3 March 2014 –
I've often wondered why the studies show consistently that going to church lengthens your life and even the quality of your life.
One time I had the privilege of interviewing a sociology professor and author, Dr. Byron Johnson. When I spoke with him, he was teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. He went on from there to Princeton and is now at Baylor. He has made a lifetime of studying the impact of religion on society, on health, mental and physical.
He told me something I've never forgotten. If you're white and you go to church regularly, you will live—on average—an extra seven years. If you're an African-American and you go to church on a regular basis—on average—you will gain an extra 14 years!
These are averages. Obviously, there are exceptions but this statistically significant increase must be reckoned with.
Another study released many years ago was conducted with 5000 people from Alameda, CA over a span of 28 years to determine the long term benefits of attending church. The [Ft. Lauderdale] Sun-Sentinel summarized the findings with this phrase, "Go to church, live longer."
What factors contribute to this consistent finding? One of them, I believe, is the effect of fellowship. We are designed by God to be social creatures, but we now live in perhaps the most disconnected society in history. Loneliness is the inevitable result— a new study even finds that loneliness can kill.
Note: Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a TV producer and the cohost of Kennedy Classics. He has also written or co-written 24 books, including The Book that Made America (on the Bible) and (with Dr. Kennedy) What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? and (with Peter Lillback), George Washington's Sacred Fire. Jerry hosts gracenetradio.com Thursdays at noon (EST). www.truthinaction.org
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