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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Why are you a Seventh-day Adventist?

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Why are you a Seventh-day Adventist? Why should I be one?


Steve Answers:

I’m happy to tell you why I’m a Seventh-day Adventist. Maybe some of my reasons will be helpful for you, too. But you’re the one who will have to choose for yourself whether or not you will be a Seventh-day Adventist.


First of all, I grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist family. That gave me my start, as well as what seems “normal” to me. Sabbath isn’t a struggle for me, even though I debated what was OK or not OK to do on Sabbath during my teen years. My parents were vegetarian, so I grew up that way, too, even though vegetarianism isn’t a “belief” of the SDA Church. I went to SDA schools, which also shaped me.


If I hadn’t grown up in an SDA family, I don’t know if I’d even know what an SDA is. The majority of the people in the U.S. don’t know what a Seventh-day Adventist is, so I don’t know if I’d be one if I hadn’t grown up in the family I did. I’m grateful that I did, and for the heritage and traditions and direction that it provided for me, even though I didn’t always appreciate it at the time.


Sometime during adolescence, even those who grew up Adventist have to decide whether or not they will remain in the church, and how involved they will be. Many people sort of drop out when their parents no longer influence them to attend or their parents stop going to church themselves. I chose the
Seventh-day Adventist Church during my adolescence because that was where Jesus became real to me. I finally realized that I needed a Savior, and I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Then I was happy for Him to be my Lord as well. But I needed to find out what that meant and how to do it. I was in the SDA Church, so that’s where I continued my walk with God.


But the thing that made it different was that I had chosen it for myself. Some people make this choice when they compare other religions or denominations to their own. I did a little bit of that, but it seems like even my
bones are made of Adventism, so everything I compared to my SDA beliefs just didn’t measure up. Oh, I had a few things I debated, and several more emerged over the years, but when others didn’t see it the way I did (at the moment), it didn’t make sense to me to dump everything else because of one topic that was my current point of contention.


The main reason that I’m a Seventh-day Adventist is that I need it. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . Apart from me you can do
nothing” (John 15:5, NLT).* I need to stay attached to Jesus, or else I will die spiritually. Some people think that as long as they have some type of
connection with Jesus, they don’t need to be part of a church. But I wonder if they kept reading the Bible after John 15.


A few pages beyond that Paul explains that now God’s people are where the
presence of God is. He wrote: “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are
that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, NLT).


In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to describe God’s people being united into the “body of Christ.” If I’m a finger or an eye or even a leg, if I get cut off from the body, the body will hurt, but I will die. I need to stay connected to the body. I need the church. In my opinion, individual Christianity is little more than paganism when people create a Christianity to suit their own wants.


My parents were good role models for being involved in the church. I need a place to serve. My church provides opportunities for me to serve within the church as well as to reach out to others. And I can start ministries on my own, too! If I only wait for others to draw me in, I might wait the rest of my life. If I take initiative, things can happen right away! There’s plenty to be done at my church, which means I’m needed there. Even if nobody says, “Hey, dude, you’re needed,” it’s pretty obvious that I am. It’s up to me to dive in.


Another reason that I need the church is that I don’t like some of the people in the church. That’s right, I don’t like them! Sometimes it’s something they’ve done or said against me, but sometimes it’s just a personality clash or they just plain bug me. Don’t get me wrong—I love God; I just don’t like some people (in the church). And then I read in 1 John 4:20, 21: “If anyone boasts, ‘I love God,’ and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking
nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both” (Message).† That takes me back to my ongoing need for God.


If I only want to be around people who are like me and people I like, then I should join a club, not a church. But all of this is much longer than a one-sentence answer to give a person who asks the question in passing. For those occasions I’d say, “I’m a Seventh-day Adventist because that got me connected to Christ and it’s what keeps me connected to Christ.”


How do you answer the question “Why are you a Seventh-day Adventist?”

___________________________________________________________
     *Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
     †Texts credited to Message are from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.



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