Saturday, February 28, 2009

right?...what you? Part 1

Dont ask me what that means, sounds like something Zeke my two year old boy might say. BUt i have always heard, "write what you know," so i will try to focus in on some of the things that i atleast think I know about.
The biggest thing that has consumed my mind for the past few years has been community. You might already know this since anyone i spend any sort of a significant amount of time with i end up spouting out a bunch of propaganda about living in community. But fear not, no propaganda here....wink. Well i suppose i will share some interesting stuff about different intentional communities out there. I'll start off with a very little known intentional community, and the longest lasting biggest communal group in existence today....The Hutterites.

The Hutterites Are over 50,000 strong these days, and reside mostly on fairly secluded colonies in Montana, the dakotas, washigton, minnesota, canada and some other places. They have thousands of these self-sufficient farming communities.

Their roots are in the 16th century Anabaptist movement. From this movement we get the Mennonites, Amish, Brethren in Christ, and closely related is the Quakers. The Anabaptist were a group that popped up at the same time as the Reformation where we find Luther and the Lutherans splitting from the catholic church in the early 1500's. This is where the protestant label came about. But many would say that the anabaptists are not protestants, nor catholic, but their own stream.

Anyways The Hutterites were a communal group within the Anabaptist stream. They look to the early church of the first century for inspiration. They found a church wholeheartedly devoted to serving one another sacrificially, and a part of that was declining the right to own private property. they also found a church that was willing to die for Christ, rather than kill (as the so called holy roman catholic church was so willing to do at the time).

So they were a pacifistic-nonviolent communal group in Europe, and as a result were highly persecuted. Being tortured and killed for their faith was more than common. By the thousands Hutterites were put to death , and whats worse, it was at the hands of people who supposed were following Christ, both the Catholics and Lutherns. Its sick really. And unfortunately they continued to be persecuted for centuries even after they finally fled from europe, then russia, and now into the "land of the free"called the Americas.

As a result of their non-violent stance they refused to go to war when drafted in the first and second world war. They feel that killing is wrong, no matter how evil the other person may be. To take the soul of another person is not permissible for us humans, who are all, by the way, deeply wicked within ourselves. So during WW I they were thrown into concentration camps and prison, where they were treated like animals. One particular story is very saddening of a couple of Hutterites taken to Alcatraz were they were tortured and placed in solitary confinement for a very long time. They were then transported to another prison in the mid-west where they were still ill-treated, until they finally gave up the ghost, before their families could even come to see them.

they are a humble, queit and disciplined group of people.

More on them later!

May your day be blessed.

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