Post Number: 85
|Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:01 am: || |
"It's like status quo to be hurt by the SDA church members."
I may be mistaken (as usual ), but here's a theory for y'all to bounce around.
Adventism does not emphasize forgiveness.
I base this on very bad science, namely the fact that my son's mother and the bulk of her family are famous grudge-holders. They take offense and write people off and that's the end of it. Years later they can drag up old injuries, with a vehemence that suggests they were hurt only that morning. They do the opposite of forgive: they wallow in their offense, seeming to ENJOY it (????).
Where I believe Jesus teaches us that we MUST forgive, as in the Lord's prayer, and in the parable of the ungrateful servant.
The SDAs always think that people are "hurt" because they go around in a state of "hurt", resenting those who have hurt them.
It is such a pleasure to forgive, forget, and move on. Who wants to obsess about pain? Not me. The SDAs can have it, I don't want it. Give it to God; He can handle it.
Post Number: 328
|Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 12:50 pm: || |
I wondered if there is so much hurt because they are so judgemental on others, including each other. Using the same "scientific" method as Hoytster, the SDA exposure i've seen over the past 5 years seems to have a lot of people questioning other people's actions without any consideration of their motives. From one who has been judged for not being one of them, I would think it could be extremely painful to feel you're constantly under the microscope. I guess it depends upon how legalistic the people around you are.
Post Number: 62
|Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 7:44 pm: || |
Although you're all correct with these ideas, I still venture to guess that the SDA church does not have a corner on the market for being "hurt." I can think of office situations, social situations, churches, neighbors etc where people got their feelings hurt for seemingly small things.
Then comes the degree of maturity. Once you're hurt, what are you going to do about it?
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 5:49 am: || |
I just thought of sharing with you parts of a little study book that an sda friend of my son shared with him. I sort of "confiscated" the book and gave my son a NIV study bible. Any ways
Mark Finley has a little red book titled Studying Together A ready-reference Bible Handbook. In it he shows sda's how to study with people of other denominations and former sdas. Stating from the book "Research indicated that most former Adventist do not leave the church because of doctrinal reasons. Some do, but not the majority. Most leave because of one of the four folowing reasons: 1 A conflict with some other church memeber or pastor. 2. A preception that the church is no longer relevant in their life and does not meet their need. 3, Discouragement with themselves over a failure to live in harmony with church standards. 4. A growing disinterest in spiritual things in general due to a lack of adequate devotional and Bible study life." They sure need to do better research. He continues on saying that "if they are not immediately visited enabling them to discuss their spiritual problems,APOSTACY is likely to result." He gives 6 signs that an individual may be losing interest in the sda church, The one that really bothers me is "Alack of spiritual fervor" In his approach to get FA to go back he says "FA usually do not need convincing regarding Adventist doctrines. They certainly do not need condemnation for their present life style.....Most feel the pangs of a condemning conscience already. His approach is to just make friendly conversation but not really engage in bible study. The copyright is 1991 but we all know they will never publish the results of a real research.
Post Number: 157
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 7:10 am: || |
Since forgiveness was recently mentioned on this topic, I want to share something that will probably sound pretty strange to some of you.
Last weekend my daughter graduated from high school. At her graduation, and staying in my home for the weekend were her step-mother (the woman my ex-husband left me for,) her half-brother, and her step-mom's mother. My ex has recently divorced this wife also.
My daughter's three-year-old half brother is calling me "Aunt Carol" (actually Aunt Taro) and my husband Uncle Wayne (he's a sweetheart by the way.)
My ex was at the ceremonies and parties, and stayed in a nearby motel. He played cards with all of us at my kitchen table Friday night.
Whenever I tell anyone about this, most look at me like I'm strange, but my best friend summed it up for me when she said "isn't forgiveness grand?"
Blessed be the name of Jesus, through Whom forgiveness is possible!
Post Number: 331
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 7:19 am: || |
The strangest Christmas I remember as an adult was when I had both of my divorced parents and my step-mom over...listening them reminesce (sp??) about old friends and all that stuff. It was surreal. Forgiveness is something....
