The Cost of Faithfulness: Adventists Marginalized Throughout The NAD

It was Martin Luther that placed his hand over his chest and said inside every breast there is a pope waiting to be set free.  Each of us are aware of this enemy embedded within our carnal natures, and we can triumph over him through the grace of Christ.  

We are used to being misled by our old nature–that’s what it does and that’s why it must die. Alive in Christ we are hated by the world.  It hated Him once and hates Him still.  We carry in our hands this reminder “A servant is not greater than his Master” (John 15:20), and we face the world dressed in an armor of gospel features (Ephesians 6:14-18).  But we have little defense when it comes to oppression by our own professed brothers and sisters.  That's confusing to us.

They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it is one of the great ironies of life that those who deal in progressive tolerance are among the first to demand it and the last to give it.

This intolerance drives its roots deep in the rocky soil of unsanctified pride in American Adventism.  Go along with the progressive juggernaut of the NAD leadership and all is well.  You may prosper.  But if you dare to question the sacred cows of Women’s Ordination, or Emergent Mysticism you may pay a heavy price.

Doug Batchelor Disinvited from Florida Revival Meeting

Doug Batchelor had been scheduled for over a year to conduct a week-long Amazing Facts revival meeting at the Spring Meadows Church in Florida.  At the direction of Florida Conference President Mike Cauley, the Spring Meadows Church was instructed to disinvite Doug from speaking there.  The reason?  Doug was opposed to women’s ordination.


Pastor from a conference in the western USA

"I began working for the conference doing evangelism and leading out in ministry in two churches. Everything went well for the first few months, until I began to hold sermon series on touchy topics such as male leadership, the nature of Christ, victory over sin and the emerging church movement.  The word got back to the conference and I was cautioned to avoid these subjects if I wanted to succeed in the ministry.  I continued to research and preach on these subjects until I got the call that my services in the church were no longer needed.  I was fired."


Pastor From a Conference in the Eastern USA

In 2014, as a pastor, I began to lead my congregation to understand the dangers of modern spiritual formation.  I did this via sermons, prayer meetings, and emails.  We also examined very closely the emerging church movement as well as the area of sanctified music.  This year [2014] brought many spiritual blessings but it also brought my ministry into question with my local Conference.  Mind you, every year we baptized about 15 people and tithe was always up.

This same year [2014] at a camp meeting, the conference leadership was pushing contemporary music much like dancing music that one would find in a disco.  At the campmeeting workers meeting, all of us workers were urged by the ministerial director to sway and move to the music of the Spirit!  Along with several other pastors, I refused to sway and move to the music, and was called “A deadhead who was resisting the latter rain outpouring of the Spirit.”  I questioned this but was only ridiculed.

That summer of 2014, I was pulled into the conference office to talk about my ministry.  I was informed that members of the church I pastored were complaining and that I needed to look for another call someplace else.  When I asked who was complaining and if we should follow Matthew 18 to reconcile these issues, I was told that this was not a Matthew 18 issue—this was a personnel (employee) issue.  I asked if we should follow God’s plan to reconcile any differences. I was told that would not happen, that I should find another call out of the conference.  I tried to find a call but every conference objected to the fact that we homeschooled our children. They could not offer me the call unless I would place my children in the church school.  We clung to our convictions and continued homeschooling, trusting God to provide.

In 2015 I dedicated the year to preaching Righteousness by Faith and this too proved to be a blessing. Yet the conference pressure continued telling me that they were getting more complaints. When I asked to please tell me what the complaints were and from who they witheld that information.  I was told “You need to get a call by June 2015 camp meeting or you no longer have a job here.”

By June 2015 I did not have a call.  I told them that I was not quitting and that I was not resigning.  During camp meeting in June of 2015 the conference president, secretary, and ministerial director asked if I would consider a part-time position.  I had been a pastor for ten years in this district.

They said that while this was interim they would review it every six months to see how things were going.  My wife and I prayed about it and on Sept.1, 2015 I accepted a part-time position under these terms. The church I was to pastor was informed of these terms.

In February/March of 2016 I was called to the conference office.  At this meeting I was told that my employment would end May 31st. I asked about the 6 months review and was declined that opportunity.  I was told not to tell the church anything about my leaving until they gave me permission to do so. I advised them this was not the best approach but was told to be quiet.

