Q&A with a pastor at the crossroads (REPOST)

Image: istockphotoWhen my resignation became public, I received a phone call from a pastor-friend encouraging me and telling me, in essence, “I’m next.” God used him to encourage me when others were trying to sew seeds of doubt. I’ve asked him to tell his story of pastoring at the crossroads. For obvious reasons, I am featuring his interview anonymously, but I invite you to pray for him during this transition.

Q. How long have you been a Seventh-day Adventist pastor?

A. I’ve been a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 10 years.

Image: istockphotoQ. What made you start questioning the doctrines?

A. I made it a habit to read my Bible from cover to cover twice a year using different versions of the Bible. The more I read my Bible, the more I began to realize that many of the doctrinal teachings I learned when I became an Adventist did not harmonize with what I was reading in the Bible.

Q. What kind of tension has this created for you as an SDA pastor?

A. The tension it has created is in the area of evangelistic efforts.  Whereas I used to preach 4 week or more meetings teaching the doctrines of the church, I haven’t done so since I began questioning the doctrines.  I also refrain from preaching those particular doctrines whenever I preach as part of my weekly preaching schedule.  In my preaching, I stick to what I believe to be the central theme of the Bible and that is Christ and him crucified.

Q. What types of things do you do, unorthodox, to share the Gospel with your
members?

A. What I do to share the gospel with my members is preach the gospel.  I may not preach the Adventist doctrines in the traditional way that members are accustomed to hearing them, but my preaching is Christ-centered and gospel-centered.  My philosophy is I am never wrong for preaching Jesus and Jesus alone.  If my members are going to make accusations about my preaching then they are going to have to accuse me of preaching too much Jesus.  And if they feel I am preaching too much Jesus then it shows that they have the problem not me.  I am very upfront with my congregation and have let them know that they will hear Jesus preached from Sabbath to Sabbath and if they want to hear other stuff then this particular church is not for them at this time while I’m the pastor and they are welcome to find another church that will be more suitable to their spiritual needs.  Another way I share the gospel is through a weekly Bible study that I give where we study the Bible and the Bible only.  The Bible study provides the opportunity for the Bible to speak for itself concerning the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Q. What are some of your fears about leaving?

A. I can’t say that I have any fears about leaving, but I do believe that timing is important.  God has allowed me to open the eyes of many of my members to the importance of the gospel.  With this in mind, I am constantly praying and asking God to move me to the next phase of my ministry outside of the Adventist church whenever he is ready.  He has not done so as of yet, but I do feel that the time is drawing nearer.   I believe he hasn’t done so yet because those who I have been sharing the gospel with are still not ready to handle it on their own yet.  They need a little bit more time and teaching and then I believe my work will be done with them and the Lord will move me on and out of the Adventist ministry.

Q. How does your wife feel about leaving the SDA Church?

A. I shared with my wife what the Lord revealed to me as I read my Bible over and over again.  She was in full agreement and has supported me in my decision to leave when the Lord says it’s time.  She is looking forward to us doing ministry in a setting that she feels will bring us greater blessings from the Lord.

Q. Have you discussed these issues with anyone? Do you feel free to? Who can you talk to?

A. I have discussed my position with other pastors, but not in full detail.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to discuss this type of thing in full detail without there being some type of backlash.  I drop a few seeds here and there, but even that gets you labeled as having a rebellious mind.

Q. What is keeping you in the SDA ministry right now?

A. My work is not quite done so until that time I will remain in the Adventist church.

Q. What are some things you do to stay sane and avoid having to teach doctrines you don’t believe in?

A. If there is a doctrine that I don’t believe in that has to be preached or taught I usually bring in a speaker who will teach the doctrine so that I don’t have to preach or teach what I don’t believe.  This approach has not been a problem for me as of yet.

Q. Describe the emotional tension that you live with.

A. Emotionally it saddens me when I hear the work-based approach that many of my members subscribe to. I wish that I could show them the difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Adventist message, but I know that if I start to expose the SDA message then the gospel won’t be received in the right spirit.

Q. What are you looking forward to (beyond Adventism)?

A. I’m looking forward to pastoring a congregation where I can preach and teach the pure and undefiled gospel of Jesus Christ without having to worry about it coming back to haunt me or being labeled as rebellious by others.  I am looking forward to leading people who feel free to express their love for Jesus during the weekly worship service.  I look at my congregation from week to week and they have no joy in Jesus.  They look like they are in bondage and the truth is they are in bondage to what Paul calls ANOTHER gospel.

Q. How do you think friends, family, ministry supervisors, colleagues and congregation will receive your resignation?

A. I think it will be a shock to those in the Adventist community because it’s hard for SDA’s to believe that anybody would leave because of the message.  The message seems so solid so it can’t be the message, it has to be something more than that.

Q. Do you feel pressure from anyone to leave or stay?

A. I don’t feel any pressure to leave or stay.  I have a wonderful congregation and I feel bad that I will eventually leave them, but hopefully I will have sowed enough of the gospel seed before I leave that it will take root and sprout in my absence and those who I have taught the true gospel message will continue the work.

