Proclamation! | Winter | 2017 | Letters to the Editor
Things I wish I had known
Please keep me on your mailing list! I just read the “Resignation Letter From Nigeria” [by Owolabi Paul, Fall, 2017]. Wonderful! I have been so blessed by your magazine. This last one was especially good for me. I am learning to understand things I wish I had known a long time ago! Thank you and God Bless your work.
Helps reach Adventists
Please continue sending us Proclamation! magazine as this has been helpful to us in reaching Adventists for Christ.
Senior Associate Pastor
Making your point with lies
Paul Owolabi’s article “Resignation Letter from Nigeria” was excellent. He made a lot of very valid observations, and came to some valid conclusions. But Chris Lee’s editorial on the back page of the magazine (vol. 8, issue 2) left much to be desired. After a brief synopsis of the film The Village, Lee concluded, “I need not pedantically enumerate the parallels with life in Adventism. They are all too obvious to anyone reading this.” Well, actually, they aren’t. I’m wondering whether Lee couldn’t think of any parallels, so it was easier to just state that the parallels are “too obvious” to “enumerate.” I have been an Adventist for over 60 years, and I have never observed anything even remotely like the life in the village as presented by Lee. Perhaps Lee has been reading about Adventism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But few, if any, of his readers were Adventists in the early twentieth century.
In the days prior to the mid-60s, Adventists may have feared contamination from the world, but this fear, however much of it existed (surely not as much as in the film The Village), has not been “obvious” since the mid 60s. Lest you think my experience in Adventism is limited to southern California, let me assure you that in addition to southern California, I have lived in Northern California, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, England, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Kenya and Uganda. And I have not seen anything in Adventism even remotely like Lee’s summary of the film. I haven’t observed any “fear” of the outside world. I haven’t observed any fear of employment in the outside world…Other than in our high schools, I haven’t observed any attempt to enforce rules. In fact, I have no idea what rules Lee has in mind, or what lies and hoaxes the church perpetuates to keep people from learning about the outside world which is all around them.
I have no problem with Life Assurance Ministries pointing out errors in Adventist doctrine, much like Paul Owolabi did in his excellent article, but the journal would be more valuable if it didn’t use lies to get its point across. It’s not just this issue, I have noticed in nearly every issue statements regarding Adventist belief or practice that I have never heard taught.
Editor’s reply: Before I left Adventism, I would also have been outraged at the comparison of The Village to Adventism. For at least 10 years I was an “evangelical Adventist” and very broad-minded and accepting, seeing fairly clearly many of the problems with Adventist doctrine. It was only after being confronted with the gospel and realizing that one cannot be loyal to two opposing world views that Chris Lee’s perspective began to come into focus.
Yes, to be sure, modern Adventism is far less fearful of the “outside”—on the surface—than it used to be. The problem, however, is that Adventism does not teach the pure biblical gospel, and because Adventists live within a worldview shaped by their Adventist (EGW-derived) biblical interpretation, they live with a completely different worldview than do Christians who have embraced the Lord Jesus alone and have been born again. This contrast is not even visible until one actually leaves “the village” and moves into the reality of knowing Jesus. Truly, every single thing looks different and is “inside-out” from what we learned as Adventists.
The Adventist worldview shaped by the great controversy, by Adventism’s belief in the material nature of man, by Adventism’s fallible Jesus who gave up one of the attributes of God—omnipresence—by taking a body, by the deeply-held belief that Satan is the scapegoat who ultimately carries the sins of the saved into the Lake of Fire—this worldview is completely different from a biblical worldview, and individual Adventists, even very liberal ones, cannot see that difference.
It is this blindness and unawareness of the “outside” that Chris Lee was comparing to the character in The Village. One simply does not know what that “other” reality is unless one trusts the inerrant word of God and repents, submitting to the 100% completed atonement and resting his eternal security on the fact that the Lord Jesus has already done what needed to be done—and if we believe and trust, we will be given eternal life at that moment and transferred out of the domain of darkness into the kingdom of the beloved Son (Col. 1:13). Only then will the biblical reality of an utterly sovereign God who needs no vindication begin to be visible. Only then will one’s eternal security become knowable; only then will the difference between the darkness of Adventism and the eternal light and life of the kingdom of the beloved Son become discernible.
Hard to reach the brain-washed
Please send Proclamation! to the enclosed names. The article by the young Nigerian is amazing. You may know one of these names I sent; he has taught at [one of the Adventist universities] for many years and is facing a terminal illness. He and his wife and I grew up together in Berrien Springs. We were in the same first grade class and went all through school together.
It’s so hard to reach those who have been brain-washed in any cult. They are so comfortable and that “we have the truth” phrase blinds them even more! It takes the Holy Spirit to change a heart. God bless you.
