Post Number: 9
|Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 4:27 pm: || |
From the www.sdaoutreach.org website:
Despite much hype...
SDA CHURCH GROWTH SLOWS BY 33%,
1.6 MILLION LEAVE IN PAST TEN YEARS
In August 2005 Doug Batchelor, host of the Adventist Amazing Facts television program, made an amazing admission:
Literally thousands of Seventh-day Adventists have fallen away from the church in recent years. According to the General Conference Office of Archives and Statistics, in the past ten years alone, over 1.6 million people have requested that their SDA membership be dropped. The annual growth rate within the church has gone from approximately 6%, ten years ago, to a record low of 3.98%. (Emphasis added).
Source: The Lamplighter, July-August 2006, page 5 (issue can be viewed on our site).
Post Number: 288
|Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 8:40 pm: || |
We have not "fallen away". We have been carried away in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have been "called out". We have been "plucked out" of adventism, and fortunately, the Word promises that we can never be plucked out of His hand hand where we now rest.
Thank you Jesus.
Post Number: 4579
|Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 9:36 pm: || |
Oh, yes, JavaGirlˇyou are so right! We have been called out and carried away, plucked out of Adventism the the Lord Jesus Himself!
Post Number: 42
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 9:55 am: || |
A big AMEN to that JavaGirl and Colleen.
Praise Him indeed.
Post Number: 152
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 10:15 am: || |
Plus there are those of us who never requested their membership to be dropped. I moved around a lot and didn't know where my membership was so I didn't bother to do the formal dropping membership thing.
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 5:04 pm: || |
Such an interesting statistic! My husband and I requested our membership be removed right away when we left the SDA church, but even in our small town; I can think of at least a dozen or more folks who were raised SDA's, left the church years ago; but have never requested their memberships be removed. I have visited with several of these people, and have sadly found that they left mostly for reasons other than searching the Scriptures and finding truth. To some, I have given the book by Greg Taylor, "Discovering the New Covenant". I just pray they read it, and then do their own searching also.
Post Number: 2798
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 5:41 pm: || |
My name was dropped from the church books more than 10 years ago. Looking back on it, that was God's way of getting my name off the books. For that I am extremely thankful.
He is so awesome.
Post Number: 2357
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 7:09 pm: || |
At the Lutheran church where I hold my membership it is church policy if the person is totally 100% inactive in the church for two consecutive years his/her name is deleted. It is for good reason too as everyone on the church membership costs the congreation money for this and for that. I was told the SDA churches are supposed to do it that way too but I don't think most SDA churches are too dilligent about it. they prefer to leave the non-partisipating folks on the membership book so it looks good, like they have more members than they really do have coming and taking part in the weekly services. When I was 17 I wanted to be baptized a christian. Up until that age I'd had very little church experience outside of Adventism. I'd read my bible and I knew I didn't want to be SDA so I asked the SDA pastor to baptize me on Profession of Christian faith. He refused telling me that was against his policy and by baptizing me or anyone else he had those people automatically made SDA members. He then went on to tell me if I really did not want to belong to the SDA church then after I'd been baptized to wait a month or so and write a letter to the church requesting my name be removed. I did just that. I never got a reply letter so throughout the years I have written at least a half-dozen letters to the various SDA churches I have attended as well as the central ca. conference asking if my name is on any SDA membership list to take it off. I have even request reply letters. I have never recieved a reply.
Post Number: 223
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 7:25 pm: || |
You are so right. Just thinking alone about those who I attended SDA schools with over the years, very few are Christians.... a few are still SDA, but have not moved to the truth from Adventism, but to emptiness and a numb existence apart from Christ.
Post Number: 53
|Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 10:29 pm: || |
I think the hardest thing is to see friends gradually drift away from the SDA church and have no further interest in the Lord. It must be very frustrating for church leaders, especially those who are under conviction. Shepherds are responsible for their sheep.
Years ago one of the NAD union leaders visited Andrews and mentioned research that revealed (based on confidential written surveys) that around 50 percent of SDA pastors would leave the ministry if they could. He felt sad, and I don't think he understood why, but now I think it is certainly because of theological issues.
