Dear members of the Historic Advent Sabbath Society,
After long deliberation, and much prayer I have decided it is time for me to resign from this organisation. There are many reasons for this decision, I will try to be brief.
Since being in this church I have seen a steady loss of many of the fruits of the spirit from many members of the church… me included. I have seen a gradual separating of people, and a gradual push towards antisocial behaviour (in general, not just in places where I am affected). As a church we have got to the point where most in the church cannot talk to each other for extended periods of weeks without ripping each other’s heads off (unless sticking to shallow coffee shop type conversation – which is as evil as the anger). We have also got to the point where no one in the church can (or is allowed to) resolve any issues without John stepping in to save the day. I am as guilty of this as anyone.
Also, I have noticed a general negative push against outreach, and a “nuclear bunker” style approach to Christianity… a general hoarding of the truth to ourselves (somehow thinking that paying others to do outreach is the full extent of our obligation to Christ). The resistance I have found from this church in outreach has been so great, I had almost got to the point of utter discouragement, and wondering if missionary outreach and general social behaviour was actually evil of me. However, after reading spirit of prophecy where she says clearly the only purpose of our existence on this planet is to do missionary outreach, I realised my belief wasn’t the problem.
Also, recently, because of decisions made to make public sensitive sermons, my missionary outreach has been almost completely destroyed. Our reputation has been tainted and the HASS name is now synonymous with popery (right or wrong). This with the fact that our advice was ignored because we are “young in the faith”, even though most of us have had 10-20 years in various branches of Adventism – in a time of audiobooks where you can “learn in a few short months what others had years to learn.” This general ageism is also entirely illogical when dealing with issues that most in the church simply have no understanding of, such as finance and how the internet / facebook works. Most of the experience of the older people in this church relating to these avenues is actually detrimental, (see Velue scam John was caught up in against the advice of the young, and the recent gambling with Gold). The modern economy and internet simply didn’t exist when most in the church were gaining their other experience. This is not to say there aren’t important areas where experience of the older is very useful, and I have appreciated principles given along the way, and obviously
the doctrinal help that I have been given along the way.
It goes without saying that I have had issues with John, and how I believe he has disregarded clear SOP statements, including ones that I believe are the source of most of these problems (see David Westbrook’s sermon “what every minister should know”). It is also clear that we “for lack of choice” have chosen someone who violates many of the criteria for being a deacon, let alone an elder. In doing this we have displayed an Abram like lack of faith by laying with Hagar to fulfil God’s promise, and we are now reaping the harvest of our unfaithfulness.
Honestly, I could rant all day about the issues we have had, but there is little point. One of the greatest casualties of this ministry has been “come let us reason together” and I’m tired of fighting for people to see what a child could clearly see.
By their fruits ye shall know them. We are not God’s church; to some degree we have all developed the fruit of our father the devil. We strain at a gnat (do up your top button, don’t hug in public it is the appearance of evil, don’t have fringes, don’t have high pony tails, etc ad infinitum), and swallow a camel (John and Rose having secret addresses is textbook appearance of evil; We give John the best construction, but Me or Paul or Michael have “unsanctified ears” if we question him; we are to love our enemies, but Simon and Glendon are “demon possessed” (where is their best construction?). We are Pharisees plain and simple, and if we maintain this course we will most certainly lose our salvation.
For these and many other reasons, I can no longer be a part of this organisation. After talking to David Gates, my conviction is to return to a conservative Conference SDA church, and continue outreach work. I have determined not to hold a grudge against any in the church, and I still care for all of you and am not opposed to social visits. I would appreciate if people would accept my decision to leave, as I do not wish to go through the detail beyond what I have written and am very ready to leave all of this behind me.
Regards, Ben Jones