Science Discovers the Benefits of Christianity

CNN issued a study a while back that found regularly attending church may increase a Christian’s lifespan while at the same time helping “them stay grounded and [providing] spiritual guidance.” I’m guessing this positive benefit results from the additional sleep gained by snoozing during boring sermons.

Gary McCoy

Regular readers know this column normally takes a dim view of social “science” studies, but an exception will be made in this instance for two reasons. First no taxpayer dollars appear to have been wasted and two, there is no evidence of confirmation bias. The results no doubt came as a real shock to the Harvard team analyzing the data.

Specifically Prof. Tyler VanderWeele crunched the numbers from 75,000 nurses as part of a Nurses Health Study. This study asked if participants regularly attended Protestant or Catholic services during a 20–year period covering.

What the team probably expected to find was over the years — as the curve of history bent toward bathroom chaos — church attendance would drop off and attendance at homosexual weddings would increase, while those still clinging to church would show signs of clinical depression.

And there would be a statistically significant boost in Wicca adherents.

None of that happened. Instead researchers “found that women who went to church more than once a week had a 33 percent lower risk of dying during the study period compared with those who said they never went. Less-frequent attendance was also associated with a lower risk of death, as women who attended once a week or less than weekly had 26 percent and 13 percent lower risk of death, respectively.”

It’s obvious a nurse attending church events more than once a week wouldn’t have time for any vice as time–consuming as alcoholism, so cirrhosis was certainly out. But that’s not the only dangerous habit church helped avoid. Regardless of how inspiring the sermon was, these women “also had higher rates of social support and optimism, had lower rates of depression and were less likely to smoke.”

These results are enough to send pastors, priests and the chairmen of building committees jumping for joy, but Harvard scientists were, to put it mildly, less enthusiastic. Although it pains him so say so, those homo–haters may be on to something: “Our study suggests that for health, the benefits outweigh the potentially negative effects, such as guilt, anxiety or intolerance,” VanderWeele sniffed.

The study didn’t include other religions, although dietary restrictions alone would appear to give Orthodox Jews a leg up. On the other hand, results for Islam would be very dependent on whether or not the mosque offers advanced explosive classes.

Naysayers pooh–pooh the results by contending church attracts people who are already healthy, since they are more mobile. This just proves those atheists have never attended a traditional service — also known as the “assisted living” service — in a Baptist church. There the sermon and gentle hiss of portable oxygen serves to lull everyone to sleep.

Even with the results in, the meaning appears to elude our secular observers. CNN interviewed Dr. Dan Blazer of Duke University who contends that since most Americans tell pollsters they are “spiritual” going to church puts their actions congruent with their beliefs.

But people don’t go to church because they are “spiritual,” they go to church because they are Christians. The “spiritual” people are communing on the 9th hole or contorting themselves into yoga pants.

Blazer said the jury is still out on whether praying and reading the Bible also increase longevity, but like the Jewish grandmother says, “It couldn’t hurt!”

One almost feels sorry for the good doctors. Heretofore they had pitied these poor, superstitious people with their invisible deity. Science was perfectly willing to let them practice their harmless rituals as long as it didn’t interfere with the catering at same–sex weddings.

But now Baptists have managed to extend life and worse yet, they are doing it to conservatives!

How do they approach these people? It’s more awkward than Mike Bloomberg dining on scrapple with a coal miner.

Blatz is ready to delegate contact to primary care doctors. “…the doctor can help ensure they maintain a good relationship with their church, temple or mosque.” In other words take two Sunday services and one dinner in Fellowship Hall and call me in two weeks.

The truth is Christianity is a social engineer’s dream. A study in the UK, reported by The Telegraph, found religious people “are healthier and take fewer sick days.” In addition, “more religious a person is, the less likely they are to suffer from anxiety, depression or exhaustion.”

This is fiscal heaven in connection with Medicare for All. Fewer users mean lower costs. Backsliders thinking about jettisoning God, Jesus and sin, may discover under Bernie’s administration that HHS has made Christianity mandatory for everyone baptized before 2020.

