Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts on the Evils of Adventism

The more that I watch the Adventists in my and my husband's life, the more I am convinced that the following describes most adult Adventists. They are:

1. Passive

Adventists see themselves as part of some cosmic fate that they cannot help in any way. Everything is preordained by God and they are merely awash in the stream of life powerlessly enduring the suffering their beliefs cause. They live in a self-imposed paralysis. When anything bad happens, they don’t confront it, they regress and retreat to a safe position and watch on helplessly. Passivity protects them from the self-sacrifice it takes to reach out to others and deal with problems.


2. Willfully ignorant

Adventists beliefs are willfully ignorant in that they have sources all around them to prove that what they believe is false and they shore themselves up with allies who will emotionally protect their lies. Their passivity keeps them from reaching out and looking, even in an infinitesimal way, from the darkness into the light. Shutting out reality is a stubborn and not totally subconscious act. They feel ignorance is righteousness. Willful ignorance keeps them from the pain of discovering that they are wrong and are living a lie.



3. Living in an ignorance that Harms Others


Adventists cling to their beliefs so desperately they intentionally ignore the pain and suffering that it is causing their families. They emotionally abandon their families to terrible decisions about Sabbath sacrificing and relinquishing their children to immoral SDA elementary and high school academies because that is the way they were raised. They brainwash their children with fear of other Christians and terrorize them with last-day predictions. They in their passivity and deliberate ignorance do not think carefully but put their brains on autopilot or into the hands of others to do their critical thinking because it is just too much trouble. They couch in innocence a life that imposes a harsh reality on their family. They willfully repress the courage it takes to face the suffering of admitting that their dark worldview hurts themselves and those they love.


4. Blaming Others


Adventists live in a world where they cannot be wrong. Their perfectionist worldview enslaves them in a existence where everyone else is to blame for their life. They reject the bravery of self-examination and taking responsibility.



5. Seduced by the sin of omission


Adventists will live and die in a world in which they created because they do not have the strength nor the will nor the desire to change. Their life, in their eyes, is righteous BECAUSE of their weakness, passivity and willful ignorance and when their world crashes around them BECAUSE of their life choices, they are confused. They never realize their foul and dishonorable sins of omission tyrannized themselves and their family.


TIME TO STAND UP, Oh Adventist and gain the courage to see the truth. Turn from the lies your perpetuate. Do not let life passively go by, swimming in the murky vomit of the cackling demons who want you to drown in eternity. Do not allow your children to grow up enslaved by the sins of passivity, pride, and willful ignorance. Step into the light and the grace of God. Step into a world that demands courage. It is going to hurt, it is going to hurt badly. BUT YOU WILL SURVIVE IT! The truth is worth it and your life will be forever changed.

Love is worth it.

A prayer for Adventists:

Most Sweet Jesus, Lord and Creator of the world, Redeemer of the human race, place my plea in your most sacred heart and when the Eternal Father sees it covered in your Precious Blood, He will not be able to refuse it. It will no longer be my desperate plea but His! BE KING, Oh Jesus, of those deceived by erroneous opinions and call them out of their self-righteous darkness into the truth, that we, as Christians, may all be of one flock with one mighty Shepherd.

Have mercy upon us, dearest Father in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus, Amen.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

The assertion that people are passive, ignorant, clinging to their beliefs (is that "bitter clingers"), blame others (sounds like a repeat of the previous assertion), and being seduced by the sin of omission ... well could basically be made by any person about another group of people they disagree with.

It is not a good tacit to take human failures found across all humanity to try and attack an doctrine or ideology. This is basically the tactic of the Progressive/Democrat Party/liberals/far left when they attack Republicans. They simply find human failures and say those failures because they don't agree with their view point.

All Republicans and now people involved in the tea party are bitter clingers.

Unfortunately, this comes across as just hateful. There is real evil in this world, and this simply isn't it. You may need to get out more.

Ian said...

Thanks Theresa - best post I have seen in a while. The interesting thing is that any Adventists reading this will say this does not happen and doesn't apply to me. I feel that generally Adventists are so indoctrinated in a 'system' of beliefs that they cant see the beginning to the end and whether they admit it or not are often too busy earning their way to heaven.

Ian said...

I was just thinking, if I added any other comment from my soap box it would be that leadership and membership at all levels is caught up in an arrogance that places them above other Christians and indeed any one else.

Anonymous said...

Your post is a great template to just insert any group name one wants to disagree with.

