Resignation from Membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Saturday, May 13, 1995
[Seventh-day Adventist Church]
Greetings! The past several months have been a time of much prayer and
Bible study for me. I have had to re-evaluate our beliefs in light of
our study of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have had to re-think my
position on the Sabbath as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in
light of the Bible. I have also had to reconsider the role of Ellen G.
White in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the role of her writings in
relation to Scripture.
As a result of much prayer for spiritual guidance in my study of the
Scriptures, I have come to the conclusion that the seventh-day Sabbath
was part of an old covenant that has been fulfilled and made obsolete by
Christ's work on our behalf (2 Cor. 3; Heb. 8). It was a shadow of things
to come, the substance being Christ (Col. 2:16-17). It was a symbol
pointing to Christ and the rest He sought to restore that was lost in
Eden (Heb. 3-4). My understanding now is that it is not the day that is
important anymore, but my relationship with Christ. One who accepts
Christ enters into His sabbath rest (Gal. 4:1-11; Rom. 14:1-6; Heb.
4:1-11). This does not mean that I believe one cannot keep the
Sabbath if one wishes to, but it does mean that I believe it is no
longer required, since I have been liberated from the old covenant by
Christ's work and brought into a greater, more glorious covenant. One
that is not dependent on keeping days, rituals, or other symbols of the
old covenant, but on faith in Christ and love for one another (Rom.
13:8-10; Gal. 3:15-29; Gal. 5; 1 John 3:22-24).
Regarding Ellen G.
White after much study, I have come to the conclusion that while she
has said many spiritually uplifting things in her writings, she does
not fit the Biblical definition of a prophet (Deut. 18:20-22). I do
not believe that the spirit of prophecy described in the Bible equals
the writings of Ellen G. White. I have examined allegations that a
great deal of her writings had been plagiarized from other authors
and have found this to be true, in spite of denials by some to this
fact. I have also found that some of the doctrines and positions she
endorsed in her writings and through "vision" are not consistent with
Scripture. I have discovered that she made prophecies and predictions
that did not come to pass. In my study of the Scriptures, I have found
that doctrines like the 1844 investigative judgment, the Sabbath as
the seal of God (as test of loyalty to God in the end), and the notion
that Christ's atonement for our sins was not completed at the cross
-- doctrines she endorsed -- have no real basis in Scripture. As a
result, I cannot in good conscience accept her as a prophet in the
Biblical sense, nor accept her interpretations of Scripture as infallible
In conclusion, I respectfully request that my name be removed from the
membership list of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, for I feel
it would not be fitting for me to remain a member of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church if I no longer hold to some of its most fundamental doctrines.
My understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ now has brought me great
joy and peace, which I have never had before. It has brought me into a
closer walk with Christ. But unfortunately, I believe it is at variance
with what is taught in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I apologize for
any pain or disappointment I may have caused you or other members of the
church, but I believe I must follow the Lord's leading in this matter.
Acceptance of Resignation
September 26, 1995
It is with painful hearts that we,
as a church in business session on September 16, 1995, voted to honor
your request to drop your name from membership in the Seventh-day
It is our hope that you will give serious
consideration to your relationship with Christ, and re-evaluate your
connection with God and His church, and would elect to be reinstated
in full membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In the meantime, rest assured, that the membership of the church
will continue to remember you in prayer. We want you to remember that we
do love you and that Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life that
you might have Eternal Life if you choose to follow Jesus.
Departure from SDAnet
This last post to sdanet, an Internet forum for discussion on matters
pertaining to Seventh-day Adventism, represents my final break with that
church. After experiencing the saving grace of Jesus Christ, after
knowing in my heart that I did not have to work to be saved (which is
impossible), but that salvation is a gift that belongs to the believer
the moment he turns to Christ, I could no longer in good conscience
remain a Seventh-day Adventist.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 10:07:09 -0400 (EDT)
To: sdatalk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: sdanet <email@example.com>
Subject: So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Adieu!
Greetings sdaneters! It is finally time for me to take leave of you. The
last 4 years with you have been very interesting and enlightening. There
has been so much that I learned that I may have never learned, or would
have taken long years to learn. My dialogues with many of you have often
prompted me to go back and study my Bible more than ever before. And I am
very grateful for that. For had I not done so I surely would not have
learned what the Gospel is, and I would be as lost today as I was most of
my life. And this notwithstanding the fact that I was an SDA from birth and
attended SDA schools from kindergarten straight through university, even
getting a theology degree. I have often berated myself for not
understanding the Gospel a lot sooner. But a veil lay over my heart and I
was blinded. All that knowledge brought me no closer to really understanding.
Throughout my life the theology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
helped in preventing me from seeing.
Some of the distinctive teachings of SDAism, some of which are called
pillar doctrines, caused me not to see. And the promotion of Ellen White
as equal to or even above Scripture only compounded the problem. But as I
started to research the claims that she plagiarized most of her works
that she said came to her from God, that some of the doctrines she
endorsed were indeed unbiblical, and that what I was taught all my life
wasn't "the truth" after all, but often were attempts to prop up Ellen
White's prophetic status and the SDA denomination as the "remnant
church", the veil started dropping and the light of Bible began shining
brighter. When I thoroughly researched the Sabbath issue with much
prayer, soul-searching, and intense Bible study, the veil was ripped away
completely and I was finally able to see the true Gospel of Scripture. I
cannot describe the joy I felt as I began to finally understand that
salvation wasn't about what church one belonged to, diet, or what day one
worshiped on, or getting through some investigative judgment. It was
completely on what Jesus had already accomplished for me through His
life, death on the cross, and resurrection. Period! I finally realized
that by having faith in what Jesus had done for me assured my salvation.
