Adventist pastor contemplates his exit – An interview (part 2)

Be sure you to read Part 1 of the interview with this Adventist pastor contemplating his exit. Let’s pray for this pastor as he makes tough choices and has critical conversations during his transition. We know God will continue to order his steps.

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

A. Timing. I believe that it is absolutely paramount to get out from the SDA church; however, timing must be carefully weighed. My current plan is to resign at the end of the year (only 5 months left). I want to finish out this year with my church in order that we can complete a few projects that were started.

Q. Describe the emotional tension that you live with.

A. All I know is Adventism. I am a 4th generation SDA. My brothers are SDA pastors. I went to SDA schools. My point is that my entire world is Adventism. The strong emotional tension is inherent from my SDA culture. I was taught that Adventism was “the truth;” therefore, I accepted all that was taught as 100% truth. I’m realizing that many of my “learned truths” aren’t completely “biblical truths.”It’s tough because I now have to question everything that I believe to see if it lines up with the Word of God. I have my wife & children who are all asking me questions about various issues and their accuracy from His Word. I’m now battling to undo SDA thinking in order to have a Christian worldview.

contemplates exit2

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

A. I’m excited about finally getting to fellowship with other believers – non-SDA’s. I’m interested in enjoying a worship service with my friends at their church without thinking that I’m in Babylon. I am looking forward to leading a group of believers who are totally dependent upon His matchless grace. I’m looking forward to not being made to teach the Bible plus Ellen…

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

A. Of all the reactions, my family is the one that will probably be the most drastic. I know that I am already starting to lose some of my friends, but my family, I fear, will make me feel like I am the devil’s child. As for my supervisors… they believe that I am young and upcoming. They all believe that we have a great future in the SDA church – I am sure when I place my resignation in their hands, it will cause many of the older ministers to try to convince me otherwise. I’m prepared.

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

A. I don’t believe I am feeling any pressure to do either. My convictions, however, are making it very difficult for me to continue to teach people and baptize people into a system that I believe isn’t right

We look forward to your questions and comments.

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21 thoughts on “Adventist pastor contemplates his exit – An interview (part 2)

  1. Dear Pastor, I can relate, and I am praying for you and your family. At the same time I am excited for you. I have been out of Adventism for a year now. It was not easy I will say but it gets better and better sweeter and sweeter as you come to understand the gospel and the love that Jesus has for us. I too was born and raised in the church and believed I had the truth and everybody else was wrong ! My heart goes out to my friends and family who are still in… They don’t know what they are missing. MY CHAINS ARE GONE, “I am no longer a slave of fear” I have been bought and redeemed by the blood of my precious Jesus and ALL MY SINS ….. Past present and future has been forgiven so I live in adoration and praise to HIM. Sunday has a new meaning, Easter has a new meaning. There are many more like yourself out there and they are many books available of testimonies of pastors like you who shared how they made it out including pastor Ben who interviewed you. Welcome to mainstream Christianity… I can assure you the only regrets you will have is ” why it took me so long”. 😄. May God give you the grace and the courage to press on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marlenie, I thank you for your prayers. This has been one of the hardest decisions of our lives, but I am grateful for people like you and others who continually bathe us in your prayers.

      To God be the glory.

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      • Pastor, you are very welcome. If there is anything I can do to help, I will be more than willing. I have been there and I only had the support of a friend and one of my daughters. God bless

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  2. Pastor: I am a little concerned about continuing to be associated with something that’s wrong until it’s convenient to leave. ‘Not liking something’, and something ‘being wrong’ are two different things. If I don’t like the way some things are done, I can leave at a convenient time, but when I know something is not right how can I keep doing it until the time is convenient for me to give it up? I pray that GOD leads you in the path of righteousness,
    Curious

    Marlenie: worshiping on a certain day does not make us free of sin or fear. I don’t understand why you have to worship on a certain day or not worship on a certain day to feel “free”. We are free by the blood of Jesus. We are forgiven because of his mercy and grace Everyone that believes in HIM shall have eternal life. Sunday through Saturday does not make this happen. Only CHRIST living in us can make this happen.
    May God continue to be with you and keep you free indeed.
    Curious

