March 24, 2011
Hello Professor XXXXXXX,
Firstly, I respect your faith and convictions. Secondly, I accept our differences, and am not trying to change your mind. Thirdly, my website is not intended for Adventists who are satisfied with their faith. Although many Adventists who are satisfied with their faith will take exception to the things I have shared. My faith has changed. I am no longer a Seventh-day Adventist. This website answers the question, “FOR HEAVENS SAKE, WHY DAVID?” Thankfully we have the freedom of both speech and of religion in this country. This website is an expression my views, and convictions. I thank God for the millions who have bled and died to secure for us this freedom. GOD BLESS AMERICA! In America, If you don’t like what someone is saying you have the freedom to change the channel! Fourthly, my website is intended to aid Adventists who are not satisfied with their faith.
“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen.” Early 20th Century Judge, Warren E. Burger
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There are THOUSANDS of Adventists who feel they are not good enough to pass Ellen White’s Investigative Judgment, and doubt their overall salvation. My website is intended for them. I want to encourage faith in Jesus Christ, trust in his plan of salvation, and bring assurance where there is now doubt, and uncertainty.
My Assessment of Adventism After Two Decades of Walking Among them.
There are schisms within Adventism just as broad as among the rest of Christianity. They are known as the liberals and the conservatives. I actually recognize four groups.
- The ULTRA-conservatives (a smaller group) are perceived by others as generally good people, but also lacking true joy, and as being legalistic.
- Whereas the nominal-conservatives in general do not go to their same extremes.
- Many of the ULTRA-conservatives have splintered off from the Adventist church starting Independent churches, home groups and ministries. They are perceived by others as condemning, judgmental and self-righteous. They on the other hand view them selves like modern day John the Baptists.
- The ULTRA-liberals (a smaller group) also have their extremes, going as far left as the “once saved always saved” groups within Christianity.
- Whereas most nominal-liberals with in Adventism do not go to those extremes.
- Among the middle of the road groups of both the nominal-conservatives and nominal-liberals there are many who are Biblical Christians within the Adventist faith. These are the ones men like Dr. Walter Martin (author of the Kingdom of the Cults), and most of Christianity would consider Evangelical. It is the ULTRA-conservatives that have caused Walter Martin, and much of the rest of Christianity to reconsider whether or not to classify the Seventh-day Adventists as a cult!
- The ULTRA-conservatives take the writings of Ellen White quite literally.
- The ULTRA-liberals reject her writings entirely.
- The nominal-conservatives accept BOTH the Bible and Ellen White, but hold closely to those “precious gems” in Ellen White’s writings which Ron Graybill (Ellen White Estate) confessed were mostly taken from other Christian authors, and because these Adventists glean from the truths “borrowed” from the conservative Christian authors of the 19th century they are aided in remaining true Christians by them. From what I have seen, that is the class I perceive you to be. That is, a nominal-conservative, with a balanced view of Christianity, not only a sincere Christian, but a Christian in the truest sense.
- The nominal-liberal like the nominal-conservatives, accept Ellen White as divinely inspired, and especially enjoys Desire of Ages, and that class of writing, which were written when she had a staff of professional editors to polish her writings and make them more beautiful to read. Although by confession this class accepts all the writings of Ellen White, they either refrain from reading the testimonies, Early Writings, Spiritual Gifts, and those things with more harsh teachings, written in a time when she did not have her staff of editors; or else they tend to not view them as literally as the conservatives do; or classify some things as inspired, and other things as merely the opinion of Ellen White. Among those things they count as merely her own opinion as it turns out really were just that. Those sections in her writings are the things which Ron Graybill (Ellen White Estate), confessed were the statements of Ellen White woven into the works she “borrowed” from other Christian authors, i.e. her own ideas that were added to them. Many of this class in Adventism, have rejected the Investigative Judgment entirely!
- There is another class who maintains the Investigative Judgment, but feel a great burden upon them about it. They are uncertain of their salvation. Some of which suffer bouts of back sliding, with a roller coaster up and down experience. They try really hard to live up to the extra-biblical standards in Mrs. White’s writings, fail and give up; only to try again later repeating the cycle.
- My website is designed for the Ultra-liberal to remind him there are hundreds of things CHRISTIANS ARE TO OBEY! And that we are NOT once saved always saved, and that WE ARE TO OBEY ALL THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES. My website demonstrates to the ULTRA-liberal that a former third generation SDA, just like them has rejected Ellen White, and the investigative judgment, BUT STILL BELIEVES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, REPENTANCE, AND OBEDIENCE TO ALL THE COMMANDMENTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. My hope is to call this class back to fidelity and to awaken within them a desire to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and the commandments of His apostles.
- My website is for the ultra-conservative. To remind them, that Ellen White is not the center of the universe. To challenge them to come back to the Bible as the center of their faith.
- My website is for the troubled soul who doubts his salvation. For the one who is plagued with doubts and fears. Who is anxious and worried about being good enough to pass the Investigative Judgment.
- My website is for myself. To strengthen my own faith in the word of God. Iron Sharpens Iron. When the Adventist disagrees with me, or brings a new argument to my attention it challenges me to dig deeper in the Bible, or to study out something new, ultimately enhancing my faith and increasing my knowledge. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” 20th Century Journalist, David Brinkley
- My website is for men like you. To STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH. It challenges you to dig deeper in the Bible, to study out something new, and to enhance your faith and your knowledge.
- My website is for the Evangelical Christian. To STRENGTHEN THEIR FAITH. It challenges them to dig deeper in the Bible, to study out something new, and to enhance their faith and their knowledge.
I have had Adventists who have told me this is exactly what talking with me has done for them. ON ALL POINTS MENTIONED ABOVE.
