Thursday, November 5

The Anabaptist movement of Hutterites…

"And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need." (Acts 2:44-45 ASV)


I have had the pleasure lately of speaking with an ex-Hutterites living in South Dakota. Until she had mentioned it, I had no clue that there was a communal religious group known as the Hutterites in the world, let alone with colonies in the United States and Canada, as well as other locations throughout the world. The Hutterites can trace their roots back to the Radical Reformation movement. After the religious wars of the 17th century, the recognized faiths were Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed and with the signing of the Peace of Augsburg, all people were to practice and follow the faith dictated by the ruler's church. No other churches were tolerated. Anabaptist, so named because of their stance on infant baptism and immersion were re-baptized, believing that their infant baptisms were invalid, a practice which carried the death penalty as a criminal offense. The Anabaptist movement, which started underground, and fought to stay alive for many years splintered as sects of people moved away from each other into hiding. Three main groups of Anabaptists are the Amish (led by Jakob Ammon), the Mennonites (led by Menno Simons) and the Hutterites (led by Jacob Hutter).

In 1528, Jacob Wiederman led a group of Anabaptist to pool their money together and officially started a commune in Moravia. Jacob (Jakob) Hutter, from the Austrian providence of Tyrol in the 16th century, was a Tyrolean Anabaptist hat maker who led a radical Christian movement away from the Roman Catholic Church which was proclaimed to be corrupted and devoid of spiritual nourishment. In the modern-day Czech Republic (Moravia), the Anabaptists were granted religious tolerance and Wiederman's and Hutter's groups joined together, adopting the name of Hutterite after Hutter who became the leader, teaching the practice of communal ownership of goods, absolute pacifism and baptism of adult believers only based on the New Testament teachings of Acts 2:44, 4 and 5, along with 2 Corinthians. This distinguished the Hutterites from their Anabaptists 'cousins' of the Amish or Mennonites. Paul's use of the term fellowship here in Acts 2:44 means "participation" and stresses the sharing of a common life under the leadership of the Twelve. This fellowship involved a sharing of possessions (cf. 4:32-5:11) and a full meal partook with glad and generous hearts day by day (Interpreter's Commentary). Jacob Hutter created a community of colonies (Brüderhöfe) that consisted of married adults and their children living communally under the 1565 Confessions of Faith by another Hutterite leader, Peter Rideman, a distinction that has followed through the generations since, with two exceptions.

Hutter was arrested on December 1, 1535 and taken to Innsbruck to King Ferdinand's government. After months of torture to make him refute his faith, he was burned alive as a heretic on February 25, 1536. His words are recorded in eight letters, written under severe persecution, to the Hutterite community. Renewed persecution over the Hutterite tenet of absolute pacifism that goes as deep as not taking orders, being part of military activities, paying war taxes or even wearing a formal uniform, led the Hutterites to flee Austria after the seizure of their lands.

Bethlen Gabor, Prince of Transylvania, a Protestant welcomed the Hutterites to his country but was declined until 1621 when it is told that he forced close to 200 Hutterites to come to Transylvania under the promise of religious freedom. During the 30 Years War, many Hutterites perished except for those in Transylvania and eventually all surviving Hutterites fled to its relatively safe haven.

Between Transylvania and Romania, the first split of the communal Hutterites happened, with some converting to Catholicism and formed a distinct separate identity known as Habans, which would become extinct virtually by the end of World War II. Under the fear of Turkish enslavement, the Hutterites enjoyed prosperity for a few years when they migrated to the Ukrainian countryside until a second abandonment of the communal life in 1819 left only their identity as Hutterites or some building and communal properties intact.

It was with the influence of the Russian Mennonites, through the interaction of Johann Cornies who helped the Hutterites establish a village called Huttertal near the Mennonite settlement of Molotschna and the involvement of persecuted Lutherans from Carinthia, Austria with names like Waldner, Wipf, Hofer, Stahl, Kleinsasser, Gross and Wurtz, that the spiritual and financial health of the Hutterite movement was revived. Minister Michael Waldner (called Schmied-Michel), a blacksmith, in 1859 reestablished the community goods concept that had been abandoned and was followed by Darius Walter (Darius) the next year. The village was split with non-community goods Hutterites living between these two groups. In 1859, the Reverend Waldner established a new colony at Scheromet and the group was formally known as Schmiedeleut (Schmied-Michel's people) and Darius Walter's group was known as Dariusleut (Darius' people).

