Thursday, February 24, 2011

Acts of Spirituality and Sanctification

Shane Claiborne is one of the leaders of an organization called The Simple Way. The Simple Way has 12 Marks of New Monasticism. Basically these marks call people to live in peaceful community with each other, whatever stage of life they're in. They sacrifice and share with one another in these communities. Shane Claiborne is an advocate for peace and literally living out the gospel today in community with others.
Part of me thinks this guy is crazy. Another part of me longs for a life like this. Although I don't know this guy, I have a feeling that his faith deeds are increasing his sense of spirituality. The Holy Spirit within him is continually sanctifying him to be like Christ. As he is growing in community with other believers and living out the gospel for the lost, he is growing in His relationship with Christ. You can tell by his book, the Irresistible Revolution, that this guy is radical in his faith deeds to Jesus. Yet, I do believe that his deeds are coming from a sincere desire within to want to live a life like Jesus.
Although his way of living is very different, it doesn't seem legalistic to me. That's where I think Christian deeds are different than other religion's deeds. Sure, the Bible gives us stuff to do as a Christian, but the focus is not on the deeds themselves. The focus is on the desire to become like Christ. Therefore, these deeds may look different for each believer. Maybe one person should live in a commune with other people. Maybe someone else should spend his or her entire life overseas. The most important thing is that we are abiding in Him and growing in our relationship with Christ.


  1. I agree with you, and it is important to not be legalistic in our approach to Christianity. However, I am always cautious about concepts such as the one seemingly presented in this book (I haven't read it, so this is just a reaction to it). There is clearly a problem with being too legalistic, as it is an extreme of Christianity that is equivalent to the practices of the Pharisees during Bible times. However, the other extreme can also be dangerous, which is usually the push of books like this. We do need to avoid legalism in our Christianity, but we also need to be cautious in not throwing out core doctrine, all for the sake of a unified church. I would love to see a unified church, but not one that accepts incorrect doctrinal beliefs. My thoughts on this book may be completely inaccurate, but I would approach this book with a critical eye to make sure that living radical does not also mean living in peace with hypocritical doctrine.

  2. "Part of me thinks this guy is crazy. Another part of me longs for a life like this."

    I think you nailed the essence of Christian life with these two very honest thoughts. I vacillate between these two points often as my maturity in Christ grows. I pray that I will have the courage to walk in Christ's footsteps daily, and often I fail. I meet people like this "radical" from time-to-time and always find that their motivations for living communally are, from what I can tell, purely spirit-driven and not contrived for the sake of soliciting attention. I haven't read this book, but I certainly will pick it up. Thanks for posting it.

  3. This definitely sounds like an interesting book to check out. I am always amazed at people who live their lives so radically for Christ. So many Christians and churches spend so much time focusing on following all the rules, coloring inside the lines, and living a "safe" life that's free of risk. However, if we look at the stories of men and women throughout scripture who follow Christ, their lives are rarely if ever safe, and they don't spend all their time simply focusing on making sure they live a good moral life where they do everything exactly according to the religious standards of their day.


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