Post Number: 4
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 5:56 am: || |
I can't remember if it was before my 'epiphany' in Hebrews or not, but at my church we had an Elders meeting to discuss the wearing of jewelry. The nominating committee had questioned a someone as a deaconess because she wore jewelry. Now mind you, I had not even noticed because it was very simple and it never occurred to me that she even wore it.
We spent HOURS discussing (studying) the issue. I was a minority of one in asking that our doctrinal position be proved by scripture. After hours, the best we could agree on was to recommend a policy of simplicity.
That was, in some ways, a watershed moment also. You don't realize how ingrained our beliefs as SDAs are until you sit down with your Bible and a willing spirit (and an open mind) to study. I am finding that so much of what I think and the comments I make are actually based on the writings of EGW. It is sad that after years in Adventism we are often confused about where a particular thought or belief actually comes from -Scripture or the writings of EGW. As a denomination we have so corrupted our thinking processes that we aren't sure where 'what we believe' comes from.
Post Number: 284
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 7:09 am: || |
It was the one beer issue for us--the pastor could not find Biblical support for total abstinance-so he told us just to not say anything-in other words lead a double life. My husband said "no thank you". At that point we were on our way out.
Post Number: 65
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 7:36 am: || |
The Hebrews issue was a big one for me also. I had been given a copy of Proclamation and done a lot of homework on EGW when the book of Hebrews was studied in the SS Lesson for the quarter. I did what you did, just read Hebrews and really paid attention to what Paul was saying.
While I was reading Hebrews, the thought just kept coming up about there being no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. So ( I thought), was there NOW condemnation for those? How about those that were baptized by Paul and promised no condemnation, did they NOW have condemnation? Would Paul or the other Apostles have lived their lives any differently if Jesus had gone into the Most Holy place as the IJ teaches? None of the IJ makes any sense when compared with the Bible.
I am still an SDA, have not tried searching out other churches. Most of the time I don't have a problem. When the EGW dogma rears it's head, I just grit my teeth.
By the way, if you ever get in the jewelry discussion again with SDA's, not only does the Bible not support it, but even EGW did not have that much to say about it. She wore jewelry quite often.
Post Number: 98
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 8:03 am: || |
My start was when my mother in law gave my husband a little pamphlet about the SDA's being a cult. I was offended and started looking in the bookstore for books and found "Kingdom of the Cults". Then the Baptist church held a revival by Ron Carlson about cults...he didn't use SDA's in his talks, but I talked at length with him one evening and he directed me to the internet etc. It was always so strange to me that the SDA church was so dead and the others so alive! I had to get past the "day" issue in order to get a blessing from the service. Then God led me to take Bible Study Fellowship, a wonderful bible based study. We did the gospel of John. It was awesome!
I am still amazed at the steps in which God led me to Him!
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 9:29 am: || |
I at first thought being slain in the spirit was a bunch of hocus pocus silliness. (and, mostly, I still do) BUT shortly after I had been doing this research, my husband and I prayed with a gentleman at the altar and he started to fall down. ACK!!! I was NOT comfortable at all, but I got clearly that there was nothing I had done or suggested that would cause that - perhaps the gentleman had that expectation, but I don't know. So I feel God can certainly do anything. I have seen it greatly misused, for example, Benny Hinn will 'blow' at the audience and a whole bunch of people will fall down. God doesn't work like that - and doesn't work on 'command' - like a circus performer.
Post Number: 915
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 9:32 am: || |
So many interesting points are expressed above on this thread.
Violet, I liked your beer story from the other thread that you mentioned. Also the issue of jewelry is interesting. This is what I mean about the false foundation of Wesleyan fundamentalism. In these systems which Adventism is a part, worldliness is defined by whether you drink, smoke, chew, dance, play cards, or go with girls who do, as the old expression goes. That is not at all what the Bible describes as worldliness. Worldliness is conforming to a worldly system of greed, and adhering to false doctrine. It is mixing faith and works, it is letting a market driven philosophy invade the church. That is true worldliness. Using external superficial standards of behavior as judges of behavior is Satan's tool to falsely divide Christians, and to get them off the real issues.
Insearchof and Dt, I believe that the I.J. is the glue that holds Adventism together, and if 1844 lost its significance then Adventism would fall apart. This is analogous to the false doctrine of purgatory that is the glue that holds Catholicism together. In Adventism you dangle the threat of an investigative judgement, in RCC, you dangle the threat of purgatory to get people to live out their false holiness, of which both systems promote in a works based salvation.
