Religious convert insists she has not been brainwashed
"If God says to go forward, we forsake all and go forward, trusting in Him all the way."
This is what 22-year-old Deneel Grey says to anyone questioning why she abandoned a prospective legal career for the Church.
In last Thursday's STAR, Deneel's parents, Glynis and Densil Grey, feared that their daughter had been brainwashed into joining the Following the Blueprint (FTB) Ministry, based in Portmore, St Catherine. But Deneel told THE STAR that her new-found zeal for God came after the Lord opened her eyes. Shortly after coming into contact with FTB, Deneel decided not to enrol at the Norman Manley Law School.
"Seventh-day Adventism is a lifestyle. It is guided by the principles in the word of God, and wherever that is advocated, that is where true Adventism is found. The Lord would have brought me into a knowledge of many of his truths that FTB Ministry advocates before I would have been introduced to FTB Ministry," she said. Deneel said she found the group online when she stumbled upon a video informing that a Seventh-day Adventist was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
"I became very intrigued with who the persons were who did that video and started digging a little bit more and found that they were a local ministry, then I began to follow what it is that they were doing," she said. Before joining FTB, Deneel said she and her family considered themselves Seventh-day Adventists, but she said that they were not abiding by the principles in their entirety.
"Many persons have the idea that Christianity or Seventh-day Adventism is all about restriction. But the truth is, all of those 'thou shalts' and 'though shalt nots' that are found in the Bible, especially in God's 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, are to guard and preserve humanity, because righteousness exalts a nation. And it is in right doing that we find happiness and we find peace. In pursuing a law degree, it would have been like trying to find happiness by pouring water into a basket. But in Christ who is my maker, I can find fulfilment," she said.
Deneel said that she has no regrets leaving behind her previous ambitions to do God's work. She likens herself to Noah, who started building the ark despite seeing no sign of rain. She said Satan definitely tried to dissuade her from her path. "I found that faith is really just believing in the work of God. It is the evidence of things not seen as yet," she said.
Deneel said that although she loves her family, she will not allow their lack of discernment to stop her from following God.
"I have no hatred in my heart towards my mom, my dad, or my former brethren. But ... spiritual things are only spiritually discerned. Unfortunately, if it is that you do not possess spiritual discernment, the way God is leading is going to appear as foolishness to you," she said.
"What I say to my dad is that I pray that you may come to an understanding that I'm not trying to dishonour you. I love you and I'm grateful for all that you have done for me, but God has called. I cannot stop to consider all that has happened in my life. Because God means what He says and He will not be trifled with, so we cannot look to the right hand or to the left."
Deneel plans to work as a medical missionary, and she hopes that anyone who is concerned about her decision will keep one thing in mind.
"My home is not on this earth, but it is Heaven, and so that is where my basis of action comes from. Understanding that as God's remnant people in this earth, we are to exalt his law, and we are to do all things as unto the Lord and not unto man," she said.