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.