One question stood at the center of this year’s Student Week of Prayer: What do we believe? Despite any misconceptions that young people may have about the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Adventism, the reality, campus chaplain Roy Ice says, is that they are “pretty basic things.” Starting Monday, April 7, and going through the Sabbath of April 12, 11 students shared their unique testimonies on 11 different fundamental beliefs and how they make up the fabric of Adventism. The theme was about understanding your reasons for believing. As Krista Brieno put it, “It is important to know the faith you claim. I say I’m an Adventist, but do I really know what all that includes? The 28 fundamental beliefs really seal the deal in that respect.”
Part of the purpose for covering the fundamental beliefs was to clear up the stereotypes. Brieno stated that there is a misconception of the 28 beliefs as “a set of very strict and rigid regulations telling us what we can and can’t do. But they are really inspired and we should be proud of them.” The pattern of breaking down the old stereotypes continued throughout the week.
The programs not only gave students a break from their busy class schedules to enjoy the messages and eclectic praise and worship services but also gave the visiting College Days students a deeper glimpse into the spiritual climate on campus at PUC.
A variety of different backgrounds and personalities were represented in student speakers from all sides of the Adventist spectrum. Beliefs that were covered ranged from the Sabbath to marriage and family to Christ’s resurrection. Alicia Barlow spoke on how some of the fundamental beliefs she assumed were unfamiliar to her ended up being beliefs she always had instilled within her as a child.
Bradley Cacho took a fun and refreshing approach to the message of salvation by examining the parallels between modern superhero comic books and the stories of the Bible. “Comics breath Salvation. It’s not hard to find a parallel,” said Cacho. “God is omnipresent, so I like to find Him in everything.”
The week was wrapped up on Sabbath morning with a special message from theology major BeeJay Wheeler on the topic of “growing in Christ.” In his first sermon at PUC, Wheeler drew valuable points from his childhood and the Bible to illustrate the true meaning of spiritual maturity. It was a fitting way to finish off the week’s theme of clarity within our creed. Beejay states that the beliefs in discussion for the week are important because “they define our denomination, and our identity is rooted in them.”
It was evident in even the speakers’ responses to the programs that hearing their peers express their thoughts on the beliefs made them so much more poignant to the students. Cacho expressed the important unity he found in the week’s messages, saying, “ It was nice for us students to know that we’re not alone in our walk with God.”
For more information about the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Adventism, visit www.adventist.org