Post Number: 430
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 10:33 am: || |
Susan2 and Stan, for what it's worth, I went to Fresno Adventist Academy in 1981/82 (graduated in 82). My father was the Bible teacher there from 1981 - 1984.
We also went to the Fresno Central SDA church while Torrano was the pastor there.
Post Number: 147
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 10:59 am: || |
My first memory of questioning the SDA doctrine is from Cradle Roll! I was sitting in one of those little chairs watching a story about some missionaries. The were dressed in "native" garb and wore shells and flowers around their necks. I remember thinking to myself - "why isn't that considered jewelry?" I would see pictures of SDA
"natives" dressed in ways that SDA's here in the USA were being taught was wrong. I remember asking about it and was told that it was a different culture - which didn't make any sense to me! Wasn't right right and wrong wrong everywhere?
Growing up I continued to ask questions until I was considered a skeptic and too argumentive. I finally began to keep my thoughts and questions to myself. Even worse, I married into a "Koresh" type SDA clan. My husband was a rebel (although still SDA) when I met him, but I was seen as the reason for his "falling away"!! I was "counselled" constantly about my dress, food, etc. And I was pretty conservative already!
Later, as a young woman married to a man in the service, we moved around a lot. I saw "cultural" SDAism and again wondered at the differences I saw in various parts of the country. When I began to understand that there were so many interpretations about how to be a GOOD SDA, and what was acceptable in one place was not in another, that was the beginning of my leaving the SDA Church. Then I saw cover-ups of all kinds of things within the SDA Church - EGW plagerism, sexual immorality, financial fraud, etc., and arguments about liturgy and music, and so many other non-doctrinal issues. That just added to my turning my back on the SDA Church. While I could understand and forgive any one of those things in a person, I believe a denomination needs to be held accountable to a higher standard. There should be enough Godly people leading that these things should not happen continuously. If the SDA Church as a whole kept on knowingly doing these things without remorse, than I began to believe that it was not being led by Good but by Evil.
When I turned to the Bible for answers, I found that EGW and the SDA Church did not follow the Bible. I stated to make waves, ask questions, and was generally considered a trouble-maker at the SDA Church. But I really wasn't trying to make trouble - I was just trying to figure things out. Finally, I was so disgusted by the double standards and false beliefs, I quit going to Church all together.
After a while, when I felt the need for Spiritual Community, and after I had studied the Bible for myself, I went looking for a Bible-based church. And I have never looked back since! I don't miss anything at all about being SDA. I've been lucky that my family and friends have been supportive - even those who are still SDA.
I should have followed my heart (really the Holy Spirit, I believe) right from the beginning! I knew something was wrong from about age three. Even before I had a chance to be indoctrinated, I was already feeling the cognative dissonance!
It only took me 50 years to finally follow the Holy Spirit's leading! I guess I'm a slow learner! But I know God will use my experiences for Good if I keep following Him.
Post Number: 557
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 1:45 pm: || |
I, too, found truth in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I had already begun to see the rigid, arrogance of SDAs in a highly conservative small SDA church in Montana (the pastor truly was an evil man!) before we put our oldest child in a non-denominational Christian school. But once we were around people who plainly glowed with their love and faith for Jesus Christ it became clear that the faith of my childhood had some problems.
After being invited to BSF (it took me 2 years to finally accept the invitation), I was blown away! It was the study of Genesis (I told myself I already KNEW it all - of course, I was from the only true church that fully believed in the OT and who also kept ALL 10 of the commandments!! I have to laugh now, but really it is so sad...). What I found I loved most about BSF was how the study pointed to the Bible as the LIVING word of God. For the first time I saw how the Bible was for me TODAY and not just a story book of all these old guys and scary stories of all the terrible things that were to happen to me when Jesus returned!
Still, it took me almost 6 years of being indepth in the Bible before the last little crumb of Adventism had been sweeped away! What a brain-washing but what a glorious God we serve and praise Who slowly peels away the wallpaper of our jail cell to allow His light to penetrate the darkness of our souls at just the right time and the right speed - in His perfect time!
I can praise God today for all the SDA gunk I have had to wade through and analyze and heal from (and the healing is a continual chore when dealing with judgmental SDA friends and family). I was telling my 13 yr old daughter just this morning that the difficult trials that we endure are some of our greatest blessings. It is through those low-points that we cling the tightest to the unfailing love and acceptance of our Father!
