Friday, May 11, 2012

Grieving

She was the cutest little girl you can imagine. Curly strawberry blonde hair and freckles. So dainty. She was always smiling in our Cradle Roll Sabbath School. As her teacher I picked her out to marry my son; what an adorable blonde couple they would make. (Yes already anticipating grandchildren.) 


I watched her grow through the years, in church, in school.... I knew something was wrong in her teenage years. She stretched out her wrists and showed me her suicide attempt scars. 
__________


Another, a young lady, became pregnant with her second child out of wedlock. She was terrified of her SDA father--after he'd abused her and her first child. She called me when she was overdosed, telling me goodbye. I called 911.
_________


Another had been threatening suicide for months when I finally felt I had to tell her SDA father. After several attempts she became a drug addict. 
_________


Another SDA girl we took to the emergency room after an overdose. 


All four of these happened in one 12-month period. 


More:



  • A SDA boy hangs himself and I sit with the mother all night long watching her shock and despair.
  • SDA pastor arrested for pedophilia.
  • SDA teachers seduces student (Xs dozens!)
  • SDA Bible teacher gets girl pregnant and takes her for abortion.
  • SDA Bible teacher doesn't get girl pregnant but secretly takes her for abortion for her own good.
  • SDA teacher beats little girl for not allowing him to rape her--or succeeds. (Xs several.)
  • SDA father makes girl lick floors to clean for sabbath.
  • SDA sabbath school teacher tried to drown girl after attempted rape.
  • A woman down the street, an very prominent SDA commits suicide and her grandsons find her. 
  • Girl after girl tells me stories of incest and rape by SDA fathers and leaders. 
  • SDA kids grow up and ruin their lives with drugs, alcohol or jail sentences. 
  • One creepy tale--is of a SDA pastor forcing a girl into a cemetery at night and showing her a dead baby.....
  • Divorce after divorce after divorce. 
  • Secret after secret after secret told to me, like I am a confession booth for SDAs or former SDAs. 
  • AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE stories I have heard directly from the abuse victim's mouth. This isn't hearsay.


I began hearing these horrifying stories at boarding academy. I heard them at SDA college and universities, I heard them as President of Adventists For Life and I hear them almost on a daily basis now in my former SDA ministry: Despair, suicidal thoughts, incest--abortion--child abuse--sexual abuse--cover ups after cover ups after cover ups by family and leaders. 

I am exhausted with hearing stories. These are people I knew and loved (and most stories I DIDN'T write down were from people I never knew but love anyway.) 

Either Adventists are the most unimaginative (as most of the stories are the same), delusional, and attention-starved liars or they are one of the most abused sectors of our society. Either way they need our help. 

Please don't make excuses. I know other groups, other churches, other organizations, other people abuse their kids too. I know that. But can't we just for once... just for ONCE look into the abuse that is inside Adventism and confront it for our children. 

Someone at the top needs to address this and expose it. For God's sake, for the children's sake.... for the remnant's sake. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a Sseventh day Adventist pastor. Before that I was a janitor. I wish a never became a pastor. Because of abusive narcissist and bullying members who "own" the local church, and have their family clans therein my life is ruined:
My health is ruined, my family is ruined, my marriage is ruined. I have met beautiful people in this church but also untouchable psychos and bullies.
Everyone in my family is in therapy and taking anti depressants, and everyone have thought of or try to commit suicide. We have been destroyed and all in the name of Jesus. I miss the day's when I was a janitor.
I wish I was dead.

leslie martin said...

I am a former SDA. I know this to be true as well. I'm glad I'm not alone. Thank you for the article.

Anonymous said...

Wheat and Tares Grow Together and Woe unto the hippocrites.

Teresa Beem said...

Anonymous,

Because you choose to respond without me knowing your gender or your age or anything about you, I must assume upon you innocence. You are not understanding that text correctly. That text does not allow us excuse for not confronting and dealing justly with perpetrators of sexual and physical abuse to children.

But a warning in concern for your soul:

I sincerely, most sincerely hope that you will reconsider that response before you use it before the Creator. I imagine it will land you in hell.

Proverbs 24:10-12

10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength being small;
11 if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death,
those who go staggering to the slaughter;
12 if you say, “Look, we did not know this”—
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
And will he not repay all according to their deeds?

Whatsoever you did into the least of these my brethren, you did unto me.

Jomar Gregorio said...

I'm Jomar Gregorio, 19 yrs old, and born Seventh-Day Adventist from Philippines. I will not deny that those happenings/events are not happening in our Church yet let us not forget this verse found in Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." In our journey in this world we must fixed our eyes to Jesus who is our model. If we look at other person's mistakes and make it us our excuses it may be our way to destruction. The reason why Jesus came in this world is to be our role model as well as our Savior . Let's fixed our eyes on Jesus and not on others's mistake.

Teresa Beem said...

Jomar, but does Christ want us to be fixed so firmly on Him that we fail to notice the needs around us? What do you suggest that the SDA church DO about all this abuse? We don't and should never have the excuse of "I am not my brother's keeper." We ARE responsible for our children--BECAUSE we fix our eyes on Christ. We become LESS blinded of the needs of others when we focus on Him... it is not an excuse to put our head in the sand.