When Jesus came down he set examples for society world wide to follow and to put into practice. Jesus lived a life, which consisted of both active and contemplative acts. He didn’t live in the extremes in any of the two states. These extremes have been quarrelled over by many different people and these people live the way they want and situate themselves in the middle of both states of life. I will look at many different views and conclude by expressing my personal views.
Many people join religious communities to show their devotion to god e.g. Monk, Nun etc… A monk may feel that god had called him through events that have happened to him in his life, and therefore choosing to live in a monastery where prayer and meditation is the primary and central activity. They pray for themselves and for people around them hoping to help them through their own efforts. By doing this, an individual may feel that he is acquiring a closer bond with god. They cut themselves form the outside world, because they feel they cant do this there because of distractions and unnecessary necessities.
I admire their devotion to god and their religion. I can understand why some people would want to do this, mainly to get closer to god. By doing this they cut themselves form ‘outside’ life. I believe that this is wrong because the prophets had practised religion in populated areas, as Jesus did, this shows that you don’t have to sacrifice outside life to get closer to god.
The Iona community and other ‘communities’ would agree that they have best of ‘both worlds’, they don’t close themselves away from the word but are more open… A member would say that he felt that god called him through events that happened to him throughout his life. They set time put to pray, read the bible and help others in need without sacrificing too much. They believe people from ‘non active communities’ do help but not enough to make a substantial difference.
The morality and perspective in which the members portray their beliefs and principles are very similar to my own. I would have to agree with the members; the things that they involve themselves in (helping, preaching etc…) the prophets did in a very similar way. I strongly feel that a person has to do these things to get closer to god, because they set examples for society to follow.
Many people cant live in the extremes of both types of lives so they try and incorporate religion with their work, An example of someone trying to live in this lifestyle would be a teacher. Teachers of mine feels that people that join religious communities cut them from life. Trying to practice both religion and career at the same time is very difficult for the career can pull them away from religion. Although they place timeout to pray they cant fight the inevitability of the pull of the job. Teachers from the Religious Education department may say that they felt a calling from god to try and teach the young society about religion and cultures.
I believe that this would be the most common and realistic perspective to life, not many people can pull much time out for religion when they have both religion and career to tend to. Getting pulled away from religion is inevitable when both religion and career are takes into account. It would be unjust to say that living this way makes you a better Christian because a person can’t become a better Christian by not practising religion as often as they should be.
Non religious people (Atheists) may feel that people who pray and waste time doing unnecessary religious acts (praying, meditating etc…) instead of spending their time and devoting their time to people who are in need of help. Although they have their own points of views and perspectives on life they are very similar to those of a person who follows a religion.
I can’t say I’d agree with this point of view due to my religious push to life. One has to read holy texts and practice religion to get closer to god also by preaching. Although to some extent people may say that every one has their own points of views and morals, I feel that every ones moral are based around a religious foundation.
I believe that in life one must have a wide range of experiences, and therefore I feel that mixing both contemplative and active religious lifestyles, and by incorporating them in your current lifestyle, I feel is the most effective way to practice religion. My morals and perspectives are based on a religious foundation, but are also very similar to members of an active community (Iona), emphasising you cant shut yourself from life and also at the same time not indulge yourself in a certain lifestyle.