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Who are Seventh-day Adventists?

It seems like they hit the main points, leave plenty of room for individuals to match their experience to our shared beliefs and get close to emphasizing the important stuff, Jesus, hope, health, community-mindedness, support, prayer, the Bible, hope in God and the Sabbath.

This also shows that the extremists in the church are really the overly loud criers going on and on about how talking about wedding rings, evolution, 1844, homosexuality or women’s ordination goes just too far this time.

But Adventism is being lived from Australian beaches to South African slums, to Loma Linda healing to Chinese home churches. As much as it may hurt some feelings, it’s not really being formed all that much in the prose pounded out by “the official” voices of the church or the reactionary fear mongers who see a conspiracy or slippery slope when Adventists work once again to apply truth to our present, lived realities.

Back in the day I read E.A. Sutherland’s Fundamentals of Christian Education. In some comments here I see the same stream of good-hearted but nervous atavism that cried out “Catholic (now becoming the UN) conspiracy” or warned of the slippery slope in having university students not learn to farm or worse, wear graduation robes like the world.

The video asks: who are Seventh-day Adventists? And I can think of plenty of great Adventists who didn’t even follow everything mentioned in this clip – perhaps not so healthy, or maybe they broke the Sabbath without a Mission Spotlight-ready reason.

So maybe our faith and community can’t be contained in PR-video or in blog commentary or doctrinal statements for that matter. Perhaps, then, instead of creating a definition to which we then conform, we should stay in community and in conversation and create privately and publicly, kind of like it’s always been done.

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