I’m not a biblical scholar. Heck, I’m barely more than Biblically semi-literate.
So, of course, in my odd little corner of the universe, it makes perfect sense to write a SF book about the founding of a new order of monks, the Monks of St Possenti. This puts me in a bit of a quandary. I like the stories I read to be plausible, and require suspension of disbelief on only a few things, but not everything. If you want to stipulate FTL in violation of current known laws, great, run with it. But what I hate is when a story is purportedly in this universe’s future and it gets a lot of basic facts about physics or history or people totally fouled up. So when I’m writing it only seems reasonable to get what facts I can correct, so that others don’t have that same “oh, heck, not that silly and often-disproven trope again!”
So I need a little help here, by readers who are also familiar with the Bible, and hopefully a few that are specifically intimate with Catholic canon and monastic orders.
The Monks of St. Possenti are an unusual order. It’s not a life-calling, more a waypoint for a few years. To quote from the current writing bits, when the founder of the order is presenting the idea to some friends and acquaintances just after the basic idea occurred to him, the scene is like this:
Bishop Cranberry pointed to Wang. “Your monks come and study, learning to be spiritual as well as a martial arts master, and live a simple lifestyle. Some leave it, but it’s not considered a failure. Not so much in the normal Christian monastic tradition. So we start a new order of Christian monks. An order where the expectation is they are with us for a handful of years, then return to the world. They learn to be men, with practical skills skillfully wrapped in Biblical philosophy and scripture, but with a harder edge. Make them tough. Teach martial arts like you, Master Wang, but including firearms and the self-restraint needed to be safe and effective with them. Give them a squad of like-minded brothers-in-arms to work with, people they can trust. Teach them job-skills as much as mindset.”
“So… sort of like some insane mash-up of seminary, boot camp, voc-tech, a dojo, sniper school, alpha-game club, and culinary arts diet program?”
“Exactly. And, because it has a specifically religious affiliation, all the normal gender-equality affirmative action bullet-points I keep hearing complaints about don’t apply.”
(FWIW, Wang is a Shaolin monk)
So, I’m looking for biblical passages and philosophical points that could support:
No need to pray for or forgive the unrepentant?
Shooting hostile unbelievers and criminals?
Mix of new and old testament?
Bayonets and bayonet drills?
Short monastic stays?
Defending life and family?
Turning the other cheek… or not; insult versus mortal threat
A wife as a status symbol, rather than a ball-and-chain
Using symbols of power (gun, physical world) and cross (spiritual world)
Family as core of civilization?
Thoughts, comments, New Testament versus Old considerations, passages, etc?