In the development of plans, the secretaries of the General Conference Medical Department desire to utilize every feature of the general world organization for the promotion of the interests coming under the Medical Department and for the extension of the work of God throughout the earth.
By various means an effort is to be put forth to enlist the interest, support, and cooperation of every member of the denomination in living and teaching our accepted principles of healthful living, and in carrying forward the ministry of health education and medical missionary endeavor.
Since the department has such a meager field organization, and there is such a large number of physicians and graduate nurses engaged in private practice, and others not directly engaged in conferences or institutions under denominational control, the Medical Department of the General Conference, desiring to secure the active cooperation of the entire group of medically trained workers, recommends that an auxiliary organization of these medical workers be formed under its direction, with the secretaries of the department as elected by the General Conference as the officers and promoters of the work of the proposed Medical Missionary Association; said Association to be a cooperative body for (I) study, (2) counsel, (3) health education, and (4) field activity in medical missionary work.
Plan of Organization
Therefore, We recommend to the General Conference Committee the formation of a Medical Missionary Association based on the following plan of organization;
Name.—Medical Missionary Association of Seventh-day Adventists.
Headquarters.—General Conference Office, Takoma Park, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Officers.—The regularly elected secretaries of the Medical Department of the General Conference.
Advisory Committee.—This committee shall consist of the secretary, associate, assistant, and division secretaries of the Medical Department of the General Conference, and the appointed Medical Department counselors (as appearing in the Year Book), with the addition of the following members: President of the General Conference, Secretary of the General Conference, Editors of The Ministry, one graduate dietitian, one dentist, and two physicians in private practice.
Membership in this organization shall be open to all Seventh-day Adventist physicians, dentists, graduate nurses, dietitians, and medical technicians who are church members in good and regular standing, who desire to join this Association, and who volunteer to assist and cooperate in teaching the health principles adopted by the denomination in a representative manner, and in promoting the interests of medical missionary work.
The objectives of said Association are:
1. To "lead the people to study the manifestation of God's love and wisdom in the works of nature," to "lead them to study that marvelous organism, the human system, and the laws by which it is governed," so that "those who perceive the evidence of God's love, who understand something of the wisdom and beneficence of His laws and the results of obedience, will come to regard their duties and obligations from an altogether different point of view. Instead of looking upon the observance of the laws of health as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, they will regard it, as it really is, as an inestimable blessing."
2. To cultivate and maintain a strong bond of brotherly fellowship between the gospel ministry and the medical ministry, and to foster the unification and strengthening of their combined efforts.
3. To unite with the gospel ministry in presenting the subject of healthful living in a practical, sound, well-balanced, comprehensive manner.
4. To revive an interest in genuine medical missionary work, which we are told is "the gospel in practice," and which "when connected with other lines of gospel effort . . . is a most effective instrument by which the ground is prepared for the sowing of the seeds of truth, and the instrument also by which the harvest is reaped."
Platform of Principles
Whereas, The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been given, through the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy, instruction in healthful living, and believing this instruction to be of divine origin, and that its object is to "secure the highest possible development of body and mind and soul," and, believing that observance of that instruction thus given this people will promote our health and happiness in this life and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come;
We therefore affirm our confidence in the health reform message, pledging our hearty support, and accept as our platform the following statement of principles as adopted by the General Conference in session, in 1936:
"We recognize that it is in God that we live and move and have our being; that man is not his own, but belongs to God by right of creation and redemption; that the body is claimed by God for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and that man's mental faculties and physical powers should be used to show forth Christian character and service.
"We believe that 'whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,' and that a disregard for natural law and the violation of it are attended by physical penalty ; that much of the disease from which man suffers could be prevented by obedience to the laws of health; and that as Christians we owe it to God and our fellow men to observe these laws as fully as possible.
"We believe that the difficult and serious times upon which we have entered make extraordinary demands upon our reserve of physical and mental energy; that good health is especially important to enable us to meet the emergencies of these strenuous times; and that if we would preserve our health, we must have an understanding of the laws which govern our physical well-being and follow them in all our habits of living.
"We believe that God has given His people a special message for this time that will enable them to stand in the crisis just before them and to triumph in His kingdom. As an essential part of that message God has given instruction regarding the care of the body, which, if rightly practiced, will bring health and strength, with increased vigor and energy for His service.
"We believe that the light revealed in true science, in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy, is of benefit only as it is followed, and that all our people should with confidence accept the truth concerning healthful living and practice its principles in their homes and in their individual lives.
"We believe that the principles of health reform demand total abstinence from all intoxicating beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirituous liquors, tobacco in all its forms, tea and coffee, and irritating spices and condiments.
"We believe in sufficient and appropriate exercise and in proper and sufficient hours of sleep and relaxation.
"We believe in the proper clothing of the body as relates to warmth, protection, simplicity, and modesty.
"We believe in strict cleanliness of person and premises, and protection against disease-bearing insects and against all disease-producing conditions.
"We believe that we should always do our best to supply the body with wholesome and nourishing foods, used with simplicity in variety and amount, and properly prepared.
"We believe that man's best diet is that originally provided for him: grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, to which may be added eggs and dairy products when obtained under assured health conditions.
"We believe that flesh food at its best is only an emergency food ; that while it has food value, it at the same time contains poisonous products of animal-tissue wastes ; and that its use as food under ordinary conditions is attended by risk to the health.
"We believe that with the present great increase in diseases of animals, the use of flesh as food is attended by an ever-increasing danger ; that we should give serious heed to the urgent instruction given us to endeavor earnestly to provide for our tables that food which is most wholesome and best suited to health.
"We believe that the principles of healthful living should be adopted by our people, and practiced as fully as possible. We are not unmindful of the fact that there are in some countries conditions of poverty or scarcity that may make it difficult or even impossible for believers to obtain a sufficient quantity or variety of those foods best suited to promote health, and therefore we would not urge diet standards impossible to attain. We also believe that no one should sit in judgment on others in matters of diet."
Organ of Association
We recommend, I. That a special section in The Ministry,—newly enlarged to forty-eight pages,—headed "The Medical Missionary," constitute the medium of communication between the members of the Medical Missionary Association.
1. That all our medical institutions be requested to provide The Ministry with its new Medical Missionary section, for all medical workers in their employ who become members of this Association, including private-duty nurses on call, and for nurses' homes and libraries, as all conferences provide the present Ministry for their conference worker groups, at the 5o cents a year club rate to individual names and addresses.
2. That all physicians, nurses, and dentists in private practice registering as members of the Medical Missionary Association, be asked by the Medical Department to subscribe personally to The Ministry, at a special $i a year rate, the regular single subscription of the enlarged Ministry being raised to $1.50.
3. That the College of Medical Evangelists be asked to encourage its full medical student body to become members of the Association, and to subscribe to The Ministry throughout their five-year course, at the special conference and institutional rate of 5o cents a year each, sent to individual names and addresses.
4. That the overseas divisions be urged to extend these same provisions to all English-reading medical missionary workers in their respective fields.
The editorial council for the Medical Missionary section of THE MINISTRY shall be the regularly elected secretary and two associate secretaries of the Medical Department.