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A History of Adventist Lifestyles


Seventh-day Adventists formed their doctrines[1] and organizational structure[2] before developing their lifestyle.[3] An American-born sect,[4] Adventism nevertheless had roots in the Radical Reformation[5] and Methodism.[6] Its blend of Apocalypticism,[7] Primitivism,[8] and Holiness strains[9] created four distinct streams of Adventism[10] that influenced its adherents’ lifestyles in the Burned-Over District when numerous reforms[11] swept Antebellum America. While two of its founders — Joseph Bates and James White — shaped its doctrines and organizational structure, Ellen White[12] played a formative role in creating an ideal Adventist lifestyle.[13] Following the Millerite Great Disappointment,[14] these three founders inculcated a reformist ideology[15] into the Adventist lifestyle.[16] If at times this mindset engendered fanaticism,[17] infighting,[18] and legalism,[19] at other times it brought positive change as this essay will show.

In many respects Adventists resembled three other religious groups in upstate New York: Shakers, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. After the Great Disappointment, some 200 Adventists joined the Shakers. One of them was Elizabeth Temple, who shared her famous “Renovating Remedy” with the Whites.[20] Ellen’s second cousin, Agnes Coolbrith, married Mormon Don Carlos Smith and later his brother, church founder Joseph Smith.[21] Throughout their history Adventists have often been mistaken for Mormons[22] and Jehovah’s Witnesses[23] whose conservative lifestyles they share.

In lifestyle formation, this religious background has made it easier for Adventists to focus on ad hoc standards based on tradition and precedents rather than on principles. In an effort to avoid “ghetto formation” (Amish isolation) and assimilation (like the Methodists),[24] Adventists established “bounded sets” of rules rather than “centered sets” based on relationships.[25] Over time, they also created a shared descriptive vocabulary (“Adventese”) that distinguished insiders from outsiders.[26]

Their decision to worship on Saturday separated them from contemporary Christians, but made them beneficiaries of a Sabbath-keeping tradition stretching back to the Abyssinians in Ethiopia; the Celts in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland; the Insabbatati in Spain and Bohemia; and some among the Waldensians, Anabaptists, and Lollards in the middle ages.[27] They likewise saw themselves as heirs of Radical Reformation Sabbath-keeping groups scattered across sixteenth-century Europe[28]; they were especially grateful to the Seventh Day Baptists in seventeenth century England[29] and eighteenth-century America[30] for preserving the seventh-day Sabbath.

In fact, their study of the biblical and historical roots of the Sabbath constituted the first thorough investigation of any doctrine or lifestyle practice by Adventists. Not until the topic had been exhaustively examined and debated by Adventist preachers, writers, and laity, including T. M. Preble,[31] J. B. Cook,[32] Rachel Oakes Preston,[33] Frederick Wheeler,[34] and Joseph Bates,[35] was agreement reached that the seventh day was the true Sabbath. Yet disagreements arose over the proper time to keep the Sabbath. Bates argued for 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday; some favored midnight Friday to midnight Saturday; others adopted a sunrise to sunrise schedule. Further Bible study by John Andrews in 1855 convinced everyone to adopt the sunset schedule.[36]

This legalistic mindset helped Adventist evangelists attract huge crowds for debates with Sunday-keeping ministers throughout the nineteenth century.[37] It also inspired the Whites to remind believers that the Sabbath was a time for worship and not for work or play; therefore, they should “guard the edges of the Sabbath.”[38]

If they agreed on the time to keep the Sabbath, Adventists differed concerning the manner of observing it. Many Millerites had favored holy prostrations, leaping, weeping, shouting, hell-fire sermons, and visionary experiences in their meetings; after the Great Disappointment, some Adventists practiced holy hugs and kisses, noisy singing, crawling on the floor, and foot washing.[39] Ellen White, who came from the “Shouting Methodist” tradition, favored a charismatic worship style that included vigorous singing, shouting, weeping, public visions, confessions, and testimonies. By contrast, James White, who came from a Christian Connexion background, preferred reasonable discourses and harmonious singing.[40] Both, however, accepted glossolalia as a divine manifestation and during Pentecostal-like services, Adventists in Maine, Connecticut, New York, and Indiana spoke in unknown tongues.[41]

Millerite camp meetings, featuring tearful testimonies, fervent preaching, vigorous singing, and shouted exclamations, also set the pattern for Sabbatarian Adventist gatherings.[42] However, camp superintendents and two-hour discourses soon made Adventist camp meetings more orderly.[43] Likewise, Ellen White’s admonition to preachers not to pound the pulpit, shout, or contort their bodies added respectability to late-nineteenth century worship services.[44] Yet Adventist camp meetings did not at first catch on in Australia, England, and Europe due to their American roots, wet climates, local poverty, class prejudices, and circus associations.[45] After 1900 they largely ceased to be evangelistic and became in-house revivals, a development General Conference President A. G. Daniells regretted.[46] Nonetheless, camp meetings are an enduring legacy of the Millerite movement among Adventists today.[47]

Another institution that provided corporate identity to the “scattered flock” of Sabbath-keeping Adventists was the Sabbath School.[48] Utilizing James White’s lessons for children in the Youth’s Instructor, families began holding Sabbath Schools in private homes in Rochester (1853) and Bucks Bridge (1854), New York and Battle Creek, Michigan (1855). Following a Sunday school format, Sabbath Schools featured Bible study, prayer, memorizing Scripture, mission offerings, recitation, and Gospel singing.[49] Over the next century, special songbooks, magazines, and lesson quarterlies evolved for the Cradle Roll, Kindergarten, Primary, Junior, Earliteen, Youth, and Adult Sabbath School groups.[50] In addition, the Sabbath Schools and Rivulet Society sponsored projects to build the mission ship Pitcairn and to translate the Bible into foreign languages.[51] Today regular offerings collected in these Sabbath School classes and church services benefit global mission institutions and the summer Vacation Bible Schools for neighborhood children.[52] Like their Methodist forebears Adventists gather for midweek prayer meetings, singing, and Bible study and for quarterly Communion services that include foot-washing and consuming whole wheat wafers and grape juice.[53]

Yet great diversity characterizes Adventists’ public worship. Some congregations prefer a liturgical service;[54] others choose a celebration format;[55] a few adapt Jewish practices;[56] and still others blend these styles. Several studies and surveys, however, have raised concerns about declining church attendance and a rising dropout rate among Adventist youth.[57] Many who have deplored the church’s emphasis on doctrines and standards as guilt-inducing have sought a worship experience based on warmth, acceptance, and relationships.[58] Recent critics have suggested that the church needs to place more emphasis on spiritual renewal;[59] adopt the methods of the Willow Creek Church;[60] reach out to the community;[61] and grant members greater flexibility in choosing doctrines and lifestyles that fit their needs.[62]

One’s choice of worship styles also reflects one’s aesthetic values, and in the realm of art, architecture, and sculpture, Adventists have been utilitarian. Like Luther, who used black-and-white woodcuts as “graphical sermons” to teach apocalyptic lessons,[63] and their Millerite progenitors, who printed woodcuts and engravings of the images of Daniel and Revelation on cloth charts,[64] Adventists in the 1850s used lithographs in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald to illustrate their views of God’s Law, the beasts of Daniel and Revelation, and the plan of salvation.[65] Editor Uriah Smith also created woodcuts for the Youth’s Instructor to illustrate stories.[66] By the 1880s and ’90s, Adventist periodicals featured black-and-white cartoons depicting temperance and anti-Catholic themes, and with Ellen White’s encouragement, evangelists created papier-mâché beasts that gripped audiences’ attention.[67] Such didactic uses of art did not foster art programs in Adventist colleges until Pacific Union College in California offered art courses in the 1880s; other colleges did so after 1900; but art departments did not exist until the 1950s.[68]

Likewise, early church architecture was utilitarian. Reflecting their Puritan roots, Adventists erected wooden, rectangular meeting houses with a tower or belfry, Federal style door moldings, and tall windows for natural light; their “plain beauty” emphasized order, function, and neatness. Later congregations built Victorian chapels with side towers and Gothic windows. In 1879 Adventists in Battle Creek, Michigan erected a brick edifice seating 3,000 members with a belfry, balconies, and clock. Not until the 1920s, however, did other congregations build Classical, Federal, or Greek revival chapels of brick and, despite Ellen White’s earlier objections, Gothic churches with towers, steeples, arched windows, and spires.[69] Once again this emphasis on economy, simplicity, and utility forestalled the training of professional architects until Andrews University established a degree program in 2003.[70]      

Furthermore, some Adventist artists had to contend with church leaders who associated painters with loose morals.[71] But several developments in the twentieth century helped change Adventists’ negative view of the creative arts. Beginning in the 1950s Betty Lukens’ 600 full-color felts illustrating 182 Bible lessons sold over 1,000 sets internationally each year, shaping children’s views of Bible characters.[72] These Sabbath School felts were in turn based on the colorful biblical art of Adventist painters Clyde Provonsha, Jim Arribito, and Harry Anderson that illustrated Arthur Maxwell’s popular ten-volume The Bible Story set (1951-58) widely distributed by Adventist Book and Bible Houses and colporteurs.[73] Beginning in the 1960s and ’70s, artists Ken Mead, Greg Constantine, and Nathan Greene painted canvasses and produced art books depicting Christ in contemporary settings.[74] Sculpture found little expression until the 1960s and ’70s when English Alan Collins began depicting abstract and biblical themes with sculptures of Creation and the J.N. Andrews family at Andrews University and the Good Samaritan on the campus of Loma Linda University.[75]

Recent Adventist critics have advocated greater church support for painting, drama, film, dance, literature, and music that “restore God’s image in humanity,” bear witness to God’s creativity, reflect the diversity of biblical literature, emphasize feelings and not just intellectual beliefs, and enrich people’s lives.[76] Recent accomplishments in this vein include The Comic Book Bible, The Manga Bible, The Brick Testament,[77] and the half-century display of art in ten different media by fifty artists from seven nations showcased in the journal Spectrum.[78]

Having determined the proper day, time, and place for Sabbath worship, church leaders next discussed the proper way to observe the day. Attending Sabbath School, church, prayer and testimony meetings topped the list of public activities, but the Whites also recommended Bible reading, nature walks, missionary visits, and hymn singing at home.[79] Church, school, and family picnics and potlucks were also acceptable.[80] A century later Fannie Houck’s manual for newly baptized members recommended attending Sabbath School and church, studying the Bible, taking nature walks, listening to spiritual music, visiting nursing homes, and distributing religious literature.[81] Reading church periodicals;[82] attending Missionary Volunteer and Pathfinder meetings;[83] joining Sunshine Bands;[84] and going on campouts were also approved.[85]

To protect its sacredness, church leaders forbade certain activities on Sabbath. Since the 1860s Adventist conscientious objectors in the military have been forbidden to work on Sabbath.[86] Members were urged not to read secular literature, attend school, or work on that day.[87] Yet Blue Laws in America and Europe penalized Adventists who worked on Sunday.[88] Some Sabbath restrictions were culturally based. Jamaicans did not perform baptisms on Sabbath.[89] Brazilian men always wore ties but no beards; women wore long-sleeved dresses; and no one played electric organs in church on Sabbath.[90] Yugoslavian youth could not swim, ski, boat, shave, shower, window shop, or listen to secular music on Sabbath.[91] American boarding academy teens were forbidden to bicycle, swim, play ball, chew gum, or shower on Sabbath.[92] In the 1980s Houck’s manual for new converts forbade shopping, house cleaning, secular reading, radio and TV viewing, and doing homework on Sabbath.[93] As attacks on American churches, mosques, and synagogues increased, some congregations debated the pros and cons of arming deacons;[94] others created hospitality statements to make everyone feel welcome.[95]

The rise of Adventism in the nineteenth century coincided with the growth of team sports, bare-knuckle boxing, and the bicycle craze in America. But Ellen White called boxing and football “schools of brutality” and condemned bicycles as an extravagant expense.[96] Having given up checkers, chess, and backgammon as a girl, White condemned games and sports for fostering rivalry and idolatry; she called them unholy amusements, foolish pleasures, a waste of time, and even Satanic in origin.[97] GC President John Byington and Review editor Uriah Smith wrote articles opposing baseball, football, and croquet. Yet White gave toy trains to children; Byington went fishing with his grandkids; Smith bought his son Parker a baseball; and Signs editor Ellet Waggoner played tiddledywinks and parlor games with his daughters.[98] Despite official disapproval, organized sports proliferated in the late nineteenth century. In Battle Creek, the Review and Herald baseball team played the Advanced Shops and Foundry team in 1887; in the 1890s Battle Creek College in Michigan, Union College in Nebraska, Healdsburg College in California, and Keene Institute in Texas fielded football and baseball teams, while Avondale College in Australia sponsored cricket and tennis teams.[99] Despite their parents’ disapproval, Edson White and Parker Smith played on Adventist baseball teams.[100]

But by 1901 Ellen White’s disapproval of organized games spurred college presidents to turn sports fields into vegetable gardens.[101] In place of games, she recommended manual labor, picnics, and outdoor pursuits.[102] By the 1920s, however, Battle Creek Adventists’ social lives included picnics, swimming, boating, and plays as well as pitching quarts, badminton, croquet, and Halloween parties.[103]

Consequently, twentieth century Adventism reflected a schizophrenic attitude toward sports. The church officially “discouraged” commercial sports, card games, checkers, chess, dominoes, and Monopoly for wasting time and “frowned upon” billiards and bowling for their immoral associations. Yet Bible, nature, and word card games were “instructive” and pickup ball games were “recreational” if not “carried to excess.”[104] But if some leaders opposed intercollegiate games, others favored them, and 78 percent of Adventist youth disagreed with bans on inter-school sports.[105] Despite this contention, by the 1980s, 80 percent of Adventist colleges belonged to the National Intercollegiate Athletics Association or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and fielded teams in soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, softball, or track; 25 American Adventist academies also participated in interschool sports.[106] Also, church leaders (some of whom played Rook at constituency meetings) forbade the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department to defend players who protested that Saturday games violated their religious freedom.[107] Yet church leaders who frowned on interschool sports competition applauded when Pathfinder groups competed in marching drills, knot tying contests, and pinewood derby races.[108]

Nonetheless, a few Adventists have made notable contributions to sports and gaming. Adventist physician Frank Jobe, who served for 40 years as the team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneered the “Tommy John” surgical procedure; in 2014 the Dodgers named their training facility for him.[109] Isabel and Mario Lucero created an online company called Heaven Sent Gaming that features comics, games, and novels with an ethical focus that attracts 15,000 monthly viewers globally.[110]

If sports harmed the body, gambling, often associated with dance halls, saloons, bowling alleys, billiard rooms, and houses of prostitution, endangered the soul. Ellen White condemned gambling as “Satan’s invention.”[111] She rebuked Adventists who prayed before tossing coins to make major decisions.[112] Likewise evangelist John Loughborough was bewildered by Adventists in Reno, Nevada who in the 1870s replaced gambling on checkers and chess with a topical Bible game they played for four consecutive meetings. He concluded that Nevadans were by nature addicted to gaming.[113] Today the church opposes gambling as a violation of Christian stewardship, antisocial, uneconomic, and addictive; a habit that promotes selfishness, covetousness, and greed; and a practice that makes chance the basis of conduct. Nonetheless, this author has known a few Adventists who engaged in recreational gambling and a handful who assist in the running of Native American casinos.[114]

Likewise dime novels, which harmed the mind, were condemned by Baptists and Methodists for their sentimentality, emotionally stimulating nature, anti-Christian themes, and focus on crime, sex, and violence.[115] Ellen White forbade reading sentimental, sensational, erotic, profane, and trashy literature because doing so was addictive, wasted time, and unfit the mind for serious study. Yet she encouraged the youth to read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, an 1863 compilation of uplifting stories.[116] Review Editor Uriah Smith, who opposed novels that “poison the mind” and “destroy a taste for all that is useful, wholesome and true,” warned members that they must answer in the Day of Judgment for time wasted on such trash.[117]

Paradoxically, however, Smith had been classically trained at Philipps Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and in the 1890s taught classes at Battle Creek College whose seven-year Classics B.A. degree was steeped in Greek and Roman mythology. He also printed in the Review evangelist Dudley Canright’s recommendation that children should read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Robinson Crusoe, and nine other fictional works.[118] Ellen White’s son Edson also read fictional storybooks and surreptitiously practiced target shooting with an air gun at Battle Creek’s amusement arcade.[119] Nor did Mrs. White remove the imported tiles depicting King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table around her fireplace at Elmshaven in California.[120] But it greatly upset her in the 1890s when the Review and Herald press published dime novels, Wild West stories, romances, and books promoting Catholic teachings, hypnosis, and witchcraft. She warned Smith to get rid of such “trash of satanic origin.” When the publishing board ignored her, she urged the Review workers to go on strike — and predicted a divine cleansing by fire, which came in December 1902 when the press burned to the ground.[121]

