DO NOT MIX
2 TIMOTHY 2:20-21
In a large house there are not only vessels of gold or silver, but also of wood and clay,
some for special purposes and some for common use.
If anyone cleanses himself from these (common vessels),
he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-17
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
What partnership can righteousness have with wickedness?
What fellowship does light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Satan?
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God.
As God has said:
I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.
THE CHURCH IS MADE JOYFUL BY THE INFLOWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
THE CHURCH IS THOSE WHO HERE ON EARTH HAVE THEIR CONVERSATION IN HEAVEN
CHRISTIANS ARE CHILDREN BROUGHT FORTH THROUGH APOSTOLIC PREACHING
FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING THROUGH THE WORD OF CHRIST
ST BASIL TAUGHT THE CORPORATE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION IN HIS RULES
ST BASIL WROTE:
WHILE SOME OF THE GENTILES HAVE DECLARED THAT THE END IS THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE, OTHERS, PRACTICAL ACTIVITY, OTHERS, SOME PROFITABLE USE OF LIFE AND BODY, AND OTHERS SIMPLY PLEASURE, CHRISTIANITY TRANSCENDS THEM ALL BY PLACING MAN'S END IN THE BLESSED LIFE IN THE WORLD TO COME WHICH WILL CONSIST IN BEING RULED BY GOD. UP TO THIS TIME, NOTHING BETTER THAN LIFE UNDER THE RULE OF GOD HAS BEEN FOUND IN RATIONAL NATURE.
PERFECTION CONSISTS IN OBEYING THE LORD'S COMMANDS TO US AS HE REVEALS THEM TO US:
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.
1 CORINTHIANS 2:16
WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
1 CORINTHIANS 2:10
EVEN THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD, GOD REVEALS TO US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
ST BASIL WRITES:
We must strive after a quiet mind. As well might the eye ascertain an object put before it while it is wandering restless up and down and sideways, without fixing a steady gaze upon it, as a mind, distracted by a thousand worldly cares, be able clearly to apprehend the truth. He who is not yet yoked in the bonds of matrimony is harassed by frenzied cravings, and rebellious impulses, and hopeless attachments; he who has found his mate is encompassed with his own tumult of cares; if he is childless, there is desire for children; has he children? Anxiety about their education, attention to his wife, care of his house, oversight of his servants, misfortunes in trade, quarrels with his neighbors, lawsuits, the risks of the merchant, the toil of the farmer. Each day, as it comes, darkens the soul in its own way; and night after night takes up the day's anxieties, and cheats the mind with illusions in accordance.
1 JOHN 3:21-22
IF WE OBEY THE LORD'S COMMANDS WE HAVE CONFIDENCE AND BOLDNESS
OUR HEART DOES NOT CONDEMN US
ANYTHING WE ASK OF GOD WE RECEIVE BECAUSE WE DO THE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING TO HIM
1 JOHN 1:9
IF WE SIN WE CAN CONFESS OUR SINS AND THE LORD IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US AND CLEANSE US
PERFECTION IS WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF OBEDIENCE TO WHAT WE KNOW HOLY SPIRIT IS SHOWING US
THAT IS CHRISTIAN PERFECTION
IT IS THE SAME FOR EVERY BELIEVER
JESUS TEACHES EVERY BELIEVER THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 JOHN 2:27
THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES ALL THINGS TO EVERY BELIEVER AND THEY DO NOT NEED ANYONE TO TEACH THEM BECAUSE THE ANOINTING, THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES THEM ALL THINGS
THAT IS THE BLESSED SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE
LIFE OF LOVE
LIFE OF FAITH
LIFE OF POWER
1 JOHN 5:2
By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands
IN THE INTERROGATIONS 1-3 OF THE SMALL RULE AND THE LONGER QUESTIONS 1-7 IN THE GREATER RULE TWO QUESTIONS ARE INVOLVED:
1) SHOULD CHRISTIANS CONVERTED TO THE GOSPEL CONTINUE TO LIVE AMONG THOSE WHO HOLD IN CONTEMPT THE DIVINE COMMANDS AND IF NOT
2) SHOULD THEY LIVE BY THEMSELVES IN SOLITUDE OR SHOULD THEY COME TOGETHER WITH LIKE-MINDED BRETHREN AND FORM COMMUNITIES OF THEIR OWN
BASIL'S RULE UNDERSTANDS THE CHURCH AS A COMMUNITY OF BAPTIZED PEOPLE TRYING TO LIVE A PERFECT (TELEIOS IN SCRIPTURE, MATURE, SPIRITUAL) LIFE
BASIL INSISTS IT IS THE QUALITY RATHER THAN THE FORM OF CHRISTIAN LIFE THAT IS IMPORTANT
HE MAINTAINS THAT TO BE A PERFECT (MATURE/SPIRITUAL) CHRISTIAN IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO FOLLOW SOME MORE CONVENIENT RULES / COMMANDS OF CHRIST AND IGNORE THE REST
THIS IS TO PROTECT THE CHURCH'S DISTINCTIVENESS AND SACREDNESS WHICH CHARACTERIZED THE EARLY CHURCH
THE FOURTH CENTURY SAW CROWDS OF PEOPLE FLOCKING INTO THE CHURCH NOT FOR THE SAKE OF IMPROVING THE SPIRITUAL CHARACTER OF THEIR LIVES BUT OFTEN FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF BECOMING ELIGIBLE FOR PUBLIC OFFICES AND CAREERS. IN CAPADOCIA, MANY TRIED TO JOIN THE ASCETIC COMMUNITIES ONLY TO AVOID TAXES AND MILITARY SERVICE
WITH THIS INDISCRIMINATION, THE CHURCH'S EXISTENCE AS A SACRED COMMUNITY DISTINCT FROM EARTHLY SOCIETY WAS IN JEOPARDY
BASIL AS A PASTOR, FOLLOWING A SERVICE IN THE CHURCH, WOULD BE READY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THOSE WHO WERE WILLING TO INQUIRE FURTHER CONCERNING THAT WHICH BELONGS TO SOUND FAITH AND THE TRUE METHOD OF RIGHT CONDUCT ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY MEANS OF WHICH THE MAN OF GOD IS PERFECTED.
