Adventist Online

Hello Advntist Online!  I am new to the site today and have a couple of things on my heart that  I want to discuss.  I must give a disclaimer before I write this ;).  I am not starting this discussion for a pity party. I just want to give and receive some feedback.  I am  a single female over the age of 30.  I attend church each week and get the "Happy Sabbath" after which people go and greet, sit with or hug their other friends.  I have definitely tried to make friends, but once people get to know me they seem as if they don't want to be around me anymore.  There are not many singles my age in the area in which I live, but my goodness I do not have a disease!  I dress up to date and modestly.  I am not after anyone's husband. But can anyone tell me what to do.  I do not hear from anyone during the week.  When I reach out to some of the SDA friends that I have tried to befriend during the week; I receive the cold shoulder.  I can understand the world  having issues with people, but why do those who are supposedly "Christians" seem to act the same way? 

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Hi Wynterbaby, I am writing to respond to you questions and thoughts expressed. How to answer you, girl, for my first thought was to continue building your relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost by Studying His Word, praying to let you stay focus. but then I say nahh. for I am in a case where people don't know me and I hardly interact with anyone - for say if I go to an assembly and I cipher the mode or attitude of the people, I don't bother, I focus on my mission which is to worship God.

for to be a child of God an not have a love for your fellow man, some Christians have to look at themselves and see what is or was the social context that have them having the coldness syndrome. my friend let me start by asking you to be a friend of mine. for I know the disease and it aint ease. we know God will be there with us, but we need a physical presence to talk with. well I God I try and hope this help wynter baby

Hi Sister, I'm saddened by your note.   I see you are in the Birmingham area, SDA churches don't necessarily thrive in the deep South.  Is your church mostly small, with older people, and did you not grow up in the church you attend now?  If so seek out friendships with the older people as well, not just those your age; and make friends outside of church through work or other activities you might enjoy - continuing education for fun, sports leagues, etc  Some Adventists churches are dominated by a few well established families and have little experience in or capability of absorbing newbies.

 

Finally, shame on some of you.  If you are in a small church and you notice an unattached single lady, extend the hand of friendship. 

 

" Some Adventists churches are dominated by a few well established families and have little experience in or capability of absorbing newbies."

More than you think, and more than we should have.  I have a very friendly wife, but she is pretty much shut out from the social things as well due to this phenomenon.  These things are very important to women, typically.  They need to feel included.  No one likes to be left in "no man's land".  I am sorry to hear of your plight.  I tend to be friendly to the older single women for proprieties sake at church.  There is no implication of anything there due to the age gap. I want all people to feel included.  If you were in my church, Wynterbaby, I would introduce you to my wife, she is also over the age of 30.  I have the kind of wife who would make friends with an Eskimo in an igloo is she were in the North Pole.

So, the cliquishness has impacted her as well.  I am sorry you have to experience this sister Wynterbabay.

Seems more important to women then men.  I've noticed men don't necessarily want to socialize with the church flock as much?

In the sense they tend to be more social creatures than men.  Those social bonds tend to mean more to them emotionally.  For instance you have heard of a "man cave" for alone time.  I have never heard the expression a "woman cave".  We are just designed differently in that regard.  I am not suggesting it as a flaw.  In a relationship it works out pretty well.  My wife is very social and loves to have friends and people to relate to. I am less that way.  My most significant relationships in my life are God, my wife, my children, and my parents.  The other relationships that develop with hunting and fishing buddies are okay, but they don't bear that level of significance for me.

Yeah, I guess there's something to it. Although I think that men do enjoy and need socializing like women. But they don't really care much about building and maintaining groups and are more casual about who they spend their time with (as long as the activity is shared) - this is where women come in.

As a single it's never easy to truly fit in with the couples. Especially when houses, kids and family life start getting their attention. I've been through several tough years of that and for the first time in my life church did not feel like extended home to me. But I can't even imagine how difficult it would be for a female single. From what I've seen a woman's instinct to protect her family and especially her husband from other women is quite amazing and said cold shoulder will be added to just not fitting in.

So I believe that is a tough one for you, Wynterbaby, tougher than my experience. But know that you're not alone - and that there are brothers and sisters out there who do enjoy your friendly company and are willing to reach out to you, no matter who you are. Maybe they're in the next church over if they're not in yours?

Yes, I have gone out of my usual more introverted comfort zone, because I have seen these problems at church and find them unacceptable.  So, if I see you neglected or ignored, I want to get to know you, or find a way to get you included.  It breaks my heart to see people mistreated in a church, or pushed aside, or thought less of.  Jesus doesn't feel that way about them.  It is one strong value my grandfather left me, always root for the underdog.  Then this was reinforced in my life by the example of Jesus.

