Starting January 2, 2019 Adventist Health Systems, a non-profit health care organization owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, will be dropping “Adventist” from its name. This name change will affect the 45 hospitals which it runs. The new name that will be adopted by the largest, core network of Seventh-day Adventist hospitals will be “AdventHealth.”
The leadership claims that this new name change will help them become more “transforming” and a “more consumer-focused health care system,” according to Terry Shaw, president and CEO of Adventist Health Systems. 
What in the world does “consumer-focused” even mean? Does this mean that they are ashamed of the name “Adventist?” Is the church hoping to brush aside any negative stereotypes associated with our name? Or is removing “Adventist” from our name some new marketing strategy to make us more “seeker-friendly,” more “inclusive” and less “faith-based?”
Whatever the reason, I believe that Adventists should be proud to be Seventh-day Adventists. If we cannot be proud of who we are and what we believe, then maybe it’s time to join some other movement. But don’t pretend to be something you are not. Or, in the case of church leadership – don’t pretend NOT to be something you really are.
Here is what one of the church founders said about the name Seventh-day Adventist: “We are Seventh-day Adventists. Are we ashamed of our name? We answer, ‘No, no! We are not. It is the name the Lord has given us.’ It points out the truth that is to be the test of the churches” (Ellen G. White, Letter 110, 1902).
There are some things that we do need to abandon, but never our name or our heritage. Let us abandon political agendas and political correctness which do not help us further our mission, but don’t give up our name. Adventist Health Systems needs to abandon and cancel their partnerships with Roman Catholics. They have been forming new health care alliances with Rome.  Adventist Health Systems needs to tell its member hospitals [Florida Hospital] to stop serving pork to its patients.  So yes, there are some things [apostasies] that we must abandon, but we can never lose sight of who we are or what we believe.
If Adventist Health System changes its name to AdventHealth, that would make them an “undercover” church-affiliated institution. They would be hiding behind a non-denominational name. Again, if we are not proud of the church group we belong to, why do we continue belonging to it? There is little doubt that the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement would be appalled and ashamed at the direction that some leaders want to take us today.
“Men will employ every means to make less prominent the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and observers of the first day of the week. A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner, or sign, which makes us a distinct people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed that this was not the best policy in order to secure success to our institutions. But this is not a time to haul down our colors, to be ashamed of our faith. This distinctive banner, described in the words, ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,’ is to be borne through the world to the close of probation” (Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 144).
Sadly, many church leaders and members are not Seventh-day Adventists when defined by the “historic” meaning of the word. While they may stand for some good things, many are departing from the fundamental principles of the faith. Those of us who are determined to stay true to the Old Landmarks have a fight on our hands. There is a growing trend that is attempting to divorce the church from its historic roots. If we stay silent and fail to “cry aloud and spare not,” (Isaiah 58:1) this will be equivalent to surrendering. Already the effort to tear down the foundation of the faith has begun.  Let us take a stand now, for tomorrow may be too late!
“No name which we can take will be appropriate but that which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshipers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God and the requirements of the beast. It is because the saints are keeping all ten of the commandments that the dragon makes war upon them. If they will lower the standard and yield the peculiarities of their faith, the dragon will be at peace; but they excite his ire because they have dared to raise the standard and unfurl their banner in opposition to the Protestant world, who are worshiping the institution of papacy” (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 223).
Ted Wilson is the General Conference President and he can be reached at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org Share your concerns with him and let him know that if we are too ashamed of being Seventh-day Adventists, then the Lord will also be ashamed of us.