Seventh-day Adventism is one of many Chrisitan religious denominations. It was founded in 1844 in New Hampshire by members of the Christian Connection movement who believed in the authority of the Bible. The denomination worships on Saturday, not Sunday, and advocates healthful living because of its belief that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As of 2010, there are 10 million Seventh-day Adventists around the world, with about ten percent of that number in the United States.
Baptism is required for anyone who wishes to become a member of the church. In order for anyone to be considered for baptism, he must recognize his sinful nature and repent of those sins. The individual must also be taught the beliefs and responsibilities of church membership prior to baptism. The aspiring member also needs to undergo an examination by the pastor and the current membership as a demonstration of his acceptance of the church doctrines. Baptism in the Seventh-day Adventist church involves full immersion of the body in water. Children who express interest are encouraged to be baptized.
Any person who has committed her life to Christ is allowed to participate in the communion ceremony at a Seventh-day Adventist church. Communion at the church includes foot washing, eating unleavened bread, and drinking unfermented wine. The foot washing represents the cleansing of the heart, following the practice of Jesus who washed his disciples’ feet and washed sin from his followers’ hearts. The bread represents the food served at the Last Supper as well as Jesus’ body that hung on the cross. The wine represents the drink served there and Jesus’ blood that was shed.
Speaking at the Pulpit
The pulpit represents the place where scriptural messages are shared with the congregation. The General Conference expects local churches to maintain the integrity of the pulpit. Thus, anyone speaking from the pulpit is required to hold a current denominational credential or license to validate his integrity. Church employees, including pastors, are automatically granted official credentials and licenses by committees, which are valid for a limited time. Occasionally, government officials or guest speakers may present to the congregation, but cannot speak from the pulpit unless they hold a denominational credential or license.
While Sunday is considered the day of worship for most Christian denominations, Seventh-day Adventists meet on Saturday. The fourth commandment in the Bible requires the observation of the seventh day of the week as a day of rest and worship. Adventists believe that the calendar week starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday, the seventh day of the week.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the human body represents the temple of the Holy Spirit. Caring for the body represents caring for the Holy Spirit, so Adventists strive to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep the body healthy. Seventh-day Adventists also abstain from ingesting products they believe to be harmful, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
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