As an SDA I was never assured of salvation. If someone asked me, I would
say that I hoped I would make it. I used to pray to God asking Him to
burn me quickly if I didn't make it! Now what kind of prayer is that for
a Christian? But after basking in the light of the Gospel, I can say with
faith, conviction, and joy that I AM SAVED! Not maybe, not I hope to be,
but for sure! I am a sinner saved only by grace. No amount of works,
Sabbath keeping, or anything else will save me. Only Jesus, my Substitute.
And He has done it for an unworthy sinner like me. Incredible and humbling!
Even today I am amazed that the Lord would even bother to help me see.
Why should he help me? What have I done to merit His special attention?
Nothing! But God loved even me so much that He sent His Son to save me.
Such a love I cannot understand. It is too incredible! But it is true
nonetheless. He was patient with me and kind, and I am very grateful.
Finally understanding that salvation was already mine by faith totally
transformed my life. Whatever good I do I cannot take even the least bit
credit for it. It is all the doing of Christ. He saved me, past tense,
and with that realization I cannot help but want to live for Him. While I
am still a sinner and I stumble and fall occasionally, my salvation is
not based on how I perform or progress. It is based solely on complete
faith in Christ. And I can rest in His salvation and let Him make me as
good as He can. I do not have to be afraid anymore.
I have noticed in the past 18-24 months that often when someone places
faith in Ellen White's writings, even in instances where she contradicts
the Bible, it is apparently condoned (even encouraged). But as soon as
someone promotes the Gospel of Christ, a chorus of protest goes up,
especially in areas that disagree with EGW. I have seen people in other
Christian net groups more receptive to the Gospel in general. Yes, even
in the Catholic net group! This is the only net group I know of that
rails against it so much. What I have observed in many on sdanet is that
the Gospel equals Sabbath keeping, belief in the investigative judgment,
and faith in Ellen White's writings. And woe upon anyone who contradicts
these "truths"! As soon as someone quotes Ellen White saying something
contrary to the Gospel someone says, "Yes, but...look at this other more
accurate EGW statement!" As though this would excuse the previous erroneous
statement. Even in some of her "visions" that were later proven false I
have heard the excuse that she only had a "symbolic" vision. Well, I
really don't know what is symbolic about a vision where real people are
depicted and definite fates are predicted for them. Of course, it didn't
come to pass since all the people in her vision, including herself, have
been dead for many decades. And that is just one example. I think Deuteronomy
18:20-22 applies here. After all, if Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, or
Charles Taze Russell did something like this, I am very certain most SDAs
would not hesitate to call them false prophets. But when it comes to
Ellen White it appears the rules no longer apply. Someone once told me
that one should defend the family (in the context of defending EGW). But
I asked whether it was fair to hold everyone else to one standard yet
excuse one's "prophet" when that standard is broken by that "prophet". I
couldn't get a straight answer. In terms of some of the things that she
has written that went against Scripture, I was once told that perhaps the
publishing house printing press made errors in the typeset so that what
Ellen White wrote came out incorrectly. Even with whole passages that
were inconsistent even with her previous writings? I was told yes! I am
sorry, but this sounds like a little boy who failed to do his homework on
time saying the dog ate it! This excuse was so ridiculous to me that I
was surprised it was even spoken! But this illustrates the fact that many
SDAs cannot bring themselves to the point where they can say Ellen White
was wrong on some things. She has such a hold on the SDA Church that it
cannot really move forward. It is, in some ways, still stuck in the 19th
century. Especially in light of some of the articles current GC President
Folkenberg has written placing Ellen White's writings on par with the
Bible. It is little wonder to me, now that I am outside the SDA Church,
that very many consider the SDA Church to be a cult. Many Christians
outside the SDA Church view SDAism in a cultic light because of its views
regarding Ellen White and some of the unbiblical doctrines she endorsed.
While she may have been a strong leader for the SDA Church, she was far
from being a prophet in the Biblical sense. I believe that if the church
is to survive in the 21st century, it is going to have to honestly
re-evaluate Ellen White's role, drop whatever unbiblical doctrines or
concepts she endorsed, and accept and teach the Gospel of Scripture.
So after all this, do I think I somehow know more than anyone else on the
Gospel or what accurate Christian doctrine is? No way! I am learning
things about living under the Gospel that other sincere Christians have
known all or most of their lives. I am way behind and playing "catch
up"! I have so much more to learn. But as long as I place my trust in the
Lord, He will teach me what I need to know.
With all that said, I take my leave of you. While some of you might be
glad to see me go, I still am happy that I had the opportunity to discuss
some of SDAism's key issues and doctrines with you. I enjoyed the
exchange of ideas. The time was very well spent and I do not regret it
for a moment. Farewell!