Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blogger From Brazil View of SDA's

I won't go into how or why I happened upon this blog entry, just happened upon it is all I will say. It is amazing from my American perspective, it is rather an ideal picture of a church in my opinion. Here is what the Blogger of A Year Here / A Year There writes:

I live directly across the street from a 7th Day Adventist church. I used to have a 7th Day Adventist roommate when I lived in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and attended URI. I never knew exactly what 7th Day Adventist meant, but here I’m getting a better idea. I think it means, and this is by no means a dictionary definition but rather one built from inference about their routines and rituals: “Those who rest on the 7th Day but pretty much party hard, in the religious sense, all the others.” And if that’s an accurate definition, then these folks are a faithful bunch. There are parties every night, singing and speeches, everyone’s always dressed up and carrying flowers, sitting around, running around, everyone dressed to the nines all the time.

Or at least that’s how it looks to me, from 10 floors up, not being able to hear or understand what they’re saying. All I know is that it’s 9:23 on a Wednesday night and there they are, church all lit up, people walking in and out as if the church doors were in fact doors into a Wal-Mart. A fancy Wal-Mart. It’s that busy. What’s nice about it is that it always feels like there’s energy on my street. It’s comforting and it feels safe here. Like, if there are all these people in the Sunday best, even if it’s a Tuesday night or a Thursday afternoon, nothing bad can happen. The whole safety in numbers thing, right here at my doorstep. Except it’s even safer because God’s mixed in with the group. And really, who’s going to do something bad directly in front of God? (Or at least in front of one of his homes?) Even though I don’t count myself one of the faithful of this group or of any other, really, I do find it comforting and pleasant to have the church right there. I like looking through the glass ceiling and seeing the glow of lights below, and I like the bustle of people on the street. It’s not annoying or frustrating in the least. You’d think if you heard singing and hanging out all night you might get tired of it. But it’s like free live music. I can’t understand the lyrics, and sometimes the accoustics are all off, but I’m not complaining.


gina said...

Hi, I'm Gina, the "Blogger from Brazil." Thanks for linking to my blog!! I'm glad you found the site, read it, and liked at least this post!

Anonymous said...

im a seventh day adventist thats why we worship on saturday because its the holy day of rest coz when God made the creations he rested on the seventh day and the seventh day is the sabbath day.. and according to the ten commandments "keep the sabbathe day to keep it holy. six days shall labo rbut on the sabbath day you shall rest"

gina said...

Here in Brazil, it seems like it's a LOT more frequently than just worshipping on Saturday. People are at church literally every day and night (except Sundays...thanks for filling me in). Is it like that in the States? Do people go to church every night there?

Ron Corson said...

The reason I was impressed with Gina's post is that here in the states Adventist churches usually are only used on Saturday's. Some of the larger churches may have a couple of services on Saturday but the church for the most part stands unused for the rest of the week. Some churches still have Wednesday night prayer meetings. They are generally very lightly attended. Of course there will be a few other meetings at churches occasionally also.

This really ties into my previous article of a couple of weeks ago about how instead of a church where the people get to know each other on a much more personal level we have bought into the idea of corporate worship where we passively sit and listen to sermons.

I have another series coming up that deals with a relationship with God, part two of the series is about our relationship with other people which is something I think modern Christianity has really lost sight of. But I think God wants us to have a relationship with Him so that we can have the best possible relationships with each other. To me from Gina's description it sounds like the church in her neighborhood is doing that relationship with others well, or at least well inside their own church which is a good start.

gina said...

Hi Ron,
The thing about living here in Brazil is that Brazilian culture itself is not a cold one, like US culture is, I think. The idea of a close-knit community pervades ALL of Brazilian culture, whereas in the States, there are such varying ideas of "community" that maybe it's hard to have such a lively, close community at any church.
I really don't know much about anything concerning Christianity or religion in general since I don't practice anything, however I think your comment about modern Christianity losing sight of forming relationships with people is one that's much larger. I think modern US culture itself is what's causing people to lose sight of forming relationships with others; and of course, that affects how people would worship in their respective churches. If we, as a culture, no longer know how to *talk* to each other, then how are we expected to form close relationships through church? I liked your comment about corporate worship--the passive sitting and listening without feeling. Since I was a little kid in the States, the idea of church has always been "the thing you do on Sunday." But outside of Sunday? Not much.
I wish people could see how it is here, how close the culture is in general. It would be an interesting study.