Dennis J. Fischer After being devout, third-generation Seventh-day Adventists for more than forty years, my wife Sylvia and I requested our names to be removed from their membership records. Following several delays, the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Lincoln, Nebraska, finally honored our request eight months later on October 16, Sevnth joyfully consider this date our Freedom Day from spiritual, psychological, and monetary abuse.
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Belief transitions, adventisf best, are not without trauma. Our journey in Adventism included dedicated service in both this country and overseas. My wife spent part of her early years in Baghdad, Iraq with her missionary parents. She was baptized in the Jordan River during one of her trips to the Holy Land.
I have served the SDA denomination as a credentialed literature evangelist, credentialed missionary, and d minister. Consequently, our lives reflect an intense denominational identity. First of all, we dearly love the Adventist people. They will always be in our hearts and prayers.
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Many of our friends and relatives still remain in the complicated grip of Adventism. I actively conduct an online, chaplaincy ministry to reach struggling Adventists with the arventist gospel of Jesus Christ. Worse yet, sad to say, they employ very unkind remarks whenever their legalism is challenged.
Sometimes I feel like Paul when he was repeatedly thrown out of the synagogues of his day. Even though God called and commissioned Paul to preach to the Gentiles, he had a real burden for advemtist struggling legalists he knew so well. Amid the vastness of cyberspace, many honest-hearted Adventists are discovering, for the first time, that Jesus Christ is indeed our True Sabbath Rest.
Jesus is the reality and substance of the Old Covenant shadows, that included the festal, Weekly Sabbath given exclusively to the Hebrew people see Col. It is exciting to know that heaven has a party when Jesus is born in a new heart.
Sylvia and I were very busy with raising a family we have three daughtersworking wholeheartedly for the denomination, and later operating a family business. Satan truly delights in our excessively busy lives. It always seemed easier to quickly consult the writings of Ellen White than to personally study the Bible in depth. Our home was saturated and imbalanced with stacks of books attributed to Ellen White. These books were beautifully bound with matching color schemes. Some of her books are now being rewritten into a contemporary English style.
Unfortunately, this maneuver will make it much easier to hide her rampant plagiarism. The Bible always had lots of competition from other Adventist publications as well. With any spare moments, we were engrossed in literally scores of books, periodicals, and newsletters that largely dictated our subculture. We thought we knew everything, you would only have had to ask us for all the right answers.
Dat an aberrant closed theology, it is no surprise that we found virtue in our closed minds. Sadly, we even made fun chag people who believed in biblical Christianity like we do now. They think they know more than the entire church. One hundred percent of the tithe funds go directly to several levels of hierarchical, administrative organizations. The local church properties are wholly-owned by the Conference. Ministers are appointed and paid by the Conference. Generally, only one offering per month is allowed for church expense—many chst contributions are also remitted to the Conference treasury.
The hierarchy essentially exerts almost total control over the local churches. Largely, these aberrant linguistic problems have roots in their faulty hermeneutics. As a young minister, father, and departmental leader, I had little time to even think about questioning anything as I weekly preached perfectionist-type sermons to a receptive audience.
The Lord has graciously forgiven me. Truly, God redeems our past to advance His kingdom.
Additionally, He restores the years that the locusts ate—nothing is lost. Praise God!
We soon discovered that sincerity of belief is no substitute for biblical truth. Our exodus from Adventism took several years of diligent prayer and intensive Bible study. Even though we were deeply involved in Adventism, we knew very little of what was going on. It was very difficult to obtain information about anything that the church hierarchy did not see fit to divulge. All of this changed, of course, with the dawn of the Internet. The arrival of online religion is as consequential as when the printing presses brought the written word to medieval Cchat.
With religious literacy dramatically on the upswing, cyber-Christians find new xay for personal freedom in Christ.
Cyberspace affords us the priesthood of all believers—an equal playing field. Information technology is a tool that empowers and enriches the lives of even the lowest social class in our society. While cyberspace is no equal substitute for in-person relationships, it does avail us of meaningful, worldwide Christian fellowship e. The Internet was a ificant and valuable tool in our quest for truth.
A wide spectrum of Seventh-day Adventists know very little about their history, doctrines, organizational structure, and governing policies. When an inquiring member determines that even one doctrinal pillar is not Biblical, it clearly creates concern that other teachings may not pass close scrutiny as well. Adventists insist, however, that both books are ificant in supporting their Sabbatarian views.
Jesus is not their final test. The final test centers upon the created instead of upon the Creator Himself. Most current SDA beliefs were formulated by their Arian pioneers. Consequently, some of their doctrines are still tainted by this heresy.
In other words, they believe that God helps us to save ourselves. This view seriously compromises the divinity of Jesus Christ. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was not formally organized until It truly boggles our minds how we could have believed all these things for so many years. We give praise to our Lord Jesus for our priceless freedom from the slavery and bondage of legalism. The Holy Spirit is fully able, willing, and anxious to lead us into Biblical truth.
Jesus is not merely a part of our life as an intellectual assentas we formerly experienced, but rather He is the central focus of our life. We have an entirely new identity in Christ. With His own timing, God called us out of Adventism. The Former Adventist Fellowship www. Foremost and best of all, the inerrant Holy Scriptures, in their original autographs, provide us with an unparalleled, all-sufficient revelation for Christian faith and practice 2 Timothy Often even one word in a passage makes the difference between life and death.
Adventists, on the other hand, hold to merely thought inspiration. This non-verbal view allows many mistakes and contradictions like Ellen White has in her writings. The New Testament, being a later, clearer, superior, superseding, and final revelation, must be allowed to interpret the Old Testament—not the other way around.
Thus, Christ becomes secondary in many of their doctrines to this very day—a point they would readily deny.
The fact is that most of their doctrines were formulated under their Arian pioneers. For example, it is most difficult—if not impossible—for them to exalt Christ above the importance of the legal Sabbath. Instead, it is the Jewish Sabbath. If in doubt, simply give it a try! We rest where God rests—in Christ and His finished work see Hebrews 4. Jesus Christ is our True Sabbath Rest. Soul sleep and conditionalism, together with their exclusive investigative judgment theory, affects the nature of Christ, the nature of man, and the nature of salvation soteriology.
This further s for the elective abortions performed in some Adventist hospitals. Obviously, with this aberrant and immoral view, there is a diminished respect for the sanctity of human life. It is fair to say that they got hung up on the Fourth Commandment considered the Third Commandment by some Christian communities.
Interestingly, a large segment of Seventh-day Adventists are pro-life, but their official church position is pro-choice. This confirms the fact that there are many, conscientious, honest-hearted Adventists that challenge hierarchical statements and position papers from their General Conference. It can be argued that the SDA emphasis on physical health stems from their view of the nature of man—the body entity being all they really have.
Adventists define the soul as merely their breath air or life principle spark of life in their nostrils that automatically returns to God at death.
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They further believe that their body becomes nonexistent, yet somehow sleeps. Something that does not exist in any form certainly does not await anything—much less a resurrection. Their view provides absolutely no continuity of personhood.
Chqt also believe that they die just like animals, with the only difference being that they are in the remembrance of God. To them, the soul is not a separate entity that God calls home at death. Biblically, death is defined as separation from God e. Linguistically, the same words in Scripture do not always mean the same thing in various time frames.