The more that I watch the Democrats in my and my husband's life, the more I am convinced that the following describes most adult Democrats. They are:

1. Passive

Democrats see themselves as part of some class-war fare that they cannot help in any way. Everything is against them and they are merely awash in the stream of life powerlessly enduring the suffering their beliefs cause. They live in a self-imposed paralysis. When anything bad happens, they don’t confront it, they protest and ask for others to be punished. Passivity protects them from the self-sacrifice it takes to reach and improve their own lots in life.


1. Willfully ignorant

Democrat Party beliefs are willfully ignorant in that they have sources all around them to prove that what they believe is false and they shore themselves up with allies who will emotionally protect their lies. Their passivity keeps them from reaching out and looking, even in an infinitesimal way, from the darkness into the light. Shutting out reality is a stubborn and not totally subconscious act. They feel ignorance is righteousness. Willful ignorance keeps them from the pain of discovering that they are wrong and are living a lie.

Anonymous said...

3. Harming Others


Democratic Party members cling to their beliefs so desperately they intentionally ignore the pain and suffering that it is causing society. They abandon their families and responsibilities to terrible decisions about being viticms and relinquishing their children to immoral public elementary and high school education because that is the way they were raised. They brainwash their children with fear of other productive people and terrorize them with false history (victimhood). They in their passivity and deliberate ignorance do not think carefully but put their brains on autopilot or into the hands of others to do their critical thinking because it is just too much trouble. They couch in innocence a life that imposes a road to serfdom on society. They willfully repress the courage it takes to face the suffering of admitting that their dark worldview hurts themselves and those they love.


4. Blaming Others


Democratic Party members live in a world where they cannot be wrong. Their perfectionist worldview enslaves them in a existence where everyone else is to blame for their life. They reject the bravery of self-examination and taking responsibility.



5. Seduced by the sin of omission


Democratic Party Members will live and die in a world in which they created because they do not have the strength nor the will nor the desire to change. Their life, in their eyes, is righteous BECAUSE of their weakness, passivity and willful ignorance and when their world crashes around them BECAUSE of their life choices, they are confused. They never realize their foul and dishonorable sins of omission tyrannized themselves and their society.

TIME TO STAND UP, Oh Democratic Party and gain the courage to see the truth. Turn from the lies you perpetuate. Do not let life passively go by, swimming in the murky vomit of the cackling demons who want you to drown in eternity. Do not allow your children to grow up enslaved by the sins of passivity, pride, and willful ignorance. Step into the light and the grace of God. Step into a world that demands courage. It is going to hurt, it is going to hurt badly. BUT YOU WILL SURVIVE IT! The truth is worth it and your life will be forever changed.

Anonymous said...

Any group will work:

The more that I watch the Catholics in my and my husband's life, the more I am convinced that the following describes most adult Catholics. They are:

1. Passive

Catholics see themselves as part of some Christian crusade that they cannot help in any way. Everything is against them and they are merely awash in the stream of life powerlessly enduring the suffering their beliefs cause. They live in a self-imposed paralysis. When anything bad happens, they don’t confront it, they ask for the pope to help. Passivity protects them from the self-sacrifice it takes to reach and improve their own lots in life.
--------------------------
Hopefully you get the point that what you wrote is for a physiologist or Progressive talking points. Not a serious analysis of anything except human failings found in all groups that have humans in them.

Anonymous said...

Your post is nothing new. I see this type of emotional post on tons of blogs. People will get all worked up about one group or another and bring up every human failing that any member of the group has.

I find the political left in the United States to be some of the worse offenders in this type of emotional "arguments."

All of what you have posted has been posted by atheists about theists. All that is really ever proven is that human nature is hypocritical, and self center.

Anonymous said...

The other issue I take with your blog is how mis-guided and self centered it is. Obviously you had problems growing up you are still working through those emotional issues (don't take it too personal ... who isn't to one degree or another).

And while human nature is evil (i.e. selfish) to pick one group out and call them "evil" (when they posses the same failings as any group) mis-directs because it fails to acknowledge these as traits in all people (i.e. sinful nature -- to use religious lingo).

One must examine the standing of the ideas themselves. Where does the idea, in of itself, lead? For example, a Christian worldview has lead to the sanctity of life and the removal of slavery in the Western Culture.

However, the simply calling oneself a Christian has not resulted in Christians falling short of the idea (or mixing Christian ideas with non-Christian ideas) and therefore guilty of tragedies in history (i.e. Inquisition).

