My resignation letter

I will feature a few of the resignation letters by former SDA pastors over the next few weeks.
If you’d like to see the reaction to my resignation letter click here.

March 15, 2010

Dear Elder Caviness,

It is with careful consideration that I submit my letter of resignation as Interim Pastor/Associate Pastor in the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, effective March 31, 2010.

Though I’ve witnessed and experienced my share of challenges with leadership, I assure you that this decision is not the result of any disagreement or ill treatment from the membership or the leadership. My reason for resigning is simply this: God is calling me to preach and teach the unadulterated Gospel found solely in Scripture rather than the Gospel, plus Ellen G. White and the SDA doctrines (in effect, what Galatians 1 calls “another gospel”).

I can no longer agree to preach or teach the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church or, through my silence, imply that I agree with them. But allow me to be plain and specific. Because I have been a student of the Word and been sensitive to the Lord’s leading and teaching, I no longer believe that Scripture supports:

• The Mission of the Church (3 Angels’ Messages)
• The SDA Church is the remnant church (Fundamental Belief #13)
• Investigative Judgment/Pre-Advent Judgment (Fundamental Belief #24)
• Ellen G. White is a messenger of God (Fundamental Belief #18)
• Sabbath is the seal of God
• The Great Controversy worldview (Fundamental Belief #8)

Although not exhaustive, the above list represents ample reasons for me to tender my resignation. I will minister with integrity. I trust that my work performance and Christian leadership has been indicative of the work that the Holy Spirit has birthed in my life. I hope you will not ask me to defend my decision to follow Jesus Christ (and Him alone) and trust Him completely to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I have appreciated my time spent ministering in this conference and thank you for the trust you’ve placed in my leadership these last three years. You can count on my full cooperation to ensure a smooth transition.

For His Glory,

Pastor Benjamin T. McPhaull

Elder Adolphus Garnett
GLAR Region Director

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  1. In the first place you may wish to know that the god you are now serving is not the God you left in the SDA church.

    Secondly i doubt if you were really an adventist or a jesuit. Am saying this because SDA church has been infiltrated by the men of your callibre.

    Thirdly you may wish to know though i know that you do that God will not change even if the whole world, you inclusive decide to do it your own way. One thing is that you know the truth, and the rest of your friends who critcise God’s church.

    It’s very pathetic that you have chosen to misslead the mass with your views on the listed topics. Go to NEW WORLD ORDER, SUNDAY LAW and REVELATION websites and tell the world whether that is fiction or that you have chosen to preserve your integrity at the expence of your integrity.

    • Kondeni,

      You are correct, the god I left in the SDA Church is not the same God I serve now. The God I serve now is the God of the Scriptures who is more concerned with me living out the Gospel instead of making sure I try to get righteous by my works (as I was taught to do as an Adventist pastor).

      I NOW know the truth, The truth is not the sabbath, the Truth is Jesus and the Good News of the Gospel. The good news of hte SDA Church is that Jesus is coming again and that of the sabbath. The interesting thing is that Jesus, Paul and other significant New Testament figures understood the Gospel to point to Jesus-not the second coming. While Christ’s return is important. The most important event in history is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. That one event removed sin (past, present and future). As an Adventist pastor I couldn’t preach that- and you can’t accept that because of your great controversy motif (the investigative judgment).

      What is pathetic sir/maam is that you are a member of a church that has diminished the Deity of Jesus Christ and denied His mission- securing eternal life for those who trust in Him (John 3:16-17).

      My pray for you and all those being misled by the cultic doctrines of the SDA church will read your Bibles and pray every day then you will grow and see the Salvation of the Lord!


