The Rude Remnant

She didn't know me that Friday afternoon. I was just a college kid, stocking the shelves, doing my job. But I was the first one she lined up in her crosshairs, so I got it with both barrels.

Perhaps she was overly rushed, trying to squeeze in some shopping without marring the edges of the Sabbath. Whatever the reason, she saw I had mislabeled a product and her words came fast and furious — demeaning, cutting words. I was left speechless and about a foot shorter as she swept off down the aisle, muttering not quite under her breath.

The next morning, I gratefully slipped into a back pew at church just as special music began — one of my favorites: "How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings." Far up in front on the platform, a soprano was emoting beautifully. I looked and looked again to be certain. It was her — the lady from the store.

Adventists can be insufferably odious! A friend from a service-oriented company confided recently Adventists are some of the most obnoxious customers — especially over the phone. It's hard, I know, for those of us who are always impeccably kind, loving and gracious, to understand these temperamental pew-mates of ours. While some Adventists may automatically assume the role of The Remnant Church, how can the remnant be so rude? When others watch, do they wonder if we have been mislabeled?

As a matter of fact, we're not the only ones who have ever taken on the title.

Here's a quotation that could easily be ascribed to an Adventist pioneer: "As the Laodiceans flee into a spiritual wilderness, God would raise up a final church which would keep the Commandments of God, have the testimony of Jesus, and war with Satan. We believe we are the part of that remnant and that the return of our Savior is near, (even at the door)."

It's not from your friends, the Adventists. It's from the Remnant Church of God in Stonesboro, Pennsylvania. There's also the Remnant Church located in Lufkin, Texas, and wait — even The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Before we place the "remnant" mantle upon our own shoulders, let us individually let God prove the pudding with His ongoing work in our own characters. Anything less consigns us to the "remnant barrel" — definitely not preferred seating.

C.S. Lewis describes the process this way: "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

Some Adventists have stayed too long in the shell. Run across any Adventist "bad eggs" lately or any who are "hardboiled," and perhaps a bit "cracked" or rotten to the core? Don't fret. Instead, tend to your own garden.

The true remnant of God may be the last to know it. They're too busy walking with Him to worry about labels.

"Adventists can be insufferably odious! A friend from a service-oriented company confided recently Adventists are some of the most obnoxious customers."

December 01, 2010 / Let's Talk