The difference between say the Inquisition and say the secular crimes of the 20th century (say under Stalin) was only a matter of technology and ability -- not in the fundamental principle that drove each to commit murder under the cloak of doing their version of good.

One sought to force a Christian Kingdom while the other sought to create a secular utopia (both attempted to replace God).

Both saw fit to use force to promote their version of good, instead of protecting the rights of the individual and directing people to Truth (Christ) that sets all men/women free.

Check out the classical liberal writers like Hayak and Frederick Bastiat.

If you want to stick to attacking Adventist at least show how the doctrine is not sound. That would make the blog at least interesting and where a discussion can happen. Now it is just like reading the democraticunderground.com site.. just a bunch of hate. No real argument except anyone who is a Republican is evil.

Teresa Beem said...

Day after day I receive letters, phone calls and emails from Adventists and former Adventists. Since 1990, I have been bombarded with excruciatingly painful stories from people all over the world who feel
adventist doctrines destroyed their families and their childhoods. They are wounded, scarred, bitter and bleeding. It can be overwhelming. You, on facebook, simply do not have the information I have, so I can understand you believe me to be mean-spirited and obsessive. I might think that too if I were in your position. But when you live in the holocaust of stories I hear, you feel compelled by God to speak truth--NOT out of mean-spiritedness but to cry out for all those people who cannot be heard, who silently live in desperation and fear from their childhood Adventist rearing. There may be many happy Adventists, but because some Adventists lives were not shattered that does NOT mean we shouldn't stand up for those whose lives HAVE been shattered. It as if happy Adventists do not want to acknowledge and help those who are hurt. I feel that is extremely unchristian and deliberately living in a complacent denial. I cannot live there.

Secondly, I know these same qualities exist outside Adventism. But I do not have a ministry for former Baptists and former Charismatics or Catholics. I stay within the boundaries of the problems I see in my ministry for ADVENTISTS. It is an attempt to excuse and become passive about ADVENTIST problems by pointing out other churches have the same problems. That sounds like the childhood excuse of "the other children did it too mommie!" Time to grow up and deal with the problem within ourselves instead of deflecting.

Teresa Beem said...

Observing and reporting these behaviors is not "slamming" them. I love my family and friends. I write these because I want the madness to STOP!

These five characteristics can form the basis of unreported abuse. Not ALL Adventists homes abused their children. But these five elements can contribute to the silence and ignoring of abuse and neglect. They absolutely have. I would be continuing the horrible cycle of abuse if I did not speak out. I cannot be passive or willfully ignorant.

Asking Adventists to look at themselves with critical courage and make certain they are NOT allowing themselves to fall prey to passivity, willful ignorance that hurts others is the very least I can do for the victims of abuse.

Anonymous said...

"I want the madness to STOP!" The madness is sin. The solution is Christ. Has He not asked for that we lift Him up before our fellow man.

This madness will not stop while this earth remains under the sway of sin. Christ has conquered sin, and only through Him will all the madness we see around us end.

We all need to be careful with over reaching speech. Are Adventist "Evil"? No (at least no more then any of the rest of us). Can the Adventist doctrines or culture be questioned? Yes, but question with intellect and reason (come let us reason together).

After the events of the last couple of days with the shooting in Arizona, we see the results of over reaching political rhetoric directed at Sarah Palin. The most outlandish claims are being made, that some how she is responsible for the shootings.

We live in a world of sin. The shootings demonstrate that is where we live. The over reaching attacks demonstrate the selfish desires of those making the attack again Palin.

Don't fall into the same trap. Don't become bigoted and blind to weakness in your own arguments because of a desire to make utopia.

Utopia is not ours to have on this earth. We must have endurance and perseverance to finish the race. Someday, the Lord will put a stop to all of this, and yes it is theoretically possible for all men and women to give their hearts to the Lord, but it will not be done by force or name calling ... but through Christ.

Anonymous said...

"I know these same qualities exist outside Adventism."

If we agree these qualities exists throughout humanity, then would it not be better to simply call the trait out as evil?

For example, call out being "Passive" about one's belief system can lead to dangerous, if not evil results.

Then you could provide anecdotal story to illustrate your point (Burke's comment), and better get point to studies related to it.

You could even show how this trait can be seen in Adventism. For example, Adventist who simply read Ellen White and/or "official" literature WITHOUT going to the Bible and studying it out for themselves could ....

Of course the same can be said for Catholics and Protestants in general. Both groups have become (as shown in polls and surveys) very distant from the Word of God -- instead relying on reading what others say about the Scriptures (if they read about the Scriptures at all).

