So who are we, the Seventh-Day Adventists?
Officially starting in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been around for over 150 years. An international and intercultural movement with members in over 200 countries, and speaking over 900 languages. As of 2013, there are over 75,000 churches and over 68,000 companies, providing a membership of just under 18 million people worldwide. Who we are, and what we're about, can be summed up into four major categories:
The Adventist Church believes in HEALTH:
We believe God call us to care for our bodies, treating them with the respect a divine creation deserves. Gluttony and excess, even of something good, can be detrimental to our health. Adventist believe the key to wellness lies in a life of balance and temperance. Nature creates a wealth of good things that lead to vibrant health. Nutrition, pure water, fresh air, rest, sunlight - when used appropriately - exercise, and avoidance of harmful substances promote clean, healthy lives. The Adventist church owns and operates 175 hospitals and sanitariums, 136 nursing homes and retirement centers, 269 clinics and dispensaries, and 34 orphanages and children's homes worldwide.
The Adventist Church believes in EDUCATION:
When it comes to learning, our multifaceted lives require a multifaceted approach, and Adventists aim to provide the complete package. Education is not only about learning for the sake of intellectual growth, but in physical, social, and spiritual growth as well. Ideally, education should change and cultivate every aspect of our lives, bringing us that much closer to what God originally planned for us to have and be. The Adventist education system reflects the heavenly "society" God intended for us. It gives us tools and resources to become wiser and healthier. It provides us opportunities to look beyond ourselves and to serve others. It connects us as friends, partners, and as a community. Most importantly, it helps us fulfill our potential of being "good" citizens, eagerly anticipating an eternity with the God who created us. Consequently, we have the largest protestant system of education in the world. We have 113 tertiary institutions, 46 worker training institutions, 1969 secondary schools, and 5,714 primary schools worldwide.
The Adventist Church believes in COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Our active faith is expressed personally in daily service to those around us and corporately in humanitarian organizations such as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Adventist Community Services (ACS). For Adventists, it is not enough to acknowledge that poverty exists. We must live a life in which the grace God has given us flows on to others in the form of love, care and generosity. ADRA rehabilitates communities and enhances the quality of life and well-being of individuals through its financial, material and technical resources. ADRA is active in many developing countries and provides aid to the extremely deprived. ADRA is present in more than 120 countries and areas around the world. It has funded over 1300 projects, benefiting over 12,500,500 people, providing over 245 million dollars in aid.
The Adventist Church believes in JESUS:
Seventh-day Adventists believe that salvation from sin and death is only by the grace of God as personified through Jesus, through our active faith and not of works, lest any person would boast. We accept the Bible as the only source of our beliefs and as the only standard of faith and practice for Christians. We have 28 Fundamental Bible beliefs which reveal that GOD LOVES, GOD CREATES, GOD REDEEMS, GOD INHABITS, GOD TRANSFORMS and GOD TRIUMPHS!!