So, you wanna be a monk?

The new monastics
Alternative Christian communities
At a time when the church had grown too cozy with the ruling authorities, when faith had become a means to power and influence, some Christians who sought to live out an authentically biblical faith headed for desolate places. They pooled their resources and dedicated themselves to a life of asceticism and prayer. Most outsiders thought they were crazy. They saw themselves as being on the narrow and difficult path of salvation, with a call to prick the conscience of the wider church about its compromises with the “world.”I’m describing not fourth-century monks, but present-day communities of Christians who think the church in the United States has too easily accommodated itself to the consumerist and imperialist values of the culture. Living in the corners of the American empire, they hope to be a harbinger of a new and radically different form of Christian practice.These “new monastics” pursue the ancient triumvirate of poverty, chastity and obedience, but with a twist. Their communities include married people whose pledge to chastity is understood as a commitment to marital fidelity. Poverty means eschewing typical middle-class economic climbing but not total indigence—some economic resources are necessary for building this desert kingdom. Obedience means accountability not to an abbot but to Jesus and to the community.
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2 thoughts on “So, you wanna be a monk?

  1. Scotty want are ya thoughts on this bit from the article:
    “A commitment to nonviolence evolved slowly, partly as members read the works of Stanley Hauerwas…Peace is not merely about a position on the war in Iraq; it is about how one relates to one’s neighbor, one’s spouse and one’s adversary in the community. Community leader Jon Stock points out that most intentional Christian COMMUNITIES THAT ARE NOT COMMITTED TO NONVIOLENCE DON’T SERVIE, because when arguments erupt, someone has to win—and the community loses.”

    I’d highly recommend http://www.newmonasticism.org/ these guys share simular influences to Peace Tree crew.

    goodnight,
    j.

  2. The issue of confict resolution, power use and living inpeace will be a major issue for us as we enter community in a more intentional way. Teaching on what non-violence is and how it could look is paramount. As christians we tend to put being ‘nice’ above being honest, being willing to move to better places in our relationships. I for one need to move ahead in this area in my own life!

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