Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adventists Today Online

When we were in the process of publishing the book, I told the man formatting the type and the editors, "This book has to be perfect--to typos, grammatical errors, no footnoting errors--nothing! Adventists will find they cannot attack the actual facts, so they will attack the editing, or any errors." We know Adventists, how they think and react. So when the first couple of reviews came out, they were in fact, attacking the footnoting, spelling and usage errors (or what they claimed to be errors.) 

For instance, they didn't like that I used the alternative, older spelling of "judgements." (I used it for consistency sake, so many of the 19th century quotes used that spelling, so I continued it so it wouldn't be distracting.) 

Also, most of the Adventist literature used the spelling "ante-type" so, again for consistency sake I continued that spelling. During reviewing the manuscript, several editors asked me about that word, they had never even heard of it. So, to make certain people who were unfamiliar with the word didn't accidentally read "antitype" as AGAINST something rather than compared to and foreshadowing (for clarity sake), I went with the older spelling. 

They also didn't like that I spelled "Haley's comet" with one "l" instead of the more accepted two. The problem is that the books I took the information from, again used the "Haley" spelling. (don't know why there are different spellings of Edmond Haley's name). 

Oh there was a plethora of other details and footnoting they disliked, but I expected that. There were in fact several typos I discovered upon first opening the published book that greatly vexed me. However, I have never found a book without them. 

Overall, there is little about the book's actual facts and opinions they argued with. They believe we were not objective in the book. That is fine, I would have said the same thing when I was an Adventist. I know exactly how they feel and what they think. I knew how hurt and angry Adventists would be about the book. They feel attacked by us, misrepresented by us, betrayed by us.  Those are perfectly understandable views no matter how wrong. Their foundational values and sacred beliefs are exposed for all the world to see and in a very critical light. No one enjoys criticism, as you can see by my first few paragraphs. 

These Adventists who criticize the book are not aware of why my husband and I wrote it. They did not see the huge grizzly-bear of a man standing there, his bare, sweating chest glistening against the hot Texas sun weeping because he was going to hell. He was working on Sabbath to make ends meet and felt God had judged and sentenced him to eternal damnation for it. They did not hold the hand of a young,unmarried, pregnant girl who had attempted suicide because she believed Ellen White to be a prophetess and would rather die than tell her legalistic parents. They did not see the hurt of a young girl who had received a bracelet from her departing dad as a reminder forever of how much he loved her, have to remove it (although concealed under a fake bandage) because the Adventist school did not allow jewelry. They did not hear the cries of a young woman who had been told she was crazy when she accused her Adventist church leader of sexually abusing her. 

The Adventists who criticize the book are not the ones we wrote it for. We wanted to reach out in love for all those people who feel victimized and bitter because of the church they were raised in. We wrote the book to be healing. I am sorry that it offended Adventists. Wish that it were possible to have a world in which everyone was always happy. But we first and foremost must deal honestly with facts and come to truth. All attempts at building happiness on a false foundation will never bring true happiness and peace. It hurts to find out one's theology is based on misinformation and a twisting of scripture. It really traumatized me, so I feel their pain!! 

Yet, when one begins to open one's heart to the truth of the gospel, it opens and spreads out infinity! It leaves you on your knees in a gratitude unspeakable, a holiness unfathomable and forever and forever praising God. That is what I want for each one of you and for everyone--to see Christ and know who you are in His sight. It is life changing and bring heaven to earth.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry you had that expeience i am 29 yrs old iam amother a single mother who had a son with out been marry and i tell you i have never had a problem with adventis they tell me with in christ i can be forgivin for my sins and i bealive that when my mother had my first sister she was catholic and whent to a all catholic school that things she live there she will not wish that to her worst enemy it was horrible and then they charge you money to forgive your sins they price idol that dont even exist and to be honest the only chuch that made her see that there was forgiveness was we can have annother life in heaven was sda, and i feel the same way,iknow no body is perfect but at least we live traying ant that is the beauty to eat i dont just change churchs to write books and get money only a person who is use by the devil will do something like that, not someone that is a christian there is bad and good ppl every were and only GOD will judge those ppl not us in heaven or in eart that is not our job so if you want to write about catholic been bad to my mother you can baucase she almost lost her life but god safe her ,there is alot more i wil like to say i just know that i have never experince anything like that we CANNOT GO TO CHURCH LOOKING AT OTHER PPLS FAULTS THAT IS BETWEN THEM AND GOD IF YOU DO THAT YOU WILL BE WORST THEN THEY ARE CHURCH IS LIKE A HOSPITAL TO SAFE US FROM OUR SIN AND PRISE GOD, WITH ALL OUR HEARTS WHEN WE DO THAT THEN WILL KNOW THAT WE ARE REALLY UBSENTINE GOD WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS.

Teresa Beem said...


I think you would find we agree on a lot of what you said. NO church is perfect and if you go to church looking for good people, religion will quickly turn bitter.

However, lies are of the Devil. Jesus said that the Devil is the father of lies. It is NOT okay for Christians to tell lies about God or history or anything. While I do not believe Adventists are deliberately telling lies (they are just passing along the false information they were taught) it is very important that where a lie is told, a truth is given so that people are not led into falsehood. We ARE responsible for our brothers in Christ.

For many Adventists, the church's doctrines have led them down a very sad path. They have the right to be told the truth and we have the responsibility to help them.

I am very sorry your sister had a bad experience in the Catholic church, and I am very happy that you are seeing Christ while an Adventist. But that has nothing to do with doctrines which are based in fact or fiction.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

As a former Adventist myself who went through just about everything you list I have to say thank you for shedding a light on this topic. I am so sick of the self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude I deal with on a daily basis from Adventist family members. I just keep smiling and telling them if I am to be in hell, I will see them there. They can't see beyond their religious ideology and there is so much to behold outside of the confines of a 1800s religion that didn't know squat. I still get "come read this" as if it will change my mind. I'm a nursing student and the things I have learned on my journey to become an RN alone have discounted a lot of the bullcrap EGW said. For instance, masturbation is NOT the cause of any disease let alone "all" diseases and we shouldn't tie childrens hands down if they are sick. Are you a sadist or something? Ugh that is terrible! I'm happy I left and will never EVER go back.