Consequently, when the golden age of children’s literature dawned in the 1920s, Adventists compromised by producing inspirational fiction such as Arthur S. Maxwell’s mystery story The Secret of the Cave (1920), his 20-volume Bedtime Stories (1924-1944), The Children’s Hour (1945-1949), and his ten-volume Bible Stories (1951-1958) set which by 1983 had sold over 63,000,000 books. Jerry Thomas’ Detective Zack series proved wildly popular in the 1990s, as did apocalyptic adult fiction such as Merikay McLeod’s Now!, June Strong’s Project Sunlight, Ken Wade’s Orion Conspiracy, and Edward Eggleston’s End of the World.[122]

If novels per se were no longer prohibited at boarding academies after the 1950s,[123] J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were banned in all Adventist elementary and secondary schools for their emphasis on violence, ghosts, poltergeists, witches, wizards, spells, and curses. But many boards approved C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings set because their violence highlighted the great controversy between good and evil.[124] Finally, Adventist novelist David Duncan has argued that fiction opens to us truths that would be inaccessible otherwise and thus fills our lives with meaning.[125]

Christians condemned theaters which portrayed fictional dramas on stage and featured prostitution, alcoholism, and pickpockets. Likewise, vaudeville combined Shakespearean scenes, burlesque, blackface minstrelsy, dances, acrobatics, and pantomimes with reenactments of stabbings, shootings, hangings, poisoning, suicides, and train wrecks. Even upper class operas highlighted violence, passion, and lust.[126] Ellen White, who condemned the theater as “the very hotbed of immorality,” warned members not to subject themselves to its temptations, which included low songs, lewd gestures, immoral settings, indecent content, and scenes of drinking, gambling, dancing, and card playing that debased morals, depraved the imagination, destroyed religious impressions, and blunted a relish for real life.[127] From its founding in 1874, Battle Creek College had forbidden students to attend local billiard halls, saloons, skating rinks, and gambling dens; in 1890 the faculty added theaters to the list.[128]

Yet many Battle Creek Adventists in the 1880s and ’90s attended theatrical plays. And while Uriah Smith condemned circuses and theaters in the Review, his wife Harriet took their boys to the county fair for horse races and sideshows and to Chicago for panoramas on the Civil War and the siege of Paris.[129] George Amadon, head copyeditor at the Review, took his daughters to circuses and magic lantern shows and to see the Cardiff Giant Hoax.[130] Ellen White’s granddaughters Ella and Mabel also attended magic lantern shows and followed the circus parades and calliopes (although they were forbidden to see the circus acts).[131] In the early twentieth century, Adventist evangelists used colorful glass stereopticon slides to illustrate their sermons,[132] and by the 1940s they rented public theaters for their “crusades.”[133]

But with the advent of moving pictures in the 1890s, members were conditioned to see theaters as bad places, threats to family unity, full of violence and vulgarity where evil was glamorized and spiritual values compromised. Adventist youth were warned that since the devil was inside the theater, the Holy Spirit and their guardian angel could not enter.[134] So boarding academy bulletins from the 1920s to the present have forbidden students to go to cinemas or watch theater movies on VCRs, DVD players, and laptops in the dorms. No films rated higher than PG-13 can be shown on most campuses today.[135] At some Adventist colleges in the 1950s, students who went to the cinema were blacklisted and given a final warning before being expelled; instead, the faculty invited Stan Midgley, Sam Campbell, and Don Cooper to show nature and skiing films on Saturday nights.[136]

But thousands of Adventists flocked to academy and college campuses in the 1960s to see The Sound of Music, a movie Scott Moncrieff asserts lies at the heart of Adventist cultural literacy.[137] Moncrieff encouraged Adventists to see more foreign and independent films; analyze the movies they saw; talk with friends about them; and read books about films.[138] In 2007 Winona Wendth listed the top ten movies all Adventists should see.[139] Recent Adventist film critics have applauded movies for teaching truth, respect, love, beauty, and Christian beliefs in fresh ways;[140] they have suggested that good films can be evangelistic, create culturally connected Christian communities, express our common experiences and shared memories, keep our hopes alive, and articulate our deepest concerns.[141] Consequently, although the 1990 Church Manual warned against the “sinister influence” of the theater,[142] in a 1992 survey, 64 percent of Adventist youth felt it was OK to go to the theater and 96 percent had no problem watching movies on TV, VCR, or DVDs at home.[143]

In 2003 Southern Adventist University, the first church college to establish a School of Visual Art and Design, produced Angel in Chains, the first Adventist-made film to achieve commercial viability; the following year Adventist movie producer Terry Benedict’s film biography of Desmond Doss, The Conscientious Objector, appeared.[144] Movie moguls Martin Doblmeier and Mel Gibson have also produced films about Seventh-day Adventists.[145]

When television appeared, pastors, teachers, and parents feared it would bring the theater into the home. Articles in the Review and Youth’s Instructor criticized TV for wasting time; showcasing sex, violence, and the occult; causing a decrease in viewers’ vocabularies, family communication, church attendance, Bible study, family worship, restful sleep, and homework completion; contributing to a rise in obesity, tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, eye problems, noisy behavior, cynicism, and juvenile delinquency. Many predicted that TV would cause addicted viewers emotional and psychological harm; foster greed and materialism; create alcoholics and lawbreakers; and lead to a rise in divorce and illegitimate births.[146] Some Adventists in Germany and Puerto Rico even considered it a sin to own a radio or a TV.[147]

Yet just as Adventists had found evangelistic applications for radio in the 1930s[148] and rented theaters in the ’40s, so they quickly adapted their message to the medium of television in the ’50s. In 1950 William and Virginia Fagal pioneered Faith for Today, a live 30-minute broadcast featuring stories, religious drama, short talks, quartet music, and a Bible correspondence course from a studio in NYC. In the 1970s a dramatic full-color format replaced the preaching focus on Westbrook Hospital, then located at Thousand Oaks, California. In the 1980s Dan Matthews hosted a TV talk-show format called Christian Lifestyle Magazine that reached over 1,500,000 viewers in 56 countries each week.[149]

George Vandeman’s It Is Written (1958) broadcasts targeted urban audiences with a weekly mix of Adventist doctrines, health, and felt needs programs that won seventeen Angel Awards; Mark Finley directed it after 1992 from Thousand Oaks, California.[150] Beginning in 1973, C. D. Brooks hosted Breath of Life, a weekly TV program based in Fort Washington, Maryland, targeting black audiences with fervent preaching and singing by the Breath of Life Quartet; Walter Pearson replaced Brooks in 1997.[151] Adventist Hispanic TV programs included Al Dia (1972-77), Ayer, Hoy, Manana (1975-93), La Voz (1984 to present), and KSBN’s Safe Television for All Ages (1993 to present).[152] In 1986 Danny Shelton created a self-supporting TV network, Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) based in Thompsonville, Illinois, that showcased recorded church services, evangelistic series, children’s shows, health discussions, and family-focused programs.[153] Adventists also utilized satellite TV to target global audiences for the NET’95–NET’99 evangelistic series.[154] In 1972 the Adventist Media Center was established at Thousand Oaks, California, to house the above radio and TV ministries; in 1995 they all moved to Simi Valley, California.[155]

Reversing a century of negative attitudes toward film, in 2002 the North American Division sponsored the first Sonscreen Film Festival to encourage Adventist college youth to produce uplifting films. To date, students from Andrews University (Michigan), Southern Adventist University (Tennessee), and Pacific Union College (California) have garnered the most awards for their movies.[156] In addition, more than a dozen TV celebrities today have Adventist connections.[157] Although Oprah Winfrey has no Adventist ties, her show has inspired some within the church to emulate her techniques on Adventist TV.[158]

As White and her Methodist forebears had opposed the theater, they also banned dancing. When asked to contribute funds for the dances at Dr. Jackson’s sanitarium in Dansville, New York where James White was a patient, Ellen refused, saying, “I am a follower of Jesus.” She called dancing “a school of depravity” that “opened the door to sensual indulgence.”[159] Yet returning to the U.S. from Australia in 1901, she and other Adventists attended a festival at Honolulu featuring barefoot women in bright silk gowns festooned with leis dancing the hula.[160]

Although church publications in the 1980s and ’90s condemned dancing for its unchristian associations and immoral temptations,[161] many young people disagreed. A survey taken in 1992 revealed that while dancing was prohibited by 78 percent of Adventist congregations and 61 percent of schools, only 46 percent of families enforced the no-dancing rule for their children. Furthermore, 57 percent of Adventist youth disagreed with the church’s prohibition on dancing.[162]

But a 2012 survey conducted by former European union President Reinder Bruinsma revealed that White’s warning about sensual indulgence appeared to have validity since 18 percent of Adventist couples cohabited prior to marriage. They did so for many reasons: financial hardships, fear of marriage, and a desire to insure the compatibility of their mate. Bruinsma urged officials and laity to manifest sensitivity, love, and acceptance for those who chose a lifestyle widely condoned in some cultures.[163] Others worried that lack of commitment and some cultures’ subordination of women could engender abuse within such relationships.[164]

Dress, too, had moral as well as health implications. In the 1850s when fashion dictated that women wear expensive, uncomfortable, fifteen-pound dresses with hoops, corsets, bustles, trailing skirts, and high heels, Elizabeth Miller, Elizabeth Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, and Harriet Austin wore the “American Costume” with pantaloons and a short skirt.[165] But while Ellen White called hooped skirts ridiculous, disgusting, and unhealthful, she opposed the American Costume for its short skirt and its adoption by Spiritualists.[166]

Instead, she created the “Adventist Reform Dress” in 1865. Made from black cloth, loose-fitting, with a waistcoat and tapered pants covered by a skirt whose hem reached the top of a woman’s boots, this garment modeled the principles of modesty, plainness, function, and comfort.[167] The Battle Creek, Michigan congregation adopted it and mandated that members’ attire must be scrupulously plain: feathers, flowers, gold, silver, false hair, ribbons, and fancy buttons were verboten.[168] Yet when many Adventist women refused to wear the reform dress in the 1870s, White dropped it, urging women to find their own modest dress styles.[169] Nonetheless, GC President George Butler insisted that the girls working at the press wear the reform dress, and former GC President John Byington bemoaned its abandonment in 1875.[170] However, as late as the 1890s, when Georgie Harper wanted to wear a green velvet wedding dress, church leaders in Britain forced her to don the reform dress that all female church workers in England wore for her marriage to future GC President William Spicer.[171]

Obviously, setting dress standards lends itself to a “bounded set” mentality (see note 25), and this mindset has prevailed at Adventist schools for over a century. Especially at boarding academies, bulletins dictate male and female attire with great precision regarding what is appropriate to wear to church, class, PE, recreation, and in the dorms. For the girls, this often results in what this author has called “the Battle of the Kneecap” (dress length) as well as plunging necklines, dyed hair, and heavy makeup; for the boys, it usually means disapproval for tight, torn, tie-dyed, tank tops and jeans. Paradoxically, one can fairly accurately determine what fashions are in style by examining these annual lists of banned clothing.[172] As late as the 1970s at Andrews University, for example, one president sent a letter to female students reminding them of the dress code and urging them not “to expose themselves” in miniskirts, while another president in the 1980s sent letters to the faculty telling them to send students inappropriately dressed to the dorms to change their attire.[173]

Like the Anabaptists, Puritans, Quakers, and Methodists before them, American Adventists saw jewelry, including wedding rings, as an inappropriate accessory to one’s attire. At Millerite camp meetings, attendees dropped rings, breast pins, and earrings into the offering baskets.[174] Declaring that “the outside appearance is an index to the heart,” Mrs. White opposed all forms of adornment (including bows, laces, and ribbons). Church leaders Daniel Bourdeau, J. N. Loughborough, and Uriah Smith found gold ornaments, brooches, and cufflinks unbiblical.[175]

Yet photographic evidence reveals that Adventist women wore jewelry at Battle Creek College, at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and even in the Battle Creek Tabernacle, where an 1893 revival resulted in 188 baptisms and the Great Jewelry Offering which netted $6,000 worth of gold watches, chains, rings, bracelets, cufflinks, diamond studs, and pins.[176] Ellen White herself sometimes wore metallic chains, pins, and brooches. Returning to the U.S. from Australia in 1901, she wore a conch shell necklace given her by the South Pacific Islanders. Her son William and his second wife Ethel Lacey wore wedding rings in Australia in the 1890s and their daughter Ella Robinson later wore a necklace.[177] As president of the California Conference in the 1870s, John Loughborough had sought to curb the wearing of gold necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings by Adventist women and gold cufflinks and tie pins by the men. Yet a decade later when the Loughboroughs were missionaries in England, John’s wife Annie wore brooches and pins on her dresses, despite Mrs. White’s reprimands.[178] Photos show Letta Sterling, editor of the Adventist children’s journal Our Little Friend, wearing a heavy gold necklace in 1886. Other church workers in Battle Creek sported pendant necklaces and beaded chains as late as 1919.[179]

But the rise of the Fundamentalist Movement in the 1920s impacted Adventism in many ways, one of which was the banning of jewelry at Adventist schools. Over the next century, students at boarding academies were forbidden to wear necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, chokers, key chains, brooches, pins, ankle and friendship bracelets, body piercings, and tattoos.[180] Although General Conference officials had condoned wedding rings in 1986, the Church Manual (1990), citing 1 Timothy 2:9, urged members “To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind.”[181] Conservatives valued such concrete standards as entry level symbols separating converts from worldly society and thus demonstrating commitment to a set of values (modesty, simplicity, stewardship).[182] Liberals, however, felt that wearing jewelry reflected customs, not morals; wearing it was a sociological act, not a sin.[183] In a 1992 survey, 64 percent of Adventist youth felt it was OK to wear a wedding band and 42 percent disagreed with the church’s ban on jewelry.[184]

Despite the Medieval Church’s ban on the tritone as demonic,[185] Wycliffe, Luther, and Calvin encouraged congregational singing of hymns and psalms, and the Moravians and Methodists sang exuberant Gospel songs.[186] Like the “Shouting Methodists,” Millerite Adventists sang with fervent enthusiasm about the raptures of heaven.[187]

Because James White’s father was a singing teacher and Ellen’s family was “Shouting Methodists,” they promoted congregational singing and hymn-writing contests. James included Baptist and Methodist hymns and “white spirituals” in his eight hymnals;[188] his son Edson compiled six songbooks; and Ellen’s nephew Frank Belden produced seven hymnals.[189] In 1864 White sent J. N. Loughborough lutes to help his congregations sing harmoniously; in the 1870s Loughborough introduced Adventists to children’s choirs, singing lessons, and organs.[190]

Ellen White favored rollicking, soul-searching, emotional revival songs accompanied by the organ or guitar; she disliked duets, oratorios, frivolous ditties, and high church music.[191] She sang for family worship; when suffering arthritic pain; to waken sleeping listeners; when facing temptation; while bathing; and occasionally in her sleep.[192] She approved setting religious words to popular tunes to help members sing harmoniously.[193] Outstanding Adventist musicians included Annie Smith, R. F. Cottrell, Kate Amadon, and Henry de Fluiter.[194] In the 1890s black Adventist preacher Lewis Sheafe chose a Pentecostal hymnbook for his evangelistic meetings in Washington, D.C.,[195] while worshipers at Indiana camp meetings sang Salvation Army style music with tambourines, bass drum, horns, fiddles, and trumpets.[196]

Adventist music thrived in the twentieth century once pipe and electric organs appeared in churches.[197] Colleges and academies sponsored bands, orchestras, and choirs led by trained (male) conductors[198] and Adventist Book Centers sold recordings of Christian and Classical music.[199] Because these devices also played jazz and rock music, beginning in the 1920s, academies banned radios, phonographs, tape recorders, CD and DVD players, and Walkmans.[200] In the 1960s, however, contemporary praise music, with electric guitars, drums, and keyboards, replaced organs and pianos; Gospel rock songs projected on huge screens and led by praise teams replaced choirs and hymnbooks; and many feared musical illiteracy would result.[201] To combat such illiteracy the Adventist Musicians Guild and the General Conference sponsored the compilation of a greatly improved Adventist Hymnal in 1985.[202]

Yet even in sacred music, Adventists’ tastes varied widely from Classical, liturgical, and spirituals performed by the Aeolians[203] to the New England Youth Ensemble,[204] the Ambassador Chorale Arts Society,[205] Herbert Blomstedt,[206] and Shi-Yeon Sungto[207] to the country and pop songs performed by the Heritage Singers[208] and the Gospel and folk tunes sung by the guitar-playing Wedgewood Trio.[209] Despite attempts by a Music Committee in 2006 to establish an Adventist philosophy of music,[210] strong disagreements exist between older members who would ban Christian pop, jazz, rock, electric guitars, and drums[211] and surveys showing that 83 percent of Adventist youth regularly listen to rock music and 55 percent disagree with bans on rock.[212]

