Post Number: 9
|Posted on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 9:16 pm: || |
I've been going through this site, and see a lot of good ideas and profitable exchange. But I wonder if some here are still in bondage to their past, and not letting the Lord free them to walk in the gospel.
It has not been easy for our family since we left in November of 2010. I can't go into details in a public place like this, but when we broke away, we tore the hearts out of people that we knew and loved, and who had sacrificed for us and given us cherished places in their lives.
We left as peaceably and amicably as possible, not with malice, but recognizing that we were being called to walk a different path. We wished as much to give them their own space to believe and practice, and we required the same for ourselves. The Lord told us to leave, but we continued for two more years hoping that change would come. The truth is, we didn't know where else to go.
My wife and I had always been compliant peacemakers; not rebellious in our teens, and eager to respect our elders/parents/guardians. It was completely out of character for us to pull away decisively, and nobody expected that we would or could do such a thing.
As we questioned what we were being taught, we were obliquely preached against (or at least our evangelical beliefs were). This only served to drive a wedge between us and them. Several meetings, with relatively calm discussions, were unable to resolve our differences.
My wife and I and our children are still dealing with fallout of our decision to follow the Lord regardless of cost. We have experienced rejection and misunderstanding. We have been blamed for breaking up a tight network of friends and what was thought to be a functional Sabbath fellowship. We have felt the pain of separation.
But here is the point: the Lord has been faithful in surrounding us with an amazing family of Christian believers. Whereas we were warned that we would be entering the enemy's territory, and would face certain failure, God has blessed us beyond our dreams.
We struck out by faith at the call of Christ, not knowing a single soul beyond our small circle of friends and family. Yes, we experienced extreme anxiety, sleepless nights, tears and fear; but we knew that the Lord was going before us, though we knew not where, and that without his leading we would be lost.
We have been able to heal in the grace of Jesus in an evangelical church with others of like mind, and have left the past behind. We have, by God's grace, grown past the resentment, fear, bondage and temptations of passing blame or holding grudges against those who we were involved with. We treat them with Christian charity, and reach out and help them in any way we can when we can.
The "us-versus-them" context no longer exists. Our lives do not revolve around either justifying ourselves in their eyes, or of trying to find fault or errors with them. The Lord has led us in grace, and we have made a point of extending that grace to all those who are around us.
I realize that many on this board are in the transitional process of finding their true identity in Christ, and separating themselves from a previous identity which is bound up in error, spiritual bondage and perhaps even abuse. To these, I wish to give encouragement to, as soon as you are able, move beyond those associations and spiritual constraints into the glorious light of the gospel. Leave the darkness behind, and follow the Light.
Don't for a moment think that you can do this on your own. The New Testament always speaks of the Christian life in the context of the body of Christ. There aren't any spiritual mavericks or islands. You will need the support and prayers of other Christians who are rooted and grounded in the truths of the gospel.
Ask the Lord to lead you to a New Covenant community where you can heal and grow, and learn how to relate to other Christians on a healthy level of interaction, and not through an unhealthy co-dependence. Not with the fear of always being judged and found wanting, but of Christian brotherhood that seeks to edify, encourage, and point you to rest in the perfect work of Christ. Of working together to strengthen others in the faith, to reach out in evangelism, and support of missionaries in faraway lands.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV
Post Number: 1354
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 8:15 am: || |
~~~ "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet
sheds on the heal that has crushed it."~~~
(Metaphor-attributed to writer Mark Twain,
Post Number: 14745
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 3:04 pm: || |
Welcome to the forum, Leifl. God has truly helped you and your family leave and settle in a Christian community. He is so faithful.
It is a HUGE blessing when God works in a family in order to leave together. The losses may, in some ways, be multiplied, because more of you are leaving and there is a collective loss that is greater than if only one leaves. Yet when only one spouse is convicted of truth, for example, the pain and the "tearing" are incredibly intense and often hard to navigate. I know people who have lost their marriages when they finally left Adventism for the Lord Jesus.
The one thing I'm so grateful for is that God is in charge of the timing. He knows how to lead us one step at a time, and He is the One who knows in advance what our losses will mean to each of us. Many of us begin to learn that there was deep dysfunction in our entrenched Adventist families that affected us besides the "simple" fact that Adventist doctrines gave us an unbiblical worldview. There is often a great to deal to process AFTER leaving.
I'm so glad you are here, and your trust in Jesus and your experience of His providing you a Christian community is an inspiration and a confirmation to us all.
Thank you for sharing your experience and for your encouragement!
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 3:49 pm: || |
Thanks for the kind comments.
The Lord was very gracious in leading my wife and I in the same way. The Lord led me first to attend a small baptist church (we live in a rural area) where the teaching was Christ centered, and grace was preached every week. I needed the spiritual food; I was like a dry sponge.
