There are two tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that many people have a difficult time understanding. Number one is that we believe in keeping holy the seventh-day of the week, which means we go to church on Saturday, calling it “Sabbath.” Most other Christians go to church on Sunday, the first day of the week. I have heard people say, “How could so many people be wrong?” Others ask, “What’s the big deal? Why not go along with everyone else?” There are many other questions asked like this.
The other tenet is that most Adventists are vegetarians or eat only what they call the “clean meats!” Many just consider it silly or unhealthy even.
My answer to both questions takes me back to the Creation of our planet and early history. Long before there was a Jew or Christian, these two tenets were born before man was created or soon after. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy reveal what happened. First words in the Bible are “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It goes on to talk about how God spoke everything into existence, different things every day. Then on the sixth day, He no longer spoke things into existence. Verse 26 of Genesis 1, He says “Let us make man in our image.” Then He tells how He created mankind in Chapter 2, verse 7. He got down (I like to think), on His hands and knees, and “formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (That “breath of life” comes from the same word that means spirit, so it is God’s spirit that sparks life in human beings.)
Then Genesis 2, verse 2, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He had made.” Verse 3: “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Then, when God spoke to His people later, He gave them all the commandments: Exodus 31, verse 18: “And He gave unto Moses when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony tables of stone, written with THE FINGER OF GOD,”
That is why Adventists try to keep the Sabbath that has been His law since creation and was written in stone. There is no record that God changed His law. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.”
God, who created us, also gave us instructions of what flesh meats were clean and could be eaten in Leviticus 11 and other places. When the ark was built to save some people when God destroyed evil with a world-wide flood, he sent more pairs of clean animals into the ark than unclean because he knew His people would have to eat things nourishing till after the results of the Flood were over. He admonished men to eat only clean (or Kosher) flesh without any blood or fat in it. Some say we can eat anything if we give thanks for it (citing I Timothy 4:3 which says, “commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving. . . for every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.” But as we have seen, not every creature was created to be received with thanksgiving. Those designated as unclean can be described as scavengers, cleaning up the surroundings. What God did makes sense.
The main reason most Adventists are vegetarian is because it is safer from disease and healthier, as proven by the Blue Zone results at Loma Linda California results as one of the Blue Zone where men and women live 8 to 10 years longer than average people.
Does this make Seventh day Adventists better than other Christians? No. It is not our being good that saves any of us or anyone. It is believing in Jesus as Savior of each of us and praying that as we study His life and His words, we will become more like Him. Our belief and faith are what saves us. Philippians 2:13.