It’s not abnormal for people to join and or leave their church family (though it’s preferred that they stay) and at my church, I’ve seen plenty come and go but today it struck me that of those that leave the church a large percent just migrate to another church rather than abandon the doctrine altogether.
Of those that make the decision to attend another church, I find [(mostly through heresy) * my bad, Freudian slip, I meant hearsay)] that they leave their usual church because they either don’t like how service is run, they can’t shine the way they want (y’all know the ones), or they’ve been offended in some way. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with visiting other churches or changing memberships if one is still spiritually hungry after digesting a worship service, however; it’s the people that leave because they’re offended by someone or something that befuddle me.
I’ve seen people leave the church because they’ve been told that they’re doing something that does not reflect the church’s (in this case SDA) doctrine and ideas, the following are a few examples:
There have instances of members that have had children out of wedlock and come to have their baby blessed only to be informed that the father could not stand with them during the ceremony (I don’t have a baby so that whole situation is foreign to me). The parents were offended and started attending a different church.
Adventists typically frown upon the wearing of jewelry and or makeup (it’s a modesty/don’t-make-it-so-you’re-easily-confused-for-a-harlot thing) yet when I visit another church, for example, I see people that used to go to my church in full stage make up and jewelry (not exaggerating…maybe a little).
Also there have been members that were not allowed to hold certain positions within the church because they were not baptized (not sure if that’s tradition or doctrine) who are mysteriously M.I.A., presumably they attend another church.
The problem here lies in the fact that people can run from one church to another whenever they don’t want to conform to the doctrine of the church as a whole and actually find a place where they feel comfortable. As a denomination we should all be on one accord; the rules and regulations should be the same for every church within a denomination. What’s unacceptable in one church (according to doctrine not tradition) should not be acceptable in another. This discord says to the members that one can outrun God’s law and that it’s okay to attempt to do so which is absolutely false!