Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Christianity Today recognized the Seventh-day Adventist church as " the fifth-largest Christian communion worldwide" in its January 22, issue. A common criticism of Ellen White, widely popularized by Walter T. A large breakfast may help to control body weight. Fast facts on calories Calories are essential for human health. With plenty of protein, its meals keep you feeling full for longer and help your body burn fat much quicker, so you feel light and energized throughout the day. Retrieved 30 April Melanin concentrating hormone Antagonists:

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It commences with a foot washing ceremony, known as the "Ordinance of Humility", based on the Gospel account of John The Ordinance of Humility is meant to symbolize Christ's washing of his disciples' feet at the Last Supper and to remind participants of the need to humbly serve one another. Participants segregate by gender to separate rooms to conduct this ritual, although some congregations allow married couples to perform the ordinance on each other and families are often encouraged to participate together.

After its completion, participants return to the main sanctuary for consumption of the Lord's Supper , which consists of unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice. Since the s when the church began, wholeness and health have been an emphasis of the Adventist church. The church discourages its members from consuming alcoholic beverages , tobacco or illegal drugs compare Christianity and alcohol.

In addition, some Adventists avoid coffee , tea , cola , and other beverages containing caffeine. The pioneers of the Adventist Church had much to do with the common acceptance of breakfast cereals into the Western diet, and the "modern commercial concept of cereal food" originated among Adventists. His development of breakfast cereals as a health food led to the founding of Kellogg's by his brother William. In both Australia and New Zealand , the church-owned Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company is a leading manufacturer of health and vegetarian-related products, most prominently Weet-Bix.

Research funded by the U. National Institutes of Health has shown that the average Adventist in California lives 4 to 10 years longer than the average Californian. The research , as cited by the cover story of the November issue of National Geographic , asserts that Adventists live longer because they do not smoke or drink alcohol, have a day of rest every week, and maintain a healthy, low-fat vegetarian diet that is rich in nuts and beans.

He cites the Adventist emphasis on health, diet, and Sabbath-keeping as primary factors for Adventist longevity. Adventists' clean lifestyles were recognized by the U. The first task for the scientists was to find people willing to be infected by pathogens that could make them very sick. They found them in the followers of the Seventh-day Adventist faith. Although willing to serve their country when drafted, the Adventists refused to bear arms. As a result many of them became medics.

When contacted in late , the Adventist hierarchy readily agreed to this plan. For Camp Detrick scientists, church members were a model test population, since most of them were in excellent health and they neither drank, smoked, nor used caffeine.

From the perspective of the volunteers, the tests gave them a way to fulfill their patriotic duty while remaining true to their beliefs. The Adventist understanding of marriage is a lawfully binding lifelong commitment of a man and a woman.

The Church Manual refers to the origination of the marriage institution in Eden and points to the union between Adam and Eve as the pattern for all future marriages. Adventists hold that marriage is a divine institution established by God Himself before the fall.

They hold that God celebrated the first marriage and the institution has as its origin the Creator of the universe and was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is "one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. The Old and New Testament texts are interpreted by some Adventists to teach that wives should submit to their husbands in marriage. Adventists hold that heterosexual marriages are the only biblically ordained grounds for sexual intimacy.

Adventists do not perform same-sex marriages , and individuals who are openly homosexual but not "practicing" cannot be ordained, but may hold church office and membership.

Current church policy states that openly homosexual and "practicing" persons are to be welcomed into the church services and treated with the love and kindness afforded any human being. The official Adventist position on abortion is that "abortions for reasons of birth control , gender selection , or convenience are not condoned.

Adventists believe in and encourage abstinence for both men and women before marriage. The church disagrees with extra-marital cohabitation. The Adventist church has released official statements in relation to other ethical issues such as euthanasia against active euthanasia but permissive of passive withdrawal of medical support to allow death to occur , [60] birth control in favor of it for married couples if used correctly, but against abortion as birth control and premarital sex in any case [61] and human cloning against it while the technology is unsafe and would result in defective births or abortions.