Christianity is not a blind faith, but one built on intelligence and reason. Man in our laziness and sinfulness create foolishness (Romans 2). I am amazed how logical and reasoned the Bible is when a disciplined study is applied.

Anonymous said...

All in all, my objection is the over the top name calling. So little is achieved with it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/let-my-people-think/listen/evil-and-modernity-part-1-of-2-108391.html

Are all religions truly the same? Some make that claim. But there are two yardsticks by which we can measure the claim; evil and modernity. That’s the topic this weekend on Let My People Think as Os Guinness and Stuart McAlister join Bob Ditmer to talk about the differences in religions and the challenges facing the church.

Teresa Beem said...

There is no name calling, only honest observations.

Teresa Beem said...

Jesus is indeed the only answer. Jesus calls us to his truth and out of darkness. Satan is the father of lies. We need not draw back in fear when exposing lies. The particular doctrines of the SDA church are founded upon lies, not authentic history. It's doctrines are anti-Christian. Sorry that truth offends. But it is said in great love by one once thoroughly caught in it's trap. SDA doctrines have let in it's wake devastation and broken lives. Someone needs to care.

Anonymous said...

In a logical discussion it is important to define terms. You have used two terms: Evil and abuse.

The title of your post is "Thoughts on the Evils of Adventism".

However, you have failed to demonstrate how one should be overly concerned with their "evilness" (if one can even define it that way). Your definition can be used to described any group given whatever angle one wishes to choose (i.e an environmentalist may use the same set of language to describe you – I assume you are not an environmentalist).

Let's place in context; there are multiple wars going; Christians persecution, we have Islamic fundamental terrorists who behead people, there is gangs who require the murder of people to join the gang (watch a few shows of Gangland), we have a host of countries (Cuba, China, N.K.) still under totalitarians and/or oligarchies with brutal regimes, human trafficking, sex trade, child pornography, slavery (still alive and well), L.A and Las Vegas (just joking), and there is simply the constant encroachment of liberty by many intentioned individuals who more and more endorse the philosophy of positive law.

Anonymous said...

None of which the religion of "Adventism" supports (as an ideology). In fact, Adventism has done a lot of good with their hospitals, ADRA, health conscious lifestyle, and have a moral high standard they have traditionally taught (don't lie, cheat, steal, murder, etc.). They value education and generally promote it in the world. They believe in separation of church and state, and do not believe in forcing their beliefs on populations (i.e support separation of church and state laws). So, when you loosely throw out the term "Evil" to describe a group of people who are about the same as any other Protestant church then you muddy the water and make meaningless the term. Unless you want to show how Adventists have murdered people and enslaved people? Is that the point you are making, I don’t think it is.

There are plenty of sub-cultures in the US that share all the same attributes that Adventism has. As with Adventism they are not considered evil. Amish have high standards and some out of the way beliefs that many may consider hard. Does that make them evil?

Do you want to quibble about who has the better historical facts or be an amateur counselor and help people with whatever emotional problems they may have -- that is great. But to take your personal pet peeves/disagreements on some pedestal and place them at the same level as evil – I think is morally wrong. It places you in the same camp as those who are trying to associate Sarah Palin with an insane murderer. It defies logic, and does not allow for reason to prevail.

Teresa Beem said...

Since everyone is posting anonymously it is hard to respond to certain comments.

One comment said that the article failed to show Adventism as evil. I think the person writing this hasn't really thought about it. The article shows that the passivity, the sins of omission, the culpability in their intentional lack of knowledge and burying their heads to truth DOES indeed wreck lives--their own and others.

This is evil.

Teresa Beem said...

Secondly, I believe it is the doctrines that promote evil. Adventists do a lot of nice things, but that does not give them the freedom to twist truth and promote deception.

This is what I hear all the time from Adventists. "We do good, so don't look at our bad." Sorry, but the bad destroys people's lives. All the good in the world cannot balance out the evil. God isn't going to say to Adventists.... "You gave to ADRA, so I am going to overlook that you taught your children to be terrified of my other Christian children."

We are called to holiness. We are called to truth. No excuses.

Anonymous said...

The point being made is that evidence listed about "Adventism" (a set of beliefs / doctrines) you used to prove that Adventism is evil was to list human traits found in all humans: Passive, Ignorant, Blaming others, and the omission of facts.

