The Rule of Ernest the Sinner


Spirituality for the Complexity of Adam

Hat tip to St. Benedict

The Three Imperatives

  1. Glorify God Make the Cross attractive by loving God, our Selves, and our Others as Jesus does
  2. Cultivate self-differentiating Relationships, Metrics, and Practices that help us further the First Imperative
  3. Write up your own Rule

Spiritual Complexity versus Religious Order

Spiritual Complexity is a new modality for those who have encountered Jesus to unite with others in publicly devoting their lives to the Cross of Christ.

It is inspired by the religious orders that midwifed Western civilization, but with some key differences.

  • Structure: Order vs Complexity
  • Nature: Religious vs Spiritual
  • Lifestyle: Monastic vs Incarnational
  • Geography: Extractive vs Embedded
  • Behavior: Observance vs Innovation
  • Organization: Hierarchy vs Network
  • Calling: Vocation vs Bi-vocation
  • Goal: Self-denial vs Self-differentiation
  • Epoch: Pre-modern vs Pre-future
  • Theology: Orthodox (Right Truth) vs Orthohodic (Right Path)
  • Vows: Solemn vs Absurd
  • Joiner: Postulant vs Sinner
  • Student: Novice vs Adolescent
  • Avowed: Monk vs Fool
  • Leader: Abbot vs Chief of Sinners
  • Patron: St. Benedict vs Adam, the first Sinner

Membership and Progression

“but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” 1 Corinthians 1:23

  1. Each autonomous sub-community of the Complexity is known as a Complex (for Complex Adaptive System, or CAS).
  2. The head of a Complex is called the Chief of Sinners (COS), and also The Endorser of Leaders Leaving their Origin (TELLO); usually written as COS/TELLO or Costello, in contrast to an Abbot.
  3. Anyone who submits to the First Imperative of the Rule can petition a Costello to join their Complex. When their petition is accepted, they are acknowledged as a Childlike Sinner (CS) and a member of the Complexity. Note that every member of a Complexity is considered a Sinner.
  4. An Adolescent Sinner (AS, or just “Adolescent“) submits to the Second Imperative while developing their personal Rule and Absurd Vow (their “Folly“). They must be sponsored by another member of the Complex, known as their Editor. If they lose and do not replace their Editor, they revert back to a mere (“childlike”) Sinner.
  5. A Foolish Adolescent Sinner (“Fool” or FAS) submits to Imperative Three by formally publishing a Folly that has been Approved by their Editor, Reviewed by the Complex, and Endorsed by the Costello.
    1. Note that they lose their Fool status if they fail to maintain a relationship with an Editor to continually review and update their Rule.
    1. Changes to their Vow require the same process as the initial Folly.
    1. Changes to their Editor must be approved by the Costello of their current Complex.
  6. The Absurd Vow is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal for advancing the First Imperactive. It is written in the form of a User Story: As [Calling] I want to [Mission] so that [Vision].
  7. Any Fool can have a Complex and declare themselves Costello. To found a new Complexity requires an Abbot (or equivalent) from an existing religious order to Endorse the Absurd Vow of the “First Fool.”

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