#1 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Eat Duck?
With no scriptural-basis for consuming duck meat, and only a reference to ‘the goose of its kind,’ indicting a creature with webbed feet, there is no direct rule against eating Duck.
Seventh-day Adventists consume meats that they deem ‘clean.’
There is a reference to swans and ‘kosher birds,’ according to the Leviticus 11, with some arguing there is no specific mention of ducks in the Bible; therefore, there is no theological prohibition against it. However, others argue that since many birds are directly listed in Leviticus 13-19, ducks would also be considered non-acceptable.
Considering that ducks are bottom-feeders, some Seventh-day Adventists find this unclean, as well as some other Orthodox groups. Geese and swans are considered unclean in the Bible, and here are the scientific classifications of each segment:
The dietary dispositions that were not precisely covered in the Bible are sometimes left up to personal interpretation and individual preference.
- “‘(13) These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, (14)the red kite, any kind of black kite, (15)any kind of raven, (16)the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, (17)the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, (18)the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, (19)the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.” – Leviticus 13-19.
- “The little owl, the great owl, the white owl, (17)the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant, (18) the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (19)All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them.” – Deuteronomy 13:16-19.
- The ‘Swan, Geese, and Ducks:’ Clean or Unclean? – Seventh-day Adventists group in Asia, listing ducks as unsuitable for food. Published June 15th, 2014.
#2 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Wear Pants?
Although there is mention of ‘male clothing,’ but no specific mention of trousers or pants, most seventh-day Adventists women will not wear pants to church.
With some Adventists believing that women wearing pants can cause Cancer, and others finding no scriptural-basis or specificity for the regulation against females wearing trousers – This is a divisive and controversial topic in the church of Seventh-day Adventism.
Some believe that women can wear pants outside of the church, while other fundamentalist Adventists believe they never should be seen wearing pants, even at home. A more modern Seventh-day Adventists would have no issue with a woman wearing pants, only asking that her dress code be modest.
Many fundamentalist Adventists cite Deuteronomy 22:5 that states:
“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
As this was written at a date that pre-dated women favoring previously male attire, it was unheard of at this time. In modern society, it is more acceptable for non-Seventh-day Adventists to be wearing pants, and therefore, this social and evolutional influence seeps into the religious community as well. Today, women are allowed considerably more autonomy over their attire.
#3 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Eat Meat?
There are over 1.2-million Seventh-day Adventists in the United States and nearly 19-million members worldwide, with approximately 40% of Adventists reportedly consuming an entirely plant-based diet.
Dietary guidelines are established in the biblical text, The Book of Leviticus. Leviticus 11:42 states:
“You shall not eat, among all things that swarm upon the earth, anything that crawls on its belly, or anything that walks on fours, or anything that has many legs; for they are an abomination.”
‘Clean meats’ that most Adventists will eat:
- Certain fish
- Certain red meats, excluding pork
- Some will consume animal products such as eggs and honey
‘Unclean meats’ that most Adventists will not eat:
Leviticus 3:16-17 also prohibits the consumption of fat, and specific mention of not eating anything that ‘walks on all fours,’many Adventists perceive the Bible as literal, sacred scripture. Certain Christian religions taker a looser interpretation while Adventists feel that little should be taken in subjective abstraction.
There is science behind why this diet supports a healthier lifestyle, and the founder of the church, Ellen G. White, was a proponent for what was right for the body.
- “You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean.” – Leviticus 11:42.
- “The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s. (17)This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.” – Leviticus 3:16-17
- “(12)It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. (13)Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” – Acts 10:12-13.
- Unclean Meat – Old Testament by Adventists Learning Community; Published April 20th, 2018.
#4 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Work On Saturdays?
Believing that Sabbath should be observed between Friday morning and Saturday evening, most devoted Seventh-day Adventists will not work on Saturdays. During this day of rest and worship in the Lord’s name, Adventists are told to avoid secular work; however, humanitarian efforts and medical aid are acceptable exceptions to this rule.