As we have agreed, the above can be stated for any grouping of individuals. They are not proof that "Adventism" (a set of doctrines are evil). In fact, even the human traits listed are so vague that is really just an opinion based on anecdotal stories you have come across or experienced yourself.

Recently, there was a book published that talked about how Asian Mothers are superior to the western Mothers. The author sited many strict rules that she used to raise her children. Among which were that her children never went over for a sleep over, they told their kids directly if they were fat or being lazy, and they demanded that their children be the first in every class (plus a host of other requirements). These are all strict ways of living. While the western mind may disagree with cultural value system being employed, that does not make the traditional Asian mother evil. The children are being raised in a strict home, but that does not translate into their children being raised to do evil.

Anonymous said...

That is the point. I am making a distinction that "Adventism" is no more "evil" then say Protestantism, or being Jewish, or Amish (as a grouping of people). We can disagree on religious doctrines, methods of raising children, and such. But to say a group is evil (beyond the fact all humans are bent towards selfishness), one needs to make a connection between the doctrine of the belief and their actions.

Anti-semtism/racism are evil because he teaches that some people are classified lower then another person – to the point that their God given rights can be taken from them. There is a logical connection between the teaching and the result.

That is why you have not shown any evidence that says "Adventism" is evil. To establish that line of thought you need to show a connection between what is taught as official doctrine and how that doctrine is evil. In particular (since we live in an evil world), I stress you need to show something more then you dis-agree with it.

Anonymous said...

Does teaching the Seventh-day is the Sabbath evil whether you agree with it or not lead to some devastating crime that violates the rights of other individuals? Does the Adventist belief in a literal second coming lead to them hating others?

I suggest not. Are all Adventists sinless? No. So to point to your childhood and say that you were taught to fear other Christian children (which I doubt), and say that is a belief in the Adventist system is false. Adventists do not hold to the idea that one has to be an Adventist to be saved (i.e. as was common in the Church of Christ belief system).

We all need to be careful pointing out failed individuals who claim to be a part of a group. This is the fallacy of false alternatives, or of causality. For example, should Catholics be judged by what John F Kerry, the Kennedys’, or Mel Gibson think and how they live? I think most Catholics would disagree to how these individuals have lived their lives.

Therefore, I agree that the human traits of being: Passive, Ignorant, Blaming others and the omission of facts are indeed evil (so is selfishness, stealing, murder, and all things that place self first, and trampling on the God given rights of our fellow communions).

What I have been attempting to point out is the illogicalness of your argument. The hypothesis or conclusion submitted was: "Thoughts on the Evils of Adventism", the supporting evidence does not lead to the conclusion.

So far anonymous has been all the same person.

Anonymous said...

reworded one paragraph to make it more clear:

Anti-semtism/racism are evil because he teaches that some people are classified lower then another person – to the point that their God given rights can be taken from them. There is a logical connection between the teaching and the evil result. Racism is evil and the results of that belief system were not theoretical disagreements, but had devastating effects on individuals and the society as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Think of it this way. You are making a statement. Adventism is evil. The evidence submitted is about human failings.

If one were to accept your assertion, do you think they believe "Adventism" the ideology is evil, or that Advents themselves are evil?

You are in danger of crossing that line (just as the anti-semtic belief system did/does). Being passive is not taught as a church doctrine, therefore, you a speaking about people.

As with any group of people (called names) you are over the top, generalize, and over-emphasize human failings (found everywhere) and assign to one group.

This is dangerous. I do not believe your intentions are to call people themselves evil, but one should be careful for others will take what you say and build upon it. History is full of such beginnings as your blog -- the results of which can only be called evil.

If you wish to disagree with the doctrinal beliefs -- have at it. Show a superior argument and interruption of scripture. Say it is wrong, of untruthful based on x, y, and z evidence. However, I suggest that getting into name calling at the highest level about individuals is dangerous even when unintended by the author.

I disagree with democrats and liberals, but I do not believe they as individuals are evil. Though i do attempt to show how fundamental foundations of their belief system can lead to. Attack the ideas, philosophy, and doctrine. And show why you disagree.

Anonymous said...

I am a classic liberal / conservative. Your argument reminds me of the current progressive argument found in the media, news reports, and with John Q public who belongs to the Democratic Party.

They make very similar arguments. For example, one is that Big are greedy. Healthcare costs a lot because of expensive MRI machines that are sold only to charge more money.

I assume you are a conservative (because of your stance on abortion - so I hope you see the mistake being made in the argument).

