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I'm Not Sure If This Is A Story, But......


notaxtian
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I didn't think this out ahead of time, it's just the spur of the moment. I posted part one which dealt briefly with my experiences with adventism, but I'm sure that the site was down and now I can't find it, so I'm posting again and will include part two.

 

Believers go to Heaven but non-believers go to Hell.

 

That's what I remember christians saying in general, but I wasn't a christian. I wasn't even an adventist, but during childhood I learned that someday non-adventists would side with the Pope(the anti-christ), then arrest sabbath-keepers, toruture them, then kill them. This event is known as the Sunday Law, which scared me to death. When adventism WASN'T scaring me, it was telling me what to eat(vegetarian foods) and what not to eat(meat) or drink(coffee, tea, cola). It also told me what I could do and what I couldn't do on Sabbath, what to think on Sabbath, where not to go on Sabbath. In other words it made my life miserable.

 

Church service was boring(except church choir, I actually liked the music)and sermons sometimes lasted more than an hour. Sabbath afternoons were boring. There was potluck after services of course, but what does one do afterwards? One can't go out to eat, go to the mall, watch tv, or do anything that was fun. I remember looking forward to sundown on Saturday so that I could do what I liked. We were always in a good mood on Sabbath morning(at least it seemed that way), and whatever happened the past week was done and over with and never mentioned. When I say "we" I mean me and other believers in our "group", but I never considered myself a believer and never wanted to believe. Other people believed, but not me. What I believed was that when I became an adult I was going to do whatever I wanted to do.

 

If church service was bad, then camp meetings were worse, at least to me. For one thing, they took place in isolated areas, usually in a wooded area( I lived in Colorado). I preferred to stay in the city, where one has access to modern convienences. Camp meetings lasted all weekend, and sometimes after spending that much time surrounded by nature, I was actually looking forward to going home. I guess it was easier to keep the Sabbath since there weren't any "worldly" distractions, but it was still boring.

 

I attended adventist schools most of the time, but I recall attending a few public schools and one mainstream christian school. I could always count on attending church every Saturday, no matter how much I was exposed to other points of view. I don't recall questioning adventism during childhood, I just went with the flow. That would change when I attended junior high.

 

Part two

 

Fast forward a few years later. I moved to Washington state. After attending adventist schools most of my life I had to attend public school because tuition was too expensive. I actually preferred attending the local adventist junior academy because that's all I knew. After enrolling it was a shock because I was not used to being amongst non-adventists. I was a fish out of water and out of my comfort zone. Students were cussing and listening to heavy metal. I thought that nobody here had to go to church on Saturday. Everyone talked about what they were going to do on the weekend, but I knew what I COULDN'T do. They went to parties while I stayed home. They went to the mall while I was in church. I didn't like this at all and I missed being amongst people who were "good" and who were vegetarians. Maybe some students were christians, but I didn't ask them. Some were probably atheists or of another faith, but all I knes is that these students weren't adventists!

 

When I went to high school I remember attending rallies and cheering for our football team, but unfortunately most of the games took place on Friday nights and I couldn't go. I was able to attend one Thursday night game, and it was the first game I ever attended and our team lost. Oh well, at least I was able to go to a game.

 

For me it was awkward going to church after being in public school all week. Talk about extremes! I went from one world where people had a good time and did what they wanted to another where we kept the Sabbath and prayed to Jesus. Sometimes it was just too much!

 

Part 3 will be posted later

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Part three

 

A few years later I moved to California. After attending public schools for a while I decided to attended an adventist acadamy about an hour away from where I lived. I actually preferred going back to my "comfort zone". After enrolling it was a shock because I had been away from adventists, who were "good", and amongst non-adventists, who were "bad". Some of the students at this acadamy were not nice to me and I didn't know why. Aren't adventists supposed to be nice? I hoped that I would get used to my new surroundings like I did in Washington state. I can't recall exactly what made me decide to leave but I DO know that I couldn't take it anymore and I transferred to a public school, which was closer. Once again I had to readjust to a non-adventist environment. I still went to church, but only occasionally. I can't recall when I eventually stopped going, but I'm sure it was before I attended college. I attended my first high school football game on Friday night. I had a good time, but was feeling guilty for breaking the Sabbath. Fortunately that feeling would go away years later.

 

After graduation I attended junior college and didn't attend church for a while. I then transferred to a university and decided to leave adventism behind. Ocassionally I attended non-adventist church services, but sometimes it reminded me of attending church during childhood. I decided later on that christianity was not right for me and I stopped attending church. University life was fun at times, but the academic part was difficult. I did well on some subjects and not so well on others. I lived in the dorms for about a year, and a year after that I became frustrated because I wasn't able to concentrate on my schoolwork, so I went back home. I returned to junior college to take some creative writing classes because I wanted to change my major to English once I reenrolled at the university.

 

This is where I will end this "story" because I don't want to get into any more details about my life, but I just wanted to share something about myself that I don't mind sharing with others. Now you know why I am here.

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Has anyone here heard of Ray Garton? I mentioned in another post that he writes horror novels and was a former adventist. His posts on Beliefnet.com inspired me to tell my "story". I can relate to what he says about growing up in adventist subculture.

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Sorry, there just seemed to be a lot you were holding back in that you didn't want to discuss so it didn't seem to me that you were inviting additional discussion. It's ok that you don't want to share more details, just know that If you decided to repost in testimonies then Christians aren't allowed to post in there so you can be free to be yourself, if you so choose.

