In the Fall of 2012, I became convinced that things weren’t really what they seemed. In the world. In the United States. In general.
In everyday terms, I became a conspiracy theorist. But that pejorative term isn’t really descriptive. What’s more accurate is that I started to pay attention to the world around me and seeing that there were gaps in the mainstream narrative. I started seeking out sources of information that filled in (or claimed to fill in) those gaps.
The full story of how I got to that point — of not believing the stories being fed to me in media — is far too long for one blog post. I’ll try to condense it in the most intelligible way possible.
I have been a Seventh-day Adventist my entire life. “Third generation,” as we like to say. I’m a graduate of a denominational university and almost a graduate of another one where I had been studying for a second degree in theology — ministry preparation. I’ve served as an elder, a bible worker, and as an unofficial associate pastor. I’ve read all the right books. I can explain all the right doctrines.
But when it came to gaining a fuller understanding of truth and of Truth, God saw fit to educate me largely outside the context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I want to be as candid as possible here because I want the reader to know that the testimony I am giving is truthful, at least to the fullest understanding of what I know to be truth.
God’s education for me began with the development of serious and significant problems in my marriage. The details are not significant except to say that these problems led to an extended period of separation between me and my wife. The separation, first and foremost, caused me to question my faith. And once I questioned my faith, questioning everything else was easy, if not necessary. My questioning phase led me down a convoluted path — UFO research conventions, political movements, and various “truther” outlets, both Christian and secular.
In 2015, I briefly took on an extra part-time job with a local security company. My job was mainly driving around all night doing security checks on various buildings and apartment complexes. Because I’m a nerd and always looking to learn and think, I started listening to podcasts during my long nights in the car. One of those podcasts was Canary Cry Radio. In fact, I am writing this on April 5, 2017, almost two years to the day that I listened to my first Canary Cry podcast.
On a normal night, I’d listen to two, sometimes three, Canary Cry episodes. It wasn’t long before I heard the one where Johnny Cirucci was interviewed about his work tracking the Jesuit influence in America and his book Illuminati Unmasked. As I normally do when I hear an interesting podcast, I bookmarked the subject’s website and I added his book to my “to read” list on Goodreads.
Almost one year later I was forced to move to a new work location for my regular full-time job. A few months after arriving there, I was working on a Saturday night and engaging in small-talk with a co-worker. In a passing remark about how my day had been, I mentioned going to church.
“You go to church on Saturday?” he asked.
Growing up Adventist I have been answering that question my whole life.
“Yes,” I said. “I’m a Seventh-day Adventist.”
“I know Seventh-day Adventists,” my friend continued, “I listen to a few of them on YouTube.”
“Really?” I was legitimately surprised.
“Yeah,” he went on. “So you understand the role of Roman Catholicism in world and end-time events.”
Now I really was surprised. I grew up in the South where there were five flavors of Protestantism on every street corner. But now, living in New England, I was in the heart of Catholic country. One town I lived in had three Roman Catholic Parishes for a municipality that occupied less than 5 square miles. Hearing anyone talk of Rome as the Fourth Beast of Daniel 7 outside a (rarely held) Adventist prophecy seminar was a shock.
This co-worker is a Christian and I’ve come to find out that he is actively engaged in researching and educating others on the identity of “the man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). He never fails to speak openly about his Christian faith. We have a number of other coworkers who are starting to get “red-pilled” and wake up to the deceptive nature of our culture. This man unhesitatingly shares Christianity as the ultimate red pill. He came to his understanding of Catholicism via Johnny Cirucci and he learned about Johnny Cirucci via Canary Cry Radio.
With God, there are no coincidences.
And his witness has, in part, convicted my heart. I must confess that I have failed to present Christian truth as the ultimate answer even as I try to educate others on false narratives in our media.
I recently started a new website that was focused on exposing false narratives in media, but even in that, I focused on secular, political issues. I have failed to be an effective Christian witness. When I realized this and prayed about it after an otherwise normal conversation with my coworker, I was led to pick up Illuminati Unmasked and read it. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for many months and undoubtedly it was the Holy Spirit that guided me to read it now, finally.