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    • I might have send the wrong impression that worshiping on a certain day will set me free of sin or fear…my apologies that’s not what I meant.
      I have been in the SDA church for all my life, 45 of those since I could think for myself. I was legalistic., I was in bondage, a slave to doctrine, to fear of knowing if I was saved or not which could change for day to day.
      NOW I am free of that slavery, that fear once I understood what Christ did for me… Once I understood the gospel. I can go to church on any day and worship ,however the church I attend has services on Sunday and Sunday has a new meaning for me and so does Easter. Of course going to church on Sunday- Saturday does not save me.
      I am assured of my salvation, and yes it’s because of the blood of Jesus Christ and He has set me free from the bondage of sin and slavery of doctrines among other things.

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      • I believe with time as the pastor continues to study and pray he might not stay for the remainder of the year. It takes time for such a big change, and for some it’s easier and for others it’s harder. But then one morning he might wake up and say, no more of this.. We can only pray for him that He will allow God to lead guide and direct him.

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    • Hello “Curious”

      I thank you for your remarks. I would like to comment on the “convenient” statement you made. If you review my original comments again, you’ll notice that I didn’t say that I was waiting until it was “convenient,” rather the timing of departure was paramount. What I am, in essence, saying is that even in my leaving I need to be sure that everything is done “decently & in order.” I am not looking for a convenient time, as I don’t believe there will be one; I have begun my exit plan with my current new members in mind.

      I mentioned that there were a few projects that I want to finish. I have already advised my head elder of my decision. I have already begun relinquishing most of my duties among the elders. I am currently spending my time teaching my leaders how to lead. I pastor a fairly small church and have already been asked by my head elder & friend NOT to leave yet; at least not until I have helped to train him how to run the church. My not leaving has NOTHING to do with me, but instead, part of my job as a pastor was to help empower people. My elder has asked a simple request, before I leave. That, I’d like to honor.

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  3. I do not want this to sound like an attack/argument so I will not respond to you again, but I am really trying to grasp this – why are you training someone to lead out in something you do not believe in? I will end by saying this – I do have a family member(former SDA pastor) who also relinquished his position because of some concerns . I personally have not had the opportunity to speak with him, but I will like to know more. Praying for you and your families.
    Love in Jesus

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  4. I do not want this to sound like an attack/argument, so I will not respond again, but I am really trying to grasp this – why are you training someone to lead out in something you do not believe in? If God is leading you to leave, you are not being obedient by hanging around helping others continue the same thing God is leading you away from. I’m praying for you.
    Curious

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    • Curious,

      Thank you again, for your words. I have asked God for the appropriate time to leave. All too often, we make decisions based on reactions. We practice the “if and then” ideology. The truth is, God doesn’t function like that at all. Many times, God gives a command, but doesn’t execute His plan until a short time later.
      In the case of King David – he was anointed king, but didn’t take up his position for over 13 years later. If David knew the truth about his kingship, then he should have immediately chosen to move out of Jesse’s house & advise Saul that he will take over from now on. The truth is that God gave him the “truth,” but advised him that it wasn’t time for him to make his move.
      Jesus knew, at 12 years old, that it was His mission to be the Messiah… why didn’t He immediately leave home and start living His new life. Or better, He knew that He was to die… Since He knew the “truth” about His calling, why didn’t He just allow the Pharisees to kill Him long time before He actually died..?

      All of those questions share the same answer… because it wasn’t their time. In Colossians, in regards to Jesus, it says that “in the fullness of time…” that text informs us that EVERYTHING needs to be under the timing of the Almighty. It is our job to always remember to “wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He WILL strengthen our heart.”

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  5. I don’t necessairily have a reply to what has been said; however, I do need some support and may have questions. After many years I am leaving the 7th Day Adventist church and quite frankly feel like I’m struggling to get “out of the boat”. Since I am a widow and have no family members in the SDA church, I do feel quite alone. And yet, I know with Jesus I am never alone. Are there books, CDs or articles that can help?

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    • Sarah I can relate in so many ways.
      I am here to help you.
      Thanks to so many wonderful people who has written books and articles on how they were able to leave seventh day Adventism.
      It will be 2 years in June since I left the SDA church , I was born and raised in for at least 45 years. No regrets. It was not easy but with God all things are possible.
      I would love to speak to you.
      My email address is Marlenie13@yahoo.com. Please feel free to email me and I look forward hearing from you.

