Fourteen Million and Counting


(credere) #61

Yes, and we know that they have ‘f’orfeited the leaders’ confidence…and hence urgency for…more meetings
Cheers


#62

Yes. I just wonder why so few of them ever ask whether what they hear and what the SS quarterly says is biblical? I am flabberghasted at seeing what the quarterly infuses in terms of non-biblical but traditional ideas and concepts.

… and funding this church… it will continue.
I stopped giving my tithes years ago and rather direct it to more orthodox organizations.


#63

I love Jesus. Still believe the Bible and read it every day and have benefitted from John Piper’s series on Romans.
Haven’t sorted out the state of the dead yet. I don’t buy SDA eschatology (à la “which keep the commandments and have the Spirit of Prophecy …”). I have come to the conclusion that EGW fails the tests of a prophet in the Bible sense which - honestly - is quite a relief!


(Steve Mga) #64

Spirit of Prophecy – maybe it is more in line with Paul’s view in 1 Corinth 14.
And where he believes this is a major gift that should be desired – that of
edifying, exhorting, comforting [a huge need], counseling. Few person
develop these abilities appropriately.
It is MUCH EASIER to try to “fix” people than to just listen. Ask questions
that will allow them to process what they want to talk about, and allow them
to “fix” themselves in this manner. To be an interested friend.


(Steve Mga) #65

OFF THE SDA TOPIC –
As many of you may know the Methodist Church recently had their
General Conference. And there were some Issues that were brought
up, discussed, BUT voted down.
I have been taking a friend to a Monday evening Bible study at a
local Methodist group. They were discussing the GC for a few minutes.
They felt the Methodist GC by one of its “NO” votes was NOT being
all inclusive to all its members, and believed they had “done wrong” in
the voting. They are hoping that in the next one coming up that the
voting will be “YES” as a lot of persons are discussing it in a lot of
places and believe the “NO” vote was wrong.
I mentioned this to show that not JUST THE SDA World-church has
issues that are Voted “NO” because of CULTURE of World Delegates.
Other World churches are having the same difficulties that need to be
overcome.
So in your prayers “for the CHURCH” include the Methodist family
[our Cousins in Christ] as part of the CHURCH you pray for.


(Pierre-Paul Legault) #66

There are many many many who have left because of doctrine. The church doesn’t talk about it because there isn’t anything the church can do about it. The SdA church is not going to change doctrine to accommodate dissidents any more than the Catholic Church is going to renounce transubstantiation.
Many others leave the church because they have concluded that the whole supernatural idea of God and daemons, and the need for God to sacrifice Himself to Himself to satisfy some legal requirement that He created and that He cannot or refuses to change, is a bunch of nonsense. The church cannot deal with ex-members that become atheist because the church will not renounce its belief in God. The church cannot deal with ex-members who have decided that the sabbath is non-sense because the SdA Church will never give up the Sabbath. The church cannot deal with ex-members who reject EGW’s writings. In other words the church cannot make any meaningful attempt to regain ex-members who would require the SdA church to stop being the SdA church in order for the church to be satisfactory to them.


(Allen Shepherd) #67

The records in the mainstream are similar. So, they do reflect about the same thing.

I think you are correct here.

I am correct about the main stream. The question here was about whether the loss of 15 million SDA’s is similar to main stream losses. They will be irrelevant, and are riven with division. We have our problems, but nothing like them.

So, although you are correct about the ability of SDA’s to make themselves known, we are not falling into oblivion like these others are. World wide, we are actually a fairly large church comparatively, and are growing overseas, at least, and healthfully.

And WO will not help one way or the other. It has made no difference for the mainstream.


(Cfowler) #68

I totally agree! I don’t expect them to change, and I don’t need it to change. I understand that it can’t change certain things and still be SDA. I think being honest about it, and at least acknowledging that people do leave because of doctrine, would be the right thing to do.


(Steve Mga) #69

Perhaps it is not the SDA doctrines as such.
Perhaps there are OTHER Un-Named issues related to doctrines that
are not being addressed by Local Church communities.
BUT we have the “Doctrine of the Shaking” which PREVENTS this
needed investigation.
Catch-22 for those leaving and for those staying.
Asking Questions may be intimidating and fearful for BOTH sides –
those who leave, those who stay.


(Cfowler) #70

For me, the people that I’m personally acquainted with, and the untold thousands (I’m guessing) that have expressed their reasons for leaving, it was definitely for doctrinal reasons…not believing that EGW is a prophet, Christians are still required to keep the Sabbath, the end-time scenarios, the IJ, the dietary restrictions, plus more. Definitely doctrines.

I think the doctrines are the source of a lot of dysfunction in the church.


