Away from the Fire an Ember Goes Out
On past Creation Moments programs we have reported on individual studies that link good health to religious commitment. It's always easy to find individual studies to prove almost any point. So researchers did a statistical analysis of 42 different studies made since 1977.
The 42 studies that were examined involved over 125,000 people, mostly Christian and Jewish. The analysis, conducted by the National Institute for Healthcare Research, distinguished between public and private religious activity. Public religious activity included attending worship services and volunteering time for church activities. Private religious activity included praying alone and "internal spiritual feelings." While there are some who question these studies, they have consistently shown that religiously involved people live longer, healthier lives. However, the researchers who analyzed these studies arrived at a new conclusion as they analyzed the differences between public and private religious activity. They concluded that public religious involvement, as opposed to private or no involvement, showed a statistically important relationship to higher health and survival rates.
Two thousand years ago, the writer of the book of Hebrews encouraged believers not to neglect assembling themselves together for worship on a regular basis. Like burning embers removed from the fire, when believers fail to be a regular part of their faith community, believers' faith, too, cools to the temperature around it.