During an Antebellum Era saturated with water cures, hydropathic sanitariums, and temperance books, journals, and lecturers, Adventists joined the American Temperance Society and later the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).[213] Church founder Joseph Bates formed the Fairhaven Temperance Society in 1827 and captained temperance ships.[214] Adventists composed at least ten temperance songs against the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee.[215] Review articles against tobacco shifted from seeing it as an idol, a waste of God’s money, and an immoral habit to emphasizing its body and mind-destroying nature.[216] However, in the 1860s there were still a few Adventist ministers smoking in Wisconsin and Michigan.[217]

Ellen White, who urged members to vote for temperance candidates, called tobacco “a filthy weed” that must be given up by those who wanted to go to heaven; J. N. Andrews called it a sin; and J. N. Loughborough barred smokers from church membership.[218] White and church leaders also condemned alcohol and drugs as “poisonous substances” that brought death to their users.[219] In 1868 the Whites rebuked Adventists who raised tobacco and hops (for beer) even if they did not use those substances themselves.[220] Instead, Adventists were urged to join the WCTU and Dr. Kellogg’s American Health and Temperance Association, enroll their children in temperance clubs, and sign the teetotal pledge.[221] In 1879 the AHTA secured 133 signatures to that pledge; a decade later it had 20,000 members. But students at Battle Creek College who were caught using tobacco and alcohol were expelled.[222]

Led by Ellen White and the Adventist WCTU evangelist S. M. I. Henry, Adventists enthusiastically supported all temperance and Prohibition candidates in the late-nineteenth century, and Adventist evangelists regularly invited WCTU speakers to use their tents for temperance rallies. In 1882 William Gage became Battle Creek’s first Adventist mayor while campaigning on a prohibition ticket.[223] While in England during the 1880s, the enthusiastic pledge-signing J. N. Loughborough joined the Anti-Narcotic League, the United Kingdom Temperance Alliance, the Christian Temperance Missionary Society, the Band of Hope, the Vegetarian Society, and for good measure, the Anti-Vaccination Society.[224]

But not all Adventists lived that “healthy and balanced lifestyle with attention to the laws of health” (as White defined temperance).[225] Some California Adventists were still using wine (instead of grape juice) at Communion services in the late-1870s.[226] In Switzerland J. N. Andrews encountered wine-drinking church members and beer-guzzling, smoking attendees at his evangelistic meetings in the 1880s.[227] Review and Herald foreman George Amadon was forced to fire smoking and drinking press workers; in the 1890s a dozen non-Adventist employees were jailed over night for public drunkenness.[228] After 1895, those Adventists struggling with coffee and tea addictions could drink C. W. Post’s non-caffeinated beverage Postum; for the next century, this became a popular hot drink among Adventists and Mormons in 71 countries.[229]

After the 1920s Adventist boarding academies, which served no coffee or tea, expelled students for smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs; but as these practices increased in the 1980s, faculty required offenders to attend rehab programs such as the Five-Day Plan to Quit Smoking (later called Breathe-Free Plan) and the 4 DK Plan to overcome alcohol or drug addiction.[230] Elementary children and secondary youth annually received temperance magazines (The Winner and Listen); composed temperance jingles, speeches, and bulletin board displays; and signed the teetotal pledge.[231]

But a 1979-89 survey of 1,500 teenagers indicated that 22 to 24 percent of them disagreed with the church’s standard regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.[232] A 1984 survey of 106 Glendale Adventist Academy teens showed that 25 percent of them had gotten high on drugs and 31 percent felt that marijuana should be legalized.[233] Yet two more surveys in the 1990s indicated that 20 percent of academy students had indulged in binge drinking and approved of serving wine on social occasions; 67 percent of them regularly drank caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, soft drinks).[234] Another paradox was the fact that while Prof. James Nethery of Loma Linda University led the Coalition for a Healthy California to galvanize West Coast Adventists to secure the passage of the Tobacco Tax Initiative (1988) adding 25 cents to every pack of cigarettes, three Adventist members of the U.S. House of Representatives were taking between $500 and $14,000 from five tobacco companies.[235]

Next in importance to temperance is diet, and a host of nineteenth-century health reformers[236] sought to change Americans’ carnivorous habits to avoid dyspepsia.[237] While church founder Joseph Bates had embraced health reform in the 1820s,[238] James and Ellen White were still eating meat in the 1860s.[239] But in response to an 1863 vision, Mrs. White, linking health with spirituality, urged Adventists to use natural remedies and eat a balanced vegetarian diet. She would elaborate on these recommendations in four books.[240] While most Adventists adopted a balanced health regimen, some went to extremes, opposing the use of salt, sugar, milk, and butter and seeking to expel those who ate meat.[241] For their peculiar dietary habits, Adventists in Battle Creek were nicknamed “Gizzardites” by local citizens.[242]

Yet many, even among church leaders and ministers, found it difficult to abandon their carnivorous diets. Between 1863 and 1894, Ellen White occasionally ate duck, baked fish, fried chicken, turkey, and tinned tongue.[243] After nearly starving on bread, cheese, and butter on his way to England aboard the Majestic, S. N. Haskell relented and ate corned beef.[244] Review editor Uriah Smith and GC President John Byington and their families regularly consumed meat at home and while traveling.[245] GC President O. A. Olsen admitted that most Adventist ministers in the 1890s neither practiced nor promoted health principles.[246] Shellfish and oysters were also consumed by nineteenth-century Adventists who did not see them as unclean meats.[247] Ellen White’s son, William, and his family enjoyed savory joints of meat in soups and meat hash.[248] Battle Creek College served meat to students until 1900 when President Prescott became a vegetarian and banned meat from the tables.[249] Many delegates to the General Conference sessions in Battle Creek ordered chicken and steaks in the Sanitarium cafeteria, and meat was also served at Adventist camp meetings as late as 1906.[250]

Mrs. White in 1908 urged GC President A. G. Daniells to back an Anti-Meat Pledge, but he demurred, stating that this would create a hardship for Adventists in Scandinavia (where fruits and vegetables were not readily available) and in Brazil and Argentina (where beef and mutton were key products). Instead, he agreed to sponsor cooking schools to promote a vegetarian lifestyle.[251] Daniells’ successor, William Spicer, was a vegetarian at home but ate meat while traveling until 1922 when he became GC president.[252] Although Stephen Haskell drew the line between clean and unclean meats (based on Lev. 11) in 1903, not until this information was published in the 1931 Yearbook did it become official church policy.[253] Not until 1951 were baptismal candidates asked to adopt vegetarian lifestyles; and only in 1981 was this incorporated in church doctrine.[254]

Consequently, despite the fact that vegetarianism is a unique belief among Adventists not shared by other Protestant denominations, it is the least biblical of all church beliefs and one of the most controversial.[255] Yet scientific studies involving Adventists over the past sixty years have clearly demonstrated that those following vegan or lacto-ovo-vegetarian lifestyles live longer (7-10 years) lives less troubled by diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and a host of cancers.[256] Nonetheless, a 1992 survey showed that 18 percent of Adventist youth regularly ate unclean meats and another 16 percent occasionally did so.[257] Despite 150 years of preaching vegetarianism, in 2019 only 19 percent of Adventists adhere to vegan or vegetarian diets; another 11 percent are pescatarians (eat fish); 32 percent eat meat once a week; 24 percent eat it several times a week; and 14 percent eat meat every day.[258] Despite this reality, Adventist Book Centers today do a brisk business selling vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.[259]

Adventists also established institutions to promote healthful lifestyles. Their first sanitarium, the Western Health Reform Institute (WHRI) in Battle Creek, Michigan, was modeled after Dr. James Caleb Jackson’s Our Home on the Hillside in Dansville, New York,[260] where five famous Americans[261] and thirteen sick Adventists[262] had recovered their health thanks to a regimen that included hydrotherapy treatments, a vegetarian diet, fresh air, sunlight, rest, exercise, daily baths, and abstinence from tea, coffee, butter, meat, and white bread. Encouraged by Ellen White, John Loughborough raised funds for the WHRI; recruited Drs. Lay, Trall, and Byington to run it; started the Health Reformer magazine; and wrote a medical book, the Hand Book of Health (1868), to promote healthful living among Adventists.[263] When Dr. Kellogg took charge of the renamed Battle Creek Medical and Surgical Sanitarium in 1867, he made it the largest medical institution in the world with 400 patients by 1902.[264] By the turn of the century, Kellogg and his medical students had established sanitariums all over the world.[265]

Despite some resistance, after the 1940s Adventist community and acute care hospitals (offering short-term recovery through drugs) began replacing sanitariums (with their long-term care emphasis).[266] By the end of the century, Adventists operated over 500 health care centers globally with more than 7,000,000 patients in addition to scores of nursing homes, retirement centers, and clinics.[267] They became world famous for innovations in infant heart surgeries, proton treatment for cancer, finding a cure for the Brazilian skin disease “savage fire,” and taking medical care to remote jungle locations by river boats and airplanes.[268] Today the Adventist Health System/U.S. (AHS), with more than 124,000 employees operating 80 hospitals, nursing homes, retirement centers, home health agencies, medical offices, and over 300 walk-in clinics, is the seventh largest health system in America.[269] Yet mounting debts which by 1985 reached nearly $1 billion and raised the specter of bankruptcy forced AHS to partner with other faith-based organizations (including Catholic ones) in the 1990s, a collaborative business arrangement not without its challenges.[270]

In addition to their health care system, Adventists operate health food factories around the world as a legacy of the Kellogg brothers’ early dietary innovations.[271] In addition to La Loma Health Foods and Worthington Foods in the U.S., meat substitutes, cereals, and hot drinks are produced in Adventist factories in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and Germany.[272] As early as 1903, they also ran vegan and vegetarian restaurants in several urban areas.[273]

However, some extreme reforms have at times brought controversial results. In the 1860s Dr. Lay at the WHRI advocated dispensing with salt, sugar, milk, and eggs, a position with which Ellen White disagreed.[274] Given White’s belief in the interaction between mind and body, phrenology[275] also appealed to many Adventists.[276] James and Ellen White, their sons Edson and Willie, Review editor Uriah Smith, and GC President George Butler, among others, had their heads read; Willie White, Jenny Trembly, and the brothers John and Merritt Kellogg studied phrenology at Dr. Trall’s Hygeo-Therapeutic College in New York; and D. W. Reavis in Battle Creek sold the Phrenological Journal in the 1870s.[277] Phrenology also strengthened Adventists’ belief in vitalism.[278] Since many saw a connection among phrenology, vitalism, and hypnotism, however, White later rejected all three as Satanic.[279] Nonetheless, a debate over the benefits and dangers of hypnotism continues in the church today.[280]

Another controversial topic among Adventists has been faith healing.[281] Given the medical quackery that existed in the 1840s and ’50s, Ellen White urged members not to go to physicians but to seek healing from God.[282] Between 1844 and 1900, many Adventists experienced instant healing following prayer and anointing services.[283] But Dr. John Harvey Kellogg remained skeptical, denouncing faith healing as “fanatical zeal” and a “foolish exercise of faith.” White herself warned against presumption and, as the number of Adventist sanitariums increased, urged believers to seek healing there.[284] Some in the church today assert that faith healing, like all miracles, presents moral dilemmas.[285]

A serious moral dilemma arose for Adventists with the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. Church papers emphasized similarities between Hitler and Adventists such as the fact that Hitler was a vegetarian, a non-smoker, and a teetotaler; thus “he is closer to our own view of health reform than anybody else [in Nazi leadership].”[286] German church officials praised the Nazis for advocating a healthy, natural diet for a fitter nation; opposition to alcohol, drugs, and smoking; an emphasis on race hygiene and eugenics; and cooperation with the Adventist welfare and health care systems. Sales of cereal and bread at the De-Vau-Ge food factory doubled during the Nazi regime. But many Adventist periodicals went further, defending the Nazi State as God-given, biblically sound, and according to natural law; supporting sterilization of deviants; portraying the Jesuits and Jews as the cause of Germany’s ruin after WWI; and encouraging Adventist colporteurs to sell 10,000 copies of Neus Volk, the Nazi racial journal, every month. Finally, the General Conference worked with the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda and the Foreign Office to sponsor Hulda Jost, leader of the German Adventist Nurses Association and the Adventist Welfare work, in giving lectures across the U.S. German Adventists would later express regret for praising the Nazi regime in their publications.[287]

In a more positive vein, after WWII Adventists developed a new program for healthful living based on Ellen White’s 1905 book Ministry of Healing. Called “NEWSTART,” this acronym emphasized the advantages of nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, fresh air, rest, and trust in God.[288] They also began preaching the health benefits of humor.[289] Some have recently urged members to fight for affordable universal health care in the U.S. They argue that it is a grave injustice that one-third of Americans cannot access health services; that universal health care accords with the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25); that it demonstrates compassion for others; and that Ellen White would approve since it is part of Adventists’ health ministry.[290]

Similarly, about forty Adventist self-supporting institutions today seek to follow White’s admonition to live in a rural environment and follow the “Madison Idea” of an egalitarian, group-governed culture in an agricultural setting teaching practical skills.[291] The founders of these schools and sanitariums, which model their lifestyle after Madison Sanitarium (established near Nashville by E. A. Sutherland and P. T. Magan in 1904), chose rustic locations free from the perceived wickedness of city life where simplicity, economy, self-sacrifice, and physical and mental health can be enhanced. Basing their curriculum on Sutherland’s compilation of Ellen White’s writings in Country Living,[292] instead of pursuing academic degrees, students learn practical trades such as carpentry, painting, printing, cobbling, tent-making, broom-making, sewing, dress-making, and cooking.[293] Although some church leaders a century ago felt that these self-supporting institutions “undermined” General Conference efforts to reorganize and systematize all church entities between 1901 and 1918, most officials today recognize their complementary contributions to the mission of the church.[294]

In conclusion, this essay has shown that between 1844 and the present, there never has been only one “Adventist lifestyle.” While church leaders, pastors, teachers, and writers have upheld an ideal lifestyle based upon the Bible and Ellen White’s writings, over the past 175 years, members have adapted this ideal lifestyle to fit their conservative, moderate, or liberal inclinations. Thus, in the areas of Sabbath-keeping, worship styles, the arts, sports, gambling, reading material, theater, TV, dancing, dress, adornment, music, temperance, diet, and health institutions, Adventists have followed many different lifestyles. Recent surveys appear to indicate that this trend will continue into the twenty-first century.


Notes & References:


[1] Called “present truth,” these doctrines would eventually comprise the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.

[2] In ascending order, this included local congregations, state conferences, regional union conferences, divisions, and the General Conference.

[3] George Knight, A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999), 71.

[4] In “From Sect to Church, from Meeting-House to Kitchen: The Development of Adventist and Changing Roles of Seventh-day Adventist Women,” Adventist Heritage 17, No. 2: 31, Laura Vance defines “sect” as “a religious movement in tension with secular society.” Nineteenth-century Adventism fit this description in its doctrines, institutional structure, and lifestyle.

[5] Especially with the Anabaptist emphasis on adult baptism, separation of church and state, biblical truth vs. creeds and traditions. See George Knight, A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000), 30.

[6] Adventists and Methodists in the nineteenth century were similar in their Arminian view of salvation; organization (conferences and a General Conference presided over by presidents or bishops); an itinerant ministry (including female preachers); revivals and camp meetings; emphasis on private prayer, heart religion, Scripture reading, and ecstatic worship; and both opposed dancing, card-playing, drunkenness, novels, the theatre, and jewelry among other vices. See Alberto Timm and James Nix, eds., Lessons from Battle Creek (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2018), 39; A. Gregory Schneider, “The Methodist Connection to Adventism,” Spectrum 25, no. 5 (September 1996): 26-36; Merlin D. Burt, Syllabus for CHIS674: Development of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (2018), p. 12.

[7] Apocalypticism was its legacy from Millerism, the Advent Christians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Christadelphians. See Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-day Adventism and the American Dream, 2nd ed. (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989), 28-44.

[8] Primitivism came by way of the Puritans, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and the Christian Connexion. See Bull and Lockhart, ibid.

[9] The search for personal salvation derived from Wesleyan Methodism and Pentecostalism. See Bull and Lockhart, ibid.

[10] In Facing Doubt: A Book for Adventist Believers “on the Margins” (London: Flanko Press, 2016), 84, Reinder Bruinsma defines these four streams as Mainstream Adventism, Evangelical Adventism, Progressive Adventism, and Historic Adventism.

