Atlantic Caribbean Union

Paying Attention to a Most Needed Emphasis

Paying Attention to a Most Needed Emphasis


As we are now nearing the holiday season when there is the temptation to overindulge, I thought to share on a most needed topic of health reform.  Unfortunately, there are those of us who shy away, and on the other hand, there are those who have a tendency to go overboard.   Accordingly, I attempt to share a balanced article regarding health reform and its obligation and implication for us as leaders.  

The Need to Focus on Health Reform
Ever since I read Counsels on Diet and Foods, I have been reminded to give attention to health especially as it relates to diet, exercise and rest.  Additionally, I was re-admonished that “The health reform is closely connected with the work of the third message” (CD, 74).  Also, Ellen White explained that, “The proclamation of the third angel’s message, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, is the burden of our work” (CD, 75).  However, she cautioned in the same context that the Health Message is not “the message;” instead, it is a part of the message; and preachers “should not make this the leading theme in the place of the message” (CD, 74). This statement in no way discredits health reform, but it seeks to give balance. As God’s servants, we must proclaim the total message of our church, which includes health reform. Equally important is that we practice and seek to model what we teach.

Health Reform Challenges Us
 Admittedly, many of us would say there are some counsels regarding health that tend to challenge us. Personally, I have felt uncomfortable when I came across certain statements. Nevertheless, I know that God would not send counsels that are not good for His children.  It is His will, as noted in 3 John 2, that His followers be in health physically, spiritually, mentally and socially.  Thus, when we experience a greater quality of life, essentially, we will have a more positive impact on family, neighbors and friends.  This impact no doubt will serve as an entering wedge in terms of reaching others with the good news of salvation. Mrs. White observed, “Much of the prejudice that prevents the truth of the third angel’s message from reaching the hearts of the people, might be removed if more attention were given to health reform. When people become interested in this subject, the way is often prepared for the entrance of other truths” (CD, 76).

The Need to Do More
As Seventh-day Adventists, we have been blessed with the health reform message for over 100 years.  Unfortunately, we have not always aggressively and responsibly promoted the health message as we ought to, and in some instances, when we have promoted it, as already noted, some of our presentations have been lacking in balance.  However, today’s diseases and poor examples of lifestyle call us to be more aggressive and accountable. To whom much is given much is expected. We must not be trite or flippant with health reform, and neither must we see health reform as just becoming non-meat eaters. Balance is the key as we practice and teach. Also, we must be extremely careful not to misrepresent or misquote Ellen White, who was very pragmatic and balanced.

Make a Start Today
I use this medium to encourage those of you who are advanced in your approach to health principles, to continue to demonstrate what Adventist Christians ought to be; and for those who are in need of added reform, that we will begin to make gradual and incremental steps in improving our eating, drinking and exercise.  Essentially, there is a call for temperance in all that we do.  For even that which is good can be abused.  The many diseases that are common among us and among the people outside the church are very much treatable and manageable, if we would simply subscribe to the diet prescribed for us.  
I urge that as we reform in Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and in our relationship with our family, that we must not exclude the area of health, if we are to experience a total and meaningful life.  Together, we can do much more to encourage healthful living at our church functions, homes, church schools and certainly our headquarters. Let’s make a start today!