Interesting observations at an SDA church

by joe134cd 24 Replies latest jw experiences

  • joe134cd

    I’ve just attended a SDA church service today. I have to say the attendance was similar to what I would expect to see in a JW service. The style and nature of the service was also very JWish (formal, drab and boring). The church was in a suburb of major city, and to be fair I don’t know if there were other services been held in the same location ( although there was only meeting times for one congregation)or how close the next church was. To have an attendance of 50 people I thought was very low for a suburb of this size. There were lots of empty seats. Of those 39/50 were over the age of 40, and there was lots of grey hair. Of the 11 left over I would consider 3 in the 18-30 year old group. Of those 3. It looked as though 1 had mental problems and the other 2 were in suit and tie which would suggest to me they were born ins. I couldn’t help but think that unless the SDA has a dramatic change of fortune this church will be closing due to a lack of support with in a couple of decades. It also made me think how the jw are not the only ones suffering in the same climate. I consider the SDA church to be doing the better of the 3 (lds / jw / SDA ) American religions. How the SDA church claims to have an world wide attendance of 30 million people at each Saturday service is beyond me, based on what I saw today.

  • Chook

    The internet is killing cults with awareness campaigns. But cults also exist outside the realm of religion

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    There are 25,000,000 people that are in the SDA church. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

  • LV101

    I'd heard few yrs. ago the SDAs were one of the fastest growing (if not the fastest) religion but would imagine it's dealing with the same issues as JWs/LDS. For one thing they don't have the bad history like JWs/Mormans (or that I'm aware of) and they've always been more mainstream. I don't think they're halfway as whacko as JWs/Mormans although LDS has made a huge effort to not be so weird.

    We have to thank the internet - it's given life back to cult members.

  • slimboyfat

    What was the racial mix like? In Scotland most SDA churches predominantly comprise people of African origin, with some Eastern European and Asian (Filipino). The one exception being Crieff SDA church, which is predominantly white, and has a congregation of around 70 in attendance. Crieff is also an older congregation. The churches such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Irvine, Faifley, Paisley, Dundee, that comprise mainly immigrants, include lots of families with children and teenagers. Glasgow is the biggest with over a hundred and Faifley the smallest with around 15.

    SDAs claim around 1000 members in Scotland in about 10 churches. My own observations indicate that is about right.

    If you want to see an SDA get animated, ask them what works are permissible or not permissible on the Sabbath!

  • joe134cd

    Slim boy fat - That’s an interesting point. There looked to be none from the Philippines. There would of been about 6 black people who were (I’m guessing) of African descent. Interestingly it was 1 of those black people who I counted as been in the 18-30yo. My general impression was an ageing congregation with little interest from the out side community. A church service that needed to go charismatic to fill more seats. I certainly can see a for sale sign on this church property unless there is a pretty big turn around.

    Based on what I saw, and indeed if this is a reflection of what is happening nationally / internationally. I just can’t see how the could be pulling a 25-30mill attendance figure. The announced they were having a youth social latter on in the night and it would of been interesting to observe the amount and ages of the attendees.

    Despite the 25-30 million figure, and I am inclined to think the SDA is out preforming the lds/jw. I really don’t think the difference would be huge, when you factor in what it means to be counted as a member.

  • joe134cd

    LV101 - I would agree the SDA would appear to be more user friendly and more main stream. Despite having a very similar doctrine to the jws (I refer to them as been spiritual cousins. Lol) But that been said there is still some of the late 1800s craziness from Ellen G White. That can be easily located (and in the English language) on the internet. Do I think Ellen G White was any more inspired than Joe Smith or Tazzy Russel. No I don’t.

    The reason I think the the SDA has and will do better than the other two, is their community projects. They have built hospitals and schools and and at least tried to help people. The lds gives about .7 of 1% per annum to community projects and the jw give nothing. So I’m guessing this could be a valid reason for their success.

  • dozy

    Interesting review. It looks like the SDA is going the same way as the JWs. The reported headline numbers of people attending church and who claim to be active members of a religion does tend to be higher ( sometimes much higher ) than the reality, for a number of reasons.

    We all remember the "submarine" JWs who bob up annually to attend the Memorial or attend a few meetings to then disappear again , or the people we met on the ministry who claimed to be regularly attending and committed church members but when asked , suddenly couldn't remember the name of their vicar / minister or the time of the Sunday service.

  • LV101

    joe - yes SDA/JWs are both lineage of 2nd day Adventism (something like that as I recall) and seem to be quite active in the recruiting aspect (or were). Couple people who've read their book (don't know which one) indicated it wasn't like JWs -- thankfully, but they thought it was weird - one a teacher/principal with x-JWism hangover. Here's the big diff -- people respect/admire the SDAs for their education, work ethics and dietary health standards (even for their religion/faith) and as being very ethical neighbors and friends to those outside their faith. I've childhood friends who live in Redlands, Ca,, (Loma Linda, California) who can't say enough positives about them as human beings. Like Mormans they seem to flock together in neighborhoods but aren't weird to non-SDAs. The JW cult doesn't even come close to SDAs in my opinion. Renown hospital - health conscience, holding the longevity record per the Blue Zones of planet earth - SDAs/Loma Linda, California, SDAs, are to be admired -- and are. Not saying I like the fact they're religious zealots. One attributing factor to their health could be the one day of rest or their socialization.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    The SDAs have a substantial presence in Mexico, Central and South America. I'm not sure how or why, but their missionary activities appear to be comparatively successful.

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