Post Number: 123
|Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 2:39 pm: || |
So much similarity in these personal testimonies of how they found freedom from their own prison cell of bondage. I use the analogy of my prison cell, for once you are free from your cell, you must traverse the halls and different levels of the prison itself; and THEN you have yet to walk across the yard and climb under or over that fence and only THEN are you free. But emotionally you don't "feel free" - - sometimes for many years; for you left your old prison things; the personal things you collected over the years; child hood photos; pictures of friends, recordings - all that made up your life as an individual within the "Remnant" Church. I personally doubt that I will be totally 100% clean,until I am glorified and ALL my past conscious connections, my visual recollections, with those emotions are replaced by absolute perfection in glorification at Christ's return.
A favorite quotation of mine that is so very pregnant with meaning as I apply it to the Adventist programming and/or conditioning (like having new downloads and up-grades to the software downloaded with many of us from childhood - continuous Adventist programming).
It was made by William Blake who wrote:
"If the (windows) of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is - infinite. When your perception is expanded, nothing is real and nothing is imagined - all there is - is perception."
I picture our minds as a glass windows upon which is the accumulation of years of dust and dirt and crud - like the wall-paper you mentioned - and like onion skins; one on top of the other; all the programming from parents, teachers, pastors, friends, printed material, books, EGW, the whole SDA belief system. When the 18 some texts like Rom 8:34 is looked at, it is through all the layers upon this "window of our mind"
and the accumulation of years (for many) of such programming and conditioning; and our perception is distorted, BECAUSE we can't see the clear, simple truth of Rom 8:34 because we CAN'T possibly see it, UNTIL some of the accumulated layers of dirt - which causes distortion of vision - are removed. And it seems it is not possible - at least not probable - that all the layers can be cleaned off, using the Windex of the authentic Gospel - all at once. For most of us it is a layer or two at a time; until enough of clearer vision occurs and we can at least make out enough truth in Rom 8:34 (as our example) to begin to question: "Wait a minute. I thought it read 1844 here." Those questions lead to more questions which lead to honest searching and that searching helps clean off more of the contamination on our window of perception; until we begin to see Reality as it truly is in Christ. Truth DOES begin to shine in. And each ray of truth opens our prison cell a little more, until the day comes when we squeeze through the door and begin our own personal journey and experience of searching for the way of total freedom from not only our own shackles, and our own cell, we've lived in all these years; but also for many, eventually, freedom from the prison buildings, yard and fence itself,
and we leave our old prison outfit with numbers like Rev 19:10 stamped on our back, legs and seat. And we find ourselves dancing for joy in a beautiful meadow of absolute freedom in Christ.
The more we continue to study the sooner that "gunk" you referred to, is washed away, and our vision of Christ and the Gospel and true Freedom IN CHRIST becomes a new-found reality and we are without words to express our unspeakable joy!
Thank You, Lord for saving my soul.
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy rich salvation so full and free...
or something like that. :c)
Come take my hand and let's dance together!
For Soli Deo Gloria is all we want to offer Him.
Post Number: 506
|Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 10:55 am: || |
My name is Doug. I am an occasional visitor to the site. I couldn't resist responding to your prison analogy. It reminded me so much of the movie "Shawshank Redemption." In it, there was an old man who had spent his whole adult life in prison. When he was paroled, he found himself terrified. He was never able to adapt to life "outside the prison," and eventually committed suicide. For him, he had no concept of life outside of prison. On the other hand, the star of the movie, Andy Duphrame (sp), never allowed himself to be imprisoned mentally, and eventually escaped. Immediately upon escaping, he began to enjoy life on a deserted island in South America. For him, there was no prison that could take his life. Reminds me of the spiritual journey we must all travel.
Jesus said, "I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly."
In His Grace
Post Number: 2717
|Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 12:23 pm: || |
Doug, it's great to see you here!
Post Number: 99
|Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 3:42 pm: || |
BSF is studying Genesis again this year, and I'm not in it.
What do they say about the creation story as in God resting the 7th day and "hallowing" it? Just curious.
Post Number: 558
|Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 7:32 pm: || |
Oh Bb - funny that you should ask...!
I have had a difficult start in BSF this year because of Genesis 2 and the BSF stance on Sabbath. They essentially believe that we are still bound to a day of rest but that day has been changed to Sunday in remembrance of the resurection of Jesus Christ.
