Post Number: 37
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 9:23 pm: || |
Well, last week I had a confrontation with my wife about my apparent backsliding. She noticed that I haven't been as enthusiastic about going to church, and wondered if I believed in the adventist faith anymore. (the issue has come up in times past, but I denied "backsliding" at those times)
I said that I had been having a lot of difficulty in believing that Ellen White was a prophet and I was not sure that Sabbath keeping was the way to have salvation...
Well, I got the "How can you not believe the sabbath isn't valid anymore if it is part of the 10 commandments?" speech from her.
I blanked out. Stuttering, I managed to say that I wasn't insinuating the 10 commandments weren't valid anymore, just that the church was placing too much emphasis on sabbathkeeping and Ellen White, and not enough on Christ crucified for us.
Kind of an uneasy silence.
"I don't think it's fair to me that you pretended to be something you weren't when we were married 13 years ago. I thought you believed as an adventist then. So were you making me believe you were an adventist all along?"
-->Before we were married, I studied adventism on my own in the university library, to see what my then GF's church believed. And it really seemed to really make sense to me, and so after some time attending the adventist church, I decided to take the plunge and become a member of the church.
At some point,we decided to get engaged. I've never asked her if my joining the church was a prerequisite for her to marry me. But it didn't matter at the time, because I loved the church, having the truth, and a prophet to back up what I believed. Ahhh, the whole insanity of it all...Made me feel special and everyone else, especially Catholics were in the wrong...
"I did. But people do change over time, and I am just questioning things that I used to believe were true."
She mentioned the thing about me knowing the truth and when I turn my back on it, I am risking my salvation and being punished more because I knew the truth...
The conversation ended there, and nothing has been brought up again. But I think she brought it up in her lady's sabbath school class, and I noted that some of them avoided eye contact with me. Or maybe that's just me being paranoid. Anyhow, I think they are praying for me to come back to the fold. I'm willingly going to church for the sake of peace for right now. I don't make remarks about the church, I keep my head down and shut up for now.
I'm not very good in conflict.
I think if I ever did break away from church, it would cause a serious rift in our marriage. Soooo, that's where I am right now. Maybe things will change later.
Thanks for indulging me.
Post Number: 3594
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 9:51 pm: || |
Oh, Jason--I am sorry. There are others here who will be able to identify with you really personally. I know, though, that what you face is not small nor brief.
This is the time in your life to find out how trustworthy Jesus is. He will walk with you through this time and through this pain, and He also wants to bring your wife to be able to see truth as well.
Don't be afraid to pray for yourself and for your wife. Read (I want to encourage you to memorize!) Ephesians 6:10-18. What you are facing is not just a difference of opinion. As Jesus said to Peter, "Satan wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail."
Ask God to be more real to you than the fear of conflict and the threat of your wife's anger and disapproval. Ask Him to give you faith that is grounded on the reality of His promises. Ask Him to give you and your wife the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so you both will know Him better (Ephesians 1:17). And pray that you will be able to love your wife for God.
I am praying for you and your wife, Jason. God is faithful. He Himself will be your strength and your very great reward.
Post Number: 185
|Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 9:53 pm: || |
Jason, Im too tired to respond fully, but read my post on prayer, and know that God will send His Spirit to guide you if you ask. I will pray.
I know that feeling of being tongue tied, and kinda stammering. Someone pointed out to me that I only had that experience when talking to someone under the bondage of the law. Others who know that the blood of Jesus alone saves them, can appreciate your journey to know Him better.
Remember also, that she is shocked. You have had time to process this for awhile. She has not. Ask God for what you desire. Thanks for being open here. Lots of praying people here as well.
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 7:02 am: || |
Jason, I will be lifting you and your wife in prayer. I can relate to stammering and stuttering when discussing this topic. I have not told everyone in my life what I am learning, but I will when that time is right. I just think of Moses when I feel like I cannot get the words out, and how God used him in an awesome way. It gives me hope!
Exodus 4:10-12 Then Moses said to the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue." So the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say." (NKJV)
It is such a peaceful feeling to know that we can just let go of these stressful situations and give them to Jesus. When our eyes are on Him, we can walk across the stormy waters.
Post Number: 771
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 8:56 am: || |
Jason...Your story is my story almost exactly. My husband felt that maybe I had duped him too...I mean, he thought he married this good SDA believeing girl...he did...but I was liberated.
He told me if I left that I was in danger of losing my salvation. His family formed tearful prayer circles (I didn't intend for them to find out, but my dramatic 13-year-old daughter tearfully told them of my heresy!!!) for me...I thought my marriage would fall apart for a while. Everytime I mentioned reading the bible for worship I would get "Not Galatians again!!!" Like there was something really wrong with Galatians and Galatians had caused me to leave the fold. It was truly a trying time.
