The principal purpose of the Adventist Health Ministries is to bring physical and spiritual healing to the people of the Western Ethiopia Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventist territory. The basis for the health message is the Word of God, “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalms 107:20).
Health is the right hand of the three angels’ messages. The servant of the Lord has compared the medical missionary work to the right arm of the message. Ellen G. White states, “Beware how you place yourself in opposition to the work of health reform. It will go forward; for it is the Lord’s means of lessening the suffering in our world and purifying His people” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 38).
The purpose of Adventist Health Ministries can thus be summarized as follows:
1. The education of every church member so that he/she can develop a lifestyle that adheres to the principles of health and temperance and make use of the natural remedies that God has provided for our well-being. Every pastor should be a health educator (MH, p. 143) and every church should be a better living center in which the riches of our health message are taught (MH, p. 144). Every church member should understand our health message, making it a part of his/her lifestyle and thus becoming a witness to its healing power (MH, p. 147, 149).
2. The lessening of suffering in the world. This is accomplished by our medical institutions, hospitals, clinics and schools’ dispensaries placed in strategic locations throughout the Union. Each of these institutions should also be centers of evangelism and health education.
3. The training and encouragement of health professionals to bring information and help to every community. “Relieve the sick and afflicted, to awaken a spirit of inquiry, to disseminate light and to advance reform” (Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 104).
4. To liaise and cooperate with the education department in health teaching institutions to enhance education in health and healing.
1. The Seventh-day Adventist Church proclaims the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believers. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, whatever we think, do, eat, or drink should bring honor to His name. Our total being, physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional component should glorify God.
2. The Seventh-day Adventist Church promotes a philosophy of holistic health and healing. The Church, through various organizations, operates health care institutions around the world. Additionally, a health promoting way of life is taught to the church membership and their communities. Teachings based on broad principles found in the sacred Scriptures, and more explicitly expressed in the counsels given by Ellen G. White, continue to be augmented by the findings of scientific research. These teachings provide the basis of the lifestyle promoted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
3. The Church advocates that positive steps be taken to develop a healthful lifestyle and encourages a balanced vegetarian diet. It requires of its members the nonuse of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. It also requires the nonuse of other drugs, except in a recognized evidence-based therapeutic context. The Church encourages the avoidance of flesh foods. The use of coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages and all harmful substances are discouraged. Physical well-being and clarity of mind are usually interdependent; clarity of mind is essential for discernment between right and wrong, between truth and error.
4. Out of its deep concern for human need, the Church has developed worldwide health care to alleviate sickness and suffering. The objective of our mission is not only physical healing, but also the promotion of physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellness of the whole person.
5. The Health Ministries Department, by upholding the healthful Adventist lifestyle, introduces others to the fullness of the gospel message. This gospel encompasses the physical, mental, social, and spiritual nature of man.
6. Conflict of interest is involved whenever there accrues, to an individual, profits from programs or activity within the church. Church members and church databases deserve protection from activities that may result in personal gain.
7. God’s grace enables Christians to bring their lives into harmony with His physical, mental, social, and spiritual laws. This enhances their state of moral discernment and the quality of their lives.