Conversations I have had over the past few months have me convinced it is again time to repost parts of an earlier blog.
Often when it is discovered I was a “Seventh-Day” Adventist I am asked questions. When I answer them, I go over our unique teachings and beliefs and message.
- We have a prophetess Ellen G. White who we are taught was inspired and received visions from God and had an angelic guide
- we believe to worship Saturday is Seal of God and
- that to worship on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast
- We believe in the end times Christians who go to church on Sunday will try to kill us because we worship on the Jewish Sabbath. Christians become angry at us SDAs angry since we are God’s holy people for keeping our version of the Jewish Sabbath. Sometimes we re-enact this in summer camps and church camps for our kids to remind them.
After the startled looks are gone, I then hear, “Oh I thought you were just like us but just went to church on Saturdays.”
The most startling comment for me was when I called the pastor who married me and my wife. I called him in March of this year to thank him for officiating our wedding and to let him know that after 15 Years we were still together. Pastor Meyers a Baptist pastor, stepped in a few months before our wedding because the original pastor who was an SDA and family friend refused to marry us. His reasoning was Kathe was not a baptized Seventh-Day Adventist and SDAs should not be equally yoked with unbelievers.
When I revealed to Pastor Meyer the story he became surprised. As I revealed to him the more esoteric details of SDA beliefs he said, ‘I was a pastor in the Redlands, CA area just down the road from Loma Linda, all that time and I had no idea that is what they believed.’
Rose Publishing puts together many excellent materials used by respected ministries listed here. They have created a pamphlet for that explains some of the doctrines of “Seventh-Day” Adventism, similar to that or Mormonism, Jehovah Witness and other cults. Rose Publishing presents the Adventist claims and provides the citations from Adventism’s materials and more importantly the Rose’s pamphlet provides you what Scripture says.
With special written permission Rose Publishing has permitted me to share three of the Panels from their Pamphlet 10 Q&A on Seventh-day Adventism. Please note these pages are Copyright Rose Publishing/Bristol Works, Inc.
Click on the panels to see a full image
Other Panels of the pamphlet discuss the issues of —
|How they began.|
|Was Ellen White a Prophet of God?|
|The SDA position on the nature of Jesus and the Trinity.|
|What happens to you when you die?|
|What is the “Investigative Judgment”?|
|Does God Require Us to Observe the Seventh-Day Sabbath?|
|Is the SDA Church God’s Unique “Remnant Church.”|
There are other website addresses listed where you can go to find out more information from people who left Adventism for Christianity. Best of all, tis pamphlet will help others understand and avoid the Great Confusion.
To order the entire pamphlet or download to your computer you can go here.
At the time of my decision to exit I did not appreciate how important it was to document clearly why my family and I decided to leave the Seventh-Day Adventist cult. By that time, there were many clear reasons to go but just how do I state them openly. Or for that matter why should I even bother saying it, why not just exit and be done with it?
Now at least five years later I see the decision to write my family’s Exit Letter was the right move. Regardless how carefully I stated my reasons or how much Scripture I provided our cult members typically learn to dismiss those who leave as disgruntled and bitter or as people who were hurt by someone’s actions. It helps members to avoid dealing with the reality of the situation; it’s a form of denial. They will chalk it up to a deficiency in understanding Scriptures or what their distinctive doctrines mean. Maybe it is to to lessen the sting that accompanies the antiseptic of Truth when you tell them your reasons.
Well, whatever the reason here are four top reasons why you should write an exit letter when you leave.
1. The exit letter is an excellent way of helping others from sinfully gossiping falsehoods as why you left. Don’t do something you knowingly will cause others to stumble.
Sure enough when Kathe and I left people assumed that it was because of I was merely disgruntled and angry, that I just wanted to BASH SDAs, they gossiped and made reasons. Apparently despite all the years of helping plant my last SDA church those people did NOT know me. I have many family members who still believe in the teachings of the SDAs. My mother is still SDA, my Grandparents were Pioneers of their Churches in the Philippines, and Loma Linda and my Maternal Great Grandparents were early Philippine Missionaries. My roots are Adventist from birth, and the decision to leave did not come without much prayer, the study of Scripture and attempt to reconcile ALL SDA doctrines with Scripture.
2. It shows you have done your homework.
The most common apology I heard as I was leaving the cult is–
“Well, you don’t have to believe all the particular Doctrines. They are NOT salvation issues so you can still be Adventist.” I know the intent behind the comment was well-meant and with love. However, my convictions led me to see that, to be a Christian does not mean teachings are ala carte. The Seventh-day Adventist church has Doctrines that can be discarded or flagged as optional, but we weren’t talking about power windows or a car sunroof. Disposable doctrines are clear indications that those Doctrines came from man.
