Interafaith: Comparative religion: world religions

Go Back   Interfaith forums > Religion, Faith, and Theology > Abrahamic Religions > Christianity




Christianity Christian issues and discussions of Christianity.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 05-21-2006, 05:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
Nimrod
 
China Cat Sunflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,922
China Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really nice
Ex-SDA

Why I left the SDA church:

My dad is an ordained elder and retired big wheel in the church organization. I guess the truth is that even though I was raised to be a Bible whiz kid and groomed to follow in my dadís footsteps, I never really believed in it. As a kid I had heard so many stories about conversion experiences that I was just waiting for something like that to happen to me-and it never did. My parents never bothered to prepare us kids for any kind of future beyond the safety of the churchís inner elite. I got to the point where I needed to decide if I believed in it or not. I didnít want to be a fake believer just because it made my life easier to just go along with the program.

I donít want to run anyone elseís religion down. I can only speak for myself, and I donít assume that my experience is, or should be someone elseís. I was born into the inner circle, the patriarchal elite of the SDA church. Things are different when youíre raised on the inside. I found that I could easily play the role that was expected of me as the son of a charismatic, and extremely well thought of Elder and big-wig insider without really having to believe in what I was acting out. . The adoration and respect people felt for my father was automatically extended to me, whether I deserved it or not. It was so easy, and so irresistible to soak up all that attention. The funny thing is, even at the youngest age I felt superior to, and disdainful of the rank and file members. I was royalty, they commoners. How twisted is that? But thatís how it was for me.

I started studying the Bible for myself, trying to make the connections that underpinned the theology and dogma of the church. Some, maybe most people just swallow what the preacher, or church creed says because they canĎt get their mind around the complexity of the foundational aspects of their belief system, so they just accept it and go on, but I couldnít do that because I HAD the biblical knowledge, and that left me without an excuse. So I embarked on a journey that I hoped would confirm what I was supposed to believe, and in the process make a believer out of me. It didnít work out quite that way, though. Not only did my study convince me that the biblical underpinnings of Seventh-day Adventism were based on a contorted and purposely twisted misreading of the OT, but I found the entire Jesus as planetary savior/messiah/Logos thing to be a series of deliberate misrepresentations of concepts belonging to other religions.

Chris
China Cat Sunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2006, 05:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
Give Us This Day...
 
Prober's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,258
Prober is on a distinguished road
Re: Ex-SDA

Wow!

China Cat's story is very similar to mine. It's just that, when I studied the Bible, I kept finding the same truth I was taught as a child. It seems so much clearer now and I can't imagine it any other way. Like I said earlier, I'm always keeping an open mind with regard to conditioning, etc.
Prober is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2006, 06:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Faithfulservant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 2,792
Faithfulservant has a spectacular aura aboutFaithfulservant has a spectacular aura aboutFaithfulservant has a spectacular aura about
Re: Ex-SDA

Ok to start I need to explain the relationship I had with God pre-SDA. I had a close walk with Him since I can remember at the age of 3. I was baptized lutheran as a young child and as I grew up I mostly attended baptist churches. He gave me such a large measure of faith (I thought) ! also had me a craving of end-time prophesy since I was 12 and heard about the end times and Jesus's return. About 9 years ago I got a pamphlet in the mail with large lettering End-time prophecies promising all the answers to bible prophesy etc.... and it listed a local church that I didnt know anything about.

Oh I loved Jesus so much and I thought I knew everything I needed to know.. but let me tell you.. My lack of biblical understanding was attacked on a spiritual level.

I attended the seminar and I remember it like it was yesterday.. the first class was something basic like Daniel and the statue.. and the kingdoms you all know what im talking about Im sure.

The pastor and his wife were wonderful and they loved Christ and I identified with it.. they were coming to my home and calling from the get go..

The classes became a little bit more.. ya know.. shocking in their messages.. I could accept the vegetarian bit.. It made sense to me the way they explained it.. Jesus being the archangel Michael was a bit much but yeah ok. Sabbath keeping was a big one but I could accept it given the biblical reasoning( even though I had problems beliving that the 144,000 were sabbath keepers.. ) I had huge issues with them forcing Ellen White on me .. the pressure to read her from members of the church and clergy was amazing.. You would almost think it was more important than the bible itself.. and the way they spoke of her.. she was Jesus Christ! But.. the clincher for me was it.. let me tell you I lost my dad when I was 12 to cancer.. and my comfort was from a verse my father gave me before he died... and it was also a promise that I would see him someday.

The part of the SDA seminar i could not deal with was at the end when I was truly sucked in ...we had no souls.that when we died we slept until Christ returned.. umm hell no! I had an .instant breakdown and bawled in the church bathroom with the pastors wife sitting outside the stall telling me how much better that was.. he was truly at peace being oblivious and he doesnt have to see me suffer here on earth.. etc.. .whatever...