Well, now I know I'm not the only one.  My pastor took police action to ban me from church property, because I was only able to agree with 39 of the 41 points required to obtain and maintain church membership.  Does the SDA church only want members who don't question anything?  Hmmm....

Anyway, at least there are people online, who are represented by text and pictures.  Not as good as people who are actually there, but, I suppose, better than nothing.

It must be a respect thing.  There are some heavy hitters in the church, who have kids that play instruments in special music, and their families own a lot of land, and they contribute a lot to the tithe and offerings and building fund, and they are always in the parades, and pathfinders programs, and whatever else.

Proverbs  19:4    Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.  
........
 19:6    Many will entreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.  
 19:7    All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth [them with] words, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him].  

Those who are blessed with money, power, family, good looks, etc, have an easy time making friends, but for the rest of us...

After this pastor made his police report, I was invited over to my friend's house.  He wanted to bring me into agreement with the other 2 statements of faith.  I told him there where many errors in the Church Manual, but before I could get my Church Manual opened, to show him the errors, he ran me out of his house, calling me a liar and a deceiver.  I haven't talked to him since.

If what you believe is the Truth, you shouldn't have to defend it, with such violence.

Good members are very zealous for the leadership of the SDA organization.  They seem to believe they are infallible, and should never be questioned.  And, if we don't agree with every single statement made by our leadership, then we should be kicked out, and if we're not able to maintain membership in the organization, then it's their duty to shun us.

I think they will be held accountable for their shunning, for it is not based on bible principle.  Jesus said disfellowship happens when your brother sins against you, and refuses to correct his error, no matter how many witnesses you bring against him.  Sin is breaking God's law, which never changes, unlike the Church Manual.  The only reason to rightly kick someone out is for persisting in open sin.  In fact EGW said that, too:

     Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us. Should we try to uproot from the church those whom we suppose to be spurious Christians, we should be sure to make mistakes. Often we regard as hopeless subjects the very ones whom Christ is drawing to Himself. Were we to deal with these souls according to our imperfect judgment, it would perhaps extinguish their last hope.  {COL 71.3}

I wouldn't stress over it too much.  In my life I have found pastors few and far between that were worthwhile.  I remember getting dirty looks from a pastor who was a former social worker because of my profession.  Though, he thought the local child molester convicted for assault who brandished a firearm at the conference office, and the guy who stalked and beat his wife were wonderful.  He was particularly offended I stuck up on behalf of the battered wife and let him know there was a problem in his church.  Needless to say I left his church too.

When churches become overwhelming stupid and untenable, I leave them.  I have left two over overwhelming corruption and iniquity in the leadership.  I did find a nice church in that area who knew of the guy who had been convicted of assault and had a habit of feeling up the teenage girls against their will and his incident of brandishing a firearm (as a convicted felon no less) in the conference offices.  They would not allow him anywhere near their church, which is why I was much happier at that church.  They were mostly wealthy ranchers and farmers and had that modicum of common sense you find in ranchers and farmers, unlike social worker pastor who embraced evil and shunned good.

The moral of the story?  There a LOT of bad pastors.  I suspect that is because a lot of of them enter the ministry without being called by God.

I can name four in my life that have ever met that weren't a complete and utter disappointment.  So, I wouldn't worry about that hand of flesh as disheartening as it can be. 

I never leave.  I always end up getting kicked out.  I'm used to it, by now.  It's about to extinguish my last hope, though.  I find I'm fitting in more, and more with the guys at work.  I hate how they self medicate at break time, but I don't want to be rude.  I've gotten fired too many times for being "anti-social".

I don't fit in with the world.  I don't find a place in the church.  My wife's leaving me.  I'm just turning into a desensitized machine.  What can I do?

Those pastors...  What do they do all week?  They've always been a mystery, to me.  But, I've known some, who kept busy with various projects.  The pastor at Salina, KS, Jim Wood, was telling us about this production he was working on, called "The Seventh Day".  His name is at the bottom of this page:  http://www.theseventhday.tv/

But, those lazy pastors... they are kinda "wishy-washy".

Wow, I am sorry to hear all that, Rush.  I hope you and your wife can mend things. I'll be praying for you, brother.

It might not be your style, and I am in wise attempting to mock or belittle you.  But, I do have a message for you within these lyrics.  I am impressed to give it.  God sees you, He loves you, and he knows what you are going through.

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