Anonymous said: What is the church's official position on eating gelatin?

Hello,

From what I could find, the church does not have an official position on gelatin. However, a good number of Adventists choose to avoid gelatin (usually being a by-product of pork hooves and bones) unless it is kosher gelatin (made from beef or fish bones instead).

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: is duck bad for you

Hi!

About duck, we’ve had quite the previous discussion on that before. The conclusion that we’ve come to is that duck meat is considered acceptable to eat according to the foods listed as clean in the Bible. However, it is high in fat and probably should be enjoyed in moderation if you choose to partake in it.

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: I'm 21 and is their any groups or clubs for us young adults? Since I'm to old to join the pathfinders lol

Hi, Anon! For the purpose of simplicity, I’m gonna assume you’re talking about Adventist groups/clubs :P.

In direct answer to your question, I don’t think there really is much outside of Adventist Youth, which is sorta the official Adventist thing after Pathfinders. I think. Though I’m sure there’s other non-official stuff floating around. You might find that some public schools in your area have an Adventist club or some such, but if you feel you’ve outgrown Pathfinders, you might feel a little outta place there. Unless you find something at a community college or nearby state college or university. A number of them have an Adventist Campus Ministries organization, though it’s not centralized and I’m half-certain it’s unofficial. You might find one in your area. :)

On that note though, many churches around colleges (Adventist or not) will have, in Yvonne’s words, “unofficially official” young adult groups. Even if you’re not in college, you can generally find one around.

On the other hand, there really is no real age limit for Pathfinders. Sure, there’s a minimum age bar for each badge level, but the higher ranks don’t have a prerequisite rank. In my home church growing up, the pathfinder group was run by two people who themselves were working from the ground up. Alternatively, you could even look around to nearby Adventist churches and see if there’s an opening to lead a Pathfinders group. 

Anyways, I hope this helps. God bless, Anon. :)

-Howie

Anonymous said: where in the bible does it say that it is a sin to get a tattoo.. I have really been wanting to get a cross along my pinky finger. Can you explain why it is wrong to get a tattoo.

Hello,

The Bible only specifically mentions people getting tattoos in one verse, which is Leviticus 19:28:

Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

There’s not a lot of context for this verse, and the reason for this command has been up for debate for a while. This verse is a part of a chapter reminding Israel to keep itself holy, so it goes from things like “Don’t rob your neighbor” and “Don’t practice witchcraft” to “Don’t trim your beard”. Some say that this is a part of the old covenant or only applied to tattoos for pagan religions and so it should be discarded. Since the Hebrew word for “tattoo”, qa‘aqa, is only used once in the Bible, there is not much to draw upon. (source)

Though not directly addressing tattoos, many people cite 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 when defending against getting tattoos:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

This concept of the body being the Temple of the Holy Spirit is one of the driving reasons why Adventists traditionally do not get tattoos, the reasoning being that since our bodies act as temples for God, He must have made them without need of anything else, and so anything like a piercing or a tattoo would be similar to defacement of a church. Along with being made in the image of God and our call to live modestly, this is why many people believe it’s wrong to get tattoos.

However, I urge you to look into this topic yourself. This is a decision you must make for yourself, and so you should understand your convictions behind what you choose, whichever that is.

I hope this helps,

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: Hi (: How does the whole investigative judgement thing work? ((:

Hi,

So, whether you realize it or not, you’ve asked a pretty heavy question. :P

The Investigative Judgement belief is one of the things that make Adventism unique, as in, no one else has this belief. In our 28 Fundamental Beliefs, it’s explained in number 24, “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary”. I’m going to try and unpack this as best as I can, without being overwhelming. Hopefully.

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Anonymous said: Hi so I'm really confused because I deactivated twitter about 3 months ago so I could concentrate on God and school more and it worked a bit but I am having temptations to go back on twitter. I feel if I do go back, I'd be disappointing God and myself. I understand satan always finds things to distract us from God, etc, but would it be bad if I went back? Can I go back but manage my time wisely between God, school, and twitter? Or would it be giving in to temptation?

