Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Monastic Christianity

11/19/15

 

Too much of what the institutional church emphasizes as the marks of Christianity are nothing more than monasticism, religious achievement through segregation from the world, daily acts of ritual piety, and the forsaking of normal pleasures. Prayer, bible study, and preaching and the relinquishment of drinking, gambling, and sex are always at the forefront as descriptors of the true Christian, as far as many churches are concerned. If you want to demonstrate your Christian identity never get caught in a bar, casino, or using contraceptives. Do be sure to pray audibly over every meal. quote Bible verses, and leave the house in a suit every Sunday morning.

 

For anyone remotely familiar with the biblical account of Jesus' life and activities, this view of what it means to be a disciple of Christ is exceedingly strange. Jesus was definitely not one to segregate from people seen as sinners, trying to achieve purity in isolation, He was also not one to get hung up on Jewish ritualism. In his own words prayer was a private matter, not something to be trumpeted in public for the attention and admiration of others. Though Jesus was Bible knowledgeable, he defined its understanding in ways which highlighted its misuse in promoting self righteousness and religious elitism.

 

The abundant living of Jesus was no part monasticism. It was life lived fully engaged with the rest of mankind, saint and sinner alike. It was not ritual observance to please or placate God, but the practice of humility, acceptance, self sacrifice, and basic human decency. The church's measure of Christianity would not impress Jesus much, anymore than the scribes and Pharisees of his day impressed him.