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Thread: Christians & The Changed Life

  1. #11
    tWebber The Remonstrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    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.
    Your expectation should be that the majority will be largely indifferent to their own indifference. It is a mistake therefore to look to the tepid if you wish to set your spiritual life aflame.
    [I]f what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. … The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 Jn 2.24; 5.12, LEB)

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    Farewell. (Sat., 24 Mar. 2018)

  2. #12
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Remonstrant View Post
    Your expectation should be that the majority will be largely indifferent to their own indifference. It is a mistake therefore to look to the tepid if you wish to set your spiritual life aflame.
    If you don't go to church, where do you go to find those who are not tepid? I am not going to pull an Elijah (or was it Elisha?) and say I'm the only one left.
    "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.

  3. #13
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Should the way that another conducts himself be allowed to impact on "my" own walk?
    Serving in a church full of pew-warmers puts a person in a massive mission field.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  4. #14
    tWebber The Remonstrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    [I] [w]onder 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.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Remonstrant View Post
    Your expectation should be that the majority will be largely indifferent to their own indifference. It is a mistake therefore to look to the tepid if you wish to set your spiritual life aflame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    If you don't go to church, where do you go to find those who are not tepid? I am not going to pull an Elijah (or was it Elisha?) and say I'm the only one left.
    Broadly speaking, Western, English-speaking churches are in perpetual decline, doctrinally and spiritually. This negative trend is not new and can be expected to continue. I am not saying that all who avow themselves to be Christians are disingenuous in their profession of the faith. Nevertheless, if you are seeking inspiration for your journey of growth and maturity in Christ,* stellar examples in our present context are few and far between. There is no escaping the predominance of practical antinomianism, regardless of whether it is affirmed in theory or not.

    * I.e. progressive holiness/sanctification.
    [I]f what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. … The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 Jn 2.24; 5.12, LEB)

    <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>


    Farewell. (Sat., 24 Mar. 2018)

  5. #15
    tWebber The Remonstrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    [1] Should the way that another conducts himself be allowed to impact on "my" own walk? [2] Serving in a church full of pew-warmers puts a person in a massive mission field.
    Though little heeded, there are biblical, apostolic calls to separation (see 1 Cor. 5.9–11; 2 Cor. 6.14–7.1).
    [I]f what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. … The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 Jn 2.24; 5.12, LEB)

    <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>


    Farewell. (Sat., 24 Mar. 2018)

  6. #16
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabibito View Post
    Should the way that another conducts himself be allowed to impact on "my" own walk?
    Serving in a church full of pew-warmers puts a person in a massive mission field.
    My first reaction if a church is so fallen away that it is viewed as a mission field is the current church leadership should be dismissed from office for gross incompetence and the church closed.

    My second reaction based on my experience in churches is treating a church as a mission field will result in a church split. As people changed from pew warmers to active believers, they will have different expectations from the community. Eventually this will cause conflict with the maintain the status quo crowd. Someday the church won't be big enough for both and the split occurs. Sometime later, the remnant in the church throw in the towel and close it. Except for the closed part, I lived through this one.

    I would only try this if I was the senior pastor of that church or I had a really clear message from God that is what He wants.

    Question though: if a church is really that fallen away, is the pain of trying to revive it better than letting it peacefully die? Seeing the sentence makes me realize the answer is yes. Maybe I need to deal with my pain aversion.
    "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.

  7. #17
    tWebber tabibito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    My first reaction if a church is so fallen away that it is viewed as a mission field is the current church leadership should be dismissed from office for gross incompetence and the church closed.
    It's been done. Not without a few refugees being sent to churches with a less corrosive influence though. The mission field approach is the last ditch attempt to prevent that outcome.

    My second reaction based on my experience in churches is treating a church as a mission field will result in a church split. As people changed from pew warmers to active believers, they will have different expectations from the community. Eventually this will cause conflict with the maintain the status quo crowd. Someday the church won't be big enough for both and the split occurs. Sometime later, the remnant in the church throw in the towel and close it. Except for the closed part, I lived through this one.
    It's a better course than allowing everyone to go down with the ship. Remonstrant's comment about separation is apropos but incomplete - sometimes a person is called upon to persevere until he gets the royal order of the boot. The difficulty lies in assessing which approach is appropriate for the circumstances under review.

    A church which refuses sound teaching will not for long tolerate its presence - but members who do welcome such teachings will not stay when the teacher is ejected. (again, it's been done.) With the refugees safely out of the line of fire, the church will be permitted to self destruct. (and yet again, it's been done.)

    I would only try this if I was the senior pastor of that church or I had a really clear message from God that is what He wants.
    It would seem from your comments that he has done just that. Asking to be given something by way of confirmation is an approved action.

    Question though: if a church is really that fallen away, is the pain of trying to revive it better than letting it peacefully die? Seeing the sentence makes me realize the answer is yes. Maybe I need to deal with my pain aversion.
    Yup. There might be one or three who are simply overwhelmed by the problems. Viewing such congregations (and betimes perhaps, entire denominations) as mission fields prevents tossing the babies out with the bath-water.
    και εκζητησατε με και ευρησετε με οτι ζητησετε με εν ολη καρδία υμων

  8. #18
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    My first reaction if a church is so fallen away that it is viewed as a mission field is the current church leadership should be dismissed from office for gross incompetence and the church closed.
    Agreed! But if the local congregation has that authority, they've probably accepted the leadership "having itching ears", hearing what they want to hear. If the denomination or some presbytery has the authority, they probably condone such nonsense.

    My second reaction based on my experience in churches is treating a church as a mission field will result in a church split. As people changed from pew warmers to active believers, they will have different expectations from the community. Eventually this will cause conflict with the maintain the status quo crowd. Someday the church won't be big enough for both and the split occurs. Sometime later, the remnant in the church throw in the towel and close it. Except for the closed part, I lived through this one.
    And that can be a GOOD thing, yes? Kind of dividing the sheep and the goats?

    I would only try this if I was the senior pastor of that church or I had a really clear message from God that is what He wants.

    Question though: if a church is really that fallen away, is the pain of trying to revive it better than letting it peacefully die? Seeing the sentence makes me realize the answer is yes. Maybe I need to deal with my pain aversion.
    We have several churches in our area who seem to have "a form of godliness but deny the power thereof". In some cases, it's just a social group where some local politicians have their "membership" so they can promote themselves as "a member of XYZ church". These churches, however, just in the short time I've been here, seem to be dying a natural death. With no evangelism or outreach, they've pretty much sealed their fate with each successive funeral.

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

  9. #19
    tWebber Rushing Jaws'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."
    You got therefore before me :)

    The advantage of knowing there is a priest one can go to, is that the priest is, by virtue of his profession, a sort of “official other”; it is his “job” to be able to perceive things about one that one might have missed. A fellow-layman might be tempted to be too kind, or might lack the ability to diagnose problems.

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