But, in 1873, with compulsory military service mandated in all of Russia, the Hutterites joined with some Mennonite brethren and scouted for a new home in America. Three groups, 1,265 individuals, migrated to North America between 1874 and 1879, in the Dakota Territory; the Schmiedleut establishing the Bon Homme Colony near the Missouri river near modern-day Yankton, South Dakota; the Dariusleut established Wolf Creek Colony near modern-day Olivet, South Dakota, and Lehrerleut (named after the profession of their leader, a teacher (Lehrer)) settled Elm Spring Colony near modern-day Ethan, South Dakota, reestablishing the traditional Hutterite communal lifestyle in the form of colonies. With the 1918 incident where four Hutterite men subjected to military draft who refused to comply were imprisoned and tortured, with two dying at Leavenworth Military Prison from their mistreatment, many Hutterites immigrated to Canada where 75% of them live today.

Another group was combined with the Hutterite colonies of the Schmiedeleut, Dariusleut and Lehrerleut in 1974, the Bruderhof (the Arnoldleut) of Germany.

The Bruderhof were founded by Eberhard Arnold in Sannerz, Germany, in 1921, Arnold adopted the religious orders and administrative blueprint of North American Hutterite communities, travelling to America to receive Hutterite ordination as a minister and upon his return, affiliated his hof (community) with the Hutterites. The Forest River colony of Schmiedeleut Hutterites in North Dakota invited the Bruderhof to join them, but in 1955, the Schmiedeleut group excluded the Bruderhof and placed the Forest River colony under probation. After the Bruderhof leadership apologized for the problems among the Forest River colony in 1973. In 1974, the "Society of Brothers" or "Hutterian Brethren" were accepted on a probationary basis into the entire Hutterite community to "get acquainted and accept the teaching and tenets, rules, Ordnungen and Principles of The Hutterische Church as they were practiced by us at that time and our forefathers, so that you may adopt and adhere to them, which up to that time you shunned and trod with your feet, and in fact disgraced and abused the messengers that were sent to you from time to time, all out of love for your salvation".

Unlike the traditional Hutterites, the Bruderhof have strayed from the agricultural arena instead concentrate on manufacturing and publishing (media relations): children's toys under the label "Community Playthings" (1950), products for disabled people under the corporation Rifton Enterprises and a publishing house under the imprint "The Plough" (1920).

The Bruderhof leadership is a 'divine right' passed from father to son only through the Arnold line. . In "A Case Study of the Conflict between a New Religious Movement and its Critics" by Julius H. Rubin, Professor of Sociology Saint Joseph College, states, "The Bruderhof members have passed down control of their movement to Eberhard Arnold's son and grandson in hereditary succession of office. This traditionalism is legitimated as emanating from the will of God, whose divine order has also created a hierarchy of patriarchal relations between husband and wife, parent and child, and leader and follower. Authority patterns are believed to have originated with God; leaders serve as his instrument, providing spiritual and temporal rulership over the congregation. They also believe that God decreed an organic social order where men exercise authority over women, and parents over children. The promises of salvation are inextricably tied to the surrender to God's will and the believer's submission to divinely-legitimated hierarchical authority."

The Bruderhof follow the writings of this 'divine' leadership and accusations from ex-Bruderhof members speak of 'indoctrination' through deprivation of food and sexual favors from Bruderhof females. Secret meetings of the 'brotherhood', active recruitment under 'illdyic' disillusionment feeds the 'uneven distribution' of wealth to the leadership not generally available to the general community. The leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar that is empowered with a special mission far beyond the Great Commission to save humanity. At least, these are the accusations from ex-Bruderhof members. 'Hof (Bruderhof colony)life appears idyllic [to visitors]. Violent crime, illicit drug abuse, or economic and material concerns are largely absent from their lives. Premarital sexual activity is prohibited, and single parent families are largely unknown in the community." Rubin writes, "Divorce is not permitted. Thus, Bruderhof families are not disrupted by family patterns that characterize the wider society."

