It is just as much our duty to present the prin ciples of healthful living as it is to present any other doctrine when we give a series of evangelistic meetings. We read in the book Evangelism: "The principles of health reform are found in the Word of God. The gospel of health is to be firmly linked with the ministry of the Word. It is the Lord's design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message."—Page 261.
Who shall present this important phase of our message? Those best qualified are our Christian doctors, but in many localities they are not available. In some localities where our doctors are plentiful, medical ethics has deprived us of their help. In some cases those who are available are not ready speakers. All this means, then, that the brunt of the burden often falls upon the shoulders of the ministers.
How shall we present this message? Quoting again from that helpful book Evangelism, page 515: "When you make the people intelligent concerning the principles of health reform you do much to prepare the way for the introduction of present truth. Said my Guide, 'Educate, educate, educate.' The mind must be enlightened, for the understanding of the people is darkened."
According to this quotation, we should present health reform from an educational standpoint. Much harm has been done by condemning people for eating this or drinking that. Much better results can be had by teaching them step by step. Teach them how and why certain foods and drinks are harmful; teach them how to substitute right principles for the wrong. This cannot possibly be done in one or two all-inclusive sermons. To touch on pork, tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and the like, all in one sermon, is like presenting the second coming of Christ, hell, the state of the dead, the law, the Sabbath, the mark of the beast, etc., all in one lecture. The jolt is too great for many people, and they become discouraged before they even make at attempt to adopt the principles of healthful living. How much better it would be to present our health message in an easy, graduated series of short health lectures, leading them on a step at a time until the ultimate goal is reached.
Following is a brief outline of our health program, which we have used successfully in several efforts. On Tuesday night of each week, before the regular lecture of the evening, we present a fifteen- to twenty-minute stereopticon filmstrip on health. We prepared these films, with comments, for our own use, but Brother Mayse asked for the privilege of making the set available to our workers, and they can now be obtained from the Mayse Studio, Box 25, San Diego, California.
These films present our health message from an educational standpoint, and our experience has been that they take well with the people. The greatest interest is shown on the night we present the film, "Why I Am a Vegetarian." The eight topics are:
I. Our First Line of Defense. (Importance of healthful living.)
2. Nature's Ten Commandments to Better Health. (Co-operation with the laws of health.)
3. Disease, Its Cause and Cure. (Drugs vs. natural remedies.)
(After this talk a short course in home nursing and hydrotherapy should be given by an experienced nurse, if available. Strong support should be given by the evangelist in announcing the course.)
4. Alcohol, the Enemy of Man.
5. Tobacco, the Saboteur.
6. Health Destroyers. (Coffee, tea, condiments, pork.)
7. You Are What You Eat. (Balanced diet, natural foods.)
8. Why I Am a Vegetarian. (Advantages of vegetarian diet.)
(After this talk a short course in cooking should be given by an experienced dietitian, if available. This can be given in the meeting hall or in the homes of the people.) -
After the health talk each Tuesday night we have been giving a free tract on the topic discussed, using the Life and Health leaflets, but they are now out of print. We hope that they can be printed again, for they fill a need that no other tract now in print can fill.
Small books, such as The Cigarette as a Physician Sees It, Three Times a Day, Better Meals for Less, Stirring Passages, etc., are sold at the bookstand, and the people are urged to buy them. The little book Diseases of Food Animals is excellent to advertise on the night we present the vegetarian diet. This topic invariably causes people to want to learn more about healthful cooking.
On the ninth Tuesday night we have a demonstration of health foods on the platform, showing several substitutes for coffee and meat, as prepared by our factories. We also tell the people where they can purchase these foods. Before presenting this demonstration, we make arrangements with some store, or perhaps the Dorcas Society, to handle these foods. Our food factories have cooperated by sending a generous supply of free advertising material and recipe booklets for distribution.
We have found that in thus presenting our health program, prejudice has been broken down, and people are prepared to accept our complete message without undue opposition. We are far behind in the use of the "right arm" of the message. May God grant us vision to redeem the time.