“Picture a long, narrow ridge with a sheer drop-off on either side. The chasm to the right is the way of moral bankruptcy through human strivings for righteousness. Historically this has been called the heresy of moralism. The chasm to the left is moral bankruptcy through the absence of human strivings. This has been called the heresy of antinomianism. On the ridge there is a path, the Disciplines of the spiritual life. This path leads to the inner transformation and healing for which we seek. We must never veer off to the right or to the left, but stay on the path. The path is fraught with severe difficulties, but also with incredible joys. As we travel on this path the blessing of God will come upon us and reconstruct us into the image of Jesus Christ. We must always remember that the path does not produce the change; it only places us where the change can occur.”
– Richard J Foster, Celebration of Discipline
So the disciplines are not an effort to attain righteousness by acts of will, but the way in which we place ourselves in a position from which God can bless us and shape us.
What the Disciplines are not:
The disciplines are NOT meant to be a form of legalism, a way of earning salvation, or a way to ‘please’ God.
We do NOT advocate unnecessary self denial or asceticism, or any kind of self harm.
God blesses us with good things to enjoy with gratitude whenever possible.
The disciplines are simply tools or frameworks for a consecrated life.
The traditional disciplines of Christianity include, but may not be limited to:
– Bible Reading and Bible Study
– Silence or ‘Taming the Tongue’