      Pastor McPhaull

      • Dear Pastor Benjamin,
        I’m not a 7th Day Adventist-and probably will never be so. My little knowledge of God’s Word helped me notice 2 main points in the SDA that will keep me for ever far from this church: (1) an unsound attachment to Mrs White’s teachings and “prophecies”, and (2) “Jesus” always pictured wirth long hair (did he practice the vow in Numbers 6?) Yes, you fled far from your church, so did I from mine, the Worldwide Church of God and Herbert W. Armstrong. I think that this is one more proof of God’s love towards us, His children, so that we may come to Him alone and know and practice His Word alone. Sola Scriptura: the Scriptures alone.
        Mario, from Guadeloupe, French Caribbean

      • I pray that God will reveal Him,self to you. I am an Adventist but more than that I am A christian and Never has our church emphasized Righteousness by works. If that is what you were trying to do to gain Salvation I am glad that now you realize that it, we are saved by Grace and this is the Gospel. I am however not surprised that individuals such as you are now keen on setting up own congregations for commercial purposes . this you can not do due to the structure of the church. May God show you that it is you who needs to change from within.Besides are you going to change the Sabbath Day?.May God touch you once more

      • If the great controversy is not about the cross, what is it about? From my understanding, the Great Controversy worldview is about our need of a Savior, and Jesus stepping in to sacrificially BE that savior, in every sense. It explains why there is suffering in the world, and how God will make it right in the end. I have been an Adventist all my life, and what you wrote about with the death and resurrection of Christ being paramount has been preached to me all my life. I don’t understand how you can say you could not preach about that to Adventists because of the great controversy. If you don’t believe in the great controversy, why do you believe Christ lived and died? If you don’t believe in the great controversy, what were all the sacrifices in the Old Testament for? I don’t believe God would have just arbitrarily commanded people to kill animals… it was symbolic. That is supported by John the Baptist, who said that Jesus is the Lamb of God. It is also supported in Hebrews, where the Heavenly and earthly sanctuaries are written about. The great controversy is this: God created every being in the universe with choice, because otherwise we would all be robots saying “I love you” without understanding what that means. Satan chose to disobey God and influenced Adam and Eve to do the same. Rather than blast them all out of existence, God chose to give Adam and Eve a second chance at life, through the life death and resurrection of Jesus. He gave a promise to Eve and demonstrated what the fulfillment of that promise would be throughout the OT. Now we look forward to the Second Coming, not because we need to get our ducks in a row in time, but because we long to BE with our best friend forever! We long to enjoy communion with God forever. Because people close to me no longer believe Jesus is the Messiah, I have extensively read the Old Testament to try and understand who the prophesied messiah was. Praise God, I found Him in every page! But I don’t see how Jesus would make any sense if there were no great controversy.

        Also, the Sabbath as the seal of God does not actually solve the question of whether or not the Sabbath is currently “active”. Even if it is not the seal of God– I believe the Holy Spirit is the seal of God, and I am an Adventist– that does not actually solve the question of whether or not to enjoy the Sabbath with God. It is a gift, the most positive and fun of the 10 commandments… no one is trying to say we should all just murder people, disobey our parents or sleep around. Why should there be a substitute Sabbath on Sunday if Sabbath is not important anymore?

        Finally, you say somewhere else on your blog that no one came to you to talk to you about your decision with a Bible in their hands. In your resignation letter you actually ASK people not to ask you to defend your decision to follow Jesus. I believe your statement on the blog is, then, unfair. I also believe it is unfair to say that other Adventist leadership told you that they preach things they do not believe in, without qualifying it by saying you KNOW many people preach with integrity to the best of their ability. If you know many Adventist pastors, you must see that many of them do believe what they say, and what you wrote makes it sound like everyone is preaching without conscience.

        I want to know Jesus more, just like you do, and just like many Christians and Adventist Christians do. I believe you should follow your convictions, but I find it interesting that after embarking on a similar journey to you, with nothing to lose or gain if I stayed or left, I found nothing contradictory in my search, other than perhaps cultural phenomena. I am also educated in our universities, also understand the ins and outs of theology and the various arguments. Did you read the Old Testament as well? Did you look at the whole picture? Just something to think about.

      • Great, That you have departed the Seventh Day Adventist nonsense.

        How could anyone believe such ignorance as the Ellen G. White obvious nonsense.

        The following list is not Biblical so how could anyone risk their future with our Lord by believing such ignorant nonsense!

