Catholic or Adventist? Abuse in Common

Years ago, before I was born, my parents lives in South Bend, Ind. At that time the conference office was still in South Bend. my dad was a builder of single family housing. his mother lived in Holland Mich. She was quite ill and was on her death bed. my parents would drive each weekend to Holland to spend the weekend with Grandma Zwemer. Of course they missed attending the South Bend Church. One Monday evening two elders of the South Bend church called on my parents. Their Message was, you have not been attending church for some weeks, you must have grown cold in the faith, therefore we are here to inform you that we are removing your names from our membership, unless you have good reason to object. Dad said, you are very observant please remove our names. Mom and Dad owned a gentleman’s farm near EMC so several years later they were reinstalled on profession of faith. In the mean time dad always lead us in morning and evening worship that included mother at the piano and dad singing the great hymns of the church. The four kids attended EMC and loved it. I recall at least five teachers that were real Christians. I hold though days in high regard.


I enjoy many of the objective conversations regarding the state of our church that are accessible through this site. Constructive dialogue is essential. It is though interesting, and sometimes a distraction, when you see there are some very regular contributors who tout their long ago departure the SDA church, yet feel it is necessary plant themselves on the board with what seems for no other reason but to sow their subjective seeds of negativity and criticism. Not a constructive narrative.


I am a 5th generation SDA, over 70 yrs old. Last month I also asked to have my name removed from membership for the same reasons. My heart divorce happened with GlacierView, but I stayed and hoped. Now, I am ashamed to belong to a voluntary organization that discriminates against many and has policies for compelling the conscience. Local church mostly o.k., pastors great. I still go, but my name is not on the books.


I guess. I head your list. I am here because the Gospel needs to be heard. Thus it is necessary to point out that Adventism dispite its claims is not God’s Last Days Message…Ted Wilson is a prime example. but not new to the breed.


" Not a constructive narrative."

Not so…especially if one is attentive to what information is to be had by those who have left. The SDA church has much to remedy in terms of retaining members and what figures into their “departures”. You can learn a lot by listening to another’s experience.


Let me give at least a partial list of Adventists that thrilled my soul. miss Webber 5th and 6th grade teacher. Mrs Burman Academy Prinicipal And English teacher, Elder Burman My baptismal class teacher, Professor Tippett, Graham Maxwell at University of Chicago and LLU, Des Ford, and a host of others including several religion faculty at Southern, Yet there has always been a power hungery self centered few in power. I think there are several at Andrews Seminarythat have a true grasp of the Gospel. I have enjoyed several papers the dean has written.


i think what’s really going on is that adventism isn’t something you can ever truly leave…even if you become active in other denominations, there will always be the nagging feeling that adventism is the true church, and that other denomination are just make believe…

my work takes me into united churches and catholic churches quite a lot, and sometimes into presbyterian, lutheran and even mormon churches…while everything you hear is reasonable and basically true, i always come away with the feeling that they don’t go far enough…they don’t have the full picture…

i peg the difference between adventist churches and other churches purely to egw…in my case, egw is totally the reason i’m an adventist…going to a church that doesn’t have egw would be like driving a car that isn’t a BMW…there’s no point…


When people have felt deceived, sold a bill of goods, or outright spiritually and/or emotionally abused by the church, a type of real grieving must happen. It can last a long time, especially for those who were heavily invested, as you put it. To call it negative is another way of trying to silence legitimate pain, and the exposure of very real problems. It is necessary, if for no other reason than for the hope that it will change the future for others.




Wow! Belonging to the Adventist church for no other reason than EGW. And comparing going anywhere that she isn’t to driving any car that’s not a BMW! That says a whole lot more than I think was intended!

Ultimately, I guess the only version of Jesus is the EGW sanctioned one. I wonder if that version only drives a BMW? Lol!



it’s a question of what’s real and engaging compared to what’s fake and superficial…:slightly_smiling_face:

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I guess I am different. I left the SDA church 26 years ago and explored many options. One year ago I came back. The local church I came back to was different to the one I left. The global church I left is different to the one I came back to. In truth, I didn’t come back to a global church. Why did I come back? I was looking for community. A community that shared similar thoughts. A community that wasn’t going to judge me.
When I look at the discussions here, I am thrilled. The diversity of thought means that we aren’t dead. The fact that the discussion is robust means we are passionate. If I can’t change your mind and you can’t change mine is OK. Engaging in the discussion “forces” me to re-evaluate what I believe, to dig deeper into scripture and look past what I think I already know. In Romans 14, particulary the early verses, Paul gives a really good explanation about acceptance and diversity. At the end of the first part, in verse 5 he says “One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.” Without getting bogged down on the issue of what day is what, the crux is that we, individually, need to be fully convinced. To observe/practice without conviction is pretense.
I hope that participation in these discussions leads everyone to a greater conviction in their beliefs. @GeorgeTichy that includes those who have different beliefs to me on matters that I am passionate about.


