We believe in a "ministry of healing" by which we can be restored to wholeness. Our concept of "whole" involves "the whole person": spiritual, physical, mentaland social — as we do not exist in isolation. We emphasize the prevention of diseases through simple lifestyle patterns that permit God’s restorative powers to work more effectively on our behalf, while in no way minimizing the effectiveness of proven therapy where disease has already occurred. We also believe firmly in the same Power that healed the paralytic in Luke 5:
"The paralytic found in Christ healing for both the soul and the body. He needed health of soul before he could appreciate health of body. Before the physical malady could be healed, Christ must bring relief to the mind, and cleanse the soul from sin. This lesson should not be overlooked. . . The peace which He alone can impart would restore vigor to the mind and health to the body." Ministry of Healing 77
The four foundational principles which guide the Health Ministry Department philosophy and work are summed up as follows:
Inspiration: We believe the Word of God is the very best guide to making careful and wise choices in every area of life, including those things that impact our health. We are also grateful for the amplification these Biblical principles in the writings of Ellen G. White.
Evidence: We operate under the conviction that God is the author of all true science. Therefore, we respect evidence which stands up to the rigors of careful examination and analysis according to accepted scientific principles. We believe this is vital in a world filled with misinformation and falsehood.
Balance: Even good things can be taken to excess. Therefore, we are deeply committed to balance--physical, mental, social and spiritual--in every aspect of life to support health, happiness and healing.
Relationships: Social support is essential to human existence and health. Positive relationships with family, friends, community and God play a significant role in personal health, productivity, and our ability to help others. It supports and aids healing as well.
Our desire is this website will be most helpful to you in reaching all that God desires you to be.
Seventh-day Adventists and Nutrition
The Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages a balanced vegetarian diet. “The diet God ordained in the Garden of Eden--the vegetarian diet--is the ideal, but sometimes we cannot have the ideal. In those circumstances, in any given situation or locale, those who wish to stay in optimum health will eat the best food that they can obtain.” — Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 286.
There are different types of vegetarian diets including total (animal free), ovo-lacto (the most widely followed in the SDA church), and pesco (vegetarian with a little fish added). For those who live where there is an abundance of fortified food products, a healthy totally vegetarian diet may be the ideal with the following considerations:
- Choose ample whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds and berries.
- Avoid replacing animal foods with refined, sweet, fatty commercial products—even if these are from plant sources.
- Take a supplement of vitamin B12 regularly (remember, deficiency symptoms may take 4-6 years to appear).
- Obtain adequate sunlight, and emphasize high-calcium vegetables, and/or supplement your diet with calcium and Vitamin D.
- Consider the use of ground flax and or chia seeds or supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially during reproductive years.
- Assure adequate dietary zinc, especially for young and adolescent boys.
Please remember: one diet does not necessarily fit all. The Seventh-day Adventist church promotes the avoidance of flesh foods wherever possible. The best diet will vary depending on many factors including geographic location, economics, specific health/medical conditions, knowledge, and food availability. We are a global church, and as such leave the decisions of the specific diet to the choice of each member.
Let us heed the words of Paul: “…those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do…let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat…” (Romans 14:1-3).
The General Conference Nutrition Council is a global committee of nutrition professionals who are available to respond to the nutrition questions you or your constituents may have. We are currently updating our Fact Sheets and soon will have many topics available on the healthministries.com website.