“Hindi na po ako Adventist”

* For my non-Filipino readers, the title means “I’m not an Adventist anymore”.

Lately, I’ve been asked frequently whether I’m still an Adventist or not. Maybe because I’ve been reconnecting with my old college friends these days. And, coming from 3 generations of Adventists and studied in an Adventist university, it’s not surprising that about 95% of my acquaintances are Adventists.

So, this small piece is an attempt to explain my answer to this question. For some reasons, I can’t explain in 2 to 3 sentences. So, allow me to use this domain for a few more paragraphs. Pardon me, my non-Adventist readers, you may not be able to relate to this.

So, the common question, “Adventist ka pa ba?” (Are you still an Adventist?) The quick answer is, “Hindi na” (Not anymore). Unfortunately, though, there are some misinterpretations to this answer :

1. So, Reform ka na? – “Reform” pertains to a group or groups of Adventist off-shoots, both liberal or conservative in belief system. Some of these off shoots give emphasis to vegetarianism or Ellen White writings. Some are simply against the General Conference. Some off-shoots I know are the “Davidians” and “Reformed Adventist Movement”.

I never joined any “reformed Adventist movements”.

2. Bakit ka nag backslide? – (Why did you back slide?) This question actually asks what caused me to “quit the Adventist faith”. In my experience (as I have asked this question myself to “former” Adventists), the common expected cause include, a) job related (because there is a Sabbath schedule and the Adventist chose job over Sabbath) and b) spouse related (“She married a non-Adventist, nahatak na sya ng hindi kapanampalataya“)

I wouldn’t say I backslid. I have never abandoned my faith in Jesus. I may have abandoned some Adventist doctrines, but never my relationship with Jesus. I can call it, on the other hand, forward-slide :D More of this later.

3. Sunday ka na pala ngayon! – (So you now belong to Sunday!). I’ve recently received this comment from a college friend who invited me to her wedding. Unfortunately, it fell on a Sunday so I politely begged off because of my responsibility to my church. In which she commented this. If you’ve been with the Adventist faith for a long time, you’re acquainted with the unending battle between Sabbath (Saturday) and Sunday. Adventists explain that since Saturday is the correct day of worship, worshiping on Sunday is, as Ellen White says, the “mark of the beast”. So there’s really a tension between these two days.

It’s really hard to explain in a paragraph why I joined a church that worships on Sundays and has stopped worshipping on Saturdays. I have written quite a lot about this subject 7 years ago. But the quick explanation is this: I’ve never joined “another camp” of Sunday worshippers. I don’t worship the day. I worship the creator of the day – Jesus. Bale wala sa akin kung anong araw ka sumasamba. The important thing is you are worshiping the right God any day you want (for instance, Christians, including Adventists, in the middle east worship on Fridays).

4. Kumakain ka na ng baboy ngayon? (Do you now eat pork?) Eating pork for Adventists are a big deal. It’s like the thing that separates the wheat from the weeds. :D

Opo, minsan po nakakakain na ako ng baboy. May baboy sa hotdog, sa cornbeef (yes!), sa chicharon, at sa paborito nating hamburgers. Yung mga processed meat, ok sa akin. For some reasons, psychologically I think, I still cannot eat foods with visible pork in it like liempo or lechon. And I don’t eat pork intentionally. I eat only if I’m presented with it. I still choose not to eat pork NOT for religious purposes but for health reasons.

So, ano ka na ngayon?

I’m a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ.

I believe I’m a sinner forgiven by Jesus through his work on the cross. I was saved not because I am good or I joined a religion or said a prayer or did some acts of kindness. It is only by this grace, this love that I don’t deserve that I am saved.

I now serve Jesus through a body of believer in a non-denominational, evangelical church called Grace Place.

What do you think of Adventists?

Make no mistake about it. I love Adventists. I love the Adventist church. Most of my friends are Adventists. Most of my family members are still Adventists. I love them and I have never seen them differently even after I “jumped ship”.

I left the Adventist church not for some disagreement with a member or with the organization. It is purely doctrinal. There are some Adventist doctrines that I now cannot support. And the only logical step is to leave and go where I can best serve God.

