Hmmm…based on analysis of your feedback it appears that you may have challenges in some key reading and comprehension skills. I am concerned because you are usually on topic and as this could also impact other areas of your life where these types of skill may be necessary. Not knowing you or your current circumstances it might be advisable to, if you are having similar problems with other reading material, seek help or assistance in this.
"The pioneers of this SDA church original movement were “millennials or Gen Z” so I say let them revitalize the way church is done."
I am sorry but I don’t quite get what you are saying…could you explain?
Ray, I have indeed learned GRACE and it has been an astonishing spiritual journey the Holy Spirit has led me on during my 64 years of living. In 1975 my new wife and I both suddenly left the Adventist church within a single day (I’m looking at you with a smile Barry Casey) because of doctrinal reasons. Over the seven years of 1977 to 1984 the Holy Spirit sent my wife and I to the Yucaipa, CA Baptist church so I especially could learn the life restoring truth of GRACE GRACE GRACE!
Then from 1984 to 1991 the Holy Spirit sent me and my family to the Vineyard church where I could finally learn a much better view of God as my Father. When I was 13 my own beloved dad died suddenly at the age of 42 from a heart attack, and the following year my hurting mother who was now solely responsible for me and my six brothers went “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
As a result in 1968 she married a man who turned out to be a violent alcoholic and who raged down demonic beatings, threats of murder and screamings upon my defenseless mother and brothers. I escaped 95% of that hellscape because I was attending Rio Lindo Academy during the 3.5 years of my mom’s marriage to that monster from 1968 to 1971. My family was poor, so our Loving God using the tiny little SDA church of Miranda, CA to pay for me to go to both Rio Lindo Academy and to Pacific Union College.
I say all this about my violent stepfather because around 1984 I came to realize that the Father image of God that I had learned as a young Adventist boy looked a whole lot like my cruel stepfather! My Adventist God that was taught to me was:
Hard to please.
Quick to punish.
You never knew when God was going to strike you hard for the smallest of sins.
You had to always be looking over your shoulder to see if you had traversed one of God’s many rules.
My Adventist God made it so hard to be saved that only the tiniest of remnants were going to make it to Heaven.
So around 1984 these toxic views of God were swarming in the surface of my troubled mind and I got to the place where I hated going to church of any denomination. And so it was that our beautiful Holy Spirit used my then wife to have me attend a Vineyard church in Riverside, CA and when I did go, I fell in love with God again!
The head of 300+ worldwide Vineyard churches in the 80s and 90s was Pastor John Wimber, and my family and I attended his huge church of 3,000+ members in Anaheim, CA. And so each week as I observed Pastor John Wimber, I learned about a much better view of God my Father. From the Vineyard church I learned:
That my Father God loves me and loves me and loves me!
That my Father God is easy to please.
That my Father God is overflowing with compassion for us, his sin-damaged and hurting children.
That my Father God has endless patience as I keep moving daily at different speeds towards beautiful Zion.
That my Father God is NOT looking for opportunities to punish me!
That my Father God is going to give extravagant rewards in Heaven for even the smallest good that we do!
And then in 1989 I had a dramatic encounter with the Holy Spirit while at the Riverside Vineyard church, where the ever delightful and also surprising Spirit said to me “I want you to return to the Adventist church.”
I did NOT want to hear that inner message! I did NOT want to return to Adventist Legalism, Adventist Rules, Adventist Fear, Adventist Perfectionism, Adventist Elitism of Having the Truth, Adventist Time of Trouble and Torture by Catholics. NO NO NO! I did not want to go back to the SDA church in any way, shape or form!
Knowing this, the Holy Spirit then put me on the “Incentive Plan.” At that time in 1989 there was a group of Living Prophets that came from Kansas City to Pastor John Wimber’s Anaheim Vineyard church with the group message of “It’s time to starting keeping the Commandments.” It seems the Vineyard churches had been so engorging themselves on the delicious dessert of Grace that they failed to find the balance of also practicing Christian self-control.
Because I was actually at the Anaheim Vineyard church in 1989 when these Living Prophets suddenly showed up that the Holy Spirit turned to me and said, "Okay, I see you don’t want to go back to the Adventist church, so I’ll give you a CHOICE: You can either continue going to the Vineyard church and say “Keep the Commandments” or you can return to the Seventh-day Adventist church and say “GOD LOVES YOU!”
Well, giving out a message of “God Loves You!” was way more appealing to me, so around March 1989 I started going to the La Sierra Seventh-day Adventist church. And it has been the best thing I have ever done! It has been wonderful to worship our Loving Creator God and Heavenly Father with my treasured brothers and sisters of the La Sierra church and Destination Sabbath School.
Thanks for letting me share.
When the world leadership dresses up in 19th c. party costumes and beards to address the representative body of the church, you have all you need to know about how out of touch with reality they are. They are trying to lead into the future, while having no clue about the present, and being fixated on a distant past largely born of their own romanticized imaginations.
The church, like any organization, will only go as far as its leaders. From the looks of it right now, that’s nowhere fast. Change is needed…desperately.
I proudly belong to the Modern Generation. In all seriousness!
Eugene, your “GRACE GRACE GRACE” caught my attention.
Interesting that in 1979, after the Glacier View fiasco, I started re-studying my SDA theology, reading everything available at that time. After about 3 years of deep studying and reading, I had made my mind. But then, the Church started to come after me (that was still in Brazil), and around 1985 my wife and I asked to be “dismembered”… It took 10 months before our names were finally deleted from the Church records.
