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Getting Philosophical: Making Sense of the Health Message

Michael Orlich




  • September 5, 2010
    3:00 PM
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I have updated afternoon everyone I knew it wasn't in the top including with the relationship seminar the conference and icon of Ames some of my talk especially the second one at youth because that's the audience on by the eye think it applies all of us my name my name is Mike Warlick for those of you who haven't met me before I'm a physician and I currently work at Loma Linda University trained in family medicine and preventive medicine and I am also training in epidemiology which is the study of disease patterns why different groups of people get diseases so this afternoon will be continuing with the health topic and in my two seminars I wanted to try to give a big picture in both the philosophical way for a theological way and in a practical way so that if you didn't hear anything else about home that this would get a lot of bases so give a little introduction that will go into the first talk I did some training under Doctor Pippa meant if any of you are familiar with him he is about forty five minute introductions and then he says before we begin let us pray my introduction will be about one but as you know Seventh-day Adventists have a special help message now if you think about it most Christians and in fact most people in general care about how you think of things like if you don't have your health you don't have anything and so it's important to a lot of people so what's so unique about the Adventist consideration of health I think that to the extent that we believe that the message or the doctrine or teaching of health is an integral part of the whole gospel message is what makes the Adventist view of how different and so I want to explore with you try to explore the Adventist doctrine of hell from a biblical perspective and from a thoughtful perspective and asked some of the difficult questions and try to get a sense of how it all fits together we talk about the importance of health and then we talk about other things but how does it all fit together now when we talk about the health message were often referring to the revelations given talent why the special message of health given to the end time church but this message pointed back to biblical truths that had not been given attention for a long time and the Bible is to provide the basis of the whole message so will be looking mostly from a biblical perspective so I think that if you have a doctor and you should expect at least two things from probably more but number one it should make sense when you look at the Bible evidence it should be compelling and it should fit together but the whole picture of God in this character and elevation secondly especially when you're talking about the topic as practical was how you wanted to work you wanted to actually make a difference in your life and not just be theoretical so that the two approaches that I want us to take this afternoon so the title of my first presentation is getting philosophical making sense of the help message and his philosophical scarcity on this using that probably just thinking about it and the second will be getting practical making the whole message work so the first one we count one look at the overall biblical picture and say what really is the role of the help message and what are some important things to understand to make it make sense and then the second one of the con of a high yield health tips for young people what can I focus on the really make a difference in my life his first health codes will become of the cliff notes version of help practically so that's the end of the introduction before we go on father in heaven we thank you that you are a creator God that you are the source of all life hands source of health and strength we pray that as we think about how a little bit today and what your word has to say and how it all fits together but your spirit will be here and guide us and help us to come to some good conclusions help us to be something that maybe will understand a little better today or in a way that's helpful to us and made in a way that we can share with others as well as they have questions and I pray especially that so you'd be with me as I present me to be clear and also we would reach person and maybe find something useful in this presentation and I pray these things in Christ name and okay on just the one more technical announcement the first part of the seminar is not to be PowerPoint based funds could be talking the second part well so for now all just leave up the pictures are they still going I turned it off after we got to see a few of them those are from a patient of mine when I was a physician up that we mark and since she took up photography as a hobby in her fifties took some evening classes and so it's just amazing never think that you're too old to learn our tool to get into something there there's so much of life left to explore all right perhaps you run across some challenging questions when it comes to health in the file maybe some of your Christian friends were not seven thousand minutes of asking some questions brought up some objections I know that's happened with me for example why wasn't Jews is a vegetarian if we are saved by grace what difference does healthy living really make internal Jesus said it's not what enters a man's mouth that the files them but what comes out of his mouth but you're always focused on what's going in your mouth why spend so much energy and effort focusing on temporal help when we should be focusing on the Gospel and eternal life doesn't the Bible say that bodily exercise profit level how do we respond to such questions many times sincere