I am a young person and a new Adventist. I have heard of many differ- ent health programs related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Why all the acronyms, and why do we emphasize health so much?
It’s great that young people are asking health questions. It’s often thought that we need to pay special attention to our health only as we age. For best health throughout the life cycle, we need to take care of our health starting in childhood. Having said that, it’s never too late to begin making wise health choices and living life to the fullest.
Yes, we emphasize numerous health programs, and most of them make use of instruction given to our church through its cofounder Ellen G. White. Before science had addressed the issues that are key to health, Ellen White wrote the following:
“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them.”¹ The acronyms derive from these italicized health principles.
Ellen White also emphasized the importance of consistently maintaining the health entrusted to us, reflecting tremendous insight into the challenges of behavior change and health behavior:
“The use of natural remedies [as noted above] requires an amount of care and effort that many are not willing to give. . . . Those who persevere in obedience to her laws will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind.”² She consistently emphasized wholistic well-being that includes physical, mental, spiritual, social, and emotional dimensions.
Additionally, Ellen White strongly encouraged learning about the wonders of the human body and physiology. We should gain this information from credible and scientifically sound sources. The way to test the reliability of such material is to ensure that they are biblically based, in harmony with the Spirit of Prophecy writings, and consistent with peer-reviewed, evidence-based health science.
She wrote: “Too little attention is generally given to the preservation of health. It is far better to prevent disease than to know how to treat it when contracted. It is the duty of every person . . . to inform himself in regard to the laws of life and conscientiously to obey them. All need to become acquainted with that most wonderful of all organisms, the human body. . . . They should study the influence of the mind upon the body, and of the body upon the mind, and the laws by which they are governed.”³
This is timely and needed advice— given by our heavenly Father through Ellen White—an unschooled conduit of His grace and caring. Modern science continues to confirm this amazing and practical health message. We encourage you to remember through these health program acronyms, that we are God’s CREATION (HEALTH)®, for a life filled with CELEBRATIONS®; so make a NEWSTART® , and CHIP® your way to optimal health.
Start today! Our loving heavenly Father wants us to “have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV), and He has graciously given us the tools.
¹ Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 127. (Italics supplied.)
³ Ibid., p. 128.
Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear cardiologist, is director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.
Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, a board-certified internist, is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.