“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.” Charles Spurgeon
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
I count you not only a sincere Christian, as you have named me, but I count you a BOTHER and a TRUE CHRISTIAN. I do not doubt your relationship with God, nor your knowledge of the Bible and other matters. I BELIEVE I WILL MEET YOU ONE DAY IN THE NEW EARTH INSIDE THE NEW JERUSALEM.
Regarding your statements concerning your bluntness:
I welcome it. I am objective. Some take questions and comments about their faith VERY PERSONALLY! They feel “attacked” and persecuted. Those who like you and I who have extensive experience with apologetics are OBJECTIVE. We see the argument presented as a concept, a doctrine, and a belief. Something to be studied, something to be reasoned with, something to be answered.
- Brother XXXXXXX, people are fragile and come in various forms and have differing attitudes.
- Some are balanced,
- whereas others get easily offended.
- Some share what they believe because they love their faith and want to share it with others;
- whereas others share what they believe, because they love the taste of victory. For some It makes them feel better than the other when they win the argument. It is my experience that this is the class that feels “attacked” and persecuted when people question their teachings. In reality this is a demonstration of their own insecurities.
“None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves.” Charles Spurgeon
Brother XXXXXXX, I perceive you to be a man who loves his beliefs dearly, who wants to defend Ellen White like you would your own mother. For the Adventists she has been like a mother. Therefore my challenge may be perceived by some, like a boy in a school yard calling another boys mother a bad name. Instant passionate feelings naturally call you to defend her. That is honorable and as I began this letter with, I respect that. The same happens when you question Mary, with a Roman Catholic! They passionately instinctively rise to her defense! She is like a mother to them too. Ellen White has taught you how to dress, and how to eat, and tried to educate you in all her beliefs and values. That is exactly what any good mother tries to do!
Ellen White writing her son Willie,
“The Lord loves those little children who try to do right, and He has promised that they shall be in His kingdom. But wicked children God does not love. He will not take them to the beautiful City, for He only admits the good, obedient, and patient children there.” – Ellen G. White,An Appeal to the Youth, pp. 62-63.
This frank statement is merely a reflection of the overall view contained through out her writings. I pity little Willie who grew up in the White home being taught things like this. Can you imagine if little Willie, like his brother had died at that young age believing this? Sadly hundreds of thousands of youth in the Adventist church are raised with this same legalistic view of things. Thank God that He loved us while we were yet sinners.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Are You Trying to Reform Yourself or Are You Born Again?
You are free to disagree with me; I promise I will not take offense. I am actually quite secure both in my relationship with Christ as well as my renewed faith in scripture. I have returned to my first love. I study the Bible ten times more now than I did during my last ten years as an Adventist.
- Your position: I have fallen off the track. ( I understand why you think that).
- My position: Your faith is balanced, and your views of Ellen White are mostly balanced, because it is focused mostly on the sections she took from other balanced Christian authors.
Because of that, I see no need to try to change you in anyway. Since the over all goal of my website is to aid people in gaining the assurance of salvation. However if by discussing our differences it will strengthen your faith and make you a stronger Christian, then the time is worth the effort.
You may be desiring to engage me in this debate to “set me straight,” & “reclaim me” to the Christ. Brother He has never left me nor forsaken me, and I now cling to Him and the Word of God like never before!
“Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.” Charles Spurgeon
Although you do not challenge my sincerity, it concerns me that you view the millions of Evangelicals with a like-minded view as I now have as lacking the essentials of salvation. If that is not the case then you must concede that both Evangelicals and myself are true Christians. That means we are brothers in Christ and ought to view one another as such. I respect your faith and count you a true Christian. I see no need to try to change you so long as you are satisifed with your beliefs..
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – Jesus Christ
Your church challenges the teachings of all other churches. So please allow me to do the same with your teachings without presenting to me a double standard. Since the Adventist freely question the teachings of other churches, allow me the same opportunity to question the teachings of your church with the same respect you hope to have, when you challenge the teachings of other Christians.
We are both “blunt” and direct men, by nature brother XXXXXXX. There is a time for all things under heaven. Jesus was direct with the Pharisees. But most of the time he was meek and lowly in heart. Balance is the key! Peter said to give a reason for the hope that is in you with MEEKNESS. Paul said restore such a one in a spirit of MEEKNESS.
I will close with a story.
When I was a boy, my dad would give my brother and I a quarter whenever the ice cream truck would roll by and play its music. One day my dad was asleep when we heard the music from a distance. I was only 4 years old at the time. I went into my dad’s room, and took the wallet out of his pocket and found a $5 dollar bill. At the time it is was the largest denomination I had ever held in my hands. I snuck out of his room quietly and ran to meet the ice cream truck. When I got there I handed the man the $5, and asked him “how much can I get for this?” Boy was I surprised.
About three hours later my dad called me into his room and confronted me with the missing $5… GULP!
My dad was a kind man, but did not hesitate to use the belt. I JUST KNEW THE BELT WAS COMING!
I was terrified!
My dad did something that day I will never forget. He sat me down and told me about Heaven! I deserved the wrath of my father, but instead was shown mercy and love. It reduced me to tears, and I never again stole money from my dad’s wallet!
That day, my dad demonstrated MEEKNESS! And it made all the difference in the world, to that little four year old boy! It had a longer lasting impression on me than all the belt lashes he gave at other times. There is a time for all things. The belt is necessary at times, but whenever possible MEEKNESS has longer lasting results.
“The Saviour reigned in all their hearts, and they successfully copied the pattern of meekness and gentleness, which he had left them.” 19th Century Clergymen, John Strachan
BLESSINGS IN THE LORD!!!
David M. Curtis