Hello, Anon.

You know, I actually searched for a LONG time trying to find something biblical or EGW-related that touched on this sort of subject. Initially, I mentally compared your efforts to a fast, as my read-through kinda gave me the impression that what you’re trying to do here is a temporary thing. You can thank Yvonne for that shifted mindset :).

Oddly enough, there seems to be nothing biblical or White-written that actually supports a fast from anything other than food or drink. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

First, I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that the reason you decided to set aside your twittering is because you felt compelled to. I’m going to assume you (in whichever order) prayed on the matter and acted on that compulsion. 

in this case, if you’re looking for encouragement, keep in mind that you did not part from the activity on impulse. That’s actually rather important when trying to remain strong in your dedication to a choice. You made your decision for a reason, and unless something’s changed, that reason still stands. 

And simply put, if you still felt that compulsion after your prayer and consideration, it’s fairly safe to believe that God’s the one who set that path in front of you. And to that end, Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NLT) states:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 

Wisely managing your time is something that Ellen White talks about to great lengths, though on numerous points and topics. Enough so to assume that it’s a thing that she believed imperative to every aspect of life. For example, she wrote in the Review and Herald:

Parents should act their part with earnestness. They should practice self-denial, and refrain from extravagance in dress and in the furnishing of their homes. The time given to display should be devoted to the educating of their children so that they may meet the approval of God. They are not to be molded after the standard of the world, but after the standard of heaven. {RH June 24, 1890, par. 3}

And while I’ll say that her words are not on level with the Bible, or canon, there is wisdom in this.

Simply put, if you made the decision on conviction, you should stay the path. If God wants you there, that’s where you should be. Time spent on twitter could always be better spent otherwise, but thought the same can be said for most things we participate in these days, it’s still good to remember that.

Whether or not you should go back to twitter, though, depends on whether or not God still wants you to abstain. You know yourself, but God knows you better. My suggestion is further prayer and consideration, not for permission, but for guidance in the matter, and for strength to keep going.

I hope this helps. God bless.

-Howie

Anonymous said: hello, so basically i see no point in worrying about college and my future (i'm in high school) since the end of times is so near. now, that doesn't mean i'm not going to try and go to college and get a career etc. i just see no point in worrying so much about that stuff? is that a bad way of thinking?

Hi,

I would say it’s not a bad way of thinking…. it’s just not the best way. Yes, Jesus said He is coming soon (Revelation 22) and we are in the Last Days. However, we still don’t know necessarily when “soon” is. Matthew 24:44 says, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected." Jesus could come now, in a year, 10 years from now, 20 years from now…, you get the picture. There’s a saying that goes "Live live Jesus is coming this evening; plan like He’s coming after you die." We should always be ready for His return, but being aware of the future, and whatever it holds, is essential too. I think the mindset to take with this is to make sure that when He does come, you are prepared for it. Also, aim for a life spoken of in Colossians 3:16-17:

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

I hope this helps!,

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: Do Adventist have Masonic background or any connections with the Masons ?? Why is there an obelisk on Ellen White's grave ?

Hello,

Adventists do not have any connection with Masons at all. In fact, Ellen G. White has spoken against Freemasonry and secret societies several times. She warned several members of their dangers while she was staying in Australia (Check out the testimony of Brother Faulkhead and  her letter to Dr. Kellogg), and also wrote a pamphlet in 1893 titled “Should Christians Be Members of Secret Societies?” which later got compiled into the book Selected Messages, Book 2 (it’s Chapter 13, if you’d like to read).

It is evident that Ellen G. White spoke heavily against Freemasonry, and so does the Adventist church. So what’s with the obelisk?

