Q15 Which of the following best describes how you present as a non-Adventist to the Adventists in your life?

Posted on: September 22, 2023 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: From Tom

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
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
The experiences of several participants underscore the social strains and alterations in relationships resulting from diverging from SDA faith, with many experiencing isolation, loss of friends, or strained family relationships.

Representative Quotes:
“When we switched churches we were immediately cut off from our close circle of friends.”
“It’s been difficult because my family has outright shunned me.”
“There are some who would judge and whisper, which led to a couple of broken friendships.”
Number of Responses: 19


Theme 3: Public Dissociation and Outspokenness
Individuals have publicly dissociated from the Adventist faith, some with a significant degree of outspokenness and intentionality, leading to clear demarcations in their relationships with the Adventist community.

Representative Quotes:
“I demanded to be disfellowshipped; I was very public about it.”
“I got removed from the church and most people in the church know I am an atheist.”
“I am very open about my agnosticism.”
Number of Responses: 14


Theme 4: Respectful Participation and Conformity
Participants from various groups exhibit elements of conformity and respectful participation in Adventist practices despite diverging beliefs, indicative of the delicate balance between maintaining relationship harmony and affirming personal convictions.

Representative Quotes:
“I will attend church if it’s a family event but I do not participate in anything else.”
“I don’t lie about my lack of belief, but I still participate in prayer or even attend church when I’m at my mom’s house.”
“I will go to church services if I’m visiting my parents.”
Number of Responses: 16


Theme 5: Internal Conflict and Shame
The experiences of several participants are marked by internal conflicts and a sense of shame or embarrassment related to being or having been an Adventist, impacting the disclosure of their religious transitions.

Representative Quotes:
“I was and still am ashamed to be an Adventist. I used to hide it. Now I will share it.”
“I hide it because I am embarrassed to be associated with the Adventist church.”
“I am embarrassed by my Adventist upbringing and do my best to hide it.”
Number of Responses: 11

These themes and responses provide a multifaceted perspective on the nuanced experiences of individuals transitioning away from Adventism across different groups, highlighting the diversity and complexity in their journeys and coping mechanisms.




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