Seventh-day Adventists have an inferiority complex.
We like to shy away from telling people who we are, from saying that we belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Instead, we prefer to dance around the topic.
"Er..well..I'm a Christian."
"You wouldn't have heard of my church."
mumbling "I'm a Seventh...."
This lack of pride has led to many church members deliberately avoiding mentioning the dreaded words "Seventh-day Adventist Church" on any materials that they produce and even for events they plan.
There's no "proudly brought to you by the Seventh-day Adventist Church". Instead, it's usually "brought to you by [insert obscure non-descriptive name]" or "we are a group concerned about your happiness" or something like that.
And only when we are cornered, only when we don't have a choice but to voice up, do we hesitantly admit that we are from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Why this lack of pride? What are we afraid of?
Is there truly something wrong with the Adventist Church? And if so, why are we still in it? Don't we need to ask ourselves some serious questions if we are staying in a church that we don't actually believe in, don't actually pride ourselves in?
And surely we have a responsibility to be honest to the public so that they know exactly whose materials they are reading, whose events they are attending?
It's not about overwhelming them with the Seventh-day Adventist Church logo or plastering the name of the church everywhere. It's a very simple common courtesy to inform people that something is sponsored by the church.
If we don't do that and only choose to fess up because we don't have a choice but to do so, or if the public finds out through their own investigation, wouldn't they feel duped? Wouldn't they feel that they've been deceived?
And wouldn't it spiral into a vicious cycle where Adventists develop a reputation of being devious and deceptive?
We choose to believe that people don't like Adventists and so we skulk around corners, hiding our identity.
However, we need to be more confident about who we are as a church. The Adventist Church has done good things and there are people out there who feel positively towards the church. And that is what we should reinforce, not the fact that we have an inferiority complex and are out to pull the wool over people's eyes.