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Thread: Christians & The Changed Life

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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Christians & The Changed Life

    We're good at it. Someone comes in with a life filled with sin or otherwise in trouble, we help. We can get them to Jesus and programs and get them to a better place. And certainly the world is better for it.

    Yes there is an area we don't do well at. A church member will come for help. He's doing well in life with no obvious sin. He probably has some private struggles but who doesn't? He's more than just a pew warmer. But he expresses dissatisfaction with his relationship with God and what's he's doing to advance the kingdom.

    From my experience, the response will be "Don't change anything. Just keep doing what you're doing and everything will be fine."

    I wonder why this is?
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    This is where confession to a priest helps. The priest, when told of these private struggles, can give advice beyond "keep doing what you're doing."
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    This is where confession to a priest helps. The priest, when told of these private struggles, can give advice beyond "keep doing what you're doing."
    I don't see it as just in "confessional" I think even in protestant churches the preacher is someone you can turn to for struggles. I have even gone to Cow Poke a few times with some problems (Thanks CP)

  4. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I don't see it as just in "confessional" I think even in protestant churches the preacher is someone you can turn to for struggles. I have even gone to Cow Poke a few times with some problems (Thanks CP)
    Sure. It can happen in protestant churches, but IMO there tends to be more reluctance to do so. People want to put on a happy face for the preacher no less than other congregants - even in a smaller church where talking to the preacher is even practical. In a megachurch, you're pretty much out of luck.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

  6. Amen The Remonstrant amen'd this post.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Sure. It can happen in protestant churches, but IMO there tends to be more reluctance to do so. People want to put on a happy face for the preacher no less than other congregants - even in a smaller church where talking to the preacher is even practical. In a megachurch, you're pretty much out of luck.
    In the megachurch I went to we had smaller groups within the church each led by a teacher/pastor whom we could go to.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, larger churches often utilize such programs as Stephen Ministries to train laypeople to provide needed support. However, as best as I can tell these tend to be geared more toward crisis situations and not general spiritual malaise such as alluded to in the OP.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions. - Ecclesiastes 7:10

  9. Amen Thoughtful Monk amen'd this post.
  10. #7
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    We're good at it. Someone comes in with a life filled with sin or otherwise in trouble, we help. We can get them to Jesus and programs and get them to a better place. And certainly the world is better for it.

    Yes there is an area we don't do well at. A church member will come for help. He's doing well in life with no obvious sin. He probably has some private struggles but who doesn't? He's more than just a pew warmer. But he expresses dissatisfaction with his relationship with God and what's he's doing to advance the kingdom.

    From my experience, the response will be "Don't change anything. Just keep doing what you're doing and everything will be fine."

    I wonder why this is?
    I think this is where "small groups" comes into play. Or, the 2 Tim 2:2 thing....

    Most of my congregation is made up of older "stable" adults - mostly "doing things right", and sometimes I'm perplexed as to what to challenge them to change.

    I just finished a seminar with a bunch of military/paramilitary/police guys (and women) as police chaplain, and there were other speakers, on topics associated with abuse of power, balance of power, soft power, etc...

    One of the guys was using an analogy that I'll use in a future sermon, no doubt. He was talking about "surviving", and using the illustration of a pilot being shot down over enemy territory (which he was). His training was "you don't just sit there, you constantly improve your fighting position". He was, of course, talking about waiting to be rescued. There was the risk that the enemy would find him first.

    And I thought - hey, we're on this planet "waiting to be rescued", but we're not just supposed to "hunker down" and wait. We should be constantly improving our fighting position. That includes - in the military sense - moving to a more desirable position, or if you have found the one you think is best, improving it as defensible, camouflage, or whatever. (he went through a list of options)

    In a Christian sense, one of the options we have is "bearing one another's burdens", encouraging one another, etc.

    Just some quick thoughts off the top of my hoary head.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  11. Amen Darth Executor, One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    I've tried this in small groups. My experience is I get a response that translates "shut up. We don't want to deal with it."

    While small groups have their place, I find them overrated for what they can do.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  13. Amen The Remonstrant amen'd this post.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    No one changed my messed up life but the Holy Spirit.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  15. #10
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    From what I've seen, larger churches often utilize such programs as Stephen Ministries to train laypeople to provide needed support. However, as best as I can tell these tend to be geared more toward crisis situations and not general spiritual malaise such as alluded to in the OP.
    Wonder why churches aren't better prepared to handle spiritual malaise? Wrong training to the pastor elders? Wrong ministry emphasis? I would think above any other place on earth, a church would be the best place to go when you had a spiritual malaise.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

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