By that time, guess where we were doing church for ca 3 years? A Baptist Church! And my major discovery was that it was with the Baptists that I (finally) learned what GRACE was and how it works. Not even spending 4 full time years in college, in the SDA school of theology, had taught me about true GRACE.
Then I came to the US, attended the 7th-day Baptist Church in Riverside for 4 years. Then I was ready to re-enroll in the SDA Church again, and even ended up teaching Bible at La Sierra Academy for a year and a half before going after my Psychology licensure.
The point being that GRACE is certainly a Baptist Strength, and an Adventist Weakness. I am glad you had that same experience.
Thank you for sharing your journey Eugene. I’m reminded of one of the first things John recorded about Jesus in his gospel. “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ.”
Great article. I believe there’s one added factor that keeps the church from progressing with a stubborn grasp on the past. It’s about victimhood - the expectation that the entire world (including the majority of “brethren”) will be chasing the remnant into the hills. The seeds that sprouted a David Koresh, and a compound under siege. were germinated within the SDA psyche. The more force is exerted for change, the more pushback is sure to come - even if the “compound” burns.
I can handle your questions. Just don’t tell me that “resistance is futile”.
Another post confirming how preachers can be bullies and that they are inept at presenting sermons.
Yeah and did the machetes in Rwanda break like straw?
I remember the SDA school teacher telling us in 2nd grade that they would.
What a bunch of paranoid persecution complex.
Really wants to make you outreach to others…right?
Come to the SDA church and you will soon become a lukewarm Laodicean and paranoid death decree victim.
You make such a case for NOT becoming an Adventist! By all of your comments you are surely showing that the Seventh Day Adventist Church is the place to AVOID at all costs…keep up the “good” work. You are quite the “missionary” here.
I make a case for becoming a Christian by promoting Jesus & bible.
How often do you hear where people become Adventists or are baptized into the Adventist church or become part of the Adventist family?? Who gets the glory?
So many Adventists = paranoid, fanatic, insubordinate, gainsaying, institutional, lukewarm Laodiceans.
But you won’t find me BAD mouthing Sabbath or EGW.
I grew up hearing and believing that hard times were coming for the SDA church, particularly Saturday Sabbath keepers. Persecution would do two things: 1) Drive out the disloyal sinners thus purifying the church and 2) drive in those who were true to God in other churches. With this view of the future, the church need not cater to the whims of people, but hold fast. Thus, any failure of the organization is not really a failure but a god led purification process. So fail away.
With this view of the future, failure is a good thing and it is a virtue to be a BlockBuster. And I fear that this is the dominant view within the church and its leadership.
While I find their theology deplorable, I give credit to the Mormon Church for aspects of their organization: 1) No paid pastors, 2) Utilization of public education which avoids a vast network of money-hemorrhaging schools, 3) Concentration of funds into flagship institutions, 4) Emphasis on family-focussed spirituality, and 5) Savy money management and investment. And at least they have had the courage to change or modify some of their policy positions over the years.
The way our SDA church operates no matter how poor or rich members of a local congregation are the same policy of 100% tithe being sent up the chain of our ecclesiastical hierarchy applies. In addition to the tithe are the Sabbath School Mission Offering, Love Offering, Birthday and Thanks Offering… that are sent to the local mission. On average, the tithe contribution of 10 families should be sufficient to support a pastor’s wage and benefits. Correct? What benefit does the local congregation receive in return? A district pastor-evangelist appointed by the local mission who is also in charge of several other church plants.
Truth of the matter is poor countries where the Gospel of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed and has taken root can take care of themselves without additional material aid from the West.
"But you won’t find me BAD mouthing Sabbath or EGW."
You don’t have to…because anyone reading your posts will automatically connect your “Adventism/Christianity = Poor Preaching, Ineptitude Of Its Preachers, Members Who Are Lukewarm, etc., etc. Paradigm”. You really have no clue how much disservice you are doing to the Sabbath or EGW! I believe that you should just keep up it up because you may eventually persuade nearly anyone that being a Christian is a bad idea.
“Messaging” is not understood by you and you will most likely dismiss what I am saying now because you know “better”, eh?
I think we need to make a distinction between what long time Adventists have become; and the factors that made them believe what they believe. I don’t know which generation you belong to but I’ve been around to experience its many phases - all looking about the same. Coming from a public school system, I grew into Adventism on an Adventist college campus. Had I not had a larger world view than what was on that campus, I would have bought into the whole package. I was happy to be there, but little red flags kept popping up as time went by. What saved me was the field I was majoring in - English, with emphasis on literature.
I’m very upset with the church as it sits elevated from the “little people”. It has been suffering from delayed development", just as we have been discussing. But the people are good people who have been educated not to think - just quote. It starts in the elementary grades, and works its way into higher education (when I was immersed in it). Philosophy of Christian Education 101, was literally memorizing the book EDUCATION. Once you figured out what the guy in front of the class was all about, you could dish it out the way he/she wanted it.
It’s not cool to rip away everyone’s securities in the church, without replacing them with something genuine. In fact, “the truth shall make you free” of all the crutches we have constructed to navigate without a clear picture of the GOSPEL.
What a wonderful and balanced sentence that quite perfectly describes the SDA church.
I’ve noticed lately that the stodgy 2000 year old RCC seems more progressive than the SDA church - seems more interested in the future than the past.
“Remnant Church” must indeed be a mere trademark, because it misunderstands the Biblical Greek. The KJV’s “remnant” should be “the others”, not the lone survivors, and there’s no “church” in the original.
I am trying to say the movers and shakers, such as some leaders of the SDA church in the 19 th Century, full of vigor and dynamism or vitalism, don’t have to be old folks.