In 1990, the Hutterite Brethren Church of the Darius and Lehrerleut Conference excommunicated them from the community of the Hutterites with a ten point indictment. The indictment pointed out various Bruderhof practices that were in direct opposition to the Hutterite tenements and even Christian foundations, that describe the Bible as a great weapon of the Devil, not the Word of God and God speaks to His people in daily life, not through the antiquated words that He spoke to Moses, Elijah and Jesus. The conference noted that the Schmeidenleut, Lehrerleut and two Dariusleut ministers who agreed to uniting the Arnoldleut with the community had hoped for the adoption of the Arnoldleut of the Hutterian Brethren Customs, traditions and ordinances and the Bruderhof failure to do so, "deliberately drifting in the opposite direction", forced the Conference to revoke the unification because "Gott ist ein Gott der Ordnung, und er will haben dasz unter seinen Volk Ordnung sein soll." (God is a God of ordinance, and he wants ordinance to be adhered to by his followers." The Schmeidelets were the only Hutterite sect to continue in fellowship with the Bruderhof.

The division and alienation of the Bruderhof Community became fully exposed once evicted from the Hutterite umbrella, with ex-Bruderhof members contesting the Bruderhof media presentation of its history and current practices and the Bruderhof responding with 'demonizing these enemies of faith.' Clara Arnold, great-granddaughter of Eberhold Arnold and former member, said the Bruderhof is a community where nonconformity is not tolerated, equality is spoken about but not practiced. The Bruderhof community has adopted a complex legal, public relations and intimidating strategy to silence dissenters. Most Americans still confuse the Bruderhof community with the Hutterites, an unfortunate and misleading representation that seems to be manipulated by the Bruderhof community at the Hutterites expense.

In modern days, the Hutterite community remains very much the same although it is losing a majority of its younger generation to the secular world. There are three main types of Hutterites; the Schmiedeleut who in 1992 voted to replace Jacob Kleinsasser as elder because of Kleinsasser's management procedures, financial ventures and a lawsuit filed against a fellow Hutterite that they felt were unduly influenced by the Bruderhof sect. Kleinsasser refused to accept the council's decision and split with the "conservative" Schmiedeleut (called the Committee Hutterites who are led by a council of Elders) and Kleinsasser's "progressive" Hutterites (now known as The Hutterite Brethren), the Dariusleut (led by Elder Martin Walter in Spring Point Colony, Alberta Canada), and the Lehrerleut. The sect of Arnoldleut (Bruderhof) is no longer associated with the Hutterites, adopting the name "Church Communities International" after the 1990 excommunication. One other, the Prairieleut (Hutterites that lived in town rather than colonies) seems to have faded into the history books. There is no information I can find on that particular sect.

The Schmeid-, Darius- and Lehrer-leut colonies are male-managed with women in the traditional roles of cooking, medical decisions and selection/purchase of clothing. The three top level leadership positions, democratically filled, are the Minister (President in all matters of legal business), the Secretary (book-keeping, money manager called "Boss" or "Business Boss") and a second-tier leader called the Assistant Minister (church leadership and preaching called "German Teacher" for school-aged children). In some colonies, an additional position is filled called the Schneider (German for tailor) and is often held by the Secretary's wife. Third-tier leadership positions are also referred to as "Boss" and are considered the leader responsible for their area of operation, (i.e. Hog Boss, Farm Boss, etc.) with colony members working for them.

The voting and decision-making process is based on a two-tier structure of a council and voting membership (all married men). Ministers and Secretaries who do not follow the decisions of the colony can be removed. Women and children, though having no formal vote, influence decisions through the social framework of the colony and their husband's votes at council meetings. A broader "Bishop" structure that cross-branches the Lehrer-, Darius- and Schmied-leut sects keeps colony compliance with broader-ranging decisions of the Hutterites. at most colonies is based upon a two-tiered structure including a council—usually seven senior males—and the voting membership which includes all the married men of the colony. For "significant" decisions the council will first vote and if passed, the decision will be carried to the voting membership. Each colony is made up of 10 to 20 families, split only when the leadership determines a new colony is needed due to population growth for the consistency of economic and spiritual needs into a daughter colony that is constructed prior to movement with an equal division of the business operations.

The Hutterites sects have a dress code which is similar to their Amish cousins where men wear suspenders, black trousers and buttoned shirts and a beard for the married among them. The women wear below-the-knee length dresses, with the younger women wearing more colorful dresses than the older and a Kupftiechle (a black, polka-dot peppered head covering). The young female children wear a mitz (bonnet-like covering) from 3 until the age of 10. The 'progressive' Schmiedleut sect under Kleinsasser (The Hutterite Brethren) have adopted more 'modern clothing', the men don't wear suspenders anymore, but wear belts. The young girls wear their dresses all the way down to the ankles, the older women have their hems a little higher. The head covering is black, with some putting dots or some other small decorations.

