Old Testament Asceticism

Superior Essays
The basis for Old Testament asceticism was to be set apart from the Gentile nations around Israel. Holiness would be found in the bodily actions of the people of God. In addition, the Church adopted many of the ascetical practices of Judaism. With the persecution of the Church ending, monastic life sprung up. Many sought to grow in their spirituality through bodily discipline. On the other hand, spiritual disciplines can occur without separating oneself from society or even depriving oneself as severely as asceticism prescribes. The similarities between the two are the actual disciplines administered to the life of the believer. However, the main difference is spiritual disciplines are to be integrated in one’s life as he lives among …show more content…
Dallas Willard (2005) argues, “Because the resources of God’s Kingdom are available to them, the responsibility for the condition of the world in years to come rests upon Christian leaders and the teachers in the Christian church” (p. 26). The basis of Willard’s argument is that leaders and teachers have the ability to affect future generations because of their position to disseminate truth. Leaders have a unique advantage to influence others in ways that non-leaders do not share. Christian leaders have the opportunity to speak into the lives of people and motivate them towards spiritual formation. Furthermore, leadership sets the tone for the local church to follow. Consequently, leaders must set the example for spiritual formation. Leaders cannot expect their subordinates to be unlike them. Leaders create followers that mirror …show more content…
Spiritual formation should take on two aspects. First, it should be formal. I have two course that I offer people in the church. One is for new converts and the other is a pathway for membership. Through formal times of teaching, the spiritual disciplines are discovered and encouraged. The second aspect of spiritual formation should be informal. Through the informal setting of a dinner table, cup of coffee, or the back green of a golf course, the spiritual disciplines are reinforced as they are being demonstrated. I learned about the power of fasting through informal settings where the conversation highlighted the advantages of the spiritual discipline. It was through the informal setting of drinking coffee with a mentor that he shared what God was speaking to his heart while in prayer. Which only made me want to experience God speaking to me as I devote my time to

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