[11] These included prison, insane asylum, agricultural, educational, marriage, dress, health, peace, voting, temperance, and antislavery reforms. See C. Mervyn Maxwell, Tell It to the World: The Story of Seventh-day Adventists (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1976), 209.

[12] Ellen Harmon White (1827-1915) was actually one of 55 self-styled prophets that arose during the Millerite movement of the 1840s, in addition to some 200 seers across the United States. In her childhood city of Portland, Maine, Ellen had been one of five female prophets. See Michael Campbell, “Dreams and Visions in American Religious History,” in Alberto Timm and Dwain Esmond, eds., The Gift of Prophecy in Scripture and History (Silver Spring, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2015), 232.

[13] George Knight, Lest We Forget (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2008), 143; idem, Brief History, 80.

[14] The Millerite Movement took its name from Baptist preacher William Miller of upstate New York. The Great Disappointment occurred on October 22, 1844 when Christ failed to appear in the heavens as predicted by many Millerite preachers.

[15] In their seminal work The Disappointed: Millerism and Millenarianism in the Nineteenth Century (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987), 191, Ronald Numbers and Jonathan Butler describe this Millerite mindset as a blend of egalitarianism, apocalypticism, Romanticism, pietism, perfectionism, revivalism, ecumenicalism, volunteerism, and hope for future progress. As this essay will show, Seventh-day Adventism has been shaped by all of these “isms.”

[16] As late as the 1880s, Battle Creek College student D. W. Reavis stated that “the whole spirit of the entire denomination…was reformatory in every detail of life.” See Gary Land, ed., Adventism in America (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1986), 71.

[17] As in the Adventist headquarters of Battle Creek, Michigan (1855-1903), where Stephen Haskell quipped in 1899 that Adventism provided “queer soil” for the “sprouting” of such fanatical ideas as setting new dates for the second coming of Christ, equating angels with the Holy Spirit, forbidding the killing of insects because all life was sacred, advocating for a flat earth, and declaring that those with physical blemishes or white hair could never get to heaven. See Gilbert M. Valentine, The Prophet and the Presidents: Ellen White’s Influence on the Leadership of the Early Seventh-day Adventist Church (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2011), 161-62 and Loren Seibold, “Is the Bible from Heaven? Is the Earth a Globe?” Adventist Heritage 15, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 26.

[18] In 1903 Adventist education reformer Percy T. Magan told Ellen White that Battle Creek had become “a seething, foaming mass of lying reports, unbelief, backbiting, criticism, and disregard for the plain commands of God.” P.T. Magan to E. G. White, July 1, 1903, quoted in Albert Dittes, Three Adventist Titans: The Significance of Heeding or Rejecting the Counsel of Ellen White (N.p.: Teach Services Publishing, 2013), 84.

[19] Such legalism manifested itself not only in doctrine and theology, but also in lifestyle issues as this essay will show. In the 1920s, for example, the General Conference Home Commission recommended breaking a child’s bad habits of thumb sucking, temper tantrums, pouting, eating snacks, and bed wetting by spanking and letting the child cry himself to sleep, while Adventist boarding academies actually employed beating and whipping as punishments. See Lenita Skoretz, “Train Up a Child: Seventh-day Adventist Home Commission Publications, 1922-1932,” Adventist Heritage 8, No. 2 (Fall 1983): 20-21.

[20] “Mrs. Temple’s Renovating Remedy” for cholera, which consisted of bloodroot, cubebs, snake root, brandy, and laudanum steeped in a pint of water, made her a very rich woman despite the fact that this remedy was “the bitterest stuff imaginable” according to Ellen White’s secretary. See Ron Graybill, “Mrs. Temple: A Millennial Utopian,” Spectrum 47, no. 4:73-77.

[21] Agnes Coolbrith became one of several wives of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saints, in 1842 when Ellen Harmon was fifteen years old. See Terrie Aamodt, Gary Land, and Ronald Numbers, eds., Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2014), 323.

[22] Adventist preachers such as James and Ellen White in the Midwest, M. E. Cornell and Moses Hull in Iowa, J. N. Loughborough in California, and others in the West were often called “lying Mormons” by those who wished to discredit their message. See Ronald Numbers, Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (NY: Harper and Row, 1976), 16l; Doug R. Johnson, Adventism on the Northwestern Frontier (Berrien Springs, MI: Oronoko Books, 1996), 2-3; Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White, 6 vols. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 1:415-16; Brian E. Strayer, J. N. Loughborough: The Last of the Adventist Pioneers (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2014), 177; Roger L. Dudley and Edwin I. Hernandez, Citizens of Two Worlds: Religion and Politics among American Seventh-day Adventists (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1992), 9.

[23] For example, Adventists, Mormons, and Witnesses are American-made religions that arose in the mid-nineteenth century in New England and New York; they each claimed to be the true church, urged separation from the world, engaged in door-to-door witnessing, opposed the use of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, jewelry, and drugs; forbade premarital sex; and employed predominantly male leaders despite women being in the majority. See Jerome L. Clark, 1844, 3 vols. (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1968), I:114; Ronald Lawson and Ryan Cragun, “Mormons, Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses: Three American Originals and How They’ve Grown,” Spectrum 41, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 58-73; Lenore Johnson, “Sexual Attitudes on Seventh-day Adventist Campuses, Circa 1978,” Spectrum 19, no. 3 (February 1989):33.

[24] Michael Campbell, Notes taken in George Knight’s CHIS673: Development of Seventh-day Adventist Lifestyle class, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University (October 14-December 4, 2003).

[25] Giampiero Vassallo, in “What’s an Adventist, Anyway? Bounded Sets Versus Centered Sets,” Spectrum 41, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 74-80, defines a “bounded set” as using external characteristics (the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, no alcohol, smoking, pork, jewelry, etc.) to differentiate Adventists from other Christians, seeing theology as unchanging truth, keeping clear membership rolls, emphasizing evangelism (conversions) over discipling (nurturing), focusing on differences with other denominations, and expecting converts to follow a Western Adventist way of doing things. By contrast, a “centered set” that focuses on relationships places Jesus (not doctrines) at the center; recognizes variations among members; affirms differences in race, ethnicity, culture, and worship styles; finds discipling both restorative and redemptive when it goes hand in hand with evangelism; sees baptism as one’s profession of faith rather than an intellectual assent to doctrines; and gives authority to local and national leaders who demonstrate God’s power in their lives.

[26] Following in the footsteps of E. D. Hirsch’s book Cultural Literacy, Jane Thayer, in “Adventese Spoken Here,” Spectrum 19, no. 3 (February 1989):5-10, with the help of the Andrews University faculty in Berrien Springs, Michigan, drew up a descriptive “Seventh-day Adventist Subcultural Literacy List” of 428 names, terms, dates, and words that could be used to differentiate Adventist insiders from non-Adventist outsiders.

[27] See, for example, Benjamin G. Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1944; reprint, Payson, AZ: Leaves of Autumn Books, 1987), 58, 75, 80, 83, 92-95, 100-116, 163-66, 261, 264; David Marshall, The Celtic Connection: The Story of the Beginnings of Christianity in Ireland and Britain (Grantham, England: The Stanborough Press Ltd., 1994), 31-32, 37-41; and Russell J. Thomsen, Seventh Day Baptists—Their Legacy to Adventists (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1971), 9-11.

[28] Seventh-day Sabbath keeping groups could be found in Bohemia, Austria, Moravia, Poland, Lithuania, Transylvania, Germany, France, Finland, and England. See Brian E. Ball, Seventh-Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 27-39 and W. L. Emmerson, The Reformation and the Advent Movement (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983), 69-80.

[29] Brian Ball, in Seventh-Day Men, 46-294 and in The English Connection: The Puritan Roots of Seventh-day Adventist Belief (Cambridge, England: James Clarke and Company, 1981), 138-58, presents an exhaustive analysis of Seventh Day Baptists in seventeenth-century England and, to a lesser extent, so does W. L. Emmerson in Reformation, 142-50.

[30] Emmerson, Reformation, 169-77; Thomsen, Seventh Day Baptists, 24-30.

[31] T. M. Preble, pastor of the Freewill Baptist Church in Nashua, New Hampshire and editor of the paper The Hope of Israel, accepted the seventh-day Sabbath in 1845 and wrote many articles about it; however, he later repudiated it and returned to Sunday keeping. See Arthur W. Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, 4 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1961-62), 1:117; Maxwell, Tell It to the World, 67-73; Richard Schwarz and Floyd Greenleaf, Light Bearers (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Associaiton, 1990), 56-57.

[32] J. B. Cook was editor of the papers Day-Dawn and Day-Star which also carried articles on Sabbath-keeping in the mid-1840s. See Spalding, Origin and History, 1:118.

[33] Rachel Oakes Preston was a Seventh Day Baptist laywoman from Verona, New York who, while visiting her school-teacher daughter, Rachel Delight Oaks, in Washington, New Hampshire, brought the importance of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath to the attention of the local Methodist pastor, Frederick Wheeler, thus leading him to keep the seventh day holy. See Spalding, ibid., 115; Maxwell, Tell It to the World, 33; and Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 56-57.

[34] Frederick Wheeler, the pastor of the Washington and Hillsboro, New Hampshire Methodist churches, began keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in December 1844 after discussions with Rachel Oakes Preston. See Maxwell, ibid., 67-73 and Schwarz and Greenleaf, ibid., 56-57.

[35] Joseph Bates of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, a retired seaman and former Millerite agent, learned about the seventh-day Sabbath by reading Preble’s articles and talking with Frederick Wheeler and William Farnsworth in Washington, New Hampshire. As mentioned below, Bates, who later wrote four books on the Sabbath, converted James and Ellen White to Sabbath-keeping in 1846. See Spalding, Origin and History.,1:125 and Schwarz and Greenleaf, ibid., 56-57.

[36] Andrews’ article in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald of November 1850, “Thoughts on the Sabbath,” was a 1,000 word defense of the sunset to sunset worship time; his later book History of the Sabbath went through four editions (1861, 1873, 1887, and 1912). For a discussion of this debate, see The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., s.v. “Sabbath”; George Knight, Joseph Bates: the Real Founder of Seventh-day Adventism (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2004), 158-61; Everett Dick, Founders of the Message (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1938), 149; and Gilbert M. Valentine, J. N. Andrews: Mission Pioneer, Evangelist, and Thought Leader (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019), 118, 156, 181-84, 205, 410, 439, 447. I assert in J. N. Loughborough, 490, that John and Mary Loughborough of Michigan were actually the first Adventist couple to keep the Sabbath from sundown to sundown.

[37] In addition to Saturday worship, early Adventists were distinguished by their practices of foot washing and the holy kiss at Quarterly Meetings (later called Communion services). See Knight, Search for Identity, 71; Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: The Human Interest Story (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1972), 173-75; and Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 40-44.

[38] While James White viewed the Sabbath as “our dear friend,” Ellen saw it as a memorial of Creation, but both abstained from work and play during its hours. See Paul Ricchiuti, Ellen White: Trailblazer for God (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2003), 69 and The Ellen White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Sabbath, Doctrine of the.”

[39] Frederick Hoyt, ed., “Trial of Elder I. Dammon Reported for the Piscataquis Farmer,” Spectrum 17, no. 5 (August 1987): 15-22, 29-36.

[40] While Ellen’s father was a Methodist exhorter, James’ father was a singing master. See Aamodt, et al., eds., American Prophet, 5-7; Ronald D. Graybill, “The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious Founders of the Nineteenth Century,” Adventist Currents 1, no. 2 (October 1983):30; A. Gregory Schneider, “The Shouting Ellen White,” Spectrum 29, no. 4 (Autumn 2001):16-22; Gerald Wheeler, James White: Innovator and Overcomer (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2003), 51-52.

[41] Richard Ralph in North Paris, Maine and northern New York; Ezra L. H. Chamberlain of Connecticut and northern New York; Washington Morse at an undisclosed location; and several individuals at the Holy Flesh camp meetings held throughout Indiana in 1899 spoke in tongues. See Bull and Lockhart, Sanctuary, 221; Valentine, Andrews, 106-107, 165; Knight, Lest We Forget, 143; Arthur White, Ellen G. White 1:199; Ella M. Robinson, S. N. Haskell: Man of Action (Brushton, NY: TEACH Services, 2004), 168-75. Sixty years later, however, when Ralph Mackin in 1908 claimed to have the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, and the ability to cast out demons, Ellen White charged him with “fanaticism and disorder, noise and confusion, eccentricities of action, and strong exercisings” that were not of God. See Arthur White, Ellen G. White, 6: 171-73.

[42] Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 39-41; Everett N. Dick, “Advent Camp Meetings of the 1840s,” Adventist Heritage 4, no. 2 (Winter 1977):3-10; Historical Dictionary of the Seventh-day Adventists, s.v. “Camp Meetings.”

[43] The earliest Seventh-day Adventist camp meetings were held at Pilot Grove, Iowa (1866), Johnstown Center, Wisconsin (1867), and Wright, Michigan (1868). Thereafter they became a regular part of the summer schedule in every state conference. See Strayer, Loughborough, 158-59, 200-202, 215, 315-16; Robinson, White, 203-205; James R. Nix, Memorable Dates From Our Adventist Past (Silver Spring, MD: North American Division of Education, 1989), 108-10; and Adriel D. Chilson, “Don’t Be Wrong about Wright (It Wasn’t Our First Campmeeting,” Adventist Heritage 12, no. 1 (Winter 1987): 3-8.

[44] Land, Adventism in America, 91-92.

[45] Benjamin McArthur, A. G. Daniells: Shaper of Twentieth-Century Adventism (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2015), 66-68, 135-37; Jack Thorpe, “Someone Has to Tell Them What It Was Like,” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 3 (Winter 1992): 4-6; Strayer, Loughborough, 238-39.

[46] John J. Robertson, A. G. Daniells: The Making of a General Conference President, 1901 (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1977), 35-36. Whereas nineteenth-century Adventists had moved their camp meetings to a different site every summer and fall to reach more of the public, by the 1920s and ’30s, they began establishing permanent campgrounds for their annual summer camp meetings.

[47] Although, as Bonnie Dwyer and Jan Daffern point out in “Campmeeting Adventist Style,” Spectrum 14, no. 2 (October 1983):2-7, by the 1980s various ethnic groups (blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans) held their own camp meetings separate from whites; the variety of participants included retirees, LGBTQ individuals, RV gatherings, and cowboy camp meetings; the speakers were primarily male ordained ministers with few women presenters; and most convocations met over a weekend rather than for the traditional nine-day camp meeting.

[48] Beverly Beem and Ginger Hanks Harwood, “Pilgrims and Strangers: Adventist Spirituality, 1850-1863,” Spectrum 31, no. 4 (Fall 2003):67-75.

[49] In many respects, these early Sabbath Schools also followed the Methodist class meeting format. See Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 155-56; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Sabbath Schools”; Stefanie Johnson, “Questioning Sabbath School,” Spectrum 31, no. 4 (Fall 2003):17-22.

[50] For example, the Youth’s Instructor (1852), the Song Anchor, Sabbath School Worker (1885), Our Little Friend (1890), Junior Guide (1953), Primary Treasure (1957), Earliteen Sabbath School Quarterly (1962), and Insight (1970). See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Sabbath Schools”; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Sabbath Schools.”

[51] The Rivulet Society was active in the 1880s and 1890s; the Pitcairn was built in 1890 for mission service in the South Pacific Ocean until it was retired in 1910. See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Pitcairn” and The Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Rivulet Society.”

[52] Held for five to ten days, Vacation Bible Schools, begun in the 1940s, combine evangelism and entertainment through a program of singing, stories, crafts, recreation, prayer, and Bible study. By 1992 they attracted over 384,000 children, 65 percent of them non-Adventists, and resulted in over 7,600 baptisms each year. See Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Vacation Bible Schools.”

[53] Fannie Houck, Beyond Baptism: What the New Believer Should Know About the Adventist Lifestyle (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1987), 14, 17.

[54] Such services, which appeal to both the mind and the senses, might include robed choirs, introits, anthems, intercessions, responses, chanted psalms, congregational singing to organ accompaniment, incense, candles, and short homilies. See A. J. Woodfield, “O Come Let Us Adore Him—But How?” Spectrum 13, no. 4 (June 1983):10-14; David Trim, “Liturgical Adventism: Towards a Theology of Worship,” Spectrum 37, no. 4 (Fall 2009):18-24; and Todd Leonard, “Can a Community Church Be an Adventist Church at the Same Time?: One Congregation’s Quest for Relevancy and Orthodoxy,” Spectrum 39, no. 2 (Spring 2011):21-25. Leonard is the pastor of the Canton, Georgia SDA Church where services follow the liturgical year calendar and members actively minister to the needs of the community through birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, monthly dinners for the poor, and addiction seminars.

