Adventist Health and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have agreed to merge into the same health system. Adventist Health is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church while OSHU is a public university from the state of Oregon. Under this new partnership Adventist Health and OSHU will operate as a “unified system.”
Many reasons have been given for this merger which include staying competitive, saving costs, providing better services and improving healthcare in general. In other words, we can improve the medical work through community partnerships! The merger is a complicated, legal, ecumenical, faith-based partnership that extends way beyond these two entities. OHSU is also in partnership with Catholic Charities and with Shriners Children’s Hospital all of which are located on the OHSU campus.
Do you know who the “Shriners” are? They are a branch of the top Freemason who are more radical than regular masons. Masons and Freemasons operate in lodges, while the Shriners operate from “temples” dedicated to a pagan middle eastern god that is not the God of the Bible.
These are the multi-faith, ecumenical healthcare mergers that are meant to improve the medical missionary work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is no merger; this is a takeover of the medical work by the world. Partnering with the world, with the Masons and with Rome is not the counsel that God has given us. In fact, it is all the opposite.
“There should be a more clear, definite understanding of what medical missionary work comprehends. Those who desire to honor God will not mingle worldly policy plans with his plans” (Review and Herald, June 16, 1904).
In this age of socialized medicine with federal and state regulations, HMOs [Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc.] guidelines, government subsidies to hospitals, and the overall politicizing of healthcare so many of our people are mistaken on the meaning of our health work.
“True medical missionary work is of divine origin, and has a most glorious mission to fulfill” (Review and Herald, June 16, 1904).
We seem to be focusing only on the cultural, social, technological and political issues surrounding healthcare. And somehow we believe the answer is in multi faith-based community partnerships. No. The answer to the medical missionary work is in the three angels’ message.
“The proclamation of the third angel’s message, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, is the burden of our work. The message is to be proclaimed with a loud cry, and is to go to the whole world. The presentation of health principles must be united with this message, but must not in any case be independent of it” (Colporteur Ministry, p. 138).
“Combine the medical missionary work with the proclamation of the third angel’s message” (Testimony to Ministers p. 416).
The health work given to us by God was never meant to be separated from the great testing truths of the three angels’ message. The health work has come to a place in Adventism in which it has become completely devoid of our distinctive messages. Some of our medical institutions offer wine, pork and coffee. Have we come to a place where doctrinal accuracy has become unimportant to our medical missionary work? Can we honestly ignore our fundamental truths and only focus on restoring physical health yet ignore the spiritual restoration of the soul? Should we only help people with their physical ailments and allow them to continue as they were without trying to bring life- changing godly influences?
“Let the leaders among our people emphasize the necessity of a strong religious influence being maintained in our medical institutions. The Lord designs that these shall be places where He will be honored in word and in deed, places where His law will be magnified and the truths of the Bible made prominent” (Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 104).
“Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism” (Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1141).
In order to begin to restore the gospel with the medical work, we must recognize that multi-faith ecumenical health care partnerships is not the answer. It would be a failure for any Seventh-day Adventist to replace our unique, distinguishing faith from our public witness by substituting our work and message with a social-ecumenical agenda.
“It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God’s law and bring His judgments upon the nation. So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 458).
“God requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise.” (Ibid., p. 458).
Christ did not just heal peoples’ physical ailments.
“When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” John 5:6.
Jesus did ask, “Do you want me to heal you.” No, His work was to encompass a complete restoration and asked, “Wilt thou be made whole.”
The word of God teaches us that we cannot ignore the weightier matters, such as the moral issues, preventative care, the eight laws of health, the healing of the sin-sick soul and the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14.