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I need to say, or I feel strongly that I should say, that I have to disagree probably with every word in the two posts that you made, that I read. There was a preacher, who's sermon I had heard, apparently making the rounds of churches trying to introduce these concepts about "spiritual discipline". I luckily had a friend with me who let me know what he was talking about and gave me the information on the author who is promoting this thing, currently.
Faith is one side of a coin. The inseparable other side of the coin is "works".
Phantomfire made a statement,
Mental discipline is about cleansing your mind to be humble,. . .
In order to find the word, penance, in the Bible, you have to go to the New Living Bible and you find it in Isaiah 58:5,
. . . it is very difficult for people to put aside their own ego and self interest for a while and actually attempt to Serve God through submerging themselves in Good Works/Prayer/Self Restraint/and Penance.
Isaiah is seemingly making fun of the practice, here.
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?
Originally posted by jmdewey60
reply to post by LeoVirgo
What you are not understanding is that my post doesn't have anything to do with you.
Whatever you believe is fine and I have no quarrel with you. There is a specific movement in Christianity today concerning this whole "spiritual discipline" thing. It is nothing other than the Dark Ages nonsense that was practiced by misguided monks and others. It is a fresh apology and a way to bring otherwise Protestant people into accepting the rite of confession and all become, eventually good catholics, doing penance for their sins. That is the goal of the Jesuits and the reason for the creation of their order, to destroy Protestantism, by any means possible.
Originally posted by jmdewey60
God wants to be good to people and he does it through other people. Works that benefit only yourself denies it to others, and only serve to condemn you.
Faith means knowing God can very well save whoever He wants. We do not have a little schedule of discipline that we look at to see if we have done enough to be saved.
[edit on 10-11-2009 by jmdewey60]
The only way it would make sense to me is if you calculated how much money you saved while running cold water in place of hot, from your electric bill and gave that amount of money to the poor, and whatever food you would have eaten if you were not fasting, give that to people who are hungry.
Other acts of penance such as a cold shower are merely different forms of fasting that serve the same purpose: the giving up of pleasure or willfully experiencing displeasure to purify the soul, to demonstrate contrition, to demonstrate a willingness to participate in God's plan, etc.