Who’s Leaving?

April 2, 2013 highwayadmin

In Andy Nash’s article “Beyond Belief” in the March 21, 2013 issue of Adventist Review, he stated the following:“…..a new study suggests a shifting landscape in which more and more people are leaving the Adventist Church primarily because they’ve changed their beliefs.”This was a very timely article and well thought out. I was also grateful that Bro. Nash included the statement… We must recognize that sometimes the enemy is us. (the church)However, you’ve missed a very important issue in regard to a large segment of those whom you say “left the church” because they have “changed their beliefs”. I would suggest that a large group of individuals are forced to no longer worship with the local church because the church and/or Conference have changed “Their” beliefs. Solid biblical teaching and standards have been altered by the church to come in line with the methods and teachings of the other churches of Christendom. Many faithful members have attempted to effect a return to doctrinal purity and as a result have been shunned, turned away, and dis-fellowshipped. Just because an individual can no longer worship with the local church does not mean they have changed beliefs. I submit to you that in many instances, the local church leadership and its supporting conference have “Left the church”, though they continue to conduct worship services and have control of the facility.Many of our newer members do not understand the concern expressed by faithful individuals who have been part of and supportive of a church with pure doctrines and standards mainly because many of those newer members have never been instructed in these truths. Therefore, to them, the faithful believer who is concerned is, somehow, espousing a “strange” belief.There can never be unity within the church until an admission from leadership that, as a church, we have erred and strayed away from our foundational pillars and standards and return to a pure faith.Eph. 4:13-16  “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”Dan Shafer