The Tyrolean dialect of German, originating from the Southern Austria, North Italy and Carinthia speaks of the Hutterite foundations, is considered to be the traditional language of the Hutterites but standard German is taught in colony schools because of the original writings of the Hutterites in that language. Some 'modern' Hutterites have foregone this tradition of teaching the German dialect.

As it gets harder and harder to support the colony with farming or ranching, more Hutterite colonies are re-developing manufacturing as a means to retain their self-sufficient lifestyles like Plastics Manufacturing, Metal Fabrication, Cabinetry and Stone/Granite Forming. The lifestyle of the three sects of the Hutterites seems to becoming more and more a memory as the modernization of their lives bring more and more secular world involvement in their colonies for higher education and improvement of their colonies production, drawing more of the legal aged Hutterites into its environs. While the Lehrerleut and Dariusleut colonies strictly enforce the departure of their children at age 15 to work in the colony's adult roles. The more 'liberal' Schmiedeleut colony have more and more children graduating from High School and even college. Recent times have seen increasing disillusionment with this life as books and articles are written against the 'male-dominated' society, the divisions that any human institution goes through, and the continued association with the Bruderhof by non-Hutterites.

There is a feeling that outside influences who want to develop the Hutterite lands and view the Hutterite attempts to restrict outside influence in their colonies is a sign of continued persecution for this Anabaptist sect, although it is common in Hutterite populated areas to see the Hutterites selling meat, produce and other manufactured services locally and nationally in some cases with sustainable results. The Hutterites are viewed with some minor jealously and resentment by some because of their efficiency and successful agricultural methods but most non-Hutterite farmers and communities maintain good relationships, even friendships, with them. Today, the Hutterites are still majorly in Canada; Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba host 347 colonies. In the United States, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington State and Oregon host only 134 colonies, the memory of the Hutterites of the American persecution of their extreme pacifist views apparently still very real to the sect as a whole.

Modern times have given birth to a Japanese Dariusleut colony and a Nigerian Schmiedeleut colony, though some differences exist between these two colonies (neither colony speaks German and are of European descent) and their westernized brethren both are recognized as Hutterites because of the adoption of the lifestyle.

The Schmiedeleut Hutterite that I have had the pleasure of conversing with over the internet is only 23 years old. We struck up a conversation after we realized some common interest, mostly the un-Hutterite desire to serve as a member of the United States Armed Forces (particularly for her the US Army). We spoke about this desire to serve often and it was only recently that she told me that she was a Hutterite. Upon my research into this communal group that I had not ever realized existed, I have been surprised at the level of persecution and alienation that they have suffered while their cousins the Amish have been viewed with somewhat of a 'shake of the head' acceptance. Maybe it is due to the Church Communities International (the Bruderhof) that has caused this continuing shunning of the Hutterites and their way of life.

What fascinates me and makes me a little sad for us non-Hutterites is the educational level that school children have apparently achieved in the colonies, as opposed to the secular education most 'public' schools teach to our children. This young Hutterite is more philosophical, intellectual and capable of deep theological discussion than many college graduates of the American school system today. In the Hutterite schools, the scripture is taught, the bible read and the ability to learn is more focused as they once were in our country's history and they are reaping the benefits of such a system in their colonies and in the young members, both who stay and who decide to depart the Hutterite society. We non-Hutterites and the government that serves us would do well to look at this example of what powerful influence the Bible has when taught in school and faith introduced through the living example of its text.

Maybe the current economic crisis that has spread from the American shores into the world and still very much hits hard here at home in Michigan can benefit from the understanding and interaction with the Hutterite community. One society, intolerant of Christian views and more and more inclusive of anything else has had its feet pulled out from under it because of the entitlement, individual-dominate culture it has promoted for so long, in denial of its Christian historical roots and the eradication of its strict adherence to Christian morals is slowly being introduced again to a society, still grounded in biblical living and communal life, that is becoming increasingly involved in more technological ways with the world around them; either through the appropriation of technology to be adapted to their colonies or the departure of their young members into an apparent reawakening of the Prairieleut sect….Hutterites who still honor their heritage and call themselves Hutterites but live in the communities of non-Hutterites.

