Holiness communities in Paul : the insider outsider question as addressed in Galatians 2-3 within the context of the Adventist doctrine of the remnant.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is a multicultural and multi ethnic, worldwide community. However, traces of its North American origins are still found in the manner in which it conducts its business. Everything from liturgy to the programme time, which were originally agreed upon in order to accommodate the mostly rural American pioneers, during the mid 1800’s, bears witness to the fact that, though it is a worldwide movement, it remains steeped in the traditions of its origins. This uniformity and cultural hegemony, is often branded “The Adventist way of doing things, with some even suggesting that there is a superior culture known as the Adventist culture, in order to convince adherents to abandon their cultures and adopt what is essentially, white American culture. This dynamic, has often made me, as a 21st Century Southern African Seventh Day Adventist, feeling alienated and more of an outsider, as nothing in my community of faith communicates anything positive to my cultural and ethnic background. I have found variances in the manner in which Paul dealt with a similarly diverse community of faith and how the Seventh Day Adventist church has gone about it. In this study, I have sought to bring the two communities into dialogue with each other, by applying a methodology borrowed from the social sciences. By bringing Galatians 3:26-28 and my community of faith into conversation, I hope to highlight the need for a conversation on the need for a socio sensitive hermeneutic.