The doubts kicked in.. I was a wreck.. here was a man that knew the bible better than me telling me that everything I grew up thinking... was wrong. If those things were wrong.. maybe these things are wrong too.. maybe there is no God and all the athiests are right. I was spiritually dead for about4 years.. I didnt read my bible I didnt pray.. I got into tarot and astrology.. watching shows about ppl being able to talk to dead ppl because I was terrified that my dad was gone .. and nothing was left of him. I tried to find the peace I had with God through supernatural means..

One day I was driving to work and randomly switch the radio station and stopped dead cold.. There was a man speaking and I couldnt turn the station.. His name was Justin Alfred and the radio show was called "To Every Man an Answer" Mind you.. I avoided EVERYTHING religious.. I wouldnt have anything to do with anything about God. but this voice.. was compelling.

I listened everyday for 2 weeks then I prayed for the first time in years and I opened my bible.

Its a call in radio show where you call in with biblical and religious questions and these men try to answer the questions using the bible.. The questions asked were key ones.. Do we have souls.. Are we held to the law.. Do we have to keep the sabbath.. etc.. 2 weeks and almost every question was asked that the SDA church had screwed up my head with. I read my bible.. I read it for myself and relearned everything I had to learn... I dont listen to any man now.. I ask God through prayer fasting and meditation of the word if Im searching for answers... The Holy Spirit has yet to fail me since I returned.

Im at peace again and my prayer for SDA church is that God forgive them for causing me to stumble and for the members of SDA church is that they discover the true freedom that Jesus Christ brings us because I felt the chains of bondage the short month I attended that church.. and I felt the lack of the Spirit in that church with lukewarm worship and over emphesis on tithing and the law.


Edit: Thought of a couple things more.. the seminar also taught that baptism was a requirement for salvation.. that keeping the law was a requirement for salvation..

anything that teaches Jesus + something else = Salvation is wrong in my book.
Faithfulservant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2006, 06:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Faithfulservant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 2,792
Faithfulservant has a spectacular aura aboutFaithfulservant has a spectacular aura aboutFaithfulservant has a spectacular aura about
Re: Ex-SDA

This whole "conditioning" thing is a trip to me.. I remember at the age of 3 holding conversations with God and getting answers. I personally believe what Jesus said.. My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.. I believe that as one of the flock I spooked and ran but yeah He called me back I believe we are allowed to spook or go explore away from the flock but He calls us back once we see theres nothing out there..

Heres a poem that defines it for me.

The Story of a Stray Lamb

The Shepherd loved His little lamb,
And gave it His tender care...
And followed it with His loving eyes
As it wandered here and there.

And as He sat by His grazing flock
Who so meekly His voice obeyed,
He pondered sadly His little lamb
As again and again it strayed.

The little lamb had a loving heart,
And adored His Shepherd, true,
But would turn aside and seek his own way
As lambs will so often do.

With His gentle voice the Shepherd called,
To His loved and straying lamb,
"Come back, little one, for you are not safe
Unless you are where I am."

But still the lamb would soon forget
And unthinkingly wander away,
And not really noticing what he did,
From the Shepherd's side would stray.

Until one day, the Shepherd kind
Took His rod in His gentle hand,
And what He then did seemed so cruel
That the lamb could not understand.

For with one sharp and well-aimed blow
Down the rod so swiftly came
That it broke the leg of the little lamb
And left it crippled, and lame.

Then the little lamb, with a cry of pain,
Fell down upon his knees...
And looked up at his Shepherd, as though to say,
"Won't you explain this, please?"

Then he saw the love in the Shepherd's eyes
As the tears ran down His face,
As He tenderly set the broken bone,
And bound it back in it's place.

Now he was utterly helpless,
He could not even stand!
He must trust himself completely
To his Shepherd's loving hand.

Then day by day, 'till the lamb was healed
From the flock he was kept apart...
And carried about in the Shepherd's arms,
And cradled near to His heart.

And the Shepherd would whisper gentle words
Into his now listening ear...
Thus he heard sweet words of love
That the other sheep could not hear.

He felt the warmth of the Shepherd's arms
And the beat of His faithful heart...
Until it came a blessing to seem,
By his weakness to be set apart.

Every need of the little lamb
By his Shepherd so fully was met
That through his brokenness he learned
What he never again would forget.

And as the broken bone was healed,
And once more became whole and strong...
Wherever the Shepherd's path would lead,
The lamb would follow along.

Thus at the Shepherd's side he walked
So closely, day by day,
For once a lamb has a broken leg
It will never again go astray.

For the cords of love had bound it so
In its hour of weakness and need...
That it had no desire to wander away,
When once again it was freed.