        The Mission of the Church (3 Angels’ Messages)
        • The SDA Church is the remnant church (Fundamental Belief #13)
        • Investigative Judgment/Pre-Advent Judgment (Fundamental Belief #24)
        • Ellen G. White is a messenger of God (Fundamental Belief #18)
        • Sabbath is the seal of God
        • The Great Controversy worldview (Fundamental Belief #8)

  2. Hi,
    I want to praise God for rescuing you from the SDA church. My son and I have been attempting to reach them ourselves. We grieve for them, they appear to be sweet loving people but they are so deceived. Ellen White is their main authority over the Bible. We live just a mile away from their church so we checked it out to hopefully go to their church. After attending church service, Bible studies and Sabbath Schools we see error in their doctrine all over the place. They say many of the same things as true belivers do, but they mix in works in their salvation.
    Pray that God will use my son and I to open their eyes. And we will pray that God will use you to rescue some from your church as well.
    Praise God that you were willing to go to Him with an open heart to know the truth of the Bible.
    A sister in Christ

  3. Please God, help me never to leave the true Gospel as preached by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Please, help me to remember that the Seventh-day Adventist church preaches that salvation is not by works but by faith and that faith without work is dead. Help me not to take part with selfish people who with their flimsy ideas hope to change the entire Seventh-day Adventist church, people who instead of helping their brothers and sisters who are not yet saved, tried to destroy a well-established church. Have mercy upon those who are jealous, who have been deceived and who try to deceive the focused ones. Please, just have mercy upon them so that their eyes will be opened and they will return to your fold. Please, before it is too late, bring them back to you. Thank you for hearing me Lord.

    • ‎”The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the

      Thank you for your humility, integrity, and testimony, Ben.

    • Pastor Ben,

      “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.–1 John 12:42-43 (NASB)”

      Thank you for remaining faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, desiring His Praise over that of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Your perseverance for the work of the Savior is an encouragement and testimony of someone who solely leans on Him, day-to-day!

      Because we have loved ones still in the group from whence we were called out, my prayer and desire second only to to proclaiming the Gospel to the lost and molding young boys and girls in my Sunday School into Lovers of Jesus Christ is to witness the sun set on the Seventh-Day Adventist Institution and its false prophet. These things have put far too many into bondage.

      Contend for The Faith!

  4. Not sure why that scripture got cut off. Oops. Here is the end, as well as it’s address. 🙂

    “…but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:11-14

  5. I am a third generation sda. I am at the crossroads in my religious experience. This is one of the most challenging times in my life. I have a family, a tight net community. I wish that whould I have discovered about Adventist is wrong. But, I am faced with such a burden of proof that I cannot ignore.

    This weekend its mothers day. About ten years ago around this time my mother died. The pain of losing her is gone but I am filled with anger because she was lead to believe a lie.

    The investigative judgement.
    The Gift of Prophecy/Ellen G White
    The Sabbath

    It is not my duty to convince anyone but there is sufficient information available for anyone who is searching for truth will find it.

  6. I too have left the SDA church after realizing the many defects it has in understanding scriptures.. I praise the lord everyday for the blessings I have received from bring free from bondage. I only wish the veil of darkness will be lifted from our love ones still in the SDA church cult. Keep up the good work pastor Ben I believe in what you are doing. its the right move. A move for Christ. lets pray for each other.

  7. This is utter confusion! Just another one of the Devil’s attacks on God’s Church and you cannot even tell that you have been deceived. The Bible that you pretend to have been reading as a back up for your decision to leave the church does not lie nor contradict. Matthew 16:18 has this to say “I tell you that you are Peter, and it is on this rock that I will build my congregation, and the powers of hell will not conquer it.” This church that you are working against is built on the ROCK called Jesus of Nazareth. I am not even worried about all the Commotion that you and your wife have started because this Church will TRIUMPH no doubt. And God will preserve those who are His. This is prophecy being fulfilled and the sad thing about it is that it would take someone like you to betray the church may the Lord have mercy on your soul. I bet my life on this church with everything i have it will survive because God says it will. We have been warned that the enemy would go farther than this to destroy the church the same way he tried to destroy Jesus to keep Him from accomplishing His work of salvation by dying on the cross for us sinners. Remember Satan tried to kill the Savior of the world by putting out a decree to destroy all the male children and tortured Him all the way to the cross. Matthew 24:24 tells us that he would try to lead astray even the elect. How can you be so deceived Ben? How can you? How did you let him get to you and the whole family like this? What bible have you and your wife been studying, does it have Exodus 20 recorded in it? How about Genesis? Wow it is obvious from your testimonies that the devil had been working on you for a while and you just surrendered to him. I wonder who influenced who did you influence your wife or did she influence you? This is so puzzling to me I cannot understand it. It is interesting to me how you both gave in to your discoveries not one of you tried to resist.

