I became disatisfied with SDA teachings while attending an SDA college in the early 80s. For years I avoided discussion with SDAs other than close family (only because those discussions were unavoidable). In what few discussions came about, a point many Adventists tried to make, was that attitudes have 'changed', adventism has 'matured' and that many of the issues the led to my leaving are no longer around.
Well, things do change, the internet made discussion both more accessible and more anonymous, so I started conversations. (anonymity is a big deal when you have a lot of 3rd and 4th generation Adventists in the family, many of them working for their denomination.)
What I have found here and in other forums around the internet, is that not much has changed from what I can see. It is maybe packaged differently, prettier wrappings, more rounded corners and extra padding around the sharp edges...... but I can't see that anything has really changed.
I have a list, but as its best to deal with one thing at a time in a thread, i'm going to start with one of the first things (out of many) that began to push me out of my comfort zone to consider that maybe as an Adventist I wasn't following the Truth after all.
As I came to the Adventist school as an upperclassman transfer, I had a great many religion courses to take that were required classes but of course were not available at the state university I had attended. I had 12 religion credits that first semester. Four classes. Each class had a different style, but the substance was the same: "Catholicism is not Christian becuase they believe........." "The Catholic Church is evil and apostate becuase history records they did ............" Almost everything fit into those two categories, just fill in the blank with the specific details.
I began to have a problem in class though. Especially the first category. One professor devoted an entire hour to a lecture on 'Mary worship' and elaborated extensively on it and why it was wrong. As a kid I had attended a Catholic gradeschool and as was usual at that time, we attended daily mass and memorized our catechism lessons out of the Baltimore Catechism. What the Adventist professor was teaching was not what I remembered learning. At the end of class, when there was opportunity for questions, I brought up that the Catholic church does not teach about Mary as he had just told the class, expecting some reasonable answer. His response was that everything the Catholic church publishes to teach its doctrine are deceptive lies to make things seem ok, but that the reality is the Catholic church teaches 'Mary Worship' becuase it is really pagan godess worship disguised as Christianity. He then refused further quesitoning in class on the subject.
As the semester continued, this became a very familiar pattern.
"History says........" but what I remembered from secular history classes was very different. "the Catholic church believes......" but what I remembered was very different. I thought I was remembering wrong, so I began researching Catholic beliefs, after all I only had a few months of elementary school level instruction. Every thing I found confirmed what I remembered.
So this is my question for this thread:
Why does the Adventist Church persist in claiming that the Catholic Church teaches things that she emphatically does not?
I'll save the history questions and others for seperate threads, if there are people interested in discussing them.