The Future of Adventism. Can We Survive in a Negative World?

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Let’s face it, Adventists. We aren’t exactly in our finest hour. We struggle with in-fighting over doctrinal issues that divide us. The fact that Jesus hasn’t yet returned is forcing us to redefine what we mean when we say He is coming back “soon.” Many of our schools and institutions are suffering or even closing. And we are less convinced than ever that our leaders have a viable plan.

But before we hang our heads in defeat, there’s a more optimistic perspective to consider. Can Adventism not only survive but thrive in this “negative world”? Absolutely.

Here’s why:

Built-in Resilience: Adventism has a long history of being a bit counter-cultural. We were the original plant-based eaters when kale was just a weed. Some of our key founders were abolitionists that supported the Underground Railroad. We literally got started on the back of a devastating Great Disappointment. God has given us staying power.

Timeless Values: At its core, Adventism is about faith, community, and well-being – who else gets eight hours of sleep a night and a Sabbath day off (complete with mostly-delish vegetarian potlucks) for religious reasons? These core values resonate across cultures and generations.

Strengths for the Modern World: Some aspects of Adventism are tailor-made for the 21st century. Our emphasis on health and well-being aligns perfectly with the growing wellness trend. Our focus on strong social connections combats the growing sense of isolation plaguing modern society.

So how do we thrive in this “negative world”?

– Embrace Authenticity: Don’t shy away from your beliefs, but explain them with kindness and clarity. Show, don’t just tell, how Adventism can enrich your life.

– Focus on Relevance: Highlight the positive aspects of Adventism – health, community service, social justice. Show how our faith can address real-world issues people face today.

– Be a Beacon of Hope: In a world often filled with negativity, let Adventism stand for optimism, for a brighter future. Our belief in the Second Coming isn’t about fear; it’s about the promise of a better tomorrow.

– Engage the Next Generation: Make Adventist teachings and community life vibrant and attractive to youth through updated aesthetics, progressive values like environmentalism (stewardship), and tackling issues that resonate with younger people.

The future of Adventism isn’t written in stone. It depends on how we choose to adapt and engage with the world around us. By staying true to our core values while embracing fresh perspectives, we can ensure that Adventism continues to be a vibrant and relevant faith for generations to come.

What do you think? What are some ways Adventism can thrive in the future? Share your thoughts and ideas!

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