Why I Left Adventism After 37 Years
Robert K. Sanders, founder of Truth or Fables
My wife and I were baptized into the Decatur, IL SDA Church in 1958, after taking the SDA Voice of Prophecy Bible Correspondence Studies and a series of studies with the SDA Pastor. I became a representative for Christian Record Braille Foundation, which is Adventist work for the blind. I left the Christian Record in 1962 as I did not like being away from my family all week and just seeing them on the weekends. I then went to work for Purdue University and retired after 31 years in 1994, I was employed as a Technical Assistant for Aeronautical and Nuclear Engineering.
Why I Left the SDA Church
I was a third generation SDA before leaving Adventism. People that leave any church have various reasons for leaving. Some leave because of politics, hurt feelings by fellow members, others by pressure from family members or loved ones, and some because of doctrine. In my case it was because of doctrine that my wife and I left. We could no longer be true to the Word of God and accept the Bible contradictions of Ellen G. White.
I was a member for 37 years till 1994 and held offices as Elder, Sabbath School Teacher, building chairman, etc. I also did volunteer work for the Indiana Conference as well as holding a seminar for the Conference on "How to give Bible Studies". I gave Bible studies to many people that were baptized into the church. My son and grandsons attended SDA schools. I share this information with you so that you will be aware that I am thoroughly familiar with Adventist's beliefs.
I was thoroughly convinced that I was in the true "remnant church." We had the "Spirit of Prophecy" and "the testimony of Jesus" which are the writings of Ellen G. White (EGW). With that premise I understood the Bible as interpreted by EGW. After all she was God's prophet to his last day church I was taught.
It was about 1985, that I began questioning EGW's work. I was taught that she had a third grade education and all her wonderful books came from God and her teachings were just as inspired as the Bible prophets.
In 1985 I became aware of Ellen G. White's plagiarism by SDA Pastor Walter Rea. Rea showed in his book, The White Lie that EGW used the works of uninspired authors and did not give them credit, while EGW claimed her words were shown her by an angel or from the throne of God. By this EGW was a liar and never publicly repented of her sin.
A short time before this Adventist Pastor Dr. Desmond Ford had shown that EGW's sanctuary doctrine including the Investigative Judgment was without Bible foundation. Most SDA scholars agreed with Ford that it is not biblical. There are no non-SDA Bible Scholars that can find a Bible basis for EGW's Sanctuary doctrine.
This caused me to research what EGW really taught to see if it was in harmony with the Bible and history. I found that EGW often contradicted the Bible and history and this was unacceptable to me. I found that EGW was wrong on the October 22, 1844 date as the Day of Atonement and history shows it was September 23, 1844. I found that the Day of Atonement was completed in full at Calvary and did not begin in 1844 with an Investigative Judgment.
Because of the non-biblical teachings of EGW I could no longer believe that the SDA church is God's true church on earth. In fact the Bible does not list any denomination as a true or "remnant" church. I was reminded that Jesus and the Apostles taught Christians not to follow after false prophets.
It was disappointing to find that EGW and the leaders of Adventism had misled me by believing that they had "the truth". However, I rejoice that I no longer have to live by the non-biblical baggage of Ellen G. White.
It was difficult for me to deal with the Bible contradictions of Ellen G. White in Sabbath School Class that I was teaching. Some would quote her writings as if it were Scripture giving no thought that they were Bible contradictions. For example, a class member would say that, "babies and saints will have wings in the resurrection." I would then say, "the Bible says we will have a body just like Christ and there is no record of him having wings." Or they would quote EGW saying, "we cannot say that we are saved." And I would say, "how is it that Paul could say that there was a crown laid up for him and those that love his appearing"?
