Church v Gym: Science reveals worship is good for you

When you are buying or selling a car what is the most critical factor? The age of the car? The mileage? The price? The colour? There is something more vital than any of these. If you are looking for a safe reliable car what is the critical issue? Whether the car has a service history or not. A car with no service history or only a partial service history is worth less than a car with a full manufacturers service history. Why? Because you don't know how it has been treated. You don't know how reliable it will be. You are taking a gamble. Statistically, high mileage cars that have been serviced regularly are more reliable than newer cars that have been abused. This is the reason why cars with a full manufacturers service history command a higher price than those without it.

If this principle applies to cars it should come as no surprise that medical science reveals the same principle applies to our souls and bodies. According to medical research published this week by the National Institute of Health Care Research you are better off coming to Church than going to the gym. An analysis of 42 different research studies investigating the role of religion in health, in which 126,000 people were interviewed reveals a simple but profound truth. Regular attendance of a place of worship will seriously improve your health and increase your life expectancy.

Here are some of the other findings. Compared with those who do not regularly attend Church, you are more likely to live longer and you will be less likely to suffer from stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, depression or obesity. One particular study of 21,000 people found that those who never attend church were almost twice as likely to die in the following nine years than those who attend church weekly. They calculated that life expectancy for a 20 year old attending church regularly is seven years longer than those who do not.

The findings were published in the Times recently. Dr Raj Persaud who wrote the article is a consultant psychiatrist working at the Maudsley Hospital in South London. You can explore his research from his web site:

The findings of this major study simply corroborate what the Bible has been teaching for thousands of years. When we follow the makers instructions and keep to the recommended weekly service intervals we remain covered by the manufacturers warranty. God promised Moses, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26). Similarly, Jesus promised, "The thief only comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come that you may have life abundantly." (John 10:10).

Jesus meant it because it is true. Satan is in the demolition business of wrecking lives. Jesus is in the construction business, rebuilding, remaking broken lives. At any moment we are being influenced by the one or the other. It is an eternal principle, now corroborated by modern science, that we will live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life if we obey the makers instructions and keep to the recommended weekly service intervals. So if you care about your health, of course join a gym, but don't forget the Church either. Our unique fitness programme is held every Sunday at 8:00am, 10:30am and 6:30pm.

Yours sincerely
Stephen Sizer