- If indeed a teaching is optional, it is from man.
- Man-made doctrines are don.t save.
3. You don’t know who else is wanting to leave. Your Exit Letter may serve as the Exit Sign above the door that they’ve been looking for.
It was is tempting to be quiet and just go my way, to let others sit in the pews content with their beliefs and perhaps one day figure these things out for themselves. For me worse yet, was the idea that those who were being wooed by Adventism might fall into the grasp of the cult.
I remember the irritation I felt when I finally realized throughout my entire time in the cult I was conned. I served in Revelation Seminars (Crusades), I was a Junior Deacon and later an Usher, I attend their Sabbath Schools and Churches, their Church Schools, Academies & Universities. All this time not one person even intimated of things might suggest an error in their teachings. What brought it to its head was my discovery the early church leaders in 1919 knew of significant errors in their teachings and doctrines but, they were more focused on damage control than making things right. (See, 1919 Church Transcripts)
I have SDA friends and family, some who shook their heads wondering how a 4th generation SDA could “stumble” so badly and raise questions on doctrines that could “cause others to stumble”.
On their other hand, my non-SDA and Christian friends have asked how did it take so long for me to realize I was blind and believed such things for so long without questioning.
4. There will be times the Exit Letter will be the only way to shut up the cult members who only want to argue with you about why you left.
Yes, admittedly there will be times an SDA will call you a liar for stating why you left. This is different from those in Reason 1 in your immediate church that you cared enough about to let them know why you left. Instead, these people are simply nasty and want to tell you the ONLY way you would have left is because had an ax to grind or that you were never even an SDA. The exit letter is evidence of your state of mind when you left point them to it and dust off the dirt from your sandals and move on.
There are probably many more reasons to write that Exit Letter but these are the four that I can think of.
QUESTIONS: Did you know an Exit Letter is the Cult’s officially prescribed way to leave? What reasons have you been given to keep you to stay?
Whew!! It’s been just over five years since the family and joined the Christian Body, but it sure seems much longer. Just like on a road trip when you drive and drive and drive. Then you pull over to gas up your tanks; maybe you might even take a look at your GPS or map. If you’re like me, you smile at the distance you’ve put between the starting point and where you are.
The road may have had bumps, curves maybe there was some beautiful scenery or YUCK even traffic that slowed you down far more than you planned! Hey, that ok. The point is you’re making progress, and there’s is an adventure before you and look there are other’s on the road with you.
This blog is a mix of my stories, resources and observations of my family’s exodus from Seventh-Day Adventism. It is an Exodus make no mistake about it. Because unlike a vacation where you have a home to return to, we left a culture, an identity some friends and the security of the familiar behind.
If you are planning to take this trip:
My blog is meant to provide you with road maps and markers and company. Some of my stories and experiences of my 39 years being raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist or SDA as we referred to ourselves will sound familiar others unfamiliar. I’m on this road as well, and I’ll introduce you to friendly spots with friends who have taken this journey too. I will also give you resources and references that you probably never knew or were never told existed–some of which were maliciously hidden from you. You should know that over 300,000 people a year take this same journey and never go back.
Christian and Christain Pastor who is wondering about Seventh-Day Adventism:
My blog is a candid layout of what it is we learn in Seventh-Day Adventism. You may have only heard of SDAs and thought we are are different only because we don’t eat pork or that we go to church on Saturday. There is so much more behind the Doctrines, and often you don’t know to ask and we are not open to tell you. Often we don’t understand how you can see what it is we were taught.
Is it a problem? With 18,000,000 members worldwide it is. With the Christain Church in America losing membership and some Christain churches even sharing their building with SDAs you will eventually meet one of us. As SDAs, our goal is to witness to you about our Sabbath Truth, and we will do it with our hospitals, our “church schools” and with our Revelation Crusades.
If you’ve left but don’t know where to go next:
You’re not alone with so many leaving the cult there are more and more of us around to help, you won’t be stranded by the side of the road. Don’t get discouraged Jesus our Lord and Master has been down this very same road and gone before us he knows the loneliness and rejection. But the same way me Promised that He would fulfill all the requirements of the Law and did, He promised He is coming back soon for us.
For the Christain Pastor or Christian, Do you know any SDAs? What have they told you SDAism is about and did you know to ask them about their Prophetess and her visions. How about what they believe is the Mark of the Beast?
For the Exiting SDA, What is it that keeps you in Seventh-Day Adventism.