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4 thoughts on “Q&A with a pastor at the crossroads (REPOST)

  1. Thank you for this. I’m 7th day and things are confusing when it comes to doctrines. When it comes to Jesus its simple. I’m glad he is preaching Jesus.

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  2. I don’t know when this article was posted, nor if u are still an adventist, but I was one of those members for decades who came to church week after week singing those songs with no joy or passion. Growing up in the Adventist church, attending their schools and universities gave me a feeling of entitlement to the kingdom because I was “doing” everything there was to “do” ie tithing, keeping the sabbath, not eating pork, etc. Then I grew up, met a woman who had baptist background, and was led to a chuch that teaches Gods grace and salvation in Jesus alone and am now experiencing a joy I have NEVER experienced before. May God continue to use your ministry to build his kingdom.

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  3. My wife and I are members of the SDA. I have a problem knowing what to do.
    I have explained my wife why the doctrine and the “prophesies” of the SDA are not Biblical, she knows what they teach is wrong but she is been clear, she won’t leave the church. Evey time I attend another church there are marital problems. It’s been hard also because it’s hard to find a good church and whenever I attend another church all they teach is morality and self-esteem speech. I don’t know if I should stay an try to share the gospel with as many as God let me. Or just stop going at all and be faithful to Jesus .

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    • Folks if all of you will do what I did when the SDA started telling me about this prophetess I automatically knew that something was wrong. Because all the church could do was talk about Ellen G. White and when something came up they had and they always have to find out what Ellen G. White said about the subject and Wow! They make sure to do everything Ellen G. White says which was and is disgusting in itself. I was trained to do research and one of the SDA Adventist Pastors challenged me to investigate the William Miller fiasco where he for what ever reason apparently never read Matthew 24 and 25 and many additional scripture that tell us that no one will know the day or hour of Jesus’ return but Father God. Yet the seventh Day Church went along with the William Miller prophecies and also even Ellen G. White all her life boasted that she would be alive when Jesus returned. Folks –> SDA please listen to me a researched and did a due-diligence on the SDA Church, their so called prophetess that many even until this day says that she is something special but I found that this women was nothing more elegant than a false prophetess, plagiarist, liar of the third kind including lying about being close to God and that she even told everyone that she verbalized with angels and even God. What I found in my research of over 3 years was that all these Pastors that are learning the truth and are now following Jesus and not the lies of false prophetess one being the SDA is the remnant Church when the brain washed SDA continue to believe the Ellen G. White stupidity and made up doctrines and these poor ignorant people continue to believe all that inventive self glorifying made up doctrinal ignorance like Ellen G. White said on many occasion and it was Journalized in the Churches where she spoke were so dumb and because she was such an opportunist when she would look like she was close to God and the angels that she made up one lie after another and she gloried in all that… Hos many times in my finding did Ellen G. White in the past say that God told her this and God told that and the angels talked to her all the time. Even the SDA Church has been saying last and this year in my investigation that no way was this mouth running dreamer a prophetess or as I said before she was nothing more elegant than a lying false prophetess or a generational inventive liar. In my investigations of many of those in her days I found so many things that proved so many imperfections in the SDA doctrine that I am sure that Ellen G. White in her so-called books
      she wrote things that changed the truths of the Bible and I believe with all my heart and many EXSDA Pastors and EXSDA Members believe that Ellen G. White violated Revelation Chapter 22: 18 and 19. It is believed that this woman of lies did change the truth of the Bible and she may be suffering all the plagues of the Bible and she may have had her name removed from the book of life as per Revelation 22: verses 18 and 19. The reason I think this is because she because she was very arrogant by changing the Bible in our writings which is the same as teaching untruths. I do believe that this woman is in Hell right now or will be because of her past ignorant lying and false stories concerning traveling in space and her lies just goes on and on…

      I believe in my Lord and Savior and I don’t need Ellen G. White to tell me what my God is telling in my Bible. I really feel say for this poor woman due to what I have discovered with all the investigative tools we have in this day and time to learn the truth.

      The truth will make you free!!!!!

      And I am free indeed.

      So many SDA really don’t believe hardly anything concerning their own doctrine but they are afraid to depart the Church until God inters and teaches then the truth and then they depart
      the SDA Church for a real Jesus believing and faith driving Church and we don’t need Ellen G. White to mix us up and change what God wants us to know!!!!

      Please SDA research the early so-called Church, William Miller and Ellen G. White and you will come to the same conclusion as I did… The SDA church is not a church it is a CULT!!!!!!

      A proud Ex visitor of the SDA church that listened to God and laughed at the stupidity of the SDA doctrine and the guidance of such a proven liar as Ellen G. White and the Ellen G. White Estate… Check out the Estate and you can find all the lies you can stand at that place. It made me want to run a fast as I could to get away from those people. Go talk to them sometimes and then go ahead and depart and start attending a real Bible, Jesus and faith driven Church.

      Better hurry because the Lord is about to return!!!!!!!!!!!!

      One who knows and one who was led by God to discover the truth and the truth will make you free!!!!!!! Please don’t continue believing doctrinal lies!!!!!

      Jim

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