Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about different aspects of the conference call. Today, let’s look at the “popular” HA teaching – Beat your body and make it your slave.
MY QUESTION: @ 1:18:25 – Through the overuse and misapplication of “Beat your body and make it your slave,” interns are conditioned to believe that physical injuries and suffering = spiritual maturity. Is this a sound theological and medical proposition?
DAVE HASZ’S ANSWER: If somebody actually taught that, that would not be sound and would not be theological. And that does not happen at the Honor Academy and that is not taught at the Honor Academy. I don’t know where that question came from. I have probably said beat your body once in this entire year. I have said on numerous occasions during corporate exercise in the last 2-3 years, “You’re ability to run fast has no relationship to your spiritual maturity. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. They’re not even linked in any way, shape or form.” So I don’t think interns are conditioned to believe that physical injuries and suffering equal spiritual maturity. Its never said, its never taught, its not in any kind of curriculum that we are teaching. Frankly, I don’t even know where that is coming from.
Ron does, in character development, talk about beating your body and making it your slave. In character development he is talking about personal discipline: about getting up when you are supposed to get up, about having your quiet time each day, and I think Paul actually did say beat your body and make it your slave. What Paul is talking about is personal discipline, not talking about actually beating your body. Actually beating your body would be some forms of religion that I don’t think are healthy or right and so they are not taught or propogated at the Honor Academy.
Dave said that the link between physical suffering and spiritual maturity is never taught at the HA. Really? What about that little retreat called ESOAL?
Rather than writing a long diatribe, I have a feeling you all can provide even better information about this question than I can. At the HA, did you feel that your physical performance or suffering advanced your spiritual growth (or that a lack of physical performance was detrimental to your walk with God)? This idea can take several different forms:
– Pushing through physical pain/injury so that you can learn to “overcome trials”
– The belief that “pushing yourself” will somehow increase your spiritual stamina
– Treating normal physical needs as if they were an obstacle to overcome through will power (i.e. thinking that sleep is for wimps, you can sleep when you’re dead, you don’t need to take medicine, etc.)
– “Pain is temporary, growth is permanent.”
– “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
(That image is a screen capture from the current HA website.)