Frequently Asked Questions
Is this Order Roman Catholic?
No. The idea of an Order and a Rule suggests Roman Catholic to many people. The Order of Eusebeia is not Roman Catholic, however. Our purpose is to be Christian with no affiliation to any denomination. The founder is not Roman Catholic and the Rule is not Roman Catholic in its philosophy. However, a Roman Catholic should have no trouble adhering to the Rule of Eusebeia, since it is non-denominational in design. It will be very helpful if you would read not only "The Mission" of The Order of Eusebeia, but also the section on what eusebeia means, since this contains the philosophy behind it.
Aren't Orders and Rules for monks in a monastery?
These concepts are associated with monks and nuns in the thinking of many people, but living under spiritual discipline should not be limited to monks and nuns. All Christians are commanded in the scriptures to live a life of discipline leading to godliness. There is benefit for every person to train or discipline self to be under the control of Christ. A very different sort of Order from the cloistered devotees wearing a habit is envisioned here. Members of The Order of Eusebeia will not be living in seclusion or appear at first glance to be out of the ordinary in their vocation. They will be a mixture of people from all walks of life.
What is required of members of the Order?
To be a member of The Order of Eusebeia you must make a commitment to place yourself under the Rule by which the Order is guided. The Rule is not meant to serve as a creed or a book of discipline which replaces the Bible. Therefore, the promise to follow the Rule has the qualification: "in so far as I understand the following duties to be biblical and according to the will of God" (see the explanation at the bottom of the page for this limitation).* The Rule is very adaptable to the various circumstances in which people live. For example, you must make a commitment to daily Bible reading and study. How long one reads and studies is left open-ended, because available time will vary from person to person. Likewise, a member must make a commitment of compassion to the poor and the hungry of the world. How you act upon that compassion, though, is left open-ended. You might do it through supporting a wide variety of charities, including a local church, a local food pantry, or an international hunger relief program. You might do it through direct action in assisting a needy family in your own community. In summary, if one is a believer in Christ and student of the Bible, following the Rule of The Order of Eusebeia can be a method by which one can define and clarify the practice of devotion and commitment to the Lord.
Who is going to monitor my behavior?
The only one other than God who will monitor your obedience to the Rule is you. This Order is not interested in control or manipulation. The Order of Eusebeia is individual, voluntary submission to a Rule. By no means do we mean to deny potential benefits to those who submit to a regular order in a religious community. Such a restricted lifestyle, though, is not an option for most people. The Order of Eusebeia provides an alternative which has some of the benefits of a religious community but without many of the limitations. Also, there are no requirements that go beyond the biblical mandate (e.g. celibacy and poverty). In a voluntary arrangement in a non-cloistered structure such as is envisioned in The Order of Eusebeia, there is still encouragement from knowing that others have made a similar commitment. Resources will be available on the web site to help you follow your vows. If a group of people want to place themselves under the Rule as Christian friends and assist one another in spiritual formation, they have the freedom to do so. In the final analysis, a person's faith must be freely chosen and expressed if it is to be considered completely genuine and real. The Order of Eusebeia has no power of enforcement of its Rule. A benefit of this lack of enforcement is that any allegience to the discipline of the Rule of Eusebeia will be genuine devotion toward God.
Is there any sort of identification of members?
You are allowed to join and submit yourself to the Rule without telling another soul, if you so desire. The only identification you will receive when you join will be a certificate of membership that will be provided by email (click to see a sample). It will be in a .pdf file format. You may print this certificate and display it in a frame or in some other manner if so desired. Having this certificate of membership in a visible location will serve as a constant reminder to you to remember your commitment to the Rule. "Won't that be like the man who was given a humble button and he wore it? Isn't that self-defeating?" Not really. The name of the Order is not going to be meaningful to most people. If someone sees your certificate and questions what this Order is, you have an opportunity to explain its meaning in a way that suggests anything but pride. You might say: "I've always had problems being consistent in my prayer life and regular in my Bible reading. This is a group designed to help you in those areas and in other ways. It is made up of people like me who want to grow spiritually, and they want to help one another. It helps me to know that there are other people just like me who are striving to practice the same spiritual disciplines."
Who started The Order of Eusebeia?
The founder is a Christian minister who has been in Christian ministry for over thirty years. He has also been a professor at three different colleges and universities where he has taught and continues to teach Bible, theology, ethics, spirituality, and church history. The Order of Eusebeia is a cross-section of two of his chief areas of interest: ethics and spirituality.
**Limitation: To some who are accustomed to giving assent to creeds or rules enforced by an authority, the above limitation will seem strange, if not anemic. It is in place for those who come from non-creedal or anti-creedal church backgrounds and/or for those who are fully committed to the principle of sola scriptura for their authority. In writing this limitation, two stories from church history came to my mind. One is the famous statement from Martin Luther in his trial at Worms. When asked to recant his writings, he finally answered: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason . . . my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen." Another comes from an episode in the founder's religious heritage. When Barton W. Stone was asked to give his approval of the Westminster Confession of Faith, he responded: "I do in as far as it agrees with the Bible." The issue was not pressed any further on that occasion and he was approved as a Presbyterian minister.
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