Adventists have traditionally held socially conservative attitudes regarding dress and entertainment. These attitudes are reflected in one of the church's fundamental beliefs:.

For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.

Accordingly, many Adventists are opposed to practices such as body piercing and tattoos and refrain from the wearing of jewelry, including such items as earrings and bracelets. Some also oppose the displaying of wedding bands, although banning wedding bands is not the position of the General Conference. Though it seems unbelievable to some, I'm thankful that when I grew up in the church [in the s and s] I was taught not to go to the movie theater, dance, listen to popular music, read novels, wear jewelry, play cards, bowl, play pool, or even be fascinated by professional sports.

Adventists often cite the writings of Ellen White, especially her books, Counsels on Diet and Foods , Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students , and Education as inspired sources for Christian deportment.

The Adventist church officially opposes the practice of gambling. The Youth Department of the Adventist church runs age specific clubs for children and youth worldwide. Pathfinders is a club for 5th to 10th grade up to 12th in Florida Conference boys and girls. It is similar to and based partly on the Scouting movement.

Pathfinders exposes young people to such activities as camping, community service, personal mentorship, and skills-based education, and trains them for leadership in the church. Yearly "Camporees" are held in individual Conferences, where Pathfinders from the region gather and participate in events similar to Boy Scouts' Jamborees. After a person enters 9th grade, he or she is eligible to join Teen Leadership Training within Pathfinders.

In the 11th grade, typically after being a member of a club, they can become a Pathfinder or Adventurer staff member and begin the "Master Guide" program similar to Scout Master which develops leaders for both Adventurers and Pathfinders. The Seventh-day Adventist Church operates youth camps all over North America and many other parts of the world. Each camp varies in the activities they offer but most have archery, swimming, horses, arts and crafts, nature, high ropes challenge course, and many other common camp activities.

The Seventh-day Adventist church is governed by a form of representation which resembles the presbyterian system of church organization. Four levels of organization exist within the world church. Each organization is governed by a general "session" which occurs at certain intervals.

This is usually when administrative decisions are made. The president of the General Conference, for instance, is elected at the General Conference Session every five years. Delegates to a session are appointed by organizations at a lower level. For example, each local church appoints delegates to a conference session. Within a geographic region, ministers receive roughly equal pay irrespective of the size of their church.

The Church Manual [70] gives provisions for each level of government to create educational, healthcare, publishing, and other institutions that are seen within the call of the Great Commission.

The ordained clergy of the Adventist church are known as ministers or pastors. Ministers are neither elected nor employed by the local churches, but instead are appointed by the local Conferences, which assign them responsibility over a single church or group of churches. Ordination is a formal recognition bestowed upon pastors and elders after usually a number of years of service. In most parts of the world, women may not be given the title "ordained", although some are employed in ministry, and may be "commissioned" or "ordained-commissioned".

A number of lay offices exist within the local church, including the ordained positions of elder and deacon. Elders serve a mainly administrative and pastoral role, but must also be capable of providing religious leadership particularly in the absence of an ordained minister.

The role of deacons is to assist in the smooth functioning of a local church and to maintain church property. Although the church has no written policy forbidding the ordination of women, it has traditionally ordained only men. In recent years the ordination of women has been the subject of heated debate, especially in North America and Europe.

In the Adventist church, candidates for ordination are chosen by local conferences which usually administer about 50— local congregations and approved by unions which serve about 6—12 conferences.

The General Conference, the church's world headquarters, claims the right to declare the worldwide qualifications for ordination, including gender requirements. The General Conference has never stated that ordination of women contravenes the Bible, but the General Conference has requested that no local conference ordain women until all parts of the world church accept the practice. The primary prerequisite for membership in the Adventist church is baptism by immersion.