questions or objections does the help message really make sense is a biblical how important is it and how does it relate to the gospel to the plan of salvation to the big picture so let's look at biblical philosophy of health here's a question for you what do you think is the most important verse in the Bible when it comes to health is not totally rhetorical so if you think of one that you do you think maybe the most important for John to a kid on Phillips looked that up should have been in here beloved I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health as it goes well with your slow of the good one anybody else in the other candidates I've thought of a few possibilities that might be suggested how about first drink in six nineteen restraint in six nineteen or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God is a good one is not here's another possibility first Thessalonians five or spouse longings five twenty three actually Donna thought of sort of a billboard in a construction area of Lemieux in the hospital the other day now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ not a good one and here's another good one Romans twelve verse one I appeal to you therefore brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship so some really good versus but when I think about it I have another verse that I think is perhaps the most important when it comes to a Bible philosophy of how and I think you may be surprised by this verse but it will be very very familiar to you and its genesis to follow Genesis two and verse seven then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground and reached into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature or the King James a living soul I think this is really one of the most important versus when it when we try to understand how the Bible know what's so important about this verse I think there are two major competing theories that apply to help about the nature of man and one is a tool is holistic theory and the other on how a holistic theory have you heard of dualism how many people are familiar with that concept a good number we usually talk about it when were talking about the state of the dad and we refer to ideas about dualism who hasn't idea what his dualism anybody asked about it David is fundamentally different and separate the body and muscle are different and Platonic philosophy of proposed dualism and if you think of some of Plato 's concepts and Greek thought they were always worried about the perfect world behind the world you know you seen of you drawn a lot of circles in your life but you'd never drawn a perfect circle but somewhere out there is it is a true perfect circle and that inhabits one realm and all the imperfect circles are just expressions in our world and our physical world of that true perfect circle enough this concept of Platonic dualism and this got incorporated into mainstream Christian theology when it comes to the nature of man so that we have a body and then we had a physical body and then we have a nonphysical soul that is immortal and fundamentally different from the ball and in the dichotomy of physical body and nonphysical soul which one gets all the importance the sole right of whom were about saving souls holism on the other hand 's views this as one entity body mind spirit soul all unified sure they have different functions their different attributes we can think of them as different concepts but man is a whole being an integrated whole being and this verse that we just right is the fundamental basis for that belief that when God created man he took the elements of the earth and he took the vital energies that he provided and he created a living being body with understanding with ability to communicate with and relate to and spiritually to be creative to have individuality this was the human soul and the body was an essential part of the so these two ideas are quite distinct and may have implications so dualism for example says the real man real man is a nonphysical entity the barista sort of not very important a real man is the sole of holism says that the real man is a physical entity now we've already mentioned that this belief is very important for how you view the nature of man and the nature of that what does it mean in two but it has implications beyond that too for example you think of the current controversies in creation and evolution you know maybe you're struggling with some of the scientific evidence and you want to believe in the Bible and Erin at the nest engineers nine but I think evolution happen most most of us have a hard time having those two things be compatible and Adventists like mixing one one oh one one but you know the Catholic Church navigated not the water quite easily on because they can just say while all that evolution happened before there was the sole and then God implants it's swollen man at a certain point in evolution and absolute were concerned about the fossil not all of the body stops there a lot of implications of this concept of dualism is that the body is like a house and holism says that the body is the whole man dualism says that faith and spirituality operate in a nonphysical realm whereas holism says that faith and spirituality are out euros of the functioning of the physical organism dualism says that the physical body doesn't really matter mostly or sometimes but the physical body could be the enemy whereas holism says that the physical body affects the spiritual man because it's all part and parcel and so the physical body is important and valuable and needs to be taking care of dualism says that our approach to the body should be either indifference or subjugation or denial and a lot of ascetic practices if you think of monastic traditions asceticism parties strict and severe practices think of a