Could it be you are broken today,
And you cannot understand
The painful blow of the Shepherd's rod
Nor believe it came from His hand?

He only seeks, by this painful thing,
For a time to call you apart...
To cradle you close in His loving arms,
And draw you near to His heart.

So look up into your Shepherd's eyes,
And earnestly seek His face...
And prove in the hour of your weakness and need
The sufficiency of His grace.

For as you are borne in His loving arms,
And carried there, day by day...
He will bind you so close with the cords of His love
That never again will you stray!
-author unknown
Faithfulservant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2006, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
Give Us This Day...
 
Prober's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,258
Prober is on a distinguished road
Re: Ex-SDA

I must confess - I still wonder about Ellen White. Note, though, that she said "Don't quote Sister White, quote the Bible". I think Adventists make way too big of a deal about her. I think in the beginning they thought it was a cool thing to have a prophet and now realize that it makes them look kooky. The gift of prophecy is one of the gifts of the spirit, though, which continue through the "later days".

Also, I believe "the just shall live by faith". Faith in Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. Jesus said "If you love me, keep my commandments" and "by their fruits ye shall know them".

You don't have to have fruit (good works) on your tree to be a fruit tree (to be saved). It's just how you are recognized as a fruit tree.

My prayer is that I don't push anyone away from Christ with my comments.

Please remember me in your prayers.
Prober is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 05:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
General Member
 
AletheiaRivers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 176
AletheiaRivers is on a distinguished road
Re: Ex-SDA

Hey Chris. Thanks for sharing that. It sounds similar to my story as a JW in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by China Cat Sunflower
but I found the entire Jesus as planetary savior/messiah/Logos thing to be a series of deliberate misrepresentations of concepts belonging to other religions.
Question: Does that (the above) make it (the 'thing' ) more or less true for you?
AletheiaRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 01:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
Nimrod
 
China Cat Sunflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,922
China Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really nice
Re: Ex-SDA

Hey Chris. Thanks for sharing that. It sounds similar to my story as a JW in many ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by China Cat Sunflower
but I found the entire Jesus as planetary savior/messiah/Logos thing to be a series of deliberate misrepresentations of concepts belonging to other religions.


Question: Does that (the above) make it (the 'thing' ) more or less true for you?



I just don't think you can buy it all off the rack in one conveniently packaged set. I do understand what the Logos is, but I don't see the connection between that and a Jesus who is supposed to save me from my sins (whatever that means). What sins?

My question to myself is: "what do I want relgion or spirituality to do for me?" Do I need an emotional crutch? Am I afraid of Hell? Am I afraid of my own death or the loss of loved ones at death? Do I need a social identity--a group to merge my mentality with? Does it help me maintain ties with my family? Am I just a hopless cretin crud of a human being without it? Well...no, none of those things.

I think it has to do with what you might call the care of the self. Spirituality and the spiritual quest add ambience, depth, and dimension to life. We all have a philosophical side that needs to be nurtured. But I think a big factor is that we create our own mythology as we reflect on the story of our life that we are writing at every moment. We're starring in our own movie, and having a grasp of metaphysical themes, especially the classical ones, connects our individual story to the big human saga throughout history.

But it's more than that. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many pictures is a archetype or myth worth? Archetypes are storage devices. We don't have to remember a bazillion individual facts if we comprehend the larger concept behind the thing.

In the end, to me anyway, it's all about finding a way to live your life like a work of art. It's epicurian! Heaven, Hell, Angels and sailors and rich girls, dead and risen avatars, gurus and acetic tecniques, spiffy robes and funky turbans...that's all just whipped cream. There is no baby, just baby flavored bathwater.

Chris
China Cat Sunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 07:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
Episcopalian
 
lunamoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wild, Wild West
Posts: 3,915
lunamoth has a spectacular aura aboutlunamoth has a spectacular aura about
Re: Ex-SDA

Hi Chris, I just have to compliment you on your ability to turn a phrase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by China Cat Sunflower
I think it has to do with what you might call the care of the self. Spirituality and the spiritual quest add ambience, depth, and dimension to life. We all have a philosophical side that needs to be nurtured. But I think a big factor is that we create our own mythology as we reflect on the story of our life that we are writing at every moment. We're starring in our own movie, and having a grasp of metaphysical themes, especially the classical ones, connects our individual story to the big human saga throughout history.
Good observation, nicely stated. I think it also has to do with getting 'out' of ourself, but others get just as much milage out of thinking of it as getting 'into' ourself.

Quote:
In the end, to me anyway, it's all about finding a way to live your life like a work of art. It's epicurian!
Or eternal life?

