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Food Fight: Loma Linda's Seventh-Day Adventists Outraged Over McDon...

"The health conscious residents of Loma Linda, a small California city with a large Seventh-day Adventist population, have banned together to fight against the opening of the town's first McDonald's.

Nestled in a beautiful stretch of land east of Los Angeles, the 23,000 people who live in Loma Linda enjoy one of the longest life spans in the world -- on average, residents live well into their 80s. Its people are borderline obsessed with fitness and clean living, and they have a healthy population of centenarians to prove it.

So when McDonald's decided to move in, the people of Loma Linda went into red alert. When the issue to approve its opening came up before the city council, the meeting room was packed with outraged residents and health professionals, as if a nuclear waste dump, and not a fast food chain, was coming to town.

Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET

But the city isn't just full of fit families, it is also heavily Seventh-day Adventist, a religion that strongly encourages congregants to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as an alcohol, tobacco and caffeine-free lifestyle.

Pastor Randy Roberts of the Loma Linda University Church says healthy living is dictated straight from the scripture.

"In Corinthians, Paul speaking of the human body says specifically, 'you are the temple of the Holy spirit,'" explains Roberts. "Therefore, he says, whatever you do in your body, you do it to the honor, the glory and the praise of God."

He says the church has not taken an official position on the McDonald's controversy, but stands for living "a balanced, healthy, and whole lifestyle."

Dr. Wayne Dysinger, a physician of preventative medicine and a Loma Linda resident, is a leading member of the community coalition that opposes McDonald's. He says it is not just about the burgers and fries on McDonald's' menu, but also about what the fast food chain represents to Loma Linda's residents who cherish the community's health-conscious history.

"Loma Linda is sort of a symbolic city for healthiness, and McDonald's is sort of a symbolism of unhealthiness," said Dysinger, a Seventh-Day Adventist and father of two. "That's a significant issue. My kids know about McDonald's. McDonald's is the one that sells the toys."

In response to the community opposition, McDonald's said in a statement to ABC News:

"We have been working hard over the past several years to ensure we have options on our menu to meet a variety of dietary needs. For example, our line of Premium Salads can be ordered without meat. We also have other offerings including Apple Slices, Oatmeal and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits as well as a variety of portion sizes... McDonald's and our franchisee look forward to working with the Loma Linda City Council and residents to hopefully address any questions or concerns. We believe the new restaurant will support the Loma Linda community with a contemporary dining experience and help fuel economic growth."


McDonald's won't exactly be the first fast food chain in town. Though several health food stores are popular with residents, in recent years a handful of chains have arrived, including a KFC, Del Taco, Weinerschnitzel, Baker's Burger, and most notably a Carl's Jr., which also came under intense fire when it first moved in.

Caught in the middle between the health food advocates and the burger eating population, as well as the land developers and those who welcome business growth, is Loma Linda Mayor Rhodes Rigsby.

A Seventh-Day Adventist and a physician himself, Rigsby says he has the desire to promote health, but doesn't feel limiting food choices is an appropriate mandate.

"I don't think it's the government's responsibility, personally, to legislate vegetarianism; I think if everyone became a vegetarian they would probably have a healthier life, but it has to be their choice," he said.

"I would hate to go to a town where vegetables are outlawed because the majority are meat and potato carnivores," he continued, "to me that doesn't make sense either way; I think people should have options."

Dysinger admitted, "I agree that we don't want to legislate health, but on the other hand, we can create healthy environments or we can be oblivious to healthy environments. I believe we have to do everything we can to create a healthy environment."

Mayor Rigsby said that if the citizens of Loma Linda want to ban further fast food development, a ballot initiative enabling residents to vote on the issue might be an acceptable approach going forward.

The small city is a particularly unusual battleground, considering the first McDonald's opened in 1940, just five miles away in the town of San Bernardino. Now the country's most iconic fast food chain has over 33,000 locations worldwide in 199 countries around the globe.

Even though Loma Linda's city council approved the McDonald's development, the residents who are fighting it say it's not a done deal yet. Dysinger said there is enough community opposition that he believes the council will want to reconsider their decision.

"We're continuing to work on this with the developer directly," he said. "We have other restaurants that we feel would be much healthier than McDonald's that we'd like to bring in…we'll do what we can to not have McDonald's in Loma Linda."

