The Seventh-day Adventist Church is currently having its 60th General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas. In celebration of being an Adventist, my friend Josephine wrote a blog post on why she loves being an Adventist, and then challenged some of her friends to do the same. After I saw that my friend Amy wrote one, I decided that I wanted to do one, too, because I also love being a Seventh-day Adventist! Now, my friends Sikhu and Dan have also written their posts.
[Apparent detour that will lead back to the subject, I promise:] I have been away from blogging for too long. Blog ideas have recently been floating in my mind and perhaps in the near future I will post more. It is difficult, though, because I am busy working a full-time job, working on my dissertation, practicing as is necessary for a professional musician, and being involved in personal and church ministry. Given these excuses, why am I writing now? I love my church so much I am going to write about it anyway.
So, here we go. Why I love being an Adventist.
Seventh-day Adventists believe what the Bible teaches. I have visited churches of many different denominations and I have studied the Bible for myself and I am convinced that no church comes close to believing what the Bible teaches as accurately as the Adventist church does. The doctrines are logical and they reach the heart. Not only does the Bible make sense of the condition of the world (the Great Controversy theme), but it teaches that God is total goodness and selfless (loving). God is more beautiful than we can ever fully imagine. There are no ugly doctrines or fearful teachings. Not only does it make sense to believe in Him, I want to believe in Him. Doctrines help me become close to Jesus, because they teach about Him. Following Jesus is the best thing I can ever do with my life.
I resonate with Clifford Goldstein when he says that there is one reason and one reason alone why he is a Seventh-day Adventist: the church’s doctrines. Without them he would leave the church, and so would I. In fact, I almost did. I almost stayed home from church one Sabbath because I was discouraged by a sin I was struggling with. I went that Sabbath because I was involved in the service somehow. But I was also convicted, and still am, that what we believe is Bible truth and that I could overcome with the help of Jesus. Without those convictions I think I would have left the church by now. But I’ve decided to stay for good. And praise to God, I did overcome that sin.
The Seventh-day Adventist church is a worldwide church, and the network among those in the faith is very connected. Not only can I walk into a church almost anywhere around the world and feel at home, but I find the Adventist world keeps getting smaller and smaller. For example, last Saturday I was at the house of some friends. In conversation they mentioned the name of a person they knew, and come to find out, I know that person, too! That night, I went with them over to another Adventist family’s home to celebrate Independence Day. I had never met that family before, but we found out that one of their daughters has lived in Ohio and knows my brother. Small world! And this happens ALL THE TIME. At least it seems it does. I have stopped being surprised.
On a more personal note, I have lived in several states and traveled enough to become friends with a large number of Adventists. I am grateful for the wonderful friendships and memories I have with many of them. I am very fond of the time I spent living in and visiting Michigan, and that is where I met Josephine, Amy, Sikhu, and Dan. I think very highly of all of them. I met my best friends through the church. I could name so many more friends and church members from all over that I am thankful for, but space would not allow. I have felt I belong and am cared for.
I should point out that a lot of these friends of mine are from all over the world. They are from every continent (save Antarctica), which is awesome. I have been in culturally and ethnically diverse churches my entire life, and would not wish for it to be any other way. Not only do I learn about the world from them, but we eat good food together! =D.
Quality of life
A few years ago a friend from school approached me and asked me what I do to alleviate headaches. I wasn’t sure what to tell him at first, because I usually don’t get headaches. It dawned on me then that the quality of life as an Adventist that I thought was normal is anything but normal to most in this world. The Adventist church teaches eight principles of healthful living in the form of an acronym: NEWSTART (Nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest, and trust in God). I should note, the rest aspect includes 52 days of vacation every year (the Sabbath)!
Jesus wants us to be in good health, even as our soul prospers. It is not a coincidence that Adventists are considered among the healthiest and longest living people groups in the entire world.
Identity and mission
Last but not least, I believe the Adventist church is specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy as being God’s end time movement to carry the full message of God’s love to the world before He returns. This conviction is strong and deep. Knowing who we are and why we are here is extremely meaningful. This also means I get to fulfill one of life’s most noble purposes (helping take the gospel to the world in this generation) by being a part of this church.
These are four reasons why I love being an Adventist. What about you?