Is the Adventist Health Message Changing?

A banner welcomes participants to the 3rd Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle in Loma Linda, California, United States, on July 9, 2019. More than 800 church leaders and health practitioners from 90 countries registered for the conference. [Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

The 3rd Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle is bringing new focus to historical church positions.

More than 800 church leaders, health practitioners, and healthy-lifestyle advocates from 90 countries made their way to dry, hot, and lately shaking Southern California to attend the 3rd Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle, themed “Your Brain, Your Body,” in Loma Linda, California, United States. 

The July 9-13, 2019 event, organized by the Adventist Health Ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, will bring a renewed focus and emphasis to the historical position of the church on health matters, its director Peter Landless believes.

“We want to emphasize the importance of the mind, body, spirit, social, and emotional connection,” Landless said during a coordinators meeting a day before the official opening on July 9. “And we also want to show how lifestyle influences all of those.”

The Health Message Recharged

Church health leaders believe that the Seventh-day Adventist health message has not changed since the breakthrough revelations of Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White in the mid-19th century.

“From Battle Creek days [establishment of the first Adventist Church sanitarium] to the present, the world has craved the answers to questions that we are uniquely positioned to answer,” wrote Loma Linda University Health president Richard Hart in welcoming participants to the school premises. “What we’ll learn here this week will be a great source of hope for people everywhere.”

At the same time, church health leaders explained, the event’s goal is to double down on focusing on areas that might have been, to some extent, neglected in past decades. 

Take mental health, for instance.

“Mental health is hugely important, and needs to be de-stigmatized,” Landless said when describing some of the focal points of the event. He singled out depression, noting that even though it is the leading cause of disability in the world today, insufficient emphasis has been placed on wholistic well-being, even among Adventists. 


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