Humans of Adventism
“One positive thing I have learned from the Adventist Church is the importance of critical thinking. Sometimes I have learned it by seeing the lack of critical thinking, and how it has led to subtle errors or the tendency to fall into liberalism or legalism. The true follower of Christ I see, presented in the Bible and Jesus example while on this earth, portrays a much different tendency in balance between law and love. These things are not mutually exclusive, no matter what someone may tell you.
A temptation I have often seen in Adventism and in myself is the temptation to follow what we believe because it is how we have always believed. If we do that, we are simply repeating what the Pharisees did. We are called to act on principle! I have seen, while at Adventist schools or summer camps, good, sound guidelines based on principle. I have also seen leadership trying to coerce students to do something because that is how the church has always done things or it’s how the leadership feels, even if it’s not in the handbook, but it is not based on biblical or sound principles, and young people are quick to notice when they see an injustice. Are we following the Bible and inspiration because it is how we were raised, or are we taking what we learned growing up and making it a practical, experimental faith- searching out, to understand for our selves why we believe it?
I’m not saying to throw out parts of the Bible or Adventism because we don’t have a personal connection with them, but that we should search out to know and understand why we were taught them. Perhaps there are things you learned growing up that are legalistic but aren’t based on sound principle. But know this- there are also many sound principles that are thrown out every day by our young people because they see them as legalistic. How do we differentiate? Well, the reason they are so often thrown out as legalistic is because we can’t discern truth from error when we are blinded by Satan. We must be surrendered to God and abiding every day in His Word, His Will, and His Way. Reading to learn and understand, being careful to take the Bible as it reads, not discounting or twisting things to fit our view of it, but asking for the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom to see it as it is.”