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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary Staff

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Reflecting on his statements yesterday, Trump explains he meant the opposite of what he said in his press conference with Putin. (Townhall)

Marc Thiessen, commenting on the summit, says, “…as cringeworthy as Trump’s news conference was, unlike Obama, he didn’t throw U.S. allies under the bus to appease Putin or take any of the actions many feared — such as lifting sanctions or recognizing Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Unlike his rhetoric, Trump’s Russia policy has actually been a dramatic improvement over that of his predecessor. Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats, approved a $47 million arms sale to Ukraine, continued the deployment of NATO forces to the Baltic states, posted troops to Poland’s border with Russia and levied new sanctions against Moscow for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. During his first year in office, he got NATO allies to increase their defense spending by $12 billion and twice bombed Putin’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for his regime’s use of chemical weapons. If Putin was looking for a more pro-Moscow policies from the United States, his election interference backfired in a big way.” (Washington Post)

Agreeing with Thiessen, The Wall Street Journal reports that “The problem is that he still doesn’t seem to understand the nature of the adversary known as Vladimir Putin whom he wants to make his friend.” The Wall Street Journal also worries about the nuclear talk. (WSJ)

Andrew McCarthy believes the who debacle would end quicker if Trump had handled it differently. (National Review)

For more on this story, here is a look at the Democrats’ overreaction (The Federalist) and Paul Ryan criticizing the treason talk. (Hot Air)

Publication Date: July 18, 2018

Photo Courtesy: Facebook

We all know faith is good for your soul. But now, there’s proof it’s good for your health, too, after studies show that religious people live longer!

In a study conducted by the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), researchers reviewed obituaries from 43 U.S. cities. They were looking to see if people living the longest shared anything in common. And what the scientists wound up discovering may come as a shock to some. But it’s probably not all that surprising to believers.

According to the study, "self-reported religious service attendance has been linked with longevity." Results showed that religiously affiliated people lived between 5.64 and 9.45 years longer than those with no religious affiliation. In other words, religious people live longer!

The findings from SPPS are nothing new. A study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine over a 16-year period monitored women. And results showed women who attended any kind of religious service more than once a week had a 33 percent lower chance of dying "than their secular peers.” Another PLOS One study reported those who attend religious services regularly are less stressed and 55% less likely to die than people who do not attend services.

But why?

Of course, scientists often want to find logical, fact-based reasons for why religious folks appear to be, on average, outliving non-believers. So, The American Council on Science and Health offered up their explanation for the SPPS study results. In an article, they suggest the volunteer and social opportunities provided by religious communities were “in part responsible for the lengthening life-span.”

In other words, spending time with a like-minded community increases social interaction and friendships, which scientists believe to be the true root of the health benefit.

Certainly, the Bible suggests God created us for community. But as Christians, we know church isn’t just a social club. And there’s definitely something greater driving the study results!

A journalist and Christian writing for Fox News argued against The American Council on Science and Health by pointing out an important difference between religious communities versus “like-minded” communities.

“A common interest can bind us as friends, but a common Father binds us as family,” J. Warner Wallace writes.

The meaningful connections made there as a community stem from a greater connection to our Lord and Savior.

And whether science wants to acknowledge it or not, Jesus, the Living Water, is the reason believers are living longer!

“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

Life here on earth, though temporary, is unpredictable. It’s messy. And when the ride gets bumpy, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by stress and anxiety.

But faith allows believers to endure life’s trials differently. Even in the worst situations, we can trust in God’s promises. And once our foundation is rooted in our ever-present, never-changing God, believers are no “tossed about” by circumstances (James 1:6).

Instead, we get to experience God’s peace. And that is certainly one of the greatest health benefits out there!

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