Maryland Church Washed Away by Watered–Down Theology

Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, MD recently had a going–out–of–business–sale. The church had been spiritually bankrupt for decades, but the members finally had enough and decided to sell the physical plant, too.

The Twinbrook Baptist started out on solid Christian footing. Founded in 1956, the church was notable for following the Apostle Paul’s doctrine in Galatians 3:27 – 29 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”

This meant that while many Southern Baptist Churches — to their enduring shame — supported segregation, Twinbrook made it a point to welcome blacks. It was a courageous stance at that time and worthy of praise.

Paul’s theology is a strong brew. In 1987 Twinbrook decided Paul was no longer its cup of tea and joined the Alliance of Baptists, a group that split from the Southern Baptist Convention when the SBC decided it was time to take Paul and the rest of the Bible seriously.

Twinbrook’s entire theology changed. It went from going against the culture and embracing blacks in the congregation, to slavishly following the culture and feverishly jettisoning any Christian doctrine that made sinners feel uncomfortable. When a church dumps doctrine that makes sinners guilty — which is the point of following Christ — it’s no longer a church. Instead it’s a social club that collects dues every week.

Naturally, Twinbrook was “welcoming” church. This meant any heretic or consonant crusader was automatically a valued member of the congregation. As the WoePost put it, “Twinbrook and its pastor have been on the front lines of local and national LGBTQ advocacy …helping to form the outreach group Montgomery County Pride Center and joining an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rule that federal law prohibits job discrimination against gay and transgender employees.”

And the church didn’t confine itself to fighting for more variety in sex and sexual partners. No “marginalized” sparrow’s fall was too small to escape the notice of these social justice warriors. “Students with lunch money debt” had a friend in their secularized Jesus.

In spite of Twinbrook’s efforts to soften the hearts of lunch ladies, the congregation was down to about 50 members when it gave up the ghost. Their excuses sounded like those of mainline Protestant churches that trod the path to irrelevancy before them.

Once social justice crowded out the Cross, Twinbrook’s theology had scant appeal for Christians, which further limited any possibility for growth. Even the congregation wasn’t that sold on their message. Rather than downsize to fit the eroding congregation and continue the ministry, Twinbrook signed a congregational Do Not Resuscitate pledge and sold out.

“Two years ago, church leaders said, Twinbrook’s congregation realized its numbers were falling and its days as a full-time ministry were probably limited. People were moving out of the area, and older members were dying, making it hard to afford the maintenance on the decades-old church building.”

That makes it sound like Rockville, MD is about to suffer the same fate as Dogpatch, AR. That’s misleading. Rockville is Maryland’s fourth largest city and population has increased 10 percent in the last ten years.

Unfortunately for these Baptists the alphabet apostates and their supporters just weren’t that into them. One can be card–carrying consonant crusader and social justice warrior par excellence by putting a rainbow flag on your Twitter profile and going to the polls just once a year.

Why bother with getting up early on Sunday and being potentially embarrassed when the usher hands you the collection plate? There were plenty of other SJW organizations volunteers could join. And none require a prayer before going for the coffee and donuts.

Proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to contribute over $1 million to local organizations that “share its values.”

The favored groups include “medical clinics, school lunch programs, hospice care, emergency housing funds, Habitat for Humanity builds, LGBTQ youth programs and other community support services.” The only Christian organization in that group is Habitat for Humanity. One of the larger grants will go to Community Ministries of Rockville, which is a nonsectarian religious healthcare organization.

What’s telling about the list of published donations is not a single dime is going to religious organizations working to protect the unborn.

This is remarkable. Our nation has confronted two great moral questions in its history. Twinbrook was on the right side of slavery and segregation when it still believed in the Bible. Today it’s watered–down Christianity has washed away most of the congregation and reduced the remnant to pacifism on the question of life for the unborn.