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    APPENDIX A—A Distinctly Seventh-day Adventist Institution

    Until the turn of the century and for some time thereafter the Battle Creek Sanitarium under the direction of the able superintendent, Dr. J. H. Kellogg, operated without any doubts about its identity or ownership by Seventh-day Adventists, its missionary goals and objectives. But a subtle change came when these important guidelines and perspectives became clouded and obscured in the doctor’s mind. The historical sequence and development of Dr. Kellogg’s departure from these distinctly SDA views and from the original and distinctly SDA control and direction of the Sanitarium came about as follows:POSDAI 79.1

    In 1899 “The Battle Creek Sanitarium was listed in the regular annual Year Book as one of the Seventh-day Adventist institutions. Its constituency, its board of management, its medical staff, and its helpers were made up of Seventh-day Adventists. It was everywhere recognized as a Seventh-day Adventist institution. Its nurses and other workers in medical missionary lines were trained by Seventh-day Adventists and were expected to give their lives in Christian service in harmony with the principles of the church.”—Dores E. Robinson in the pamphlet The Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 35.

    In 1893 an official act of the General Conference had created a corporation known as “The SDA Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association” (Feb. 28, 1893). (See General Conference Bulletin 1893, p. 437.) Its function was to act for the denomination with legal power to own and control properties and to direct the various lines of medical missionary work conducted by the church.POSDAI 79.2

    “Although each institution under the direction and supervision of the Seventh-day Adventist Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association had its own individual constituency; yet the central organization, created by the General Conference, acted as the agent of the denomination in unifying and co-ordinating the various enterprises in different parts of the world, and in holding certain properties.POSDAI 79.3

    “In connection with the General Conference next held in 1895, at the first annual meeting of this new Association, Dr. J. H. Kellogg, its president, spoke clearly of its functions, as follows:POSDAI 79.4

    “‘This Association has charge of all the medical work which is done in the name of the denomination. All of our sanitariums, those established, and those in prospect are under the supervision of this Association.’—General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p. 3. (Italics ours.)”—The Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 37.POSDAI 79.5

    “The relationship between the General Conference and the Medical Missionary Board which it created is well set forth by Dr. J. H. Kellogg in the following words:POSDAI 79.6

    “‘There has been a feeling that the Medical Missionary Board was one thing and the conference another, but that is not true. The Medical Missionary Association is a part of the General Conference!’”—J. H. Kellogg, Medical Missionary Conference Bulletin, March 9-14, 1899, p. 61.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 38.POSDAI 79.7

    “Thus it is clear that through the Seventh-day Adventist Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association, the General Conference did control not only the Battle Creek Sanitarium but other sanitariums, and all so-called medical missionary work. Such was clearly the relationship between the Battle Creek Sanitarium and the General Conference up to the year 1899.”—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 38.POSDAI 80.1

    Now two years earlier (1897) the charter of the Battle Creek Sanitarium expired so a new charter was adopted which made provision for the continuance of the work of the institution on the same basis as former years. The constituency was enlarged and a new corporation created by the local Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association known as the Michigan Sanitarium and Benevolent Association.POSDAI 80.2

    “The constituent membership was increased from about 150 to 650, all of whom were still Seventh-day Adventists and many of whom were ministers who were accepted as members, even though they had not personally made financial investments.”—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 39.POSDAI 80.3

    “In the Declaration of Principles that were signed by members of the newly organized Michigan Sanitarium and Benevolent Association, there were some features different from those of the former Health Reform Institute. Previously the privileges of membership were explicitly limited to members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Such limitation was not expressed in the new Declaration of Principles. Again, absent members might no longer be represented by proxy at the meetings of the corporation, nor was it possible for any member to have more than one vote irrespective of his original investment.POSDAI 80.4

    “One change, however, was to become the source of future misunderstanding. In the by laws of the former corporation there could not be found the words, ‘denominational,’ ‘un-denominational,’ ‘sectarian,’ or ‘unsectarian.’ In the new document it was stated that the institution was to perform acts ‘of an undenominational, unsectarian, humanitarian and philanthropic nature.’ All of its ‘works and acts’ were to be ‘undenominational and unsectarian, and purely charitable, benevolent, Christian, and philanthropic.’POSDAI 80.5

    “At the first annual meeting held in March, 1899, when this new Declaration of Principles was read, a question arose regarding the meaning of this new phraseology. One of the proposed members asked, ‘What is understood by the Association’s being undenominational?’ to which Doctor Kellogg replied:POSDAI 80.6

    “‘It means simply that it is to be conducted as a medical institution, that it may have the advantages of the statutes of the State; as a hospital, it must be carried on as an undenominational institution. It cannot give benefits to a certain class, but must be for the benefit of any who are sick. The institution may support any work it chooses with the earnings of the Association, but cannot discriminate against anyone because of his belief. It is not organized as a General Conference or a publishing house would be organized, but for undenominational work.’—The Medical Missionary, Extra, May, 1899 p. 5.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 40, 41.POSDAI 80.7

    “With this explanation that its undenominational aspect pertained only to the class of people for whom Seventh-day Adventists were working through the institution, the new members signed the Declaration of Principles. The Sanitarium continued to be supervised by the Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association. If anything, because of its enlarged constituency, the change made it more truly representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church than it had been before. It continued to be listed in the Seventh-day Adventist Year Book as a denominational institution.”—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 41.POSDAI 80.8

    Now, from the beginning of the sanitarium it had been the understanding of James and Ellen White that the Battle Creek institution was conducted for all people regardless of the church.POSDAI 81.1

    “‘This institution, though founded and managed by S.D. Adventists, is not conducted on a denominational basis. Only a small proportion of its patrons are members of the denomination. Members of all denominations, and all respectable people, are made equally welcome.’”—Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880), 382.—The Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 43.POSDAI 81.2

    As time went on Dr. Kellogg came to interpret certain points in the Declaration of Principles in a very different manner. Wrote Dores Robinson:POSDAI 81.3

    “The same one who in 1899 assured the members that the word ‘undenominational’ simply meant that the institution ‘cannot give benefits to a certain class, but must be for the benefit of any who are sick,’ gave an entirely different definition to the term.

