This post is a condensed explanation as to why I have decided to step out of the SDA church after less than two years of involvement in the historicist movement.
First off, I am still a historicist Christian. No question. No hesitation. Including all that comes with it.
But… there comes a point when you have to follow Christ, even if it means walking away for your church. After less than two years as a historicist Christian (the only church near us that agrees with this eschatology being the SDA church), it was time to step away from the Seventh Day Adventists.
And here’s why.
This particular church in the historicist camp comes with a prophet. And truthfully, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, as I embarked on the quest of getting to know this church and this prophet I read countless books from Ellen G. White. Many of them I highly recommend. Her work definitely presents the reader with a true desire for repentance by challenging the reader to be more confrontational about their own personal daily sin.
But, the more I read, the more questions I had for the church. There were quite a few views that she held that I disagreed with (24 elders, Genesis 6, 144,000, sinless worlds… just to name a few). Views that the church itself still holds. And so, I did what any logical person would do.
I went to the church.
I’ve sat down at coffee shops with pastors of the denomination to confront some of the more controversial topics. I’ve sat in offices with deacons asking questions about church practices that don’t line up with the church’s own teachings. I’ve talked with members that were third and fourth generation members on similar topics as well.
And yet, I got the exact same answer from every member, pastors, deacons and longstanding attendees alike.
“I don’t know. I haven’t read it. Let me see if I can find someone that knows.”
The straw that broke the camel’s back for my decision to leave was a petty one in all honesty and had nothing to do with the aforementioned issues. We were participating in a children’s club for my son. This club held biweekly activities with occasional larger activates on a regional scale. The club meetings were canceled more often than they were held, and at the last minute. We had a regional meet up happening. And the day before we were supposed to leave for the trip I reached out asking for a few details. The reply was that it had been canceled, but they forgot to tell me. Go figure.
I’d had enough.
I can get past the lack of organization with the kid’s club. After all, it’s run by parents and things happen. I realize that this club was and is doing the best they can with the time and resources that it has. I do not fault them for my decision to leave. But, it did mount an emotional strain on top of the already mounting angst that existed.
The club was excusable.
But, in regard to faith, I had to take a stance. Peter explains it best when he said; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”.
I even had one member tell me they refuse to talk about such things when I asked them the simple question, “What do you think about Ellen G. White’s un-fallen worlds“.
I am at a point in my life where I am done playing church. I want answers. And in just two short years it became very apparent to me that none of the people I have met in the SDA community have an established reason for their faith. Not the pastors, not the deacons, nor the members.
This experience wasn’t just secluded to merely one body either, just to clarify.
I believe the historicist view. I think many, but not all, of Ellen G. White’s writings are worth reading.And I would recommend them to others. But, with reading comes questions. Questions you would hope the church can answer.