So, I sat in an SDA pew every saturday because I wanted to keep family peace...it was all I could do to stomach it! Kids were playing with all kinds of toys, talking. People were out in the foyer pissed off at the pastor because church went over a few minutes and their dinners were burning! (Actually cussing about it!) People sleeping. No one opening their Clear Words or whatever bible (only a few actually brought them). I felt a huge lack of the presence of the Holy Spirit there. I almost think I would like to go back and try a church service again to see if I still get that impression...now that I am in a totally Spirit filled church. What a difference!
To make a long story short...my husband now attends Sunday church with me. It took him about 3 years to finally accept that he could worship with non-SDA's. He loves the church we are in and says he has never been in a church like it. I prayed and people on this forum prayed for him...it was all in God's timing. Does he still pop up with "Sabbath" once in a while, and defend the SDA's? Yes, but he has come a long way.
I know the pain you are suffering right now...I too suffered it. However, I wouldn't trade the suffering for what I have now...no way. You will make it through this intense phase of transitioning out...you will! Things will get easier, and though they look impossible, everything is possible for God.
Plant little seeds here and there for you wife. I tried to openly confront and win arguements on biblical doctrines vs. SDA...it doesn't work. They shut you out. But every once in a while, if you plant a little seed (just a comment) here and there...eventually they may see what you are saying is true...with the help of the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth.
I am praying for you right now!
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 8:03 pm: || |
I HAVE EXPERIENCED A SIMILAR SITUATION IN MY LIFE. WHAT I DID WAS GO TO THE 'TRUTHORFABLES' WEBSITE AND PRINT OUT A PAGE OR TWO OF ELEEN WHITE'S BIBLE CONTRADICTINS AS WELL AS SOME OF HER FAILED PROPHECIES. THAT CAUSED AN IMMEDIATE SHOCK TO THE PERSON IN MY LIFE WHO HAD BEEN A RATHER FIRM SDA BELIEVER.
MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND MY PRAYERS ARE FOR YOU.
Post Number: 143
|Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 11:34 pm: || |
You are not alone. Many of us have gone, or are going through some similar challenges. What you have studied over several months is all new and largely unwelcome to your wife. It doesn't matter that you have done an indepth and thorough investigation and analyse. Right now what matters to her is that "You changed the rules".
No amount of Scripture or rational discussion will make a difference. Only the still small voice of the Holy Spirit will allow her to even consider anything other than what she has known.
My first, much longer(and insightful?) post got lost due to my cyberspace ineptness. My middle aged memory denies a more complete recall but nontheless I recognize the feeling of helplessness you are experiencing.
I guess I want to emphasize that it is in God's hands. Pray for understanding, and document your journey with pertinent articles on the debatable topics. Remember to talk about and dwell on the Gospel and the beliefs you can support from in-context Bible study. The good news of the Gospel and the freedom as described in the New Testament are beautiful and regenerative. This will have to be your harbour in this time of stormy waters.
For many in Adventism it is the relationships and culture that holds them more than the theology. When you are around her peers, share the genuine joy and relationship with Jesus that you are finding. It will be hard to deny your Christian walk. Most will not understand, but that is for the Holy Spirit to take care of.
Feel free to share your challenges here as many are walking the same path.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 8:03 am: || |
My heart cries with you right now, this is exactly what I am facing myself with my husband!
I wrote what is happening on the post about leaving the church feels like 'divorce'. Last night I had to take up my cross literally. I was crusified! My husband will not hear anything I have to say. God is teaching me, and I know I must show my husband love. Tonight, our Pastor is coming to talk with us. This new found truth has caused so much division in our home with our 4 children. I must not go against what God has given me, but I also must love my husband. This is really hard right now as he persecutes me every day. I will pray for you, this is a spiritual battle, but God is faithful and Good I know! Michelle
Post Number: 2408
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 8:01 pm: || |
I have not experienced what you folks have, but I can pray for each of you and I do.
Father In Heaven, You are the I AM, the ALPHA AND OMEGA AND God you are AWESOME. Be with Michelled and Jason as they put everything they have on the line for you. Be with them, comfort them and hold them in your awesome hands as they go through this crisis. Be with their spouses and children. And God may your love shine out of these people to their families, so they will know you are present. Thank you God for anwering this prayer.
Post Number: 54
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 9:27 pm: || |
Jason, I can totally relate to your situation. I left the SDA church five months ago and was in fear my marriage would fall apart. I truly believe the prayers of these wonderful people on my behalf have held the evil powers at bay. I have gone from a place of fear to a place of joy. The Holy Spirit has been my intimate counsellor and has impressed me with phrases to repeat to myself and concepts to dwell upon in my inner thoughts.