MCDONALD'S FULL STATEMENT


"McDonald's wants to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve. We have been working hard over the past several years to ensure we have options on our menu to meet a variety of dietary needs. For example, our line of Premium Salads can be ordered without meat. We also have other offerings including Apple Slices, Oatmeal and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits as well as a variety of portion sizes.

"The City of Loma Linda approved this development for several uses, including the McDonald's restaurant. McDonald's and our franchisee look forward to working with the Loma Linda City Council and residents to hopefully address any questions or concerns. We believe the new restaurant will support the Loma Linda community with a contemporary dining experience and help fuel economic growth."

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Sarah, grace and peace.

I forgive you your slanderous remarks.

I pray you find it in your heart to recognize that this is not good at all.

When a Brother asks you if you like "this franchise" (meaning fast food burger outlets) but you reply that you have previously posted that you don't go to McDonalds, and I then point out that you do however go to Burger King, and I then ask you what the difference is.... how is that then "the spirit of satan"???

What's wrong with just answering ???...you posted it !!!

Sincere Blessings.

According to SOP, the Holy Spirit will let us know when it is time to flee the large cities. Everyone will not flee the large cities at the same time due to the fact that there is work to be done in these cities.. There are souls to be saved.

But, in the end we will have no choice but to flee, due to the fact that we will be widely persecuted. 

We will have to forsake everything, run to the forest to find refuge. Oh what a time that will be,, after all everything we have here on this earth is temporal. 

It is for our own benefit though that we follow the health message. After all God will destroy those who destroy this temple. We have to take good care of whats entrusted in our care ( our body).. 

blessings

You're right....According to Matthew 24:3-20, it is not time to "flee the cities". 

Sarah, grace and peace.

Thats not what SOP says, nor the Bible for that matter.

     As God's commandment-keeping people, we must leave the cities. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them.-- Evangelism, pp. 78, 79. (1899)  {CL 30.4}  


The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there given a more decisive testimony to God's hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty. {GC 36.1}
The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow.



Blessings.


What?

Emmy, grace and peace.

SOP tells us to leave the cities. but we are to work for souls in the cities....its called commuting. The SOP told us to leave the cities 100 years ago. I'm sorry if some of you discern that as being self righteous or in the spirit of satan, but there you go.

As far as healthy options from fast food outlets: there are none !!! Even the fruit and veg are processed, rarely prepared on site and often contain harmful additives.

No-one is taking away your choice to disobey the Truth by posting the Truth. See, even after I've said it, its still your choice.

Blessings.

.

Scott, 

In this aspect you have to let God lead, we know that we are called to leave the large cities, but i will still say we all cannot leave the large cities at the same time. 

 

The holy Spirit will show us when to leave the large cities.

Emmy, grace and peace.

I wholeheartedly agree. But who inspired the SOP ? The Holy Spirit, right ?? Was the Holy Spirit not sent to us to lead us into all Truth ?? Where do we find Truth ? "Thy Word is Truth." (Gods Word).

The Spirit IS showing you.....

Of course we cannot all leave at once, but, tell me, are you making plans ? You are only responsible for you...

Blessings.

I agree with both of you. We can't all leave at the same time, but we were also told to leave years ago. Some of us can't leave because of many reasons but we should be in prayer and asking God to make a way. He will because He promised us. As for those who are able to leave and do not, that is between them and God. When God opens the door for my husband and I, we will take off running. I pray that others do the same. Also, we have been warned of just trying to get up and go without God leading us. That is dangerous and we should not do it. We have to wait on the Lord in prayer.

Written in love

@Gabriel

Sister White counseled specifically that though it was time to retire to a country dwelling that young men impressed of God who were called in to the priesthood were to continue attending our schools even up to / in the time of great tribulation.

So no our collages wouldn't close they would just be %90 those looking for a degree in divinity.

I know what you are saying, but also keep in mind that in her time the schools were to put in the countryside a bit, but with expansion the city's extended out to where the schools are...

If you fell that is what God wants you doing then I'm all for it. :0)

Besides there are many who live in retired places, but drive in to go to school.. A bit pricey over all but well worth it.

Sarah, i hear you. But Calling someone that they have come in the spirit of Satan is really bad. I don't agree with that.

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