Celebrating Adventist Church Members’ Commitment to Health

Blog May 22, 2024

As Seventh-day Adventists, we are called to honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and to uphold principles of health and wellness. The 2023 Global Church Members’ Survey provides valuable insights into how our community embraces the health message in belief and action. The data paint a compelling picture of Adventist church members’ dedication to healthful living around the globe.

The health message remains one of the core doctrines of the Adventist faith. When asked to respond to the statement, “Adventists should abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of other drugs,” the overwhelming majority (78.9%) replied that they wholeheartedly embraced this principle. This commitment is reflected in their actions, with 89.6% abstaining from alcohol, 95.7% from tobacco, and 96.2% from marijuana use within the last 12 months. In addition, an impressive 94.5% have refrained from using opiates without a prescription, demonstrating a steadfast adherence to the health message.

Across the world Divisions, church members demonstrated some variations in their acceptance and endorsement of the health message. For example, the Inter-American Division (IAD) and the Euro-Asia Division (ESD) stood out, with over 90% of the respondents stating that they “wholeheartedly embrace” the teaching that “Adventists should abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of other drugs.” In contrast, less than 70% of the participants in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) and Southern Asia Division (SUD) declared that they embraced the teaching wholeheartedly.

In addition to their stated beliefs, church members varied across Divisions in their adherence to the health message, particularly regarding the use of alcohol. In three Divisions—the North American Division (NAD), the Trans-European Division (TED), and the Southern Asia Division (SUD)—at least 10% of the members shared that in the past year, they had used alcohol 3 to 10 times. However, less than 2% of the respondents from the IAD and the ESD claimed to have used alcohol in the past 12 months.

Overall, these findings are a testament to Adventist church members’ commitment to following the teachings of the health message. By honoring God’s gift of health, we not only fulfill our spiritual calling, but also set an example of wholeness and vitality for the world. Our commitment to abstinence from harmful substances and informed health choices not only benefits us individually, but also contributes to the well-being of our communities, society at large, and the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.

As we reflect on these data, let us be encouraged and inspired to continue upholding the health message in belief and action. Let us strive to be beacons of health, wellness, and wholeness in a world that is in desperate need of hope and healing. Furthermore, let’s encourage those who are struggling to follow these fundamental health principles among our brethren. Together, as Seventh-day Adventists, we can lead by example, embodying the principles of health and holiness that define our faith and transform lives for the glory of God.

You can access the full report here.

Created in collaboration with the Institute of Church Ministry.

Published by ASTR on 05/22/2024.