For instance, He told me that my key strategy is to simply thrive on the spiritual feast I'm enjoying as I study and search for a new church. He also told me to share with my husband what a wonderful opportunity we both have to practice the principles of religious liberty in our own home. He has given me words to say when the difficult conversations come up. These words may not be influencing my husband to change his thinking, but they do give me a feeling of peace knowing I've said the right thing at the right time.
For example, the other evening we were discussing the reformation and how the papacy must have used the scripture (where Jesus said whosoever sins you remit will be remitted and whosoever sins you retain will be retained) to justify selling indulgences. Hubby said, "It all depends on the interpretation. One group interprets it one way and the other group interprets it the other way. Now they can't both be right, can they?" I had to answer, "No, they can't both be right." I hate it when he does that to me...backs me into a corner where no matter what I say causes me to lose the argument. But a few minutes later, the thought came to me that there is another answer. So I went to him and said, "There is another option. They can both be partially right." Well, he didn't respond, just ignored me. But I felt a lot better inside, because I had given a reasonable and realistic answer to his question.
For many years I wanted to leave Adventism, but I stayed because I didn't want to hurt my husband. I shared my thoughts with a friend and she asked me what I was afraid he'd do if I left the church. I was kind of taken aback, because I'd never verbalized this before. So, I thought a moment and said, "Well, I guess he'd pray for me a lot, because he'd believe I was losing my eternal salvation." My friend said, "So. What's so bad about that?" I was stunned, because she made it seem so simple. There really is nothing at all wrong with my husband praying for me, now is there? That was the first time I started to really believe I could actually leave the church. It still took me about 3 years to finally do so, though. And this forum has been an invaluable source of support, encouragement and information.
Thank you all so much! And thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Post Number: 455
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 9:58 pm: || |
Honestwitness, I started to laugh outloud as I'm sitting here in a coffee house listening to open mike night. I had a hugh grin as well as I read your comment . . .
"There really is nothing at all wrong with my husband praying for me, now is there?"
Who knows but in his prayers God might encounter him and "rock his boat".
I think we sometims make life a little to difficult. <smile>
Post Number: 3619
|Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:57 pm: || |
Honestwitness, thank you for your moving post. I can really see that your screen name is the description of your life with your husband. I love the way you showed us how God influenced you to see, point by point, the reality of your fears and the ways you can respond. He has a way of helping us see through new "windows", and reality becomes so much clearer!
Praise God for His work in your life and also in your husband's.
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 12:13 pm: || |
We have a new pastor at our church, he came over to visit last night. Just for a visit, mind you, to just see how things are with us, what outreach ministries we think the church could be doing, and sharing what the church is planning on doing in the near term. We didn't have really anything noteworthy to offer, afterwards my wife said that she feels guilty for not "having a ministry" in the church or in the community like a lot of others in the church.
Yet with our 4 kids and being a home-schooling mom, we both agreed that our ministry starts at home with our kids. I mean, there are marriage enrichment seminars planned, evangelistic meetings, ect, ect, and few of these meetings offer childcare(even the marriage enrichment ones. -that one makes me smile-it's the ones who have kids that miss out on stuff like that.) She thought it would be nice to have a "parent's night out" event once in a while where a small group of people would watch your children for a few hours in the evening while you went on a date with your spouse. (it gets a little spendy hiring a sitter for 4 boys.)
I do appreciate all of your guys' notes of encouragement. Some days I wonder if I should just give up on this new paradigm shift and slip back to the way I was. That way my guts wouldn't be in an upheaval so much of the time. I am thrilled, though, that there are folks like you who are there. I'm glad I'm not alone.
Post Number: 78
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 1:19 pm: || |
I'm praying for you! I'm a home-schooling mom. 2 girls. I know what you mean about "ministry." For the most part, my children are my ministry.
Some of the churches in our area have a parents night out. Usually the youth group of the church volunteers to watch the kids for a few hours.
Keep letting the Lord lead you. Pray for wisdom and claim the promise of James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and without reproach and it shall be given him.î James 1:5
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Post Number: 1329
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 1:29 pm: || |
Jason, forgive me if I'm going to overstep here, but I have a question (or more) for you in regards to "slipping back".
You said you have four boys. I suspect that you would like to teach them a thing or two about faith? Is that really the religion you want your children to grow up learning? Do you want them to each have to discover the things you've discovered on their own after years of something else? Or what if you muddle through, trudge through the thick soil, endure the hard times, and have the possibility to make sure you boys know the true gospel, make sure they are able to question things that others are never allowed to? Maybe even influence your wife?
