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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


Health Counsel, Wigs, and the Reform Dress

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#120 & #121: "But her belief was that these sexual appetites could be controlled by diet. First she gave a list of foods to avoid. 'Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly seasoned meats, with gravies... create a feverish condition in the system and inflame the animal passions... dispense with animal foods, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits as articles of diet.' A Solemn Appeal pp. 65-66."—Dan Snyder.

#120: She said animal foods inflame the animal passions. This quotation is out of context. The impression is left that this quote says all animal foods inflame the animal passions. In reality, what it says is that highly seasoned meats, not all meats, inflame the passions.

The first ellipsis shouldn't be there. The second ellipsis represents an omission of eight and a half sentences. Here's the last part that was left out:

In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of diet.

Thus while highly seasoned meats inflame the passions, a vegetarian diet would help to strengthen the moral perceptions.

What about the part about preserves and cakes? Mrs. White a number of times elsewhere referred to "rich cakes and preserves" not being best for us (e.g. Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, p. 130). Likewise, what she is talking about here is the connection between the "animal passions" and rich and highly seasoned foods. Today, many people who are not Adventists believe that avoiding rich foods is an important health practice. Your physician just may be one of them!

#121: Mrs. White felt that rich foods and highly seasoned foods act as aphrodisiacs. The problem with either verifying or disproving the accuracy of her counsel in this area is, "Despite long-standing literary and popular interest in internal aphrodisiacs, almost no scientific studies of them have been made."—"aphrodisiac," Britannica® CD. So she was making a pronouncement on a subject that medical science still has not researched.

As already noted under #118, this is not the only time she made such statements. Consider also this one from her 1905 book Ministry of Healing:

Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.—p. 313, italics added.

This is really remarkable, considering the following:

Rous, pronounced rows, Francis Peyton, pronounced PAY tuhn (1879-1970), an American medical researcher, proved that viruses cause some types of cancer. In 1910, Rous ground up a cancerous tumor from a chicken and filtered out everything larger than a virus. The resulting liquid produced cancer when injected into other chickens. For many years, scientists scoffed at Rous's discovery. These scientists believed cancer could not be caused by a virus because the disease is not contagious. In 1966, Rous shared the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his work.—"Rous, Francis Peyton," World Book Encyclopedia.

In 1910 a maverick scientist proposed that cancer was caused by a virus and could be transmitted from chicken to chicken. He was subsequently derided by the scientific community for proposing such a ludicrous idea, and then waited fifty-six years before [p. 85] getting his Nobel Prize. Do you suppose that perhaps Mr. Rous "plagiarized" his novel idea from Ministry of Healing? Should Mrs. White be awarded a Nobel Prize posthumously?

Want to win a Nobel Prize?

  1. Find a concept in her writings that sounds absurd.
  2. Make sure it's something that can benefit humanity.
  3. Find a way to prove it.
  4. Get ridiculed for proposing such a ludicrous idea.
  5. Wait awhile.
  6. Collect your prize.

It's that simple.

To be fair, it would have been nice if the video had included one of a number of stories in which Mrs. White's health counsel predated the findings of science. As Leslie Martin says on the video, "We were taught as Adventists that we had a special message for the world with our health message, and that our prophetess Ellen White was years ahead of her time." Though she may not want to admit it now, what Mrs. Martin was taught is true.

A Response to the Video

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