“Abuse, In Common”. Yes, common; the operative word. Abuse is in our DNA and has been since a clever snake in a garden far away convinced an innocent woman of a “much better way”.

Abuse shouldn’t happen (both then and now). Yet, it does. And we find it all too common and utterly distasteful.

How did (His) abuse inform our experience of the ministry of redemption? How does our original abuse (both as perpetrator and victim) inform Him of His ordained mission?

My experience of the abuses of sin (chosen or not) strangely illuminates the paradox of Providence (not always pleasant). Where else do I find gratitude (often latent) in suffering, even suffering without a hint of proximate cause?

Yet, in this vortex of human suffering from abuse we are not alone. Not the perpetrator, not the victim. Alas, we have a Comforter. One who is there, who is here, who is in us and around us. Who came and was before. Who sees and who knows all; us, them and all the particulars. And He will ultimately save and make right.

Each human heart is abused. Perpetrator and victim, both sinning and sinned against. We are common in all of this. And rightly so. For His uncommon plan is so very common to all.

Yet, uncommonly so, each must be welcomed to turn from one’s dogged pursuit; the wretched prescriber and the pathetic consumer of heinous misery. To choose to follow a better way. “Wooing” like this has never had a higher calling than to hope and to change a human heart. A single heart, at such a very time as this.

So those with the Spirit are bound to show others the way to peace. And this holds where suffering and abuse commonly abound. The Spirit brings us peace and serenity. Regardless of strife. The deliverance I find in Him is not of my devising. Sometimes I am used as a victim simply to show who He is. And as such, my suffering finds purpose in Him.

Does Providence sanctify human suffering and horrible abuse? I don’t think so. Nothing can nor should. The God I know is not emasculated by divine silence in the face of human longing to discover meaning for life’s ever so common injustices and abuses.

Yet, God speaks. Loudly. As He did to Joseph, Paul, Esther, Stephen, Corrie ten Boom, Desmond Doss, Fredrick Bonhoeffer and hosts of others. He can and does turn our tragedy into triumph.

Connections between the abused and the abuser often constitute tragedy. Yet, connections of the Spirit to each have the potential to surprise, enlighten and supervene. Just how God speaks, is quite up to Him. Yet I trust He finds for my good. How I listen, is entirely up to me. Or is it? For this is where I need His Spirit most.


Ted Wilsons control issues seem to be at the center of the women’s ordination issue, unless I have been misreading this blog for many years. I would like to ask everyone reading these comments this one question:

With over 25,000,000 members in the world wide church, does it even make any sense at all that the only one who could rightfully take over the presidency of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists would be the son of a previous General Conference President? If so, you’re telling me that the other 24,999,999 were not as qualified to lead as the son of Neil Wilson. What are the odds of that?

Am I the only one that thinks this total outright nepotism? Why do we put up with it? More importantly, if we are part of God’s remnant church, why does He put up with it?



You might have to adjust your numbers, Lindy. If you subtract the number of Adventists who had not wanted to be GC Pres, from your 24,999,999 the odds would improve (for Ted Wilson.) Let’s hope that there are many standing in the wing, ready, and willing in 2020. As far as I know, thus far, George Tichy is the only person who has announced interest. :slight_smile:


"So those with the Spirit are bound to show others the way to peace. And this holds where suffering and abuse commonly abound. The Spirit brings us peace and serenity. Regardless of strife. The deliverance I find in Him is not of my devising. Sometimes I am used as a victim simply to show who He is. And as such, my suffering finds purpose in Him."

Beautifully said.


You are asking the right questions…and nepotism has been alive and well in Adventism for decades. Many people are passed over because a candidate is the “child of, friend of, etc.” TW is good at politicking and had a front row seat as the son of a former GC president to see how it was done.

Why does He put up with it? Can’t answer this one…but the fact that the church may easily be in a schism should tell us something.


Every time I come here and see these “how badly done by” the fairer sex is in not being allowed to follow their desires to become ordained and whatever else is in the pipeline, I wonder how they would feel if real oppression and fear for their life would be described. Once again, it doesn’t matter about those who suffer real abuse, as long as I get my way.