I'm not in a married situation and I can't imagine how you teach your boys your new found understandings without completely alienating mom, but you are the head of the family. It is your God-given role to teach your children your faith. Ultimately they make the choice, but if all they hear is adventism ... they're going to grow up believing it.
My son's father comes over a couple of times a week, and I let him tuck the little one in bed since he doesn't spend the night with this dad. But last night, I came in and he was forcing this little guy to kneel while he prayed. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to teach my son that God hears us on our knees or flat on our back. I can't stop what his dad will undoubtedly try to teach him, but I can be so armed with the truth in scripture that IT will prevail in his heart and mind.
It's not just you. (And I am not in any way writing off Mom...I am a mom....) but you have responsibility to teach those children the truth...the JESUS truth.
It's just something to think about.
Post Number: 87
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 1:48 pm: || |
Christ be with you and your family~
I'm praying for you.
I noted your paragraph below:
" ...Some days I wonder if I should just give up on this new paradigm shift and slip back to the way I was. That way my guts wouldn't be in an upheaval so much of the time..."
I have found that when I have felt like you do, in the past, tempted to go back to the comfortable, complacent, God rarely allowed me to do it. If I tried, I had no peace, no lessoning of angst. I was only more restless in spirit. Once God began the change within myself, he carried it and me through to the end of the old and to the new beginning in him alone. In him alone. Sometimes, it was truly him alone. In fact, many times for myself and children. But, I have never regretted any of that happening the way he did it and why he did it for us because all that happens, by his will, led us more and more into Jesus, and continues to do so. Once I knew Christ and his truth, truth would not let me go, no matter what. Then there came a time, when I could not let Christ's truth go for anyone, no matter what.
I homeschool, too. For your family's encouragement, there is no greater 'ministry' than doing something so committed (whatever it might be) for one's children, especially, a mother. Nothing in a church ministry is supposed to eclipse what a mother (or father) does for her children and family at home, ever. I have been pressured by church women (non-SDA) to 'do something' in the church, for the church. But I knew that I would burn out and have litte left for my children (and husband, when I was married), as a homeschooling mother, 24/7 with them, if I did so. I had to choose my priorities. I knew that I was doing what God desired of me, at that time, and held my ground, although it was not popular with the ladies. My children and family were first, my first 'mission field'. So, you have my prayers and encouragement for your parental commitments and leading, both you and your wife. You are doing 'God's work'--a great work in him-- with your children.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 8:11 pm: || |
O.K, so I see it like this, a balance -
On one side I have the church
and the list goes on,
on the other side, I have God
and the list goes way on!!!
I choose God!!!!!!
I prayed for you tonight Jason, I have 4 children with my husband of 9 years, and this has been the hardest week yet! The persecution, the anger, hurt, and fear my husband has. God keeps telling me to Love him. I will ask the Lord to show me how! I could say much more, but all I will say is that we must trust in the Lord our God, He will not start a work that He won't finish! A sister in Christ,
Post Number: 457
|Posted on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 9:46 pm: || |
Excellent summation Michelle!
I'm praying for Jason, and for you too! Your situations sound so familiar. When I was released from SDAism, the inner peace that God gave me was wonderful - and necessary, because externally life fell apart.
But thru the pain that has come, and thru the separation that in my case did come, I can testify that God is good, and is abundantly faithful to us!
I pray that God will open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, and will fill the hearts of the empty and broken with His Holy Spirit!
God did not bring us this far to drop us!
Post Number: 742
|Posted on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 3:56 pm: || |
Glad to see so many homeschoolers here. We homeschooled our sons for 16 years. Loved it.
Jason, it strikes me that it truly is important right now for you to teach your sons, as was mentioned above, beginning with the very basics of the faith, as a part of their schooling. Lay a foundation that other truths can be added to later on. And just maybe it will slowly begin to let your wife see that your love is for God, still.
If you do some kind of devotional with the kids, how about using verses focusing in on salvation. Get the kids to memories the verses. You could make it a game, or give rewards for scriptures memorized.(Is your wife really likely to complain if you have the children memorize a verse about Jesus being the only way to salvation?) How about scriptures having to do with their walk with God. We didn't make up, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" after all. What about some of those scriptural promises that Jesus will never leave us?
I'm just saying that it seems to me there is a heck of alot of verses you should be able to focus on with your kids. The idea would be to use it as a way of slowly educating your wife that God is to be trusted. That God is loving. That He desires us to know truth. That He is ever watching out for us. There should be lots of verses to use to build this foundation and maybe begin to ease into some of the new stuff you have discovered. At least it's something to do instead of only sitting back and waiting....