The six month deadline arrived and the church asked me if I had heard anything from the conference about my future.  I told them they needed to talk to the conference about it. They tried and could not get an answer.

I was informed by the conference at a meeting in May of this year that I was causing trouble.  “How?”  They said they were getting letters and calls from the church telling them that I should stay.  They asked if I was behind this and I told them that I was not.

I was then terminated and when I sought to get my severance pay, I was told “Sorry, you are a part-time employee.  "Part time employees get no severance.”  I have worked as a pastor for 18 years and this is the way my employment ended—with no real reason.  I made appeals to the Union, NAD and GC and no one has contacted me.

[Editor’s note.  The way this pastor was treated is—I believe—in violation of church policy.  He was set up to lose his employment and any severance package he had earned after 18-years of service.]

Church Worker in the Western USA

After watching presentations that were pro and anti "the One project" I decided to go to one to see for myself.  After attending a "One project" gathering I addressed some concerns and spoke up about it in a broad public manner.  My job as a church employee was quickly put at risk.  Since I am still employed this is all that I can say about the matter.


Family From Western USA Who Moved to the Eastern USA

By Darin And Kimberly B.  

Our family were members of the most conservative SDA church in our conference, driving well over an hour each Sabbath along with other members who traveled 2+ hours to the church.  Things were going well.  We suddenly got a new pastor in our church.  He was a young, dynamic, relatively new convert to the Adventist faith and was recently trained in our SDA seminary with a Master’s degree.  Both of us [husband and wife] were in leadership positions and in good standing with the church. We had a great relationship and fellowship with all of our church family. Our church was on fire for evangelism and was not afraid to stand for the truth, in spite of this particular conference's efforts to dilute the peculiarity of the SDA message.

One particular Sabbath, the Sabbath School superintendent remarks that I presented were on the subject of the dangers of the emergent church movement.  Between Sabbath School and the divine service there were multiple people who voiced their thanks and expressed great interest in this topic so I shared my notes with many members – anyone who wanted them.

This was done in an attempt to bring awareness to our church family of the subtle spiritual deceptions that are invading both mainstream Christianity and the SDA church in general.  I stated that these deceptions include but are not limited to "the One project".*

It was a complete surprise to us when our pastor became very angry about the presentation and the specific mention of "the One project."  As time went on and more details were uncovered, we found out that our conference administration is a supporter of this movement, and we discovered that our pastor is very close friends to one of the founders of "the One project." Along with these details, we discovered that our pastor had read and shared "the One project" books with several members in our church privately.  As a result of his position, he took on a very defensive attitude, justifying and backing their teachings and its founders.

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Over the course of the next nine months, many of our church members were carefully studying both sides of "the One project" and forming their own conclusions.  During this time, our church offices expired. Our young pastor was able to persuade the Nominating Committee to select much more liberal minded members for offices—positions that had previously been filled by conservative members.  As an example, my husband was not recommended to be considered as an elder for his “abuse of authority” (pastor’s words) and his stance against "the One project".

During this time, the pastor called several business meetings to press the issue, trying to bend people’s opinions toward his position. These meetings were long and drawn out, lasting up to three hours where the pastor himself spent 80%+ of the time with the floor.  A final vote on the pastor’s newly drafted guidelines showed that our church was split down the middle.  He [the pastor] called multiple private meetings with the church board, the church elders and individual families trying to convince people that we were causing division and disunity in the church and we must be dealt with and disciplined, accusing us that we were not using the Matthew 18 principle in going directly to "the One project" with our concerns.

After much prayer, our family decided that it was time to start looking for a new church to attend. We certainly were not trying to create conflict in the church.  Our goal was to uphold truth and share a warning message of the last-day deceptions that will enter the church.  Ephesians 5:11 says that we should “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; but rather expose them."

We stepped back from attending our church for a couple months, hoping that things would die down and the pastor would stop pressing his agenda to discipline our family.  In due course, it was revealed that his intention was to disfellowship us.  Untruths began to spread from the pastor as he attempted to taint our characters and make us fanatical in front of the church.

