Why I’m Leaving the Church but Remain an Adventist

It’s difficult to tell you this but not one word written in the Bible is absolutely true and people change what is written to suit themselves, all the time.

Absolute truth cannot be expressed by anyone with a finite mind, a limited set of facts and a vocabulary where words can mean different things to different people. So the Bible is putty in the hands of its readers.

(In fact, not even god can overcome this challenge which is probably why our creator expresses itself in every way possible other than easily misunderstood and misused books.)

But as difficult as it is for me to say that, given it doesn’t make me any friends in any religion, I’m convinced it’s virtually impossible for you to understand it for no reason other than that its not what want to hear it.

So yes, the Bible says god hates gays but I have essential doubt about the truth of those words and chose to ignore them just like you ignore the “Ye are gods” and “come unto me” memory verses.

(Where is the emoji for a person with his hands over his ears making doodling sounds with his tongue?!?!

Found it…or close enough!!!:

image)

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If I remember right, almost every bible hero had a marriage different than what we’d approve of in the modern US. Betty makes some good points here…

Yes, the bible says he said, “I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Which, notably, the Adventist church ignores. And - if he really said that - it’s not very good advice, really. There are at least a few other good reasons to get a divorce, such as mental or physical abuse.

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…but which the church (at least many local SDA churches) believed and acted upon several decades ago. Since the church seems to have dropped that belief and “standard of action,” it will provide a glimmer of hope that eventually, if the church lasts, perhaps its beliefs and actions re: homosexuality will also evolve. (Ever the Pollyanna,I. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Ah, Brittnie,
I sympathize, but I stay in the church in part because it’s my church, too. I don’t agree with a lot of people in it; both “progressive” and “conservative.” I think some of our doctrines are far too narrow and try to put God into small boxes instead of respecting the vastness of Their character and scope. But it’s been my church since I was 4 years old and sitting at the table as my parents received Bible studies. And I refuse to leave just because my view of God and their love for their creation is bigger and grander than the views held by some of the members I’ve encountered in the several decades since then. I get tired of people whose “God is too small” but it’s still my church.

I wish you well in your journey. I feel many of the same things and have been close to leaving a few times. But I’m still here in retirement. Most days I just choose to ignore some voices and support others.

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She says on the video that Eve slept with Cain, what basis is there for that?? Lol and yeah, the Bible describes all kinds of bad marriage arrangements or rape or incest but they are not what God designed or wants.

And the fact that the church does not follow the divorce command as it should is a fault of its leaders, not of the command itself. One had nothing to do with the other, both lgbt and non adultery divorce and remarriage are prohibited. And to your last point, the Bible doesn’t say you should stay in an abusive marriage, it just says you cant remarry unless there’s been infidelity or the person has left you. There’s so many issues I could mention here about choosing the right person, but yes please do not stay in an abusive marriage!

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I believe the Bible for many reasons, and my experience is different than yours, I’ve found it reliable, true, simple enough for anyone to get the main points and I’ve seen it transform many lives. Do I understand every last verse? No, but that doesn’t mean most of it isn’t understandable. believing, as you do, that truth is unknowable seems simplistic. Jesus is the Son of God who died to forgive our sins and whoever confesses their sins and believes in Him will be saved and His Spirit will transform their lives. Seems simple enough.

And your examples of contradictions are very superficial. You mentioned that Jesus taught to love everyone and hate your family, can you really not figure out what the meaning of that is? Are you genuinely confused about what He was saying? He means that love for God comes first and if we ever have to choose, we choose Him. It doesn’t mean you hate your family that’s ridiculous and simplistic reading of scripture. It means we love Him above all and we love others as ourselves but if my family ever tries to lead me away from God, I must pick God first. That’s a simple truth that is easily explained by anyone who has read the totality of the gospels and is no reason to throw your hands in the air and say truth is just too complicated, no one can know it, so let’s do away with all religion.

God will not accept these poor excuses for not believing His simple truths.

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Predictably, nothing you’ve said addresses the basic argument, much less refutes it.

Even if I did think every word was absolutely true, I didn’t see anything in the Bible authorizing @Yoyito to tell me what god will and will not accept.

