Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adventism is Bleeding

The SDA church had hoped the Former Adventists would just go away quietly. However, we seem to be making an impact, because lately they have been acknowledging us in their different publications. They are starting blogs to defend Adventism because they know the blogs out there by former SDAs are getting a lot of traffic. They are writing books defending their faith. They are no longer remaining passive. I don't blame them. They see this new generation of loud former SDA as fulfilling prophecy and gives them new fodder for victimhood and a new impetus for the cry of the Third Angel.

The are also admitting that up to 50% of their young people are leaving the church. Adventism is definitely bleeding and they are understandably panicked.

So how do we react to this?

One part of me is actually panicking along with them. Adventists are my family and friends, I hurt when I see them cry. I feel so much compassion for them when I hear their fervent prayer for us. I cringe in embarrassment for them when I see them battling with phantom enemies. I don't want to see them hurt or humiliated. Dear Lord, can't this be a death with dignity? Couldn't you just allow the happy Adventists to live their life out in blissful ignorance and when they die, then correct all the falsehood at one time? I don't want to see anyone get hurt in this struggle of truth.

Then I get letters/emails/facebook messages of people who were spiritually sinking in Adventism. Hearing the truth gave them a new life and joy they had never experienced before. And I then remember, there are unhappy Adventists out there. The false information they were given did not yield benign results in their lives. I have to keep telling myself that Satan is the father of lies and that no amount of error is of God. Darkness is where people stumble. We are to be the light of the world.

Adventism is loosing members because it does not give people correct information. Truth is becoming clear and so I really should rejoice and praise the Lord.

But I do want to say to those Adventists and former Adventists, when someone finally lets go of the falsehood, we should never be there to gloat or feel proud of the fact that we got it before them. Their tumble into truth is going to hurt. I want to be there in a great pool of love that lets them know we are so happy for them. We will be there to lay out the red carpet and welcome them into truth as kings and queens. We will join in with the chorus of heaven as the lost lambs are returned to the Great Shepherd.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


In response to Dale Ratzlaf’s former Adventist seminar in Huntsville, Alabama, a

columnist at Adventist Today recently commented, “Hell hath no fury like a Former Adventist [scorned].”


It concerns me when I read statements like the one above. Adventist doctrines can create a paranoid schizophrenic worldview with touches of megalomaniac delusions and that comment may reveal an inkling of it. Nevertheless, how do we respond to this and other SDA questions like, “Why do we hang around the edges of Adventism [apparently venting our fury]?” or “Why don’t we move on and leave them alone?”

Of course I cannot speak for all Former Adventists but I know I can speak for thousands and thousands.

Why do we dare talk to our Adventist friends and relatives about our new life outside Adventism and compare it with the old? The answer: the gospel of Jesus requires it. We are our brother’s keepers. Believe it or not, we LOVE them! We have been taught since Cradle Roll that we must be willing to stand up and defend truth--that one day we may have to die doing it! No wonder we are so strong in our positions, our characters were honed in Adventism to be Bible-believing, truth zealots!

For my Adventist friends:

Most of us truly understand your feelings about our leaving. We know your fears, your mindset, your prejudices, we WERE YOU at one time. Many of us dismissed and judged former Adventists. I personally remember worrying about the salvation of family and friends who left the church. Knowing that we know you leaves you exposed and vulnerable, so you go on the defensive and we understand that too. We recognize that it is hard to put down one’s sword when defending one’s religious beliefs. Demonizing us as opponents allows you to guiltlessly fight the harder.

But we do not consider you our enemy. Through all the inflammatory rhetoric coming our direction to try and divert us, we persist in gently (and sometimes not so gently) attempting to get your attention on truth. Truth makes people uncomfortable. It made US uncomfortable when we heard it too! So again, it may pain you to hear, but we know what you are going through and the why you may feel it necessary to throw into the debate ad hominem attacks. Truth is searing, truth cuts to the core. Having one’s false beliefs clash with reality is like getting hit with lightning.

I know you think that sounds incredibly arrogant and patronizing, and I apologize that I do not have the writing talent to say it with more meekly. But believe me when I say from my heart, truth humbles a person.

So where do we go from here?

I very much hope we can respectfully dialogue. There is much we can learn from each other. There is a lot of healing for all of us to do. So we hang around you because you are important to us. The more we long to be like Jesus the more we long to be with our family and friends. I cannot speak for anyone else but myself here, but I just get so incredibly excited about what Christ is showing me that I can’t keep my mouth shut. His ways are too good to keep silent about. So many Adventists do not have a clear and vibrant view of the gospel. We former Adventists just want them to see what we see!