Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

Theology Corner


Christian monasticism is a religious way of life according to which you renounce worldly pursuits, except for whatever work is needed to survive, and devote yourself completely to spiritual endeavors.  You would typically live alone as a hermit or live in a communal setting with other like-minded individuals.  But you don’t have to seclude yourself in a monastery to isolate from the world.  You can isolate yourself as a participant in church.  You can associate with no one outside of your particular church country club.  You can limit your activities to worship service, Sunday school, prayer meetings, Bible studies, covered dish dinners, and church committees.  You can thereby separate yourself from the society in which you live.  You can avoid the rough and tumble of life and essentially enter the nursing home of happy retirement inside the protective walls of the church.   You can use the idea of Jesus Christ for your own personal safety and enjoyment. 

Of course if you follow this path, you will never embrace prayer as that spiritual strength driving the sword of the spirit in your hands as you strive side by side with Jesus Christ to:  (1) restore and repossess His corrupted creation which He has set free from the bondage of evil (healing); (2) help the unsaved cross the finish line of salvation and become disciples of Christ as they are being nudged by the Prevenient Grace of God which calls and convicts every soul to be set free from the bondage of sin (evangelism) and (3) by training and right living, prevent the influence of sin from undermining the Christian walk of the saved (discipleship).  Prayer instead becomes a ritual.  You don’t really expect God to respond but you enjoy doing it. 

Did Jesus advocate monasticism or is it the antipodes of His teaching.  In Hebrews we are given the following instruction:


Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.  (Heb 10:23-25)


Chapters 2 and 3 of Ephesians explain that all believers are reconciled with one another and united in the church of Jesus Christ.  Moreover, Jesus has given every member of His church the assignments embodied by the Great Commandment (Mat 22:36-40), the Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20) and Healing (Luke 9:2, 10:9).  How do you do these things if you are isolated inside a monastery?

The test of our spirituality comes when the great power of evil grabs us by the throat and demands that we drop out of society and hide ourselves inside the safe walls of the church.