To be technical, the obelisk marks out the family plot of the graveyard. It was erected after James White’s death, and the family saw and approved of it, as well as the salesman. In 1904 she wrote about how after her husband died and was buried, some suggested a broken shaft to be placed as a monument. Her response?

"Never!" said I, "never! He has done, singlehanded, the work of three men. Never shall a broken monument be placed over his grave!" (source)

So I’m guessing that she really preferred whole, well-formed, symmetrical things, and you have to admit, that fits an obelisk pretty well. And, apparently, no one had issue with it once erected, so I doubt it was even seen as anything to do with Freemasons.

So, I guess I’ll take a quote from the White Estate’s response to a question similar to yours and say “Symbols mean what people take them to mean.” Swastikas existed long before Nazis came around, Rainbows were around before the LGBT Pride flag was, and the cross was long considered a bad thing before Christians came on the scene. I would say the same for an unadorned obelisk as well.

I hope this helps,

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: hello, so basically I wanted to know if the hunger games is satanic or bad? I've read the series & seen the movie and im obssessed with it. I bought a shirt today and my mom saw the symbol which is the mockingjay bird pin and she said it's satanic because somebody had told her it is. I understand the violence is bad but how would it be satanic? i just dont see how the plot of the story & main idea is satanic. you've probably answered this question already so sorry for asking again & yes I am sda

Hello,

Upon first receiving your question, I must admit I was rather shocked. I’ve never heard of anyone calling the Hunger Games trilogy satanic at all. As I looked it up on the internet, I started to get a glimpse of why some people would say that. Having read the three books (but not fully seen the first movie), I’ll be going off of what I’ve read. (Warning: Spoilers below [Hunger Games, a smidge of Catching Fire]. I’ll try to keep it light.)

As most people know, the general plot of the Hunger Games is a girl (Katniss) living in a post-apocalyptic country called Panem whose corrupt government chooses a male and female child from each district of the country (called “tributes”) so they can fight to the death for the entertainment of the Capitol (which is not only exempt from the Hunger Games, but is much wealthier and more privileged than most of the districts). Katniss volunteers as one of these tributes so her younger sister could be spared. From there, we go through her time training and the actual 74th annual Hunger Games as we slowly find out the reason behind this ritual as well as the other malicious doings of the government.

From what I have looked up, some people believe the premise of the Hunger Games, children killing other children, is hearkening back to the child sacrifices in the time of the Bible. They believe that this series glorifies such things as murder and violence towards children. Yet, the people that have accused them of these things don’t seem to have grasped that the Games were portrayed as horrible, gruesome, and unnecessary. It’s exposed as a means of control, to subdue and keep fear in the districts. Just about everyone that has survived the Games (as seen heavily in the second book) has some form of PTSD. And even the death of Rue (young, innocent, and undeserving as she was) and the way that Katniss memorialized and remembered her passing emphasizes that the Games was nothing to be glorified.

The main point of the series is to fight against what you know to be wrong even when it’s dangerous and not to bow to the status quo, but it’s also a cautionary tale about how far we can let a governing power go, even to the point of child sacrifices, for the sake of some illusion of stability. So, as far as I can see, the accusations of Satanism in this franchise are from people that have just looked at the surface of the Hunger Games and not really seen it for what it is.

(</spoilers>)

After saying all this, it comes to mind that you might have been especially been asking about the Mockingjay pin, and I have seen nothing about that being accused as satanic within itself.

So, in my own opinion, after my own research (mostly through a quick Google search), I would say that the Hunger Games trilogy is not satanic. However, I encourage you to do your own research as well. Also (if you feel the need), ask your mother why she says it’s satanic. Did the someone that told her point out anything specifically satanic about it? I could say my opinion all I want, but searching through things yourself will help you solidify your own beliefs and reasons.

