Christians have Holy Spirit to aid health
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
February 25, 2010

Christians have Holy Spirit to aid health

Christians have Holy Spirit to aid health
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
February 25, 2010

Because Christians enjoy the

indwelling Spirit of God, they have a power to overcome addictions they should

be utilizing for health.

Now two Christian doctors

say that Christians’ failure to appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit to

overcome addictions of gluttony and sloth are killing the church. Their concern

reached such a level that for the past two years they have been devising a

health plan that is now available without cost.

Baptist doctors Ted Chandler

and Ray Morrow, and Morrow’s father, Phil Morrow, a retired Baptist pastor and

administrator at Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, have launched the

web site www.christianhealthforums.com.

There churches can find

tools and steps to improve the physical health of their members, which the

founders say will also improve their spiritual health.

Four principles are at the

base of improving health says the trio. Phil Morrow, a member of Victory

Baptist Church in Thomasville, lost 40 pounds, avoided insulin for his diabetes

and came off other medicines based on the plan. He is both testimony and


BR photo by Norman Jameson

Dr. Ray Morrow, an internist at Baptist Medical Center, along with his father Phil Morrow, and Dr. Ted Chandler, have created a web site to promote a healthy lifestyle among Christians. See video.

Those who would “dare to be

a healthy Christian” will not smoke; will maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) of

30 or less; will exercise 150 minutes per week and will eat five servings of

fruits or vegetables daily.

“If the Apostle Paul

was preaching today his message would not be about America’s sexual sin as much

as our obesity,” said Ray Morrow, a member of First Baptist Church, Hildebran.

The obesity epidemic in

children parallels that in adults, with the percentage of children who are

obese rising from 4 percent in 1974 to 30 percent today.

“As Christians we are called

to serve,” Ray Morrow said.

“We can’t serve if our knees

give out, we can’t drive to preach, etc. How do you serve in this world?

“We serve not through mental

telepathy but with our physical bodies. When we’re called, are we going to be

physically able to go?”

Spiritual strength

While the visible

manifestation of discipline is physical, the Morrows and Chandler emphasize the

spiritual nature of the battle.

The Holy Spirit helps people

overcome all kinds of addictions, they say, and the addiction to food and

laziness should be no different.

It is not uncommon for

Christians to be urged to appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit to break

addictions such as alcohol or drugs, but the same power is not considered for

strength to put down the donuts or refuse the fries.

As doctors, Chandler and Ray

Morrow were constantly approached by people for help in changing habits they

ultimately were unwilling to change. Chandler, a member of Rich Fork Baptist

Church in Thomasville, introduced The Reduce Diet, as an initial step and it

worked well with Christians.

When Morrow introduced it in

his clinic, it “failed miserably,” he said because the spiritual element was


About the time the doctors

were wrestling with persistent health problems of patients, studies came out

showing Americans’ poor health habits and that churchmen — particularly

Baptists — were the worst offenders.

“This really touched

us,” Ray Morrow said, “that this is something going on that is killing America

and the church is leading the way.”

Over the past two

years, a dozen studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of following the

four principles for health. In the same time, it seems the church has become a

marketing haven for alternative medicines, magic diets and supplements that

have no value.

It is a spiritual problem,

they say, a problem of lust for food.

It’s a problem too great to

overcome “without the power of Christ.”

“Of all people in America

the Church has the power to overcome the self destructive nature of our

nation,” said Ray Morrow, 42.

The web site includes

positive and encouraging sermons by Phil Morrow, age 73, access to books and

eating plans by Chandler.

It also includes a form that

churches can use to survey their health habits. Chandler said those surveys

will be evaluated to help a church see where its members stand and to make

specific recommendations.

Diabetes often is twice as

high in church members as in the general public, a finding Chandler said is


Also scary is that people

under age 50 are generally in worse shape than those over 50.

Chandler, who practiced in

Hickory for 20 years before joining the faculty at Bowman Gray Baptist Medical

Center, said younger people believe a pill will fix any health problem they


Chandler and the Morrows

have presented this issue in person to 10-12 churches and would be glad to

address more.

But they designed the web

site to multiply their effect because the need is so great and immediate.

Chandler, who was one of Ray

Morrow’s medical school professors, calls it a “modern plague.”

But the cure, he said, is

free and simple: it is the rules of healthy living.

Ray Morrow is not advocating

that churches become health clubs. He said the work of the church is to do the

work of Jesus.

But he was finding that

“people spent more time in the doctor’s office than on the mission field; and

spent more money on medicine than on missions.”

“If you are doing

things that are killing you, what does that say about your perspective of the

resurrected Jesus?” Ray Morrow asked.

“We cannot eat and live

lives that are destructive to ourselves and others around us and really take in

the power of the resurrected Jesus.”

According to surveys, only

four percent of church members observe the four health principles. If that

number could be raised to 50 percent Ray Morrow said, “The improvement in

health by the entire nation would be so dramatic — the benefits would be

overwhelming — there would no longer be a health care crisis in our nation. And

through that the church would become the health leader in the nation, leading

the nation down this path as it has led in so many other areas.”

Cookbook promotes health,

family time

Growing up at Mills Home in

Thomasville 1934-45, the original Baptist Children’s Homes campus, Ted Chandler

remembers hours in the kitchen as wonderful times.

To encourage both healthy

eating and family communications Chandler wrote a family cookbook called

Resurrection Kitchen. While the 66 recipes have a weight loss component, a

significant feature is that they can all be prepared in 30 minutes, and the

book is designed to involve both a child and an adult in the preparation.

“A child can call out to mom

what the next step is,” Chandler said.

He wants Resurrection

Kitchen to open the dialog about food within a family, and to create

togetherness in the kitchen.

“It was at the table,

breaking bread, that the disciples recognized the resurrected Christ,” (Luke

24:30-31) said Chandler, emphasizing the central role of food and community


Chandler wrote about his

years in “the orphanage” in Tough Mercy, available through BCH.