BSF notes (lesson 4 - page 4)..."Christ rose on the first day, which represents the beginning of a new life for His redeemed ones. Many believers who acknowledge His resurrection and our freedom from the guilt of sin and entry into a recreated life KEEP this day, Sunday. One day in seven was set apart by God from the beginning of creation for man to put aside his own pleasure and his own work and deliberately make time to enter into this joy in God through Christ. It is a day to spend with Him. FOr those who sanctify or keep it separate this way, there is a special blessing of God's delight in them, which in turn produces deep happiness..."
The funny thing is that the paragraph above this one says this: "Christ's finished work fulfilled the laws of the Sabbath. Hebrews 4:1-6 and 4:9-11 explain how that former Sabbath, commanded by law, is fulfilled in Christ."
I called and spoke with the Teaching Leader of my BSF for over and hour. I was very upset about BSF's stance. I explained to her that this "blurring" of the line between the New Covenant and the law was enough to keep SDAs (who are attending BSF) in the bondage of the religion. It is all the proof they need that they really do indeed have "the truth." I know the first time I took the Genesis study, I thought, "How can they say this? Where in the Bible does it say Sabbath was to change to Sunday to remember the resurrection?" It was fuel for my arrogance!
From the homiletics that I did for Genesis 1:26-2:25 here are the subject sentences the Holy Spirit laid on my heart:
Gen. 1:26-2:3 - God entered into perfect rest with His perfect creation.
Gen. 2:4-2:17 - God gives man a choice - perfect rest in Him or death.
Gen. 2:18-2:25 - Adam and Eve "live happily ever after" in God's perfect rest.
My AIM for the whole passage was: True rest in God is not found in a created day but in the Creator of days.
Adam and Eve found true contentment when they were living and resting in God. God created EVERYTHING for them and it was VERY good! His rest was the best! It is the same rest we now experience because of the fulfillment of the law that Christ provided through His death and resurrection. He has restored GOd's perfect rest from creation (the second coming of Jesus will restore Eden!). I told my BSF teaching leader that Christian's are short-changing themselves just like SDAs if they are focusing on the day of Genesis 2!
Last year's study on Acts was right on with the New Covenant. I have been praying and praying and praying...for God's leading in what to do about the study. As a discussion leader I feel I am in a position that tells the class members that I agree with BSF teachings. I especially do not want SDAs that I know to believe that I agree with this teaching. I have given agreed to leading a group of women. My word is strong and I do not want to do "take-backs". I am praying that God will provide a way out if that is what He sees in His sovereign sight. He knows the needs of BSF class members and I desire to be putty in His hands and be used by Him.
Bb, I would appreciate your prayers on God's leading in my life and for my heart to be willing to follow where He leads.
Post Number: 2733
|Posted on Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 9:45 pm: || |
Dd, God is using you, and He will be faithful to direct you.
Praying for you!
Post Number: 81
|Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 8:24 pm: || |
What got us started?...To be quite honest the whole rescue came by such a surprise that I can not put my finger on why we started digging into the Bible with a furry, but maybe a crack in the SDA was started by realizing after reading the GC Site that SDA's do not speak out against abortion... I had taken theology at WWC (bachelors degree) so was aware of all the discussions... even heard Des Ford as a young teen... it was really a miracle that we were able to start seeing the truth in scripture. And the Bible one book after another taught us the truth.
Post Number: 680
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 8:44 am: || |
What got me started was...I was so unhappy. I spent all my life struggling to be "perfect" and it wasn't working. I finally threw up my hands and said, "God, if this is Christianity, I don't want it."
I think it my giving up was when God was able to help me.
I was looking to woman for salvation. I was trying to pattern myself after my sister-in-law, who had patterned herself after Ellen, because I thought through that I would be worthy enough to save. IT DIDN'T WORK.
I began to see how unhappy her family was. Her 8-year-old son had an ulcer from the pressure of living up to Ellen's standards...they always looked bitter and sad. I saw them place the "Law" above relationships...they didn't associate with those whose Sabbath standards did not match their own. It got to where they offended my family because we didn't meet their standards...my daughter wasn't allowed to spend too much time with her daughter...just enough to make a token gesture...but never alone.
Anyway...I remembered that Ellen White had said Martin Luther was good...so I started looking up R by F. and Martin and lo and behold, I found all these anti-Ellen sites. Sites I would have immediately shut down (blasphemy to look at!) just a few months prior...but now, I wasn't afraid to question.
