Advent Uprising

by Silence Nomore

Things you’ve dared to think, but haven’t said aloud, about your church and faith.

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I Think, Therefore We Have Nothing In Common

I LOVE this shirt. Sadly, it resonates with my Adventist experience.

think-therefore-nothing-in-common-shirt.png

I’m not an Adventist careerist, so I have a mind of my own. The careerists hate that. So do the institutionalists.

The careerists succumb to the hive-mind in order to climb the corporate ladder. They can’t have a mind of their own if they want to make it to the top. If they did, they simply wouldn’t get promoted or elected. That’s not what they want. And if they can’t have a mind of their own, I think they resent anyone who does.

The institutionalists (often the careerists and the institutionalists are one and the same, although plenty of lay Adventists—okay most—are institutionalists) can’t stand the idea of change. And thinking leads to change. Opinions lead to change. In their minds, change is dangerous.

Both the careerists and the institutionalists utterly disdain people who question mediocrity.

It’s

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3 Important Church Reforms Adventist Millennials Should Immediately Push For

This blog post will show young Adventists how to quickly bring about the changes they want to see within the Adventist church.

My fellow disappointed, shattered and possibly embittered Adventist youth: is it possible to move the Seventh-day Adventist church forward? To not merely long for better conditions (as we are all too familiar with doing)—but to really, truly, decisively move things forward?

Yes, meaningful change is a real possibility. Depending on your convictions, and those of your fellow young people, it’s even a probability. And it could happen within a matter of a few short months. It’s up to you.

A brighter Christian experience can be had. An experience that will make you feel alive again. An experience that doesn’t dampen your conscience or mute your joy. An experience that isn’t mundane or boring. An experience that isn’t embarrassing or disappointing. An experience

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Adventist Careerists

There was a very interesting article in The Atlantic recently detailing some of the problems and issues facing America’s military. It’s called The Tragedy of the American Military.

The following quote from the article, which talks about military leaders making bad decisions, intrigued me because I’ve seen so many Adventist leaders make bad decisions for similar reasons:

“…it’s become populated, especially at the highest ranks, by careerists, people who have gotten where they are by checking all the boxes and not taking risks,” he told me. “Some of the finest officers I knew were lieutenants who knew they were getting out, so weren’t afraid to make the right decision. I know an awful lot of senior officers who are very afraid to make a tough choice because they’re worried how it will look on their fitness report.” This may sound like a complaint about life in any big organization, but

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20 Questions

Many Adventists have honest questions about their denomination. They deserve honest answers. Now. Because the truth will never mind.

If you’re an Adventist, especially a Millennial or member of Gen Z, do yourself the following favor: don’t let one more week pass until your pastor, your parents and every Adventist friend of yours makes an honest attempt to answer the following important questions:

  1. What’s the point of the church?
  2. Is serving God the same as serving the church?
  3. Is the church supposed to serve me?
  4. Does it?
  5. How so, specifically?
  6. Do some people love the Adventist church more than they love God?
  7. Does, and should, my opinion actually matter to my denomination?
  8. Are things being decided for me that I should be deciding for myself?
  9. What authority—if any—do and should church “leaders” have over my life?
  10. Despite it’s tax-exempt status, are there times when the church is more of

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The Church Is Going Through (Something)

From Ellen White, and I quote:

He will take His Holy Spirit from the church, and give [the Spirit] to others who will appreciate Him. There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies.

That’s from the Review and Herald, July 16, 1895. I ran into it as it was read to a group of North American Division employees not long ago as part of a devotional thought. The funny thing was, everyone heard it but seemed to think it applied to some other church out there. Not our church. Never our church. Nobody was troubled in the slightest—except for me (and that because nobody was troubled in the slightest—except for me).

A church without the Holy Spirit isn’t much of a church, is it? And

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A Modern Sabbatarian Framework

I’m a Christian who is a Sabbatarian, who believes prophecy isn’t just a thing of the past and that dead people don’t go straight to heaven when they die. I also happen to think that Jesus is coming again very, very soon.

I’m anything but an anti-Adventist. But while you could call me a Seventh-day Adventist, I’d almost prefer you didn’t. Seventh-day Adventism—the institution—is becoming less relevant to me on a daily basis. I wish it weren’t so.

While it’s certainly true that I share a certain set of beliefs with the Seventh-day Adventist institution, I get neither my identity nor my salvation from the organization. The denomination has made itself optional in my life—rather than a necessity.

Beliefs are, by all means, very important. They are foundational. But they aren’t, in and of themselves, enough to compel me to be a part of an organization (much less to give it money).

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A Culture Of Fear & Guilt

Adventism has a problem. A time-honored problem. A problem that has, at times, been perceived as a solution of sorts.

That problem is that the Adventist church has been cherishing, enabling and relying upon a culture of fear and guilt. It’s acted as a sadly effective (and yet not guaranteed) one-two knockout punch for keeping butts in pews. Especially young butts. It’s also frequently employed to keep people from asking honest and tough questions. It frequently converts free-thinking Adventist young people into mindless GYC clones.

If you’ve been an Adventist for awhile (and especially if you consider yourself an ex-Adventist), you recognize the fists as they are flying toward your face all too well.

The first fist—fear—usually looks something like this: What will happen to me if I don’t…?

The second fist—guilt—usually looks something like this: What will my parents and family

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Excuses I’ll No Longer Accept

If you feel like the Adventist church is stuck in neutral, or reverse, but can’t figure out why, let me shed some light on the subject for you. If you have questions like:

Why isn’t the church reaching it’s full potential?

What could be different, better or improved?

Why are all these bad things happening in the church?

Why… STOP! You’re not allowed to ask any important questions.

Uh, Adventists… the truth will never mind. And have you never read James 1:5? It’s all about asking.

So no more excuses (see below). No more fear and guilt. I’m going to seek the truth. I’m going to mine it. And you can’t stop me.

This article exposes the excuses many (prominent) Adventists love to make when they want to kill an idea they are uncomfortable with or that simply doesn’t suit them personally, like doing something—anything—differently.

 Excuse #1: Money is coming in. That’s a sure sign

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Things That Are Not Okay

Adventism. It’s a phrase that makes many proud. Mostly, it makes me sad. Then mad. Then depressed. Over… and over… and… I’m sick of being sick of my denomination.

It used to make me feel like I was part of something big. Something important. Something that mattered. That was “back in the day"—back before I worked for the church.

That was before I had the audacity to start asking questions.

After I became an employee, part of me felt like I was involved in a bit sham. It was like a pseudo-church, or pseudo-business… not really fully either.

There’s a lot of stuff, both good and bad, that I would never have known about the Adventist denomination had I not become an employee, rather than a pew-sitter. Stuff that other pew-sitters can’t believe. Stuff they don’t want to believe. Stuff they want to pretend doesn’t exist.

I’ve worked for the church in various capacities, in various

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Denomination Optional?

Do you have to be a Seventh-day Adventist in order to be saved? It’s an okay question to ask, of course, because the truth will never mind.

This is how a conference “President” answered that question not long ago:

“Of course you don’t have to be an Adventist to be saved or to spread the message.”

Okay… then what is the point of our church?

His answer? “The reason we’re organized is to be more efficient.”

Tell me, is the church really all that efficient? Please spare me the excuses.

Let’s explore the time-honored notion that a person must, in this day and age, be a “card-carrying” Adventist in order to be saved.

Perhaps we should first clarify what we mean when we say “church.”

When a person refers to “the church” they could really mean one of three things: a building, the body of believers (aka Christians) or an institution (or denomination). When we speak about the Adventist

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