By Christine Rogers
I am so glad to know there are former Adventists who are now saved! God bless you all!
I was a woman who for 30 years was a lesbian. I was a police officer and thought myself a good person, but I did not know God. After one more of many failed attempts at a “normal” life I finally had reached rock bottom and sought only to get as far away from California and its lies as possible. You see, as a teen I had gay teachers, and no one questioned the impact they had or thought it abnormal, even in the 70s. So, when I went to secular college and my roommate made a pass at me, at first I was repulsed, but then I thought of my teachers to whom I looked up and thought, “Well, love is love, right?”
Consequently, for 30 years I was in serial relationships with women who were either molested in their youth or who had no strong father figure in their life. I fit into the latter group. All of these relationships spiraled down to the acting out of a reprobate mind, as Paul explains in Romans 1:18-32. All of them. They would start with love as the common theme and then became about greed, deceit, and manipulation. I ran from one to the next thinking there had to be someone out there with whom I could be in a normal relationship. “Normal” was never to happen.
Lured into Adventism
Finally, three years ago, I left California at the age of 53. I started driving east on the I-10 and found myself in Yuma, Arizona. I was suicidal; I had always felt that I didn’t fit into the world around me, but I wasn’t sure why. Trying to fit in had left me with nothing—no family, no children. I cried out to a God I had heard existed but didn’t know, and I asked Him why my life had been so worthless. I didn’t expect a reply but got one immediately. I heard a voice inside me say, “No good comes from sin. And you loved, but you never put your love for Me first.” I was instantly convicted and suddenly saw my life from God’s perspective, not my own. I started to study the Bible, and eventually I enrolled in a university for a pastoral ministry degree.
Meanwhile, on my journey away from California and the life it had represented, I had bought a small trailer. I had stayed for a few weeks at an RV park, and as I tried to get some TV channels, all I could find was 3ABN. I was a brand-new believer, having only recently been confronted with my sin when I called out to God, and I had not attended any church yet. I was fascinated as I watched the sermons which were all about the end times. They focussed solely on Daniel and Revelation, and I sought to know more about who was putting these sermons together.
I googled and found out the programs and the network were productions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I googled the nearest local congregation and went the first Sabbath I could. I was met with the most remarkably kind and generous people. I learned about Friday night vespers and the Sabbath and some of their doctrines. I was only there two weeks, but I made contacts I hoped would last. I then traveled more and visited other churches including the Methodists. I had briefly attended a Methodist church as a kid, so I thought I would see what they were teaching. During that time the Lord convicted me that I would encounter churches that would look like gold on the outside but be corrupt to the core. I began to learn more about apostasy. Having been a lesbian that was now freed by Jesus, the last thing I wanted was either to be lied to about the relevance of this act as a sin, or to be bound by false doctrines.
Another year passed. Although I was studying the Bible and had trusted the Lord Jesus, I still did not have a church home. I returned to Yuma last year and met up again with the Adventists I had met the year before. They had stayed in touch with me and had been the kindest people I had met in the many denominations I had visited. I studied with the pastor and was baptized in the church. Nevertheless, even though I read their doctrine and it all seemed right, there was an underlying issue with the Sabbath I couldn’t put my finger on—until something happened to open my eyes.
Clarity about Adventism
In an email exchange between me and two people I had befriended at my new Adventist church, I discussed attending a Church of God congregation because, now that I had joined them, the local Adventists had been less than cordial, reminding me of the ‘country club’ mentality I had witnessed in some of the liberal Protestant churches I had attended. Their response email was not what I expected from this couple who are in their 70s and had always been very kind and temperate. They didn’t have much to say about the issues I was having at the Adventist church, but rather wanted me to ask the pastor at the Church of God what she thought about the Sabbath. The couple said that if she didn’t believe in the Sabbath, they would have something to say about that. This question about the Sabbath was also echoed again when I mentioned a Baptist pastor who had given a remarkable sermon on salvation through faith in Christ—a sermon which I sent to them.
As my emails with them progressed, a few things became apparent: there is no mingling outside of Seventh-day Adventism because any church that does not worship on Sabbath “does not love Jesus and has no truth in them.” I tried to bring to this couple’s attention in the kindest way, so as to not provoke them, to the issues of spiritual pride, of how we are to honor each other in the Body of Christ, and of the fact that Jesus is our Sabbath rest. They would not respond to these statements other than to give me the same rhetoric over and over that we are to follow God’s commandments, and anyone who does not, has no truth in them. They even ridiculed me because I questioned the scriptural veracity of the Sunday Law/mark-of-the-beast theory.
I began to see the underlying loyalty of these Adventists to Ellen White. In fact, I began to see idolatry toward her and her books. One man had found some older first editions of hers and was completely engrossed in this find. More and more people would ask me what I thought of her, but I hadn’t read anything of her yet. Nevertheless, between my experience over the previous year of encountering clear-cut apostasy in many churches coupled with my police training, I was leery of “divine” influences such as Ellen White. What “clinched” my impression was the attitude of this couple who were emailing me. That correspondence brought the “aha moment” that showed me there was a force working in the background of this deep loyalty to Ellen White.
Sadly, I see that many in Seventh-day Adventism are not saved because, as these two stated, they are saved by faith in Christ—but one must constantly work on obedience to the law in order to be worthy. They even said one can lose their salvation, which leads me also to note that there is a problem with their view on salvation and sanctification. I think they see them as one and the same thing, so salvation is contingent on sanctification. They therefore rest their salvation on the Sabbath Day, not on Christ.
The tell-tale detail that Adventism is a cult is that those I met do not refer to themselves as Christians, but as Adventists. Many go through the motions that look like saved saved people bearing fruit, but it is fruit from indoctrination, not the fruit of a true heart conversion.
I pray for them and love them so dearly and see that false doctrine from the very start with the Millerite/Ellen G. White prophesies opened a doorway for Satan to poison these people. I feel very strongly that Ellen White’s angelic visitors were demonic. It is evident that Satan planted these seeds of spiritual pride which make them feel that because of the Sabbath, they are the true remnant church—a belief which keeps them separated from true Christians who could help them leave Babylon and be saved.
May the Lord open their eyes and hearts to the truth and lead them to freedom in the atoning salvation of Christ on the Cross. May the Lord have mercy upon them.