Post Number: 175
|Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 - 7:46 am: || |
For the first time in probably over five years I went to an Adventist church. I've been remarried for about a year and my husband wanted to experience first hand what it would be like. He jokingly said, "This is the closest I can come to going back to your home with mom and dad." He is a retired Presbyterian pastor and was aware of some of the SDA issues, but certainly nothing like what he knows now after being married to me.
Since we've just moved to a new area, this was a church that even I knew nothing about. So I told him I had no idea what we would see or experience, but the best thing would be to try to attend a Sabbath School class not designed for visitors.
There were few cars in the parking lot when we arrived and when we got to the front door, we weren't quite sure from the signs which way to go. A young couple came walking behind us explained there was a class to the left and to the right, but that one was an "advanced" class, so we headed that way.
We were greeted warmly and they found out we'd just moved to the area so immediately I'm sure they thought we would be joining their church. We weren't offered a quarterly to follow along but I noticed they're studying The Atonement and the Cross of Christ. I thought to myself that this must be an attempt to keep the loyal believing in the Investigative Judgment somehow, but perhaps I'm being too cynical.
This was the perfect class for my husband. One time he got royally jumped for mentioning the cross of Christ. It was probably at that point that they recognized he had never been SDA. But they probably were quite threatened when at one point the teacher was trying to make a point about a text and said, "Well, let's read it in different versions starting with the oldest." And then he rather snidely questioned, "Does anyone have that in Greek?" Well, it so happens that my husband always brings his Greek Bible to church so he raised his hand. Then he was challenged to "read it in Greek" and after my husband clarified that he wanted to really hear the Greek words, he then proceeded to read it to them, then translated it.
The class was a total maze of confusion. Sometimes you would feel they were getting the Gospel and then something would be said that told you they certainly didn't. Somehow they wandered off into the Great Controversy theme. Overall there was a lot of sparing and dogmatic statements of clarification among the men. There was the use of competing EGW quotes to prove their particular point of view.
When we went to leave there was only one person who came over to greet us personally. And he informed us that "you will come back."
My husband decided he'd seen enough so we left rather than stay for the church service.
Needless to say I was interested to get my husband's reaction. He first commented that "Boy, is he really mixed up on the atonement. He needs to check the Hebrew." His next comment was "I guess they never heard the verse, 'But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ'." He noticed the arrogance of their tone and especially the dogmatism. He caught the hypocrisy that SDAs are better than other Christians although they were attempting to mention that there are other sincere believers.
I just asked him and he said he didn't feel "jumped" about the cross but rather totally shocked that these are supposedly Bible believing Christians. He mentioned to me that he wouldn't mind going back if there was some way he could plant some seeds. But I explained that my guess is those sitting there were thinking to themselves, "That poor man. He can read Greek yet he still can't even see the truth." I explained that there were a couple of things he said that would be a dead giveaway that he'd never been SDA. So anything he says is going to be automatically discounted by nearly everyone.
Rejoicing in the freedom,
Post Number: 647
|Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 - 9:43 am: || |
That was a great story!
If you two do go back, I'd love to hear more stories! (here's to hoping you will go back)
I am so glad God turned me around in His own time. He shows mercy on whom He wants.
He hardens whom He wants.
Post Number: 1350
|Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 - 1:52 pm: || |
What a wonderful testimony! That made my day. I can so relate.
Post Number: 304
|Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 - 5:01 pm: || |
I admire you both for taking the time to go to a SDA church. It is so good for Adventists to be exposed to believers. Most, not all, have been taught that "non-Adventists" are nominal. I hope that seeds were planted in their hearts.
One day I was turning around in a church parking lot. As I was leaving their driveway, they had a sign posted so that only people leaving the church could read the sign (this was a Baptist church) that read "you are now entering the mission field." You both were certainly entering the mission field by attending a Sabbath School.
I wonder what would happen if you two attended there more often... would you be eventually asked to leave like Paul when he was asked to leave the synagogues? hmmmm.
Post Number: 78
|Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008 - 7:03 pm: || |
Help me find the scripture when he was asked to leave the synagogues. Thanks!
Post Number: 305
|Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 3:57 am: || |
I was writing about when Paul was kicked out of regions... I'm assuming they were not allowed to go back into synagogues. But I'll reread those passages tonight and get back to you.
Post Number: 178
|Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 6:13 am: || |
You know, I just can't get enthused about attempting to reach SDAs on their own territory. I would like to know if I'm wrong. To me, it's too much like a stage I went through while processing out--attempting to convince myself that I could remain Adventist and share all the new things I was learning. Well, unless you're totally into denial, that stage is going to leave pretty fast.
What I find most helpful now is when SDAs or formers who are now in the wilderness are put into my path. Then I trust the Holy Spirit to guide that conversation.
Also, I believe that it's important to educate pastors and church leaders about Adventism. Last night two wonderful gentleman came visiting from the Baptist church we attended for the first time on Sunday. It wasn't long before my husband was telling them about the SDA church and his experience on Saturday. They had no idea, which is what I've come to expect.
Even my husband who was intellectually convinced about what I had shared with him was still shocked when he actually experienced it. While one part of him was saying, "I can't believe you didn't see through that way sooner" another part of him well knows the demonic nature of the grip. As SDA, I never would have paid much attention to anything a non-Adventist said in a Sabbath School class, but maybe that was just me as a lifer.
Post Number: 667
|Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 10:10 am: || |
We have the Christian liberty to follow this advice:
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Titus 3:9-11 KJV
Post Number: 8993
|Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 10:36 am: || |
Wow, Aliza, what a great story! I'm totally thankful that your husband gets it at the deepest spiritual level. I agree with you re: trying to teach them on their own territory. There really is a spiritual hold on them, and their own church is, in a way, a "temple" to their own false gospel and spiritual claim.
Both you and your husband will be powerful voices to speak the truth about Adventism to Christians who need to be informed. Moreover, your husband will not hesitate to speak the truth to any Adventist he may encounter! Sometimes the witness of a "never-been" is more effective than that of a "former"—once the "never-been" understands and believes the spiritual claim of Adventism.
Praise God! And thanks for sharing—I totally LOVE the image of your husband whipping out his Greek Bible and both reading and translating it...!!
Post Number: 5993
|Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 2:10 pm: || |
I loved the part also about when your husband took out his Greek Bible and read it in Greek.
Praise God for His love and pulling us our of adventism.
I also agree that going into an SDA church is not the place to try to reach them.
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 4:03 pm: || |
I know I would love to share the freedom I have found in Christ with my adventist friends and family, but I don't feel led to, at this point.
I also haven't had the nerve to tell my family I am leaving the church. My folks have left the church themselves, but they left because the church isn't following the SOP closely enough for them. So, when they find out I'm leaving the church becasue Ellen White is a false prohpet, I'm not sure how they'll react. It could be ok, or they might disown me. I just don't know.
As far as my local SDA church, many people there don't beleive EGW was inspired, and some don't think you have to keep Sabbath, so they won't get why I need to leave. They attend for the social aspect, and out of habit.
I haven't told anyone iin the church I am leaving, ( I haven't attened regularly for 2 years) but the letter asking to have my membership removed is in the mail.
Post Number: 117
|Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 - 4:37 pm: || |
please feel free to share the freedom with us.
The social aspect of Adventism is STRONG! and you are right about the various levels of belief in Ellen, the sabbath and any or all of the rest of the 28 FB's. They won't get it until their "inplaceofChrist" corner stone is shook loose and the space is available for the true corner stone.