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Happy thanksgiving, not sure why we’re writing during dinner but I guess we’re doing this lol

Your basic argument is truth cannot be know. So how could God hold us accountable if we cannot know truth? If you’re right then whatever is truth to anyone is acceptable, how can we be held to account if nothing is true and there’s no way to know what is true? It doesn’t make any sense at all

Nope.

I said absolute truth cannot expressed in words but I probably should have added that even that statement cannot be considered absolutely true, given the finite nature of human intellect and the fact that language is inexact.

Further, the argument is not superficial but goes to the heart of human communication.

(BTW, I enjoyed a pleasant thanksgiving meal about 6 hours ago!)

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I’m about to enjoy mine in a bit , 6pm here on west coast.

And the point remains, if absolute truth cannot be expressed in words, then it cannot be known. And if it cannot be known then we cannot be held accountable.

And yeah I guess you have a point that we’re trying to take eternal divine principles and expressing them in flawed language so although something is lost, enough can be known to determine truth well enough even given the limitations. And that is what God will hold us accountable for.

Maybe.

But then again, maybe not.

So I guess you’ll just have to keep your fingers crossed, hope that Jesus agrees and that being “more or less” Christian will get you into heaven!

:crossed_fingers:t3::crossed_fingers:t3::crossed_fingers:t3:

Is that the case?

Or are you being overly simplistic?

John 3:16-which some people say was a later insertion into the text, BTW-does not say we have to believe in Jesus. It says we have to believe in “him”, i.e., god. But if we are all gods, isn’t he saying we really only have to believe in ourselves?

This is either a profound assertion or it is logic so circular as to induce dizziness.

Again, you can say these question are “superficial” and try to rationalize or ignore them, but I don’t see how anyone can claim to be Christian when he doesn’t understand absolutely every aspect of it.

For example, what if the part you don’t understand is the not only the most important element but what would you do if you disagree with that principle and/or find it repugnant after you finally figure out what’s actually involved. Like, I don’t know, what if you learned that Jesus and his disciples were involved romantically and physically and the gospel is really all about accepting such brotherly love?

Would you want to spend two minutes in his heaven if you discovered that Jesus prefers hanging out with those old friends rather than with you, particularly when you’d spent your entire Christian life believing homosexuality is an abomination because you’d been relying on one, out of context, not absolutely true memory verse?

Floyd, there is such a thing as saying half a loaf is better than none. Do you really believe LGBTs can get something better when the knew Congress convenes.

The SDA and LDS churches support this because there are religious protection provisions in the bill.

We may not like how the church treats us, but the government has no right to but into church beliefs and force conformity.

I know this is fine line to walk where religious freedom and gay rights are on opposing sides. This bill has bipartisan support. I doubt that a stronger measure has any chance of even getting a hearing in next year’s House of Representatives.

Floyd, I was married for 32 years and I never had a secret side affair with another man behind my wife’s back.

I’m divorced for 6 years now, and I still haven’t. I figure I’m too old at 70 to find any man compatible. I envy you and your hubby, and all the good times and globe trotting you guys do. I have the money to do the same, but I would be miserable going alone.

What does that mean? Belonging to a church is belonging to an association that has a stated reason for existing; and a list of qualifications for membership. I think we combine/confuse this corporal organization, with belonging to, what Jesus called, “kingdom” of God.

If, as an organization, we disagree with its reason for existing, as stated in its list of beliefs; and/or, if we disagree with its observable behaviour, - what is there to prompt us to stay and support it? What are we benefitting; and what are we promoting by staying?

So let’s just admit, the church has become a social club which we can’t bear to live without. It certainly can become lonely without the weekly cycle of meetings we have been repeating since childhood. That’s called a "habit, just like any other mindless repetition. In and of itself, that’s OK if you get some consolation from it - but what happens to our relationship with God. Where do we worship; and what? We need to find the answer to that, otherwise we get lulled into a kind of limbo and hope for the best.
My friend in Michigan calls her kyak her pew.

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My wife and I have a Lexus hybrid, with two pairs of walking shoes and a Boston Terrier/French Bulldog mix in the back, with which we explore God’s Kingdom Here in Earth!

(This after learning years ago that boats are just holes in the water into which one pours money!)

