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Stumbling at the End

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  • Stumbling at the End

    I have two older friends who appear to have stumbled in their faith as they neared the goal. I'm not saying they lost their salvation. More just not as strong in their faith. Maybe this is just a result of getting older. My wife and I saw one of them recently and her comment afterward was "He looks old."

    I've got years to go to reach their ages. Yet I don't want to stumble even now. One thing I've learned during Covid is attending church and choice of church is really important. On-line church just isn't doing it. It just so easy to find stuff that discourages faith or belief in God. I need a place and set of people who at least say they believe in God. I know one of the friends joined a church that to my perception is a social club with a steeple. In some ways, no wonder his faith weakened.

    In my mind, I am thinking about 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Philippians 3:14. Not sure the reason I'm posting this. Maybe some dialogue would help.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I have two older friends who appear to have stumbled in their faith as they neared the goal. I'm not saying they lost their salvation. More just not as strong in their faith. Maybe this is just a result of getting older. My wife and I saw one of them recently and her comment afterward was "He looks old."

    I've got years to go to reach their ages. Yet I don't want to stumble even now. One thing I've learned during Covid is attending church and choice of church is really important. On-line church just isn't doing it. It just so easy to find stuff that discourages faith or belief in God. I need a place and set of people who at least say they believe in God. I know one of the friends joined a church that to my perception is a social club with a steeple. In some ways, no wonder his faith weakened.

    In my mind, I am thinking about 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Philippians 3:14. Not sure the reason I'm posting this. Maybe some dialogue would help.
    Hi, the first scripture which came to mind whilst reading your post is Jude 1:24-25. Not to pacify you but really we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word and trust in his grace to see us through. Yes going to church and fellowshipping with other believers and fanning our flames too!

    24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Esther View Post

      Hi, the first scripture which came to mind whilst reading your post is Jude 1:24-25. Not to pacify you but really we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word and trust in his grace to see us through. Yes going to church and fellowshipping with other believers and fanning our flames too!

      24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
      You're right. I need to look at the positive verses as much as I look at the warning verses. The answer is in both and not one or the other.
      "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

      "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
        I have two older friends who appear to have stumbled in their faith as they neared the goal. I'm not saying they lost their salvation. More just not as strong in their faith. Maybe this is just a result of getting older. My wife and I saw one of them recently and her comment afterward was "He looks old."

        I've got years to go to reach their ages. Yet I don't want to stumble even now. One thing I've learned during Covid is attending church and choice of church is really important. On-line church just isn't doing it. It just so easy to find stuff that discourages faith or belief in God. I need a place and set of people who at least say they believe in God. I know one of the friends joined a church that to my perception is a social club with a steeple. In some ways, no wonder his faith weakened.

        In my mind, I am thinking about 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Philippians 3:14. Not sure the reason I'm posting this. Maybe some dialogue would help.
        I agree wholeheartedly with both of your observations. Corporate worship matters, and whom you worship with matters. I wonder sometimes, though, if someone's faith is something of a facade, one eventually runs out of energy to maintain it. It's also possible for someone to be approaching the end of their lives and becoming bitter towards God for not providing something or other which was expected.

        One old woman in my church who died in the first wave of COVID was happy to be dying in the week after Pascha (Easter); in the Orthodox tradition, in that week heaven's doors are open wide.
        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
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        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

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        • #5
          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
          I agree wholeheartedly with both of your observations. Corporate worship matters, and whom you worship with matters. I wonder sometimes, though, if someone's faith is something of a facade, one eventually runs out of energy to maintain it. It's also possible for someone to be approaching the end of their lives and becoming bitter towards God for not providing something or other which was expected.

          One old woman in my church who died in the first wave of COVID was happy to be dying in the week after Pascha (Easter); in the Orthodox tradition, in that week heaven's doors are open wide.
          I have met people that their faith was a facade. I don't know if it's true elsewhere, but in the non-denominational churches, I've met people whose show of faith seems to be a way to market their business. I agree that the energy to maintain the facade eventually runs out and they drop out.

          In the specific cases I referred to, I doubt this is the case. In neither case do I detect any bitterness either although maybe they don't share that part with me. I guess I'll just attribute it to loss of physical energy.

          Thanks for your thoughts.
          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

          Comment


          • #6
            A private group I'm in was discussing this concept in the case of Robert Morey, who was an evangelical pastor with a scholarly bent who had a normal enough ministry for years. As he entered his fifties and sixties, he became increasingly unhinged (he caused real world headaches for Christians and Americans when he advised nuking Mecca to falsify Islamic prophecies), then began engaging in unhinged behavior online, including the use of vulgarity (which I saw especially in the context of his support for Trump, which I do NOT want to turn this thread into a discussion of). He died in his mid 60s, which wasn't old enough for dementia to have been likely. But he didn't "finish well". He hadn't become disengaged from the church by any means. I still wonder what happened. I wonder if his persona turned out to be who he truly was all along, or if he just changed.
            Last edited by KingsGambit; 04-28-2022, 12:24 PM.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              A private group I'm in was discussing this concept in the case of Robert Morey, who was an evangelical pastor with a scholarly bent who had a normal enough ministry for years. As he entered his fifties and sixties, he became increasingly unhinged (he caused real world headaches for Christians and Americans when he advised nuking Mecca to falsify Islamic prophecies), then began engaging in unhinged behavior online, including the use of vulgarity (which I saw especially in the context of his support for Trump, which I do NOT want to turn this thread into a discussion of). He died in his mid 60s, which wasn't old enough for dementia to have been likely. But he didn't "finish well". He hadn't become disengaged from the church by any means. I still wonder what happened. I wonder if his persona turned out to be who he truly was all along, or if he just changed.
              I certainly hope that it was some medical condition that caused the change in his personality. Besides dementia, there are many conditions that may cause personality change. Since we don't know, I have to leave it to God to judge.

              You are right. Just being engaged with a church doesn't automatically mean you'll finish well. You certainly can be in the church but not of the church.
              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                Just being engaged with a church doesn't automatically mean you'll finish well. You certainly can be in the church but not of the church.
                Yeah. Even Paul said that he could potentially become disqualified.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                Comment

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