Does the fact humans can suffer from greed, make Capitalism greedy? As the famous line asks "Is Greed good?"

The fundamental flaw is one of association. Adam Smith did not see the free exchange of individuals in a transaction, both working in their own self interest as greed. Greed is evil. It is an enemy to capitalism.

Because greed exists does not mean Capitalism is the cause of said greed. The question to ask, is does communism / interventionism / what ever remove greed from the human condition. The obvious answer is no.

You make the same argument. Because Passivism is a human failing that does not mean that if Adventism was removed that people would not be passive. Again, I counter that if I knew you well enough, I find you passive about something.

You need to construct an argument that can be followed using the rules of logic.

Well you don't have to -- instead it is only recommendation.

Teresa Beem said...

Anonymous,

You are correct that when I wrote Adventist doctrines lead to Adventists becoming passive, looking the other way, ignoring history and truth, I did not tie these human characteristics to specific evil doctrines. I guess I have written so many previous articles about it that I felt it redundant. If you are confused, just read more of my posts and it will become clear.

Anonymous said...

I'll be moving on. I have read some of your material, including the letter you wrote stating why you left the Seventh-day Adventist organization/church/affiliation, several book reviews, and a couple of blogs.

The sum total reminds me of something Rush said the other day:

"If you are a regular listener here you know that I believe the Baby Boom generation has had to invent its traumas. We've had to invent our problems to convince us that our lives have been tough, because compared to our parents and grandparents we don't know what tough is. Now, I know everything's relative .... and the Baby Boom generation still has people who think life's about nothing but them. Me, me, me. Everything's about my comfort; my psychological health; my what have you. We have had so much time on our hands that we've been able to focus on ourselves like our parents didn't have the time to because they didn't have the prosperity that we had, they didn't have the wealth, nor the opportunity for it. But they created it. They set the stage for all of that. And as a result, we've had to invent our traumas, our problems, and we didn't have to grow up as fast as they did."

While you may not be a Baby Boomer, your protests against Adventists' have the sound of a personal grudge to it based on perceived slights while growing up.

You are the profile of a Sarah Palin attacker (i.e. moveon.org or Media Matters). Your analysis cannot be taken seriously nor your argument. All in all, I don't get the sense you know this world or hardship.

Felix Taylor, Jr. said...

Teresea,

Stand firm and do not submit to the tyranny of niceness. I am former member of the Worldwide Church of God, which has it's roots in Adventism. I see the same patterns you discussed about those in Adventism with those who are trapped in the multiple splinters of Armstrongism. Those who are in denial about your post and those who are desperate to shut you up are nothing but bullies. Keep up the good work.

Teresa Beem said...

Anonymous,
I just have to laugh. All Adventists believe that those who left held a grudge against someone in the church or against the doctrines.

For myself that is the opposite of the truth. I loved being a Seventh-day Adventist. I loved the Sabbath. When I discovered by reading scripture that its doctrines are what the Apostle Paul describes as the "doctrines of demons" I had to leave based upon total dedication to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Being Adventist was the easy thing! That was comfortable. Leaving was the most traumatic thing I had been through up until that time in my life. My family and friends thought I rejected Christ!

My ministry to former Adventists is about helping them heal from the trauma of leaving. Staying in and closing your eyes to truth is effortless, painless. That is why the vast majority of cultural Adventists stay in. They are the ones who cling to the SDA culture, too cowardly to face the challenge of its doctrinal lies.

Teresa Beem said...

Thanks Felix. Sometimes the battle is tough. That is why I have to put on the armor of God daily--because frankly, I'm a whimp!
God bless,
Teresa

Anonymous said...

Visited a Holocaust museum recently. The tour guide mentioned this book:

Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068

Your rhetoric is over the top, and is what leads to dehumanizing others because you disagree.

It is emotional arguments I find the most dangerous. What we see in Egypt and among the Islamic fundamentalists are all based in emotional backgrounds. People are taught to hate. Once you pronounce a group of people as "evil" whether you intend it to happen our not, someone will come-along and demand it be wiped out. Politicians and those seeking power are always looking for ways to divide people. To turn one group on another. We should be careful in our language to avoid giving them power to do so.

We need to tolerate disagreement. While I may not agree with Mormons, Jews, or Catholics we should be careful of raising the rhetoric to a level of calling people evil.

The battlefield is at the level of ideas. Let us show how doctrine is in error, ideas are in error. But to say a group of people are "evil" (even when you admit they do much good), raises things to a level un-needed and unhealthy for good debate.

