Seventh-Day Adventists are unpopular in some places, while in others they are heartily welcome. This unpopularity is largely due to the fact that we keep the seventh-day Sabbath and teach the need of observing it. We may sometimes wonder why some people are so antagonistic to this truth, as if it were a discovery of our own which we insisted upon inflicting upon them. Not infrequently opposers ask, "Why do you always talk of the Sabbath?" "Are there not plenty of good things to talk about in the Bible without always bringing up the Sabbath?" "Why do you disturb the people with such a doctrine?"
How familiar are these criticisms, and yet we believe that the Sabbath message is due the world at this time, and that the call for reform in Sabbath observance is part of the third angel's message. Therefore we do not cease to observe the Sabbath or to warn of the consequences of disobedience.
Another truth which we teach is almost wholly acceptable to the world; in fact, it is eagerly sought after. Yet, strange as it may seem, many of our members are indifferent toward this tenet of faith which the world accepts—health reform. We can almost hear some Seventh-day Adventists voicing their opposition at the mere mention of this subject by such expressions as these: "Here comes health reform." "All he can talk about is health reform." These and other forms of criticism are too frequently heard concerning the teaching of those truths which are fundamental principles of hygiene and healthful living, and which the Lord constituted a part of the message which is to prepare a people for His second coming.
Why wonder that the world is so disturbed by °our teaching of the Sabbath truth, when we show our disturbance by our attitude toward the teaching of health reform? "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself ? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? . . Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God?" Rom. 2:21-23.
If I have a disobedient spirit toward one precept of the Lord's message, will this not, in the sight of heaven, be my. real attitude toward every other precept, even though outwardly I may act differently? True, the law of the Sabbath is one law and the laws of health are another, and yet we are instructed:
"It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God when we continually fill them with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence. Knowledge must be gained in regard to how to eat and drink and dress so as to preserve health. Sickness is the result of violating nature's law. Our first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God. These include the laws of health."—"Counsels on Health," pp. 24, 25.
Another quotation which indicates the danger of taking the wrong attitude is found in the same book:
"Those who transgress the laws of God in their physical organism, will not be less slow to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai. Those who will not, after the light has come to them, eat and drink from principle, instead of being controlled by appetite, will not be tenacious in regard to being governed by principles in other things."—Page 39.
"The health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel's message as the hand is with the body. The law of ten commandments has been lightly regarded by man; yet the Lord will not come to punish the transgressors of that law without first sending them a message of warning. Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetites and lustful passions, without violating the law of God. Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may realize the sinfulness of breaking the laws which He has established in our very being."—Id., pp. 20, 21.