Post Number: 26
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 9:54 am: || |
Speaking of "being hurt" by the SDA church, it is amazing to me what SDAs will put up with from their church without question or compalint. My husbands parents are SDA teachers, and they are nearing retirement age. They don't make much money, and have been let go from 2 conferences just before their retirement was to take effect. They have barely any retirement resources at all, but don't think a thing of it. They didn't have enough money to even help their sons get through SDA high school or college, the boys largely paid for those things themselves.
THey both work as full-time teachers (they both have masters degrees in teaching) in a 2-room schoolhouse situation. But he is the only who gets paid as a full-time teacher. She gets paid as a half-time aide. And they do it without complaint, without question, because they "trust the church to do the right thing".
It isn't a blind faith in God, it is a blind faith in their church.
I can only imagine what they think when they hear my husband say that God led Him in a different direction, away from Adventism. (they don't really give their opinion on any of this, just look terribly sad.) And they still say things like "couldn't you check out the SDA churches and see if there is a good one?" when we move. As if we have stumpbled away from truth and might accidentally stumble back into it, rather than accepting that we are following God's will and plan for our lives.
Post Number: 88
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 5:47 pm: || |
Carol, your "pretty strange" sounds "totally normal" to me.
In my family, if someone is mad at someone, then they just linger a little less than they might otherwise, when they run into each other at the family gathering. No one would ever allow personal rancor to prevent them from appearing, or express it in at a gathering. We all love each other and are committed to each other, and it would be strange indeed to allow a personal issue to interfere.
For example, my brother's ex-wife Chris is a wonderful person (as is my brother), and a few years ago Chris organized a family reunion, and she invited everyone from both sides of her marriage, as though the five-year-old divorce had never taken place. We all came and it was great.
My son's mother, on the other hand, has taken the position is that everyone and everything in the universe has to be divided into HERS and mine, and there may be NO overlap. So it would be natural for me for all of us to spend Christmas morning together. Why not? It's a perfect solution to the 'who gets Christmas morning' problem. That is UNTHINKABLE to her. On July 14 she was ready to marry me, on July 22 she wanted me out of her life to the maximum extent she could manage. To me, that seems absolutely crazy (given that the only thing that happened in the intervening days was her reaching the decision to give me the boot). And she makes friends choose, her or me. We cannot invite the same children to our son's parties: there are his Adventist friends, and his Methodist friends. She doesn't even want me trick-or-treating with our son in her neighborhood (???!!!).
I make up that this separation manifesto goes back to EGW's advice that SDAs stay separate from the world. Hence, Pathfinders, so SDA youth are not put in danger by contact with Boy Scouts! (ROTFL) Separation is a religious principle, so obviously it must be appropriate to apply in personal relationships.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. That is not, your neighbor that you like, that you're not angry with, that you didn't divorce. It is your neighbor, period. As Jesus points out, it's easy to love those who love you. If we are not making room in our hearts (and livingrooms) for those we find difficult, obnoxious, even downright diabolical -- then we are falling short of Jesus' commandment.
I hold out the olive brach to my son's mother.
Of course, I can do that with impunity, because she'd never take it.
Post Number: 578
|Posted on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 10:03 pm: || |
Tealeaves, I have several cousins who are ordained SDA preachers, one currently even pastoring a church. Anyway, at a family reunion several years ago one of my favorite cousins, a wonderul, fun-loving, dear man who worked for the World Gerneral Conference for probably close to 40 years made one short breif comment. He said "if I had known then what I know now I never would have worked for the church". He then stopped shout of offering any explaination and no one questioned him on it. But, knowing this man to be a wonderful and decent man I can only assume he has very good reason for having said what he did.
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 5:40 am: || |
Jeannette, I found your posting from that booklet quite interesting and would like to comment on what their research shows:
1 ìA conflict with some other church member or pastor.î This is the one that all of us get hit with. When you think about all the ìsaintsî youíve known who have openly criticized the way someone dressed or wore jewelry, itís no wonder they put this first. Maybe that doesnít happen where you live, but itís alive and well in this part of the country. The last major problem I heard with this local church is that two elders spoke individually to a new person complaining that he said ìamenî and ìpraise the Lordî too loudly during the service. One man even pulled him out of the worship service to tell him that!
