My brilliant friend Josephine has tagged me to describe in a short list why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist. Our church has been debating some pretty heavy topics recently, and the resulting vitriol on social media tempts one to get frustrated with the church–or at least her “faithful” members.
I so appreciate Josephine calling us at this important time, in the midst of the General Conference in Session, to stop and remember why we love being a part of this community of faith. So here are just a few of the reasons that I love being a Seventh-day Adventist.
When you take the time to study out each of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is amazing to see: they all make sense, in relation to each other and to the word that we live in. Though not exclusively Adventist, I also love the great controversy metanerrative, helping put into perspective why things can go so wrong when a God of love is in control.
Often, Seventh-day Adventist “culture” gets a bad rap. “Be a converted Adventist, not a cultural Adventist.” Yet given that we are a group of people with similarly held beliefs regularly meeting together all across the globe, it’s impossible for a culture not to develop. And our culture, when positioned properly in terms of its importance to our faith, is really powerful. Here in San Antonio, many of the restaurants have signs saying “SDA menu here!” Yes, our unique diet is theologically based, but it also forms a culture, and that culture, in turn, serves to draw curiousity and inquisition into just who these people are.
I love that my church values education. I love that it runs daycares, preschools, and K-12 institutions. I love that we have colleges and universities. I love that we encourage our church membership to always be learning. And I love that our philosophy of education is holistic–mental, physical, and spiritual. I sincerely believe that our schools teach us how to be truly balanced people. It’s one of my life goals to support and grow K-12 education in our church.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was started by young people, teenagers and twenty-somethings. Young people make up the majority of our church today, and provide energy and even vision for the advancement of the church. You do need to wait grow up to do something to impact the world, you can do it today.
We Have This Hope
Not just an amazing hymn to sing with tens of thousands of other believers, but a reality for our community of faith. Other demnominations do give some guidance, advice on making it to the afterlife okay–some day. But our beliefs give us hope, hope for a better life today, and for a better world soon to come. When the very worst in life happens, either individually or on a larger scale, we have hope to cling to.
I feel as though these five little reasons don’t clearly articulate my love or fully represent my church. But it doesn’t change the fact that, indeed, I love being a Seventh-day Adventist!
Are you a Seventh-day Adventist? What do you love about it? If you’re not, have you heard of Seventh-day Adventists? What has intrigued you about them? I’d love to hear what you think!