It’s General Conference time in the home of the Gateway Arch. And St. Louis Fair and Independence Day aside, a lot of the people of St. Louis have discovered at least a little bit about the peculiar people called Seventh-Day Adventists.
We don’t drink or smoke, and a lot of us don’t eat meat. So, on a lot of street corners around the Edward Jones Dome you can find hot dog stands happily announcing ‘Veggie Dogs’ for sale, touting the suit-cled conference delegates to a quick one-dollar meal. Every foodplace within range of Downtown has special vegetarian menus, welcoming Adventists to their establishments.
While this is no doubt great for the attendees (and the veggie dog is not all that bad, mind you), I can’t help but wonder: Is this really what we want to be famous for? “Adventists? Oh yeah, the people who didn’t eat meat.” Surely we have a message for the world more important than that?
The love and grace of God, salvation through Christ, hope of His coming in the near future, and a love and respect for all people. These are the things I would like the church to be famous for. I know that we like to look at what’s odd–just turn on the tv. But don’t confuse the odd with the important. Buying a veggie dog won’t get you into heaven–only Jesus can do that. I hope that the people of St. Louis hear this also from the Adventists.