In answer to our family’s prayers, a number of people of experience (among whom are current and retired conference workers) suggested withdrawing our membership from the church and then reestablishing membership elsewhere by profession of faith in another SDA church.  We decided to do this along with two other families, praying first for a period of time, believing that God was leading and protecting us. [This family had to drop their membership from the SDA church in order to prevent this vindictive pastor from disfellowshipping them]

By God’s grace, we were able to relocate to a different conference and have been able to become members of a wonderful SDA church, thanks in part to good people that have stood behind us and supported us through this long trial. Ephesians 6:12 says “we wrestle not against flesh and blood…”

A well-known SDA pastor said, “Real wisdom involves not only choosing the right road, but also knowing how to avoid the wrong roads.”

As SDA’s, our focus is the Three Angels’ messages —not promoting an agenda straight out of the fallen churches and Rome.

The Spirit of prophecy says:

Where are the watchman that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion…The time has come to take decided action…Take a firm stand for the truth. We are not to allow atheistic, spiritualistic sentiments to be brought…God has led us in the past giving us truth, eternal truth. By this truth we are to stand…Those who would tear down the foundation that God has laid are not to be accepted as the teachers and leaders of his people (SpTB07 38.1-63.4).

Dear friends, this was an extremely trying time for us spiritually, emotionally and physically.  But we placed our faith and trust in God and the Scriptures.  Through this experience, we were tried in the fire.  We know it will not be our last trial, but our prayer is that we will come forth as pure gold.  Throughout this time we clung to this promise:  

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11, 12).

“Do what is right, because it is right, and leave the consequences with God.” GC 460

Pastor From Eastern USA

Several years ago I began hearing about something called “spiritual formation.” It sounded like something rather complicated at the time and I didn’t pay much attention to it.  Several months later, while at a ministerial retreat, I received a book called “Reboot” from the Conference leadership. As I read this book, I kept seeing the words “spiritual formation.” It dawned on me then that this was probably something I should look into.

I began doing research and found out the mystical side of spiritual formation. I also discovered that it had penetrated the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The more I researched, the more I found that several in leadership positions were openly advocating or at least promoting spiritual formation principles.  I assumed that this was just something my fellow pastors didn’t know about and I determined to share what I had found with them.  I learned quickly that some of my associates were open to the principles of mystical spiritual formation.

Several months after my initial exposure to the book “Reboot,” I received a DVD called “iFollow” published by an Adventist entity (the NAD).  As I went through this material, I found it referenced several non-Adventist authors who were involved in mystical spiritual formation and even promoted mystical practices.  Also about that time, I read an article in the Review that outlined the dangers of the Emerging Church.  I had discovered that spiritual formation and the Emerging Church went hand-in-hand. About a month later, I attended another ministerial retreat.  One of the speakers was a leader with the publishers of the "iFollow" DVD material.  I inquired about why they were promoting material that our flagship magazine had spoken against.  The reply was less than courteous.

I continued my research and developed a seminar on the spiritual formation problem with information gleaned from multiple sources. As I began delivering these seminars, I found that the majority of church members had never heard of spiritual formation or the Emerging Church, despite the involvement of church leadership at high levels.  Evidence showed that these teachings had leaked into the church from other religions. I determined to do my best to educate church members so they would not be deceived by these things.

I also was able to provide books on this subject ("Omega Rebellion" and "Meet It") to conference leadership.  Again, I received less than positive reviews.  It seemed that the leadership was apathetic about what they read and even mentioned the idea of “conspiracy theories.”

Sometime later, another book on leadership was distributed to the pastors by a conference official, written by an author who used principles gleaned from a metaphysical mystic.  Another book was later distributed from one of the preeminent spiritual formation/emergent authors.  I declined to read the books.

After giving several seminars, I was approached by Conference leadership who asked that I keep quiet about spiritual formation and not give any more seminars.  They said that these things were not in our conference and if they appeared, they would deal with it then.  I reluctantly agreed not to do any more seminars, doubting from past experience that the conference leaders really understood the dangers.

About a week after this request was made, I discovered that one of the foremost promoters of spiritual formation/emergent church ideas within the Adventist Church had been invited to speak at camp meeting.  I commented on my personal Facebook page how upset this made me.

Then next month I attended a yearly meeting with the administration to discuss plans for my district.  I had been told by administration that they believed I was losing my focus on evangelism because of my focus on spiritual formation.  When I presented what the churches of my district were doing evangelism, they discovered how invalid that argument was.  I was then asked about the comment I made about the speaker for camp meeting.  I replied that it was a statement made on my personal Facebook page.

