By Colleen Tinker
It has been informative to see, over the years, what subjects in Proclamation! draw the most reader responses. In general, articles dealing with the Sabbath, the state of the dead, and the health message tend to elicit the greatest numbers of readers’ letters. (Interestingly, statements denying that Satan is the scapegoat also draw angry letters from readers—a response which only confirms to us the darkness of that particular Adventist doctrine.)
Our last two weeks’ focus on the Austrian study comparing the health of meat eaters versus vegetarians has yielded some interesting letters—interesting enough that we are going to share some and recommend two more articles from different sources that we think you will enjoy.
First, here are some letters:
Adventists afraid to die
I read your magazine’s articles about vegetarianism with interest and amusement. You really have seemed to have struck a nerve suggesting that carnivores might actually be more healthy.
(1) The National Geographic Magazine, November, 2004, published an article about three long-lived groups: Sardinians, Okinawans, and Seventh-day Adventists. Of course the Adventists embraced the article with open arms, neglecting to note that the other two healthy groups eat “unclean foods” (horrors!) and indulge in smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. I can’t document it now, but about that time a national TV news program reported that the Okinawans were the longest-lived group on Earth. Furthermore, Walter Rea stated years ago that the Mormons also outlive the Adventists.
(2) I have noticed that so many Adventists are desperately afraid to die. No wonder they want to hang on to this life! If I have to face God with a perfect character, I’m going to try to stay on this Earth until I’m at least 120. As a Christian, however, I can actually look forward to the hereafter, knowing Jesus has atoned for my sins, and I can confidently know I am saved. What an incredible contrast! I really look forward to being reunited with wonderful family members and friends.
You are welcome to publish this, Colleen, as it just might help someone.
Keep up your wonderful work. I read everything in your magazine.
Meat and dairy encourage cancer cells
I am speaking at a Wellness Seminar tomorrow on the research that the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine presented, showing the health and cognitive advantages of a plant-based diet, as well as the research that shows proper nutrition positively influences the frontal lobes, and thus also mental and moral functioning. On a health level, the types of amino acids found to be prevalent in meat and dairy actually encourage the growth of cancer cells, whereas the types found in fruits and vegetables discourage the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet maintains a more alkaline environment in the body’s tissues, facilitative of reduced inflammatory processes, and useful in almost every health area.
Preserving these mortal tents
Thank you for holding to the Truth on the food issue. Even in the verse you use [Romans 14:22-23], the issue is meat sacrificed to idols, not meat in general. Use I Timothy 4 where Paul clearly calls this kind of diet focus the doctrine of demons—and sadly we see this [diet focus] sweeping through the church just as it is sweeping through our society in general. If our focus is on Christ and what He has done, why would we be claiming that we never get sick now that we’re on a certain kind of diet, and why are we thinking about “constipation”?
Years ago, a woman in my church invited me to a bread-baking demonstration which turned out to be a Gothard “grind your own wheat” demonstration. The presenter went into detail as to how white bread was “eating the king’s dainties” as forbidden in Proverbs, and how we would have no hemorrhoids if we grind our own wheat flour and so forth. She used as her evidence that third-world countries have no hemorrhoids; at that point, I said, “That’s because they don’t live long enough to develop them.”
We are NOT going to get back through those flashing swords and seraphim guarding the gate to the Tree of Life via a vegetarian diet. As Paul said, all these things have “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but are of NO value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Col. 2:23).
What a tragedy that the church which Jesus bought with the blood of the unblemished Lamb increasingly has its focus on the imaginary preservation of these mortal tents! Can you imagine Jesus or Paul counting their bowel movements and picking over their food?
The health message: from where did it come?
This subject of vegetarianism has brought Adventism’s health message into focus. Before we leave this subject, I want to remind you all of a well-researched article we ran in Proclamation! in the Spring, 2015, issue. Written by Cheryl Granger, the piece is entitled “The Seventh-day Adventist Health Message: From Where Did It Come?”
In it Cheryl leads with a brief explanation of the Adventist health message including many quotes from Ellen White about the dangers of meat, alcohol, tobacco, and stimulants including tea, coffee, spices and pepper. Then she shows the historical connections of vegetarianism and “new age” teachings, showing the similarities of Ellen White’s counsel on the subject with the writing of well-known gurus purveying eastern “enlightenment”. She says:
“It’s one thing to look at Ellen White’s writings as a unique opus and to wrestle with whether or not they are inspired when compared with Scripture. When they are viewed in the larger context of literature advocating vegetarianism, however, their true nature becomes clear; they fit neatly into a genre of work produced by New Age spiritual teachers instructing devotees to clear their minds and calm their spirits through diet.”
She then compares some of EGW’s diet advice with that of her contemporary Madame Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy. Further, Cheryl documents the close connection of vegetarianism with ancient mysticism.
I urge you to read (or re-read) this article which looks in detail at Ellen White’s influences and at the sources of her “right arm of the gospel”, the Adventist health message.
Corn Flakes, Kellogg, and Yogurt Enemas
Finally, we share with you a fun read by Luke T. Harrington who writes for the online magazine ChristAndPopCulture.com. Last Friday, May 19, his piece “How Seventh-day Adventists Convinced You to Eat Breakfast Cereal” presented a surprisingly accurate and startlingly funny account of the Adventist Kellogg brothers and their health sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the late 19th century.
Harrington reveals Kellogg’s belief that sweet and spicy foods would “enflame sexual passions” and that yogurt enemas were necessary cleanses. He further tells the story of their accidental discovery of cereal flakes and the brothers’ split over Will Kellogg’s insistence that the cereal contain sugar and John Kellogg’s stubborn belief that they should not.
“The bodies we’re feeding will eventually rot in the ground; it’s our deeds that we will be judged by on the last day,” Harrington concludes. Don’t miss this entertaining article that sheds light on this slice of the history of the Adventist health message.