So there. That’s the explanation. Whew!

  • http://www.graceplace.ph Prudy

    VEry nice! I will make a link ha? Thanks

  • http://dosflame.multiply.com Dos

    Hi Kuya!

    What a brave post!

    I can relate to this though I am not an Adventist. In the religion I was born, the RC, there were many things they do for the sake of worshiping which leaves me puzzled.

    Though I left RC a couple of years ago, I still love her. It’s leniency and anonymity makes me feel at home.

    But as what you said, “the only logical step is to leave and go where I can best serve God,” I hope I can do the same.

    :)

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Hi Dos.

    I think there will be a time in our life were we can be bold enough to tell others about our experience and the joy that we’re having. It’s not easy, I know. There are complications.

  • audienceone

    Great brave post!

    Let the people ask themselves about the things that they do: “Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord?”

  • Edwin P

    I really appreciate what you have written. The openness, the courage and the simplicity, wow – very remarkable and very indicative of you. As i read your words, I remember every bit of action that I did when I fought the same battle. I did that long before that is why i can’t help but smile as you hit your arguments with your repartee. After all, what is the cost of freedom?
    You have grown a lot and I am proud of it.

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Thanks Ninong Edwin. Coming from you, this means a lot.

  • gary

    Arnold maybe you want to hear our bible studies in INC?

    Cheers
    Gary :)

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Ei Gary. Good to see you here. :D

    I mentioned:

    “I’m a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ.

    I believe I’m a sinner forgiven by Jesus through his work on the cross. I was saved not because I am good or I joined a religion or said a prayer or did some acts of kindness. It is only by this grace, this love that I don’t deserve that I am saved.”

    Let me add that I also believe that after accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I became part of his CHURCH in which members include everyone who believes that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven (John 14:6), and believes that being saved is not being part of any sect but ONLY by his grace THROUGH faith (Eph. 2:8, 9).

    Can INC top that? :D

    Peace, brow! Musta na bagong kasal?

  • ping

    Hi Arnold,

    I am happy yet saddened upon reading your post.

    Happy because you did understand the plan of salvation for all of us that is through the grace of God and not by our works. Happy because like me, you saw the doctrinal mistakes of the SDA church.

    But why I am sad? It is because on how you manifest that love for our God. I would honestly say that I have doctrinal disagreements with the SDA church(e.g. EGW) yet I cannot find any church that loves God more than any other, if there is, too few to locate them. I will strongly contradict your proposition that indeed the sabbath is not important nor the commandments of God. I will not indoctrinate you anymore cause I know you know more than me on the matter. What I will say is this, yeah it is true balewala sayo what day you worship God, but balewala din ba kay Lord what day you will worship Him?As a saved person who belongs to the family of God, it is our duty to obey what He commands.

    Last question for you to ponder? Have you ever asked yourself why you worship God on sunday now? Is it to glorify God or to satisfy yourself?

  • ping

    Hi Arnold,

    I am happy yet saddened upon reading your post.

    Happy because you did understand the plan of salvation for all of us that is through the grace of God and not by our works. Happy because like me, you saw the doctrinal mistakes of the SDA church.

    But why I am sad? It is because on how you manifest that love for our God. I would honestly say that I have doctrinal disagreements with the SDA church(e.g. EGW) yet I cannot find any church that loves God more than any other, if there is, too few to locate them. I will strongly contradict your proposition that indeed the sabbath is not important nor the commandments of God. I will not indoctrinate you anymore cause I know you know more than me on the matter. What I will say is this, yeah it is true balewala sayo what day you worship God, but balewala din ba kay Lord what day you will worship Him?As a saved person who belongs to the family of God, it is our duty to obey what He commands.

    Last question for you to ponder? Have you ever asked yourself why you worship God on sunday now? Is it to glorify God or to satisfy yourself?

    I am praying that God will continually open our hearts and our minds as we seek His truth.

    :-) ping

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Hi Ping,

    Thanks for visiting. Let me answer some of your questions:

    balewala din ba kay Lord what day you will worship Him?

