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12.04.2022 Feature Article

Easter & The Science of God: what Does God Do to Your Brain?

Easter  The Science of God: what Does God Do to Your Brain?
12.04.2022 LISTEN

Easter is celebrated by Christians as a joyous holiday because it represents the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament and the revelation of God's salvific plan for all of humankind. In commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter also celebrates the defeat of death and the hope of salvation.

It’s worth considering Easter and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead after his crucifixion in relation to what recent health research is telling us, because it may lead to your better health here and now.

Instead of viewing this event in history with sadness or disbelief, it should be a beacon of hope that we need not fear the change called death … that there really is such a thing as life after death … maybe even life instead of death.

In recent times, many people have shown great interest in my articles elucidating the scientific aspects of Christian activities. As a Theologian and Naturopathic Researcher, I am a major proponent of the fact that spirituality is paramount in holistic health. Some people have asked if there is any science behind tongues speaking. There have also been some enquiries concerning the efficacy of speaking in tongues and its benefit to the human immune system. There is some evidence to suggest that praying in the spirit; also known as speaking in tongues; may enhance immunity by some chemicals released from a part of the brain.

On the impact of scientific understanding on tongue on the human body, I ask that you read this article with an open mind. My intention is to bring praise to God for such a gift and pray that those of you who have received such a gift use it for His glory. To those who do not think it is relevant, think again. To those who have it but do not use it, use it. To those who abuse it; speak with understanding. Grace and peace to the Christian community.

Many Christian activities occurred after the death of Jesus Christ including receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. There is also the health benefit of after death. For instance, one study by Flannelly et al. (2006) notes that beliefs about death influence our health. Fear of the future can affect everything from blood pressure, to heart rate, to mental stability. By some estimates, the stress underlying these conditions accounts for more than 60% of all doctor visits. So, as we celebrate Easter, let see what God does to our brain as we believe.

The Science of God

Speaking in Tongue Edifies.

Carl Peterson (2011), M.D. a brain specialist, conducted a study examining the relationship between the brain and praying or speaking in tongues. He found that as we pray in the Spirit or worship in the Spirit, the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune system, giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. This promotes healing within our bodies. Interestingly, this secretion is triggered from a part of the brain that has no other apparent activity in humans and is only activated by our Spirit-led prayer and worship.

Speaking Tongues influences on stress response among Apostolic Pentecostals

One study conducted by Lynn et al., (2013) measured stress via salivary cortisol and α-amylase among 52 Apostolic Pentecostals in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley. In this study, saliva samples were collected at four predetermined times on consecutive Sundays and Mondays to establish diurnal profiles and compare days of worship and non-worship. This data was reanalyzed using separate analyses of covariance on α-amylase and cortisol levels to control for individual variation in Pentecostal behavior, effects of Sunday biomarkers on Monday, and other covariates.

The data in this study suggests that glossolalia (speaking in tongues) is associated with a reduction in stress in response to normal stressors and significantly associated with positive mood and calmness. Clearly the reduction of stress is very helpful to one’s immune system and entire health.

Another retrospective study by Francis and Robbins, (2003) involved nearly 1,000 clergy members of a British evangelical group. The researchers found that the 80 percent who practiced glossolalia had greater emotional stability and less neuroticism.

Speaking in Tongues Signifies Praying with the Holy Spirit

In one study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes; the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do; were relatively quiet, as were the language centers.

While speaking in tongues, there was a decrease of activity in the frontal lobes and an increased activity in the thalamus (ie, the "third brain", where it is believed by some that spiritual experiences take place). Language areas are in the frontal lobes. The language that emerged during the state of glossolalia was highly structured, filled with clearly articulated phrases.

This research finding is very interesting as it suggests that the language was being generated in a different way, or possibly from someplace other than the normal processing centers of speech. For Christian believers, this experience could be taken as proof that another “entity” had actually spoken through them. Newberg, (2013) summarized this position in his book “Born to Believe” (Pages 200 and 201).

The Medical Doctor, Newberg notes: “The amazing thing was how the images supported people’s interpretation of what was happening, the way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them,” he said.

What Does God Do to Your Brain?

Newberg(2021) agrees that the moment we encounter God, or the idea of God, our brain begins to change. Going to church might involve confession, communion, singing, chanting, praying, tithing, talking with other members, reading sacred scriptures, or volunteering in charitable work. Newberg discover that each one can change the way one think and feel about God. He notes: “Praying silently affects one part of the brain, while praying out loud affects another part. And if you repeat the same prayer over and over, one part of the brain may be activated in the first few minutes, another part might quiet down ten minutes later, while other brain functions will change after forty or fifty minutes of intense prayer.”

The author is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare. President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/ African Naturopathic Foundation. E-mail: [email protected]

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