It was a cloudy day of January 12, 2017. I was headed for a meeting in the Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) at 11am. I arrived 10 minutes early and prayed in the restroom before going up to the office. There were two administration officers waiting for me. The meeting took about 15 minutes. I was told that I have a post back in Southern California Conference of SDA.
So I left trusting that I could continue my ministry. But it was not meant to be.
Looking back at my more than 25 years as missionary volunteer, teacher, Bible worker, ordained minister, and doctoral candidate at Andrews University, it all just ended on that date. Those prime years of my life within the organization were teaching moments. I was grateful that I was given the opportunity.
Once the dust settled I reflected on what happened. Who’s at fault? Why?
It turned out that as I examined my own life I have many flawed understanding albeit naive perception of the church. My expectations failed and my cynicism was hyped. I felt they have done wrong and maliciously mislead me. That I deserve better. I was even told by a colleague I was screwed without me asserting my rights. But I resisted retaliation and legal action. Vengeance is the Lord’s!
The bigger picture was I felt like an airplane flying with a metal fatigue in the fuselage. I was a ship with a distracted captain onboard. Then my world crashed. My reality run aground. It was tough. Extremely painful for me.
A year after my wife filed divorce. I could have contested it but decided to turn a new leaf in life. That was the final straw. I felt betrayed by the person I trusted and loved. I can accept honesty but not lies. Loss of trust is a game changer. I was dumped like a carcass in the desert by the people I respected and admired. Politics showed its ugly head. I can’t swim in dirty and toxic waters anymore.
I lost my marriage, my ministry, and money. Plus the mockery and ridicule of those in the community who pretends to be friends but are not. They are for themselves and some are happy of the misfortune of others.
I was treated by the church like a pariah. I was thrown under the bus and run over.
Why? I was a fundamentalist with some moderate leanings. What I mean is I believe in the King James Version Bible as authority. I also believe in Ellen G. White’s writings. I lean toward conservatism rather than liberalism in the church. I practice health reform and observe traditional views of the Scriptures. I believe in doom and gloom. I believe in the apocalypse. I believe in the investigative judgement, the sanctuary, and the second coming. I viewed myself aligned to the SDAs of the 1860’s more than my leaders so why? Not so creative, innovative, and appealing?
It seems obvious to me that I am viewed as archaic, irrelevant, and obsolete. I will never be popular and will not be conforming to the world. I do not love the world and it was heard and was showed by my words and actions.
Thus, I am like a small fish who drifted into the ocean but is bound for the lake. I was thrown overboard by those leader on that fateful day for which I thought I would be redeemed. I was slayed instead. I was nailed in the sand box of oblivion. I was left in the cracks. I was deliberately erased from the conference.
Three years after I left the conference I started my own family. I praise God I found and was accepted by a person who understood me. My nuances and my truths were heard.
I made some attempts to reconnect with some SDA Conferences but was ignored and rejected. I guess God is opening another door for me.
I felt the injustice done to me was a wake up call. The perception is now clear. The SDA Church cannot redeem a person. That some SDA leaders are behaving like worldly politicians. That worldly contamination has seep inside the church. I think the system of the church is corrupted and manipulated to take control of people. The purview of the SDA conference reflects the broader agenda of the State that governs it and the will of the majority that pressures it. There are few good people left in the church.
It’s about money and power. The hypocrisy in the SDA organization is real but often swept under the rug. I do not think the organization had been faithful in saving souls for the Lord Jesus Christ. I was one of those souls harmed and hurt. I see the future of the faithful as smaller company and community. Decentralized and independent. Birds of the same feather flocked together. Soon the delusion that the SDA conference is relevant will be unravelled. A person does not need the SDA organization to gain entrance to the gates of heaven.
In fact there are more vipers and snakes in the SDA garden as elsewhere. The road of hades and hell are broader in the SDA Conference than in other Bible believing communities.
The storehouse for the tithe and offerings is not the SDA Conference who just invest it in money markets for gain and profits. Send it to the upper echelons of the organization for few people to control money. The storehouse is not in the SDA conferences who treats churches as their franchise and leaders as kings and politicians. With perks and privileges. With nepotism and luxury. Corrupted as the Roman Catholic Church for which they embraced.
I have awaken to the truth that God has a remnant. Not the popular mainstream SDA conferences but self-supporting ministries, house churches, and countryside communities.
I am not the only one who was mistreated in the SDA conference.
This is just one of the many reasons I accepted my fate and left the SDA conference in IL.
I have wrestled for many years what to do. I could only do what Christ said, “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Someday the sun will shine again for me.
I have suffered. But God will repay.