This, according to the church manual, should occur only after the candidate has undergone proper instruction on what the church believes. As of December 31, , the church has 20,, baptized members. Depending on how the data was measured, it is reported that church membership reached 1 million between and , and grew to five million in At the turn of the 21st century the church had over 10 million members, which grew to over 14 million in , 16 million in , and 19 million in Jeffrey MacDonald, an award-winning religion reporter, and author of Thieves in the Temple, reports that the SDA church is the fastest-growing church in the United States.

The church has been described as "something of an extended family", [79] enjoying close, "two- degrees-of-separation social networks ". The Biblical Research Institute is the theological research center of the church. White Estate was established in at the death of Ellen White, as specified in her legal will. Its purpose is to act as custodian of her writings, and as of it has 15 board members. White Estate also hosts the official Ellen White website whiteestate. The Geoscience Research Institute , based at Loma Linda University , was founded in to investigate the scientific evidence concerning origins.

Started in the late 19th century, Adventist mission work today reaches people in over countries and territories. Missionary outreach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aimed not only at non-Christians but also at Christians from other denominations.

Adventists believe that Christ has called his followers in the Great Commission to reach the whole world. Adventists are cautious, however, to ensure that evangelism does not impede or intrude on the basic rights of the individual.

Religious liberty is a stance that the Adventist Church supports and promotes. Globally, the Adventist Church operates 7, schools, colleges and universities, with a total enrollment of more than 1,, and a total teaching staff of approximately 80, The largest in terms of population Seventh-day Adventist university in the world is Northern Caribbean University , located in Mandeville, Jamaica.

Adventists run a large number of hospitals and health-related institutions. Throughout the world, the church runs a wide network of hospitals, clinics, lifestyle centers, and sanitariums. These play a role in the church's health message and worldwide missions outreach.

Adventist Health System is the largest not-for-profit multi-institutional Protestant healthcare system in the United States. It is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and cares for over 4 million patients yearly. ADRA works as a non-sectarian relief agency in countries and areas of the world. Worldwide, ADRA employs over 4, people to help provide relief in crises as well as development in situations of poverty.

The church embraces an official commitment to the protection and care of the environment [87] as well as taking action to avoid the dangers of climate change: A reformation of lifestyle is called for, based on respect for nature, restraint in the use of the world's resources, reevaluation of one's needs, and reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.

The Adventist church has been active for over years in promoting freedom of religion for all people regardless of faith. In its leaders founded the International Religious Liberty Association , which is universal and non-sectarian. The Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council serves, primarily through advocacy, to seek protection for religious groups from legislation that may affect their religious practices. In May , for example, the organization fought to pass legislation that would protect Adventist employees who wish to keep the Sabbath.

According to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has, throughout its history, aggressively advocated for the separation of church and state. Adventists have long been proponents of media-based ministries. Traditional Adventist evangelistic efforts consisted of street missions and the distribution of tracts such as The Present Truth , which was published by James White as early as Andrews was sent to Switzerland in , Adventist global efforts consisted entirely of the posting of tracts such as White's to various locations.

In the last century, these efforts have also made use of emerging media such as radio and television. The first of these was H. Richards ' radio show Voice of Prophecy , which was initially broadcast in Los Angeles in Since then Adventists have been on the forefront of media evangelism; It Is Written , founded by George Vandeman , was the first religious program to air on color television and the first major Christian ministry to utilize satellite uplink technology.

Today the Hope Channel , the official television network of the church, operates 8 international channels broadcasting 24 hours a day on cable, satellite, and the Web. Bistro MD is an easy way to help individuals control portion size and calorie counting. The meals typically are very easy to prepare and the diet allows or you to select options where you can include your own fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Nutrisystem offers more than just meal plans, but it also includes free online chats with weight loss specialist. Increased levels of melatonin causes a downregulation of leptin, [82] however, melatonin also appears to increase leptin levels in the presence of insulin , therefore causing a decrease in appetite during sleeping.