  8. I to have left the sda church, after reading ellen g white written it does’t line up with the word of god. I no I’m save at the cross Christ die for me. Thank paster ben

  9. Pastor Ben,

    Thank you for your honest testimony. I have been an Adventist for 30 years, during which time I have always loved Jesus but thought that something was wrong with me. Looking around me I have seen people who have spent their whole lives reading Ellen White and doing their best to keep the Sabbath, and following all the “we’ve been tolds”. As older adults they are bitter, judgemental and angry. They enjoy so much defending the “truth” to other Christians (apostates) and savor criticisms about those around them who are not following the Lord in obedience to what they believe to be his commands. I have lived in fear my whole life of becoming one of those bitter old ladies that have damaged many a young person with their legalism. I would read Ellen White and then basically give up because it seemed that only the tiny remnant would be saved. Which is all fine and dandy as long as you consider yourself to be a part of the tiny remnant, but if like me you see yourself as a sinner, and didn’t truly understand the gospel, it was a frightening prospect to think of yourself standing before God without a mediator. But one thing I have noticed in my growing up in the church, that there seemed to be a remnant within the remnant, a group of people who somehow were able to maintain some joy and peace and were actually loving and kind to others, and the source of their happiness I would discover was a relationship with Jesus and a belief that they were saved through grace. They are what kept me in the church. But there was always something missing, like they could only go so far and keep butting their heads against a glass ceiling, as talk about Grace can only go so far in an Adventist environment, maybe it could only go so far as the next Ellen White quote to the contrary. Anyway, I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me as I read the New Testament for the first time without the filter I had always used in the past, the one that interpreted everything I read through EGW’s writings, the doctrines and their proof texts. Finally for the first time In my life I decided to take God at His word, what He wrote I believed. What an amazing discovery, and the truth shall set them free has new meaning to me now. Now I knew why all those deceived outsiders that were using their “cheap grace” to get by were so happy, because they had been set free! God had set them free from bondage, they were able to live their lives guided by the Holy Spirit and were full of joy at what Jesus had done for them. It was too good to be true, that we are truly saved by grace but, it was true indeed. So now I not longer fear the snide comments put on the internet by Adventists appalled at those who leave or discover the truth about Christ. The only “truth” that they can see is the Adventist truth about the Sabbath, the state of the dead and hell. When my eyes were opened to the “truth” it was in this verse. Jesus answered “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6. Isn’t that beautiful? He is the truth, there is no OTHER truth. Oh and one other thing, I think it is hilarious and extremely dishonest when Adventists say things like “Our church has never taught that we are saved by works”, who are they kidding. The reason that over 50% of my highschool class are no longer Adventists and no longer even Christian is because they were told that the way to get approval from God was to be obedient to His commands. Jesus puts forth a certain amount of grace and we supply the rest. To anyone who would challenge me and say that they had not heard that what Jesus did covers our sins but that we must help with the sanctification process, at least once in their life in the church (more likely a thousand times) I would respond with this challenge “You may be keeping the Sabbath holy but you are breaking another commandment when you lie and do not speak the truth”. You cannot exist in the Adventist church for under 6 months without hearing it at least once from a sermon or a member or a publication. This post may seem angry and I am okay with that. I am a little angry, that there is so much self and less of Jesus. He is so good and wonderful and He is enough and I feel a little righteous indignation that He isn’t emphasized fully and totally in a church that says that they are Christian. Jesus + nothing = salvation.