IF THEY ARE SINCERELY DETERMINED TO CORRECT THEIR MORALS, TO TAKE UP THEIR CROSS AS TRUE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD AND TO DENY THEMSELVES COMPLETELY, HE ASKS THESE PEOPLE:
DO NOT MIX WITH THOSE WHO ARE SCORNFUL TO FOLLOWING AND OBEYING THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST
LIFE IN THE WORLD AMONG PEOPLE WHO DESPISE THE TEACHING OF CHRIST IS FULL OF OVERT AND HIDDEN DANGERS.
IN A LETTER WRITTEN FROM HIS PONTIC RETREAT WHERE BASIL RETIRED TO AMMEND HIS WAY OF LIFE LONG PERVERTED BY THE INTIMACY WITH WICKED PEOPLE, BASIL WRITES:
ONE WAY OF ESCAPING ALL THIS, THE CARES OF LIFE, IS SEPARATION FROM THE WHOLE WORLD. HOWEVER, SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD NOT THROUGH BODILY WITHDRAWAL FROM IT, BUT THROUGH SEVERANCE OF THE SOUL'S SYMPATHY WITH THE BODY, SO AS TO LIVE WITHOUT CITY, HOME, GOODS, SOCIETY, POSSESSIONS, MEANS OF LIFE, BUSINESS, CONVERSATIONS, HUMAN LEARNING, THAT THE HEART MAY READILY RECEIVE EVERY IMPRESSION OF DIVINE DOCTRINE.
FROM LETTER 2
BASIL WROTE, WE ARE ACCUSED BECAUSE WE KEEP MEN IN THE PRACTICE OF TRUE RELIGION WHO HAVE RENOUNCED THE WORLD AND ALL THE CARES OF THIS LIFE WHICH THE LORD LIKENS TO THORNS THAT DO NOT ALLOW THE WORD TO BRING FORTH FRUIT. MANY OF THIS KIND CARRY ABOUT IN THE BODY THE DEATH OF JESUS, THEY HAVE TAKEN UP THEIR OWN CROSS AND ARE FOLLOWERS OF GOD.
WOMEN ALSO HAVE CHOSEN TO LIVE THE GOSPEL LIFE, THEY HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH ITS AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS, THEY TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR FOOD OR CLOTHING, BUT REMAIN UNDISTURBED BESIDE THEIR LORD, CONTINUING NIGHT AND DAY IN PRAYER. THEIR LIPS SPEAK NOT OF THE DEEDS OF MEN, THEY SING HYMNS TO GOD CONTINUALLY, WORKING WITH THEIR OWN HANDS THAT THEY MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DISTRIBUTE TO THEM THAT HAVE NEED.
FROM LETTER 207
BASIL IN HIS WRITINGS URGES ALL CHRISTIANS TO CONSECRATE THEIR POSSESSIONS TO THE CHURCHES PRESIDED OVER BY THE LOCAL BISHOPS IN ORDER THAT WHAT IS ABOVE NECESSITY MIGHT BE SHARED WITH THE POOR AND NEEDY. THE CONSECRATION OF PRIVATE POSSESSION TO THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH IS A COMITTMENT THAT IS DEMANDED OF EVERY CHRISTIAN.
THE CHURCH LEADERS ARE THE ONES ENTRUSTED WITH THE INSTRUCTION OF THE ASCETICS AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE GOODS TO THE POOR
ALL CHRISTIANS ARE TO SHOW UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST, SEEKING ALWAYS WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS.