What they DON’T Tell You about the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sabbath School…

As most of you know, I’m a writer with a background in communications and public relations. However, one lesser known aspect of my career is that I used to teach English to Hispanics in Jamaica.

Recently, a Dominican requested that I revisit that old tutoring life, to teach him English. After agreeing, I returned home to see whether or not I still had all the old assessments, homework, and teaching notes I had written up all those years before.

While searching for those notes, I came across a copy of an old article I wrote about the Seventh Day Adventist church 6 years ago.

Context

While it’s always fascinating to come across a writers’ old work, let’s keep context in mind. I was raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist household, but believed that the faith failed to answer some of the most basic and fundamental questions I posed about religion.

My quest for answers, from the young age of about three years old, took me further down a path of disbelief. The more I looked for credibility to bolster the SDA faith my family espoused, the more I found the opposite.

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Once I accepted that the SDA faith did not hold a solid enough foundation to attract my belief, Christianity as a whole became questionable to me. I touched on this before in Revisiting Religion: Refusing to be an Arawak

The blog post I’m about to share was written much earlier, in 2012; between the aftermath of Harold Camping’s failed prediction of The Rapture and the doomsday prediction made for December 21st 2012, as per interpretations of the Mayan Calendar.

The blog post addresses end-of-world predictions, my familiarity with one faith that sprung from a doomsday prediction, and why I believe that just like the Rapture and the Mayan’s End of Days prediction, this faith is groundless.

Do keep in mind that this was just a Tumblr rant, so not all sources were cited. I have, however, included a list of sources at the end of the article for those of you who want to look up some of the claims, for yourself.

The Tumblr Rant

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The Rapture

Last year (2011), Harold Camping predicted that “the Rapture” and Judgement Day would occur on May 21st 2011, and that the world would end on October 21st 2011.

Most of the world watched and waited anxiously to see what would happen, but some of us weren’t content with just watching, so we chose to act. How did we act? Well, for starters, quite a few non-believers suddenly converted to Christianity.

Some of us RE-converted. Pastors and priests worldwide reported an increase in the number of baptisms performed in the week leading up to the Rapture. And still, of course, there were some of us who didn’t give a crap.

But nothing compares to the Christians on my Twitter timeline, who took it upon themselves to bash these Rapturists for their beliefs. I mean, I can forgive the Catholics, Anglicans, and other old denominations when they think the formation and beliefs of a new extremist-Protestant group is ridiculous.

But my goodness… along came the Seventh Day Adventists O_O …

The Hypocrisy

I was shocked! Seventh Day Adventists (SDAs) are the last people on Earth who should so much as snicker at the Rapturists! So when the shock wore off, I did laugh. I laughed so hard, I was almost ashamed of myself – but only almost.

Now, for those of you who don’t understand why this is so funny, don’t worry. I promise you: I am getting to a point, and a good one.

We’ll begin here:

One SDA follower (let’s call her “Trina”) was brave enough to begin quoting the Bible to prove her point that the Rapturists were stupid. She called them “false prophets” (Revelations), and tweeted of Jesus’ return, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36).”

Now let’s rewind a century and some change back to 1843 and follow the religious journey of William Miller, and the resulting Millerite Movement. Miller was a farmer and a Baptist preacher, who after reading the Bible for himself, concluded that Jesus Christ was returning to Earth on October 22nd, 1844. As we all know, no such thing occurred on that fateful day.

The Breakup

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So what happened? Well, all of 14 things happened, actually. Firstly, some Millerites became disillusioned, and so quit the cult/movement altogether. Secondly, the remaining Millerites became divided as to what should be the resulting truth (aka Plan B), since Plan A, most certainly had not turned out as planned.

This led to the other 12 things that happened i.e. the formation of the following churches:

  • Advent Christian Church
  • Christadelphians
  • Church of God (Seventh-Day)
  • Church of God General Conference
  • Church of the Blessed Hope
  • Seventh Day Adventist Reform Mov’t
  • Davidian SDA (Shepherd’s Rod)
  • United Seventh-Day Brethren
  • Branch Davidians
  • Primitive Advent Christian Church
  • Sabbath Rest Advent Church
  • (and of course) the Seventh-day Adventist Church

NOW, do you see why I was laughing? These Seventh Day Adventists were ridiculing a group of people for doing the very thing that had led to the birth of their own faith. As we say in Jamaica:

Pot calling the kettle black.

The Secrecy 

Of course, they don’t always tell you these things in church. I would know. I was born and raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist family for the first seventeen miserable years of my life, and attended about 8 different Seventh Day Adventist Churches throughout that time- 1 in Maryland (USA), 1 in New York City (USA), 1 in Eastern Jamaica, and 5 in Western Jamaica.

I was taught that Seventh Day Adventists were around longer than the Catholic Church, and that the doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist church were the real doctrines passed down from Jesus Christ to his disciples. Ask almost any Seventh Day Adventist and, they will likely tell you the same thing. 

See? I told you I was getting to a good point.

So if you ever wondered where the “Adventists” got their name, it’s from the word “Advent”, meaning “the coming or return of Jesus Christ”- which they, like the Rapturists, failed to predict.

But Wait – There’s More!

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I’m not about to stop here, though. Not when there are still a few other things they don’t tell you in the Seventh Day Adventist Church that I thoroughly intend to. We only just covered lesson number one.

Lesson No. 2

Now, I didn’t hear this in the American SDA churches I attended, but in every Jamaican SDA church I went to, we were reminded that America was 666 – the mark of the beast. What they conveniently neglected to tell people in church though, was how their religion (denomination) began in America, and was founded by an American man i.e. William Miller.

Did I mention that our Quarterlies (the materials we used for Bible Study in Sabbath School) also came from the United States? And if you go on the Seventh Day Adventists’ Official Website, you will see that the Headquarters’ Address is:

12501 Old Columbia Pike,
Silver Spring,
MD 20904, USA

Funny – isn’t it?

Lesson No. 3

As I stated earlier, William Miller was a Baptist!- i.e. a Sunday worshipper. I don’t know if all SDA people tell their children this, but my biological father called Sunday worshippers “devil-worshippers”. Milder versions I heard in church was that Sunday worshippers worshipped the Sun, and were not true believers or true Christians.

Imagine my wonderful surprise when I found out that the father of the Seventh Day Adventist faith was a Sunday pastor, himself. Unfortunately for my parents, that was not all I discovered.

Lesson No. 4

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My mother’s side of the family is Anglican and Catholic, and I was a child who read any and everything I could get my hands on – including an enormous Anglican book on the history of Christianity (censoring out the things they don’t tell you in Anglican Churches either, of course).

In that book, I learned that the Bible was put together by Catholic monks and priests – i.e. even more SUNDAY WORSHIPPERS! Aside from the claims made by SDAs against  the legitimacy of Sunday-worshippers, why is this relevant?

One of the SDA’s strongest beliefs is the “the infallibility of the Bible”. In other words, Seventh Day Adventists do not question the Bible’s origins and believe that it is entirely true and wholesome as is.

When I asked about this, my father was too furious that I was reading Anglican material to even bother giving me a proper answer. He might as well have given me one, because the search for a real answer followed me into my adult years, and led me to discover the Arian Heresy.

(You can look that one up on your own, though. It would take a whole other blog post for me to explain it.)

Lesson No. 5

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Another principle I was taught in the Seventh Day Adventist Church was not to wear jewellery. Once, a pastor told my mother she could not wear her broach to church, and another one tried to convince her not to wear her wedding ring. (I kid thee not!)

When I asked my family about it, I was told that God banned the wearing of jewellery because the Israelites, in distress, during the Exodus (the journey out of Egypt and to the promised land), melted their gold and built idols to worship; which was a great insult to God.

