Post Number: 289
|Posted on Monday, April 20, 2009 - 6:28 pm: || |
This week marks the 40th annniversary of my leaving Adventism. I found myself being quite emotional this past Good Friday and Easter Sunday and I think part of it was because of the reflecting that I have been doing over this milestone in my life. I can still remember standing in the kitchen telling my mother that I was not going to attend the Adventist church any longer. I remember her reaction and all the emotions that came with my decision. I also reflected back to a few years before that time when I failed grade 9 at the Academy that I had been attending and going to "public" school where I met a wonderful born-again Christian who lived out her faith. I remember noting that her faith was stronger than anything that I had ever seen in the Adventist church. I also remember the time that I had the Bible study with her convinced that I could show her that Sabbath keeping was right and that she was wrong. Praise the Lord she showed me the gospel message and Christ. I remember pouring over the scriptures at the age of 16 and reading Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Collosians for the first time and understanding the beautiful gift of grace. I remember the night in December of 1969 (nine months after I left Adventism) making a personal committment to Christ. I remember feeling the weight that was lifted knowing that it was not my works that would get me into heaven. Words always seem inadequate to describe what the Lord now means to me.
Now 40 years later I have a family of formers who share my past but also my relationship with Christ. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure and I can't begin to imagine what my life would have been like if I had stayed in the Adventist church. With this reflecting has come the question "why did I leave and come to a personal relationship with Christ while others still have not". There are no answers but I continue to pray for those who are still in the bondage of Adventism. For me the veil was lifted and I was able to see and comprehend what the Lord had done for me. I continue to pray that the veil will be lifted for those that I have a burden for.
As I reach this milestone I am so thankful for each one of you, my brothers and sisters in Christ who understand my journey. It is so wonderful to be able to participate on this forum and share our discoveries in the Lord as well as our burdens, anger and questions.
Because of Christ
Post Number: 6804
|Posted on Monday, April 20, 2009 - 7:01 pm: || |
Congratulations on your 40 year anniversary. That is so awesome how God got to you at such a young age. Praise God you responded to Him.
Sometimes I wonder why God took so long to get me. Then I think, well Diana, at least you are out of adventism and have not been there for 5 years. So I thank God for that and praise Him.
Yes, because of Jesus Christ we have a future and do not have to work for it. It is all about Jesus Christ.
Thank you Awesome God.
Post Number: 9715
|Posted on Monday, April 20, 2009 - 10:07 pm: || |
Congratulations, Blessed! It is so wonderful to be your sister in Jesus!
Diana, I have often asked myself that same question: why did God wait so long to pull me out? I have to trust His ways and His sovereign timing. As you said, as least I am out now, and I know my Redeemer lives and is faithful!
Post Number: 4623
|Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 7:51 am: || |
One day I had to take over a Sunday school class because a Sunday school teacher was either sick, lame or lazy.
One of the kids caught me in a Bible blooper and called me on it. I thought "Lord you could have been quicker on the draw, here is this kid barely out of diapers and I am in my thirtys and she knows more about your word than I ever dreamed of knowing."
My mind doesn't run that way any more, I tend to be more thankful for what he has given me than what he has not.
I can understand the formers propensity to think this way though because there is the element of religion in the Adventist life, not Gospel, but religion of some kind.
Post Number: 87
|Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 1:03 pm: || |
Are you telling me that this is like alcoholism? Once you get the disease you have to fight it for the rest of your life? God, I hope not.
Post Number: 290
|Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 3:00 pm: || |
No Hec, you do not fight it at all. It's like a wedding anniversary - you reflect back over the years and hopefully if the marriage is good you are overwhelmed with thankfulness for the opportunity to share your life with a special person. For me it is a time when I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to the Lord for what He has done in my life.
That being said, for many years after I left Adventism I had nothing to do with anyone in it other than my mother. Then actually by accident (but it was not an accident) I discovered the former Adventist website and the rest is history. It is great being able to share on the forum with others but there is a down-side and for me that has been having to relive memories that were not good. I shared at FAF that I would love to walk away, put it behind me and never deal with it again but the Lord has not released me to do that. I have the task of educating Evangelicals as well as now drawing along side a couple of Adventists.
Hope this makes sense.
Post Number: 9723
|Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 3:22 pm: || |
Blessed, I totally "get it". Our Adventism is part of what made us who we are, and God redeems it and uses it for His glory. We can no more pretend it didn't happen than we can pretend we don't have kids or aren't married. We are who we are by God's grace, and the events in our lives are His tools for shaping us.
Truly, God redeems our Adventism and gives us His work to do drawing on what we have learned about Him as a result of finding Him and following Him out of deep darkness.
Post Number: 6806
|Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 6:51 pm: || |
I really like the way God has used my history of adventism. God has educated our senior pastor and our CARE pastor through me. God has used me to educate my Christian friends at church about adventism. God stopped a CR couple from converting to sabbath keeping through me. Where ever I go I will meet the adventists that are there. Doing this is enjoyable to me and I thank God He uses me in this way.
I do not live near SDAs. The SDA church that was started near me has moved to another location.
Thank you awesome God for using each of us where we are.
Post Number: 736
|Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 9:21 pm: || |
I spent over 50 years in the cult, and I sure wish I had been able to spend the 50+ years as a Christian. Having a RELATIONSHIP with God is so DIFFERENT and so much BETTER than being an Adventist! I never would have dreamed!
However, now I can really feel for people in false churches. If I had never been in a false church myself, I would have probably said, concerning people in false churches: "oh, they want to be there" or "it's their fault. If they would just read the Bible, they'd know better." That is SO not true! Those people are really bound and blinded by the enemy and it's takes a miracle by God for them to be freed!