flagellation owns or that type of thing where you're really wanting to how to get the body out of the way so that you can have the pure communion of the soul holism among others handset that our approach to the body should be optimal care and cultivation so the conclusion none for dualism for hell is that physical all this is irrelevant the salvation and probably irrelevant in the end eternal picture whereas Socialism says that physical health is important unselfish so that is a take-home point that I'd like you to think up today on the concept of Genesis through verse seven not only being foundational for our understanding of the state of the dad state of man in life and death but also for our view of health and once you get the picture in your convinced that the biblical approaches is a holistic approach not a dualistic approach that will affect how you see everything else about and your overall philosophy of health as a Christian or your theology of health does affect how you live and the results you can compare different religions and how to see how their philosophy affects their outcomes so the most unhealthy religion in the United States is the Southern Baptists and there may be some confounders there are some of you know about that concept because the South is gone the most unhealthy region on the race may be some racial and ethnic confounders thereto but it's interesting to note that they take a pretty diehard stance of the dualistic approach to the body and soul okay let's turn now to what role does help playing the Gospels will take a step back and ask what we mean by help health the root word is the same root word for so long moment as motto is to make manhole and that's it for in him because that's what hope is all about so how then is really a spate of coolness the state of completeness the state of perfect harmonious functions of the body and a freedom from disease disease being something some condition that would disrupt this wholeness disrupt this harmonious condition not to think of it in the history of the universe when did we as humans have perfect health in the garden of the right that's pretty obvious and when did we cease to have perfect health after soon a full and will we ever have perfect health again and when can we hope to have perfect health again at the resurrection and have been in the newer now does that sound similar to something but see everything was good for the fall in the Garden of Eden and the fall messed things up and everything will get restored on in heaven and in the universe I'm in a pretty much the plan of salvation is not on our spiritual connection with God was good he created us and then we fell through send and that was disrupted and she's put a plan of salvation and place to be able to restore us once again to that perfect communion with him that's the gospel and so the reality of how closely parallels the reality of our spiritual condition as humans so you would think not how when the gospel should be related makes sense to me learn about you so how is health related to the gospel well it is recited closely parallels or meters the spiritual condition of being lost or being say and it is ultimately a reflection of spiritual realities and people recognize this for a long time that's why the disciples asked Jesus about the man that was born blind and they said is it his center is it his parents sent they were asking the wrong question but they were on the right track to be connecting sin with poor health but they were thinking of it in the big picture ultimate sense if you think about it disease and death of course which is the product of disease doctors ultimate opposite of good health right and diseases the strongest reminder and inescapable reminder in our world of our fallen state and us are need in our sinful condition if about it for second if we had perfectly good health in this world how would our attitude be towards seven seat you can't really think about this it's impossible yet it it's actually a disservice to us you know when God gave the hearses in Genesis three those were terrible things to happen to humanity but there was a blessing within those curses as well because you know that childbearing pain and that pain in the gardening and all the disease and all of that another reality check and it tells us that all is not well spiritual realm so clearly the health closely parallels the gospel will talk a little bit more about salvation issues the next thing I want to turn to is Jesus and how I remember a lady who had Adventist coworkers and she was born again evangelical Christian and she like to say you at the must-have vegetarianism and I have Jesus probably not a very good attitude but the and hopefully it shouldn't be that way but what about Jesus and how do the Gospels spend much time describing Jesus diet and health habits admittedly I would say no not much but what does Jesus have to teach us about health done I would propose that he teaches us a great deal about how and she teaches largely through his actions rather than his words think about it through the incarnation he teaches us that God the God of the universe can inhabit human body can become one with a human body and that term incarnation anybody speak Spanish I would present needs coronary but their incarnation at the end of flushing is what that means God entering into flash entering into a human modern so that all of us on the body really can play a part in the spiritual realm through Jesus ministry he teaches us that sin and disease are inextricably linked and forgiveness and healing go hand-in-hand there like a left-hand and right-hand seat think of his ministry of healing supernatural healing and his forgiveness and when he says which is easier to say your sins be forgiven you are to say arise get up and walk the healing ministry