I took this as a good answer… until I read about King Solomon, who was made King long after the Exodus. King Solomon was the wisest man in the world, and loved by God, and he wore jewellery – gold at that. I asked my family about that, too. They had no answers for me, so I decided I would start wearing jewellery.

Why? Because surely, King Solomon was wiser than my parents, my church members, and the Pastor.

Conclusion

There are a lot of other things I could tell you that they don’t tell you in Seventh Day Adventist Churches. I could tell you about being dragged to the final Seventh Day Adventist Church I ever attended – at 17- to discover that a History Lecturer from my College was the church leader, and the pastor.

I could tell you how he stood there and lied to the congregation about the evolution theory – this College History Lecturer who knew better, stood in the House of his Lord and lied to his people to get an “Amen”.

Then, of course, he trotted off to college Monday morning, to teach us all about ancient civilisations. But if I told you these things, this blog post would never end. And I daresay, I’ve told you all enough already.

There is a big lesson to be learned here, though:

Do not accept “truths” simply because it is easier to believe, and more difficult to question. Find and learn the real truth and origins of your beliefs, or lack thereof. Do not be so quick to simply accept the interpretations of others.

Whoever said an atheist (or agnostic) is thus because they have not read the Bible and know little of religion, surely has never met me… 

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

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Additional Sources:

  1. Andrews University Press. The Second Advent [Excerpt]. Retrieved from: http://universitypress.andrews.edu/Second%20Advent%20Excerpt.pdf
  2. Everett, N. Dick. The Millerite Movement (1830-1845).  Retrieved from: http://universitypress.andrews.edu/content/Adventism%20in%20America%20Excerpt.pdf
  3. Kaleem, Jaweed (2011). May 21 ‘Judgment Day’ Believers React To Being Alive On May 22. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/22/may-21-judgment-day-may-22_n_865298.html
  4. Lechleitner, Elizabeth (2013). Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged from religious fervor of 19th Century. Retrieved from: Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged from religious fervor of 19th Century
  5. Pappas, Stephanie (2011). Harold Camping predicts the end of the world. Again. Retrieved from: https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1019/Harold-Camping-predicts-the-end-of-the-world.-Again.
  6. Taylor, Andrew. The Origins of Millerite Separatism. Retrieved from: https://aurora.edu/documents/library-archives/origins-of-millerite-separatism-andrew-taylor.pdf
  7. The Seventh Day Adventist Church (2012). Retrieved from http://www.adventist.org/
  8. *Wikipedia (2012), “2011 End Times Prediction”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_end_times_prediction
  9. *Wikipedia (2012). “Millerism”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millerites
  10. *Wikipedia (2012), “Seventh-Day Adventist Church”. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church

Wikipedia articles were included, because it was snooping around Wikipedia and reading the listed articles that originally pointed me in the right direction. If you question the credibility of the Wiki articles, then focus on the other sources.

66 thoughts on “What they DON’T Tell You about the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sabbath School…

  1. What’s up with the endless moderation? You came and registered at my blog so I visited yours and bothered to make a comment. Holding it moderation without any reason is rather rude.

    1. Wow… this is quite a way to greet someone on their blog! While I do respect your opinions, it’s also important to respect how someone else runs their own intellectual property.

      Your comment was held in moderation because you have never commented on my blog before. The bigger a website, the more random spam it gets. The more random spam, the greater the need for moderation for first-time posters.

      That said, I get tonnes of comments every day and do try to reply to each one, but some slip through the cracks, whether because WordPress wrongly marks it as spam, or I miss it in my notifications.

      I just searched through and found your original comment. While I do understand your disappointment at not receiving an immediate response, and not having your comment immediately approved and published, I don’t believe this is the appropriate way to handle that.