[55] These services focus on love, grace, and praising God by singing exuberant choruses accompanied by electric guitars and drums; creating deeply moving symphonies, paintings, sculptures, and dramas; and reaching out to the larger community with service projects. See Roy Branson, “Celebrating the Adventist Experience,” Spectrum 12, no. 1 (September 1981):2-5.

[56] Including special candles, silver, tablecloths, china, flowers, music, poetry, fragrant herbs, select foods, inviting friends over, singing praise songs, laughter, study, and prayer. See Jacques Doukhan, “What Can Adventism Learn from the Jews About the Sabbath?” Spectrum 39, no. 1 (Winter 2011):15-20.

[57] Dudley and Hernandez, in a survey published in Citizens of Two Worlds, 105-106, discovered that in the 1990s only 75 percent of Adventist youth attended church weekly; only 57 percent of them held a church office; and 40 percent of them rarely or never witnessed by sharing their beliefs with a non-Adventist. In a subsequent ten-year survey of 1523 teens in 659 congregations between 1987 and 1997, published as “Why Our Teenagers Leave the Church,” in Spectrum 28, no. 4 (Autumn 2000):22-27, Dudley found that between 40 and 50 percent of baptized youth left the church by their mid-twenties, while those who remained active members did so because of family influence, Adventist education, personal devotions, membership in Pathfinders, and a meaningful church worship experience. This trend does not hold for Hispanic Adventist youth, however, as a study conducted by Johnny Ramirez-Johnson and Edwin Hernandez shows. Over 57 percent of them had daily devotions, 67 percent had a balanced understanding of the Gospel, 95 percent had orthodox doctrinal views, and 85 percent considered the Sabbath very meaningful in their lives. See Ramirez-Johnson and Edwin Hernandez, “The Face of Hispanic Adventism,” Spectrum 31, no. 4 (Fall 2003):61-66.

[58] See V. Bailey Gillespie, “Future Church: Young People and Their Commitment to Adventism,” Spectrum 33, no. 2 (Spring 2005):49-53.

[59] John Hughson, “Inside a Monastery, Inside My Heart,” Spectrum 34, no. 3 (Summer 2006):70-75. Hughson, an Adventist pastor, spent several weeks in a Greek Orthodox Monastery on Mt. Athos beside the Aegean Sea seeking spiritual renewal through prayer, silence, meditation, and a vegetarian regimen, a practice he recommended for all pastors facing burnout.

[60] Julius Nam, “In Japan, Adventists Find Willow Creek Bridge to the Unchurched,” Spectrum 35, no. 3 (Summer 2007):9-11. As Nam points out, the non-traditional worship style practiced at the Willow Creek megachurch in Illinois has more appeal to Muslims and secular Japanese than does the typical Adventist approach to evangelism.

[61] John Brunt, “Negotiating Sabbath Observance in the Local Church,” Spectrum 39, no. 1 (Winter 2011):31-35. Brunt bases his observations on the experience of the 2,000-member Azure Hills SDA Church in Grand Terrace, California where interactive worships, weekend outings, long hikes, frequent potlucks, café Bible studies, visits to rest homes and hospitals, distributing food to the needy, and mini meditation retreats are regular practices.

[62] Reinder Bruinsma, “Adventist Identity in a Postmodern World,” Spectrum 41, no. 2 (Spring 2013):32-43. Bruinsma, a retired union president and division executive secretary from Europe, argues in favor of adopting contemporary music and drama in informal celebration worship services and allowing members to pick and choose the doctrines that meet their felt needs.

[63] Michael W. Campbell and Nikolaus Satelmajer, eds., Here We Stand: Luther, the Reformation, and Seventh-day Adventism (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017), 277-78.

[64] Richard E. Kuykendall, “Adventist Art: Designed for a Purpose; An Expression of Spiritual Creativity,” Adventist Heritage 9, no. 2 (Fall 1984):19.

[65] Ibid., 21-23

[66] Ibid., 22-23; J. Paul Stauffer, “Uriah Smith: Wood Engraver,” Adventist Heritage 3, no. 1 (Summer 1976):17-21.

[67] Kuykendall, “Adventist Art,” 19-29; Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1982), 6:111; Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Visual Art.”

[68] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Art.”

[69] Ibid., s.v. “Architecture.” While touring Europe in 1885-1887, White visited several Gothic cathedrals, strongly disapproving of their “dungeon-like chill” that “suggested torture.” “A more dismal place I do not wish to see…a relic of the Dark Ages, as if priest and people had been asleep for hundreds of years.” Naturally she also disliked seeing rosaries, incense, confessional booths, and the Mass performed inside. See Adriel D. Chilson, Gospel Viking (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981), 109, and Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, “The Ages of Adventism,” Spectrum 36, no. 2 (Spring 2008):35.

[70] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Architecture.”

[71] Such was the experience of Herold Weiss, whose mother enrolled him in the Escuela de Billes Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, much against the objections of local church elders. See Herold Weiss, “Growing Up Adventist in Argentina,” Spectrum 37, no. 1 (Winer 2009):43.

[72] Alita Byrd, “The Story Behind the Bible Felts,” Spectrum 44, no. 2 (2016):24-27.

[73] Ibid.; Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Art.”

[74]Australian Ken Mead painted colorful backdrops for Ernest Steed’s TV presentations “The Best Saturday Night in Town” between 1956 and 1960 and later for George Vandeman’s TV program “It Is Written”; American artist Nathan Greene’s art tends to be inspirational; while Canadian-born Greg Constantine’s art often expresses urbane and witty themes. See Michelle Abel and Karen Miller, “Kenneth Mead: Painting Pastor of Australia,” Adventist Heritage 16, no. 1 (Spring 1993):6-9 and Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 236-43.

[75] Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Art in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

[76] Lourdes Morales-Gudmundsson, “Pleasing the Senses: Ellen White Wouldn’t Object,” Spectrum 17, no. 4 (May 1987):54-55; Daniel Reynaud, “Toward an Adventist Aesthetic for the Arts,” Spectrum 32, no. 3 (Summer 2004):50-54.

[77] The Comic Book Bible uses comic book art and words to illustrate Bible stories for children; Siku’s The Manga Bible features humor; and The Brick Testament utilizes LEGO block art created by Brendan Powell Smith. See Ruben R. Dupertuis, “Translating the Bible into Pictures” Spectrum 44, no. 2 (2016):6-19.

[78] “Pictures for an Exhibition: Celebrating 50 Years,” Spectrum 46, no. 3 (2018):29-68.

[79] Ricchiuti, Trailblazer, 88.

[80] Strayer, Loughborough, 445; Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Picnic.”

[81] Houck, Beyond Baptism, 64-65.

[82] Such as the Adventist Review, Insight, Guide, Primary Treasure, and Our Little Friend. See Tompaul Wheeler,The Demise of Insight: What Killed Adventism’s Youth Magazine, and What We Should Do About It,” Spectrum 45, no. 4 (2017):40-45.

[83] In 1879 teenagers Harry Fenner and Luther Warren of Hazelton, Michigan, began a youth ministry modeled on the Student Volunteer Movement in America which led to the establishment of Missionary Volunteer Societies (1907), Junior Missionary Volunteer Societies (1909), Pathfinder Clubs (1911), Youth Congresses (1947), Adventist Youth and Adventist Junior Youth Associations (1979) around the world. See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Missionary Volunteer Society”; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Adventist Youth Societies,” “MV Societies,” and “Pathfinder Clubs.”

[84] Sunshine Bands, established by Luther Warren in 1894, visit the sick, handicapped, orphans, and residents at hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, and prisons to sing, pray, and encourage them. See Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Sunshine Band.”

[85] As James and Ellen White enjoyed camping in their isolated cabin in the Colorado Rockies, so Pathfinder groups today go on wilderness campouts during which they hike in the mountains, canoe down rivers and lakes, learn spiritual lessons from nature, and engage in service-oriented projects. See George R. Knight, Walking with Ellen White: Her Everyday Life as a Wife, Mother, and Friend (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999), 27-29 and James Coffin, “Pathfinders: Blazing a New Trail through Suburbia,” Spectrum 33, no. 2 (Spring 2005):54-61.

[86] Brian E. Strayer, John Byington: First General Conference President, Circuit-Riding Preacher, and Radical Reformer (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017), 170. The Church’s official position for 150 years has been that men who are drafted or enlist in the military should not carry weapons or work on the Sabbath except as medics seeking to save lives rather than take them.

[87] Valentine, Andrews, 643; Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1984), 3:305. The typical classroom schedule across Europe in the nineteenth century (and even today in some countries) included classes meeting on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, which naturally created difficulties for Adventist children.

[88] In the 1880s and ’90s dozens of Adventists were fined, jailed, or put on chain gangs for working on their farms, running printing presses, and operating other business enterprises on Sunday. The American Sentinel (later renamed Liberty magazine) publicized these cases while the General Conference Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department has consistently defended Adventists around the world who have been fired, fined, or jailed for refusing to work on Saturday. See Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 195-98.

[89] Rosalie Hunt Mellor and Minita Sype Brown, The Intrepid Gringo: The Story of a Fearless Adventurer for God (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2006), 124.

[90] Terese Thonus, “Brazil Teaches Gringos How to Worship,” Spectrum 20, no. 4 (June 1990):18-20.

[91] Ante Jeroncic, “Inhabiting the Kingdom: On Apocalyptic Identity and Last Generation Lifestyle,” Spectrum 46, no. 2 (2018):40-54.

[92] Gary Patterson, “Happy Sabbath,” Spectrum 45, nos. 2-3 (2017):8; Charles Scriven, “How to Keep the Sabbath,” Spectrum 19, no. 1 (August 1988):47-50. Paradoxically, however, many Baby Boomers remember that it was permissible to wade up to one’s knees, run and play without a ball, hike for miles, and overindulge at Sabbath potlucks.

[93] Houck, Beyond Baptism, 64.

[94] Terese Thonus, “Guns in Church: No Sanctuary,” Spectrum 45, no. 4 (2017):49-54.

[95] Adventist churches in New York, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Texas, California, Oregon, Idaho, Ohio, and New South Wales, Australia have compiled such “Welcoming Statements,” often printed in their bulletins, posted on entrance walls, and included on their websites. They often emphasize racial, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation diversity; church as a safe place to grow; all being on a journey of exploration; lack of dress requirements; church as a family; community service programs; and grace, love, and hope rather than law, requirements, and restrictions. See “Hospitality Begins at Home: Seventh-day Adventist Churches Craft Welcoming Statements,” Spectrum 46, no. 2 (2018):70-73.

[96] Gary Land, ed., The World of Ellen White (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1987), 186; George R. Knight, Ellen White’s World: A Fascinating Look at the Times in Which She Lived (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998), 131-35. A bicycle, in fact, could cost $125, about four months’ wages for a working man.

[97] Thus as early as 1839 Mrs. White opposed cards and table games; in the 1890s she condemned the bicycle craze, football, baseball, tennis and cricket on Adventist college campuses; and in 1912 she disapproved of sports cheering teams and college swimming pools. Expressing disapproval of Australian students at Avondale College playing cricket, she wrote in 1899: “And while men were playing the game of cricket…Satan was playing the game of life for their souls.” See Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 116; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Bicycle,” “Competition,” “Games and Sports”; White, Ellen G. White, 6:370-74; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 172-74; and Ellen White, quoted in George Knight, Myths in Adventism: An Interpretive Study of Ellen White, Education, and Related Issues (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 225.

[98] Strayer, Byington, 209; Gary Land, Uriah Smith: Apologist and Biblical Commentator (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2014), 158; Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981), 5:139; and Woodrow Whidden, E. J. Waggoner: From the Physician of Good News to Agent of Division (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2008), 218.

[99] Land, Smith, 163; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Sports and Games”; and Aamodtt, et al., American Prophet, 254. When Adventists purchased the Loma Linda Sanitarium in 1905, for example, Ellen White was certain that the large billiard table in the recreation building which had cost hundreds of dollars would be disposed of. See “Its Name Is ‘Beautiful Hill,’” Adventist Heritage 6, no. 2 (Winter 1979):58.

[100] In fact, teenager Edson White captained a baseball team and Parker Smith at fifteen played football and baseball for the Battle Creek College team against the Battle Creek Sanitarium and Review and Herald teams. See Gary Land, “One Boy and Baseball: The 1887 Diary of S. Parker Smith, Age 15” Spectrum 42, no. 2 (Spring 2014):9-13 and Gilbert M. Valentine, W. W. Prescott: Forgotten Giant of Adventism’s Second Generation (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2005), 56-57.

[101] Emmett K. Vande Vere, The Wisdom Seekers (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1972), 100-102, 138; Ira Gish and Harry Christman, Madison; God’s Beautiful Farm: The E. A. Sutherland Story (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1979), 37-38, 66, 113; and Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983), 4:442-47. Not until the 1920s were students at Emmanuel Missionary College (today Andrews University) in Michigan allowed to play baseball and volleyball “on festive occasions”; by the 1930s they could play basketball, volleyball, softball, ping-pong, and roller skate, ski, and ice skate; by the 1950s they could play intramural sports but not intercollegiate games or tackle football. Vande Vere, Wisdom Seekers, 152, 169, 231.

[102] Manual labor meant working in the gardens, dairy, laundry, broom shop, print shop, cutting wood, hauling stumps, erecting new buildings, and other useful labor. See Vande Vere, Wisdom Seekers, 100-102; White, Human Interest Story, 13-14, 35; White, Ellen G. White, 3:26-27, 182-83, 201-202, 252-53, 359; Arnold C. Reye, “Home Thoughts from Abroad: The Avondale Letters of Cassius and Ella Hughes, 1897-98,” Adventist Heritage 18, no. 1 (Summer 1998):22.

[103] Lila Jo Peck, “Social Life in Old Battle Creek,” Adventist Heritage 15, no. 2 (Fall 1992):30-42. Of course, since Ellen White had died in 1915, she was no longer around to monitor those activities (such as Halloween parties, dramas, and lawn games) of which she disapproved.

[104] Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Recreation and Amusements.”

[105] For example, in 1988 GC Director of Education George Akers, Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists president Don Sahly, Andrews University president Richard Lesher, and Chair of the PE Department at Andrews University John Pangman opposed intercollegiate sports while Andrews University Vice-President of Development David Faehner, Director of the Seventh-day Adventist Health Association Walter Hamerslaugh, and president of the Seventh-day Adventist PE and Recreation Association Doug Newberry strongly favored interschool sports. See Ted Robertson and Todd Coupland, “Debate on the Sidelines,” Spectrum 19, no. 1 (August 1988):23-26 and Roger L. Dudley and V. Bailey Gillespie, Valuegenesis: Faith in the Balance (La Sierra, CA: La Sierra University Press, 1992), 149, 158, 257.

[106] Bonnie Dwyer, “Play Has Already Begun,” Spectrum 19, no. 1 (August 1988):19-22; for the proliferation of team sports at an Adventist academy, see Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:56-60, 94-99, 132-36, 169-74, 202-209, 237-41, 276-80; 2:45-54; 3:191-94. Only Southern Adventist University in Tennessee and Southwestern Adventist University in Texas did not join the NAIA or the FCA.

[107] Heather Osborn, “Sabbath and Sports: The Next Religious Liberty Battle or Too Hot to Touch?” Spectrum 32, no. 2 (Spring 2004):67-73; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 174; and Walt Hamerslaugh, “Game On: Church vs. Schools,” Spectrum 43, no. 1 (Winter 2015):36-46.

[108] Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Camping.”; Willie Oliver and Patricia Humphrey, We Are the Pathfinders Strong: The First Fifty Years (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000), 55-56, 59, 68, 90-91, 115.

[109] Chloe Robles-Evano, “Los Angeles Dodgers Honor Frank Jobe,” Spectrum 42, no. 2 (Spring 2014):7. The Tommy John surgical procedure takes a ligament from a player’s good elbow and uses it to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. One-third of Major League pitchers have undergone this procedure.

[110] Alita Byrd, “Heaven Sent Gaming Picks Up Global Fans,” Spectrum 45, no. 4 (46-48).

[111] Land, World of Ellen White, 187-89; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Gambling.”

[112] White, Ellen G. White, 6:353.

[113] Strayer, Loughborough, 299.

[114] Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Gambling.”

[115] Land, World of Ellen White, 179, 194-207.

[116] Knight, Ellen White’s World, 138; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Novels”; Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Fiction.”

[117] Land, Uriah Smith, 106.

[118] Knight, Myths in Adventism, 164-66.

[119] Graybill, “Prophecy,” Adventist Currents, 29.

[120] White, Ellen G. White, 5:37

[121] Kimber J. Lantry, Uncle Uriah and Tad (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981), 52-59, 78.

[122] Ezechias Jean, “Uncle Arthur — Master Story Teller,” Adventist Heritage 8, no. 2 (Fall 1983):23-32; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 234-35.

