* 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!