      1. You make it sound as if I demanded an immediate response. No. I didn’t demand any such thing because I understand and am quite aware that it sometimes takes a while to get out of moderation. A reasonable while. So I waited quite a while. A reasonable while. Other new comments appeared. But not mine. So I waited some more. More comments were posted while mine continued to sit in moderation.

        What’s a person willing to spend time and effort commenting to do?

        I decided to say something because every comment sent to my WordPress site is sent immediately to my email and I thought the same might be true for yours. So I sent a second thinking you would get that second email notification letting you know I was curious why you were holding my first comment in what appeared to be perpetual moderation… without any reason or cause given.

        I’m just letting you know as a long time blogger and commentator that it’s rude to leave comments in perpetual moderation without explanation or cause, which now seems to be a the far greater slight in your eyes than the action – or in your case lack of it – that precipitated the reminder in the first place. I don;t like having my time wasted and I suspect the same is true for you.

      2. As I said before, your comment slipped through the cracks. It wasn’t deliberately sitting in moderation, and I was not trying to be rude to you.

        I find it rude that you didn’t ask what happened. You just assumed it was a deliberate slight and tossed in an insult of my character and intentions. And then proceeded to tell me, and are still telling me, I have a 6-day limit to reply to you.

        I’ve been blogging for 14 years and own 4 websites, and I have never encountered such a reaction before.

  2. It is sad when acknowledging critical thinking and common sense are perceived as a drawn out dramatic display of rebellion, isn’t it? What I find the most frustrating is the too-common attitude of believers that “oh you just don’t know any better, you’ll come around and see the truth eventually!”, usually followed by a blessing of some sort in attempt to invalidate beliefs opposing their own.

    GREAT post, it’s refreshing to see some controversial content on here for a change.

    (Also, It does often seem like atheists are the ones who’ve studied religious text in the most depth, doesn’t it?!)

    1. Hi Amanda. I don’t believe we’ve run into each other in the blogosphere before, but I’m glad you found me today! Controversy is not something I shy away from, so you’ve come to the right place. Race, religion, and politics are not tabeau topics here.

      I do find the rebellious tag on critical thinking to be frustrating. But even more frustrating is the egotistical belief that we disagree because we don’t understand. It is perfectly possible to see where another person is coming from and disagree.

      And you’re right. It does seem like non-believers do more research on beliefs than the believers. I will never understand the tendency to almost inherit belief systems, without questioning anything.

      1. I think for me the biggest struggle with the bolder topics is finding a way to get my message across without appearing condescending (which is hard when people are often offended so easily) but you seem to have that skill down pat.

        Thanks for sharing your experiences, I had no idea there was a faith as crazy as the one I was raised in (ok maybe I had an idea..still you shared a whole lot of perspective with this post)

        Maybe one day our lack of belief will be as accepted as religion is! Probably not but hey a girl can dream right..

      2. It is hard to find a tone that works, but I’m a liberal studies graduate, so I had plenty of practice 😂 The last person you want to sound condescending to is your lecturer!

        I’m sure there are still many people who are offended though, and that’s fine. My only aim is to provoke thought and open and honest discussions. So far so good on that account. I’ve had some appalled Christians show up on my non-believer posts and a few Neo-Nazis on my posts about race, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

        I’m actually writing a book that’s political fiction with a country that lists “atheism” as its national religion for the hell of it, and Halloween is a public holiday. 😂 Otherwise a very serious set of people, but really opposed to religious dogmatism.

      3. That’s such a creative book idea! I look forward to reading it:)

        Personally I try to stay out of politics/race topics as much as I can, mainly because I don’t feel comfortable discussing/forming opinions on what I don’t know a whole lot about.

        I think we would all benefit so much if we could separate our feelings from our opinions, but because so many people form their opinions based on feelings it can be difficult to convey messages of disagreement without offending people.

        But then again no one ever accomplished anything great without offending SOMEone I suppose haha

      4. Hmmm…. Well the thing is, if you never discuss race and politics with other people, it would be difficult to learn outside your bubble. This is especially true for race.

