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Coronary heart disease Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat. (Proverbs 23:20, NIV) If Ameri- cans were to maintain optimal weights and avoid obesity, coronary heart disease would decrease 25 percent and strokes and heart failure would drop 30 percent. 38

Infectious disease

As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncov- ered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, Unclean! Unclean! He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:45-46, NAS) After physicians had been proven powerless in stopping an epidemic of leprosy in the Dark Ages, the Church stepped in and began applying the segregation principle of Leviticus. This action methodically eradi- cated the disease.39 It wasnt until 1873, however, when Dr. Armauer Hansen identified the bacterium that causes leprosy, that the scientific principles underlying the practice prescribed in Leviticus were fully revealed. 40

  • Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be

unclean for seven days. He must purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean.41 (Numbers 19:11-12, NIV) Objective evidence in health care has not always changed behavior. Dr. S.I. McMillen relates the tragic experience of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, an obstetrician practicing in the early 1840s in Austria. Dr. Semmelweis dramatically reduced maternity patient mortality rates by insisting that physicians wash their hands after performing autopsies and before examin- ing living patients. However, despite dramatic evi- dence proving his procedure worked, his colleagues ridiculed him to the point of insanity. He died, ironi- cally, of a blood infection.

Lifestyle protections For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11, KJV)

Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my com- mandments and live... (Proverbs 4:4, NAS)

Alcohol abuse Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1, NIV)

Depression-related illness The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.42 (Psalm 28:7, NIV) A long-term study of over 2,000 men demon- strated that those rated at the outset of the study as

  • psychologically depressed showed a cancer death

rate that was twice that of the rest of the group. McMillen, who concludes: Thus, if we do not smoke or drink, our outlook on life may be the most important factor in determining whether we will die from can- cer!43 He says, Its not what you eat. Its what eats you!

Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.44 (Proverbs 12:25, NAS) A study of open-heart surgery patients found that 75 percent of depressed patients died, but only 15 percent of all other patients died.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NAS)

Grief-related illness Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lords own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:13- 17, NIV)

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.45 (Isaiah 53:4, NIV) Excessive grief can also damage the body. Grief seems to trigger onsets of ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and many other diseases.


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