    “Imagine the surprise with which many Seventh-day Adventists later read that, according to the charter, the word ‘denominational’ was intended to mean:

    “Those things which have for their specific object the advancement of the sectarian or denominational interests; and when we say undenominational we mean that this work is doing those things which are not simply for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but which will help forward the Christian religion, and help forward the general welfare of humanity….These things are to be done, as stated by our charter, in the interests of the public; not in the interest of any church, or any set of men, but for humanity.”—The Medical Missionary, February, 1906, p. 47.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, pp. 41, 42.

    The foregoing statement by Kellogg appeared in 1906.POSDAI 81.4

    In 1907 Dr. Kellogg asserted: “This work has ever been carried forward as an unsectarian work, and was never at any time controlled by the denomination at large or by any conference or conference committee.”—The Medical Missionary, September 11, 1907, p. 291.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 42.POSDAI 81.5

    At this point in the development of these differences note how Ellen White in discussing the work done by the Battle Creek Sanitarium said in an address to the General Conference Committee and the Medical Missionary Board:POSDAI 81.6

    “It has been stated that the Battle Creek Sanitarium is not denominational. But if ever an institution was established to be denominational, in every sense of the word, this Sanitarium was. Why are sanitariums established if it is not that they may be the right hand of the gospel in calling the attention of men and women to the truth that we are living amid the perils of the last days? And yet, in one sense, it is true that the Battle Creek Sanitarium is undenominational, in that it receives as patients people of all classes and denominations….

    “We are not to take pains to declare that the Battle Creek Sanitarium is not a Seventh-day Adventist institution; for this it certainly is. As a Seventh-day Adventist institution it was established, to represent the various features of gospel missionary work, thus to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord….Those who have long known our belief, and what we teach, have been surprised by the statement that the Battle Creek Sanitarium is not denominational. No one has a right to make this statement. It does not bear the witness that God wishes His people to bear before men and angels. In the name of the Lord we are to identify ourselves as Seventh-day Adventists. If any one among us is ashamed of our colors, and wishes to stand under another banner, let him do so as a private individual, not as a representative of Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary work.”—Ellen G. White letter 128, 1902.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, pp. 44, 45.

    Nothing could be produced from the Spirit of Prophecy which would better represent the objectives and purpose of the Battle Creek Medical Institution and in a larger sense of all our institutions.POSDAI 82.1

    “An amazing statement was attributed to Dr. J. H. Kellogg by Karl Harriman, assistant editor of the Pilgrim magazine. Under date of January 7, 1903, Mr. Harriman reported an interview with the doctor, a portion of which is as follows:POSDAI 82.2

    “The Sanitarium of which I have charge has no more connection with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, as such, than you have.” Believing that I had not heard correctly, I asked the doctor to repeat the expression, which he did precisely as quoted.POSDAI 82.3

    “‘Who, then, is it that owns it, or runs it, or holds it in charge?’ I asked.POSDAI 82.4

    “‘A private association.’ he replied.POSDAI 82.5

    “‘And it has no connection with the church?’ Then, I suggested, ‘I even might be a member of the Sanitarium association?’POSDAI 82.6

    “‘Certainly,’ Suddenly the doctor raised his hand. ‘No,’ he added, laughingly. ‘No, you couldn’t either, for I detect the odor of tobacco about you. No person who smokes can be a member of the association.’POSDAI 82.7

    “The doctor continued:POSDAI 82.8

    “‘I myself drew up the institution’s articles of association. I saw to it that it should be absolutely uncertain [unsectarian]. Membership in the association governing it, is as open to a Catholic as to a Seventh-day Adventist.’”—Kalamazoo Evening Telegraph, Jan. 8, 1903.—Battle Creek Sanitarium, p. 45.POSDAI 82.9

    The changes in ownership, control and emphasis in later years—partially into Kellogg’s hands then back to the church—represent many involved and depressing incidents. These are well described by Dores Robinson in his pamphlet The Battle Creek Sanitarium—Its Origin, Development, Ownership and Control.POSDAI 83.1

    One thing is clear; when Kellogg achieved partial control and tried to divorce the institution from direct identity with the SDA, the Sanitarium did not prosper.POSDAI 83.2

    “With the increased indebtedness incurred in the erection of the new building in 1927 and the prolonged depression which began in 1929, the relation between income and expenditure was reversed, and for several years the work was carried forward with heavy annual deficits. In 1933 there was a default in payment of interest and principal of the obligations of the Sanitarium, and a Receiver in Equity was appointed by the Federal Court in Detroit. In 1938 the Sanitarium was reorganized under Section 77B of the National Bankruptcy Act.”—Battle Creek Sanitarium, pp. 56, 57.POSDAI 83.3

    Later, of course, a new corporation was formed and eventually the Health Institution experienced rebirth and is now operating under the control of Seventh-day Adventists and carrying on a strong work.POSDAI 83.4

    The foregoing is not to suggest that successful hospital work cannot be done by non-SDA. It is simply to say that Seventh-day Adventists cannot operate hospitals as others do—and expect to have success, not with the inspired counsel we have. We operate unashamedly Seventh-day Adventist institutions with distinctive objectives and aims peculiar to our religious faith and convictions.POSDAI 83.5

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