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RX for Spiritual Health:
GO TO CHURCH! LIVE LONGER!
Hereâ€™s a prescription your doctor may soon give: Get some religion. Thatâ€™s because some health reports suggest thereâ€™s a link between going to church and living longer. Last year this apparent link was a topic of discussion in Atlanta during a series of religious workshops called Mega Fest 2004, sponsored by the makers of St. Joseph Aspirin. One of the participants, Waine Kong, a PhD and CEO of an association of cardiologists, said â€œAmericans who attend church services at least once a week have lower blood pressure and, in fact, live longer.â€
Dr. Kong, reports that his association has outlined seven steps to good health, with spirituality being number one. And according to Dr. Kong, the data that drives this assertion is based on a study conducted by Dr. Robert Hummer at the University of Texas. Dr. Hummer analyzed a household survey and was able to report that Americans who go to church regularly live an average of seven to fourteen years longer than those who donâ€™t go to church.
Dr. Kong insists that itâ€™s not just theory. â€œLots of studies have documented very convincingly the important role that spirituality plays in peopleâ€™s lives, and you can readily begin to understand the benefit of regular church attendance. Where else are you going to go to get good singing, good praying, meditation, hugs and kisses, announcements about community activities, a good sermon and inspirational words? The benefits are so tremendous for people who participate in religious activities. There are lots of people who want to greet you and express great love for you without any hidden agenda. More than anything else, it is a community activity where you feel that sense of belonging.â€
When asked if regular church attendance is the kind of good medicine advice that he would dispense, Dr. Kong said, â€œas an association. . . .we are making the recommendation as actively as we can that physicians promote regular church attendance as part of the therapeutic regimen that they prescribe to their patients.â€
â€œAnd God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations. . . .â€ (1Cor 12:28).
â€œTo Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.â€ (Eph 3:21).
â€œWith a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.â€ (PS. 91:16).