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Sorry, there just seemed to be a lot you were holding back in that you didn't want to discuss so it didn't seem to me that you were inviting additional discussion. It's ok that you don't want to share more details, just know that If you decided to repost in testimonies then Christians aren't allowed to post in there so you can be free to be yourself, if you so choose.

Since I am new to the forums I don't want to share too much detail for now, and I don't think that my story deserves to be in the testimonies forum because it's just a general summary of my early experience. I have read other's testimonies and I don't think that my story measures up. I am surprised at the amount of information some posters here share with others as though they don't care what other people think. Maybe when I get more comfortable I will share more, but for now I am just doing my best to avoid embarrasing myself. I really have a lot more to say but for now I'm not sure that I want to disclose personal information to complete strangers. I was hoping that someone here has heard of Ray Garton, and if so, I could start a discussion with him or her, but if not that's ok. Anyway thanks for responding.

 

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Sorry, there just seemed to be a lot you were holding back in that you didn't want to discuss so it didn't seem to me that you were inviting additional discussion. It's ok that you don't want to share more details, just know that If you decided to repost in testimonies then Christians aren't allowed to post in there so you can be free to be yourself, if you so choose.

Since I am new to the forums I don't want to share too much detail for now, and I don't think that my story deserves to be in the testimonies forum because it's just a general summary of my early experience. I have read other's testimonies and I don't think that my story measures up. I am surprised at the amount of information some posters here share with others as though they don't care what other people think. Maybe when I get more comfortable I will share more, but for now I am just doing my best to avoid embarrasing myself. I really have a lot more to say but for now I'm not sure that I want to disclose personal information to complete strangers. I was hoping that someone here has heard of Ray Garton, and if so, I could start a discussion with him or her, but if not that's ok. Anyway thanks for responding.

 

 

When the time is right for you and you are ready to share, you may be surprised how freeing it is to write your full story without any self censorship. Sorry I don't have any info on the fellow you mentioned.

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Hi notaxtian, I heard an interview with Ray Garton on an Irreligiosophy podcast but I haven't read anything by him yet. The interview had me entertained and intrigued but I pushed his name to the back of my mind. I will have to read some of his books.

My husband was raised by Adventist parents but he never believed. He missed out on a lot of things growing up but has adjusted well. A funny aside - He's pretty much addicted to those Linketts that they sell at the Adventist book stores.

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Thanks for responding everyone. I hope that as time goes on I will be able to express myself more and be more specific. Here is a link to Ray Garton's story My link . This is what started it all. After reading his story I suddenly had the urge to express what was bothering me for many years, and sometimes still bothering me. I haven't attended adventist church since high school, or a mainstream christian church since I was in my twenties. I studied comparative religion in college, read books on Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism(mostly from Complete Idiot's Guide to Islam or Judaism For Dummies) but hey, I have to start somewhere, and it's made me curious. Atheism sounds good on paper, but sometimes I think that there is some sort of higher power. I'm pretty sure that I am agnostic, but I would more likely call myself a skeptic.

 

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Sorry, there just seemed to be a lot you were holding back in that you didn't want to discuss so it didn't seem to me that you were inviting additional discussion. It's ok that you don't want to share more details, just know that If you decided to repost in testimonies then Christians aren't allowed to post in there so you can be free to be yourself, if you so choose.

Since I am new to the forums I don't want to share too much detail for now, and I don't think that my story deserves to be in the testimonies forum because it's just a general summary of my early experience. I have read other's testimonies and I don't think that my story measures up. I am surprised at the amount of information some posters here share with others as though they don't care what other people think. Maybe when I get more comfortable I will share more, but for now I am just doing my best to avoid embarrasing myself. I really have a lot more to say but for now I'm not sure that I want to disclose personal information to complete strangers. I was hoping that someone here has heard of Ray Garton, and if so, I could start a discussion with him or her, but if not that's ok. Anyway thanks for responding.

 

 

When the time is right for you and you are ready to share, you may be surprised how freeing it is to write your full story without any self censorship. Sorry I don't have any info on the fellow you mentioned.

Here are a few links http://community.bel...ts_a_cult?pg=20 http://www.formeradv...html?1281933116 http://atheistoasis....anation-part-1/

I am sure that I posted them before, but I just wanted to give you some more info on him. Thankfully I didn't go through what he went through, but I can relate to what he says about adventism.

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I read the Ray Garton story from your link. I thought it was very good. I think that a lot of it resembles what I went through growing up. I'm not sure I agree with his comment that religion is in no way good. I know a few people who started going to church and gave up drugs, and a very self-abusing life and now have jobs, families etc.... Would they have been able to change without religion, I don't know. I do know that giving them something to believe in helped them no matter how far fetched and absolutly absurd the idea of God is.

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I read the Ray Garton story from your link. I thought it was very good. I think that a lot of it resembles what I went through growing up. I'm not sure I agree with his comment that religion is in no way good. I know a few people who started going to church and gave up drugs, and a very self-abusing life and now have jobs, families etc.... Would they have been able to change without religion, I don't know. I do know that giving them something to believe in helped them no matter how far fetched and absolutly absurd the idea of God is.

Thanks for responding. I am sure that for some people, religion helps them in their time of need.

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