2. ìA perception that the church is no longer relevant in their life and does not meet their need.î This is about as close as weíre going to get to them admitting that we disagree with their doctrines, therefore it no longer meets our needs and itís no longer relevant.
3, ìDiscouragement with themselves over a failure to live in harmony with church standards.î This one so concerns me because this accounts for multitudes of people who are now living in spiritual wilderness. Before we found Jesus, how many of us struggled with so much guilt and shame because we couldnít measure up with a legalistic, works-oriented faith. This is where the demonic hold comes in to keep people from looking at other Christian congregations since they obviously have ìthe mark of the beast.î This must amount to millions of people worldwide. I wonder if Finley even realized the implications of the problem being ìchurch standardsî and nothing to do with Gospel.
4. ìA growing disinterest in spiritual things in general due to a lack of adequate devotional and Bible study life." Without a relationship with Jesus one is merely studying a history book.
ìHe continues on saying that ëif they are not immediately visited enabling them to discuss their spiritual problems, APOSTASY is likely to result.íî The implication is that if we leave Adventism, weíve left the Christian faith. Hopefully with the internet and forums such as this one, the thousands who used to head for the desert when discouraged can now take their place in the body of Christ, the Church. I have come to feel that one of the most dangerous things about Adventism is their lack of understanding about unity and the remnant, thus people are closed away from learning truth.
ìIn his approach to get FA to go back he says ëFA usually do not need convincing regarding Adventist doctrines. They certainly do not need condemnation for their present life style.....Most feel the pangs of a condemning conscience already.íî Yep, the legalism and works orientation. In a way, itís kind of strange that they donít go after us formers with more enthusiasm, at least attempting to win us back. Maybe they are sensing our resolve to follow Jesus.
Post Number: 503
|Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 1:31 pm: || |
Thanks for the kind words. We have been extremely busy. The wedding will be next Sunday (June 6th). We made the mistake of incorporating a move and some remodeling into our plans. Right now we're just looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
The good news is that the Pastor has suggested doing an "interview" as part of the wedding. Actually, it is only one questions. It asks us about the spiritual significance of marriage. We will have a very short opportunity to share the message of God's grace (of which marriage is a beautiful object lesson) to a largely Adventist audience. Pray that God will give us the words to say.
In His Grace
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 5:19 pm: || |
A few comments on forgiveness. As an SDA I never learned how to forgive and forget and I did not have the example at home either. Again, I give God the credit for putting me into a 12 step program for my eating disorder. It was there I learned how to let go of what ever hurt me and let God have it.
As I have said before, my 12 step program taught me so much of how God loves me and so much more. I like to say it deprogrammed me so when I learned of the plagiarism of EGW, I was able to give it up without a struggle.
If the SDAs really want to know why we FAs leave and really listen they will learn a lot and it is not about hurt feelings. It is about finally learning what the gospel of Jesus Christ is and we are not learning about that in their churches.
My ex and I get along just fine. His wife, who was not part of our breakup, hugs me when we see each other.
Post Number: 267
|Posted on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 12:02 am: || |
You're so right, Diana. And Doug, I'll be praying for your wedding. Thanks for telling us when it will be! We'll look forward to hearing from you after all the festivities have subsided!
Post Number: 88
|Posted on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 11:50 am: || |
I have just prayed for you and your fiance. God will be with you and put the words He wants in your mouth.
When everything settles down let us know how things went at the wedding ceremony.
Post Number: 89
|Posted on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 12:07 pm: || |
I have one thing I forgot to ask. Do any of you have the "pangs of a condemning conscience" for leaving the SDA church??? I DO NOT!!! I have never been so close to God.
When I was attending church in VA, before moving here to Las Vegas, never once did any one in the SDA church try to get me back in. Only one couple really got to know me. The rest just tolerated me.