I think Greg Taylor's manifesto was really the thing that got me thinking the most...it's excellent.
I had lots of Sabbath guilt because I wasn't too sure it wasn't tied into salvation. It took a long time to over come it. I still attended the SDA church with my family but as I sat there, everytime error was preached, the HS would alert me, and I would look it up in the bible and sure enough, they would only use half the text...skip part of a text etc. to make it fit their agenda. I finally (after a year) couldn't take it anymore. It was so irreverent there, people would stand out in the foyer and gossip, kids talked and played video games, people would get seriously pissed off if the pastor ran over...one lady was in the foyer cussing because he dinner would burn if she didn't get home...the SDA pastors often made no sense. Did anyone else notice this? They talked in circles and their sermon's rarely made any sense...were they confounded? No one seemed to care about this...they were doing their part, warming that SDA pew on Saturday...isn't that all you must do to be saved?
And the arrogance and pride is palpable. I won't go into it now (and I did buy into it myself too) but it's terrible.
That is why I love the church I am in now. No one is afraid to admit they aren't perfect, and everyone knows we are all sinners and the love flows there!
I don't care what day I go to church...if there was a church on Saturday that had "fruit", I would go...especially because my husband would feel more comfortable. But I go where the "fruit" is and it happens to be at a church that meets on Sunday...the Holy Spirit is there...the HS told me to go there...that is how I know there is nothing wrong with attending on Sunday. Afterall, if you wanted to attempt to "keep" the Law, the commandment simply says "rest". There is never one minute of any day that is wrong in the eyes of God to worship HIM! In heaven, are we going to stop worshipping on Sunday? Ridiculous.
Post Number: 184
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 5:43 pm: || |
I was hit with the bone chilling fact that I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO BE SAVED! I had been "invited out" of the SDA church in the early 80's, and by the early 90's I knew something was wrong. I had friends who were so happy in their faith and really, truly secure in their future. I wanted to get back into an active church life. If SDA was where I should be then that was where I was headed. But the fact remained that after an entire lifetime of their teaching and schooling, I didn't know how to be saved. It became an obsession. I started reading the bible through, front to back, in a month. I did it every year. Much of what I read did not make sense, in fact it seemed totally wrong when placed next to my life's training. Finally, I think it was the sixth or seventh time through, I wrote a prayer that I have taped in the front cover of all of my bibles. It goes like this:
Lord Jesus You are God, there is no other. You are the Lord of my life. You promised that Your Holy Spirit would teach us and lead us into all truth. Teach me the truth as it is. Not the way I think it is, have been taught it is, or wish it were. Lead me into Your ways, as they are, not the way I think they are or wish them to be. Fill me with Your spirit and help me to trust You and love You more and more each day. Thank You,
I really meant it from the heart. When I made that prayer my quest and reading instruction, the Bible started to make sense and become one beautiful pattern that pointed to, introduced, and filled me with JESUS. Being saved was really not hard and didn't even involved that much of me, it was all about God choosing me, and saving me, and dieing for me.
I have never been tempted to go back to the legal ways of SDA. It is so hollow and cold. Being "good" no matter how good your are, is never going to be good enough. Trust in Jesus is not the "easy way out" that SDA'a like to claim. Sometimes it can be very hard. Like when I lost my kidneys, my ability to work at the age of 45, because of disability, and recently my leg. But, trust I do and He has never failed me.
I still read the Bible through every year. Only now I read it at least twice a year. I have read thirteen different translations or versions. Each time I see Him a little clearer and love Him a little dearer. You can't get that from one of the "red books"!
As Always, I'm
In His Grip!
Post Number: 1940
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 8:51 pm: || |
It is good to hear from you again Thomas.
Post Number: 2766
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 10:53 pm: || |
Thomas, it is always a blessing to hear you honor Jesus. Thank you!
Post Number: 86
|Posted on Saturday, October 22, 2005 - 11:39 pm: || |
It's fascinating to read the different ways other here came to leave SDA. At the same time, mine seems a little trite.
I left SDA, and religion, period, for that matter, bescause no matter how good I was, I couldn't make the cut. I think it was because not only did I try to follow the rules, but I questioned everything, and that can get you in trouble in a "blissfully ignorant" doctirnal system.
Anyways, I pray that we all find what we are seeking, and that we have the courage to follow where our heart leads us.