    Yes, I believe so. We can talk about verses in the Bible, but debating about it is not the purpose of this post.

    Have you ever asked yourself why you worship God on sunday now? Is it to glorify God or to satisfy yourself?

    I don’t worship God on Sundays. I worship God everyday. Worshiping God is not contained in a 4 hour worship service. What happens on Sundays is a gathering of believers to worship and fellowship together. Am I glorifying God. Yes. Only satisfying myself? Why would I? If I worship on Saturdays, that’s alright. On Fridays? That’s ok. FYI, Adventists in the middle east worship on Fridays, because that’s the holiday on that area.

    I hope it answers your questions.

  • ping

    Hi Arnold,

    I am eager to study the verses that you mention. Actually, i am not also here for a debate. I just want to share my side on why the sabbath is still as important as it was before – not only the sabbath but the whole commandment. I am not also here to convince you to come back to adventism but on how to glorify God as someone that is saved by grace.

    By the way, I am not aware of adventist worshipping on Fridays. I will try to search this on the internet. Maybe they are not allowed to worship on the sabbath, but I know God will find a way for them. And it doesn’t mean that if they worship on a Friday, we are already allowed to worship on any other day. I mean, we must not look at man but on God.

    I appreciate the thought of worshipping God everyday. This is the whole purpose of men, to glorify God. In fact, in the only picture of a perfect world, Adam and Eve enjoys the fellowship of God everyday yet there is still a sabbath for them. A day which God called holy. Is not the entire week holy in the garden of Eden? Surely it is, yet God still have a sabbath rest for His people.

    I will be happy to share my faith with you and will be happy also to hear some of your thoughts.

    By the way, you can email me if you want.

    Thanks for responding. Godbless…

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Hi Ping,

    Allow me to redirect you to some posts I made years ago. This will somehow avoid the further discussion on this thread since, as I mentioned, my purpose in this post is not to discuss doctrines.

    Was the Sabbath as we know today really established on creation?
    Jesus came to fulfill the law

    I have also started a site before, SabbathInChrist.com. It’s really not being updated. I had posted very research and learnings I had in the past. It kind of become my online library. Unfortunately, since it’s not really updated, somebody hacked into it. I think I need to rebuild the site again to make it available. Anyway, if you’ll search my blog with keyword “sabbath” or “adventist”, you’ll find several blog posts that detail my journey.

    You can chat with me on IM if you want. My yahoo IM is “arnoldgamboadotcom”.

  • http://www.rizalavenue.com/2009/02/open-letter-to-arnold-gamboa-blog.html My Open Letter for mr. Gamboa

    Please watch the video about the iportance of Sabbath.. tagalog debate betwwen born again and SDA.. thanks

  • http://bean.bean.bean bean

    Protestant ba ang mga Adventists?

  • ref

    not all Adventists in the middle east worship on Friday. Maybe in certain areas but my friends in Qatar still hold a home church every Sabbath for fellowship.

    if you are a Bible believing Christian, then the Sabbath, which is Saturday, should still be that day you set aside to keep Holy. It is right to worship everyday, that’s the ideal. But the Sabbath was set aside. I’m not trying to argue, but it seems to me that you are trying to convince yourself of what you are saying.

    anyway, I just chanced upon your post because I’m looking for something to include in our church newsletter and your blog came out in the search.

    being raised and even after studying in an Adventist university, I am surprised that you decided to leave the Adventist faith. However, all of us have free will and are free to choose. I pray that you are happy with your decision. Godbless.

  • http://arnoldgamboa.com Arnold

    Hi Ref

    A couple of notes:

    1. I do have Adventist friends in the Middle East and they are gathering on Sunday. Are they not Bible believing Christians? Great men of God, people who have done many great things for God, more than you and I did — like Rick Warren and Billy Graham; dead guys like Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley — they do not observe the Saturday Sabbath. Are they not Bible believing Christians, too?

    2. I’m not trying to convince myself. My decisions are based on months of hard fought battle with the Scriptures, myself and my Adventist tradition.

