Over at the Adventist News Network there is an article that has implications for the connection between the health message and Adventist practice.
Churchgoers More Likely to Be Obese
According to Purdue University News they found that church goers are more likely to be obese. While the study had a sample of all church members and not just Adventist ones, no one has studied Adventist obesity specifically. Interestingly a typical Sabbath was described as sitting in a church most of the Sabbath and eating a dinner that may or may not be low on calories.
The article speaks of a trend towards obesity in the Adventist church. Jonathan Duffy, health ministries director in the South pacific, states that:
Health has long been a litmus test for our religiosity. You were a good Adventist because you didn’t do this, now you are a mature Adventist because you are no longer tied to the old ‘works’ thing and you show it by doing what you didn’t used to do. For example, Adventists didn’t eat meat or drink alcohol. So how do we emphasize the theology of health, the relationship between my health and my spiritual well being? We have stopped talking about it and the church has stopped doing it and who is left to talk about it?
What about Exercize?
One aspect that should be brought out is that among some Adventists the health message consists of simply not eating pork or not eating meat depending on who you are. I personally know of people who will talk for days about what to eat and yet they are not exercizing one bit. It would seem that at best we have a truncated health message that looks past really poor health practices while congradulating itself on its lack of meat or lack of pork in the diet.
Is It Dead?
What think ye…Is the health message dead? Have we tied it to an old works based religion that we either hold to tightly or diregard as irrelevant? These are questions that we should begin to ask as our waistlines continue to get bigger and bigger.