[123] While novels, comic books, and fiction of all kinds had been banned at Union Springs Academy from 1921 to 1950, bulletins and handbooks said nothing about these types of reading after 1950. During the 1980s and ’90s, the major concerns seemed to be pornography, obscene pictures, and other “questionable reading material.” See Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:63, 136, 281, 311.

[124] Nancy Lecourt, “The Great Controversy Over You-Know-Who,” Spectrum 32, no. 1 (Winter 2004):62-65.

[125] David J. Duncan, “On the Necessity of Fiction in the Life of Faith,” Spectrum 27, no. 4 (Autumn 1999):65-68.

[126] Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Theater”; Land, World of Ellen White, 180-83; Knight, Ellen White’s World, 139; Paul Hamel, Ellen White and Music: Background and Principles (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976), 67-70.

[127] Hamel, White, 71-75; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Theater”; Delmer I. Davis, “’Hotbed of Immorality’: Seventh-day Adventists and the Battle Creek Theater in the 1880s,” Adventist Heritage 7, no. 1 (Spring 1982):20-33.

[128] Davis, “Hot Bed,” 22.

[129] Land, Smith, 61, 158, 163.

[130] Strayer, Byington, 227, 232-33.

[131] Ella White Robinson, Over My Shoulder (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1982), 36, 61.

[132] Mellor and Brown, Gringo, 32; Robertson, Daniells, 31.

[133] These theaters included Chicago’s Lyric Theater, New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and London’s Coliseum Theater — places Adventists had previously been forbidden to go. See Land, Adventism in America, 192.

[134] Brian E. Strayer, “Taming the Tube: Adventist Attitudes toward Movies and TV, 1890-1990,” unpublished manuscript, 1990, pp. 1-4, 12, 19-20. This old assertion that angels won’t enter theaters gave rise to an Adventist joke that the safest place to be was at the entrance to the cinema because so many angels congregated there!

[135] Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:64, 175-76, 210, 245, 281; 3:195.

[136] Zdravko Plantak, “Cinematography — Why Bother?” Spectrum 35, no. 4 (Fall 2007):31-37 and Emmett K. Vande Vere, Windows: Selected Readings in Seventh-day Adventist Church History, 1844-1922 (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1975), 234.

[137] Scott Moncrieff, “The Hills Are Alive With Thousands of Adventists,” Spectrum 23, no. 4 (January 1994):16-20. Moncrieff argues that “Sound of Music” tapped into common Adventist values: it focused on children; it was wholesome, uplifting entertainment; it reminded them of their own childhood; and it featured familiar Adventist motifs (fleeing to the hills from persecution; Adventists’ suppressed desire to march or dance; the tension between the individual and the church or state). Consequently dozens of academy seniors chose “Climb Every Mountain” for their graduation class song.

[138] Scott Moncrieff, “The Responsibility of Watching,” Spectrum 35, no. 4 (Fall 2007):38, 40-41.

[139] Winona Winkler Wendth, “Top Ten Movies Every Adventist Should See,” Spectrum 35, no. 4 (Fall 2007):39, 41-42. These included Birth of a Nation (1915), Metropolis (1927), Grapes of Wrath (1941), Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Bicycle Thief (1949), Rashomon (1950), On the Waterfront (1953), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Babette’s Feast (1988), and Fighter (2000).

[140] Adrian Zytkoskee, “What I Learned at the Movies,” Spectrum 31, no. 1 (Winter 2003):22-30.

[141] Alexander Carpenter, “Can Filmmaking and Christianity Coexist? A Conversation with Director Rik Swartzwelder,” Spectrum 31, no. 1 (Winter 2003):16-21; idem, “A Shared Hope: The Imagination of Cinema and the Church,” Spectrum 31, no. 1 (Winter 2003):14-21.

[142] Church Manual (1990), cited in the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Recreation and Amusements.”

[143] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 148-50, 257.

[144] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Art”; Moriah Flahaut, “Lights, Camera, Acts of the Apostles,” Spectrum 33, no. 1(Winter 2005):73-74.

[145] Doblmeier has made The Adventists (2010) focusing on the Adventist health message and medical care system, The Adventists 2 (2013) dealing with Adventists’ global mission work, and The Blueprint (2013) describing their world-wide educational system. In 2017 Mel Gibson released Hacksaw Ridge, a movie about Adventist GI Desmond T. Doss, the only conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of over 100 soldiers on Okinawa during WWII. See Todd Kline, “Review of Martin Doblmeier’s Film, The Adventists,” Spectrum 38, no. 3(Summer 2010):62-64.

[146] Strayer, “Taming the Tube,” 2, 5-7, 9, 11, 13-14, 16-17, 20-21, 23-27, 30, 34, 36-39, 41, 45-50. This detailed paper summarizes all the articles about TV that appeared in church papers such as the Review and Herald, The Youth’s Instructor, Insight, Ministry, and Signs of the Times from 1950 to 1990.

[147] Helmut H. Kramer, The Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement (German Reform) (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988), 2. Leaders of the German Reform Movement, which arose in Germany after WWI, also considered it a sin to shave on the Sabbath.

[148] In 1930 Adventist evangelist H. M. S. Richards began preaching on “The Tabernacle of the Air” radio program in Los Angeles, California; by 1942 the Voice of Prophecy, with Richards, the King’s Heralds male quartet, and contralto Del Delker, hosted a coast-to-coast weekly radio broadcast that continues today. In 1969 H. M. S. Richards, Jr. replaced his father as director-speaker. Also in 1938 evangelist J. L. Tucker in Portland, Oregon, started The Quiet Hour radio broadcast which by 1944 aired twice every day; in 1950 it went on TV and began raising money for various mission projects. Three generations of Tuckers have led The Quiet Hour from Redlands, California. In 1948 the General Conference established a Radio Department in Washington, D.C. After 1971 Adventist World Radio broadcast in eighteen languages around the world. See Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 567-69; Historical Dictionary, s.v. “The Quiet Hour”; Spalding, Origin and History, 3:259-60, 263.

[149] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Faith for Today”; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Faith for Today”; Nix, Dates, 63-64; and William and Virginia Fagal, This Is Our Story (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1980), 6, 20-21, 29, 97, 100-104, 136-39.

[150] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “It Is Written”; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “It Is Written.”

[151] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Breath of Life”; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Breath of Life.” Breath of Life appears on Black Entertainment over Cable TV, VISN, PTL, and ACTS networks.

[152] Manuel Vasquez, The Untold Story: 100 Years of Hispanic Adventism, 1899-1999 (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2000), 436-47.

[153] Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Three Angels Broadcasting Network.”

[154] Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 575-77.

[155] Becky Wang Cheng, “Adventist Television Today,” Spectrum 33, no. 1 (Winter 2005):33-37. For financial reasons, the Adventist Media Center closed in 2013 and the various media ministries established their headquarters elsewhere: Breath of Life (Carlton Byrd) in Huntsville, Alabama; Faith for Today and La Voz in Riverside, California; Voice of Prophecy (Shawn Boonstra) in Loveland, Colorado; It Is Written (John Bradshaw) in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Hope Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland. See Tompaul Wheeler, “Vision for the Medium: North American Adventism and Mass Media Today,” Spectrum 42, no. 4 (Fall 2014):35-43. Interestingly, despite the fact that 63 percent of the public in the 1980s held negative views of religious TV programs, Voice of Prophecy earned $6,737,000, It Is Written earned $5,613,000, and Faith for Today earned $2,338,000 in 1987 alone. See Bonnie Dwyer, “The Media Center: Getting Ready for Prime Time?” Spectrum 19, no. 2 (Nov. 1988):6-10.

[156] Wheeler, “Vision,” 35-43.

[157] These include Little Richard, Prince, Art Buchwald, Joan Lunden, Cliff Davis, Leonard Bailey, George Vandeman, Linda Shelton, Doug Batchelor, Del Delker, Ben Carson, and the Chamberlains. See Alexander Carpenter, “Celebs in Home Circles: A Few Adventists Who Are Known for Being Known — and Why We Care,” Spectrum 33, no. 1 (Winer 2005):38-44.

[158] Daneen Akers, in “Can Adventist Television Learn Anything from Oprah?” Spectrum 33, no. 1 (Winter 2005):25-32, suggests that Adventists should aspire to change lives through positive TV, remove Adventist clichés from the Hope Channel, avoid sermon-style preaching, focus on entertainment and fun content, inspire people to change their lives, have a clear vision of the target audience’s needs, convince people we care about them and their needs, hire media specialists to help with software and funding, be authentic in portraying real lives and not perfect people, and be willing to spend millions of dollars to produce top-notch TV programs.

[159] Ellen White, quoted in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1986), 2:121-22, and in Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 233.

[160] Robinson, Over My Shoulder, 70.

[161] See the Church Manual (1990); Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Recreation and Amusements”; and Houck, Beyond Baptism, 68.

[162] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 148, 157.

[163] Reinder Bruinsma, “Is Cohabitation Always Wrong?” Spectrum 40, no. 2 (Spring 2012):37-43.

[164] For example, a smaller survey of 40 Adventist married women from diverse races, nationalities, and cultures at Andrews University in 2012 revealed that 65 percent had experienced controlling or demeaning behavior from their partners; 46 percent had experienced common couple violence; 29 percent had experienced sexual victimization; and 10 percent had experienced severe physical abuse. See Landon Schnabel, “A Study of Family Violence at Andrews: Implications for the World Church,” Spectrum 40, no. 2 (Spring 2012):44-50.

[165] Land, World of Ellen White, 155; Spalding, Origin and History I:383-84.

[166] Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Dress and Adornment”; Strayer, Loughborough, 128-29; Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 43-45.

[167] Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 136, 143, 202-203; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 170, 173; Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Reform Dress”; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Dress.”

[168] Michael Campbell, CHIS673 notes, p. 2.

[169] Dores E. Robinson, The Story of Our Health Message: The Origin, Character, and Development of Health Education in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3rd ed. (Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association, 1965), 167-69; White, Ellen G. White, 2:177-85.

[170] Valentine, Andrews, 481-82; Strayer, Byington, 210, 212. In his diary Byington wrote: “Lord, save us from fashion.” On the other hand, former GC President James White was happy to see the reform dress abandoned because it embarrassed him when people stared at Ellen for wearing it in public. See Ricchiutti, Trailblazer, 38.

[171] Sadie Owen Engen, He Never Doubted: The Story of William A. Spicer (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1989), 29. Ironically, Ellen White in 1897 found some women’s desire to return to the reform dress “objectionable” and “extreme”; she also refused to make dress a test of membership. See Aamodt, et al., American Prophet, 288-90; Clark, 1844, 2:274; and White, Ellen G. White, 4:332-33.

[172] For the details of what male and female fashions were banned from the 1920s to the present, see Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:61-65, 99-103, 136-39, 174-77, 209-12, 241-46, 280-84, 310-14 and 3:194-98. In extreme cases, one’s attire could jeopardize one’s employment. In 1939, Adventist pastor Siegfried Horn was rejected by a congregation in the Netherlands for wearing brown shoes (instead of the mandatory black) to church; the conference president had to assign him to another congregation. See Lawrence T. Geraty, “Siegfried H. Horn: A Voice from the Dust Heaps,” Spectrum 27, no. 2 (Spring 1999):7.

[173] Richard L. Hammill, Pilgrimage: Memoirs of an Adventist Administrator (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1992), 140. President Richard Hammill wrote a letter to female students on March 10, 1971 urging them to follow the dress code, while President Richard Lesher sent an email to faculty around 1993 telling them to send inappropriately dressed students back to the dorms to change.

[174] Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Jewelry”; Dick, “Camp Meetings,” 10.

[175] Ellen White, Testimony No. 1, 136, quoted in Houck, Beyond Baptism, 67; Land, Uriah Smith, 106; idem, “Adventists in Plain Dress,” Spectrum 20, no. 2 (December 1989):42-48.

[176] Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 172-74; Land, “Plain Dress,” 42-48; and George Knight, A. T. Jones: Point Man on Adventism’s Charismatic Frontier (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2011), 130-32. Indeed, Battle Creek College’s bulletins contained no mention of jewelry at all until 1889 when it was considered “not in good taste.”

[177] Land, “Plain Dress,” 42-48.

[178] Strayer, Loughborough, 193-94, 269.

[179] Readers’ Symposium, “Adventist Town Meeting on Jewelry, Abortion, and Creation,” Spectrum 20, no. 3 (April 1990):34-36.

[180] For an itemized list of forbidden jewelry by decades, see Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:62, 176, 244, 283, 312; 3:197.

[181] Church Manual (1990), quoted in Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Jewelry.” Moreover, Houck’s 1987 manual for new converts declared that Adventist men “traditionally” gave wristwatches to their fiancés and not engagement rings because “watches worn for time-keeping purposes are not classed as jewelry.” See Houck, Beyond Baptism, 67.

[182] Ernest J. Bursey, “Standards Hold a Symbolic Function in a Community,” Spectrum 22, no. 2 (May 1992):43-46.

[183] C. G. Tuland, “Let’s Stop Arguing Over the Wedding Ring,” Spectrum 8, no. 2 (January 1977):59-61; Greg Schneider, “If Pork and Rings Are a Big Deal, We Have to Give Fundamental Reasons,” Spectrum 22, no. 2 (May 1992):47-49.

[184] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 148, 257.

[185] Ken Parsons, “In Tune with God,” Spectrum 39, no. 4 (Fall 2011):61-63.

[186] Lilianne Doukhan, In Tune with God (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2010), 198-202, 207.

[187] Ronald D. Graybill, “A Hymn of Joy: Enthusiasm and Celebration in Early Adventist Hymnody,” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 2 (Fall 1991):28-33 and Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Music.” Joshua V. Himes published the Millennial Harp songbook in 1842.

[188] Campbell and Satelmajer, eds., Here We Stand, 295; Wheeler, James White, 27, 55-56; and Doukhan, In Tune with God, 285. White’s first hymnbook in 1849 was Hymns for God’s Peculiar People.

[189] Virgil Robinson, James White (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976), 145-50; Ron Graybill, “Introduction,” The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 5; and Hamel, Ellen White and Music, 25-26. Between 1849 and 1900, Seventh-day Adventists produced 23 songbooks. The most popular have been Hymns and Tunes (1869), Seventh-day Adventist Hymn and Tune Book (1886), Christ in Song (1908), Church Hymnal (1941), and the church’s current songbook, The Adventist Hymnal (1985).

[190] Strayer, Loughborough, 145, 218, 491. In 1859 Joseph Clark described Adventist singing as “deplorable”: “One prolonged a quarter note until it consumed the time of a whole note, with a hold and swell besides. Some were singing one verse, until others had progressed pretty well into the next…” See Timm and Nix, Lessons, 175.

[191] White, who never attended a public concert or a private recital, disapproved of operatic and “theatrical displays” by soloists because they were “not pleasing to the angels” who preferred “simple songs of praise.” She also felt that Roman Catholic and high church music with its “outward splendor, pomp, and ceremony” was “an evidence of inward corruption.” But while she was in Europe (1885-87) she enjoyed some classical vocal and instrumental music. See Hamel, White, 78, 83, 87-88, 93; Doukhan, 286; and Charles Scriven, “Another Look at Ellen White on Music,” Spectrum 10, no. 2 (August 1979):42-52.

[192] David Williams, “An Historical Theology of Ellen G. White’s Experience of and Teachings on Music During the Writing of The Desire of Ages While in Australia from 1892-1898,” Ellen White Issues Symposium 10 (2014):99-116; White, Ellen G. White, 6:393.

[193] For example, Smith used Stephen Foster’s tune “Old Folks at Home” for his hymn “Land of Light” in 1858 and Belden adapted many popular tunes to gospel songs for Billy Sunday’s meetings. See Doukhan, 211 and Pocket Ellen White Dictionary, s.v. “Belden, Franklin Edson” and “Music.”

[194] Annie Smith, sister of Uriah Smith, wrote scores of poems, many of them put to music; Cottrell, who came from a Seventh Day Baptist background, wrote several hymns in the 1850s and ’60s; Kate Amadon was an accomplished pianist, organist, and vocalist who performed for Adventists and Episcopalians alike; Henry de Fluiter, the first paid Adventist musician, composed over 200 songs and led huge choirs and orchestras for evangelistic meetings. See Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “De Fluiter, Henry” and “Hymnody”; Strayer, Byington, 227, 244; Dorothy Minchin-Comm, “Sing Along with Uncle Henry: The Story of Henry de Fluiter (1872-1970), Pioneer Gospel Song Leader,” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 1 (Spring 1991):26-41.

[195] Douglas Morgan, Lewis C. Sheafe: Apostle to Black America (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2010), 161.

[196] This phenomenon, known as the Holy Flesh Movement, met with strong disapproval from Ellen White and church leaders Stephen and Hetty Haskell in 1899. Ellen felt that it “ensnared souls” and gave Satan access to their minds. See Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Holy Flesh Movement” and Hamel, Ellen White and Music, 42-46, 54.

