Is there any value to the religious life? By religion I mean the Christian religion. I recognize there are other sincere religions, but of those other religions I quote from Tennyson, “They are broken lights of thee, and thou, O Lord, art more than they.”
I was motivated to ask this question after looking at the life of John the Baptist this week. John was born into a godly family, and trained from childhood for the ministry. As a young man he took the Nazirite Vow, which means he lived a life solely dedicated to the Lord. The consequences of the vow was he renounced the world and its pleasures, and lived solely unto the Lord. What gave rise to the question was not the ascetic life he lived, but what happen to him because of his training, service, and sacrifice for God. John’s life resulted in a long imprisonment that ended in an ignoble execution brought on by the whims of a spoiled young girl, a conniving woman, and a hedonistic king. Thus the question, is there value in the religious life?
When you read the New Testament it seems that time and again God wastes his saint in their service to him. However time after time the resounding answer is, “Yes, there is great value in the religious life,” for it is in yielding and serving God in one’s life that the human life is lifted, ennobled, glorified, and brought into what it was originally meant to be.