Q16: Which of the following describe(s) your situation, whether currently or at some point in the past?
Below are the data from Q16 in our survey. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Q16: Which of the following describe(s) your situation, whether currently or at some point in the past? (check all that apply) ChatGPT-4 analysis 9-22-23 Individuals’ Experiences and Perspectives Regarding Adventist Rules and Beliefs Executive Summary: This report synthesizes diverse experiences and perspectives on adherence to Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) rules and beliefs. Numerous themes emerged, portraying a shift from past concealment to contemporary openness regarding Adventist values. 1. Evolution from Concealment to Openness: 1.1 Past Concealment: Many individuals previously concealed aspects of their lives that were in conflict with Adventist rules. Example: “These are things I did in the past when I was much younger. I’m not hiding anything now.” 1.2 Acceptance of Present Self: A shift towards acceptance and openness about divergent lifestyles is noted. Example: “I am…Read More
Q15 Which of the following best describes how you present as a non-Adventist to the Adventists in your life?
Below are the data from Q15 in our survey. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Q15 Which of the following best describes how you present as a non-Adventist to the Adventists in your life? Themes generated on 9-22-23 using ChatGPT-4 Theme 1: Concealment of Belief Transition Summary: Participants exhibited a trend of concealing their transition away from SDA beliefs, predominantly to maintain harmony within familial and social relationships and to avoid potential confrontations and judgments. Representative Quotes: “I would never hurt my elderly parents. To them, I’m an Adventist who is private and doesn’t attend church.” “I keep it to myself. I don’t want to upset my parents.” “My fundamentalist in-laws would freak out, so they are in the dark.” Number of Responses: 23 Theme 2: Social Strains and Altered Relationships Summary: The experiences of several participants underscore the social strains and alterations in relationships…Read More
All quantitative surveys results Notes: Our research team is renewing its focus on the data we collected and you can expect regular updates in the coming weeks and months regarding our Ex-SDA survey. Qualitative data will be presented soon. We are using ChatGPT4 for our preliminary analysis. All quantitative data One primary goal of this research was to learn about the views of those somewhere on the “leaving/left’ SDA journey and then to share these data with the public. Our promise to those taking the survey was that (within ethical boundaries) we would share the results. Below we give access to all quantitative data from the survey(s).By clicking here you can see all of the quantitative data in frequencies form. These are the data from all 1011 respondents. Here are all the quantitative data from the Portuguese language version. Here we compare the quantitative data from the English version…Read More
The Survey: Some Questions and Answers Our research team made an internet survey available to interested former Seventh-day Adventists and current members strongly considering leaving the denomination. Well over a thousand respondents from around the world filled out the survey. Below is a quick glance at our methods and results. Q: What was the major reason for our survey? A: Actually, the survey had two major purposes. One was to give the respondents an opportunity to voice their experiences within, and concerns about, the Adventist Church. In this sense, we hoped it would act as a service to the many former Adventists who feel burdened, emotionally or otherwise, by their time associated with the church. A second purpose was the research one. Among other things, we wanted to gain insight into the reasons that members leave a fundamentalist Christian denomination (the Seventh-day Adventists, in specific), the characteristics of those who…Read More
We’re back! After a long hiatus over the summer the research team is back and beginning to pour through the massive data set represented by the 1200+ responses to our survey. Political views To get things started, here is a glimpse at the results from Q33, “To what extent did your experience as an Adventist impact your political views?” Below are the aggregate responses. As you can see, most (62%) indicated that their experience as an Adventist impacted their political views at least a little, with over 26% indicating “a lot” or “a great deal.” Narrative responses But what of the narrative responses? Using ChatGPT1 to summarize the 303 responses, here are the results listed as the seven top themes and accompanies by representative quotations. The themes are ordered based on the number of comments fitting in to each theme. Theme 1: Growing Awareness and Change in Political Beliefs This…Read More
Surveys will be closed on June 1 Closing soon The data collection phase of our ex-SDA project is coming to an end on June 1. To date we have 983 respondents for the English version, 143 in the Portuguese version, and 6 having completed the Polish version making for 1132 total respondents. THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the survey and who have encouraged our efforts. More analysis and comment coming soon. Please encourage anyone in our target population who would like to have their voice heard to complete the survey ASAP. Here again are the links: English version Portuguese version Polish versionRead More
Morality and Religion? A moral life Many is the time that I have read or heard it said by religious people that a belief in God is necessary to lead a moral life. If they are Christians, they may very well add that adherence to Christianity per se is necessary to be moral, or at least to enter heaven when the time comes. Without belief in God and religious rules as a guide, what would prevent a non-believer from giving in to every base and disgusting urge? Wouldn’t every atheist be a murderer and rapist? Without God, why not? Or so the thinking goes. Noted evangelist Benny Hinn said, “Do you know that every unbeliever is filled with a demon spirit?” Conservative Christian commentator and author Bill O’Reilly noted that when a society ceases living a religious life, “under God,” it will degenerate into anarchy and crime. Jewish author…Read More
Former Adventist Survey done in 2011 [This is a guest post by Sandy Snelling Whetmore] During the summer of 2011, a closed Facebook group of former Adventists began thinking about the idea of a survey. New technology had allowed us to find others who had experienced similar journeys out of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and we had lots of questions for each other. We carried on long online discussions about our shared experiences, memories, doctrinal beliefs, and questions. Some of those threads went on for several days with new-found friends asking for clarification or objecting to statements they found inaccurate. The group was a source of encouragement, discovery, and acceptance. Several of us also participated in other similar groups where some of the same topics kept coming up. At one point, some of us landed on the idea of compiling specific questions that we thought would be helpful to explore…Read More
Critical Thinking, the Intellect, and Religion A personal story I have a friend, an atheist, who was raised by fundamentalist Christian parents. Over the past several years she has regaled me with many stories of her upbringing. She told me that her parents believed that everything written in the Bible was true exactly as written, that, of course, being one of the defining characteristics of Christian fundamentalism. She said her parents told her that a specific passage of the Bible implies that the value for pi is 3. Exactly 3. She argued that that is obviously false, that all math textbooks give it as something like 3.1416 (the digits actually extend many hundreds of places beyond 3.14159, so books tend to round up). Her parents claimed that all the math textbooks were wrong. She said that she could demonstrate right in front of them that pi was not exactly…Read More
[Updated 4-30-23] Comparing data from the survey: update on Portuguese version of the survey Some numbers Live now and being spread by our Brazilian colleagues for just over a week, the Portuguese version of our survey has 129 responses. Combined with the English language version (n=950) that makes a total of 10791 respondents to date. Although we expect many more respondents before we close the surveys on June 1st, the preliminary results are quite interesting. What I’ll present below are just a few glimpses of the quantitative data thus far, comparing results from both versions of the survey. At this point we can begin to present the ‘what’ but can only offer conjecture as to the ‘why’ behind these numbers. Please allow me to share some beginning thoughts about these data, starting with the demographic makeup of the respondents, and then onto even more interesting numbers including the ‘cult’ question,…Read More