@Felix: This is not being in the arena the tyranny of niceness. Rather it is allowing words to have meaning. To call Adventism evil should require a high standard to be met to prove that hypothesis. Mrs. Beem has not provided any evidence that could not be directed to and group of people. Teaching hatred is evil. One can disagree on Biblical interpretation, but to move that into the same level as people committing suicide bombings is nonsense. Be-careful with language.

Anonymous said...

How and Where does Adventism teach and promote the church to be "Passive"?

What evidence (preferably a study) that shows Adventists are "willfully ignorant" (PEW Research / Barna Group)?

3-5 are just generic accusations. I don't see how these could be backed-up by any data points beyond just stories and gossip.

Please use official studies, or Seventh-day Adventist literature to make your case (i.e.:

http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

http://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/

Reviewing their belief systems may identify areas of disagreement (as is common among Christian denominations) however, I do not find a teaching or study called "How to be Passive" or anything called "Be Passive". So please point out the specific evidence you have to back-up your hypothesis. If you book is the best you have to offer, then you have failed to make your case.

Teresa Beem said...

Anonymous, (the commenter two above this.)

We both agree that certain doctrines ARE evil. Doctrines that directly lead to terrorism/the Holocaust are evil. Doctrines that allow for abortion are evil. Doctrines that scare Christians about other Christians are evil. Doctrines that go against Christ's words to love one another are evil. Pointing out the facts of these is not evil, it is simply pointing out the facts. When Adventist doctrines produce people who are passive, willfully ignorant, and when the doctrines themselves are based in lies and deception, that is evil. Sorry to be blunt, but that is what it is.

This piece was an opinion piece. If you want evidence that I based my opinion on please read the many other posts on this blog and you will find what you are wanting. All posts can't be all things to all men. But if you really want the answer, just do some perusing of this blog.

Teresa Beem said...

Anonymous (the last one before this post--I am assuming you are the same as the post before.....)

This is an opinion post. I am telling as I see it. And I know thousands of Adventists.

pentemento said...

Flesh and blood is never our enemy. There is only one. Many adventists love Jesus, and I consider them my brothers and sisters in Christ, although they may no longer consider me in the same light. My heart breaks for the Adventist who have no trust in salvation, cannot be free or experience the abundant life that the New Covenant brought. But they are not evil, only decieved. The deciever is the evil one, and he works in many ways and many places. Maybe our lives and time would be better spent by simply focusing on Jesus, and persisting in prayer for people who are decieved, no matter what religion (and also asking God to reveal to US what we need to see).

Teresa Beem said...

Pentemento,

Many Adventists do love Jesus! Many are wonderful, kind people. However, because they have been (or many of them) indoctrinated into very bizarre and disturbing doctrines, they begin to resemble each other in some characteristics. I am pointing them out, not to be unkind but to be their true friend in Christ. It takes unselfish, sacrificial love to tell someone the truth. Jesus tells us to GO and tell someone what they are doing is wrong and then if they refuse to listen take a couple other people with you and in the end, if they still refuse to listen, take it to the church! This is not passivity, that is ACTION. If I didn't put myself out and let them know what I am seeing as a definite pattern, I would be the one who was wrong (according to Jesus in His Word.)

It is not mean spirited but loving. And of course we must FIRST pull the log out of our own eyes! Absolutely. I can honestly say because I LEFT the church and its heterodox doctrine that I did pull it out of my own eye! God bless you and thank you for our comments. Are you a new reader?

Anonymous said...

I have a father who is adventist and has been for 30 years. When I stumbled across your website yesterday I was in utter shock when I read the outline about adventists. You hit the nail on the head and it sent chills down my spine. My 2 siblings and I lost our relationship with our father about 20 years ago due to the religion. He is a mere shell of the man he once was. He is an arrogant, defiant, cruel, twisted man who judges everything and everyone in his path. And he walks around with blindfolds on with one mission in life, "to convert everyone into an adventist", and he'll do so at any cost. Are these the morals of a chrisian! You tell me. I just hope god can forgive him for what he has done to our family!

Anonymous said...