        One of my White friends told me recently that he and his friends are always discussing race and looking for solutions to this madness in America. I tell him all the time that he can’t find solutions without first understanding the problem, and in order to do that, he needs to speak to the people he wants to “save”.

        The more I spoke to him was the more I realised he didn’t know or understand anything about Black or minority cultures in general, and so was already missing a fundamental step. For instance, some of the things he thought were polite to us were offensive, and some of the things he thought were offensive were compliments.

        I offer you the same advice! If there are people who are comfortable discussing it, without judgement and pulling out the race card to throw in your face, take advantage of the opportunity – if not to speak, then to listen. We have so much to learn from each other’s differing experiences! And that is true right around the table, from all sides.

        As far as politics, voting is over. What else can we do? LOL

      5. I think the reason I personally have disinterest in those topics is because of the exact thing we’ve been talking about – people being offended by perspectives that differ from their own. Feelings too often override rationality, particularly in politically charged discussion. Because of the hostility that exists in far left and far right discussions, it makes sense to me to reside in the center and view it all from an unbiased POV.

        Politically, I don’t feel a need to classify myself as lib or conserv, I simply reject both ideologies.

        In my opinion regarding race, no one is inherently a victim because of their race alone. This statement would infuriate so many people, which is the reason I avoid voicing opinion on this. I reject self-victimization in ANY form, and when I express this in the realm of race I’m met with the messages of “white privilege” and white guilt, messages which only create resentment toward those discussions (and ultimately as I said, disinterest)

        I think the liberals and conservatives are doing a fantastic job at pushing illegitimate ideologies and discrediting themselves with the social justice warmongering. I think if someone wants to send a message successfully, fanaticism is their worst enemy. Yet left and right fanaticism are all we see these days.

        I just loathe current politics and the majority of the conversation that take place around it. I think most people feel this need to either support everything President Trump does or to reject everything he does. I don’t operate that way, and because of this, most people simply dont want to have that discussion with me. I dont get heated enough I guess haha

      6. Well Amanda, I’ll have to disagree with you there.

        I come from a Black majority Third World country. And moving to America, one of the first things I noticed was the difference in the lives of Blacks here and Blacks back home.

        In America and the Caribbean, Blacks were victimized exactly because of their race. Slavery was based on the concept that Blacks weren’t really all that human and were treated as property.

        Jamaica ended slavery in 1834 and us Blacks went about running our own show and our own country. We didn’t have to wait until 2008 to see see a Black man sit on our iron throne. And we have already elected a female. Our head of state has also always been the Queen of England.

        America, on the other hand, waited another generation after us to end slavery, and then put up laws to prevent Black integration with White society. This includes the one drop law that classes everyone with Black ancestry as Black (we don’t do this in Jamaica), segregation laws, and a ban on interracial marriages. The legacy of those systems live on today. I can definitely see the impact that has on African Americans as opposed to my country, where we have no such thing as the KKK and never had segregation laws.

        Another interesting thing I noticed upon arrival was the economic disparity between my White and Black friends. My Black friends were ecstatic to get $15 per hour, but my White friends were insulted by offers at $25 per hour at work.

        Additionally, my Black friends here were mostly all taking care of themselves after high school. Almost all my White friends here are still being taken care of to some degree by their parents. They have daddy’s credit card, mom pays the insurance, both parents cover college expenses etc

        I would definitely say there is such a thing as White privilege. After all, White families have been passing down inheritances since the dawn of time, while African Americans just started their legacy essentially in the 1900s in the United States. One is objectively in a more privileged position than the other. Blacks are 100+ years into building a legacy, and Whites are a few thousand years in. And if we count just from the 1500s, then 500+. That is an indisputable fact. Not an opinion.

