Adventists are more than happy to celebrate Thanksgiving, however, they more likely to have a Christ-centered meal than the average American. A Seventh-Day Adventist is often strongly rooted in their faith, and this spreads from their practices at Thanksgiving and other national holidays, to their day to day living.
Adventists are members of a branch of Protestant Christianity, pioneered by Ellen G White, and revolving around the belief in the ‘Second Advent of Christ’. As Thanksgiving occurs so that we can honor and be thankful for all that God gave us so Adventists would celebrate!
What does a Seventh-Day Adventist eat at Thanksgiving?
Tofu, tofurkey, veggie loaf, and all the non-meat items.
Members of the Adventist Church tend to be vegan or vegetarian, with a number residing in the California ‘blue zone’, known for being an area of particular longevity. Like most people, Adventists all have a personal twist on their individual Thanksgiving meals, though recipes for A roasted butternut squash are recommended online by websites associated with the Adventist Church. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church encourages the wellness and health of mind and body, alongside a healthy spiritual relationship with the Lord, and so vegetables and whole foods are more likely to be on a Thanksgiving plate within an Adventist household, in comparison to the average American.
Adventists usually are vegetarian. To replace a turkey use tofu, Tofurkey, veggie loaf, and squash are usually the go-tos for replacements.
Absolutely not! Adventists are usually pretty good at staying within their dietary guidelines without being offended. Just try to make sure to not use Beef or Pork broth in everything.
No, Adventists usually do not drink alcohol. A great alternative is Martinelli’s.
Which religions DO NOT celebrate Thanksgiving, and why?
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Thanksgiving, along with other central Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter, due to the tightly controlled aspect to the religion. This is partly because Jehovah’s Witnesses aim to be thankful to Christ every day, rather than having a specific day to do so. Furthermore, some believe that Thanksgiving is rooted in a pagan tradition, similarly to both Christmas and Easter, and that by celebrating it we are also paying homage to these old pagan religions.
Thanksgiving is a holiday based upon the formation of the United States, as those arriving from Western European countries gave thanks for their safe passage to a new land. It is, however, tightly rooted to Protestant Christianity, as many were escaping religious persecution in their homelands. Therefore, outside of the North American continent, Thanksgiving is rarely celebrated – with only expats and American immigrants to other countries really observing the holiday.
Are there any holidays that the Adventist Church does NOT celebrate and why?
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church believe in all Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and use these dates to celebrate the monumental moments of Christianity. However, there are some national holidays which are not associated religiously with the Adventist practices, and these are therefore not practiced by the Church as a whole. For example, 4th July celebrations do not get formally acknowledged by the Adventist faith as a religious festival, but many individual Adventist members may choose to celebrate for their own personal enjoyment.
What does the Bible say about celebrating?
While many national holidays are considered to be Christian, such as Christmas and Easter, the Bible nowhere tells us to celebrate these individual moments – nor does it suggest the celebration of Birthdays or Anniversaries. Some, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses take this as reason to not celebrate any holidays, but most religious strands take a more gentle approach. When considering if we ought to celebrate any holidays, there are some things that we ought to consider. For example, we could consider whether the holiday promotes false doctrines or beliefs, following Galatians 5, 19:23.
We should also take into account whether the holiday is encouraging us to give thanks to God – one reason that some of the Adventist Church choose to follow Thanksgiving – as encouraged by 1 Thessalonians 5, 16:19. Finally, it is reasonable to consider whether or not the holiday will detract from our relationship with the Lord. For example, if Christmas, in the eyes of a child, is viewed solely as time to receive presents, rather than as a time to give thanks to God, praise the birth of Jesus and give to others, then it is probably detracting from the holiday for that individual child. Philippians 2, 15 suggests that we ought to focus on our relationship with the Lord while in times of festivities, and it is very important that each individual member of Churches, whether Catholic, Adventist or otherwise, evaluate their personal relationship with God and these holidays.
When we look internally at our relationships with holidays and the Lord, it is important to evaluate whether you are truly placing the Lord as the most important aspect of the holiday. It is important that we as Christians evaluate our relationship, and pray for the Lord’s strength to reject a holiday should we feel that our own practicing defies the will of the Lord.
One example of a holiday which may be rejected upon grounds of a holiday promoting false beliefs or doctrines, is Halloween. For many, Halloween is a time of dressing up, trick or treating and telling dark tales, however it is important to analyse the true root of the holiday. Halloween can be seen by many, whether in the Adventist Church or another branch of Christianity, as encouraging the pagan beliefs of witchcraft and other heretic beliefs, and so may go against Christian teachings. Certainly, there is no mention of Halloween in the Bible.
The Adventist Church believe in only the Bible as their source of information on the Lord God, but on the website www.adventist.org there are a number of guidelines to help an Adventist navigate a number of modern-day issues, such as that of immunization, and the AIDS epidemic. However, the theme of modern holidays is not touched upon directly within the guidelines, and so it is up to each individual Adventist family and individual to decide their personal beliefs, often through open dialogue with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church that they regularly attend. Fundamentally, it is important to read the Bible and understand the Word of God, in order to find your individual relationship with national holidays – but it has been made clear by the teachings of Jesus, that we ought to honor the Lord with each of our decisions and celebrations.