Note: This article is one of the original “Why I Love Being Adventist” posts written during the General Conference session last summer. It was first published on Sikhu’s personal blog, Pondering….
My friend Jo started this thing—a challenge to think about what we love about being Seventh-day Adventist—and I like the idea! So here are my top 5, unsorted:
It makes you stand out: For a long time, I thought it was because I was the fourth out of five children that I longed to be recognized. Now I’m sure that was part of the reason! But I’ve also discovered in humanity in general a desire to be acknowledged as individuals. The peculiar lifestyle engendered in Seventh-day Adventism combined with the unique ways in which we all incorporate those peculiarities makes for very individually unique Seventh-day Adventists. I like that.
It makes you fit in: I am convinced that there is not a belief system that Seventh-day Adventists have nothing in common with! Baptism by immersion like Baptists; dietary restrictions like the Muslims; the Sabbath like the Jews; freedom of choice like the gay rights movement; sanctity of life like the prolife movement; a powerful devil like the Satanists—just to name a few. We can find allies across any aisle without compromising the integrity of our message. I like that.
It makes sharing Jesus easy: The combination of our uniqueness with our relatability makes for natural opportunities to share about the reason we are the way we are—the reason being Jesus. To a fellow Christian, dietary restrictions may be a cause for consternation, which may open the door to a practical conversation on the intersection of faith and works. The same dietary restrictions may produce a bond of camaraderie with a Muslim sister, which could fuel further opportunities to share the reasons for our faith. I’ll knock on doors to find those looking for Jesus if I have to, but, truth be told, I’d rather not have to!
It just makes sense: Although I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, my parents made it clear that being Seventh-day Adventist was their choice, and I would have to make my own choice someday. If the faith they had espoused made sense to me, they would be happy for me to stick with it. But if I found something more compelling in my search, they would support my decision to leave.
Though a scary freedom at times, that permission from my parents allowed me to grapple with difficult questions from a young age: How do I even know that God exists in the first place? What if my own existence is an illusion? Would I prefer to live a happy lie or a miserable reality? Assuming very many things and that God, I, and others do exist in reality, why is Seventh-day Adventism the right religion? Is there only one right religion?
Having grappled with these and many other questions, I am still a Seventh-day Adventist! I still practice the freedom my parents afforded me and grapple with more questions concerning my faith, but I now stand firmly as a Seventh-day Adventist.
It makes family the world over: It’s simply exhilarating to be able to connect with people from literally all over the world, because we belong to the same faith! I have at times found closer relationships with Seventh-day Adventists from across the world than with fellow countrymen. Not being restricted in my associations to people of the same hue of skin or shape of eyes allows me to experience the beauty of the world, taste its diversity of foods, and improve my own culturally engendered practices. No matter where I go in the world, when I meet a Seventh-day Adventist, I have met family.
Why do you love being Seventh-day Adventist?