My wife did not start attending until some eight months later, when they had VBS for the children in the community. My children went and loved it, and then my wife (and children) saw the blessings that were being shared there, and joined me.
She was never opposed, but quietly reading her Bible and seeking for answers in the turmoil we were experiencing. I never pushed her.
She has been involved with Christian ladies in on-line groups for a number of years (interdenominational). They did a study on Colossians a year or so ago, which really cleared up in her mind that we are truly complete in Christ, without the ritual observances of the Mosaic law, but simply by faith in His completed work.
I praise the Lord for his goodness!
(Message edited by leifl on March 03, 2014)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 6:10 pm: || |
Hello, Leifl, Congratulations for having the courage to follow your convictions. You were truly a man of God who lead your entire family to follow Jesus. The Gospel is truly liberating! I am grateful that you have found a safe place to be discipled and grow in your Christianity.
My story is like yours. I went to a NT Witnessing class at our local SDA camp meeting back in 1970. I realized the truth of the Gospel and knew in my heart I had to follow Jesus. It took my husband months to agree with me. We had a similar experience with meetings and hurts over what we were doing. Thank God He was faithful and has led us in the path he had for us.
It's been said that it takes a couple of years to transition out of Adventism. It took us a bit longer, but we did it. Now my husband and I are volunteer pastors in our local church. We go to visit the sick and the bereaved as well.
Post Number: 12
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 7:31 pm: || |
Would it ruffle some feathers to say that the Lord led me into SDAism, and then led me out?
As a boy, from a broken home, in the world, without Christ, friendless and alone with my mother and sister, the Lord led us to a small SDA church with a godly shepherd who had a good grasp of the gospel - he knew Jesus Christ.
He always told my mother that salvation was a free gift of God through Jesus Christ (my mother tended toward legalism - she threw away the mustard and relish when she joined). This pastor tried to keep her from these extremes. But with the writings of the "prophetess", it was difficult to keep an even keel.
They had a small elementary school, where my sister and I were enrolled, and kept from rather rough public schools in our area. It was a place of protection, education and growth for us.
Those years were lean, but the Lord saw us through from month to month. There were times that we found our tuition paid in full by unknown parties. Times when we had no money for food, but through these people we were never hungry.
Though I clearly see the errors of this system (my blog is devoted to expounding the gospel and exposing the errors I was taught), I am obliged to realize that even it can be a tool in the hand of the Lord for his children.
I have friends, brothers and sisters among them, who I hope one day will be able to understand the riches of the grace of Christ, and the truth as it is in Jesus.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Post Number: 1355
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 8:09 pm: || |
I, for one, do not think that you or anyone else should feel uncomfortable by
expressing on this Forum what we think!("ruffle feathers") !
This is a 'safe' place to do just that! Often the members do not agree
about some things~ and that is all right, we are here to share and learn from each other!
I can relate a similar story~ After being out of the adventist school system
as a teacher for 10 years,(still sda-sad!) I returned to it, teaching again full time, for 10 years.
During this second time was when, I believe, GOD in His Mercy had "led me in, to lead me out!"
Praise His Holy Name!
During the second 10 years I was able to teach the "Gospel" to my students!
Post Number: 14749
|Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 10:16 pm: || |
I completely agree with Mj above. I know God does these things for His glory sometimes. I have a good friend who left in her 20s, went back in her 40s to be with her parents when they moved, and it was that "going back" that showed her what was wrong so she could really leave for the sake of Jesus. He is faithful!
Post Number: 685
|Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 11:16 am: || |
I tend to look at my 36 years as an Adventist (not born Adventist) as a blessing in disguise. I believe the stark difference (the 'before and after') has provided a clarity of comprehension and appreciation of the Gospel that I would not have otherwise.
Post Number: 686
|Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 11:31 am: || |
Absolutely no regrets and many good memories, I look at it as the path I had to take to get where I am today
SAVED by God's grace alone
through faith alone
in Christ alone
(2nd post: not allowed to edit my first one)
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 6:57 pm: || |
I feel the same way exactly. It's all a part of the process the Lord has used to bring me to where I am today.
Post Number: 16
|Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 3:58 am: || |
Edit: original post should read November 2011.
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 6:44 pm: || |
I would add that life is a journey, and I think our path of God is a journey. God guides us in the paths he has set out for each of us.
When I found the Gospel and the truth about grace, I danced for a month in joy. Somehow, I felt like the Jew who had labored under bondage to the law. People who have never known the law don't understand the joy of those of us who have been set free. Yes, Free, at last! What an awesome, empowering experience.
Thus, having been an Adventist made knowing the Gospel all the sweeter. Now, I live in God's mercy and grace everyday.