03 September, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel: Solitude

Solitude is a separation from all men for a period of time, in order to be enabled to express ourselves more earnestly and with more freedom as we engage ourselves in seeking after God. We designate this as a separation from all fellowship with men (IV: 19).

This is a seasonal separation and thus not life-long as the papists do in their monasteries, which are nothing more than places of filth, dens of murder, and impure Sodoms. Then there are also the hermits among them who permit themselves to be enclosed within four walls, or who make either the forest or the wilderness their residence. We abhor this manner of life--even if it were void of all superstition and pollution. For, first of all, it is contrary to God's command who has created man as a being in need of companionship, saying, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18). Secondly, it is God's will that we let our light shine before men in order that they may see our good works and may glorify our Father which is in heaven (Mat. 5:16); and that we would use our gifts to the advantage, conversion, and edification of other men. We have received our talents to that end, along with the command: "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13). Thirdly, continual solitude prevents us from becoming acquainted with our corrupt heart, being humbled by this, and striving for its sanctification, there being no opportunity whereby this corruption would manifest itself (IV: 19-20).


Manda said...

Ah! I've been too prone to this lately. Thanks for the edifying post, bro.

Ellie said...

Lets consider the reality that the world was a safer, cleaner place when the monks stayed in the monistary. Many became priests and pedophilia was and continues to be rampant. A great curse, throughout many generations. Many hermits suffer from severe mental illness.
Another reason for "Letting our light shine." Ephesians 5 NLT vs 11.. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness, instead rebuke and expose them. It is shameful to even talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines it will expose their evil deeds.This is why it is said, "Awake oh sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will give you light!" So when we are shining brightly we are exposing darkness and sin in others with the goal of them gaining awareness and seeking the light that is found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.Repentance and redemption.