Just a little input. I was raised in the Adventist church, and attended her schools through academy (high school). As of today, more than 75% of the ‘kids’ I attended school with have left the church - some of them now atheist. After receiving my degree from an Adventist school, and working for her as a pastor and a summer camp director, I too have also left the church.
When raising my children I noticed that the “because I said so” reasoning never worked. So I had to either create some really big stories, or just flat out tell the truth. This is where the church has chosen wrong, and chased out most, not all, of the youth. The say, quite simply, this is the way it is, period. When the youth (or anyone else for that matter) pose a legitimate question pointing out the holes in their theology - and their ‘Christian Living’ - they are either given a ‘big story’ complete with hermeneutical references (and their credentials as listed on their business cards), or flat out told “that’s the way it is” (because I said so). How many of you would stick around?
As far as the GYC, I am not a fan, but I will refrain from my opinions, other than to say that from what I see the GYC is pretty good at making little Adventists. The only problem with that, that I can see, is that the world doesn’t need more Adventists, the world needs more people who want to live like Christ so that others can see Him, not a fancy, elite, exclusive, and over-educated denomination.
As always, just my perspective, and I wish to provoke thought, not anger. God bless, and forgive me if I offend.
@kevindpaulson, you didn’t finish my sentence. I said that “the world doesn’t need more Adventists, the world needs more people who want to live like Christ so that others can see Him, not a fancy, elite, exclusive, and over-educated denomination.” And I’m not sure I completely understand what ‘Last Generation Theology’ is, so I don’t know whether to be flattered or not, so forgive me. But I must point out that my lifetime in the Adventist church has shown me that by a large majority, Adventists believe that theirs is the only church that was ever inspired by God.
There are millions upon millions of people around the world who are living like Christ. Many of them may have never even heard His name, yet they bring mercy and love to the unloved and cast aside. And most of them are not encumbered by the trappings of the SDA church and its policies. When I was a child I wondered why the church would spend so much money on the buildings where they “worshiped”, when the object of their worship was born in a stable and had “…no place to lay His head…”; but now I understand. It is not for the purpose of worship, or healing, or fellowship, or any of those other noble statements they put forth (to make a nice place for God to join us…), it is simply because they want to be seen. ‘We are a church!’, ‘we are a recognized denomination, not a cult!’, ‘we have arrived!’.
In my opinion, the worst thing that ever happened to the SDA movement is when it became no longer a movement. Then they just sat down and said, ‘alright God, we got this now’…
That about cover it?
This generation sees past the pomp and circumstance. Those who remain will only tough it out until they are personally wounded or shunned, and then they will be gone too. Some will try to take it and run with it, but the white hairs will not allow it - and the church will die with them. We are hearing the agonal breaths of a church that used to be effective, used to love people, used to follow Jesus. Now they follow themselves. Can’t go far that way, and the younger generation knows it.
Once again, these are my views, not looking for followers, just shaking the tree to see people think for themselves. God Bless!
@pagophilus - so, the young people that are not involved with GYC are superficial? I disagree. If they were superficial, they would enjoy the superficial church, and stick around. Yes, the church is the superficial one in this equation, superficial because it is all about the church, and self-perpetuation of the church, not about Jesus. If it were about Jesus, would we not join Paul in saying (about the so-called ‘millennial twist’ on the gospel some are describing here) “praise the Lord, Christ is being preached!”?
Final edit before I drop the mic…
@Cassie The internet? Really? The internet is a tool, no more than a library or a wrench. The reason religious types find it offensive or threatening is because a tech-savvy ‘millennial’ sitting in the congregation on any given Sabbath morning can google the pastor’s topic, research it, cross-reference it with several commentaries - including the SDA commentary - and see if the speaker has really done their homework, or if they’re just blowing smoke to fill the plate. Unfortunately there’s been a lot of smoke blowing in the last few decades - and a lot of in your face, I’ll do and say what I want attitudes - and it is now starting to hit the fan.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the reason the young people are leaving the church is the same reason most visitors and new ‘converts’ leave - because you really don’t want them there unless they think like you. Most of our young people that grew up in the church did so watching how people act at church every week, and how they act on the way home. There is a hypocrisy so deep some of them even got lost in it, and now they’re not even sure if God exists anymore, but the people they are watching surely can’t be following Him - if He is love and they are, well, not.
Or you could look at it another way - sure to reflect in the current events in the greater organization. They’re just jumping ship before the whole thing sinks.
@mtskeels9496 Yeah, you’re right. They don’t have a thing to complain about. After all, we spent the first 18 or so months of their lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 16+ years telling them to sit down and shut up. We expect them to think for themselves, and when they do we tell them they’re wrong. But in fact, that relationship with Jesus that we’ve been telling them they want, that personal, intimate relationship with their Savior, that is subjective. It’s theirs, and theirs alone. And none of us can tell them it’s wrong. I’d leave too. In fact, I did.
They could be better off, it’s often easier to find God with the Gentiles of the world than in the sanctuary with the saints.
And it’s a good thing that the SDA church never tolerates open minds or different thinking - or questioning those who have thought before - if they did, well they wouldn’t have the leadership they have now that is bold enough to call themselves “…God’s highest authority on earth…”. Sounds peculiarly like a certain religious leader the SDA’s have been demonizing for about 150 years…
That’s it, I’m out. Done beating a dead horse. Won’t be a church for them to leave much longer, at this rate, so it’s kind of a moot point.
I got a little riled there, and I apologize. There’s a bit of a zealot in me yet, even though I know I’m only saved by association with Him. Forgive me, but somebody needs to say it. I’ll be the target, they can’t run me out