Do You Really Want to Know?

(Raul Friedmann) #21

In practice what is perceived is to adapt the interpretation of the Scriptures to what she wrote …


While I was heavily influenced by the dishonesty surrounding science and the Church, the fundamental reason in the end for myself was that Church is mostly a social event of listening to a sermon, and I came to view sermons as mostly worthless entertainment. Instead, find some cause that does some good in the world and spend your Sabbath working on that. Its far more rewarding.

(Rhiannon) #24

Agreed! I know a number of people, born-and-raised SDAs, educated in SDA schools all the way through, who have actively studied their way out of the church. I know of only one couple that, based on my observation, simply lost interest and “back slid.” Everyone else left because they studied their way out.

When you study your way out, there is no going back. It’s convenient for the church to view former members as “back-slidden” because that allows them to ignore the deeper, problematic issue of doctrines that are taught by the church/Ellen White, but not taught by Scripture. That’s the real reason the majority of people are leaving the church.

(Robert Lindbeck) #25

@kade and @cfowler relationships operate on multiple levels. We have relationships with indiviuals who attend a local church, we have a relationship with the church organisation and we have a relationship with the head of the church (Christ). We leave a local church because of a change in relationship with individuals, we leave the church organisation as a result of change in the relationship with the organisation (disillusionment, betrayal, anger…), and we leave religion as a result of a change in relationship with the the head. Fortunately, all of these “leavings” can end with something better - a better, more welcoming local church. or a better more, welcoming spiritual community, or a deeper, more understanding relationship with God. Leaving religion may result in a deeper spirituality.

(Steve Mga) #27

In 2000, the R&H Publishing printed this 222 page book.
“Why Our Teenagers Leave The Church – personal stories from a 10-year
study”, by Roger L. Dudley.
Chapter 6 addresses – Why SDA you leave the church: in their own voices.
Topics highlighted are – Alienation, Irrelevance, Intolerance, Convenience.
Chapter 11 addresses – Why SDA Teens stay in the church.
Topics highlighted are – Belief in Adventist Truth, Adventist Upbringing,
Relationship with God, Fellowship/Friendship/Relationships.

I am acquainted with a number of persons and families who have changed
Religions-Denominations. The most common theme in their stories is that
they felt something “missing” which they “found” in the new place of worship
,and the focus on Scriptures during church was the most common theme for changing.
A minor one has been – everyone is allowed to be at different places on the
“Journey” with God, to God. But this one is still seen as important in the “finding” of
of a place, community, for worship.

(George Tichy) #28

Oh, that for sure. In traditional Adventism, EGW has the last word on everything. No doubt about it. This why I say that there are two kinds of Adventists:

  1. Biblical Adventists
  2. Whiteist Adventists

They are easy to recognize.

(Steve Mga) #29

“Interpret Scripture by what Ellen says”
I have seen this throughout my life time.
Actually, I have done that myself in the past. But we see that a whole lot in S.S. class,
and are prompted to do so by the way the S.S. Lesson Quarterlys are arranged
throughout the Decades of my lifetime.
Much of the time Every Day [6 days] has a scripture at the top and has a quote
by Ellen on the page. And so when Sabbath Morning class comes, it is EASY to
just READ the S.S. lesson page by page in the class which effectively controls any
discussion. Just ‘head nodding’ is the major response.

To attempt to bypass that way of doing class and attempt to discuss the THEME[s]
of the lesson for that day without READING the quarterly, causes a LOT of discomfort
with the class members. They don’t like it, and WILL complain.
Been there and been on the receiving end of the complaints – replaced by another

(Frankmer7) #30

As has been said, people leave for other reasons other than lack of relationship. Some leave because they end up seeing the emperor having no doctrinal clothes… the belief system being a house of cards.



(George Tichy) #31

As I often say Steve, one can touch anything in Adventism and kind of get away with it. But DO NOT touch the SOP/EGW! This is a no/no.

One can even “touch” (aka distort) what the Bible says, but do not discard EGW! Like, for example, distorting the clear teaching of the book of Hebrews, to make it conform to what “the boox” say…

The SOP is considered untouchable by the SDAs.


As time goes by, even older folks will realize there is enough babylon in the Adventist church to go around with the world. And it’s not the stuff we keep worrying about.