Early Christianity believes that the seventh day is Saturday, and this is when God blessed this day to make it ‘holy.’
- “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (3) Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:2-3.
- The Sabbath – Then and Now – Published by Adventists.org – Snippet: “The Sabbath allows us to spend focused time each week in a mental break, focused on our Creator. God’s gift of the Sabbath is about dedicating a day with your Savior and best Friend.”
#5 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Eat Catfish?
Although certain fish are considered ‘clean’ meats in the Adventist’s dietary guidelines, Catfish would be considered a bottom-feeder without scales, therefore deeming it ‘unclean.’
Reasons that a Seventh-day Adventist will not eat catfish:
- They do not have scales
- They do not have gills
- They consume algae, fish eggs, and non-kosher items
- They do not offer significant nutritional-value to the body
According to The Book of Leviticus, which dictates the Adventist diet:
“Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales.”
Adventists would be much more likely to eat a Salmon rather than a Catfish, Cod, or low-nutritional-value fish.
- “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35.
- “Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales… And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat, and you must detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.” – Web.MIT.edu – Leviticus 11.
- Adventists and ‘Unclean’ Food | Biblios 16 – SEC Media; Published October 13th, 2017.
#7 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Drink Coffee?
Adventists are discouraged from consuming coffee, tea, alcohol, soft drinks, or CBD-infused beverages. The goal in this church-supported-abstinence is due to any drink that they feel can:
- Negatively impact one’s cognitive functionality
- Be an unnecessary indulgence
- Lead to post-consumption effects of exhaustion, body crash, and lowered morale
- Lead to an earlier death due to caffeine intoxication, alcoholism, or related health-issues
- Stimulate one in a sinful degree that feels like the antithesis to holy peace
- Discourage worship and separate one from God
The final position on Adventists, especially fundamentalists and deeply-devoted followers, is that caffeine does not improve life quality, only adding financial obligation and increased risk of health.
- AdventistReview.org writes of coffee consumption:
“For Ellen White, using tea and coffee as a beverage ‘is a sin, an injurious indulgence,’” according to the comprehensive book The Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White (1998) by Herbert E. Douglass.
“After the immediate stimulating effect, ‘a feeling of depression’ sets in. With continual use, the abuser of the nervous system will experience ‘headaches, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils, for they [tea, coffee, and “many other popular drinks”] wear away the life forces.’
Both tea and coffee are ‘poisonous,’ and ‘Christians should let it [them] alone.’”
- Adventists Church President Challenges members in Annual Council Sermon – Published by The Adventists News Network; The President of the Seventh-day Adventists religion writes in 2017: “Let us tie in our Seventh-day Adventist biblical lifestyle and values in the area of health reform, complete abstinence from alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, and improper drugs.”
#8 Can Seventh-Day Adventists Eat Eggs?
Although eggs are an animal product, most will incorporate some dairy products, including low-fat butter and eggs. Some will avoid eggs altogether, but most will consider eggs to be a ‘clean’ food to consume, utilizing the technicality that eggs are derived from animal products but are not inherently ‘meat, fat, or blood.’
Embracing the vegan diet long before it was popular in culture, Adventists eat a predominantly plant-based diet rich in whole foods and nutritional-value. 30% of Adventists are vegan, with this portion of the denomination being less likely to consume eggs.
Known as the ‘healthiest religion in America,’ Adventists are proven by recent medical studies to live longer with lower rates of Cancer or mortality, according to The American Cancer Society’s study conducted in November of 2019.
- “If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.” – Deuteronomy 22:6-7.
- Secrets to Longevity Revealed in Denomination’s Lifestyle – CBN News – Published February 2015. Snippet: “Others will eat eggs, and some have dairies such as cheese and milk. There is a group that eats fish, and there are those who eat small amounts of poultry and beef. Adventists promote vegetarianism, although it is not a requirement.”
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