and that forgiving ministry are two sides of the hole is about ultimate healing and he teaches us that human health is a high priority for God Jesus didn't have to go around killing people if I was so worthless and so on important when compared to spiritual realities in the greater spiritual world and why did Jesus go around feeling things that would eventually just die anyway our health is very important to God then through his sacrifice on the cross Jesus demonstrated that in offering oneself to God it includes offering one's body Jesus offered himself by offering his help by offering his body member Romans twelve one that we talked about earlier I beseech you therefore brothers brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice gives new meaning then when you think about it that way Jesus presented his audience so and then in his resurrection he teaches us that eternal life or eternal salvation ultimate salvation as we can say that were saved by grace now but were really ultimately say it in in the New World and glorification fully completely durable complete so he teaches us that that salvation is not eternal life is synonymous with the restoration of the body because Jesus was resurrected bodily I haven't done she still bears the scars back so they're kind of deep thoughts maybe a little bit abstract but I think if you think about it closely we can agree that Jesus teaches us a lot about the reality of health and body and how it fits that the physical body and must physical health is very important to God that sin and how our sin and disease are closely linked that physical health and healing are tied up with spiritual help and forgiveness and that the body is not truly temporal temporal meaning temporary on but it's meant to be eternal we were created with bodies that were supposed to be eternal and when in that moment in the twinkling of an eye were given new bodies but is just like on the Earth is going to the new verse right but it's not like him the young everything is made perfect again you know it's like God 's creation restored and I think it's similar with our bodies doesn't mean that he just goes off in another part of the galaxy and creates another new version drops assault where he remakes this like it's new same thing with our bodies our bodies are supposed to be eternal and we shouldn't just think of numbness temporary package okay so little deep on but you know speaking more practically if administer right about how health is so important like you're saying and Jesus is an example of how in his incarnation crucifixion the and and you guys have your understanding right why did Jesus eat meat and drink wine for example Matthew eleven eighteen to nineteen for John came neither eating nor drinking and they said you have to double the Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say behold a man gluttonous and align better friend of publicans and sinners but wisdom is justified of her children the wine question is little difficult and I'm not actually going to try to answer it here sorry about the long I don't believe that Jesus used or made alcoholic wine and if you believe in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White she states that clearly if you want to study this from a biblical perspective it's a little more intense I know Samuel Bakke Okie wrote a book about this a few years ago I haven't read it I read the D reviews on the cover but I've never bought it and read it yet but if you're interested in studying a topic it's a good place to start I think it's but clearly on even if Jesus sitting didn't drink alcoholic wine leave that aside and it was just pure grape juice he certainly to me Brian I may not open we can dispute that if the Passover meal in the focus about with the land and that is cooking the fish for the disciples have every reason to believe that he ate me so why didn't Jesus be the best diet the original Eden diet since we have just established that the place great value on human health anybody know if anybody knows for sure let me know short honest answer is we don't know or at least I don't know for certain but here are some thoughts about the my suspicion is that a vegan diet certainly or even a vegetarian diet for Jesus would've been less helpful at that time of probably for handling for most people due to nutritional inadequacy of the diet is certainly that would be true of the vegan diet as the we have no reason to believe that he would've been able to get the twelve we know about that now that we've only known about that within the last hundred years and I think that relates to some of the own white statements about milk and eggs and saying you know don't leave these off too soon don't have an impoverished diet but if you think about it work on a spoiled and were used to having all this immense variety we can get also to grains and types of knots and beans and all sorts of vegetables from all over but last summer I was in Chad in Africa and maybe much of the same thing every day you know for the two meals a day like a rice meal morning and then the sort of militant bowls and some kind of do stuff with it immediately not very appetizing I can assure you so on the plane ride back as I stopped through Paris it was just wonderful all of the food but I think Jesus on little little better there in Palestine and not dead but they still have a fairly limited diet and you know they had access to some fruits and vegetables but probably not like were familiar so that's my suspicion is that God waited to a time in human history on before the end of time to shine the light again on the Eden diet the original but there's no question that the plan diet was the diet in the garden of the hands that was the diet that God designed for man and I think were right to say that that's the best thing ideal diet