Clifford Goldstein wrote (in 2000) that he is still not comfortable in “church” even after twenty years as a Seventh-day Adventist. Although he had a secular Jewish upbringing, he associated Christianity— and churches— with persecution.
I had always associated Christianity--churches, Jesus, the cross--with oppression, persecution, and anti-Semitism.
In fact, if I could follow my heart, I wouldn't even be a Seventh-day Adventist; I'd be a Messianic Jew instead. Messianics are Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but who worship Him as Jews, in synagogues, just as the earliest followers of Jesus did (sorry, folks, but Peter, Paul, James, Barnabas, et al., did not go to church). Messianic Jews know that they don't have to become Gentiles or worship in Gentile traditions in order to follow Jesus. I love Messianic services, Messianic liturgy, and Messianic music (something about singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers!" in a church just doesn't do much for me). In a Messianic synagogue I feel like what I am, a Jew who has accepted his Hebrew Messiah, Jesuah ben Joseph.
He goes on in the article to explain why he has chosen to be an Adventist despite his inclinations to worship with Jewish cultural forms.
My reaction to Clifford Goldstein's difficult choice is— why does he have to make a choice? I know that there are Adventist Synagogues, but perhaps there is not one close to where he lives. But— even if he does not have a nearby Adventist synagogue, shouldn't we Gentile Adventists be interested in getting closer to the manner of worship of Jesus and the Apostles? Do we have to remain a culturally American-European religion? Could we seek to be more of a world religion with a culture closer to that of the east— closer to the Biblical traditions? I am not suggesting that we abandon our Christian traditions and turn all our churches into synagogues, but couldn't we make our churches more Jewish friendly? Can we adapt in small ways to reach out to people like Clifford Goldstein?
If I could follow my heart, I'd be a Messianic Jew