Christian Behavior – Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief 22

We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1,2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19,20; 1 Cor. 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)

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See also these Bible lessons from previous years:

(Brief excerpts given. See the URLs for much more.) “Principles of Christian Standards,” lesson in the series, God’s Family and the Church (1996d) “Specifics of Christian Standards,” lesson in the series, God’s Family and the Church (1996d)


When is it a Good Idea Not to Follow Bible Counsel?

Open Bible

A few years ago I was talking to a head elder, who had rushed to judgment and taken it upon himself to take “executive” action against another church member. I asked him if he had followed the counsel in Matthew 18, and talked to the member first. He boldly told me he did not need … [Click to read more …]

We’re Still Family!

I imagine when you have spirited disagreements in your Sabbath school that you don’t call each others fools, but that is what Paul does in his letter to the Galatians.  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as … [Click to read more …]

God’s Love Wins…Again

Raised in the 1960’s and 70’s in a rather typical Seventh-day Adventist home, my five siblings and I were left to picture God as old, cold, and hard. We learned about John 3:16 and that was great, but what always came through to me at the end was that I was bad, I needed to … [Click to read more …]

God Listened to Me!

A man holding his hands to his face

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24 More exciting than getting what you ask for from God is just knowing He listens to you! In the summer of 1991 I was enjoying my first full year of Literature … [Click to read more …]

“Who’s Allelon?”

This blog will depart from my usual gentle, winsome tone. I’ve avoided using my posts as a bully pulpit, but I can no longer forbear. It’s time for a stern rebuke regarding our spiritual condition. Earth’s probation will soon screech to a halt when Jesus comes with his glorious retinue of angels, and I must … [Click to read more …]

God’s Ambassadors

“According to new research from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity one out of five non-Christians in North America does not “personally know” a single follower of Christ. That’s 13,447,000 people who don’t have a Christian friend or even acquaintance. The percentages get higher for certain religious groups. For instance, 65 percent of … [Click to read more …]

Filling the Empty Chair

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this: You are talking with someone when suddenly they openly yawn and look at their watch. How did you interpret those actions? Can you remember how you felt at that moment? Were you hurt? insulted? enraged? How did you react? How do you wish you had reacted? What about this: … [Click to read more …]

Porcupines In Church

What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am. “The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle … [Click to read more …]

The Only Right Worth Dying for

We live in an age where everybody is worried about protecting their rights. There is the right to defend ourselves, the right to privacy, and so on. This is nothing new. God provided Esther “for such a time as this” when God’s people needed someone to defend them. The NSA of the day was following … [Click to read more …]

Keeping Up Appearances

Man's Head Being Filled Through His Eyes

Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our … [Click to read more …]


Christian Behavior – Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief 22 — 2 Comments

  1. Talking about Christian behavior,I have noticed things are different now than it was 20 years ago. We don't dress up according to the word of God anymore. Some seventh day adventist are wearing jewels and the church think it is Ok. I hope the Holy Spirit impress the leaders of the church so they can help in this capacity. Jesus is coming soon we need to get ready and put God first on everything. Also we need to preach the gospel like we never did before. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

  2. It may be that things are different from 20 years ago because cultures and traditions change.

    We believe it's important to live by biblical principles and not mistake human traditions for Bible teachings.

    The way we dress is a matter of tradition, or we (men and women alike) would all be wearing robes with fringes and borders of blue, as the Israelites were commanded to do. (Numbers 15:38) Jewelry is also a matter of tradition. Note that Abraham's servant gave precious jewelry to Rebekah, who would become Isaac's wife. And while the Bible refers to jewelry, it does so without condemnation. (Gen 24:53; Eze 16:10-12; Isa 61:10;)

    On the other hand, pride and a judgmental spirit are specifically forbidden in the word of God. (Prov 8:13, Matt 7:1) Thus, we are forbidden to judge others by outward appearance. And pride in our own simplicity is dangerous.

    Christians, including Seventh-day Adventists, derived their tradition against jewelry from 1 Peter 3:3-4. While it is a good tradition, too many of us have forgotten that the main emphasis is on a heart that is like the heart of Christ. We think you will recognize that is quite possible to avoid wearing jewelry without having a "meek and quiet spirit" like that of Christ.

    That said, please read the statement about Fundamental Belief 22 (above) again. It is very balanced and carefully worded. It begins with "We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven." That requires a change of heart, so that we have a mind that is in harmony with the principles of heave - the mind of Jesus. God wants our hearts, and everything else will follow. If we see people who wear showy clothes and jewelry or live in houses they can't afford or drive cars they can't afford, we should pray for them that they will get a true glimpse of Jesus so that they can get to know Him and allow Him to change their hearts. But we also need to remember that we may have judged them wrongly, because we do not understand their circumstances.

    We need to look first at our own hearts. Do we have the mind of Christ? (Phil 2:5-8) When we have the mind of Christ, it shows in our behavior. We will treat people the way Christ would treat people, and we will not draw attention to ourselves - either by showy appearance or an appearance needlessly different from those around us.

    And if our leaders are to help in this regard, they will do it by preaching Christ and Him crucified - not by preaching about outward appearances.


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