    3. Being raised in an Adventist family and educated in Adventist universities do not guarantee that one will stay an Adventist in the lifetime. In fact, it is a valid question to ask: why would someone who has been in the Adventist church since birth, educated in Adventist institutions, read EGW books, became a youth leader, an apologist — decides to leave the Adventist church? What did he see or understood to prompt him to make such a painful process of leaving?

  • juan

    ye, i love them too. they love medicine so much, they almost sleep with it hahaha, but i’m with the adventists when it comes to prioritizing the welfare of fellow men. what i don’t like is the Manila Sanitarium almost killed my beloved friend when she was taken there for medical attention, they had her screened and passed her condition as normal but she had this feeling it isn’t because of extreme pain and cannot believe there is nothing wrong with herself. So, she headed for Manila Hospital (Ospital Ng Maynila) and shocked to be informed of her condition, appendix ruptured and some other complications related to it. Thank god she recovered in a few days after a surgery. After this, she relates how could such institution risk her life just like that? That friend of mine is in my friendster profile, and You can ask her of of that incident anytime. Lorna Toledo is the name.

    And i keep on noticing that almost everyday the Manila Sanitariums Ambulance regularly speed of into the direction of other hospitals either in Manila Hospital or Manila Doctors i presume with some sketching in my mind of its taken route, And yes, There is a visible patient inside (maybe in need of some SERIOUS medical attention i think.) but i guess, it can all be coincidences. So, How about that snappy story of mine inappropriately addressed in this comment box feels? all i can say is, i’m tired and have not sleepen for almost 24 hours and just wanna tell some story, even if its inappropriately placed somewhere on the web. hahahaha! sorry Arnold for the space spent :D

  • Amang

    I don't know you at all I just was mysteriously led to your site.
    PEOPLE can always rationalize; but God can read our ulterior motive and our heart.s intent.
    Many are victims of materialism; Sabbath was a gift that separates us from being materialistic;
    Let God rebuke you and send you back to a right state of mind.
    You can always disagree with me young man. But WATCH HE IS VISITING YOU one of these days!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/arnoldgamboa arnoldgamboa

    Thank you for visiting. (Can I call you Kuya Amang? You sounded older than me). I acknowledge your point, while I disagree with it. This may not be the right place to discuss about it. Nonetheless, thanks for dropping byl

  • http://HindinapoakoAdvent ANN

    I don’t understand what the contraversy is with you people! If you know the Bible and what the Ten Commands say why would you want to go on the day be fore Friday or the day after Sunday both pagan manmade days to worship? The Lord God wrote with his own finger in stone REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it holy not the sixth day not the first day but the seventh day. Sure we all can rest and serve the Lord every day of the week But the fourth commandment God wrote in stone with his own finger says six days I give you to work on the seventh day is a holy day a sign between me and you. You will only recieve a Sabbath blessing on Gods Holy Day Sabbath.The Day before or the day after my birthday is just a day the Day of my birthday is the day thats special and I celebrate not the day before or after.This is the same with Gods Sabbath started at creation week when God himself finished the work he had been doing,so on the seventh day HE rested God blessed it and made the seventh day holy. Genesis2:2 Read Exodus 20:8 jog your memory of what God said to remember.

  • SDA

    I’ve been reading a lot (as in over 10 maybe) of your posts and most are good but some are slightly disappointing. I’m NOT forcing you to go back to your SDA church but all I’m saying is that the teachings of the “so-called-reform” groups you’ve been talking about aren’t all about being extremists on vegetarianism or Ellen White’s books but we do put emphasis on how these CAN and WILL (by GOD’s grace) prepare you for Christ’s Second Coming.

  • Anonymous

    Hi. I apologize for misrepresenting the Adventist reformed movement here. It’s not my intention. My description is a very broad stroke, that should have not been my approach.

  • Maiden Sarmiento

    I will pray for you that the provision of the Holy Spirit may always guides you as you search n travel on this earth i’m happy but sad…..i missed you so much li’l brother.Hopefully that someday we’ll be together in one Faith