  10. Wow! It is amazing how ignorant the SDA people are including many of their pastors. It would surprise many SDA Members and Pastors to find through research of their so-called Ellen G. white their self glorifying false prophetess that she lied over and over again concerning her plagiarism. There were no laws concerning plagiarism but when Ellen G. was approached by the real and true authors of all those many books that she said was dictated to her by her special angel that appeared each day or when she called upon him… she never did own up to her lies and false statements concerning the changes of the Bibles many scriptures. Even William Miller the self glorifying prophet that didn’t know about Matthew 24 and 25. Continued in his arrogance to predict Jesus Christ’s return in 1843 and again in 1844. I recommend that all SDA members and their pastors research what Ellen G. White said in all those plagiarized books that she told every one in her day was dictated to het by angels. I spent 3.5 years of my life to proof that Ellen G. White was everything that I was hearing, but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ellen G. White was no more elegant than a false prophetess with a need to glorify herself plus she even invented a doctrine that IS NOT supported by the truths of the Bible. I spent many years investigating this little women with a need to be God spoke person and even told many that she was just that God’s massager plus it has been journalized that she also said that God would be upset if anyone challenged any of her writings. I continually send out letters and cards reflecting my investigative and due-diligence findings concerning the truth of the Bible compared with Ellen G. White Old time church journals and newspaper events of her day.
    There is no doubt that the SDA doctrine reflects the Gospel plus Ellen G. White. The SDA Church is forced to keep backing Ellen G. White because I discovered that not many really believe in Ellen G. White but without her, her lies and her scriptural changes they have no doctrine because nothing that Ellen G. White says doctrinally can be supported by the real and true Bible. The higher ups all know that when Ellen G. White goes; the whole church goes because they cannot operate without Ellen G. White direction, no matter how flawed her teaching is in the church. When I research and performed a 3.5 year due-diligence I discovered that indeed the SDA Church is worshiping the Gospel plus Ellen G. White and that is not what My Bible says we should do.

    Me and mine now worship the unadulterated Gospel but we worship the real God and His Son Jesus. The SDA people worships a big God (Father God) and a little God (Ellen G. White)
    Remember in my research I found that Ellen G. White was a lies and worse than that. She even told many people in the church of her day that they and she would be alive when Jesus returns. This has been proven plus please don’t believe anything the Ellen G. White Estate says or does because they lies as bad as Ellen G. White did…

    If anyone desires to challenge me I will show you my findings and everyone I show them to departs from the Cultish SDA False Church.


  11. I am not Adventist, but I am a follower of Jesus who is blessed by reading anyone’s story who departs from man’s religion and embraces the Lord Jesus. He himself is our Sabbath rest!

  12. How could anyone believe such nonsense as the following?

    The following list is not Biblical so how could anyone risk their future with our Lord by believing such ignorant nonsense!

    The Mission of the Church (3 Angels’ Messages)
    • The SDA Church is the remnant church (Fundamental Belief #13)
    • Investigative Judgment/Pre-Advent Judgment (Fundamental Belief #24)
    • Ellen G. White is a messenger of God (Fundamental Belief #18)
    • Sabbath is the seal of God
    • The Great Controversy worldview (Fundamental Belief #8)

  13. Thank you for sharing your resignation and journey! Several years ago the Holy Spirit began to convict me to read my Bible without the Adventist/EGW filters. I was astounded by what I found and over a long process of learning for myself the truth from the word (not from man), each and every doctrine of the Adventist church fell. Now that my eyes are open to the truth (Jesus) instead of the Adventist truth (the Sabbath) I am overjoyed to see other Adventists finding the true gospel and reaching out to others to teach the truth they have found and lead them out of bondage.

    I am always surprised by the mean spirited responses by Adventists in the comments. I grew up in this environment of shaming and calling those outside of Adventism or those who left, demonically inspired but it still shocks me. I suppose when one feels their “truth” is being questioned, the claws come out. I just pray that one day they will also learn the truth of the good news.

    I am so grateful for the freedom I have in Christ and the knowledge and security of salvation I have in Him and I am so glad you have found it too. I used to agonize over whether I could ever be good enough and it literally paralyzed me into being an incredibly ineffective Christian. Now I know that I have been accepted through the precious blood of Jesus and I have the confidence to share the good news with others instead of wallowing in worry over my future fate. May the Lord Bless you in your future endeavors and may you win may people for the kingdom!

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