Friend an Adventist, a new guide to Seventh-day Adventists for Catholics, has debuted on the bestseller list of Catholic bookstores worldwide. The guide, which is aimed at promoting friendlier relations between the faithful from each church, is filled with practical suggestions for bridging what historically has been a huge social gap.
"The basics of friendship are simple to understand but difficult to practice in befriending your Adventist neighbors," say authors Audrey Blinkley and Anthony Tope. "The best way to be a friend is to be genuinely warm while remaining aware of specific Adventist sensitivities."
The authors sum up these sensitivities as "pervasive persecution complex."
"Do not, under any circumstances, invite an Adventist to anything on a Friday night," opens Chapter 3, The 'NO' Day. "Adventists are likely to see this as a disrespectful advance, especially from a Catholic."
Pope Points (Chapter 5) counsels overly jubilant Catholics against gushing about Pope Francis. "Adventists are highly opposed to papal authority," state Blinkley and Tope. "The fact that Pope Francis is popular or generous to the poor is simply a sign of coming Armageddon to Adventists. Do not bring it up."
In addition, Friend an Adventist frequently refers to Adventist dating. The authors strongly caution against getting too friendly with Adventists of the opposite sex. "They may think that you are trying to impose an unequal yoke on their shoulders. Don't even think about it."
Blinkley and Tope advise Catholics to build on common ground with their Adventist friends. Rather than dwell on what divides Catholics and Adventists, the authors say that there are a lot of positive things on which to focus your discussions. "For example, if you are interested in a healthy diet, Adventists will be more than happy to take you shopping in curious book/vegetarian food outlets called "ABCs" that fairly consistently feature retro interior decor from the '80s --- it's a hoot!"
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