[197] C. Warren Becker, “Such as Handle the Harp and Organ: Some Organs and Their Masters in the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 1 (Spring 1991):4-11.

[198] For the names of some band, orchestra, and choral groups at various colleges and at Union Springs Academy, see Patricia Mitzelfelt-Silver, “Strike Up the Band,” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 1 (Spring 1991):18-25 and Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:53-55, 91-94, 130-32, 166-69, 200-202, 235-37, 274-76; 2:41-45; 3:189-91.

[199] Hamel, Ellen White and Music, 62.

[200] For a list of banned music decade by decade, see Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:63, 101, 136, 176, 209, 241, 281, 311; 3:195.

[201] Ronald Lawson, “To Hymn or Not to Hymn: A Global Church Wrestles with Worship Music,” Spectrum 42, no. 4 (Fall 2014):62-69.

[202] A hymnbook committee of 19 members and an advisory committee of 90 members examined 100 hymnals and chose 695 hymns for the 1985 Adventist Hymnbook representing an eclectic selection of gospel songs, Negro spirituals, youth songs, Advent hymns, folk hymns, Bach chorales, Scandinavian folk songs, Christmas carols, praise hymns, and Communion hymns, all but eight of which have scriptural allusions. These hymns have been lowered in pitch, their notes and words enlarged, with gender-inclusive language, more worship aids, and three times the number of responsive readings added. See Wayne Hooper, “The Making of the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal (1985),” Adventist Heritage 14, no. 1 (Spring 1991):12-17; Kendra Haloviak Valentine, “Adventist Hymnody and the Wonder of Creation: What Composers’ Cosmology Brings to Adventist Worship,” Spectrum 42, no. 4 (Fall 2014):44-58; and Will Stuivenga, “The New Church Hymnal: Hosanna in the Highest,” Spectrum 17, no. 3 (February 1987):51-58.

[203] The Aeolians, a black choral group from Oakwood University, have performed concerts for half a century at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Shrine Auditorium, the Mormon Tabernacle, several world’s fairs, numerous General Conference sessions, before two U.S. Presidents, and on TV. See Lucile C. Lacy and Eurydice V. Osterman, “Music at Oakwood,” Adventist Heritage 17, no.1:40.

[204] Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, for over thirty years the director of this Ensemble, sought to bring people together through great music. The Ensemble played for kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, in cathedrals, palaces, and concert halls across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. See Alita Byrd, “Sleepless,” Spectrum 32, no. 3 (Summer 2004):56-66.

[205] The Ambassador Chorale Arts Society, a choir from the Adventist University of the Philippines, won the “Choir of the World” title at the 2011 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, beating out 4000 other performers from 50 countries; they also won the Luciano Pavarotti Trophy in the Mixed Choirs and Chamber Choirs categories. See Anthony Q. Esguerra, “Adventist Filipino Choir Wins ‘Choir of the World’ Title,” Spectrum 39, no. 3 (Summer 2011):8.

[206] Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Adventist Herbert Blomstedt conducted about 70 concerts each year on three continents well into his mid-eighties. See Herbert Blomstedt, “Credo,” Spectrum 39, no. 4 (Fall 2011):57 and Roy Branson, “The Song Is a Sermon: An Interview with Herbert Blomstedt,” Spectrum 29, no. 3 (Summer 2001):18-24.

[207] Korean Adventist Shi-Yeon Sung is the first woman and the first Adventist assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra working with conductor James Levine after 2008 and the first woman to win the Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in Frankfurt, Germany in 2006. She has conducted six world famous orchestras. See Alita Byrd, “A Young Conductor Makes Waves: Shi-Yeon Sung Joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” Spectrum 36, no. 2 (Spring 2008):9-12.

[208] Established in 1971 in Portland, Oregon, the Heritage Singers choral group traveled the world performing concerts featuring contemporary songs with acoustic and electronic instruments and percussion. See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Heritage Singers.”

[209] Formed by three male students at Southern Missionary College in 1965, the Wedgewood Trio became widely popular among Adventist youth across the U.S., Britain and Europe in the 1960s and ’70s. Their blend of Southern, pop, folk, and Gospel music changed musical tastes within the Adventist Church. But if the young people saw them as trailblazers, older, more conservative members criticized them for “opening a Pandora’s box of musical demons.” See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Wedgewood Trio” and Marilyn Thomsen, Wedgewood: Their Music, Their Journey (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1996):55-56, 169-70.

[210] This philosophy of music included the following twelve principles: music should give glory to God; be praiseworthy; foster spiritual, psychological, social, and intellectual growth; be holistic; reveal creativity; contain quality melodies and biblically sound lyrics; have musical and lyrical elements in harmony; shun theatrics; lyrics not to be overwhelmed by volume; have culturally conditioned idioms; and build personal spirituality. See “A Seventh-day Adventist Philosophy of Music,” Spectrum 32, no. 3 (Summer 2004):46-49.

[211] Leading conservative voices against such music include Samuele Bacchiocchi, ed., The Christian and Rock Music: A Study on Biblical Principles of Music (Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives, 2000), 339; Jeffry Kaatz, “Music Lessons,” Spectrum 33, no. 2 (Spring 2005):62-66; and Herbert Blomstedt, quoted in Roy Branson, “The Song Is a Sermon: An Interview with Herbert Blomstedt,” Spectrum 29, no. 3 (Summer 2001):18-24.

[212] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 148, 157, 257.

[213] Robinson, Story, 33, 41-42, 224.

[214] Between 1821 and 1843, Bates dispensed with grog, wine, beer, cider, tobacco, tea, coffee, meat, butter, grease, pies, cheese, and rich cakes and lived on fruits, vegetables, bread, and water for the rest of his long life. Aside from one brief bout with malaria, he was the only Seventh-day Adventist Church founder free of illness all of his life. See Joseph Bates, Autobiography of Joseph Bates [1868], introduction by Gary Land (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2004), 143, 150, 172, 205, 211, 234; Knight, Bates, 29, 33-34, 49, 51.

[215] These included “Temperance Rally,” “Look Not Upon the Wine,” “Sleeping on Guard,” “True Temperance Boys and Girls,” “Taste It Not,” “Touch Not the Wine Cup,” “Has Father Been Here?”, “Song of the Rye,” and the ever popular “Smoking and Chewing Song.” See Grosvenor Fattic, “A Few Sterling Pieces: Nineteenth Century Adventist Temperance Songs,” Adventist Heritage 2, no. 1 (Summer 1975):36-41.

[216] Adventists in the 1840s saw tobacco as an economic waste; in the 1850s they underlined its health-destroying nature; in the 1860s they emphasized its impact upon the mind and its soul-destroying aspects. See Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 39-41; George W. Reid, A Sound of Trumpets: Americans, Adventists, and Health Reform (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1982), 56-57, 59; Gerard Damsteegt, “Health Reform and the Bible in Early Sabbatarian Adventism,” Adventist Heritage 5, no. 2 (Winter 1978):19-20.

[217] Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 42.

[218] White, Ellen G. White, 1:224, 340, 457, 399.

[219] White condemned several drugs readily available at the time in local drugstores, including opium, cocaine, calomel, nux vomica (strychnine), arsenic, mercury, and quinine. See Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Drugs”; Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Drugs”; Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 83.

[220] Ricchiuti, Trailblazer, 41-42. James White admonished such hop-raising and tobacco-growing Adventists to “get them off your hands as soon as possible.”

[221] The American Health and Temperance Association went further than other temperance societies in calling for the complete abstinence from all stimulants. Those who signed teetotal pledges promised never to touch alcohol, tobacco, drugs or narcotics, tea or coffee in any form. While Adventists consistently supported the WCTU in its temperance campaigns, they did not condone the Union’s backing of the National Reform Association’s efforts to obtain a national Sunday law in the 1880s. See Knight, Lest We Forget, 116; White, Human Interest Story, 51; and Richard Rice, “Tempered Enthusiasm: Adventists and the Temperance Movement,” Spectrum 44, no. 1 (Winter 2016):40-55.

[222] Vande Vere, Wisdom Seekers, 35; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “American Health and Temperance Association”; Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 157; Nix, Dates, 9-10.

[223] Emma Howell Cooper, The Great Advent Movement (Washington, D.C.: Review and herald Publishing Association, 1968 [1935]), 106; Margaret W. Thiele, Whirlwind for the Lord (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998 [1953]), 185, 252, 265; Knight, Ellen White’s World, 109; and Yvonne D. Anderson,
“The Bible, the Bottle, and the Ballot: Seventh-day Adventist Political Activism, 1850-1900,” Adventist Heritage 7, no. 2 (Fall 1982):38-44.

[224] Strayer, Loughborough, 271. Loughborough and other Adventists opposed vaccinations because they believed they depleted one’s “vital force.”

[225] Ellen White, quoted in Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Temperance.”

[226] Ibid., 217.

[227] In fact, Swiss men refused to attend Andrews’ meetings unless he provided them with free beer and matches to light their pipes! For a while he relented, but seated the smokers and drinkers at the rear of the hall. See Valentine, Andrews, 548, 553, 565.

[228] Strayer, Byington, 231-32, 234, 242; Robertson, Daniells, 93. Yet George and Martha Amadon kept a supply of apple jack (brandy distilled from hard cider) on hand to treat bee stings, presumably used externally.

[229] By 2007, when it was discontinued, Postum sales reached $14,000,000 a year, largely among non-coffee-drinking Adventists and Mormons. In 2017 the beverage was revived by Eliza’s Quest Foods in Indiana where its five full-time employees included two Mormons and one Adventist; today sales have reached $1,000,000 a year. See Alita Byrd, “Postum Making a Comeback,” Spectrum 46, no. 2 (2018):56-59.

[230] Strayer, Union Springs Academy, 1:63, 209, 242, 282, 313; 3:915-96; “Historical Dictionary,” s.v. “Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking,”; Martyn Ingram McFarland, “When Five Becomes Twenty-Five: A Silver Anniversary of the Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking,” Adventist Heritage 11, no. 1 (Spring 1986):102. In addition to these organizations, the General Conference produced several films about the dangers of smoking, drinking, and drug use, the most famous of which was “One in 20,000” (1954). For a complete listing of these temperance films, see Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Temperance Films.”

[231] Listen magazine, edited by William Scharffenberg (1896-1973), began in 1948 as a quarterly; in 1957 it became a bi-monthly magazine and in 1966 became a monthly publication with articles on alcohol-, tobacco-, and drug-free living. See Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Listen” and “Scharffenberg, William August.”

[232] Roger Dudley and Janet Kangas, “Adventist Standards: The Hinge of Youth Retention,” Spectrum 19, no. 3 (February 1989):36-37.

[233] “God over Drugs in Adventist Academy,” Adventist Currents 1, no. 3 (February 1984):6.

[234] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 278; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 180-81.

[235] Nethery’s petition drive gained over 1,000,000 signatures and California citizens favored the initiative by a ratio of three to one. See David Larson, “Adventists Lead in California Battle vs. Tobacco Companies,” Spectrum 19, no. 1 (August 1988):52-54. Meanwhile, in the 1990s Sheila Jackson (D-TX), who favored tobacco control legislation and sponsored the No Tobacco for Kids Act, took $500; Roscoe Bartlett, Jr. (R-MD) took $1,500 from RJR Nabisco; while Robert Stump (R-AZ) took $14,000 from five tobacco companies. See Alita Byrd, “One Adventist in Congress Supports Tobacco Control; All Three Take Tobacco Money,” Spectrum 26, no. 5 (July 1998):60-61.

[236] Some of the most famous health reformers were Sylvester Graham, William Alcott, Horace Mann, Dio Lewis, Larkin Coles, Joel Shew, James Caleb Jackson, Russell Trall, and John Harvey Kellogg, all of whom influenced Ellen White’s health reform ideas. See Don S. McMahon, Acquired or Inspired? Exploring the Origins of the Adventist Lifestyle (Victoria, Australia: Signs Publishing Company, 2005), 8.

[237] Dyspepsia, a common alimentary tract affliction in the nineteenth century, included a medley of flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach. See Valentine, Andrews, 135.

[238] As mentioned in the section on temperance, Bates had given up all intoxicating beverages in the 1820s; by the 1840s his diet consisted of bread, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and cereals which he ate twice a day. When asked to say a blessing at Adventist gatherings where health reform was not practiced, he said: “Lord, bless all the clean, nutritious, wholesome, lawful food.” See Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 102, 105 and Spalding, Origin and History 1:336.

[239] The Whites, Loughboroughs, and other Adventist pioneers raised, slaughtered, and ate pigs, cows, chickens, and other farm animals until Ellen White’s 1863 health reform vision. See Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 42-43 and Campbell, Notes on CHIS673: Development of SDA Lifestyles, pp. 6-7.

[240] This life-changing vision occurred at the home of Aaron Hilliard in Otsego, Michigan, on June 5, 1863 and lasted 45 minutes. In a manner no contemporary health reformer had done, White linked health reform with the Third Angel’s Message of Revelation 12 to show that healthful living was an important component of a Christian’s lifestyle. See McMahon, Acquired or Inspired?, 42-43; Richard A. Schaefer, Legacy: The Heritage of a Unique International Medical Outreach (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Association, 1977), 47-48; Roger W. Coon, The Great Visions of Ellen G. White, 2 vols. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1992), 1:100; Nix, Dates, 74-76; and White, Ellen G. White, 2:73, 110-13, 5:377-78. White’s four books include Health, or How to Live (1865), Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene (1890), Healthful Living (1897), and Ministry of Healing (1905).

[241] Such extremists included Dr. H. S. Lay at the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek and J. N. Andrews, both of whom banned salt, sugar, and butter from their tables. Meanwhile Adventist minister Stephen Haskell expelled church members who ate pork in the 1850s until Ellen White rebuked him for getting ahead of the Lord’s leading. See Robinson, White, 227-28 and Arthur W. Spalding, Footprints of the Pioneers (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947), 190; Wheeler, Gerald Wheeler, S. N. Haskell: Adventist Pioneer, Evangelist, Missionary, and Editor (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2016), 55, 64-65; and White, Ellen G. White, 1:382-83.

[242] Strayer, Byington, 246.

[243] Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 160-77 and Graybill, “Prophecy,” 32. Until she was nearly seventy, White was more abstemious than abstinent in her diet. Curiously, it was a Roman Catholic woman who attended the Brighton, Australia camp meeting where Ellen was speaking who persuaded her to abandon meat entirely out of respect for animals’ dignity and the suffering that slaughter caused them. From 1894 to her death in 1915, White abandoned eating meat.

[244] Wheeler, Haskell, 181.

[245] The Smiths and Byingtons ate chicken, oysters, turkey, beef, roasts, broiled steak, roast mutton, roast beef, fish, and corned beef. See Land, Uriah Smith, 162-63, 189, 202 and Strayer, Byington, 123-24, 200, 226.

[246] Land, Adventism, 134.

[247] Oyster eaters included Ellen White, Uriah and Harriet Smith, John and Catharine Byington, and German Conference President Hottel. See Merlin D. Burt, ed., Understanding Ellen White: The Life and Work of the Most Influential Voice in Adventist History (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2015), 203-206; Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord: the Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1998), 315-16, and Campbell, Notes for CHIS673 Development of SDA Lifestyles, p. 9. Not until 1903 did S. N. Haskell distinguish between clean and unclean meats based on the lists provided in Leviticus 11.

[248] Robinson, Over My Shoulder, 37.

[249] Bowing to pressure from some students, in 1891 the cafeteria staff at the College agreed to serve some soups without meat and to set aside two vegetarian tables in the dining hall. See Valentine, Prescott, 58-60, 168; Gilbert M. Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism: The Case of W. W. Prescott (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1992), 34-36, 147; and Gish and Christman, Madison, 45-46.

[250]A meat wagon regularly visited some Adventist camp meetings with codfish, halibut, smoked herring, dried beef, and Bologna sausage as well as coffee and tea for sale to attendees. Often Dr. Kellogg would buy up the entire supply and ostentatiously bury it on the grounds. Ellen White’s book Ministry of Healing (1905) helped bring an end to serving meat at public meetings. See Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 170-71; McArthur, Daniells, 138, 310; and Richard Schwarz, “The Kellogg Schism: The Hidden Issues,” Spectrum 4, no. 4 (Autumn 1972):24-25.

[251] Benjamin McArthur has called Daniells “the church’s most notorious carnivore” because throughout his life, Daniells ate chicken, fish, and red meat which he did not consider “a mortal sin” like breaking the Sabbath. He therefore resisted Mrs. White’s efforts to promote an Anti-Meat Pledge and to make meat-eating a test of church membership, which the German Reform Movement did in the 1920s. See McArthur, Daniells, 310-12; White, Ellen G. White, 6:199-207; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 178-79; Kramer, German Reform Movement, 38; and Floyd Greenleaf, The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2 vols. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1992), 2:128-29.