Quote:
There is no baby, just baby flavored bathwater.
There's one of those memorable phrases...

cheers,
luna
lunamoth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 03:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
General Member
 
AletheiaRivers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 176
AletheiaRivers is on a distinguished road
Re: Ex-SDA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
I just don't think you can buy it all off the rack in one conveniently packaged set.
Agreed.
Quote:
My question to myself is: "what do I want relgion or spirituality to do for me?" Do I need an emotional crutch? Am I afraid of Hell? Am I afraid of my own death or the loss of loved ones at death? Do I need a social identity--a group to merge my mentality with? Does it help me maintain ties with my family?
Good questions. I think everyone should ask them. It's important that we are honest with ourselves as to why we do what we do.
Quote:
I think it has to do with what you might call the care of the self ... we create our own mythology as we reflect on the story of our life ... having a grasp of metaphysical themes, especially the classical ones, connects our individual story to the big human saga throughout history.
Ever read Thomas Moore? Care of the Soul? The Soul's Religion? Original Self? You might like him. He's my favorite.
Quote:
In the end, to me anyway, it's all about finding a way to live your life like a work of art.
Exactly. Art. Poetry. Mythology. Write your own story within the framework of the larger mythos.
AletheiaRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2006, 12:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
Nimrod
 
China Cat Sunflower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,922
China Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really niceChina Cat Sunflower is just really nice
Re: Ex-SDA

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamoth
Hi Chris, I just have to compliment you on your ability to turn a phrase.

cheers,
luna
Thanks Sis, that's really kind of you!

Chris
China Cat Sunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 07:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Dream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern USA
Posts: 3,677
Dream is just really niceDream is just really niceDream is just really niceDream is just really niceDream is just really nice
Re: Ex-SDA

Didn't know that Sunflower had been an SDA.
Dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
Executive Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 999
Ben Masada is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Re: Ex-SDA

Quote:
Originally Posted by China Cat Sunflower View Post
Why I left the SDA church:

My dad is an ordained elder and retired big wheel in the church organization. I guess the truth is that even though I was raised to be a Bible whiz kid and groomed to follow in my dad’s footsteps, I never really believed in it. As a kid I had heard so many stories about conversion experiences that I was just waiting for something like that to happen to me-and it never did. My parents never bothered to prepare us kids for any kind of future beyond the safety of the church’s inner elite. I got to the point where I needed to decide if I believed in it or not. I didn’t want to be a fake believer just because it made my life easier to just go along with the program.

I don’t want to run anyone else’s religion down. I can only speak for myself, and I don’t assume that my experience is, or should be someone else’s. I was born into the inner circle, the patriarchal elite of the SDA church. Things are different when you’re raised on the inside. I found that I could easily play the role that was expected of me as the son of a charismatic, and extremely well thought of Elder and big-wig insider without really having to believe in what I was acting out. . The adoration and respect people felt for my father was automatically extended to me, whether I deserved it or not. It was so easy, and so irresistible to soak up all that attention. The funny thing is, even at the youngest age I felt superior to, and disdainful of the rank and file members. I was royalty, they commoners. How twisted is that? But that’s how it was for me.

I started studying the Bible for myself, trying to make the connections that underpinned the theology and dogma of the church. Some, maybe most people just swallow what the preacher, or church creed says because they can‘t get their mind around the complexity of the foundational aspects of their belief system, so they just accept it and go on, but I couldn’t do that because I HAD the biblical knowledge, and that left me without an excuse. So I embarked on a journey that I hoped would confirm what I was supposed to believe, and in the process make a believer out of me. It didn’t work out quite that way, though. Not only did my study convince me that the biblical underpinnings of Seventh-day Adventism were based on a contorted and purposely twisted misreading of the OT, but I found the entire Jesus as planetary savior/messiah/Logos thing to be a series of deliberate misrepresentations of concepts belonging to other religions.

Chris

Hey Chris, perhaps you will take my post as a non sequitur, but you have reminded me of what happened to me twelve years ago here in Israel, which involved a family of five Seventh-Day Adventists. A widow mother with two boys and two girls.

They knocked at my door and, as I opened it, very politely, they asked if they could talk to me about Jesus. I said, no problem, please, make yourselves at home. It was on a Shabbat afternoon. That visit repeated itself for the next two months. My wife didn't like the idea at first, but eventually, agreed with the visits as she saw that they were very serious.


Suddenly, I noticed a change in them. They were listening more and talking much less. After about three months, they disappeared and, after about ten months, I got an invitation to attend their conversion cerimony to Judaism, at their local synagogue, after an eight-month course at the local Bet Din, when I was introduced as the one responsible for their conversion.

About four years later, both daughters were getting married, respectively, to two nice young Israeli Jews, and, of course, I was the best man. Today both of them have two children each. They are very happy today as Jews, and myself not less for having contributed to enlarge Judaism with nine precious souls. God bless all of us.
Ben
Ben Masada is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0 ©2008, Crawlability, Inc.