Question for ex-SDAs

I know there are some ex-SDAs on this board who can probably answer my question.

About a dozen years ago I happened to come across a copy of a booklet entitled National Sunday Law. At that time I was a believer but was not attending any church. However, I did believe that Christ established one church, and felt that one of the churches out there must be the one that he started. Anyway, this booklet condemned the Roman Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon (which I accepted since I had already come across anti-Catholic literature which prejudiced me against it), and claimed that Saturday, not Sunday should be the day of worship. I was stunned; I had always wondered why Christians, though descended from the Jewish faith, had worshipped on a different day. This booklet quoted Scripture to back up its claims, and I was convinced they were correct.

The booklet had an offer to send off for a free book to learn about the “true church.” I was intrigued, and a couple weeks later received a copy of The Great Controversy, by E.G. White. In the back was a card to send if you wanted to learn more about the Seventh day Adventist church. I had heard of them, knew little accept they were a little bit ‘weird.’ However, the early Christians were considered ‘weird’ (and come to think of it, so are Catholics by many Protestants) so I considered evidence in my favor.

I started reading the book and was convinced until I came to the part where ‘prophet’ William Miller was ‘rescued’ by an angel. Several years earlier, I had read about how William Miller had predicted the end of the world in 1843, when that didn’t pan out, he changed the date to 1844- that didn’t pan out either (Some of Miller’s followers originated the SDA church). At this point there was a loud WHOOSHing sound- that of the SDA’s credibility flying out the window (along with their books). Over the years I’ve seen these and other SDA literature. They don’t have their name on it, but most of it is in the same genre: attacking the Catholic Church and promoting Saturday as the ‘true’ Sabbath.

My question is this: Why do they remain anonymous? If they truly believe they are the ‘true church,’ why not come out and say it proudly, and display their banner, so to speak? For crying out loud, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons have more integrity than that!

[quote=RNRobert]I know there are some ex-SDAs on this board who can probably answer my question.

About a dozen years ago I happened to come across a copy of a booklet entitled National Sunday Law.

(snip)

My question is this: Why do they remain anonymous? If they truly believe they are the ‘true church,’ why not come out and say it proudly, and display their banner, so to speak? For crying out loud, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons have more integrity than that!

[/quote]

Well, thats actually a VERY debated issue within Adventism too. First, let me point out that the book ***The National Sunday Law ***is not a book published by or endorsed by the GC of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Pastor” Jan as he is sometimes called is considered by most as a independent ministry on the fringes of the SDA Church.

I have e-mailed with him and received his newsletter, and have read the book, and while it is pretty much accurate per SDA beliefs, it’s presentation is pretty offensive and deceptive. I have found him to be not always the most truthful in his statements, based on e-mails with him, and his newsletters.

In addition, while he continues to refer to himself as “Pastor”, I contacted the President of the Conference in Ill. where he resides and he confirmed that he does not hold ministerial credentials from the conference and is NOT a pastor in the SDA Church… however, he may have been at one time in the early 80’s. Here is a quote from his e-mail to me: "Jan Marcussen has an independent ministry in southern [font=Arial]Illinois[/font][font=Arial]. His office I believe is in [/font][font=Arial]Benton[/font][font=Arial], [/font][font=Arial]Illinois[/font][font=Arial]. … [/font]While he and others at one time started a congregation in [font=Arial]Benton[/font][font=Arial], Mr. Marcussen is not nor ever has been credentialed by the Illinois Conference. " Kenneth Denslow, President Ill. Conference of SDA’s[/font] .

The reason I point this out is because I think it is important not to confuse SDA’s with the SDA Church… often there can be a huge disparity between the two.

Now, the reason that SDA’s often hide who they are, honestly, is because they feel that they will get more people to respond if they have not attatched the label of SDA to it. This was more important in the past when there was more of a cult stigma attatched to the SDA Church. However, as a whole the leaders still feel that it is best to have people come into the meetings or read the materials without preconcieved opinions about the Church, they feel this will give them more of a chance to accept the truth as they see it.

Hope this helps!

Brandon

[quote=SDA2RC]Well, thats actually a VERY debated issue within Adventism too. First, let me point out that the book ***The National Sunday Law ***is not a book published by or endorsed by the GC of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Pastor” Jan as he is sometimes called is considered by most as a independent ministry on the fringes of the SDA Church.

I have e-mailed with him and received his newsletter, and have read the book, and while it is pretty much accurate per SDA beliefs, it’s presentation is pretty offensive and deceptive. I have found him to be not always the most truthful in his statements, based on e-mails with him, and his newsletters.

In addition, while he continues to refer to himself as “Pastor”, I contacted the President of the Conference in Ill. where he resides and he confirmed that he does not hold ministerial credentials from the conference and is NOT a pastor in the SDA Church… however, he may have been at one time in the early 80’s. Here is a quote from his e-mail to me: "Jan Marcussen has an independent ministry in southern [font=Arial]Illinois[/font][font=Arial]. His office I believe is in [/font][font=Arial]Benton[/font][font=Arial], [/font][font=Arial]Illinois[/font][font=Arial]. … [/font]While he and others at one time started a congregation in [font=Arial]Benton[/font][font=Arial], Mr. Marcussen is not nor ever has been credentialed by the Illinois Conference. " Kenneth Denslow, President Ill. Conference of SDA’s[/font] .

The reason I point this out is because I think it is important not to confuse SDA’s with the SDA Church… often there can be a huge disparity between the two.

Now, the reason that SDA’s often hide who they are, honestly, is because they feel that they will get more people to respond if they have not attatched the label of SDA to it. This was more important in the past when there was more of a cult stigma attatched to the SDA Church. However, as a whole the leaders still feel that it is best to have people come into the meetings or read the materials without preconcieved opinions about the Church, they feel this will give them more of a chance to accept the truth as they see it.

Hope this helps!

Brandon
[/quote]

Brandon,

Thanks for the input. Come to think of it, about a month or so after I received the book in the mail, I got a ‘quiz’ and a letter from a ‘Pastor Jan.’ The quiz had something to do with the statue the Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about in Daniel. The letter had some diabtribe about JPII and world youth day in Denver, and something about how they were changing calendars so that Sunday would show as the last day of the week instead of the first. There was also an invitation to send the ‘quiz’ back to be graded and to receive additional quizzes. By this time, I was already disenchanted with the SDAs and chucked it in the trash.

BTW, I read somewhere that the original National Sunday Law was written sometime in the late 19th century, when Congress had legislation before it that would require businesses to be closed Sunday (the legislation was defeated). One of the reasons I had trouble buying into the SDA line about Sunday being enforced as the mark of the beast was due to the fact that our society is becoming increasingly secularized (heck, it seems more and more businesses are working on Sunday) and any attempt to enforce any kind of National Blue Law of that sort would meet fierce opposition from the ACLU, People for the American Way, People for the Separation of Church and State and any other athiest organization.

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