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Saturday, 5 November 2011

I'm Actually a Seven day Adventist

No, I didn’t make a mistake with the caption, albeit such a common assault among persons in some cultures who are not so adept with the language – often leaving off the “th” from many words.  Where this occurs the word THREE is often rendered TREE; BIRTHDAY is often rendered BIRT-DAY; SMOOTH becomes SMOOD, and so on.  It is often within this vein of lingual misappropriations that the name Seventh-day Adventist becomes seven-day Adventist.   But what an accidental truism!

Yes, I am a Seventh-day Adventist.  But a literal and uninformed interpretation of this name may give the impression that my belief in the second coming of Jesus is mysteriously activated every seventh day.  Let’s face it; the meaning of our name really isn’t self-evident, as is the case with many prophecies in scripture – but no sooner than it is explained and you quickly get it.  But to say that I am a seven-day Adventist makes a very strong and decisive point without much explanation needed.  Mind you, if we were to go with this contraption we would lose a very vital element currently present in our name – The Sabbath.  So this is not an attempt to have a name change, but to simply make some lemonade of a lemon – the mispronunciation of our name, Seventh-day Adventists.

Seventh-day Adventists all around the world have often been accused of being one-day Christians – an accusation that many of us are too often guilty of.  It is therefore important that we understand that the Sabbath is a seven days of the week commandment.

The first evidence of that is the creation week.  The creation of the Sabbath occurred in relation to God’s creative activities in the previous six days.  The Sabbath was an important climaxing, resting and celebration of what was accomplished in the preceding six days.

In Exodus 20: 8-11 all seven days of the week are included in in the Sabbath Commandment, “six days shalt thou labour.”  To fail to work is to fail to meet the ideal condition under which the Sabbath may be truly celebrated.  The work done in the week is wide a varied and requires multitasking.

Unless one is in full-time voluntary ministry there is a main activity, in terms of time, that one engages in to be able to afford the means of survival (food, shelter, clothes, etc.).  But in the process of engaging in that primary activity, there are a number of other activities that are to be taking place.  From the perspective of the Christian life these are activities that pertain to matters of spiritual nourishment, growth, and development.  They also have to do with the accomplishment of the Gospel commission.  In context of the Sabbath it has to do with experiencing the blessing, the sanctifying, the redemption, and in a special way the re-creation from God.  The progress made in these areas characterizes the quality of the worship experience of the Sabbath.  It is as if on Sabbath all of these experiences come full circle, and no sooner than the Sabbath ends the cycle starts again.  Hence for the true Sabbath observer it is an inescapable a way of life, every day of one’s life.

So yes I am a Seventh-day Adventist, but I am also a seven-day Adventist.