In my research I have been focused on what is commonly termed “The Deep State.” It is the idea — the fact — that unelected and entrenched groups, individuals, and interests drive American policy without regard to and independent of the duly elected government. Mr. Cirucci, in his book, goes to great lengths to expose the ultimate Deep State — the antichrist power of the Roman Catholic Church. By reading his book, my eyes were opened, as it were, and my questioning of mainstream narratives, my conviction that not all is right in the world, in America, in general, has come full circle.
The gospel is the answer.
God most certainly did not cause my apostasy. He did not make me question the truth of the Bible and go searching for other alternative answers. But he did use it to give me an education. And he has used my coworker and the work of Johnny Cirucci to point out where I went wrong and where I should be going.
But that’s not what breaks my heart.
Throughout his book and in his podcasts and other media appearances, Johnny Cirucci mentions that nobody else, except for two or three Adventist preachers, is exposing Rome for what it is. In particular, he mentions Walter Veith and Bill Hughes. These two men, for all the truth they preach, exist on the Adventist fringe and are, for all intents and purposes, renegades within Adventism. But their courage in telling the truth has caused Johnny Cirucci to label Seventh-day Adventists “The Last Protestants.” And it is that label that breaks my heart.
Are we Seventh-day Adventists really, in 2017, the last Protestants? Are we acting like Protestants? Are we preaching, teaching, and writing the Truth?
I cannot recall the last time I personally heard the truth about Rome, about the Antichrist, about Daniel and Revelation preached from an Adventist pulpit. I am ashamed to confess that all the sermons and lessons I gave in years past while serving as an elder did not mention them once.
I am not talking about sermons preached by evangelists who come to town once every year or two. I am not talking about a seminar series streamed into your church via satellite or internet. I am talking about the pulpit occupied each Sabbath in your church and in mine.
Are we really the last Protestants? Or have we altogether stopped protesting?
The woman, Babylon, of Revelation 17, is described as “arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abomination and filthiness . . . And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.” Says the prophet, “I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Revelation 17:4-6. Babylon is further declared to be “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:18. The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom, is Rome. The purple and scarlet color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly picture the magnificence and more than kingly pomp affected by the haughty see of Rome. And no other power could be so truly declared “drunken with the blood of the saints” as that church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ.” The Great Controversy, page 382.
When was the last time we remembered the facts that this Great Controversy excerpt points out?
When was the last time we recalled or proclaimed that we were embroiled in a Great Controversy between Christ and Satan? That the great controversy is the fact that underlies everything on earth? When was the last time we — Seventh-day Adventists — actually preached and taught the truth of scripture that we claim justifies our existence?
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them saying, with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation . . . Revelation 14:6-10
Are we truly preaching the gospel? Are we warning the world about Babylon and what it is? Are we turning hearts and minds toward “him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea?” Or, are we content to preach a social gospel, a comfortable gospel, a not-so-controversial gospel?
My fellow Adventists, Mr. Cirucci’s characterization of us as “The Last Protestants” breaks my heart because we are no longer Protestants. Yes, we are a denomination not attached to Rome. But are we fulfilling the divine mission we pay lip service to? Are we in a de facto position of serving Rome by allowing who knows how many people to ultimately “worship the beast” because we’re too afraid to tell them about the beast and who he is?
In the 19th Century, the pen of Ellen White and other Adventist pioneers told us that our movement was raised up to continue the Protestant Reformation because Protestantism had failed. Now, in the 21st Century, just over 6 months from the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses, have we, also, failed to protest and failed our mission?
The same pens that gave inspiration to the movement also gave warnings:
The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. Upward Look p.131
If we do not do the work assigned to us by God, then God will find someone else to do it. I fear that men like Johnny Cirucci and my coworker are some of those who have been called to do work that we are now refusing to do.
This post has gotten quite long, but I felt led to write, to confess, and to publicly declare my own convictions. My hope is, of course, that the Gospel of Jesus is served. And I will write more as my research and study continues.