To integrate and use the shameful and horrible sexual abuse at the hands of some in positions of authority has been something all those who don’t engage in it find repulsive. I have witnessed one such case and heard of others, but these are not the issue here. To juxtapose the two as though they are related, does both a disservice, particularly the sexual abuse and violence victims.

Just as the advocates for homosexual marriage in some organizations have now stated, that when they got their wish in legalizing their version of marriage, this was not the endgame, they want polyamory and bestiality sanctioned. So too, where will this stop? If WO is granted, will not something more be sought? Those champions of WO now, will declare not, “no, we would never do that.” But history is against such a promise. In just a few years, or the next generation, more radical ideals are sought and duly rationalized, just as we now have. And they will not be dissuaded either, just as WO is now in vogue.

Where will it stop, is asked? Back comes the reply, when we get what we want. And they can’t see anything wrong with that, full of self aggrandizement though it is. Completely unlike the spirit of Christ, so unlike the character John the Baptist displayed, “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

But what stands out in clarion tones is that WO advocates no longer try and misquote Scripture much, instead we find appeals to culture, or the wrongs of others, and the apparent good of some who are for this.

Where will it end? With a massive break up, with some no longer Seventh-day Adventists, and trying to create a new organization with no divine mandate to do so, just built on a culture construct.

All the self back patting in the world won’t give the peace and assurance desired. What then, the Bible gives the answer, the house that is built on the sand will collapse.

Perhaps the former Chico church pastor Dan Wysong left the Adventist faith too soon to join the St Johns United Church to worship on Sunday. He should have waited for the coming split. Probably not so much money in it though. Or perhaps the new church might get (as guest speaker at least) the reinstated pastor of a Toronto church. Rev. Gretta Vosper who is not bothered that she’s an atheist, she feels a calling to minister. (Doesn’t that sound familiar) And weak kneed church leaders bowed to the pressure in re-instating her with a “we are pleased with the resolution.”

Her sentiments reflect the attitude feminists in the church feel when they ‘get their way.’ “It’s going to be wonderful,” atheist Vosper said in an interview Friday. “We’ll be out from underneath that heavy cloud. Now we’ll be able to really fly.” Hmmm, seems like I’ve seen something like that before, I know, in Eden before the full realization of what Eve had done hit home.

Perhaps Ryan Bell, Alicia Johnson, Shantel Smith, or Heather Cook can be persuaded…

I am thankful for your perspective, the “other side of the coin”. You are both pragmatic and sincere in your views when considering “how far will it go” (re: ordained women, atheists in the pulpit, gay marriage).

Fortunately, we needn’t be paralyzed by fear or speculation. In reality, now of us knows the answers to the “what if’s”.

But what I do know is this. When fear and doubt cloud my plans for the future, I have a plan. I am compelled to:

  1. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
  2. Study scripture for foundational truth.
  3. Engage another believer to broaden and share.
  4. Invoke God’s Providence.
  5. Trust The Holy Spirit to direct my paths.

I bid each of us to pray, study, engage, invoke and trust in our searching for truth in all matters related to this gospel of His kingdom. After all, upon what other gospel would we dare stake His kingdom?


we put up with it because we have no direct voice in a presidential election…in TW’s case, i think there was general fascination with the idea that a son could follow in the footsteps of his father…and TW did look very good in the beginning…in any case, it’s really only since san antonio that average church members have paid serious attention to the GC…

as for why god puts up with it, my understanding is that he doesn’t generally interpose to save us from ourselves…much of our lives is one long learning stint in the workshop of experience…we spin many wheels learning from cause to effect…and we don’t necessarily learn from our mistakes, or even correctly identify them…on a personal level, we can be saved in whatever stage of development we’re in…there’s really no particular impetus for efficiency in how we live or think other than in our own desire and resolve to be the best we can be…there are going to be people saved who were polygamists in ancient israel, heathen in the jungles of africa, and the most polished individuals in america who had access to and followed every advantage laid out in egw…


"I wonder how they would feel if real oppression and fear for their life would be described."

This is a very dismissive statement and something as a male (which you are most likely) will never really understand. It simply isn’t your place to determine or frame what “real” oppression and fear for their lives" would be or look like for a female.

"Perhaps Ryan Bell, Alicia Johnson, Shantel Smith, or Heather Cook can be persuaded…"

Of what??