        Perception is another interesting thing here. In Jamaica, I was perceived as and treated as an upper and upper middle class woman. In America, I am not. In Jamaica my education came as no surprise. In America, I mention my degrees to a White person and their eyes pop open. Some have even let it fly out, “You have a degree??? In what???” 😂

        I still have the mentality of a woman from from a Black majority country, so these things just amuse me. If anything, I roll my eyes and mutter to myself “Americans…” Do I feel like a victim when my parents are told to go back to their country? Or when my intelligence or level of education is questioned because of my race? Nope. But it doesn’t escape my attention that those ideologies exist in America for a reason.

        That is the observation as an outsider who has been in and out of your country for 18 years, and lived here full time for 2 of those.

        That’s why it’s important to hear and learn other narratives. Everyone has a different experience in any country or culture based on what causes division in that country. And in America, that division (since the killing of the Indians, slavery, segregation, putting the Japanese in internment camps…) has always been race, nationality (xenophobia) and gender. Even I, who comes from a country where race is irrelevant, and which is one one of only 3 countries in the world where your boss is more likely to be female than male, can see that.

        Here’s to more open discussions! Thanks again for dropping by.

  3. I have always found the duality that Bible believing Christs have such a dislike of Catholics, who are the very ones who created the bible that they believe in, very amusing. Also that most Bible believing Christians do not know that their concept of the Trinity came from the Roman Catholics as well. The post your friend made:
    “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36).”
    that is straight out of the bible and questions the very fact that if God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are in fact one, how can God know something that the other two do not.
    I think your post points out two very important points. The first is that people need to study some history. Their is so much to learn and understand by even a casual study of history. Look at how many things you discovered in studying just the history of your own church. How much would you learn studying the history of Christianity as a whole. How about the fact that immediately following Christs death on the cross there were numerous different Christian sects that had very different beliefs about the Nature of God and Christs relationship to him. We would have even more different Christian denominations today if the Roman Catholics hadn’t set about destroying all there writings and killing them off (not a very Christian thing to do!).
    The second point is the idea of asking questions. I think that this is very important and one of the warning signs that what you are following may not be the best thing. Why would so many faiths be so adverse to the simple asking of questions? In so many accounts of peoples early spiritual journeys you hear them repeat this same idea that they asked a lot of questions but were always rebuked somehow for doing so. What are these faiths afraid of? They tell you that they are teaching you the truth. So if that actually is the truth then they should have nothing to be afraid of. The only reason to be afraid is if you are not expounding the truth! Great post, I enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you for reading my post, and taking the time to comment! I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I missed your comment and only just saw it while trying to locate another!

      I do think that other Christian denominations came about from the fact that people had different beliefs about Jesus at the time of his death (if he existed, as there is some debate about this). But also because they asked questions. However, I don’t think they asked the hard hitting questions. Denominations just changed to meet someone else’s new agenda. The Anglican faith is a perfect example of that. A king needed a new wife, so he made a new church that allowed for divorce.

      The hard-hitting questions are the ones that may turn people away from Christianity and religion altogether. Those are the ones that are unlikely to be patched up by a new denomination.

      As it was explained to me, we can’t ask those questions because religion is based on faith. And all contradictory information out there is just a test of faith. Personally, I don’t agree with that line of thinking. A good teacher has a comeback for all the contradictory theories in a class, and can tell us why they are wrong. Christianity and religion on a whole failed to do that for me, so I fell to the outskirts.

      Thanks again for your patience!

  4. Nicely written, AC.

    I have had a lot of contact with many teachers at an ancient (in Canadian terms) nearby seminary. The standing joke I’ve often heard from older and younger teachers alike is that if you want to stop believing in Christianity generally, read the Bible. If you want to stop believing in any particular sect, then study it.

    It sounds to me as if your natural curiosity and questioning led you into seeing and realizing some of the glaring inconsistencies inherent not just in the Bible but, as importantly, how parts are extracted to then justify the over 30,000 different Christian sects we find today – some of which contain bits and pieces of theology that are incompatible with each other!

    My academic experience with scripture beyond Christianity is also relevant: read what other scripture actually says and you’ll find the reasons not to believe are just as compelling.

