Anthony Petroff. Photo credit: Jermaine Gayle

January 4, 2021

Signs of Friendship

It was a sign which first caught my eye: “$500 for whoever can point to where the Bible says that the Sabbath is on Sunday.”

This sign threw me off because, although I was a new convert to Christianity, I had never heard anything along these lines.

The setting for this sign was Michigan State University where I was a freshman. MSU was hosting an event called “Sparticipation” where clubs and student-related organizations are given a massive space to organize and advertise themselves to students. When I first spotted the sign at the CAMPUS House booth, I convinced myself I could win an easy $500.

As I began trying to persuade the CAMPUS House reps that the Sabbath was on Sunday, I was almost overwhelmed by their well of knowledge of the subject, and rightfully found myself being politely rebuked for my ignorance and arrogance on the subject. Despite finding myself humiliated by my own actions, I was impressed by their character and knowledge. When they offered to meet with them afterwards, I accepted.

From there, I regularly met with the members of CAMPUS House. Every time I came over, they proposed I stay for dinner while went over Adventist beliefs with Robin Mox (one of the missionary students with whom I had become friends). Or, they would invite me over to watch a biblical documentary or come with them to general events involving studying or simply discussing things as friends. It was a wonderful experience and, over time, helped me to recognize the fruit of the Spirit. I realized that the church they belonged to, and the denomination as a whole, was made up of individuals who cared deeply about following God’s Word, especially His Ten Commandments.

However, during that year, due to poor personal choices and a growing depression, I almost fell completely away from the faith. I stopped trying to meet up or spend time with my newfound CAMPUS friends or any other groups of people. Around that time, Robin and the other student missionaries were trying to discuss the Sabbath with me, but I dismissed them. In hindsight, I realize I was adamant against Sabbath observance because it would require me to make serious changes in my life.

After living in this unhealthy state for a while, I eventually reconnected with Robin and some of the other students from CAMPUS. By meeting with them and taking a serious look into God’s Word, I was able to come to terms with a loving God who wanted me to follow all ten of His commandments. There were many excuses made. However, the final discussion of the Sabbath, the portion of God’s Word which convinced me to become a baptized member of the Adventist church, was reading about the followers of Christ observing the Sabbath in Luke 23:56. There is no argument I can honestly make to stand against this verse. With a simple description of events, it makes clear the importance of the Sabbath, which I now know is Saturday. I might not have won $500 that day but the journey of coming to terms with the knowledge of God’s truth has been priceless.

Anthony Petroff was baptized Sept. 19, 2020, at the U Church in Lansing, Mich. He is in his third year at Lansing Community College, studying Computer Networking and Cybersecurity.