Unsaved parent?

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Puritan Board Freshman
Have you ever come to believe (or suspect) that your "Christian" parent was not actually saved? I had a conversation with my 75yo mother-in-law a week ago and when I hung up, I had this shocking thought that she may not be saved.

She was a pastors wife (in an AG church) for 40 some-odd years. She led Bible studies. She knows all the Bible stories, and pretty much all the Christian catch phrases. But from some statements she made in our conversation (such as being baffled at how a person could actually trust in God when things aren't going well and other odd comments that I simply wouldn't expect to hear, even from an Arminian) I began to consider all the years I've known her, and can't think of an instance when she expressed true faith. Being good and not smoking seem to be her statement of faith, so to speak. Her overall response to situations and ideas sound like quotes from Dr. Phil and Robert Schuller :rolleyes:.

I don't know. We don't live near her, so it's difficult to have more in-depth conversations. I just wonder if I need to be praying for her in a completely different way.


Puritan Board Junior
I had the same concern about my mother also. She was intensely religious, but her bottom line was never what the scriptures said but always what was sensible to her. She was the main motivation for my abandoning Christianity from age 17--the whole system seemed totally bankrupt.

Now, having come full-circle to having a profound sense of personal sin and the grace of God, it seems (perhaps wrongly) that during my growing-up years neither she nor I ever understood Christianity. My father was a different story--profoundly spiritual and prayerful, out of step with the legalistic and unhealthy reformed church the family was a part of. When I think of going to my eternal reward, my expectation is meeting my father there but not my mother. Hope I'm wrong.


Puritan Board Doctor
I pray for the salvation of family members that profess Christianity but show no fruit of conversion whatsoever. Something like 90% of Americans say they are Chistians but we know that it's much much smaller than that. :(

Prudence and Passion

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a similar situation. It is so hard when we are to be the children honoring our parents. At what point do we say anything? Do we EVER say anything? Should we just keep treating them like the believers they claim to be? These are the questions that I am working through right now.
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