    It seems to me that honest non belief is owned and personalized because of good reasons important to each non believer, and so it doesn’t surprise me that you – like every atheist I read – have more than just a a simple or passing familiarity with the Bible. Correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like scripture itself informs your best reasons to not believe!

    Go figure, eh?

    And it also shows just how out of touch are those believers who presume those who do not believe in gods or a God must be somehow deficient in subject knowledge. The fact is, as poll after poll confirms, that non believers give the strength of truth to the standing joke I first mentioned. And the take-away here is that continued faith-based belief is often directly proportional and correlated to the state of ignorance about the particular faith. I’m glad you’ve had the courage to follow your own best reasons. This same courage is the kind that empowers you to take on new adventures, to throw your hat over the fence, so to speak, and then have the wherewithal to leave the familiar to go and get it. That kind of life is just the kind one wants to read more about.

    So, I look forward to your next posted installment… ,

  5. This was a great read. I learned a bit about SDA (only knew the name before). I also sat here thinking of my mom, and something she once said to me. She told me that, as a child, I questioned everything- -even in church (southern Baptist). She said it drove her crazy, all my questions; but I never knew that because she would do her best to answer them, or find us someone who could answer them.

    Today, I consider myself an atheist, but in more of an indifferent way than a stereotypical atheist (I hope). I don’t believe in a supreme deity, yet I don’t hold contempt for those who do. Religion has a bad reputation (thanks to extremists of all types), yet religion has brought such inner peace and comfort to so many people that I can’t be contemptuous.

    Well, I hope I’m not contemptuous; but I’m human, so I probably am without realizing it.

    1. Agreed on all fronts, Cynthia. I actually think we had a similar discussion with my Revisiting Religion Post here: https://alexischateau.com/2016/07/22/revisiting-religion-refusing-to-be-an-arawak/

      The first time I started asking questions, I was about 3 or 4. The big no-no question I voiced was whether it was Mary or Martha who was Jesus’ girlfriend, because clearly one of them had to be. Needless to say, she was not happy with me 😂

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and share an honest opinion from your own standpoint. It is indeed important to reign in that contempt for religion, when it rises up, out of respect for others. Everyone else in my family is religious, so this is an everyday thing for me.

      1. Haha, I have excellent past-memory. My future-memory is another story. In other words, I’m very good at remembering what I did, but easily forget things I planned to do. I could not survive without my planner 😂

  6. I enjoyed the sharing your experience with religion. I don’t know anything about the SDA church at all, so I don’t have any clue on the unanswered questions to their church history. There sure seems to be a lot of confusion there, and history that is either forgotten, or just plain misunderstood.

    One thing I’m not sure on though, is that you made the statement:

    “Once I accepted that the SDA faith did not hold a solid enough foundation to attract my belief, Christianity as a whole became questionable to me.”

    From the journey you describe, your questions and doubts seem to center on the religion (SDA, and church history itself), more than on Christianity.

    I like to think of religion like going to the gym. You become a member, you work out (or not), and the result is that you become more physically fit. Or I should say, you get as fit as the effort you put into it. If your gym has lousy equipment, you could still get an adequate workout, but if your needs aren’t met, go to a gym where they care about what matters, physical fitness.

    In the world of religion, there are good ones, and bad ones. There are good people in bad religions, and bad people in good religions. By religion in this case, I’m referring to the umbrella of Christian religions.

    How do you know if the religion is good or bad? Go to the source documents and not the religious traditions. Open a bible, and read it. Compare what is taught at the source of Christianity, to what is going on at that local church, or in the denomination it’s part of. Does it even come close? No? Run. Find one that does.

    Just like the bad gym shouldn’t mean you’re going to throw away the concept of being physically fit, don’t let a church or denomination, keep you from at least being concerned about the ethics of Christianity. You said your curiosity started as early as age 3. That’s great. I hope that curiosity always stays with you.