I also used to hear that about half of us baby boomers will leave or have already left the church - same percentage as the ministers who are so frustrated, and probably most leave for the same reasons.
But many leave the Lord entirely, and that is really hard for me. I have a friend who was a minister who is apparently no longer walking with the Lord. Lots of people need our prayers. The arm of the Lord is not shortened that it cannot save.
I praise God for leading us to safety--Psalm 23.
I like the way you said it Java Girl!
Post Number: 2387
|Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 11:06 pm: || |
Bob, are you really as cute as your picture?
Post Number: 54
|Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 6:17 pm: || |
I wish!! This beautiful Border Collie, Evie, belongs to Christy Robinson. My wife and I take care of her for a few weeks each year, and we've fallen in love with her. She is very intelligent and has strong herding instincts--so she just loves to play with a basketball or frisbee. Evie is the subject of several devotionals that (we've been told) the GC is publishing in the 2010 devotional guide book. Who knows? Anyway, she's a much loved dog.
Thank you for asking!
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 6:20 pm: || |
It is interesting how misleading the numbers can be. I left the SDA church 22 years ago and never had my name removed. I've moved a few times, clear across the country in fact, and they have always caught up with me. I think my mother must be giving them my address each time I move. My Mom, Grandmother and Aunt are the only remaining (practicing) SDAs in the family. My sister left after years of going to school in Keene, TX and Berrien Springs, MI. She's never been able to bring herself to join another denomination. I referred her to this board and she said she just wasn't ready to see Adventism in a negative light. I don't get it. She won't go to SDA church anymore but she won't go to another church either. It must be the thought of "I've left the remnant church, so I can't go to any other church". Her children, now grown, don't go to any church anymore. In fact her son is very down on all organized religion. Then there's my Grandmother, Mom and Aunt who sit around talking about the thought that maybe some people other than Adventists will go to heaven. Most people I know who have left the SDA church never have their names officially removed and they never go to another church either. It's so sad. They would feel such freedom if they only knew "the real truth".
I've been lurking for quite a while but just haven't posted in a long time. I wanted to say "thank you" for all the inspiration and knowledge I gain from reading what others have to say. I can so relate to much of what I read from others who grew up Adventist, went to their schools, Pathfinders, camp, etc.
Post Number: 4644
|Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 6:40 pm: || |
Hi, Kathyˇit's great to hear from you again! I know what you mean; the resistance on the part of those who never really examine their Adventism but still can't practice it is astonishing. Their motivation, I believe, is fear. If a professing Christian ceases to practice and wanders, he will feel convictionˇthe certainty that he has wandered from Him who is the Truth. An unexamined Adventist, however, will feel guilt and fear if he wanders.
There is a huge difference between guilt/fear and conviction. Conviction resolves when one acts on it as the Holy Spirit prompts. Guilt doesn't really resolve. It's still there, causing one to feel shame and unworthiness.
The difference, of course, is between believing a THEOLOGICAL SYSTEM is truth or believing a PERSON is Truth. A system cannot absolve one of guilt. Only a Person can remove guilt.
Post Number: 2827
|Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 6:44 pm: || |
After my son shared what he knew with me about God and his love for us, we mentioned many times to each other that we could not go to a church on Sunday. But guess what?? I go to church on Sunday now and my son and his family attend the base church, which meets on Sunday.
Thank you God for bringing us to you. You are awesome.
Post Number: 56
|Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 7:15 pm: || |
Like you, I've often wanted to just say thank you to so many online friends here. I've been blessed, learned a lot, and greatly appreciate the online fellowship!
Post Number: 145
|Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - 7:35 pm: || |
I also want to express to God my gratitude for this forum. Being able to communicate the thoughts that have been suppressed for the last seventeen years is an astounding blessing and you are all priceless treasures to me.
Post Number: 487
|Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 3:42 pm: || |
Diana, My husband likes to tease me about telling him I would never "Sunday" church. I just learned you never say never.