A Mission of Health and Healing
". . . the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings." Malachi 4:2
Seventh-day Adventists and Health
As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we believe we have a responsibility to be all that God intends for us to be. We believe a wholesome lifestyle contributes to good physical health, which enhances a person's mental and spiritual potential.
Our church founders began to develop this whole-person health more than a century ago—when many preferred treatments were as dangerous as the diseases they were supposed to cure. They saw the need for a special health center—a place where people received the best scientific treatment of the day, and also a place where they could learn how to prevent disease through lifestyle changes such as nutrition, exercise and sanitation. The center would be a place where each person was valued as a creation of God—where caregivers helped create positive healing environment by providing extraordinary patient care.
Those early Adventists realized their dream in 1866 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Soon similar centers were established across the United States and abroad. Today Adventists operate 157 hospitals, as well as 358 clinics and dispensaries around the world—including 60 hospitals in the United States. Each is committed to providing the finest health care in the spirit of Christian compassion.
Who are Seventh-day Adventists?
The Seventh-day Adventist Church grew out of a worldwide religious revival in the mid-19th century. Many people believed Bible prophecies indicated the imminent second advent of Christ, and thus were known as "adventists." When the second coming did not occur in the mid-1800s, many of these people joined together, and under the leadership of James and Ellen White, formed what is today's Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, formally organized in 1863, is a mainstream Christian religion with approximately 14 million members in over 200 countries. The church provides an array of humanitarian services around the world. In addition to health care services, it operated the world's largest Protestant school system and an international development and relief agency.
Seventh-day Adventists share common beliefs with most other Christians, including the Trinity and salvation through Jesus Christ. We accept the whole Bible as the revelation of God, and believe the Ten Commandments express God's love, will and purposes. The following briefly describes the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.
We believe the entire Bible is the Word of God. It was written by divinely inspired men and women who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the revelation of God's will and a record of His acts in history. It is the only basis for Christian doctrine.
There is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons—immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all and ever present. God is worthy of worship, adoration and service.
God the Creator
God created all things. In six days, He made the heavens, the earth, the sea and every living thing. Everything was perfectly glorious, with beauty and exactness of every detail. God Himself said it was good. He rested on the seventh day of Creation Week, celebrating and enjoying what He had made.
The Image of God
Man and woman were the crowning work of God's creation. He made them in His own image—beautiful and perfect in every way. He talked with them face-to-face. They loved Him and they loved each other. While Adam and Eve depended on Him for life and breath, God gave them power and freedom to think and to do.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him. The image of God in them was marred. The trust relationship was broken. They could no longer communicate with Him face-to-face, and they became subject to death.
The Ten Commandments
In the Ten Commandments, God explains very clearly and simply what a loving relationship is to be with Him as our Creator and Redeemer. They also define a relationship of love we are to have for each other as human beings on earth. Written with God's own hand, the Ten Commandments reflect His character. While obedience to the commandments may be evidence of a person's love for the Lord, Seventh-day Adventists believe salvation through Jesus Christ is a gift of God's grace through faith.
God became human in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived in Nazareth, the son of a carpenter. He experienced temptations as a human being, but His perfect life exemplified the righteousness and love of God. At age 30, He began His public ministry of teaching and healing. Three and one-half years later, He was crucified and died on the cross. His body was placed in a tomb on Friday, where it lay over the Sabbath. On the first day of the week, He arose and later ascended into heaven.
We believe that the Christian church is comprised of all people who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Seventh-day Adventists are a community of believers. We join together in local congregations for worship, fellowship, instruction in the Word and celebration of the Lord's supper. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a mission of humanitarian service and proclamation of the gospel.
The Sabbath is a memorial of Creation when God stopped to celebrate and enjoy the world He had made. It is a reminder of why God is to be worshipped: He is the Creator and humankind is His creation. Seventh-day Adventists observe Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday as a celebration of Creation and redemption in Jesus Christ.
In Adventist-operated hospitals, the needs of patients continue to be met during the Sabbath hours. All essential medical care and services are provided.
Baptism is a public confession of our faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, and a declaration of our desire to live the Christian life. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, baptism is by immersion in water.
The Lord's Supper
Participation in the Lord's Supper (Communion) is an expression of faith in Jesus Christ. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, communion is open to all believing Christians.
Christian behavior arises out of gratitude for what God has done for us and our desire to honor Him. While behavior does not earn salvation, it is a natural response to the born-again experience. Among other things, we believe we have a responsibility to care for our bodies with adequate exercise, rest and a healthful diet. Many Seventh-day Adventists are vegetarians. We abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures as well as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics.
Jesus Christ will come again in glory to deliver His people and to restore all things. It will be a literal and personal return.
God is preparing a perfect world where He will dwell with His people forever. This eternal home will be a perfect environment free of pain and death. It will be a real place where people fully experience everlasting life, love and joy in fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Seventh-day Adventist hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities extend their circle of care and friendship to all without regard to religious affiliation. Doctors, employees, volunteers, board members and others who help fulfill the mission of Adventist healthcare represent diverse religions and cultures.
Those interested in learning more about Seventh-day Adventists are welcome into our fellowship. We are happy to answer questions regarding our beliefs and lifestyles.