Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ATTENTION: Fellow Adventists

When Christ gave the disciples their commission, here is what was actually said,

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15,16)

Please note that at no time was said the following:

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the health message to every creature. He that embraceth vegetarianism shall be saved; but he that continueth as a carnivore shall be damned."

I was raised to believe that idolatry is not just about statues, but can include things like money, jobs, etc. And I think that your body and your diet can become just as much of an idol as anything else.

That's not to say I believe in neglecting your health. Do I think vegetarianism is admirable and probably healthier? Yes. Am I a vegetarian? No.

When I was a kid, there was a lot of peer pressure (if you want to call it that) in the church to be vegetarian. It's changed since then, and now vegetarianism is pretty much a given, and the pressure is on to be vegan.

I know some Adventists who have left their local church because the supposed health message has taken center stage, instead of the gospel. When I hear of a message being preached from the pulpit on the evils of cheese, I'll be honest, it makes me laugh because it's ridiculous, but deeper than that it makes me very, very sad.

Our health message, while an important aside, has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone's salvation. And our health message does not demand veganism, and even the vegetarianism is optional. Originally the message was to distinguish between clean and unclean meats and not drink, smoke, or otherwise do drugs. Remember?

So stop with the peer pressure. It can get a little weird (sometimes even a lot weird). Some of our churches, on the local level, are losing their focus and being led astray. And when our church is led away from the gospel, there are many souls who will never hear the message, and who will be lost.

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