not to mention that it's embarrassing and upsetting to them because they know they themselves could end up like that...
There's a bit of denial involved, I believe, when people avoid the mentally challenged.
Post Number: 205
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 3:53 pm: || |
Yes, and when the local Lutheran pastor came out he'd pray while holding her hand. She would ask him every 30 seconds or so, "Are you Pastor xxxx(The local SDA minister)?" He'd tell her denomination doesn't matter, we all belong to Jesus and leave if at that. She was so thankful for The visits. Immediatelly when be Washington not longer in here line of vision she had forgot about him or the visit but if was such a blessing to her while it was going on.
Post Number: 166
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 4:04 pm: || |
sincerely, I couldn't say if that was the main reason for them not to visit your mother during her illness... Very often things are quite complicated under the surface. Many people do not like to face these types of problems, maybe because it makes them feel weak and insecure about their own frailty.
In any case, it was extremely insensitive from their side not to visit her at all, especially if, as you say, she was so involved in the church and gave so much of her time, energy and money to their work. Even if she hadn't given so much she should have meant much more than that for her brothers and sisters in Christ.
Although it's a different situation it reminds me of something that happened to my dad, who's still Adventist. Many years ago he stopped attending the church because he was unmotivated. He says that for about 3 months nobody contacted him, until one elderly man from the congregation decided to travel the 20 miles to my parent's shop. He was the only one from a congregation of over 100 members who contacted him.
I doubt that, generally, any Adventist would say that if you are a Christian and then get a disease like Alzheimer's, which affect your mind and your ability to understand and communicate with others, then you're lost... Mainly, I guess, because God is supposed to "remember" who you are. But think about it in the context of a doctrine like the Investigative Judgement or what EGW said about never saying that you're really saved. It poses some serious problems: what if you sin when you're in that state and can't ask for forgiveness? Would you then be saved or not?
I think that the dualisms I mentioned before are very subtle in SDA doctrine and not easily seen as such. As an Adventist you don't even think about them, but nonetheless they may affect the way you think about many things. For example, when it comes to the health message, which is much more than just having good health, or the Great Controversy worldview.
Another example of how "materialistic" the SDA religion is may be that idea about Heaven being some physical place out in space. I've heard Adventists actually talk about this, but it makes no sense because it would mean that, theoretically, we would be able to reach Heaven on our own means: we would only have to fabricate a really good spaceship.
Fortunately, we know that it doesn't depend on how well our brains perform. If we can have any security about our future it isn't because of ourselves, but because of Jesus, of Him who is the One who saves. That's why it would be silly to be insecure about our frailty when facing situations like this... I'm not saying that it is easy to face them, because they still hurt, but we can accept our frailty because God makes it clear and He can even use it to shame the "strong".
I hope all this makes sense and it's actually been helpful. Please, let me know if you think something isn't. I hope you're well and pray that God will keep comforting you in the knowledge of His love.
Post Number: 2860
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 4:20 pm: || |
Back when I was an Adventist and quite a few years before the Lord rescued me out of that false church, I had a neighbor who was extremely bitter against the SDA church. As an SDA, I tried to reasure her that as a rule, SDAs weren't like that. It seems her mother, long before, had joined the SDA church and spent many years actively serving that church. Then when she got sick or something - I don't remember exactly - nobody from the church came to visit. After she died, they came out in force, all wanting some of her things. One of them coveted the brooch she had worn. The daughter told the visitor firmly that the brooch was to be buried with her!
At the time, I thought my neighbor had had a very poor sampling of SDAs, but looking back, I'm not surprised, because in all the false religions, goodness is only superficial, an act; because the people in those religions don't have the Holy Spirit.
Post Number: 206
|Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 - 6:18 pm: || |
Yes,SDA 's believe in a physical heaven. My aunt who i still refer to as a super Adventist would take me outside after dark when i was a kid and point to Orion And tell me that's where Jesus lives. They're also take a literal meaning to The text where Jesus says he is preparing us many mansions.
Post Number: 14084
|Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - 4:44 pm: || |
Oh, so true, Punababe! Yes, Jesus lived in Orion.
Orion is a sacred thing to Adventists; in fact, I know one Adventist couple (quite observant) who gave their new son a middle name of Orion. Really.
Post Number: 212
|Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - 8:32 pm: || |
Uh, there's a hippie out here named Jupiter. Another hippie our here named here kid Journey and another hippie has a little boy named Dream. People can give their kids any name, even Adventists. But, it will make it hard on him later in life, having to explain his goofy parents.