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The Adventist Health Message


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The Fitness-Driven Church

This article is not connected to Adventism but it does provide an opportunity to compare the SDA thoughts on health with others.

Quote:

Across the country, congregations are whipping members into shape with highly marketed, faith-based health programs. What's right—ad troubling—about the trend.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/june/fitness-driven-church.html?paging=off

Observations:

1. This almost seems like a discovery of the "health messsage".

2. Bible passages used by Adventist are used by some of the others.

3. There is also a critical section examining the health message.

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  • 2 weeks later...

J.H. Waggoner on the Health Message as Present Truth in 1866.

This report by J.H. Waggoner illustrates the power of a new idea, the Health Message, on one's faith:

Quote:

Present Truth

No more joyful sound has saluted our ears for years than is contained in this expression—present truth, Present truth is a present test; an indication of present duty, find an assurance of a present blessing. How comforting to read our present experience in the unfolding light of prophecy, and to know in all our trials and toils for the truth's sake, we are walking in the way specially marked out for us by the God of truth.

The word of the Lord says: " Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law ; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid .of their revilings." Isa. li, 7. It seems astonishing that in this age of Bible reading and Bible profession the reproach of men, and their revilings, should be heaped upon us because we desire to know righteousness, and have God's law in our hearts.

This is reckoned as one of the "Christian nations" of the earth, but well is its action characterized by the words of the prophet: "They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God.1 ' Isa. Iviii, 2. By reading the chapter, it will be seen that their humility is feigned, and the fear of God is taught by the precepts of man—not by the commandments of God. The professing church, and the non-professing world have joined hands in covetousness, in pride, in festivities, and love of pleasures. Rejecting the first principles of God's government, they run to "confusion and every evil work." With so much evidence of their carnality we cannot longer wonder that they revile those who keep God's law. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Rom. viii, 7.

"The law and the testimony" are revealed as the criterion of judgment in these days of deception and delusion. See Isa. viii, 16, 19, 20; 2 Thess. ii, 9-12. To John it was shown that the dragon would make war on the remnant who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. xii, 17. It is not necessary for any one, in order to develop a rebellious character in the sight of God, to fight against all the truth, even as it is not necessary to break all the commandments to be a transgressor of the law. We find some who would accept the scriptural argument on the gifts of the Spirit of God, and would therefore be ready to accept the testimony of Jesus, did not their opposition to the law of God forbid it. Others profess great reverence for the commandments of God, but show untiring opposition to the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. Rev. xix, 10. Both classes err in rejecting truth, and disregarding the authority of God ; for when part of God's word is rejected, obedience to the remainder is not obedience to God, but mere conformity to self- will. Worship, under such circumstances, is a human arrangement, being a modification of God's appointment.

Though the past year has had dark clouds, and sore perplexities for the remnant, the prospect before us is, to my mind, exceedingly cheering. Prayer has been heard and answered; and the Lord is sending out a testimony exactly fitted to revive his work, and make his people strong to overcome. In view of these facts, how idle seem the efforts put forth of late to destroy the efficiency of the spirit of prophecy so kindly granted to the remnant. It is truly a gift of the Spirit. It is not what is preached to them merely, nor what they believe, nor what the apostles and the early church had, but what they have in their midst. The remnant "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Considering this, I feel that we all might adopt the words of Cuyler, "I must praise more ;" or say with the Psalmist, "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Psa. cvii, 8.

I esteem it a privilege to say to all the scattered ones, through the Review, that, since hearing sister White's testimony on the health reform at the Conference, my heart has continually rejoiced that God has granted us this precious gift, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Eph. iv, 12.

Sometimes lukewarmness and formality have taken possession of my heart, and then I accepted the Lord's appointed means as a necessity ; sometimes the cutting reproof seemed to bow me to the earth, and I trembled before it as something to be feared; but of late, I have looked upon it only as a precious blessing sent by a loving Father, to be embraced with thankful joy. I have often felt that an attack on that point, backed up by the prejudice of the world and churches united, might wound us most deeply, but that feeling, I trust is forever laid aside. Never have I felt that abiding confidence in the complete triumph over all opposition of this branch of present truth, that I have felt since the war has been waged in Iowa against the vision given through sister White.

We do not profess to be pioneers in the general principles of the health reform. The facts on which this movement is based have been elaborated, in a great measure, by reformers, physicians, and writers on physiology and hygiene, and so may be found scattered through the land. But we do claim that by the method of God's choice it has been more clearly and powerfully unfolded, and is thereby producing an effect which we could not have looked for from any other means. As mere physiological and hygienic truths, they might be studied by some at their leisure, and by others laid aside as of little consequence ; but when placed on a level with the great truths of the third angel's message by the sanction and authority of God's Spirit and; so declared to be the means whereby a weak people may be made strong to overcome, and our diseased bodies cleansed and fitted for translation, then it comes to us as an essential part of present truth, to be received with the blessing of God, or rejected at our peril.

Since we could have been aroused to the importance of this movement only by the teachings of God's Spirit, so can no one so clearly and strongly impress it on the minds and hearts of God's people as our beloved sister through whom this testimony has been given. Never was there a time (so to me it appears) when her presence and testimony were so much needed in the churches as now; and may the time soon come when all the saints will be privileged to hear it and to rejoice in the light. If any are tried over it now, let them study it, pray over it, and they will soon love it.

J. H. Waggoner.

N. Bloomfield, 0., July 20.

Source:

J. H. Waggoner. "Present Truth." Review and Herald, August 7, 1866, p. 4.

http://docs.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18660807-V28-10__B.pdf#view=fit

Observations:

* The article is by E. J. Waggoner’s father. It reveals how a careful thinking leader was challenged and blessed by the words of EGW, the prophet.

* It has been suggested that early Adventist were anti-establishment. Does Waggoner seem so?

* Each believer was an entity in the movement. Ellen White’s prophetic utterances moved the group to spiritual considerations. The health message was one of these. Waggoner quickly sensed the reformative value of such an emphasis.

* By 1866, Waggoner needed new light to keep alive spiritually? “Sometimes lukewarmness and formality have taken possession of my heart.” The Health Message was just such light.

* The seeds of misconception seems to be already present. Year later some would push this far beyond it reasonable limits:

Quote:

“As mere physiological and hygienic truths, they might be studied by some at their leisure, and by others laid aside as of little consequence ; but when placed on a level with the great truths of the third angel's message by the sanction and authority of God's Spirit and; so declared to be the means whereby a weak people may be made strong to overcome, and our diseased bodies cleansed and fitted for translation, then it comes to us as an essential part of present truth, to be received with the blessing of God, or rejected at our peril.”

* Waggoner viewed both the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus (Prophetic gift) to both be essential for a healthy experience in Christ.

* The message of health to come to the church was exciting to Waggoner. It revived him.

* It increased his confidence in Ellen White’s role in the church.

* The “War” in Iowa against Ellen White had shaken him.

* Ellen White did not introduce new health concepts, Waggoner asserts. Rather she put known truths together in an effective manner.

* “If any are tried over it now, let them study it, pray over it, and they will soon love it.”

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