Health Obligation?

Does a Seventh-day Adventist minister have a Health Obligation?

THE Adventist minister has in his possession a wonderful gift—a gift that the Jewish people once treasured greatly. What is this gift? The health laws given to Moses by God and the health reform message as given to Ellen G. White. . .

-Pastor, Times Square Center, at the time this article was written

THE Adventist minister has in his possession a wonderful gift—a gift that the Jewish people once treasured greatly. What is this gift? The health laws given to Moses by God and the health reform message as given to Ellen G. White.

We talk in our evangelistic efforts of the fact that we are interested in the whole man—the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. One without the other is not complete.

Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon the physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health, promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character. Without health no one can distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself, to his fellow beings, or his Creator.—Education, p. 195.

So the Adventist minister must not be only spiritually strong; he must be mentally and physically strong also. He must not only preach health reform; he must practice it. He must not only confine himself to the spiritual but be able to give his people the other food that is needed as well.

A holy work does not exempt them, from the necessity of observing the laws of health. Neither can they escape the penalties of disregarding those laws.—I. T. JONES, The Pastor, Man and His Ministry, p. 79.

The minister is always on display. The church looks to him for guidance, and the pastor who is irritable, overweight, or who indulges in the wrong kind of diet, then stands in the pulpit on Sabbath with his large paunch and a scowl on his face and gives a sermon on health reform is fooling no one but himself. A minister who is not healthy is hurting himself, his family, his church, and most of all God, because he has lost his effectiveness.

A pastor should formulate and follow the common-sense rules of health, concerning such ordinary things as diet, weight control, rest, hygiene, sanitation, recreation, relaxation, vacation and regular medical checkups, and when necessary regular treatment by physicians.—Ibid., p. 80.

Personal Preparation Necessary

As I have mentioned previously, the Adventist minister is unique in all the world for he has the only complete message. But he must live it daily and be eager to give it away to a starving world.

The work of health reform is the Lord's means for lessening suffering in our world and for purifying His church. Teach the people that they can act as God's helping hand, by co-operating with the Master worker in restoring physical and spiritual health. This work bears the signature of heaven, and will open doors for the entrance of other precious truths. There is room for all to labor who will take hold of this work intelligently.—Evangelism, p. 263.

The minister must prepare himself in all of the aforementioned areas. The task is a hard one. Just as an automobile cannot operate if the spark plugs are missing or are in and the wires leading to them are not attached, likewise the human being cannot function if one of the three basic elements of his well-being is not working properly. The body can be properly clothed, housed, and fed, but if the physical, mental, and spiritual elements are not harmoniously maintained it cannot run properly.

The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God's law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the author of physical laws, as He is the author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God. Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them, from eternal death. He is not reverenced, or respected, or recognized. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being.—Counsels on Diets and Foods, p. 43.

Let none who profess godliness regard with in difference the health of the body, and flatter them selves that intemperance is no sin, and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature.—Ibid.

So as ministers we need to present before our flocks a body—our own—that is in perfect health and in harmony with God's law, that we might be able to render to the needs of those who will come to us looking for answers to their problems, be they physical or spiritual. Consistency is most desirable in the life of a pastor. And when your congregation can see this quality in you, then you will find it reflected in them.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-Pastor, Times Square Center, at the time this article was written

December 1971

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Apples of Gold in Baskets of Silver

New words seem to be capturing the minds of men and women every day. Every new dictionary is bulging with words not used or understood fifty years ago, yes, even ten years ago. . .

Futility or Utility?

NEWSWEEK recently reported a study of the American clergy made by Notre Dame sociologist John Koval which estimates that one in four U.S. Roman Catholic priests is ready to forsake his vows and one out of every eight Protestant ministers is seriously thinking of resigning his pastorate. . .

No Man Has Ever Converted a Soul

NOT long ago I sat with many others listening to one of our ministers trying to inspire the audience with his message. Although he was a very good man, well liked and highly respected by young and old as a Christian, somehow he did not succeed in communicating very well. The response was meager. He tried very hard, and perhaps that was his difficulty. . .

Good Listening is Enlightening

CAREFULLY cultivating the practice of good listening—really paying attention to what is being said, no matter who is saying it—is one of the best shortcuts for a church leader who seeks to accumulate current information that is pertinent. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that persons in leadership positions often are poor listeners, largely for these reasons. . .

Phaseout or Emphasis

ISN'T the Bible work gradually being phased out?" This question was recently asked of a conference Bible instructor by a layman of the church. . .

Three Angels' Messages Personal and National

IT DOESN'T matter whether you are spraying roses, taking medicine, or exterminating termites, if the instruction on the label advises, REPEAT TREATMENT, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for the mediocre results you will get if you neglect to follow this direction. . .

The Spirit of Prophecy

WRITING on the Spirit of Prophecy and its continuing influence as God's guiding gift to the church, Elder W. A. Spicer in his excellent and enlightening book, Certainties of the Advent Movement, page 227, makes the following statement of assurance: "The gift still speaks its messages, its counsels covering even future times, and out lining experiences yet to come before the movement reaches the Land of Promise. . ."

The Undershepherds

THE pastor is the shepherd of the flock, the local elder the undershepherd. Together they have the responsibility of caring for the sheep. On the Sabbath day they help to provide proper spiritual nourishment, inspiration, and encouragement through Bible study, worship, and fellowship. The Sabbath should be a high experience for every Seventh-day Adventist Christian. . .

Hastening the Day of the Lord

"You should look forward to that day and hurry it along."

Thoughts on Colossians 2:14-17

THE objection is sometimes raised by those who do not wish to keep the seventh-day Sabbath that this passage teaches that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross and that, therefore, Sabbath-keeping is no longer binding upon Christians. . .

This is Life!

NO ONE—not even a tightrope walker, whom I would think knows all about exciting experiences—could say that life in the mission field is dull. . .

Is There a Way to Control Costs and Morals in Denominational Schools?

EDUCATORS, lend me your ears! There is no doubt that today an ever-lessening commitment to Christian education is found on the part of church leaders and church members of all denominations. Both leaders and laity have ceased to promote the principles of Christian education with the vigor exercised only a few years ago.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)