University Park, IL
Please never send another of these blasphemous journals. Garbage!!!
Insane false prophet
The Friday emails have been excellent. Bless everyone who puts out such wonderful articles.
I left the Adventist church 41 years ago. I must tell you; I resent the 18 years I was in the delusion of an insane false prophet. Your organization has shown only love and patience toward those who choose to remain in darkness, demonstrating the heart of God to those who need to understand grace.
Adventist abortion hypocrisy
Thanks for the Family News [newsletter for donors]. I’ve also been enjoying Word Search online. [Word Search is the weekly Bible study by Gary Inrig; videos are on the Former Adventist YouTube channel.]
Our local crisis pregnancy center recently held its annual gala. The testimonies of people who have been touched by abortion are sometimes overwhelming. In many cases the Lord has provided reconciliation, but in some cases the shame and pain of abortion still divides families.
As I sat listening, I was divided in my own heart. You see, the local Adventist hospital is the primary sponsor of the pregnancy center here. They provide all of the necessary tests and care for these women questioning whether they should abort their children.
The gala is held on the Adventist campus. Ironically, this was the same campus to which one of the speakers was taken as a 14-year-old by her father to have an abortion. That old hospital building still stands.
I’m not sure anyone else in the audience picked up on that detail.
Knowing the history of the Adventist position on when life begins and its connection to abortion, it is hard to sit still and listen as the hospital administrators speak about how precious life is. [See “Abortion in Adventism: Why Seventh-day Adventism Promotes Abortion” in the Summer, 2014 issue of Proclamation!]
I have nothing against the people; I just don’t appreciate the hypocrisy.
Self abuse and consumption
I was watching a Q&A session from the 2011 Former Adventist Conference. Colleen Tinker said that EGW says tuberculosis was caused by masturbation. Since this unspeakable topic was introduced, I did a search on her writings. I found lots of references to TB but nothing on masturbation. For example,
“During this period of uncertainty and bitter disappointment Ellen’s health, already impaired, worsened rapidly. Tuberculosis, it seemed, would take her life. She could speak only in a whisper or broken voice. Her heart was seriously affected. She found it difficult to breathe lying down, and at night was often bolstered to almost a sitting position. She was frequently awakened from sleep by coughing and bleeding in her lungs” (WV 23.1).
Could you provide the reference to back up her comment, please?
Editor’s response: I have a copy of Ellen White’s book A Solemn Appeal. On page 83-84 of the original book it says this: “The loss of vital power by means of this drain [masturbation, or self-abuse] renders man less able to resist the effects of change of climate, and of malarial poisons and miasma. It impoverished the blood, and induces consumption, dyspepsia, nervous diseases, and mental derangements, with the long train of sequences which follow in their wake.”
“Consumption” is the old-fashioned word for tuberculosis, and EGW used the term “self abuse” for masturbation. In context her statement was in a chapter on the evils of self abuse.
End of Ratzlaff name
It is so kind of you to afford us the opportunity to no longer receive your publication…You put a great deal of study and research into your articles, but why is it so necessary to degrade the Adventist church? We currently support and regularly attend a Methodist church, but that does not cause us to fault Adventists, with the possible exception of President Ted.
We expect this to be the end of Proclamation! in our mailbox, and maybe even the end of the Ratzlaff name with which I have a long association…So many years.
Thank you for the inspiration
Yes! Please keep me on the list. Thank you for the inspiring stories of those who have left the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I know that I am totally grateful for being out of the Seventh-day Adventist Church myself. It is your ministry and the stories of former Adventists that have helped me to see the mistakes of the Adventist church that enabled me to leave.
South Daytona, FL
Stop sending magazine
Please stop sending this magazine. I was, am, and forever will be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I am first of all a Christian and believe that the Adventist church most accurately teaches Biblical truth.
I am a Gladventist (a happy Seventh-day Adventist) rejoicing in God’s complete forgiveness by the blood of Jesus. Rejoicing in the rest weekly and eternally He has given me as I trust in His love. Rejoicing in the concern God has for my health giving me true advice amid the confusing ideas in the world, and rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit He offers those who ask. It’s a wonderful life. I’m praying you find what I did reading my Bible. Please remove me from your list.
Editor’s response: The health advice the writer mentions is a reference to Ellen White’s counsels. With that reference the underlying interpretation of the writer’s Christian-sounding words becomes clear. The mention of Ellen White reveals the writer’s dependence on an extra-biblical authority and the resulting unorthodox understandings of Christian doctrine.
Pray for churches to understand
We just received the recent Proclamation! Thank you. We pray for the success of your critical work on behalf of exiting Adventists and of the evangelical churches as they try to make sense of Adventism.
Hope, British Columbia