I recently got back from a trip to Boise, Idaho. Overall it was a really cool area. I loved the mountains along the horizon on 3 sides of the city. The downtown was very clean and had some interesting stores (I particularly liked the North Face store). I had a great time except for one bad experience at the airport on the way back to Lincoln.

As we went through the security checkpoint there were literally about 3 people in front of Martin, my wife and I. For some reason there were hoards of blue-shirted TSA agents swarming around looking for a victim to pounce on. Since there were less travelers than TSA agents, multiple agents seemed to take joy in pouncing on us poor travelers all at once.

After the full body scanner, a pat down (of which only one leg was searched, not both) and a questioning about where I had been, the agents starting searching through my carry-on bag. This is inconvenient and annoying in and of itself, but when they found a bottle of hairspray that was too large we were given the choice to throw it away or check our bag. Needless to say, the thought of walking way back to the airline counter, paying to check my bag and then going back through security was not one that made me leap for joy. At the end of a trip, you’re just ready to get back — you know?

Anyway, after doing all of the aforementioned, I finally made it back through security and decided I needed to eat. So, I got a slice of pizza and a drink. Comically, the receipt was for $6.66. “How fitting for this place,” I thought.

And then, just after I had finished eating, it happened. I saw the sign I hate above all signs: “Slippery When Wet”. I hate that sign with a passion. It’s like saying, “Gross when booger,” or, “Prickly when cactus.” Duh! Why can’t there just be a “Slippery” sign or even a plain old “Wet” sign? Just one more reason I had to be mad at the airport that day.

Interestingly enough, seeing that sign got me thinking, “I wonder what’s obvious about the Adventist church?” How could you fill in the following: __________ when Adventist? You would like to think it could be something along the lines of, “happy when Adventist,” or, “friendly when Adventist.” Unfortunately too many Adventists think, “saved when Adventist,” or even, “saved (only) when Adventist.”

While we were in Boise, we went out to eat with a great couple. The man, an Adventist church member, was married to a woman who was a Christian, but not an Adventist. My friend Martin happened to ask her what she thought of Adventists. She proceeded to tell us what the churches were like in the local area and which ones she and her husband liked or disliked attending. When we finished this overview, her husband said, “That’s not really what he asked. He said, ‘What do you think of Adventists?'”. Immediately, she burst into tears and told us how many church members had made her feel like an outsider.

The man told us how he fielded questions from church members like, “Why haven’t you gotten her baptized yet?”. How insensitive! He told us that he often told these people that his wife was more of a Christian than he was sometimes.

If we asked this lady (who by the way is involved in a TON of cool non-Adventist ministries) to fill in the blank mentioned above, I wonder if she’d say something like: JERK when Adventist, or, MEAN when Adventist. Something to think about.

Obviously not all Adventists behave this way, but in all reality, way too many would end up acting in a way that would make a non-Adventist feel bad. Why are we so exclusionary, anyway?

I guess my point here is that we need to be careful how we act around other people. Of course, this would all be solved by living like Jesus in the first place.