I left home at age twenty-one, at a time when most people would have recognized me as an adult, but I was in turmoil. My whole life I knew one way to be, and that was Seventh-Day Adventist. Even in my late teens when I might have been qualified as being a backslider, I still identified with being SDA. It was all I had ever known, and breaking away from it was one of the most difficult things I had ever done.
At the time I felt like I needed to make that break for several reasons. I had been introduced to several different types of religions and I was confused. How could one truly be THE religion of God, one religion to rule them all (to paraphrase Lord of the Rings)? I took a History of Western Religions course my first year in college, and one of the requirements was to visit several places of worship, so in the span of one semester I attended a mosque, a temple, a Baptist church, an Episcopal church, and a Catholic church. Each of those visits taught me more about the world, more about myself, and more about my own view of God, and that view showed me the many facets of a God I originally thought only had one. Continue reading “Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: The Aftermath”
Unlike a lot of other religions, in the Seventh-Day Adventist church you aren’t baptized as an infant. The premise is that each soul needs to make his own decision to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior, that giving yourself over to Christ is your personal choice, secure in the knowledge that you’ve gained through … Continue reading Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: Getting Baptized
I will never forget it, the day I preached my first sermon, and everything that led up to it. It all started at a youth usher’s convention the year before. As a youth usher in the SDA church, it was more than just standing at the door and letting people in. It was almost like … Continue reading Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: My First Sermon
You know how it was when you were growing up, and some things you did became so routine that you imagined everyone else in the whole world did the same things and felt the same way about them? And then you got older and you realized it wasn’t like that at all, that you world … Continue reading Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: On a Mission
I grew up in a world that was black and white. There were certain things I could and couldn’t do, and no amount of cajoling would accomplish the impossible. There was a firm policy in place for us kids. We were seen and not heard most of the time, and when it was time for … Continue reading Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: Keeping the Sabbath
From day one, there was much expected of me, not just as a preacher’s kid, and not just as the son of an ultra-religious family, but as the representation of everything SDA, the same as every other child of the church. This representation included, but was not limited to, how I dressed (in suits), how … Continue reading Growing Up Seventh-Day Adventist: Getting Healthy