Dr. Bernard Brandstater: Our Motto Is to Make Men Whole
PRESENTER: We are here at the beautiful university and as I was walking through the hospital setting, we noticed some beautiful pictures of the doctors who are doing operations but in the background was the picture of Jesus PBUH and they were so beautiful because it showed a very spiritual element of Loma Linda and its focus and belief. Can you elaborate on that for us?
Dr. BERNARD BRANDSTATER: Well. Anyone who knows European history will know that it was the Christian motivation centuries ago that led to the establishing of hospitals and caring for the sick and needy people. Yes, so many universities and hospitals in this country have a Christian beginning. But Loma Linda University is special in that it has stuck very strongly and with conviction to the goals which it set and the goals were simply to continue the ministry of Jesus right here in California that includes teaching and healing. We place strong emphasize on healing, because here in this university there is a very fine medical school in which I am a professor. The motto of this place is very simple "to make men whole." Whole means integrated, means with all your parts brought together and that means not just physical wellbeing, but emotional wellbeing, intellectual wellbeing, social wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing. So that we are not complete, we are not whole, unless we know and practice the worship of God. That's why we are here.
PRESENTER: Thank you doctor. And also speaking of whole and spiritually is something that, we think that the world definitely needs more of, we see that in Loma Linda, there is this, first I should ask you, what types of students are interested in coming to Loma Linda? Are they from a spiritual background, are they atheists, are they believers, nonbelievers? What is your experience?
Dr. BERNARD BRANDSTATER: The student body at Loma Linda University is extremely mixed, both in culture and religion and national background. It's a very international place because especially people who have a 7th Day Adventist background look upon Loma Linda as a kind of the ultimate place to get your higher education and we welcome them, they are usually very moral, very trustworthy, good hearted people. We feel privileged to educate them and send them back to their countries where they can have a good influence in lifting the standard of their cultures, you understand? Yes. I'm a faculty here, there is a mixture again even on the teachers. However, the professors and teachers here at Loma Linda University are chosen especially with attention to whether or not the professor will be willing to safeguard and uphold the principles upon which Loma Linda University was founded, that is worshipping God and making man whole.
PRESENTER: Yes, that is wonderful. To expand on the attendance here and also with the faculty, I want to ask you what your experience was with Muslim students coming to the university or even in the faculty? Do you have a lot of Muslim students? A few? Can you explain that?
Dr. BERNARD BRANDSTATER: We have quite a lot of Muslim students, but they are still a minority. However, because the 7th Day Adventist Church has been active in countries all around world, certainly in Indonesia and in the Middle East, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Jordan, in Egypt, these places all have got to know that Loma Linda is a reliable place to get a good education where you will not, your young people will not be facing professors who don’t believe in God. Professors here do believe in God and they respect the religious principles that students bring with them when they come here. You see, some of our students have been from Saudi Arabia. I myself have contributed to that because many years ago I took care of the King of Saudi Arabia and I gave anesthetics to three of his queens. So, I got to know some important people in Saudi Arabia and so doctors and nurses from Loma Linda University did the first heart surgery ever done in Saudi Arabia. I'm just telling you that that's why 7th Day Adventist Christians have a brotherly feeling towards people in many different countries and we welcome them here as students and we feel there is a brotherhood between all mankind.
PRESENTER: Thank you doctor. We certainly experience that ourselves being here, your team has been very gracious, very kind, very polite, very attentive to our needs and for sitting down with us and talking with us. We are inside this beautiful church. Can you explain a little bit about, maybe a little history about it and also explain what's going on here maybe this setup on this side as well and we will probably turn the camera at that point.
Dr. BERNARD BRANDSTATER: Yes, this is the university church right in the heart of the university campus. It seats about 2 thousand five hundred people when it's full and it's full every Saturday morning because that is the day on which Adventist Christians choose to worship on the 7th day because we have a strong belief in creation. By worshipping - after six days of creation- worshipping on the 7th day, that is a respect for the Creator. That's why you'll find every seat here full on Saturday mornings. Yes, now. If you come here on this coming Saturday, you'll find all the stuff on the platform because there is a special event going on right now and that is vacation Bible school and that's when because it's summer time and schools are out. But there are several hundred of our children coming every day to have a good time, learning how to pray, learning the stories that we read in the Bible, and learning what is good and what is not good, how to behave themselves and how to worship God. But worshipping God should not be a very miserable experience. We should find joy, we should be happy for the privilege of worshipping God. That's what we try to teach the children. That's why the platform here in the church has it's a happy decoration to make the children feel as if 'yes this is their place just now'. But next Saturday it won’t be quite like this.
PRESENTER: Thank you doctor.