(Steve Mga) #71

CF–The Baptists that I know who are now Episcopalians, it was several of the
Doctrines that they no longer came to believe in.
I don’t know if you have read any of Diane Butler Bass’s books. She is a
researcher on the Christian Religion of how it is changing and that persons
are not Leaving Church as such, but migrating and getting their Spiritual needs
met in a different format.
You would enjoy them. 1. Grounded - finding God in the world, a spiritual
revolution. 2. Christianity After Religion – the end of church and the birth of
a new spiritual awakening. 3. Christianity for The Rest of Us – how the
neighborhood church is transforming the faith.
There is another one, A People’s History of Christianity – the other side of the
story which is quite good.
I would recommend you begin with #2, then #3, then #1.
Sometime read the History. You will meet persons who are not typically profiled.
Several years ago I had the opportunity to hear speak for 3 sessions at Mercer
University here in Macon.
I don’t believe she would be a speaker at SDA churches. Maybe Glendale City
Church, LaSierra. That is all I can think of open enough to hear what she says.
Glendale City Church is on Facebook. I knew the pastor when he was here in
Canton, GA. He and his wife have been good for Glendale. You would probably
enjoy that one.


(Cfowler) #72

But, are you growing at a rate that is based on real numbers? This came up today…
https://atoday.org/indian-pastor-challenges-exaggerated-membership-in-his-conference/?fbclid=IwAR21SbPCeWG1owwjEk6BpxNAKEEksaHe_T04syIVB76JXonuHFIGx4Y-4rM


(reliquum) #73

As well the consequence of dysfunction. perhaps


(Cfowler) #74

Thanks, Steve.

I looked at her books on Amazon. Looks very interesting.


(Tom Loop) #75

The first time I left the Adventist church was when I was around 22. I didn’t really leave it, I just sort of drifted away from it. I didn’t join any other church because back then few who left did. After all, it was drilled in our heads from day one that SDA was the only “true” church, hence we were thoroughly brainwashed as kids that any other religious options was just plain heresy, So I basically had no church for about 7 years. Long story, but a young SDA pastor won my heart to the Lord, and in a life crisis I turned back to the church of my childhood. Rebaptised I believed with all my heart in the “Adventist truth” But I had sort of a love/hate relationship experience over the next 35 years with the church. I was a team player, but the church’s notion of a judgment in which we must rise to the level of perfect, always bothered me. It created what I call professional naval gazers and self appointed censorship committess to keep people on the “narrow way.” In just about every discussion group seemed to get bogged down in the topic of sin, and how we were not measuring up. Adventism is a regimented religion like no other. It is steeped in Last Generation Theology (LGT) all the while claiming it isn’t. Just read EGW’s chapter in Great Controversy on the Investigative Judgement for proof of my claim. She plainly supports this theology, and no amount of trying to read other quotes by her will discount this position. Early on, I knew if I was to have any influence in the church, I had to acknowledge support of her, or be banished to a broom closet. So I basically quoted her where I thought she was right and disregarded her where I felt she was wrong. There was no way I could swallow her hook, line and sinker like so many LGT adherents claimed they did. They were a constant source of irritation to me, and I to them. I remember well a weekend in 1987, when Tom and Margarett Davis were invited to put on a seminar in our church. Those 2 dill pickled faced couple were LGT all the way. No one hardly smiled at potluck after listening to the marathon of perfection pushing these two had force fed the congregation the previous 2 1/2 hours. I felt so discouraged I wanted to say to hell with it and leave the church again. About halfway through their afternoon marathon of more of the same I left and took my wife and son home. They clearly overdid it. It was legalism on steroids.
My final break with Adventism came in 2016. After my wife left me, I finally quit living in denial and decided to come out of the closet and tell the church I was gay. I had been out to a few select people and pastors for years but never the entire church. That was 2015. While no one displayed any open hostility toward me, I could sense this turned everything in the church for me upside down. The short version is, I walked away the next summer. But I found there is life after Adventism, and spiritual life more abundantly. I moved to Idaho and I am a happy member of Disciples of Christ church. Two weeks ago I was persuaded to join a friend who is an SDA two Sabbaths ago. I still believe in the Sabbath. The experience was something I will not be repeating. The sermon was on Babylon. The bulletin had a picture of the Tower of Babel on the front. The Sabbath School lesson was titled “All things new”, but it was the same old drivel I had heard before. Nothing is new under the sun in Adventism. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. @GeorgeTichy


(Cfowler) #76

LOL :rofl: Yep, I’ve seen those types. It is beyond sad to witness these situations. But, they are so stiff-necked, they won’t listen to anyone outside of their “very holy huddle”. If you aren’t part of their mind-set, you’re very likely in Satan’s camp.


(George Tichy) #77

Tom, thanks again for telling your story. Though it must be hard for you to revisit those days, I am sure that talking about it is also very therapeutic for you. I respect your honesty and your courage to tell your experience in such a detailed way,


(Steve Mga) #78

I saw a comment about India some time back. Inflated numbers to make
the collective groups of churches look good.
So no one knows how many Hindus, Buddhists, Muslems have actually
discovered Christ.


(Kim Green) #79

Yes…Adventism is just one of many that are grappling with the issues of a Post Modern world. Thanks for mentioning this, Steve.


(Elias Rowlandson) #80

god is more than a single church/denomination as you have likely realised, I resemble the thinking about ‘the other churches’ it is bad that it is preferable to be an atheist than going to, becoming a member in another denomination.

I go to an mcc church sometimes, and after a while the pastor asked if I wanted to be a member, which I did it’s on standby for now, but beforehand, I had a couple of nightmares (can you believe it) about being in a house that was collapsing I asked my self if I would have the same things about being a member in our church.