Mice with type 1 diabetes treated with leptin or leptin plus insulin, compared to insulin alone had better metabolic profiles: Leptin acts on receptors in the lateral hypothalamus to inhibit hunger and the medial hypothalamus to stimulate satiety.

Thus, a lesion in the lateral hypothalamus causes anorexia due to a lack of hunger signals and a lesion in the medial hypothalamus causes excessive hunger due to a lack of satiety signals. The absence of leptin or its receptor leads to uncontrolled hunger and resulting obesity. Fasting or following a very-low-calorie diet lowers leptin levels. Leptin binds to neuropeptide Y NPY neurons in the arcuate nucleus in such a way as to decrease the activity of these neurons.

Leptin signals to the hypothalamus which produces a feeling of satiety. Moreover, leptin signals may make it easier for people to resist the temptation of foods high in calories. The NPY neurons are a key element in the regulation of hunger; small doses of NPY injected into the brains of experimental animals stimulates feeding, while selective destruction of the NPY neurons in mice causes them to become anorexic. Once leptin has bound to the Ob-Rb receptor, it activates the stat3, which is phosphorylated and travels to the nucleus to effect changes in gene expression, one of the main effects being the down-regulation of the expression of endocannabinoids , responsible for increasing hunger.

It modulates the immune response to atherosclerosis, of which obesity is a predisposing factor. Exogenous leptin can promote angiogenesis by increasing vascular endothelial growth factor levels.

Hyperleptinemia produced by infusion or adenoviral gene transfer decreases blood pressure in rats. Leptin microinjections into the nucleus of the solitary tract NTS have been shown to elicit sympathoexcitatory responses, and potentiate the cardiovascular responses to activation of the chemoreflex.

In fetal lung, leptin is induced in the alveolar interstitial fibroblasts "lipofibroblasts" by the action of PTHrP secreted by formative alveolar epithelium endoderm under moderate stretch.

The leptin from the mesenchyme, in turn, acts back on the epithelium at the leptin receptor carried in the alveolar type II pneumocytes and induces surfactant expression, which is one of the main functions of these type II pneumocytes. In mice, and to a lesser extent in humans, leptin is required for male and female fertility. Ovulatory cycles in females are linked to energy balance positive or negative depending on whether a female is losing or gaining weight and energy flux how much energy is consumed and expended much more than energy status fat levels.

When energy balance is highly negative meaning the woman is starving or energy flux is very high meaning the woman is exercising at extreme levels, but still consuming enough calories , the ovarian cycle stops and females stop menstruating. Only if a female has an extremely low body fat percentage does energy status affect menstruation. Leptin levels outside an ideal range may have a negative effect on egg quality and outcome during in vitro fertilization.

The placenta produces leptin. Leptin is also expressed in fetal membranes and the uterine tissue. Uterine contractions are inhibited by leptin. Immunoreactive leptin has been found in human breast milk; and leptin from mother's milk has been found in the blood of suckling infant animals. Leptin along with kisspeptin controls the onset of puberty. Leptin's ability to regulate bone mass was first recognized in Leptin decreases cancellous bone , but increases cortical bone. This "cortical-cancellous dichotomy" may represent a mechanism for enlarging bone size, and thus bone resistance, to cope with increased body weight.

Bone metabolism can be regulated by central sympathetic outflow, since sympathetic pathways innervate bone tissue. Factors that acutely affect leptin levels are also factors that influence other markers of inflammation, e. While it is well-established that leptin is involved in the regulation of the inflammatory response, [] [] [] it has been further theorized that leptin's role as an inflammatory marker is to respond specifically to adipose-derived inflammatory cytokines.

In terms of both structure and function, leptin resembles IL-6 and is a member of the cytokine superfamily. Similar to what is observed in chronic inflammation, chronically elevated leptin levels are associated with obesity, overeating, and inflammation-related diseases, including hypertension , metabolic syndrome , and cardiovascular disease.

While leptin is associated with body fat mass, however, the size of individual fat cells, and the act of overeating, it is interesting that it is not affected by exercise for comparison, IL-6 is released in response to muscular contractions.

