This testimony is from an ex-Adventist, in two e-mails. Names/places are deleted for privacy.
My name is [name removed]. I am a recovering seventh day adventist. Over the past ten years, I have struggled with my decision to join and then leave the sda faith. My journey into seventh day adventism began with me choosing against advice from my parents to refrain from delving into adventism. I began visiting sda churches at the age of 17 and soon thereafter joined the Adventist “Church.” . After graduating high school, I planned to follow in my father’s footsteps and attend school in engineering. I was told by persons I trusted in the Adventist faith that deciding to follow a high tech career path would lead to the destruction of my soul. I accepted every thing the adventists told me because I was convinced that they were more knowledgeable I about God, and life in general, than either I or my parents.
After losing a couple of years of education due to tremendous conflicts between myself and my family over my new found faith, I attended [name removed], a private SDA institution of higher learning, and began the study of psychology. My parents, hurt and angry that I had labeled them among the unsaved and unknowledgeable, allowed me to grow up and “make my own mistakes.” Choosing to attend [name removed] over [name removed] was a mistake rivaled on by a decision to study psychology over engineering.
From the moment I joined the adventist church, I became a constant victim of criticism and attack. I was young and accepted the mistreatment because I felt that I had failed to live up to the lofty standards adventists set for its laity. Soon, I began to mature, and began to openly question things concerning this faith for which I had renounced relationships with potential mates, lifelong friends, and cherished family members. The responses I received to my queries initially ranged from constructive to helpful. But as time went on, I became a target of slander, verbal assault, and other forms of intellectual cruelty.
Despite the best efforts of many within the [name removed] Adventist community to thwart my progress, in 19xx, I graduated from [name removed]. I knew that I had made a foolish decision to pursue a degree in psychology, but I intended to do my best to succeed with what I had. With that in mind I decided to attend law school. Though I knew it would be an expensive undertaking, I trusted that either my parents or my alma mater would help me to attain my goals. I was wrong on both accounts. My parents wanted me to learn a lesson and refused to help me through law school.
Having terminated my membership in the adventist church a few months after graduating from [name removed], officials at my alma mater sought vengeance on me. And they used every resource at their disposal to ensure that I would not succeed in any undertaking I engaged in after leaving the school. For example, I was denied letters of recommendation from professors whose salaries I had paid for 4 years and in whose classes I had earned superior grades. My institutional transcripts never seemed to arrive at their requested locations in time for me to be evaluated for admission to various law schools, or for consideration as a candidate to receive funding for the grants and scholarships I needed to fund my law school education. I was also denied access to career placement resources in response to my decision to terminate my membership in the seventh day adventist church.
For the past three years, I have merely survived, living in fear that the next church I join, friend I make, or school I attend will attack me as the adventists did. It has been only recently (the last 3 months or so) that I have had the courage to move on. I am now pursuing a masters in information technology, and have begun to study my Bible again. I am still very skeptical of people, but I am proud to report that my family ties have been restored. Once I finish my master’s degree, I will earn my degree in law to ensure that no one else is persecuted by adventists as I was, without having a legal means of retribution.
I need your help in learning how to come to Christ once again. Though I have been changed by my experiences with sdas, I know that I have the power to decide whether it will be for the better or the worst. Can you help point me in the right direction?
Many that have experiences with Adventists similar to mine, leave the cult second guessing themselves because as a member one is more or less brainwashed into becoming distrustful of their own judgment. The information you provided on the Internet reassured me that it was a God-inspired set of circumstances which enabled me to free myself from Adventism. For years, I struggled with the idea that I had somehow been manipulated by Satan to cast off my crown of salvation, as it were, by terminating my membership in the SDA church. So I must thank you.
As it relates to using my testimony online, feel free to do so. I took great pains to pen my testimony despite external resistence and personal apprehension. You may even use my first name. Please delete references to [name deleted], though as they may be erroneously associated with Adventism by a careless reader.
Finally, I must express my appreciation to you for provided commentary and insight into my experience both with your words and the format you employed to convey your sentiments. You too much be keen of thought and mind. I have considered the words you have written and do realize that a healing process must occur before I will feel “comfortable” with people in any circumstance. Unfortunately for me, the story I gave is highly abridged, the full truth of my experiences with Seventh day Adventists is much more appauling than the version you have received. As a result, the emotion scars I have sufferred run much deeper those one might deem reasonable under the circumstances described in the previous emaling.
At any rate, I consider myself brave and courageous enough to confront the challenges life sets before me. I have begun my life anew, and want to make sure that my foundation is Christ, not church, per se. Catholism appeals to me because of this. Also, I have learned much more about myself, my God, and life in general thorugh this whole ordeal. As such, I know that the style and manner of worship for a “typical” Catholic service is much more in tune with my tastes than any other Christian religion of which I am currently aware.
What I find most compelling about Catholicism though is why it has drawn such ire from SDA’s. Though Adventists have issue with all other religions in general, none is held in as much contempt as Catholism. Knowing that seventh day adventism is founded on and fueled by satanic dreams, visions, and teachings leads me to conclude that their most hated rival must be founded on and fueled by the One True God.