    Sorry for the long comment.

    1. Thanks for reading and taking the time to post such a long comment! You did, however, miss the irony of the final statement in the post.

      It says:
      Whoever said an atheist (or agnostic) is thus because they have not read the Bible and know little of religion, surely has never met me…

      In other words, I did go to the source. I know the Bible better than most, went to Catholic school for 7 years, and in my home country, worship is kept a few minutes before classes start. Believe me. I am not unfamiliar with “the source”. Reading the Bible was precisely what turned me away from Christianity as a whole.

      I agree with your gym theory. But people go to the gym for different reasons, just as people are attracted to religion for different reasons. Religion did not meet my requirements, so like a gym goer who decides to hike or bike or run instead, I chose another route that works for me.

      More than 10 years later. No regrets.

      Thanks again!

      1. I didn’t miss the comment, the irony may have even lost since the weight of the article was directed to the machine of church history. If i did know you, the irony would have been clear, I’m sure. The gym illustration is just a parable of sorts, the meaning, and how far it can be stretched shouldn’t go too deep. If you’ve searched the matter of religious (Christian) things, and have found enough to base your decision on, you’ve done a lot more than most.

      2. The article was, in fact, directed at a specific Church, but it also illustrates that I went outside of the Church to do my research ie when I started digging into Anglican and Catholic materials. There were also references to Bible questions I asked and queried, and my own independent research that led me to things like the Arian Heresy.

        None of those have anything to do with SDA-specific literature. I had crossed the line into other sources long before. Those sources discredited the SDA, but also opened new questions for Christianity on a whole.

        Additionally, since the article is about the SDA and its secrets, I wouldn’t spend it detailing all my own personal beliefs regarding Christianity. That wasn’t the topic or the point of the article, which is why I spent a whole 500+ words laying the context about it being written between Harold Camping’s Rapture and the Mayan Calendar Doomsday.

        A blog post is a chapter in a person’s thoughts. We must always remember context, and ask for the rest of the history, rather than assume everything is contained in 500 to 2500 words.. 😉

      3. I have to apologize on 2 counts. 1. That i somehow missed a notification from WordPress that you commented to my comment, and this is coming a few days late. 2. For not making the connection. But if i missed it, and was interested enough to commement and inquire, possibly others were too.

        You are correct, a single blog article is a chapter, a slice of a sometimes much larger picture in a person’s thoughts. You clearly spent time in researching church history, a topic i could probably do well to investigate more. No doubt doctrines of men and political influence have polluted the way we view modern worship.

        Regardless of where corruption comes from, or who did it, or whether it had good intent, to me the source document for all Christian religions is found in the brief pages in the New Testament. All the rest is the history of people trying to deal with it in the context of their own times. Yeah, maybe I’m being too simple about it. I like to go for the simple explanation, and build from there.

        Moving off the religious topic, let me say… i enjoy reading about your travels. Thanks for sharing with the world, so people like me can travel vicariously through your writings.

      4. No worries. I sometimes miss comments too, or find them months later when WordPress marked it as spam. 🙂 And no need to apologize on either account.

        I’m glad you enjoy my travel posts. That’s what this blog started out as, a travel blog. But the more I traveled, and then after moving to the US, I realised that the actual trip is sometimes only half the story. I’ve learned so much along the way!

        Why live only vicariously though? What’s stopping you from seeing more of our blue dot?

      5. Besides the cost, with 2 disabled people there’s a lot of added logistics,and there are times there’s more relaxation in staying close to home than adventuring out. We’ve spent time as world travelers. Now it’s our time to live in the adventures in our minds.

      6. That’s amazing that you got to travel the world, prior. I still feel like I have so much to see. I work from home, so it’s often easier to relax in another location.

        I understand how dependents can make travel logistics more difficult though. I have family members who work with special needs patients, and they take them with them on vacations. I’ve always wondered how they manage it!

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