Progressive patterns explain eternity
From the introduction to Beautiful Patterns, volume 1 of the series, Eternity Explained for Adventists.
"In the appendix I share my story of how I became an Adventist. I tell how I researched for years to make sure the Adventists were right, because when I joined them I was kicked out of my parents' house. I would not wish that long ordeal on anybody, but the results were worth it. Having stared loss and death in the face, I can confidently declare that there is no other church, religion, or philosophy in existence that can match biblical Adventism (The current culture of Adventism is a different story.) in explaining life, God, good, and evil from beginning to end. There is no other belief system that points so clearly to our Savior Jesus Christ and the righteousness and peace He offers each of us.
"However, after being a teacher, principal, and dean in our academies for 20 years opened my naïve eyes to the dark side of this people called, Adventists. In our beloved church is politics, petty shallowness, lack of dedication, abuse, hypocrisy, and downright mean backstabbing. After years of service I had to take a break and pondered if I should break from the church.
"It occurred to me, as it has occurred to many who have left the church, that maybe I was subtly brainwashed by living in the Adventist subculture for so long. Maybe I no longer had a belief system of my own, but instead I was simply breathing the air of all those around me. What if things had changed and the Adventist church was no longer "the right church?"
"First as a teen, then again as an adult, I tore down my mental structure, examined it bit by bit, and started from scratch. And when I say scratch, I mean bare metal. "Is there a God?" was my first question. For a few precious years, I had a mentor in my life (I still wish I had one). He was a retired Bible teacher I met at Southern Adventist University. He often told me, "If it isn't simple, it isn't so." I needed to get the Adventist voices out of my head and get back to basics."
What I just shared with you describes not only my past experience, but that of many former Adventists as well. They left God and the church because they could not find a reason meaningful enough to outweigh the lack of community, the lack of spirituality, and the lack of practical service. They have bits and pieces of Adventist doctrine floating around in their head, but not a coherent system upon which to build a life. Like most believers, they have a list but not a light. They are dead inside and so they look elsewhere for something, anything.
EternityExplained.com is the website you can direct your non-Adventist and former Adventist friends to. It lays the same strong foundation of our faith without using church lingo and Spirit of Prophecy references. It uses the same patterned approach to the evidence that the print series uses. It is safe. It is spiritual. It is enlightening.
If you have a particular person and/or situation that you need help with, please contact me through my About page.
Sometimes this world feels so dark,
so stressful, so pointless, so hard,
constantly trapped in non-stop battle.
We long for something better.
We long for everything and everyone to be good.
So we look up from the darkness.
We look above and beyond.
Where else is there to look?
Eternity! Infinite time. Endless ages.
A sun always on the rise, never falling into dark.
Fountain of youth. Tree of life. Immortality.
Ever feeling fresh in the glory of unending morning.
Heaven. Nirvana. Paradise. Valhalla. Promised land.
Swords into plowshares. Lions lay down with lambs.
Peace. Contentment. Safety.
We want it. We yearn for it.
More than mere gazing at the stars,
we want to live among the galaxies
and pick flowers on other worlds.
We want to be one with the universe
and the universe to be one, forever.
With bright dreams for tomorrow
we are stuck in the darkness of today.
Good vs evil. God vs devil.
Person against person. Nation against nation.
Life and death. Suffering and joy.
Confusion. Contradiction. Depression.
Why is it like this?
How did it get this way?
How do we escape?
Will it ever end?
These are big questions
demanding big answers.
It will take time and thought,
but they will be rewarded.
Climbing the mountain of perspective
we will gain the insight of ages.
Understanding the years
gives meaning and value to our days.
In our efforts to understand,
to be good people,
and to live good lives,
we suffer abuse.
We are hated by the hypocrites.
We are accused by the self-righteous.
On the pathway of life
we are tripped by hurtful obstacles.
We are not alone.
There is a solution bigger than our problems.
There is peace greater than all the pain.
There is a future brighter and more real than today.
So why lose with the losers?
Why die with the killers?
Eternity really does exist.
We live it or leave it by choice.
That makes it worthy of consideration
Because forever can be understood,
perfect peace can be experienced,
and infinite confidence can be tasted
starting here and now
and on through endless ages
by all who keep their eyes toward heaven
and their hearts warm
with faith, hope, and love.