Thus, it is speculated that leptin responds specifically to adipose-derived inflammation. Taken as such, increases in leptin levels in response to caloric intake function as an acute pro-inflammatory response mechanism to prevent excessive cellular stress induced by overeating. When high caloric intake overtaxes the ability of fat cells to grow larger or increase in number in step with caloric intake, the ensuing stress response leads to inflammation at the cellular level and ectopic fat storage, i.

The insulin increase in response to the caloric load provokes a dose-dependent rise in leptin, an effect potentiated by high cortisol levels. This response may then protect against the harmful process of ectopic fat storage, which perhaps explains the connection between chronically elevated leptin levels and ectopic fat storage in obese individuals. Although leptin reduces appetite as a circulating signal, obese individuals generally exhibit a higher circulating concentration of leptin than normal weight individuals due to their higher percentage body fat.

A number of explanations have been proposed to explain this. An important contributor to leptin resistance is changes to leptin receptor signalling, particularly in the arcuate nucleus , however, deficiency of, or major changes to, the leptin receptor itself are not thought to be a major cause.

Other explanations suggested include changes to the way leptin crosses the blood brain barrier BBB or alterations occurring during development. Studies on leptin cerebrospinal fluid CSF levels provide evidence for the reduction in leptin crossing the BBB and reaching obesity-relevant targets, such as the hypothalamus, in obese people. Since the amount and quality of leptin receptors in the hypothalamus appears to be normal in the majority of obese humans as judged from leptin-mRNA studies , [] it is likely that the leptin resistance in these individuals is due to a post leptin-receptor deficit, similar to the post-insulin receptor defect seen in type 2 diabetes.

When leptin binds with the leptin receptor, it activates a number of pathways. Mice with a mutation in the leptin receptor gene that prevents the activation of STAT3 are obese and exhibit hyperphagia. The PI3K pathway may also be involved in leptin resistance, as has been demonstrated in mice by artificial blocking of PI3K signalling. The PI3K pathway also is activated by the insulin receptor and is therefore an important area where leptin and insulin act together as part of energy homeostasis.

The consumption of a high fructose diet from birth has been associated with a reduction in leptin levels and reduced expression of leptin receptor mRNA in rats. Long-term consumption of fructose in rats has been shown to increase levels of triglycerides and trigger leptin and insulin resistance, [] [] however, another study found that leptin resistance only developed in the presence of both high fructose and high fat levels in the diet.

A third study found that high fructose levels reversed leptin resistance in rats given a high fat diet. The contradictory results mean that it is uncertain whether leptin resistance is caused by high levels of carbohydrates or fats, or if an increase of both, is needed. Leptin is known to interact with amylin , a hormone involved in gastric emptying and creating a feeling of fullness.

When both leptin and amylin were given to obese, leptin-resistant rats, sustained weight loss was seen. Due to its apparent ability to reverse leptin resistance, amylin has been suggested as possible therapy for obesity. It has been suggested that the main role of leptin is to act as a starvation signal when levels are low, to help maintain fat stores for survival during times of starvation, rather than a satiety signal to prevent overeating.

Leptin levels signal when an animal has enough stored energy to spend it in pursuits besides acquiring food. Dieters who lose weight, particularly those with an overabundance of fat cells, experience a drop in levels of circulating leptin. This drop causes reversible decreases in thyroid activity, sympathetic tone, and energy expenditure in skeletal muscle, and increases in muscle efficiency and parasympathetic tone.

A decline in levels of circulating leptin also changes brain activity in areas involved in the regulatory, emotional, and cognitive control of appetite that are reversed by administration of leptin.

Osteoarthritis and obesity are closely linked. Obesity is one of the most important preventable factors for the development of osteoarthritis. Originally, the relationship between osteoarthritis and obesity was considered to be exclusively biomechanically based, according to which the excess weight caused the joint to become worn down more quickly.

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