(George Tichy) #33

The “:babylon” argument is nothing but a tool used to impose guilt on people. Basically, anyone who sins end up being stamped as “babylonian.”

Is there anyone out there that can say not to be a “babylonian” themselves?
Maybe the LGTarians, uh???

(Frankmer7) #34

I think you’re right, Carol. They don’t get that answer because they don’t want to know it. And, because they really have no answer for it.

How can a denomination seek to win back people who, through study, have found the belief system to be an edifice built upon sand, when that edifice is its very reason for being? To modify or change it would mean the denomination would face an identity crisis, and likely cease to exist in its present form. It would have to go through an experience like the WWCofG. Thus, this never gets touched. It’s safer to say that people leave for relational reasons.

But, the belief system itself does seem to point up something that supports the idea of people leaving because of lack of social connection, as well. The central truth of Christianity is relational. The church, as seen in the NT, is by nature, relational. The Adventist belief package is not. It is not built on the principles of love for God and one another. It is built on doctrinal correctness and conformity, and eschatological conspiracy. People leaving for relational reasons is not surprising, when one considers that the relational nature of the NT church is not even a primary value of the Adventist belief system itself.

How many Adventist churches, at least in North America, are small, commuter churches that have no appreciable common life throughout the week, and no shared experiences, other than a couple of hours on a Saturday morning? How is this conducive to building relationships and real connection with one another? This makes the back door much easier for many to go through. All because Adventism places priority on adherence to a doctrinal package, and not upon belonging and participating in the life of the local church as its primary emphasis and measure of faithfulness and spiritual health.

It is totally out of balance. It’s built into the system. The doctrinal system itself and its centrality help to contribute to a relationally deficient church culture.



@cincerity @harrpa @GeorgeTichy @niteguy2

(Joselito Coo) #35

Didn’t Jesus commission his disciples to “Go…!” and keep going rather than “Stay” within the church confines week after week? Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Back in the 1860s, Advent believers with little education started out very simply. It’s their better educated successors who made it complicated, around 1980.

I agree this is true in North America. Ethnic congregations seem to do better because they are composed mostly of extended families so that church for them isn’t confined to a once-a-week worship and fellowship experience. Erosion of faith starts at home. Thus, ethnic congregations face the same reality of being one generation away from shutting down.

(James Peterson) #36

I’ve being wanting to reply to this article for sometime now, not so much to point out what you have posted from Christianity Today; but to say, of the article’s author, that her youth and naivety and ignorance (in the sense of being unaware of the most common of historical events and causes) are patently obvious. In such a case, we who are wiser ought to be gentle and listen to the concern that weighs heavily on the heart rather than be summarily dismissive.

Think of it like sex. Every generation thinks it is trying to balance something new.

Therefore, to Alyssa Garcia I say, “Be strong;” and to Spectrum, “How thoughtful it was of you to give her the microphone in the midst of the cacophony.

@cincerity, Spectrum published an article on that study here.


(Kim Green) #37

So good of you to be “gentle” with the author. From what I have seen, her views represent a lot of the youth today (despite minor “flaws”).

Thanks for link- but as long as there is access does it matter where it is published??

(Steve Mga) #38

Just meeting for a couple of hours on Sabbath, and not really conversing with one
another during that time, other than a "hi, how are you?’, “I’m fine, OK,etc” is not
socialization to the point of “Bonding”.
The successful churches I have seen have a number of Social Activities for member
engagement and time to “talk”.
Some even have coffee [hot chocolate], snacks, and tables for 4-6 to sit at each
week during ‘church hours’ for before church or for after church.
Some even have regularly scheduled Youth Activity time after church with pizza,
other snacks, group activities around the tables. Outings at nearby local or state
Without “Bonding” it might be compared to a sightseeing trip on moving bus among
a bunch of all strangers. Who are told to be quiet so they can hear the speech by
the bus driver as they journey.

(Frankmer7) #39

Gentle?? I’d hate to see when you get rough.


(Kim Green) #40

"The central truth of Christianity is relational."

So true, Frank, and the doctrinal system cannot compensate for this basic human need. You have written many good points.

(Kim Green) #41

Yes…it would be “scary”, right? :thinking:

(Kim Green) #42

Maybe James is crabby because he has no answer to how to stop the “bleeding out” from the SDA church…or does he?? :smile:

@frank_merendino @JamesPeterson