3 Mistakes I Made while Leaving Seventh-day Adventism

I can remember hearing many times growing up that Seventh-day Adventists never convert to any other religion. Supposedly, they may stop coming to services, but the SDA “truths” are so incontrovertible that those who once believed them are never able to stop believing them. I also remember, sometime around the age of 12-14, meeting a former SDA who had converted to Lutheranism and thinking she must be an extremely rare individual, a statistical anomaly, the exception that proved the rule.

It wasn’t until after I was well into the process of my conversion to Orthodoxy that I realized that there are plenty of former SDAs who have converted to other religions, particularly Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism. For example, my family aren’t even the only former SDAs in our small parish, and I have come to know of many others.

So, this post is for those SDAs who are searching, reading, studying, and finding answers that are leading them away from Seventh-day Adventistism. I am certainly not trying to dissuade you from this path, but I would like to warn you of some pitfalls that I discovered along the way on my own journey to conversion. Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes, and not repeat them.

One of the first mistakes I made in my conversion process was falling into the trap of anger. As I began to read church history and the writings of first-century Christians, I began to be angry at Seventh-day Adventism, at the SDA high school and college I attended, and even at individual people for not teaching me any of this information. In my mind, there was a plot within SDAism to hide information about the early church and the writings of early christians like St Ignatius and Justin Martyr, because these writings so clearly and easily proved that the church of the Apostles explicitly rejected certain SDA doctrines. Now, a few years later, I can see that there was no ill-will on the part of my various teachers. One cannot teach what one does not know, and they were as illiterate about the early church as I was. What they did know they taught well and diligently. I now thank God for this early molding, where I was taught to love God, to read the scriptures, and where the hunger in my soul that eventually led me out of SDAism was first awakened.

Another trap I fell into on my journey was the trap of pride. As I gained a minuscule amount of knowledge of the early church and early christian writings, I began to compare myself to my SDA friends and feel pride over this new knowledge. I felt that I was somehow better because I knew this little bit of information, even though I wasn’t fully applying what I knew and living up to it, while many of my SDA friends were living up to the knowledge they had.

A third trap I fell into was retaining the SDA love of argumentation, proof-texting, and “convincing” people for far too long. Rather than simply living out the teachings of the church, working on my own repentance and salvation, and doing my best to be prepared to give an answer when asked the reason for my hope, I got drawn into countless arguments to no profit. I tried to convince people of the truth, instead of letting God do the convincing. To be honest, I still struggle at times not to be drawn into profitless argumentation.

So these are three mistakes I made while leaving SDAism. I’m sure I made far more mistakes than just these three, but these ones stand out. I hope that this post can help you avoid making these same mistakes in your journey.

9 thoughts on “3 Mistakes I Made while Leaving Seventh-day Adventism”

  1. There are plenty of SDA books that quote from early writers like Jerome, Tertullian, Eusebius, Justin Martyr, Barnabas, ignatius, Plutarch, Josephus, Dio Cassieus…. and many more.

    Unfortunately, our society places too much emphasis on visual data, rather than textual data, therefore, given the limit of common reading capacity, the main emphasis/priority is given to the Bible. This results in such a substantial loss, that even the inspired books of God’s messenger of the 19th century are widely/frequently ignored.

    None-the -less that does not mean that there is a “plot to hide” them.

    I am sadden by your departure from the SDA message not the SDAism.

  2. Happy Sabbath Kade. I pray for the health ans well being (physical and spiritual) of you as head of your family and theirs as well.

    For a very simple example, look up “From Sabbath to Sunday” (1977) by Samuele Bacchiocchi.
    For one, this book is filled cover to cover with quotes and references from the 1st-4th century authors and historians.

    Another is “the History of the Sabbath” ( 1862) by J.N. Andrews.
    A very large percentage of the index of Authors Quoted also includes pre-Apostolic and early centuries writers.

  3. By “coincidence” in my sabbath school lesson today (link below) a quote from a an early Christian author was quoted as follows:

    “As in the days when paganism sought to destroy the gospel, the blood of the Christians was seed. (See Tertullian,
    Apology, paragraph 50.) Persecution served to increase the number of witnesses for the truth.” {GC 240.3}


    Please continue to pray for me and my family as well.

    Peace be with you my brother.

  4. @ Albert,

    The fact that you think that is in any way a substantive reference only supports my point–SDAs largely don’t read the early Christian writers, and are largely unaware of the theology of the early Christians.

  5. I am sorry Kade. I do not understand you last comment. can you please expound on your point. When you say “The fact that you think that is…” , What are you referring to?

    I made some some additional comments on facebook. just in case you were interested in discussing a little more.

    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Prob. 3:5,6

  6. @ Albert,

    I wrote that I was ignorant of the writings of the Fathers when I was SDA, despite theology and religion classes both at a SDA high school and an SDA college. By ignorant of the writings, I mean not only that I was ignorant of their content, but also that I was ignorant of their existence. I believe that this was due to my teachers also being ignorant of these writings (if they weren’t ignorant of them, they probably wouldn’t have remained SDA) rather than a malicious plot to hide the truth from hoodwinked students, which is really the only other sensible explanation. Your reaction was to point out that your SS lesson contained an EGW quote that alludes to statement originally found in Tertullian but so commonly repeated by so many people that it even ended up as the chorus of a Steve Green song. Alluding to one of the most widely re-quoted patristic quotes, which many people quote with no idea that comes from a patristic source, does not demonstrate a meaningful engagement with the corpus of patristic theology.

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