I'm the person who wrote the previous comment about my dad, and I felt compelled to write again. My dad became a member of the SDA church in 1980 when I was 6. He was raised catholic and then began church hopping as a young adult with my mother. They were in the evangelical church for a short time before my dad left the church and became an adventist and our family life as we knew it was forever changed! From the age of 6 to 12 I was made to go to church along with my other siblings against my mother's will, and she was powerless to stop it. My dad then took us out of public school when I was 9 and my sister 8, and it was devastating to us and we loss contact with all our friends. To make matters worse my mom was already diagnosed with boderline sczophrenia when my dad joined the church. I can only say that the remainder of my parent's marriage till 1989 was a constant battle that myself and my siblings were forced to watch! I can honestly say my parents' divorce was the utter result of my mother's untreated illness and the complete mental transformation my dad took being a SDA which did nothing to help the marriage but only made it worse, and left in it's path 3 horribly broken, bitter disolusioned children. My dad remarried in 1993 to another adventist and sold our family home in 1996 and to our family's great relief moved to Tennessee. My mom lives local and never remarried and has a very estranged relationship with myself and my siblings because of her illness. And as for my dad he visits once to twice a year of which the whole family dreads because it's anything but a peaceful happy time! So to anyone out there who is trying to defend the SDA religion I can truely say you have no grounds to speak unless you've lived a life like this. Also I must say if it wasn't for loving grandparents who were there to pick up the pieces, my siblings and I wouldn't be the strong people we are today. My grandfather died in 2007 and I miss him terribly. And I know he's looking down on me now saying " hang in there kid ".

Teresa Beem said...

I am so sorry! I have heard countless heartbreaking stories like your own. I am so thankful that you have had someone in your life (like your grandparents) to pull you out of it. God bless you, Teresa.

Anonymous said...

I am the sister of the last commenter. The worst thing is that we never see our real father anymore. I mean the one we had before he became adventist. I have resigned myself to believing that that relationship is forever lost. His inability to love us as we are is the hardest thing to accept. His only goal is to convert us back to the religion. It is hard to know how to handle him when he comes up here. I feel like he is trying to put us against each other so he has leverage to use against us. We have to stick together as siblings and support each other. Not let him know any petty differences we have with each other. This is his ammunition. Any advice on how else to handle this?

Teresa Beem said...

My only advice is to pour out your love for him. Adventism is based in fear. The Bible says that love casts out fear so immerse yourselves, both of you, in Christ's love through prayer for weeks before you see your father. If you can, fast and pray.

Never be defensive. Your father is terrified for you and fears you will not be in heaven. You are his children so that has got to be just heartbreaking for him to have lost you to what he thinks is "the world."

Try to understand and be extremely patient. Do not look for results. If your love is results oriented, it will fail. Take his "blows" (insults, proselytizing, verbal jabs) without returning them. It is extremely difficult I know!! You cannot endure it without God's grace covering and fortifying you. Stop your tongue no matter what and smile and love him.

You will not be able to convince him that you are fine as you are, but he will be able to feel your love no matter how he resists. So shower kindness on him, encourage him, bless him. That is the only thing to do and it is the right thing to do even if he never comes around to accepting or understanding you.

I know... wish it were easier!

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous commenter who wrote you about my dad. I read your response to my sister's comment. And you right trying to overlook and be loving is anything but easy to do! I guess my question to you is will things ever get better for us or is there light at the end of the tunnel? It seems like we've tried many different tactics with my dad without any headway. I feel like my family needs some kind of counseling in order to cope with the stress. Any advice on counseling?

Teresa Beem said...

I really don't have any advice--so I will throw it out for others to comment. Any people experienced in this want to help out?

Aaron Jones said...

Interesting post, I just recently became an Adventist and I see pretty much all that your talking about right now from going through an Adventist Education. It's quite interesting because these are all the things I try my best not to become and implement in my philosophies even though I see it around me all the time. And I have to deal with it every single day of my college career until I transfer of course ^^. Until then I have to bite the bullet and deal with this. It sucks but how can I appeal to someone who won't listen to my point of view and accept that they're wrong and I was right. It's such a shame to.

Teresa Beem said...

So you recently became an Adventist, and you are in college. May I ask you what made you convert to Adventism?

Anonymous said...

This is rather sad. Through intensive study of Revelation, we have come to know that this is going to happen more and more as the last days approach.

The Senate Chaplain, Dr. Black is a Seventh Day Adventist. I heard the most amazing sermon from him at church recently and felt the Holy Spirit move.

You have to know the beauty of Sabbath to even begin to understand it's message.

I hope that one day, the author of this blog will realize what she is spreading and read Revelation 22: 18 & 19.

Food for thought...Sabbath was created by God BEFORE sin even touched the world, during creation. Sabbath will continue in Heaven as God's covenant with man.