for men that's my thoughts about why Jesus probably was not a vegetarian well shouldn't we as Christians be followers of Christ in the following Jesus example and since his example is eating meat shouldn't we follow his example and evening well on I would say we should follow Jesus example in principle but that doesn't mean that we have to wallow in every particularity on for example on Stephanie living in Minnesota and the winner she probably doesn't have to to walk around wearing the same Jesus and his disciples for and in the same way I don't think we necessarily need to eat fish because Jesus did I think this was eating the best diet for that time and place and we should try to do likewise now what about this teaching that I brought up earlier when Jesus says in Matthew fifteen in verse eleven not that which go up into the mouth the file at the man but that which cometh out of the mouth is the file of me and then people say what you're always focused on what's going into the mouth and than another's other verses you know like Colossians two sixteen let no man judge you in and drink etc. but focusing on this Matthew fifteen if you look at the contacts and I encourage you to look at that chapter Jesus is not talking about how this discussion is talking with the Pharisees and he is not saying that what we eat does not affect our health he's neither is he saying that our health is an important on what he is saying is that outwardly shows like handwashing which was the issue they were accusing his disciples of not doing proper ritual handwashing for cleanliness but that is not true morality that true morality is a matter of the heart and this is a theme throughout the Bible if you look for example at Isaiah chapter one or Micah chapter six and God Old Testament is saying it's not just the New Testament God is saying your new moons and sadness are an abomination to me all those sacrifices base think of anyone I see that but he's the one that set up the status on the sacrifices right and it's because they they didn't have Wayne Hara they were just doing this outward religion but they were all wrong inside an authority says let us reason together put away your evil dirt geeks learned to do right though your sins be as far left they shall be as white as snow and ice sale one the story says in Micah six eight he is shown the amount what is good and what does the Lord desirability but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God so that the whole context of Matthew chapter fifteen is God saying it's not about outward show and it's not about outward practices is about the heart of what this is really all about and so when adherence to any ritual system of purity on be that sacrifices in the Old Testament or ceremonial handwashing or for that matter if veganism or something like that becomes a system of ritual purity to you anytime that becomes that way it's false religion and what God wants is a changed heart and a desire to follow him all of our ways and that is true religion now this brings up the question of how the living sin salvation just wrapping up here so it seems from what we talked about so far that we can say that health is very important and it's closely tied to the gospel and salvation right then it brings up the question is an act that is on the hopeful tends to go against your physical health for example eating meat eating chocolate or ice cream staying up late studying not leaving for three days while helping earthquake victims in Haiti staying up all night praying prolonged fasting having a richer big dinner a holiday or celebration these are all examples of things that could be injurious to health church followed all of these are they send on not trying to equate all those you know that could be quite different from one another but are they sense is doing things that is bad for your health is not a sin after a lot of talk about that for some settings I would say no not in general is not a sin I think we need to draw up a clear distinction here and say that sending is moral wrongdoing and acts that are quote on how we should not be acquainted with moral of not painted of them equated with the moral wrongdoing by Jesus did a couple of things in that list for example like staying up all night or prolonged fasting forty days of fasting weakens the body people on both certainly he did not send nothing that he did was even remotely close to send so we know that those are not sent sin is the transgression of the moral law in first John three four however we need to put a caveat to that disobeying God going against the leading of God or failing to do what we know to be right or also said and so in some cases if you damn that doing something that is unhealthy on is against what God is leading you to do it could be sent for you on any time we do something you know going to going to Tarshish is not sin but for Joe not probably was his God was telling into something else so I think we need to be very careful and and not to find being on how the war on doing things that are not healthy as soon but we should also be sensitive to wanting to follow God and his leading in our lives and realized that even in the whole sphere going against God 's leading could be sin for us now will living hopefully help us to be saved or will living unhelpfully causeless to be lost to get at this I like to read Ephesians two one to ten well with the time I won't read the whole thing but I encourage you to Ephesians two one two ten but already the last three verses eight to ten this is for by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift that God not of works lest any man should boast for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them so how are we saved by grace through faith and it is not something that we do ourselves it is the gift of God we have to