Why Are So Many Seventh-day Adventists
Leaving the SDA Church?
In 2005, the SDA Church reported alarming membership losses. Despite adding 5 million new believers during the 5-year period of 2000-2004, over 1.4 million members left the church during that same period.2
SDA minister Vance Ferrell describes the problem in his newsletter:
"That is a very high loss. According to the official report, 'for every 100 accessions, more than 35 others decided to leave.' This was a significant increase over the 24 per 100 which left in the preceding five year period (1995-1999). The drop rate has increased by almost one-half.
"A sheet distributed at one of the booths said that '70 percent of young people in developing nations drop out of the church.'
"One missionary declared that, in his field, 'a third are dropped from the membership rolls; another third are on the rolls but no longer attend; and only a third are active members.' That one-third which remains on the rolls but no longer attends is significant. It is clear that membership totals are not a true indicator of the actual number of members in the world church.
"The statistical report, presented at the Session, lists the Southern-Asia Pacific Division (SSD) as having the highest drop rate in the world. It is 104.75%. This means that 104.75% of the number of membership increase in the SSD between spring 2000 and spring 2004 have left the church. That is more than 100%! ... In that time period, the SSD lost more members than it brought into the church."2
Why do so many people leave the SDA Church?
There are a myriad of reasons for why people leave the SDA Church, but in recent years, one reason has begun to stand out above all others: Knowledge. With easy access to the Internet, Adventist members have at their fingertips a wealth of knowledge about the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thanks to former SDA ministers such as Elder Dale Ratzlaff, Elder Sydney Cleveland, Elder Walter Rea, Dr. Desmond Ford, and many others, a wealth of knowledge regarding the fallacies of Seventh-day Adventism is now available to anyone willing to take the time and effort to study their religion.
Adventists are often sucked into the SDA Church through cleverly disguised and advertised evangelistic campaigns held in a public locations with no mention that the meetings are organized by Seventh-day Adventists. The multimedia presentations are designed to appeal to the senses and the emotions. End-time prophecies are presented in such a way as to arouse alarm and fear. Participants are bombarded with proof texts and one-sided arguments until they are convinced of the necessity of joining God's “one and only true remnant” church: Seventh-day Adventism.
Later, after the rush of excitement fades, these new Adventists start asking questions. It is not long before it dawns on many of these new arrivals that all may not be exactly as they had been told. Cracks begin to appear in the once-thought-to-be ironclad presentations of SDA Bible prophecy. They start asking questions, and instead of getting answers, they find that their questions are getting dodged. They soon discover there is a large and growing segment of Adventists who do not believe in Ellen White, or the peculiar SDA views of Bible prophecy. And yet, these are often the very reason the new arrivals joined the SDA Church! It is not long before they discover there are different factions in the SDA Church, each with their own idea of “truth”. As they begin examining the SDA doctrines more closely, they soon discover that there is a BIG difference between Bible Truth and SDA truth. More and more, Adventists are now "studying their way out" of Adventism.
Below are some of the Top Reasons cited by Adventists who study their way out of the SDA Church:
- "Ellen White was a false prophet."
- "Support for their Sanctuary Doctrine cannot be found in the Bible."
- "There is no Biblical evidence for an Investigative Judgment."
- "They continually and repeatedly ask me for more money!"
- "The Veggie diet is never promoted in the Scriptures!"
- "Their prophecy & National Sunday Law teachings are absurd."
1. Vance Ferrell, More WAYMARKS - from PILGRIMS REST, "The 2005 St. Louis Session: Items of Interest General Conference Sessions: WM1305, "2005 ST. LOUIS SESSION: ITEMS OF INTEREST Nov 05 Index: General Conference Sessions / St. Louis".