World News and Trends: It May not be Immortality, but it isn't Bad

by John Ross Schroeder, Scott Ashley Estimated reading time: 2 minutes. Posted on 15-Oct-1999
If you want to live longer, go to church, synagogue or other religious services regularly. That's the conclusion of a report in a recent issue of Demography magazine.

People who attend such services once a week live an average of seven years longer than those who never go, researchers found. For 20-year-olds, those who never go to church services will die at an average age of 75, while those who attend regularly will live to an average age of 82. Blacks who attend services weekly live an average of 14 years longer than those who never go.

This research undergirds an increasing consensus that belief in the Scriptures and church attendance can be key indicators of better physical and emotional health as well as longer life.

Why the difference in longevity? Part can be explained by the fact that many churchgoers avoid unhealthy behaviors such as drunkenness, smoking, taking illegal drugs and engaging in sex with multiple partners.

But distinct differences remain even allowing for people with similar behavior and incomes are compared. Researchers credit the personal relationships and sense of belonging people gain from attending religious services regularly. “People who attend church have friends to count on, a sense of their importance in the scheme of things,” explained University of Colorado sociology professor Rick Rogers, one of the study’s researchers.

Regular churchgoers “have meaning in their lives, a better sense of control, can relate better to other people—which all have potential health benefits,” added Bernard Spilka, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Denver.

The Bible itself says: “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 talk of the many blessings for living a life of obedience to God. Many of King Solomon’s proverbs tell of the health and contentment that spring out of following God’s way. Old and New Testaments alike speak of the importance of regular worship with others (Leviticus 23:1-3; Hebrews 10:24-25).

If you would like more information about the biblical way of life, please request our free booklets The Ten Commandments and The Church Jesus Built. (Sources: The New King James Bible; Demography, The Rocky Mountain News, The Washington Times.)

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