And now our disposition is as such as if there were no one will require an account from us of the vows we have made. We pass our time without fear of God and contempt of his commandments. We are arrogant not only toward the rest of the community, but even toward our superiors. We complain, contradict, curse, and are lazy; we do all the things God hates, and which lead our souls to destruction in the fires of hell. – Discourse III, On Faithfulness to Vows.
St. Symeon did not require that all take vows, only that those who did live into them rather than making them a mockery. His brothers were refusing to feed the poor, to be hungry, to do the things they had sworn to do — all because they no longer felt like God cared about those things, only about the things the brothers wanted to see done.
He chided them for wondering why their community was dying — but knew the answer: the brothers had forsaken God by forsaking their vows and gave place to evil.