keep repeating that on I know that but we we know it hopefully but we have to keep repeating that and never forget it and never let anything else confused no good work can do anything to save us but that first said the we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works and so that to the extent that living healthily is a good work the same power that saves us by his grace also creates us anew in Christ Jesus to walk for the purpose of walking in good works and so that's how it can fit now let a couple other thoughts on this point it's not really as easy as it seems so think about these points the number one bad choices and the consequences of those choices can lead us away from the grace of God undermine our faith and cause us to be lost in spite of backtrace on enough what Paul says in first print begins nine twenty seven I feed my body keep under my body and bring it into subjection lest that by any means when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway and in first Corinthians sought ten one through twelve tick a look at that it's talking about the Israelites and this is where it says all these things were written as examples the office on and on whom the ends of the world are common it talks about how they lost their way they lost the grace of God I have saved them out of Egypt have delivered them land mighty hand through no work of their own today contributed parting the Red Sea to know slaying the firstborn of the jobs and bring all the planks on you Jonathan drowning Pharaoh 's army none of it they had nothing to do with any of it I just followed dog but all these temptations came their way ten including temptations of the flesh and the appetites and they were lost they didn't even make it into the promised land so that needs to be an example for awesome in verse twelve says wherefore let him not think if you stand up take heed lest he fall so I stand in the grace of God but on but take heed lest I fall my grace be wasted number two when Jesus was asked what to do to be saved he never gave a formula he never said confess my name believe in your heart and you will be safe I comes elsewhere in the Bible but he said weird things like sell all of your goods to the poor was going and selling your goods to the poor save you know it doesn't save you but why did he say that when when the guy was asking how to be saved because he was doing heart diagnosis and he knew that it's for him sudden following Jesus submitting to Jesus not a choice and he just went right to the core and so for us some of these health issues can be that type hard issue to so the choice of faith comes in many different sets of quote could look like help but is still just grace that saves us on the Internet holism we talked about that at the beginning so on if you don't think that the physical body has anything to do with our understanding and accepting the gospel then go up to the ICU to somebody about sepsis and try to give them a Bible study or you know go over to the psych ward and try to give somebody a Bible study there are some of the excerpts cerebral palsy and it's not working out thing God that he is a perfect Josh and that she figures out how to save people in spite of these inabilities but clearly our health affects our ability to understand the gospel and then appetite is one of the central things that has to do with how a lot of our health habits have to do with appetite food being one of the biggest and appetite was that's how you fell and out of items related to food that was the only temptation there was pride and all those other things to him and I was one of Jesus big temptations in the wilderness was appetite or food as well and so and then in first John two sixteen it says for all that is in the world the lust of the flesh and the lust of allies and the pride of life is not of the father but as of the world these are the great temptations in the lust of the flesh are our appetites that has so much to do with health is one of the greatest temptations so in conclusion I know this is been a little bit theoretical and a little bit on the deep side not too exciting but some I do hope that this has given you a little better sense of the whole message and the foundation of our biblical understanding of health and that is rooted in unified nature of man the holistic nature of man that God created us as a whole being and that whatever we do to affect one part has consequences the effects are whole being we need to take care of our whole being and how we interact with God in our physical body I hope we've also seen that even though Jesus doesn't do a lot of health lecturers he really is our best example if we think about his incarnation his ministry his death on the cross and his resurrection that comes packed with a real understanding of health and physicality and the gospel and I hope that we can see that while we are saved only by grace that we really ignore health to our peril and those I hope this been helpful to you a little bit in getting this big picture asking some of the tough questions about our understanding of how the Bible and I hope some of that can be helpful to you and sharing with others as well on Sunday truer dinner shift gears are completely will go to the PowerPoint and we'll talk about actual practical things that we can do to be healthy so let's have a concluding prayer father in heaven I pray that you would give us each a better understanding of your word in general and this topic of health and how it's fits in the big picture of your creation of Boston's our salvation we thank you that the we are whole people and we pray that some we will learn to to treat our bodies well and respect them and offer them to you as living sacrifices and use them for your glory in Jesus name amen


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