Hope this helps,

~Yvonne

Anonymous said: HEY Yvonne & Howie, I am 15 and chose to become SDA as a result of visiting SDA churches with aunts of mine who were SDA. I love being an SDA and wouldn't change it for the world. I used to wear jewelry all the time and when I got baptized, was told not to. I soon forgot all about it, but sometimes I want to wear it when I go out to certain places. The fact that I have gone months without it and without thinking of it shows me that I don't need it, but is it wrong to wear it occasionally?

Glad to have you with us, friend :).

If you want something of a more in-depth answer, we’ve already tackled the jewelry issue in a couple different asks. However, they’re rather lengthy (and that second one isn’t singularly the jewelry thing), so I’ll be concise with a brief rundown of what’s up.

Now, the church does have an official standpoint on the issue - and that’s mostly a brief description of shiney stuff that’s not an issue. That standpoint is that jewelry is either okay or not depending on whether it is “in harmony with the Christian principles of simplicity, modesty, and economy” (source). Let’s break that down so it’s understandable.

First, simplicity. Pretty straight-forward, right? The idea is to not be overly gaudy. Don’t over-do it. Jewelry for the sake of jewelry is what this is about, I think. Jewelry as an accent is preferable to jewelry as the defining item of your outfit.

Secondly, modesty. This one can be a little more… un-specific. Consider that for earrings, you (generally) require a piercing. Whether or not you consider that mutilation of the temple that is our body (many do, along with tattoos and other such), I personally don’t feel confident enough in my own thoughts on the matter to tell you for certain that it’s one way or the other. But modesty also has a number of other meanings - most prominant of which (I feel) is that of not attempting to draw attention to yourself. And that can mean different things to different people. Going to a conservative church while wearing… say, a simple gold-ish chain neclace or bracelet, you’ll draw a lot of negative attention. If you’re dressing up nice for a dinner party or some such, then that’s a different story. Again though, keep it modest, and preferably subtle.

Thirdly is economy. Simply put, the pricing on the stuff. Buying expensive jewelry just because it’s expensive (or because you wish to display your wealth) or for similar price/status-related reasons isn’t really in harmony with the Christian standards, there. Money can be used in so many better ways than splurging on that super-shiny thing in the glass case. 

Now, I’m going to touch on two items that are simply my own opinions based on research I’ve done in the past, and my own views on them.

Now, to me, jewelry is (almost) completely acceptable if it serves one of two purposes. Throughout history, jewelry has been a symbol of status. And by that, I refer to how for example when Daniel was pulled out of the lions’ den and given a huge promotion, he was given a gold necklace and purple clothes (purple dye was absurdly hard to make back then). Those were items that depicted his office, not vanity or wealth, and as far as I know he never protested them. Wedding rings, as a cultural symbol of commitment and unavailability, also fall into this category (as well as the following).

Secondly, it is my opinion that jewelry that is sentimental serves a purpose. As for myself, I have given to others exactly 2 pieces of jewelry - both necklaces. However, each item had a clearly-intended meaning behind it, and while either may draw attention, it wasn’t their intention and aren’t the kind to impress. Heck, one of those I made with my own hands (I’m hardly a craftsman :p). The reason I gave those to the people I gave them to is for purely symbolic and sentimental reasons. Each means something to the person that has it, and that meaning is not tied up in its monetary value or its showmanship.

Now, I’m going to conclude with the fact that as a new SDA, you should do whatever research you can for yourself. There are a number of things the Seventh-Day Adventist church (as a group, not as the organization) has mis-informed impressions of (in my personal opinion). If you know why you believe what you believe, and don’t take what the Church itself or its members say at face value, you’re likely to be more informed and more likely to live in a way that pleases God. Now that’s not saying you should do everything yourself - many in the church can tell you why something is the way the church says it is, and can explain it in such a way that makes sense. What i’m saying is that doing our own research is better than taking someone’s word for it (even mine :P).

Thanks for the question. I realize I kinda went a little less-than-concise… Yikes. Oh, well.

I pray I’ve been of some help. :)

-Howie