Some of the officials present at this meeting became visibly upset/angry.  They told me I must recant what I had said.  I told them I could not do so unless they were able to show me from Scripture how I was wrong and the people I was speaking of were right.  There was no attempt on their part to do so despite several similar requests on previous occasions.

I was threatened that if I did not recant and was fired, no other conference in the North American Division would hire me. Two of the leaders stated that they were personal friends of the pastor who had been invited to camp meeting and they refused to believe that what I had said about him was true. I was advised they were going to decide what action be taken against me as a result of my comment and refusal to recant, and asked me to leave the room. When I returned, they informed me that they were suspending me with pay and I was to have no further contact with any of my church members.

About a week later, I was informed that the personnel committee had met and discussed my situation.  The official that spoke to me said the committee was going to recommend to the Conference executive committee that I be terminated and that my ordination be reviewed.

On the day of this meeting, I read the Ellen White devotional, "Maranatha", for that morning. The title of the devotional was, “Will You Stand the Test?”  I praise God that through His working, I was able to stand that test and another conference was able to hire me prior to the action of the executive committee in the conference where I had pastored for several years.

I later learned that one of the churches where I had been the pastor was resisting attempts to place pastors there who were open to emergent ideas.  The head elder was told by the conference president that if the church did not accept the pastor the conference wanted to place there, the conference would disband their church.


Family From the Eastern USA

When I received my copy of "Omega Emerging" DVD series, my eyes were opened to the things that were going on in my church for the last 20 years.

My burden was to give the people in my church a copy of the "Omega Emerging" DVD series and several books by author Pastor Rick Howard.  I bundled these DVDs and books together and gave them out at my church.

My pastor was extremely upset at me and called a meeting of myself and the elders in order for me to explain why I passed out these books and DVDs in the church.  After a three and one-half hour meeting, I said what the Lord wanted me to say.  My pastor, who led out in the meeting said “These topics are nothing that our members need to know about.”  I argued that these were things that our people need to know and have an understanding of because Ellen White states that it is our responsibility to know the devil's tactics.

The pastor asked me not to pass anything else out at my church.  I complied with his request. One week later I spoke to the pastor after church.  I said when he tells members in the church not to read the books and watch the DVDs, he is going directly against God and what He told Ellen White to tell us and that is "meet it."

I asked the pastor what the Second Angel’s message was and he said “Jesus is coming back soon.”  I repeated the Second Angel's message and said to him that the Three Angels’ messages states in the Second Angel’s message that we are to "call people out of false worship practices."

We parted ways and the next day he called me and wanted to have another meeting with the elders.  I declined the invitation and stated to him that I know where he stands and he knows where I stand.

My family and I decided to go to a different Adventist church because we didn't feel welcome there anymore.  We have been at our new church for a little over a year now and what was once a 10 member church has now grown to 20 to 30 people attending weekly.  Surprisingly, most of them have come from other Adventist churches with similar situations. 

My wife and I requested that our memberships to be transferred together to the church we are now attending.  My wife's transfer went through but mine did not.

It happened that my wife was at our old church and the pastor handed her a one-year-old letter that was "returned to sender" which was addressed to me.  The letter stated that the church intended to bring me under discipline and possibly disfellowship me.  I was to show up at the next business meeting to speak on my behalf if I wanted to.  The letter was a year old when I got it.  They [previous church] have in the truest sense frozen my membership.  Please pray for everyone who is being marginalized within our church for standing up for the truth.  There are many more than you realize.

Pastor From the Western USA

After preaching Righteousness by Faith in the context of the final generation, teaching the members how to do medical missionary work, and warning about the post modernism/emerging church inroads into God's Remnant Church I was fired from the ministry.  I have applied with other conferences but no calls have been extended to me.

 

Summary: Throughout the two-year long campaign of the North American Division to promote women's ordination in 2014-2015, they assured the world that if their Division was granted an exemption from the Church's Biblical position on male leadership, they certainly would not force it on anyone in their Division.  They just wanted the rest of the world to be nice.  "Please?  Let's live and let live."  But how do they really act?  Here are several true stories from around the NAD.  Fulcrum7 has personally vetted each of these stories, and found them to be accurate.  And for every one we hear about there are probably 100 that are never told.  To those of you who feel alone tonight, you are not alone.  You are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, and by the love of God.  There is hope!

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.  “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.  “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. “But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them" (John 16:1-4).