Churchgoers Live Longer
Churchgoers Live Longer
By David Briggs
Live longer. Go to church more often. A major study of church attendance and mortality reveals people who attend church more than once a week are likely to live an average of seven years longer than people who never attend worship services.
That seven-year gap is the same as the difference in life expectancies between men and women and between blacks and whites. Among black people studied, the gulf was even wider, with the life expectancy at age 20 for those attending church regularly being 60.1 years, compared to 46.4 years for those who never attend church.
"Something's going on here," said Robert A. Hummer of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
The findings by sociologists Hummer and Christopher G Ellison of the University of Texas, Richard G. Rogers of the University of Colorado at Boulder and Charles B. Nam of Florida State University were presented recently at the joint meeting of the Religious Research Association and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Several previous studies have uncovered a positive link between religion and physical and mental health. However, there has been little research on the national level into the relation between religious experience and mortality.
In the new study, partly funded by the National Science Foundation, researchers began with a nationally representative sample of 22,080 people interviewed in their homes in 1987 as part of a cancer risk factor survey conducted by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The study data are based on 2,016 people from the federal survey who were identified as dying from 1987 to 1995 by matching respondents with the National Death Index.
Researchers found the life expectancy at age 20 for people who never attend church was 55.3 years, compared to 61.9 years for people who attend services once a week and 62.9 for people who attend more than once a week.
"Our life expectancy estimates... indicate that religious attendance differences in mortality are similar in magnitude to those of sex and race," researchers said.
Researchers say some of the gap may be explained by the health benefits of churches discouraging unhealthy behaviors such as smoking (and promiscuity, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, etc. -- prb).
And the social ties promoted by church attendance contribute to a network of people that help monitor the health of members.
One area they suggest for further study is to see whether worship attendance decreases stress and helps church members cope with illness.
Kenneth Pargament, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University, who studies the relation between religion and health, praised the new study. "This kind of data underscores the power of religion, not only for their psychological well-being, but their physical well-being," he said.
In Northeast Ohio, the study results resonated with the experience of church workers seeking to strengthen the connection between the religious and medical communities.
"It is a biblical principle that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit," said... Mark Olds, director of the Olivet Health and Education Institute. "That leads to promoting healthy care of the body." (Edited, Plain Dealer, 12/5/98, 1-4f)
By Rick Duggin
How often do you hear someone trying to salvage an unscriptural position by quoting Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged"? If nominal Bible students know any passage, it is this one. This verse, like all other scripture, is TRUE, but it is much misunderstood. Many assume ALL judgment must be left with God... under no circumstances may a man judge anyone for anything. What is this usual view of the passage so deeply flawed and erring?
1. It is a self-defeating position. One who judges another as wrong because he judges another, does exactly what he condemns. He is like the man who argues that it is wrong to argue.
2. It would negate our judgment by God. If the first part of Matt. 7:1 is absolute (under no circumstances may we judge), why is the second part not absolute (we will never be judged)?
3. It contradicts other passages. "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Never assume a position in one passage that contradicts another.
4. It would prevent us from following the example of Christ and His apostles. Matthew 6:2-18 teaches us to judge others.
5. It contradicts the context. Carefully read verses 5,6,15-20 to see if we can obey these things without forming judgments.
6. It would permit and encourage excesses in evil and false doctrine. We could not correct our children, our friends, our society, or our brethren for any kind of sin. 1Cor. 5 shows what Paul thought of this view; how do you judge it?
A Moments Wisdom
--Don't place too much confidence in a man who boasts of being as honest as the day is long. Wait until you meet him at night.
--Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.
--People who are brutally honest often get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.
--Don't call a man honest just because he never had the chance to steal.
--If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.
--Put a rogue in the limelight, and he will act like an honest man.
--Live right so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral.
--A hypocrite never intends to be what he pretends to be.
--Procrastination is the fertilizer that makes difficulties grow.
--Criticism often comes easier than craftsmanship.
Test Your Bible Knowledge
1. Who was the first High Priest? __________
2. Which sons of Aaron offered strange fire to the Lord? __________
3. Who were the leaders of the skilled artisans who made the Tabernacle? __________ & __________
4. Which of Aaron’s sons was responsible for the oil of the lampstand? __________
5. Which Levite family was responsible to carry the holy things of the Tabernacle? __________
6. Which Levite family was responsible to carry the cloth of the Tabernacle? __________
7. Which Levite family was responsible to carry the boards and posts of the Tabernacle? __________
2/14/21 AM - The Mystery of the Resurrection; PM - Naomi and Ruth: God’s Non-Traditional Family
2/21/21 AM - Five Faithful Sayings; PM - God’s Feelings
2/28/21 AM & PM - The Power of the Gospel Over the Power of Sin, Parts One & Two
3/7/21 AM - “Be of Good Cheer”; PM - Singing Service: Congregational Choice
3/14/21 AM - “I am the Bread of Life” Part One; PM - Plant Anger; Grow a Fool
3/21/21 AM - “I am the Bread of Life” Conclusion; PM - Jeremiah’s Song
3/28/21 AM - “God is Faithful”; PM - When Satan Tells the Truth