I was out of town with my girlfriend this weekend visiting some of her friends. I had never met them before, and quickly found that they were Seventh Day Adventists when they invited us to attend their service on Saturday morning. They didn’t know I was Catholic at the time. I went with a few “conditions,” that it would not substitute for Mass on Sunday, that I wouldn’t participate in any activities that didn’t agree with my faith, and that I would walk out if any of that “Pope is the Anti-Christ” stuff started.
I thought just for kicks and giggles I’d share what the service was like. First we entered their building and were immediatly greated by people offering us food, tea, and demanding introductions. Everyone chatted for a while, while I snuck away to look over some literature they had lying around. Soon we entered the main hall, where about thirty folding chairs were positioned facing a stage with two HUGE drum sets and an overhead projector. Four ladies climed up the stage and let the thirty or so members in a little Christian rock concert. Or at least that’s what it seemed like to me. (NOTE: Quite a few of the people there were doing “Oran’s” during the songs.)
Once the songs were finished, the ladies left the stage and our friendly pastor entered the stage, with blue jeans, flannel shirt, and goatee to sport. He first said that he would like to invite the two new members to the stage. My heart rate tripled right here, but then I realized he wasn’t talking about my girlfriend and me. The couple he was talking about came forward. The pastor and a few other “Church Leaders” layed their hands on the new members and everyone was happy. Then everyone sat down and the pastor read and discussed a few bible verses. One of the verses he read was I Cor 3:15. Very funny because Catholics can use that verse to support Purgatory. This guy used it to ask for money. His speach wasn’t that bad, but I was very uncomfortable and scare I would get “called on” as he did demand some audience participation. Soon, though he finished talking, everyone said “Amen” and we began our vegitarian pot-luck.
During the meal, I was approaced by a few people and asked for my history. I gave a stern NO when asked if I was here to join or if I went to the local SDA college. I was waiting for someone to ask if I was even an Adventist, but no one did, not even the pastor, who seemed like a nice enough guy. (They would have been told that I was a baptisted, confirmed and practicing Roman Catholic.) After the potluck, we disbanded.
All in all, it wasn’t really offensive, but definitely a change of pace. I think I’ll let them keep their Christian rock and potlucks. I’ll stick with Real Presence and The Eucharist.
They seemed like good people and I’ll continue to pray that someday they will all come home.