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  #1  
Old 05-14-2007, 07:00 AM
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Martin Martin is offline
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Default Good Grief! How Should Christians Grieve?

Good Grief! How Should Christians Grieve?
By Ben Witherington

"I'm sure you've seen it too. You go to a funeral of someone who was a devout Christian who lived a full and rich life, and its an incredibly somber and subdued occasion. You would think the person went straight to Hell to judge from the reaction of the congregation. What in the world is going on, and who exactly are these folks grieving for? How exactly should we react when a loved one gets promoted into the living presence of God? And is the wrong sort of grieving a reflection of an inadequate faith in what comes next? If the deceased has gone to join the choir eternal and is in the arms of Jesus himself why exactly is everyone reacting as if that person no longer existed or had had something terribly tragic happen to them? These are the kinds of questions we should ask on such occasions."

Very good article on how Christians should, and should not, view death and grief.

http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/...ns-grieve.html
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
"Of course if there is someone we deeply love who dies, we are going to grieve. That's only natural. We will miss them. There will be a void in our lives, and so on."
Sure, we can put a happy face on a "Christian" funeral service but for those to whom the beloved is closest, it is a loss none the less,
however temporary it may be.

Rob
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"If people put their faith in either a text or in a particular, modern method of reading a text, their faith is misplaced. People should be better educated theologically to realize that the Christian reading of scripture must be learned and practiced as an activity of faith in God, with assurance of the Holy Spirit will not lead us to perdition if we read in faith and with love as our guide and goal."
The Reliability of the New Testament: Bart Ehrman and Daniel Wallace in Dialogue, p.92-93
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:54 AM
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Ulsterman Ulsterman is offline
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Here is something I presented on the matter at my last church.

http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=33714
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:54 AM
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Grieving is real. To stiffle it is unhealthy.
In December of 2005, the Missus and I
buried our daughter. I'm well-acquainted
with grief. Every now and then, tears
still come up when I think about her.
I sometimes tear up and "get emotional"
when I think about and sing about Heaven.

Jesus wept also. Why? Because He is human.

We are human. And we are entitled to grieve.
But we are not entitled to become hateful,
bitter, nor cold.
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:47 AM
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Of course we grieve, but not as the world grieves, for we have that Blessed Hope.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:11 AM
moscott moscott is offline
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To put it simply, we are grieving for our loss not their gain. While we are elated that they are in Heaven we still miss the talking, hugging, living etc... that is a huge part of our life. The bigger question is how do/should we react to a loved one who passes who might not or did not have salvation?
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:20 AM
Helen Helen is offline
 
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I agree with moscott. When one of my children visits and then leaves and I know I won't see him or her for awhile, the goodbyes are a little teary. When someone leaves and I know I will never see that person again this side of death, it's harder. The more you love someone, and have invested yourself and your time in them, the bigger a hole they leave in your heart when they die. Something of you is gone for the rest of your life on earth. The pain is real. If the person was Christian, it is not so much grief you feel as downright pain. It's open heart surgery without the anesthesia...

When a person you love is not saved and dies -- my mother was in this position -- all you can do is give it up to God. He loved that person far more than any human being ever could and did all that could be done short of violating that person's choice to convince him or her of the truth of Himself and the reality of sin and Christ.

But saved or not saved, we have to let that person go and say, with Abraham, "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

And I know there will be some lovely surprises in heaven. I know I can trust God and that it is not because of forgetfulness that there will be no more tears and sorrow. We will not have lost what we have learned here, but will be building on it, with far, far more understanding.

It is at times like this, when a loved unsaved person dies, that we must remember Christ's admonition that if we do not regard less highly, our parents or anyone in our families more than Christ, then we are not worthy of Him (I'm sitting here on 'edit' realizing how awkward that sentence is the way I wrote it -- just remember what Jesus said....). Keep in mind that focusing on Christ does not make you callous, but it gives you a more trusting heart.

Last edited by Helen; 05-15-2007 at 09:24 AM.
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