17 awesomely Adventist substitutes

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Adventists have a long list of occasionally delicious and frequently confusing substitutes for food, drink and other facets of mainstream life. Here’s our stab at a cheat sheet to the main culprits:

1) Stipends


Stipends are below-the-poverty-line wages you pay student missionaries and other volunteers. Works for a year, after that it equates to cheap labor.

2) Drum tracks


There are only a handful of Adventist churches we can think of that would be cool with this dude performing on Sabbath morning. HOWEVER, the canned drum track accompanying Sister Bertha’s special music number generally squeaks through.

3) Adventist TV


With sets and haircuts betraying a strong sense of nostalgia for bygone decades, 3ABN and the Hope Channel have an odd charm to them… sometimes we watch simply for period inspiration.

4) Town Pillars


Schools, hospitals, churches and libraries… most towns have them and in some towns they are all Adventist.

5) Veggie meat


OK, so we all knew this substitute would definitely make the list. Although they may be heavily laden with fat and sodium, veggie meats of every stripe take up a lot of shelf space in Adventist pantries.

6) Martinelli’s


We’ve talked about food, so let’s talk about overly-sugary drink. Where would we be without our favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

7) Movie Night


Pretty much every Adventist is OK with the movie night set-up above. Move it into a movie theater though and you lose much of the over-50 crowd.

8) Adventist Fiction


Adventists have a complicated relationship with fiction. Officially against escapism through entertainment we have come up with our own novels like the Bucky Stone series (hot in the 90s among some Adventist teens).

9) AdventistMatch.com


Why bother with the heathens on eHarmony when you can directly access a stack of exclusively Adventist singles posting decades-old pictures of themselves?

10) Marching


The line between fancy drill Pathfinder marching and actual dancing can be amazingly thin at times. Adventists take advantage of this blurred division to check out the opposite sex at close range.

11) Opportunity Drawings


Somehow we get away with ‘opportunity drawings’ at Adventist galas but get the gambling response unit all over us the minute we call the same concept a ‘raffle’.

12) Harvest Festivals


OK, so collecting canned vegetarian goods and arranging produce for church displays is not nearly as fun as trick-or-treating… suck it up, candy corn is overrated.

13) Church bling


Church bling takes the form of brooches, tie pins, watches and other jewelry that does not involve hoops or dangling necklaces… there’s little rhyme or reason to this rule so just get used to it…

14) Stretch n’ Flex


Relax, they are not bowing down to anything. This is no pagan ritual. It is known to Adventist campuses as ‘stretch n’ flex’. Others know it as yoga.

15) Afterglow


Hipper than vespers and tamer than a club. This is where Adventist colleges want you on a Friday night…

16) Mission Trips


Who needs Spring Break, anyway???

17) State of the Dead

Yep, we even have our own take on death. No fluttering up to heaven or burning in everlasting flames as soon as you kick the bucket. Until the resurrection you pretty much just rot.

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  1. Ray Kraft

    Now what am I to make of my astonishingly vivid memories and emotions of past lives during my past life regressions in deep hypnosis?

    Wasn’t I supposed to be just rotting?

    What if nothing is really quite as it seems?

    About four months after he died I was driving along when suddenly I felt an overwhelming sense that my father was in the passenger seat, and then he said, just as if he were there and alive, “It’s not at all like I thought it would be. It’s not at all like I thought it would be.”

    My dad was a good lifelong SDA.

    And then the sense of his presence faded away.

    What does this mean?

  2. Richard Mills

    You forgot to list a sub for Bennie Hinn, Paul Crouch, TJ Jakes, Little Richard, Joel Osteen and others. Please include baloney, ham, sausages, chicken legs, tofu, tofurky (Yucky). Woe is me..

  3. 1. That’s no stipend. That’s a paycheck for SDA teachers and probably pastors.
    7. I hope that movie is either the Sound of Music or a cheezy movie from the 1950s
    8. I thought acceptable criteria for sda texts just excluded talking animals
    10. Btw– you can get away with earrings if you attach them to your sweater. Cool!

    1. Right – any jewelry is fine, no matter how expensive or glittery, as long as it is pinned to your blouse or sweater instead of your ears. The other rule that makes jewelry OK is if it has a watch face in it (so it can be technically classified as “functional”). For example, earrings with a tiny watch face are fine; anklets with a little watch face are good; and belly-button rings and nose rings are great if they have a little watch face built-in. 🙂 GodLovesJewelry.com explains the fallacy of these ideas.

  4. DOK

    Seems to me that any bling that’s attached to clothing is okay, but you must never wear anything that touches your skin–unless it’s a watch. Earrings? Nope! Necklaces or bracelets? Nope, not even precious jewels and pearls that God created for our pleasure. Necklaces could be made okay by pinning each end to a dress or blouse, thus removing them from contact with skin.

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