Post Number: 9730
|Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009 - 8:56 am: || |
Yes, Asurprise! You are so right. It is a miracle; it's not something anyone can just DECIDE to see. When one's worldview is totally shaped by a false gospel and a false paradigm of reality, there's no way to really know what's real apart from a miraculous intervention by God.
Post Number: 92
|Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 7:36 am: || |
Having a RELATIONSHIP with God is so DIFFERENT and so much BETTER than being an Adventist!
For a few years now, SDAs are big on "a relationship with Christ". They preach it at every opportunity. Specially in young people circles. However, I never did get what a relationship with Christ is from the SDA perspective. Because right after that, the other side of the coin is that to establish and maintain that relationship one needs to, guess what... keep the law, etc.
Now, from the evangelical perspective, What really is a relationship with Christ? I think I have one, but do I really? What's the difference between an evangelical relationship with Christ and the "forced" relationship of "read your Bible, go to church, pray, etc." relationship?
Post Number: 9735
|Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 3:52 pm: || |
Really good question. This has been one of the things about which I've developed really strong feelings. Like you, Hec, I hadn't understood as an Adventist what a relationship with Jesus really is.
Now, however, I understand that a "relationship with Jesus" actually ISN'T figuring out how to "obey" and thus be "Christlike". A relationship with Jesus involves submitting to the Lord Jesus' sacrifice for my sin, admitting my total helplessness to be righteous, and accepting His blood as my payment and accepting His righteousness when I don't "deserve" it.
When I place my faith in Jesus, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephe1:13-14) and born again. This is what a "relationship with Jesus" is! It's not me asking Him to make me "good" and to give me power to keep the law. It's not choosing over and over to "follow Him" and to turn my back on sin. Rather, it's admitting I'm totally helpless and unable to live my life—and placing my faith in the Lord Jesus. Then, He keeps me in Him!
I've gotten to the place where I almost hate that phrase, "Relationship with Jesus". It reminds me too much of the works-oriented Adventist understanding. It sounds too much like a mutually-maintained arrangement. A real relationship with Jesus is a miracle of God's grace. He makes us alive, puts His own Spirit in us; gives us His life; gives us His righteousness; hides us in Him—and even when we fall into sin, we are HIS.
The Lord Jesus never leaves us when we have been born again! He keeps us in His hands, and He places His love in our hearts—and because of His own love changing us, we finally are able to love Him. Our relationship with Jesus is a miracle of new life, new identity, and new position in Him that He establishes, empowers, and keeps—and we are forever changed by this love that awakens our own hearts to love Him.
It overwhelms me.
Post Number: 293
|Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 8:15 pm: || |
When I was an SDA I had no comprehension of grace and what it meant. I was taught at the Academy that grace was a word that excused keeping the ten commandments and therefore I thought that it was a bad word. It was only after reading the epistles that explained the relationship of law versus grace and having a born-again friend explain it to me that I realized that I was not trusting in the Lord and what He did on the cross for my salvation. My salvation (or lack of assurance thereof) was based on being a member of the SDA church. As I have shared in December of 1999 the veil was lifted and I was born-again. I have never looked back. My security is in what He did for me at the cross. It has absolutely nothing to do with the 10 commandments or being a member of the "remnant" church. As an SDA Jesus was a good person, as a believer He is my Savior.
My daughter-in-law who is the director of children's ministry at my church just gave me this week the lesson that I will be teaching on Mother's day at my church. Guess what it is on- the 10 Commandments. Go figure. How significant that a former-Adventist gets to teach on the 10 Commandments at her church. I am so looking forward to teaching these precious kids about who the 10 commandments were given to and their significance both in the Old and New Testmanet. As I read the material the emphasis was put on the 5th commandment which was honoring your parents. What a switch from Adventism. No mention of the 4th commandment!!
Yes Colleen, it overwhelms me that I have been saved and changed through Him.
Post Number: 6817
|Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 8:56 pm: || |
Blessed, I think God has a sense of humor by choosing you to teach the children the 10 C. He will give you the words to say to make it meaningful for the children.
God is truly awesome.
Post Number: 842
|Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2009 - 7:45 am: || |
Blessed, I am blessed by your testimony! The turns that life takes and that God leads us into are amazing. I had been out of the church for about ten years when I found the forum, and had NO idea how many things still needed processing, and evidently still do - on some very deep levels.
It's also amazing how a memory so long ago can come back very fresh, and sometimes painful.
I love what you said Colleen about a "relationship." I had come to not like that word as well. I was reading a book recently on Spirit-led prayer, and it was showing the difference between a "relationship" with Christ - which is what we get when we trust Him. We come into the relationship of being His child, and stand justified. But the author was bringing out that this alone is not "fellowship" with God. This is our very real one on one connection with Him that does not come when we are consumed with the world and all its distractions. The fellowship - as in any marriage - takes effort and commitment. I have a relationship with my husband, but if I don't take any interest in him or what he thinks and feels, I don't have any fellowship with him - on a spiritual/emotional level.
I have also found that this "fellowship" is not intended for us to just feel all warm and fuzzy. This is one side - but the other side is an often painful burning away of the flesh and sin. But I also found this to be so reassuring as well. It's never in a sense of condemnation like I felt as an sda - just seeing my sin and no hope. Instead I now at times sense the discipline of the Spirit but yet with His incredible unconditional love. It's been one of the most healing aspects of fellowship with God - receiving that "Father" love. This has been helping me be more honest and loving all at the same time in my close human relationships. Sorry to ramble, but God is awesome!! ha. Ditto that Diana!