Homesteading to the Glory of God

Homesteading to the Glory of God

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  • Brian Reply

    Tim, I just wanted to give you some food for thought. Two of your statements jumped out at me: a) “I don’t think I could buy into those celibacy requirements”, and b) “Monastic life is more than just sitting around reading your Bible all day.”
    It’s very easy to fall into the false pride & security of a “quiet self-sufficient” lifestyle that is NOT monastic. But you cannot separate the fruits of monastic living from monasticism itself. People try to do it by intellectual overrationalization and loophole-searching like the Pharisees, but it is not possible. All the scholasticism and artistry – it is only wholehearted dedication to the Lord allows all of these fruits in the first place.
    The monks were not secluding themselves, they were actively witnessing through their lifestyle and shining brighter than any other community has ever done. By being celibate, they showed others that they were saving themselves for and serving something much greater than any worldly pleasure. I believe the only reason God has not smited the rest of our double-minded selves is because of the devotion of monks & nuns.
    It is very easy to become like the Pharisees and indulge in intellectual loophole-searching and backsliding. Our faiths become very compromised living in the modern world and it is hard to realize it.

    Thank you for the article and teaching me. I hope you reflect on my words as well!

    November 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm
    • Tim Kinnard Reply

      Brian,

      Thanks for the message! I didn’t mean to come across proud or judgmental. I personally have a lot of admiration for the monks. My understanding is not all (or most) even lived in complete isolation as hermits, which was really the stereotype I was speaking toward. Many monks and nuns very faithfully and actively ministered to their communities as “shining lights on a hill” (Matthew 5:16), as you mentioned. Their pious and ascetic lives, when visible to the public, also serve as a great witness against the largely hedonistic living of most of the world.

      The temptation I know I would face in monastic life, and, honestly, a temptation I believe many monks have faced over the centuries (again, not all, but some), is the tendency to keep to oneself for the sake of piety at the expense of being missional, which is arguably the reason God’s servants are on the earth in the first place (Matthew 28:16-20). I know as a Christian homesteader, this is my struggle.

      To be fair to the realities of human nature, though, there is just as equally a temptation to live piously in the public eye for proud and selfish reasons as Matthew 6:1-2, 5-6 warns about. With this in mind, the pattern of practicing one’s spiritual disciplines in the secrecy of a monastery is a commendable thing.

      Perhaps the point to settle on is that a “balance” is warranted. We should neither be complete isolationists, nor should we be so acclimated in the world that we are indistinguishable from the world. We should both place ourselves “on a stand” (Matt. 5) and “beware of practicing our righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them” as “the hypocrites” (Matt. 6).

      Thank you again for your comments! You make great points.

      Tim

      November 27, 2020 at 11:20 am

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