"When you grow up in the church, the culture and calling of it is ubiquitous. It is simply the context, worldview, and language that you speak. You don’t learn it, you catch it. It is the air you breathe, the dirt on which you walk, and inhabits the dreams that you dream. As you grow, you begin to understand that we don’t live on a level playing field when it comes to this context. Some things are more important than others. Jesus, for example. He’s not another link in the chain, He is the chain. And that begins to give a different view of this thing we call Adventism. It changes the context of this whole endeavor. For me, understanding Jesus has not taken me away from Adventism. Rather, it has settled me into this denomination.
Adventism has given me so much. My education, my wife, my friends, my career, my family, and Jesus. In that respect, I find my experience with Adventism to be positive- a blessing, and a launching pad for spiritual health, maturity, and growth. Adventism, at its very best, is a powerful and meaningful expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its totality, its wholeness, and it’s depth. And Adventism, at it’s worst, has an exclusiveness that undermines its gospel claims. But herein lies the beauty; no one can define Adventism other than each of us. If we are walking, talking, thinking, praying and playing people who define ourselves as Adventists, then that is exactly what it becomes. Adventism is us. The beautiful, the ugly, the broken and breaking, the holy and profane, the sacred and the sinners; we make up Adventism. So my experience with Adventism is my experience with you—sometimes great, sometimes frustrating. But this is where I found Jesus, and for that I will be forever grateful."