When the prompt was given to me, “Why do I love being a Seventh-day Adventist?” I was at first shocked. I did not know if I had ever really asked myself that question. The love I have for this church happened so subtly, and I am sure it was not due to the fact that the church sang powerful hymns or served our ever-so-popular haystacks every other potluck.
No, this went deeper. All lightness aside, it had to go deeper, or my love for the Adventist Church was a superficial emotion that lacked cause. So I started thinking back to when it was that I stopped being an Adventist by culture and started actually living as an Adventist out of a love for Jesus. And that is when it hit me: it all began when I decided to give my life to God after realizing that the path I was headed down was selfish and destructive. The struggle was long, but in the end my trials and my character were put into much more responsible hands—God’s hands. I wanted to live by the Bible to help me learn how to keep it that way and develop a relationship that would last for eternity. With that in mind, I wanted to go to a church that was based on His Word so I could be supported and support others in doing the same thing. Makes sense, right?
Despite being brought up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I understood almost nothing about church doctrine on a personal level. Beforehand, I would hear sermons that spoke about “We are saved by grace” and “Ellen White is a true prophet,” and I agreed although I didn’t personally make that a truth for my life. I never asked the questions, How are we saved by grace? How are we sure she was a prophet? How is this in any way applicable to me?
Researching My Faith
So after realizing that I was in a faith I knew little about except the Sabbath, I decided I had to do some research to see if I actually agreed with any church’s doctrine versus what the Bible taught to be truth. Sunday churches were out of the question, because I already was convicted on the fact that Saturday was the Sabbath. So my list of churches to consider became dramatically smaller. Now, I knew of a few other Saturday Sabbath-keeping churches out there, but it seemed only logical to start with the Seventh-day Adventist faith, especially since I was now starting to actively go to church.
So I began researching Adventism. I went to websites such as Amazing Facts, It Is Written, and Amazing Discoveries, and I started going through the fundamentals of the church myself because I did not want to be emotionally swayed by someone else who was great with words. I wanted a concrete head knowledge at a pace I was comfortable with. Plus, it was pretty clear that I would have to study this out on my own after a pastor and theology professor finally, exhaustedly, told me after I kept answering my own questions, “Priscilla, you really don’t need me . . . I think you’re on the right track on your own.”
So I kept researching for a year plus some months, spending a great deal of time in prayer and always taking notes when listening to sermons. I was delighted when I did not see one contradiction between the doctrine of the Adventist Church and the Bible. Once I was done going through the fundamentals, I adopted the Seventh-day Adventist Church as my own. They looked to God’s words and used them without morphing them! They emphasized the “here a little, there a little” principle based on Isaiah 28:10-13. They preached and lived by God’s Word alone and not just by an experience or emotional high.
As I read Ellen White’s writings, I was encouraged in my personal walk. Who would not be encouraged with lines like these?
Be strong, and talk hope. Press your way through obstacles. You are in spiritual wedlock with Jesus Christ. The word is your assurance. Approach your Saviour with the full confidence of living faith, joining your hands with His. Go where He leads the way. Whatsoever He says to you, do. He will teach you just as willingly as He will teach someone else. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 462)
The more I read her words, the more I wanted to read His. My love for God and His Word was growing, and by His grace, it still is.
This is why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist. This is why I love going to church in an Adventist church, because I know I am going to hear the words of the God I love. I know I am going to be supported to live by every word, to live healthily as God would want us to, and to be mission-minded as Jesus was and encourages us to be as well.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5, KJV)
I love being an Adventist because our message is God’s message. His message is unadulterated by opinion, does not change with every whim of culture, and stands firm as a lamp against the darkness—even the darkness of our human hearts. Yes, people will try to change this church, and they may preach words that are contrary to Scripture and what the church stands for theologically. However, the only one I follow is Jesus. He the good Shepherd, and this is His flock, His movement. I go to church for Him; I love being a Seventh-day Adventist because of Him. What better reason could there be?
If you have not seen this for yourself, what are you waiting for? Search the Word of God! Research! Study! Pursue a knowledge of your Savior! Invite Him in as your personal Savior if you have not already. And ask yourself: Why do I love being a Seventh-day Adventist?