Quotes about Asceticism
Our Lord requires us to take up our cross and follow Him, and there are many testimonies to the blessedness of godly self-denial. Biblically it is not an attempt to gain forgiveness or spirituality through self-abasement. Rather it is the willing response of a heart dedicated to serving Christ at any cost. Asceticism is a different matter. It is motivated by pride rather than humility, and it is an attempt to accomplish in the energy of the flesh a right relationship with God, which can be brought about only by a divine transformation through faith in Jesus Christ.
For the ascetic, the body is a thing to be punished, denied, even abused. The body is regarded as evil and the only way to defeat it is to starve it of anything that might a spark desire… In brief, asceticism is the belief that if you add up enough physical negatives you will get a spiritual positive. Mere avoidance becomes the pathway to holiness.