J. R. Swab

What It Means To Be A Stoic Christian

Categories: [Faith]

Learning about views others have on life, and other philosophies is a great way to understand what this life. As a follower of Jesus, my authority is with the Bible and as I read different views about how to conduct life my daily Bible reading acts as my filter.

We all need truth to hold on to, else we'll fall into a spiral of ever seeking and never finding.

For me, that truth is the Bible and for many good reasons. One is how different it is compared to every religion. Looking at the beliefs of the world, they all start with one guy getting some secret revelation and then he went off and convinced others he was correct. Those of us that follow Jesus and the Bible it's the opposite. Jesus did not show his resurrected and glorified body to just one person but hundreds!

That fundamental difference, combined with how my life changed after believing in Jesus is the reason I am so sure that what the Bible says is indeed truth beyond any other.

But I’m Also a Stoic

I consider myself a Stoic Christian and not a Christian Stoic. This simple arrangement of words makes the difference in the idea of the identity. Putting stoic first shows that at the base I am a follower of Jesus that also agrees with much of stoicism. The reverse, well, reverses that meaning into a person that is a stoic at the core and agrees with Christianity.

While some people may think that followers should only ever read the Bible for life truths and any other form of philosophy should be avoided, I do not. But I also do not blindly agree with everything I come across. The Bible does make it clear that secular philosophy is dangerous to the faith.

[Col 2:8-10 KJV] 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

As the passage says, we are completed in Christ and have no need to look into secular philosophy. If a believer is new to the faith, I strongly urge them to say away for the secular and get a good root in the Bible. Until they do, the chance of confusion is too high.

Stoicism is the only other world view I agree with a majority of the time, but the Bible is the final authority. Any stoic that I read that says something that directly goes against God's word ignored. (I have yet to see anything in the stoic teachings that would cause alarm.)

Stoics Are Mentioned in the Bible!

[Act 17:18 KJV] 18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

It seems the stoics of past were intrigued to know what the Apostles were teaching and I'm sure many of them were saved. Does this mean that they dropped all stoicism because of their new faith? I doubt that. Stoicism is more about being aware of and in control of how we react to the world around us and not a direct offense to following Jesus.

Is stoicism for everyone? No. Did I choose to become a stoic? No. I just came across a book by an old dead guy and thought "wow, this is how I try to move through each day." This was even after I became a follower of Jesus and devoted my life to obey his word.

How I Define Stoic Christianity

The stoic Christian is someone that understands that stoicism is not a belief in anything but is only a way to engage with the life we are given. They want to have life's surprises impact them as little as possible and make choices based on logic and reason instead of emotional tidal waves.

[Jer 17:9 KJV] 9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Giving in to fear, anxiety, and emotional upheaval in letting Satan win that current battle. The teachings of Stoicism, when filtered through the Bible, is able to enrich our present day and allow us to serve others as Christ teaches, with love.

Love is an action, not a feeling.

How can we act when we are tossed about with fear and torrential emotional episodes?