The pastor was continually quoting EGW in his sermons as an authority with the Bible and mixing EGW's writings with the Bible. Sometimes he would not give Ellen credit as his source and for example he would say, "Peter led Mary Magdalene into sin." After the service I would ask, "where is the Bible text for this?" He would not even give me a reply. I could no longer sit in church and listen to the Word of God being integrated with the myths of Ellen G. White. In fact it took about two years after leaving the church to come to a point of understanding if what I knew was from the Bible or from EGW. My wife would ask me at times, is that teaching from Ellen G. White or the Bible?
My last Sabbath was October 1994. The denomination was celebrating the 150th year of the October 23, 1844 fiasco Sanctuary doctrine. The local church had invited an SDA Pastor to give the sermon on the Sanctuary. He dressed up in the High Priest's robe and had a large model Sanctuary setup on a table. When I looked into the sanctuary after Sabbath School and saw this, I asked myself, why in the world am I going to sit for an hour or more and listen to this garbage. I just walked out never to return to be indoctrinated. I felt like to stay and listen, would be like sitting in a Jehovah Witness or Latter Day Saint cult meeting. I did go back a couple times for funerals held in the church to pay my respects.
I am my Brother's Keeper and I do not wish anyone to be misled as I was and not help them. This is the sole purpose of Truth or Fables website. The information is there if you choose to research it. Do not be afraid to test SDA church teachings with the word of God. If I can be of help to answer your questions, please ask.
So after being a member of the SDA Church for 37 years, serving as Elder, Sabbath School Teacher and many other offices I withdrew my membership.
Revelation 19:10 tells us that the "testimony of Jesus" is the "spirit of prophecy." According to the Bible, neither Ellen G. White nor her writings are the Spirit of Prophecy. The "Spirit of Prophecy" is a name the Seventh-day Adventist Church gave to EGW, but it did not come from God. Think about it, if what SDAs tell us is true, then for two thousand years (until the SDA church arrived in the 1860's) there was no true church and people could not understand their Bibles—even though Jesus had promised His people would have the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth (John 16:13). I am sure you do not believe that the Spirit of Prophecy did not exist until Ellen White came on the scene.
First Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to "Prove all things," and I challenge you to do so.
Removal of my membership
November 7, 1994
To: The Seventh-day Adventist Church Board and Pastor Robert Forss:
Please communicate to the Church Board that I would like my membership withdrawn from the Lafayette Seventh-day Adventist Church. I am no longer in agreement with some of the doctrines of the Church, for example:
- Remnant Church. I do not believe the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be the only remnant people of God. God's remnant people today, as in ages past, are all those who worship Him in spirit and truth, and is not a denomination.
- Spirit of Prophecy. I do not believe that Ellen G. White was a prophet, nor that her writings are the "Spirit of Prophecy," since they contradict Scripture.
- The Sanctuary teaching that Christ began His work of Investigative Judgment in 1844. 1 believe when He ascended to heaven He sat on the throne with His Father in the Most Holy apartment and began mediating on our behalf at that time.
- The 1844 Investigative Judgment. I do not believe the 1844 Investigative Judgment is Biblical. According to Paul the saints of Hebrews 11 were already assured of salvation almost 2,000 years before 1844. For example, God commended Abel as a "righteous man" without having to wait until 1844 to discover that fact.
- Tithing: In the Bible tithing was to support the Priests and Levites. I believe there are no Priests or Levites in the Seventh-day Adventist church, and there is no Bible example of the Christian church supporting the ministry by tithe.
I would like a letter from you confirming the fact that my name has been taken off the church role.
Best Christian wishes to each of you,
Robert K. Sanders
I received a letter dated, December 23, 1994 from Pastor Forss that I have been "disfellowshipped" and that my membership has been removed.
I have received emails asking why I did not mention the sabbath in my letter of resignation. At the time of the letter I kept the sabbath. It was ten years latter that I renounced the sabbath. I found I was misled on that also. The sabbath was a law for only Israel under the old covenant which ended at Calvary. There is no law in the new covenant to keep the sabbath. (Renouncing the Sabbath)