Every so often the pastor would ask me, while looking me in the eyes, How are you Diana? And I would tell him how God was taking care of me. That was before I decided to rejoin the SDA church. It was interesting how I was treated as the members knew I was ex SDA, but did nothing to try to win me back. The couple that accepted me and treated me like a sister and with whom I became great friends are the ones that influenced me to want to rejoin the SDA church, some day. They were the exception.
When I first arrived in Alexandria, VA I attended the SDA church in Alexandria. It is now a celebration church. I visited it after I moved back to VA in 1993. I met some folks there that knew I was no longer in the church and knew why. The lady wanted to keep in touch so I gave her my e-mail address and told her I would welcome her writing to me as a friend, but do not invite me to evangelistic meetings or try to get me back into the church. She never wrote to me.
Thank God for His care for me and taking me out of that church, as well as showing me how to care about people.
Post Number: 269
|Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 2:28 pm: || |
Praise God, Diana. He so completely tailors our situations to make it possible for us to say Yes to Him. Even the losses and neglect we experience can become part of God's provision for us--and he fills up our emptiness when we surrender to Him.
Post Number: 94
|Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 7:58 pm: || |
What I am going to write about I write without rancor, anger or hurt feelings. I am not even puzzled any more.
When I was married, we moved a lot. We moved to Montreal, Quebec. My husband did not go to church with me(that is another long story). At the church there, a lady came up to me and asked if my husband was a medical student at McGill U. Apparently med students go there to do internships. I said no and she never talked to me again. So many churches I have attended just ignored me. It used to hurt, but it does not any longer. I have learned to let go of all that unChristian behavior. Looking back from where I am God was getting me ready to leave the SDA church because he wanted me to know how they acted so when I did see how a true Christian acts I would know. I am sure there are other lessons there, but that is what I see at this time.
God is awesome.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 5:58 pm: || |
I don't have any pangs or feelings of condemnation about leaving SDA church. I speculate that church members probably think I am out backslidden, and all that, but I feel closer to Jesus now than before. Sunday worship is going to be odd for me though. I believe that the coldness at my old church is part of the SDA belief system. It is works based, which leads to a critical outlook on christian life in general and one tends to become judgmental especially if you are part of God's remnant and have all truth. That is how I have come to view how I used to be anyway. Forgiveness requires some humility and humility is hard if you are not willing to fully depend on Jesus Christ. SDA don't appear to be focused as much on Christ as they are on the sabbath, diet, and EGW. That is part of the problem, seems like that was the issue in Jesus' day too with the Pharisees,etc.
Post Number: 887
|Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 7:35 pm: || |
You sure got that right, Sheryl. Several weeks ago I went to the local SDA church with my mom. The minister announced at the start of his sermon that he was going to deliver a message on The Gosple of Jesus. I waited for him to mention Jesus. He finily did in his closing prayer which ended, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen". We also heard the word Jesus in a hymm that was sung. The sermon itself was about how we all need to write to our senators and representives to promote a bill that would require all employeers to give SDA's off from Friday evenings until Saturday evening no matter what the inconveinence to the employeer may be. After the sermon I told the minister that had to be the most stupid bill I'd ever heard of and and if SDA's don't like the days and times they have to work they can get a different job. That working requirments of Friday nights and Saturdays don't take away from our freedom of religion at all, get another job. Then I asked hgim if I worked for a SDA employeer and I needed to come to work late on Ash Wednesday so I could swing by the church and get the Imposition of Ashes did he think my SDA emloyeer should be required by law to let me take that time off? I couldn't get a stright answer out of him so I asked him if I needed Good Friday off so I could go to church did he think no matter the inconvienence to my SDA employeer should the employeer be made to let me have off Good Fridsay. Know what he answered me? Get this! He told me it's not the same because Sunday keepers really don't hollow Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as true holy time whereas SDA's believe Friday sunset to Saturday sunset is sacred time so no, the SDA emloyeer shouldn't be required to let me off for Ash Wednesday or Good Friday but all other employeers should be required to let off SDA's from Fri. sunset to Sat. sunset. Truly, the Sabbath, not eating pork and other rules is the SDA's Jesus.