Series: The Gospel: It's Not...
Message: About Health
Preacher: Tom Eickmann
Daily Walk: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 91:5-13.
Read: Romans 14 (ESV). Re-read in the English Standard Version for new insights/questions.
Reflect: In the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen White had two visions on the subject of health. The first laid out a comprehensive view of the changes that needed to be made, and the second reprimanded the church for not adopting the message of the first one as rapidly as it should have. There were still influential leaders in the church who did not see how health fit into the mission of proclaiming the message of the three angels in Revelation 14, and who felt that money spent on health literature or health institutions was a great distraction. However, as more and more of them adopted the changes advocated in the visions, and saw and felt the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, this attitude changed.
The question of how healthcare fits into the mission of the church continues to be raised today. It is a very, very expensive "right arm,” and yet, at least now, it is a very profitable arm of the church. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are clear, as shown by numerous studies done on members of the church, and it has been a great "opening wedge" in the mission fields of the church, but what does it add to the theological message of Adventism? Some medical missionaries have been encouraged by their church leaders to hold evangelistic meetings at night, after working all day in an exhausting medical practice, so that the Gospel can be preached, to which they have replied, "We have been preaching the Gospel all day long."
Clearly God wants His people to be healthy and happy. The lifestyle changes that have been advocated by our church have seen lives changed. It may be good news, but is that really the Gospel?
Respond: Pray for insight and wisdom for each of us and for our church leaders.
Research: Read The Ministry of Healing by Ellen White.