[252] Godfrey T. Anderson, Spicer: Leader with the Common Touch (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983), 70-73.

[253] Loren Seibold, “Pork: Hogmeat Revisited,” Spectrum 35, no. 1 (Winter 2007):38-42.

[254] Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 178-79.

[255] Reo M. Christenson, in “Are Vegetarians Intellectually Honest?” Spectrum 11, no. 3 (February 1981):2-6, argues that since clean meats were approved by God after man’s fall and the Flood; since Moses, Elijah, and Jesus ate fish and served it to others; and since most diseases once prevalent in animals have been eliminated, there is no plain “Thus saith the Lord” in support of vegetarianism. But Barry Casey, in “A Radical Case for Vegetarianism,” Spectrum 11, no. 3 (February 1981):7-17 and Sigve K. Tonstad, in “Swine of the Times: Ecumenism, Ecology and Ethics in the Era of Factory Farming,” Spectrum 37, no. 3 (Summer 2009):16-21, argue in favor of vegetarianism because animals have dignity and rights just as humans do; raising animals for the wealthy deprives the poor in the Third World of grains they need to survive; eating meat is immoral in light of world-wide hunger; and factory farming harms God’s creatures and the environment God created. Likewise, Patricia K. Johnston, in “Adventists and the New Vegetarians,” Spectrum 26, no. 3 (September 1997):52-57 asserts that a vegetarian diet protects one from disease, lowers cholesterol levels and death rates from cancer and heart attacks, and creates a better quality life. In the same vein, Benjamin Lau, in “The Adventist Advantage: A Closer Look,” Spectrum 35, no. 4 (Fall 2007):59-63 underlines the fact that Adventist vegetarians and vegans in California live four to ten years longer than the general population because of their low risks for cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Finally, Rosemary Clandos, in “The Vegetarian Diet Comes of Age,” Spectrum 26, no. 3 (September 1997):45-47 and Chip Cassano, in “Vegetarianism — From Negative to Positive,” Spectrum 26, no. 3 (September 1997):48-51 state that at the Third International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, which brought 600 people from 33 different nations to Loma Linda University in March 1997, nutritionists acknowledged their debt to Adventists for pioneering the benefits of a vegetarian diet which included reducing cardiovascular disease, cancers, cholesterol levels, Parkinson’s Disease, and other illnesses.

[256] See, for example, Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 162-68; Leonard Brand and Don McMahon, The Prophet and Her Critics (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2005), 51-52; and Bonnie Dwyer and Vicki Saunders, “Expanding the Vegetarian Nutrition Conversation to Include the Health of the Planet and the Quality of the Food,” Spectrum 46, no. 1 (2018):9-12.

[257] Dudley and Gillespie, Valuegenesis, 148, 257. However, John Brunt, in “Unclean or Unhealthful? An Adventist Perspective,” Spectrum 11, no. 3 (February 1981):17-23 argues forcefully that the Adventist distinction between clean and unclean meats is inconsistent because members do not observe other Mosaic Code rules in Leviticus and Deuteronomy; Jesus and Paul argued for the cleanliness of all things; the New Testament rejects this clean/unclean distinction as part of the old covenant ritual purity practices; and therefore, the church should base its dietary restrictions on Ellen White’s writings and scientific and medical findings regarding disease in meat.

[258] Adventist Review, October 2019, p. 4. By contrast, in the 1990s, 28 percent of Adventists were vegetarians; in 2000, 30 percent of General Conference delegates practiced vegetarianism. But in 2006 only 6 percent of Hispanic Adventists were vegetarians. See Keith Lockhart, “The Myth of Vegetarianism,” Spectrum 4, no. 1 (Winter 2006):22-27.

[259] For a critique of sixteen cookbooks, see Judy Rittenhouse, “A Tour of Vegetarian Cookbooks,” Spectrum 11, no. 3 (February 1981):24-27 and Bonnie Dwyer, “Best Vegetarian Cookbooks for Sabbath Dinner,” Spectrum 26, no. 3 (September 1997):58-61.

[260] For the daily regimen at Our Home on the Hillside, see Wheeler, White, 154-66 and for a list of the baths available there, see Robinson, Story, 101.

[261] These included the poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and James Russell Lowell, the artist Catherine Beecher, and the novelists Harriet Beecher Stowe and James Fenimore Cooper. See Clark, 1844, 2:256-57.

[262] In 1864-65 this “Adventist Sick Party” included James and Ellen White, their sons Edson and Willie White, Adelia Patten, Dr. H. S. Lay and Mrs. Lay, J. N. Andrews and his son Charles, Hiram Edson, J. N. Loughborough, Uriah Smith, and M. F. Maxson who all spent several weeks in Our Home. See White, Ellen G. White, 2:83-87, 119-23; Valentine, Andrews, 281-82; Strayer, Loughborough, 151; and Ronald L. Numbers, “Dr. Jackson’s Water Cure and Its Influence on Adventist Health Reform,” Adventist Heritage 1, no. 1 (January 1974):14-16.

[263] Strayer, Loughborough, 153-58; Encyclopedia of Ellen G. White, s.v. “Health Reform Institute”; White, Ellen G. White, 140-44.

[264] Pocket Ellen G. White Dictionary, s.v. “Battle Creek Sanitarium”; Schaefer, Legacy, 55-57; Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 72. Battle Creek Sanitarium’s guest list included famous industrialists, businessmen, writers, musicians, sportsmen, politicians, scientists, inventors, horticulturists, educators, evangelists, pilots, and Hollywood actors.

[265] The most prominent among them included Madison Sanitarium in Tennessee; St. Helena and Loma Linda sanitariums in California; Skodsburg Sanitarium in Denmark; Hopeaniemi Sanitarium in Finland; Kurbader and Kogli sanitariums in Norway; Orebro Sanitarium in Sweden; Avondale Sanitarium in Australia; and Montemorelos Sanitarium (later a medical school) in Mexico. See Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “American Medical Missionary College”; Historical Dictionary, s.v. “Health Care”; and Hugh Dunton, Daniel Heinz, Dennis Porter, and Ronald Strasdowsky, eds., Heirs of the Reformation: The Story of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe (Grantham, England: Stanborough Press, 1997), 74, 93, 164, 222.

[266] Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Health and Temperance Department”; Land, Adventism in America, 203-204. Although Review editor F. D. Nichol favored sanitariums as late as 1974 for their emphasis on mental hygiene, hydrotherapy treatments, diet therapy, and instruction in the principles of health in a spiritual setting, hospitals replaced sanitariums largely because of insurance requirements, the growing size of health institutions, and the loss of Adventist influence as more non-Adventist salaried employees were hired and private practice groups formed around hospitals.

[267] Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 480; Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 113, 307-308.

[268] Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 481-87; Greenleaf, Latin America, 2:373-74, 380, 396-98. “Savage Fire,” or pemphigus, is a severe skin condition, but by applying a pitch-based salve, Adventists realized an 80 percent cure rate.

[269] Bull and Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, 309-10; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Adventist Health System”; and Gerald Winslow, “The Adventist Church and Its American Health Systems,” Spectrum 44, no. 1 (Winter 2016):56-61.

[270] Some of these challenges have included an Adventist health system based on representation versus a Catholic hierarchical system; the Adventist observance of Saturday versus Catholics’ observance of Sunday; Adventist concern for doctrinal integrity versus Catholic concern for social justice and care for the poor; policy differences regarding abortions and contraception; Adventist opposition to unions versus Catholic support of them; and Adventists’ historic hostility to Catholicism which parallels Catholics’ historic hostility to Protestantism. See Mike Scofield, “The Adventist Health System: Can It Carry a Billion Dollar Debt?” Spectrum 16, no. 1 (April 1985):27-29; Ansel Oliver, “Adventist Church Moves to Strengthen Partnerships with Health Organizations,” Spectrum 37, no. 3 (Summer 2009):7-8; Mark F. Carr, “Adventist-Catholic Healthcare: Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ,” Spectrum 47, no. 2 (2019):51-60; and Launa Rasmussen, “Faith-Based Caregiving in a Secular World,” Spectrum 38, no. 1 (Winter 2010):42-44.

[271] From the 1870s to 1900 and beyond, John and Will Kellogg produced Granula (a biscuit made of corn, oats, or wheat), Granose (a flaked cereal), Bromose (similar to malted milk), Nuttose (a meat substitute made from lentils), malted nuts (a milk substitute), nut butters and peanut butter, and artificial coffees like Minute Brews Caramel Cereal Coffee. See Patsy Gerstner, The Temple of Health: A Pictorial History of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Caduceus, vol. 12, no. 2 (Autumn 1996):16-17.

[272] Worthington Foods (which includes Morningstar Farms brands), based in Ohio, sells over $200,000,000 of its products each year. La Loma Foods markets cereals (like Ruskets) and meat substitutes from California. The Sanitarium Health Food Company in Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia, sells 65,000 tons of Granola, Caramel Cereal, Nut Butter, Grainut, Marmite (a savory spread), Weet-Bix (similar to shredded wheat), Cerix Puffed Wheat, Kivic-Bru (a coffee substitute), and Granose annually. Superbom in Brazil produces fruit juices, cereals, bread, soups, stews, and honey. Alimentos Granix in Argentina (sold to Kellogg in 1997) produces cereals. De-Vau-Ge Foods in Germany also markets cereals and meat substitutes. See Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 494-96; Nix, Dates, 153-54; Alita Byrd, “Fifty Years Selling Choplets,” Spectrum 37, no. 3 (Summer 2009):36-41; Robert H. Parr, “Kwic-Bru, Granose, Granola and the Gospel,” Adventist Heritage 10, no.2 (Fall 1985):37-45; Garth Stoltz, “101 Cereal Manufacturing Companies in Battle Creek, Michigan,” Adventist Heritage 15, no. 2 (Fall 1992):9; Floyd Greenleaf, Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America (Tatui, Brazil: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 2011), 653-55.Isao Horinouchi, “Factors in Vegetarianism,” Spectrum 5, no. 1 (1973):66; and Harrison W. John, “Adventist Food Industries: Recent Developments,” Spectrum 11, no. 3 (February 1981):28-36.

[273] The first Adventist vegetarian restaurant opened in Los Angeles in 1903 with the goal of providing inexpensive, healthful meals and proselyting. By 1984 there were 25 such restaurants in the U.S., including Soupstone in Loma Linda, California; Country Life in NYC; and Pure ‘N’ Simple in Troy, Michigan, all of which offered vegan and vegetarian soups, sandwiches, entrees, salads, and desserts. See White, Ellen G. White, 6:51 and Suzanne Schuppel-Frey, “Evangelism Vegetarian Style,” Spectrum 15, no. 1 (May 1984):62-63.

[274] Robinson, White, 196.

[275] Pioneered by Franz Gall (1758-1828), a Viennese physician, phrenology spread to the U.S. in the 1820s and ’30s as doctors and quacks analyzed the shape of the skull to determine the strengths and weaknesses of one’s character. During the 1840s and ’50s traveling phrenologists gave “readings” at 25 cents each and many physicians mapped out the bumps on their patient’s head as part of their physical examination. Henry Ward Beecher, Horace Greeley, Horace Mann, Samuel Howe, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mark Twain helped to popularize phrenology. See Reid, Trumpets, 86-87 and Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Phrenology.”

[276] Aamodt, Land, and Numbers, eds., American Prophet, 205-206.

[277] Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 90-91, 148-50, 202; Jerry A. Moon, W. C. White and Ellen G. White: The Relationship Between the Prophet and Her Son (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1993), 16-17; and D. W. Reavis, I Remember (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1934), 122. Before admitting patients to his sanitarium Our Home on the Hillside in Dansville, New York, Dr. James Caleb Jackson required them to undergo a phrenological reading.

[278] Vitalists taught that at birth, each human being is endowed with a certain amount of vital force, and a poor diet, masturbation, sexual intercourse, and use of drugs made withdrawals from one’s vital force and thereby shortened one’s life. J. N. Loughborough, the compiler of the first Adventist medical book, the Hand Book of Health (1868), used both phrenological and vitalist terminology in his book, as did Dr. John Harvey Kellogg in his medical writings. See Strayer, Loughborough, 158; Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 150-59; Reid, Trumpets, 38; and Brian C. Wilson, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Religion of Biologic Living (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2014), 45.

[279] In 1862 White rebuked Adventist ministers who practiced phrenology. In 1865, while pleased with Dr. Jackson’s readings of her husband’s and sons’ heads, she was outraged at his diagnosis that she was suffering from hysteria. See Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Phrenology”; White, Ellen G. White, 5:128-29; and Numbers, Prophetess of Health, 91, 148-50.

[280] For example, Jack Provonsha, in “Hypnosis — No: It May Be a Sin,” Spectrum 23, no. 4 (January 1994):42-48 asserts that hypnosis renders a person vulnerable to manipulation, presents ethical threats to one’s integrity, reduces one’s humanness, borders on brainwashing, lowers personal inhibitions, and may constitute a sin. On the other hand, John Berecz, in “Hypnotism — Yes; Seventh-day Adventists Should Use It,” Spectrum 23, no. 4 (January 1994):36-41 argues that hypnotism was approved by the American Medical Association in 1958 as a therapeutic technique; it is effective in cases of anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, and managing chronic pain, controlling bleeding, burn therapy, dermatology, and some dental procedures; it is an alternative to drug therapies; decreases mortality rates after surgery; and does not make the patient lose control of their will or become unconscious. Finally, Selma Chaij Mastrapa, in “Hypnosis — Maybe; If It’s Like Prayer,” Spectrum 23, no. 4 (January 1994):49-50 suggests that hypnosis is similar to prayer and meditation; it can help one relax; focus better on one’s thoughts, values, memories, and beliefs; and enhances spiritual insights, faith, and trust in God.

[281] Faith healing is defined as the cure of a disease or physical affliction by supernatural means through faith in divine power. In Adventist circles, this normally entails confessing one’s sins, being anointed with oil, and intercessory prayer. See Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, s.v. “Healing, Faith.”

[282] Wilson, Kellogg, 21.

[283] Elizabeth Temple was healed of an abdominal ailment in 1850. John Byington conducted a faith healing service in 1858 in which a woman who could not stand was healed instantly, rose from her bed, and dressed herself. Faith healings multiplied in the 1890s at Battle Creek, Michigan (11 healed), Mount Vernon, Ohio (30 healed), Indiana, and elsewhere. See Strayer, Byington, 123; Knight, Jones, 98-110; Thiele, Whirlwind, 241-42; Graybill, “Mrs. Temple,” 75-76; and George Knight, “Adventist Faith Healing in the 1890s,” Adventist Heritage 13, no. 2 (Summer 1990):3-5, 13-14.

[284] Knight, Jones, 100-101, 107-108.

[285] David Larson, in “The Moral Danger of Miracles,” Spectrum 18, no. 4 (April 1988):13-18 argues that miracles prompt unrealistic expectations; create an addiction to the exotic and spectacular; frustrate the quest for greater knowledge; distract from the ways God graces us moment by moment; tempt us toward hero worship; can prompt doubts about God’s fairness; can frustrate God’s attempt to let sin unfurl its true results; and can overwhelm personal freedom.

[286] Wilhelm Mueller, “Berlin, Ende August 1933,” AEA 12, no. 113.

[287] Roland Blaich, “Nazi Race Hygiene and the Adventists,” Spectrum 25, no. 5 (September 1996):11-23.

[288] Douglass, Messenger of the Lord, 284.

[289] These include an increased number of lymphocytes; destruction of tumor cells; pulmonary ventilation; improved heart rate and blood pressure; relaxation of the muscles in the ribs, abdomen, diaphragm, neck, and shoulders; stimulation of the central nervous system; an enhanced sense of well-being; decreased stress levels; diminution of the factors contributing to heart disease, cancer, and stroke; and lowered pain levels. See Sandra Nehlsen-Cannarella, “The Immunology of Humor,” Spectrum 26, no. 4 (January 1998):28-34.

[290] Ryan Bell, “Ministry of Healing, v. 3.0: Why Adventists Should Fight for Universal Health Care,” Spectrum 37, no. 2 (Spring 2009):10-12.

[291] McArthur, Daniells, 305.

[292] Country Living is a compilation of Ellen White statements regarding rural living between 1890 and 1910 collected and published by E. A. Sutherland in 1946. See Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, s.v. “Country Living.”

[293] Harold O. McCumber, Pioneering the Message in the Golden West (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1946), 162.

[294] McArthur, Daniells, 305.


Brian E. Strayer is Professor Emeritus of History at Andrews University.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Editor's Note (Updated Feb. 3, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. EST): An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Reinder Bruinsma as a division president (he was president of two unions), and Elizabeth Temple was incorrectly identified as Ellen White's sister. We apologize for the errors.


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