Why Am I a Seventh-day Adventist?
Growing up in a Seventh-day Adventist home, I never really even considered going to a different church. My parents were Adventist and so was I. Now, looking back, I realize that ever so gradually, the faith of my parents became my faith.
For a long time I didn’t feel like I had a testimony. It had been programmed into my head that I needed a dramatic story of falling away, getting lost in the world, and then finding God again when I was at the end of my rope in order to qualify as one. But recently I’ve realized that my story can showcase the love and power of God just as much as a dramatic testimony can.
I’ve realized that my story can showcase the love and power of God just as much as a dramatic testimony can.
I grew up all over the world. Alaska was home and we were there whenever we weren’t somewhere else, but the houses I’ve lived in have been located anywhere from Michigan to South Carolina, Maryland to California, and Japan to China. I feel like God was preparing me to interact with and appreciate different cultures and ways of thinking.
I was baptized in a cold river near Delta Junction, Alaska, shortly after turning twelve. I doubt I understood the full significance of the decision I was making, but I know that my heart was sincere and I truly did want to follow Jesus. I was not prepared, however, for the difficulties that awaited me afterwards. Just as Jesus was tempted in the wilderness directly after His baptism, I believe the devil specifically attacks young christians after their public commitment to Christ.
The years intervening have seen me graduate with a theology degree from Southern Adventist University and become a pastor in south-central Tennessee. Every once in awhile, though, I still ask myself, “Why? Why am I a Seventh-day Adventist?”
It would be easy for me to say that I’m a Seventh-day Adventist because the church follows what the Bible teaches. But it’s more than that. Don’t get me wrong, teaching and following the entirity of the scriptures is important to me, but there is something else that makes me remain an Adventist. I believe that we have a fuller view of the character of God than any other denomination.
I believe that we have a fuller view of the character of God than any other denomination.
Take the doctrine of eternally burning hell for instance. How could anyone truly love a God who delights in torturing people for eternity? Wouldn’t their love be tinged just a little with fear of such a monster?
We also understand better than anyone else the idea of a great controversy between Christ and Satan. Understanding that there is such a battle raging around us unseen explains so much of the pain and suffering that exists. It also magnifies the character of a God who loves us so much that He would give His Son to die for us before letting any one of His children perish.
Yes, doctrine is important. I wouldn’t want to attend a church that taught something contrary to the word of God. But more than just because of the doctrine, I am a Seventh-day Adventist because our view of the character of God introduces me to someone I can truly love.
It is my prayer that as you read this blog, you will be introduced to a God who loves you with unfathomable love. A God who would rather die than live without you. A God who will do everything He can, including dying on a cross, so you can be saved. This is the God I have discovered in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.