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    • Sarah, I have been out now for a few months and am more and more excited everyday. I do know that there are sites that are available for your help. There is the Former Adventist Forum that is currently operating.

      Also, I am in the process of creating a venue for former, questioning, and transitioning SDA’s. If you would like to be a part of our new ministry, by all means, you are welcome (Anyone on here transitioning is welcome). Just let me know and I’ll give you more details.

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  6. Must be a tough thing to do. Adventism’s problem is not so much its doctrine as the power of the people in the conference office and their abuse of it. If you do not see things there way or do things there way you are in a lot of trouble. I know people and pastors in the Adventist church and this has been their major cry. You tow the line or. . . else. Politics is killing the AC

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    • Dee,
      In addition to what you said I must say their doctrine is a MAJOR concern because the basic pillars of the church, the ones that constitute the SDA beliefs or what they think makes them unique , different or better than everyone else is not biblically founded.

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      • Marlenie, you are 100% correct. The church doctrine is the reason that I finally left. Looking at the church, at face value, we see that it was founded on the false premise that Jesus was coming back. That was already something that Christ said should NEVER be done – predict His exact coming.
        Then, after that prophecy failed, the SDA church plugged in the “Investigative Judgement” theory. That “new theology” had no biblical backing – which means that it is now the 2nd falsehood that the church was built upon.
        After those two, then EGW began having visions which span various topics and she becomes the “prophetess…” Though some of her prophecies failed; though she didn’t practice what she preached; though her words were often times contradictory to the bible; though she often contradicted herself; though she has countless areas of plagiarism… the church continues to esteem her.

        So far, we have seen that there are 3 VERY shaky foundational pieces to the SDA church. Here is the question… if you have a chair with 3 broken legs, do you feel comfortable enough to trust your sitting to it? Or better, do you trust flying in a plane that has 3 broken/failed engines? So how is it that someone could feel comfortable and trust their SOUL in the hands of a church that has AT LEAST 3 broken foundational legs?

        Scary though…

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      • I totally agree. It is scary. Imagine not even the Son of man knows God’s return according to the bible and a church was basing their beliefs upon that!!!! What is it going to take for them to realize
        that they are TOTALLY WRONG? I guess just continue praying for them I guess

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    • Dee, Adventism’s problem IS it’s doctrine. One of the most disheartening things is that it teaches its members that it has “the truth.” Here is what that does to its hearers… It causes one to “let down their guard” in learning. When I continually hear that it is the truth, I no longer feel compelled to research it and compare it for accuracy; I am more inclined to take it at face value.
      With that in mind, it becomes difficult to believe that someone would leave “the truth.” That is why, in the Adventist church, if you want your name removed from the church role, there are only 3 options…
      1.) Transfer it to another SDA church
      2.) Die
      3.) Have it removed for reason of “heresy.”

      Think about that for a moment… if you are NOT leaving to go to another church, but rather, wish to have your name taken from the SDA membership to become – say, Baptist; the SDA church will remove your name and call you a heretic! Wow. Why so harsh? Because the Adventist church believes and teaches that it ALONE has the truth and anyone who leaves is in error.

      That is one major fundamental problem with it’s doctrine.

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      • Well said I could not agree more. So true, when you have the truth you really let your guards down. Yes why keep studying and searching you already got it and poor those that don’t. Wow! That’s powerful. Thanks for sharing

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  7. I left SDA just 3 years ago this month. It’s been an amazing journey! I currently don’t subscribe to any religion. The biggest thing that turned me away from traditional Christianity was the teaching ECT. God is LOVE and in Him is no darkness. Jesus saved ALL at the cross as clearly taught in scriptures, but buried by tradition. This is the gospel I can get excited about sharing, but most churches will kick me out for such “heresy”. I’ve learned I can trust my heart and don’t have to shove it in a dark corner to accept something that turns God into a monster. It’s not just SDA pastors leaving, but many pastors from traditional christianity are also leaving to preach the true gospel of Jesus’ all inclusive love!!

    Like

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