Basic Principles of Health Teaching

Basic Principles of Health Teaching No. 1—Avoid Extreme Views and an Uncharitable Spirit

Health education is one of the impor­tant objectives the Medical Department is seeking to promote through its Asso­ciation.

H.M.W., M.D. 

Health education is one of the impor­tant objectives the Medical Department is seeking to promote through its Asso­ciation. An effort is to be put forth to main­tain a high standard of such teaching and broaden the concept, held by many, of what constitutes the principles of true health reform.

The Lord caused special light from heaven to shine upon this people in respect to health­ful living. Broad, authentic, balanced princi­ples that pertain to the various phases of hy­giene and make for physical well-being were given to us, through the servant of the Lord, at a time when there was a dearth of knowl­edge on the subjects of preventive medicine and health preservation.

Unfortunately, many have regarded these principles with more or less indifference. It is to be regretted also that health reform has occasionally even been brought into disrepute in some quarters by the teaching of unsound and extreme views. Those who have held such views, we feel, have failed to study thor­oughly with an open mind all the instruction given, and have therefore been unable to see and comprehend these principles as they are in their entirety—a well-balanced whole.

The "Testimonies" condemn extreme views and an uncharitable attitude. The instruction speaks for itself in specific, pointed terms.

Study Broadly and Deeply.— "The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not in all things, in harmony with his own."—"Ministry of Healing," p. 319.

Narrowness Belittles.—"Health reform means something to us, and we must not belittle it by narrow views and practices."—"Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene," p. 59.

Overstraining Injuries.—"Narrow ideas and overstraining of small points have been a great in­jury to the cause of hygiene."—Id., p. 57.

Individuals not sufficiently informed or ex­perienced, although very conscientious and zealous, sometimes become unwisely active in advocating health reform. Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of healthful living are often the most dogmatic in their views and are in danger of teaching mere opinions and even errors. It is to be remembered that there are in wide circulation many false ideas and notions pertaining to health. In no field has there been such un­fortunate exploitation of a credulous public as in matters pertaining to health. This fact is particularly well illustrated by the fads and fancies found on every hand relating to diet. Many extreme, fanciful, and positively harm­ful practices are widely heralded. Therefore we must be sure of the soundness and authen­ticity of our information.

Principle to Govern.—"Those who understand the laws of health, and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuikling of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man."—"Ministry of Healing," p. 319.

Opposition not to Deter.—"There is a large class who will reject any reform movement, however reasonable, if it lays a restriction upon the appetite. They consult taste, instead of reason and the laws of health. By this class, all who leave the beaten track of custom and advocate reform will be opposed and accounted radical, let them pursue ever so con­sistent a course.

"But no one should permit opposition or ridicule to turn him from the work of reform, or cause him to lightly regard it. He who is imbued with the spirit which actuated Daniel, will not be narrow or conceited, but he will be firm and decided in stand­ing for the right. In all his associations, whether with his brethren or with others, he will not swerve from principle, while at the same time he will not fail to manifest a noble, Christlike patience. When those who advocate hygienic reform carry the matter to extremes, people are not to blame if they become disgusted. Too often our religious faith is thus brought into disrepute, and in many cases those who witness such exhibitions of inconsistency can never afterward be brought to think that there is anything good in the reform. These extremists do more harm in a few months than they can undo in a lifetime. They are engaged in work which Satan loves to see go on."—"Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene," pp. 55, 56.

References for further study: "Ministry of Healing," pp. 318-324; "Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene," pp. 55-59; "Testimonies," Vol. II, pp. 63, 254, 366-368, 377-379, 386, 387, 538; Vol. VI, pp. 373, 374; Vol. IX, pp. 161-163.                                                          

H. M. W.

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H.M.W., M.D. 

January 1938

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