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Stallone: "The Church Is the Gym of the Soul"

2006 was a year of surprises for Sylvester Stallone. First, he surprised the entertainment world by resurrecting his iconic movie hero, Rocky Balboa, for one last film. Then, while promoting the film, Stallone shocked Christian fans with the revelation that his faith in Jesus Christ had not only impacted the writing of the first Rocky film, but also that his decision to create the final movie was inspired by his renewed affiliation with Christianity.

Stallone discussed both surprises in an interview with Citizenlink.com. "I was raised in a Catholic home, a Christian home," he said. "And I went to Catholic schools and I was taught the faith and went as far as I could with it. Until one day, I got out into the so-called real world, and I was presented with temptation. I kinda, like, lost my way and made a lot of bad choices."

But, Stallone added, those bad choices ultimately left him unsatisfied, especially his decision to place fame and career ahead of his family. As a result, Stallone was increasingly pulled back into his Christian heritage. "The more I go to church," he said, "and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to his Word and having him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now."

As part of this transformation, Stallone realized another poor choice that had guided his previous life: self-reliance. "You need to have the expertise and the guidance of someone else," he said. "You cannot train yourself. I feel the same way about Christianity and about what the church is: The church is the gym of the soul."

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