:wink:

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Years ago a friend said to my husband and I that the church was just a social club. We were young and hadn’t yet come to this conclusion ourselves and were taken back. Now, many years later I agree with this sentiment. I fully realize how this may rankle older members because my husband and I both remember frequently being told as teenagers that we shouldn’t be coming to church to see our friends and to socialize. What nonsense.

Last week I told another friend that I no longer considered myself an Adventist and he asked why. I said he should know by now, having conversed with me for many years, starting here on Spectrum. But for me, it is because I simply do not feel a part of the SDA community where I find myself living. And Adventism is very much about community. I believe that if I were to find myself living in another part of the U.S. I would likely still be part of the Adventist community.

After many years of observing members of this church at all levels I’ve noticed that talking about beliefs isn’t very common when friends gather. Many seem to have no particular interest in a deeper look into the beliefs of the SDA church (which is not to say all). We may only know how our Adventist friends and family feel about the church by which congregation they choose to join–if they have a choice. As a whole I would say that members care much more about maintaining the cultural continuum–that is, they want to stay within the community. At least this has been my experience.

All this said I attended two Sabbath schools online last week because they are so easily available now, since the pandemic. There is just something about being with people who are familiar and who have shared experience. Humans crave it. Ironically one class was about the many forms of Adventism and I thought, “maybe I am just my own kind of Adventist”. I don’t know.

To Brittnie, I wish you peace on your journey through life.

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I too was told that. At the time it suited me since I was/am an introvert. As I aged I came to the conclusion that the only purpose of the church is as a social club.

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Perhaps it’s because you’re thinking about Church in terms of your own felt needs and experience, rather than how others may be feeling…If you’ve come to a place where you can look at biblical texts that strongly denounce homosexuality, and conclude that they don’t mean what they say, or no longer apply, it doesn’t mean everyone else has…and when you essentially say to people that they must overlook these plain texts in order to prove their love for you, it isn’t going over well…

do you remember being taught from before Cradle Roll that God designed two men to live together in intimacy in Eden…i don’t either…neither does anyone else…while you’ve gone through a lot of experience and change, others haven’t had your experience, and see no need to change…the fact that so many gay people now have found a way to live above the pull of their genes, without any reference to today’s notions of sexual orientation, only strengthens the resolve on the part of many that they aren’t going to budge on this issue…

but membership and inclusion are local church decisions, and the social club aspect of Church is something all churches need to consider…there are many individual churches now that have decided to be welcoming and affirming of openly active LGBT individuals…it isn’t really true anymore that gay people can’t find church fellowship within adventism…i think if your aim is to change our Fundamentals to be LGBT inclusive, or in some way force conservative adventism within NAD or abroad to see things your way, you’re fighting a futile, pointless battle…but if your aim is to simply carve out a niche for yourself, where you can feel affirmed and fulfilled, i think that reality is already here…there’s really no need to get all worked up over the fact that everybody doesn’t see things in the way you do…

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Well, yea, that might be a stretch. But I expect you get the point of the video.

Actually, if you treat the creation and first-family story literally - as Ted and team insist we should do - then I would ask, who did Cain marry? There’s no record of him having sisters, and if he did, that would be sort of gross - and against the rules of the Hebrews that wrote the creation story, per Leviticus.


"Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over. Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. ” - Gen 4

I have questions:

  • At this point, according to the story, there were three people on the earth: Adam, Eve, and Cain. Who was Cain worried would kill him?
  • What was the mark for? Couldn’t God have just told Adam and Eve to not kill Cain? And why would they do that, anyway?

“So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.”

I have more questions:

  • Where did Cain get this wife of his? Was she some woman he found in the land of Nod? Where did she come from?
  • Also, who did Cain build a city for? There were 5 people on the planet at this point, according to the story. And how does one build a city all by themselves? Seems like a rather big project, and pointless, given there were basically no people to live in it?
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Yes, there is something to be said for familiarity of a community, especially after many years. Nothing is perfect. As long as the positive outweighs the negative it’s worth the effort. Personally, I would get wrestles sitting there and not being able to discuss anything I heard (in church). Even SS is what I have come to call an Adventist pep-rally.

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