There are things both in the Hutterite doctrine and in their lifestyle that I don't agree with, at least when viewed by my culturized eyes, but if I apply Paul's teaching of, "…… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy-keep thinking about these things. Likewise, keep practicing these things: what you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me….. (Philippians 4:8-9 ISV)" to the research I have done as I have to the postmodern, emergent and denominational Church I can extract the 'good' and ponder upon 'these things.' And can apply them to my faith, my belief and my experiences to better bring glory and honor to the Name Above All Names, Jesus Christ.

And I do not have to become a Hutterite to do so……though, I would love an opportunity to go through their minister program if one exists.

The Hutterites based many of their beliefs on ideas and arguments preached by Balthasar Hubmaier (1484-1528), an Anabaptist theologian and follower of Huldreich Zwingli, an Anabaptist who started the evangelical movement. Hubermaier's concept of the "trichotomy of man" dealt with a spirit-will of man that remains perfect, and a body of man that is completely corrupt. The soul-will of man gives in to temptation of the flesh with the body unless it regains the ability to differentiate between good and evil by accepting Christ.

Gemeinschaft, 'communal living', is based on three concepts:

  1. "brotherly love in action…..Where this is no community, there is also no genuine love…."
  2. "Gelassenheit"….yieldedness, resignation.
  3. "obedience to divine commands. As one gives up his own will, he naturally accepts God's commands as the basis and guideposts for action"

The Hutterites believe that Gemeinschaft is necessary for their salvation……but the Church needs to have Gemeinschaft also. I do not believe that salvation is conditional upon communal living, but I believe that communal living in the community of the Church, as exampled by the Apostles in the early days of the Church, is necessary. It would prevent the widespread discord and disconnection from the Truth, empower the Great Commission to be done like never before and create undeniable glory for God. It doesn't have to go and create a colony…..but the communal living can exist within the walls of the congregation, in the small groups and activities of its members…..far beyond the Sunday morning services provided at convenient times. But the Church does not preach "Gelassenheit" rather prosperity as a mainstay. Christianity is being sold as a 'perfect means of advancement' and once 'saved' individuals are leaving the church in droves because they feel they have been sold a lie. The concepts of Gemeinschaft don't exist in the walls and hallways of our mega, multi or denominational church……a community where we listen to God and not our own sinful nature.

"One of the purposes behind the brotherhood is to help sustain each other in their beliefs and keep individuals from backsliding. This is a more difficult task when the outside world is kind rather than persecutory because members become "soft". The Hutterite method of preventing backsliding is based on Matthew 18:15-18. When there is an open commission of sin, the wayward member is warned, admonished, and then excluded from the brotherhood if necessary. Usually the person then repents and is gladly forgiven and restored to full membership just like the Prodigal Son." (Kimm Viebrock/Hutterites, the origin and practice).

Donald W. Huffman, a Professor of Sociology and author of Life in a Hutterite Colony: An Outsider's Experience and Reflections on a Forgotten People in Our Midst, published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology/October 2000 lived in a Hutterite colony as a participant-observer and discovered significant elements above the Gemeinschaft that have lead to Hutterite stability and growth within it's concepts; religious ritual, structure of family, well-defined division of labor and well-developed strategy for new colonies when critical mass of 120 people is reached.

Most churches today are jealously possessive of their congregations because many pastors view their jobs as successful by the numbers garnered from them….if the Church was to truly live Gemeinschaft, not by religious rituals but in defense and promotion of the structures of marriage, family and community with an intentional strategy for church planting when a critical mass is reached where community is no longer truly sustainable…..what would that look like? Smaller communities conjoined for Kingdom purposes.

"The 20 to 30 children and teenagers I observed during my week-long stay were, on the surface, like any in wider American society--lively, rambunctious, curious, eager to learn. But they are being molded in a very distinctive way. As children whose lives are lived nearly every moment in a colony largely cut off from the wider world, they are socialized from the day of their birth to become baptized adult members of the colony by the ages of 19 to 21." Professor Huffman writes, "The children are early and continuously taught Hutterite history and hymnody and core communal values such as cooperation, shared work, and respect for all elders."

There is no PlayStation 3's, no TVs or other 'babysitter' type 'programs' that exists in most mainstream churches today in the Hutterite colonies….these children aren't introduced to such things until the spiritual and moral character so important to the scriptural instruction of raising our children is met….."teach them in the way they should go….and they won't stray when older." The traditional Sunday service for children has morphed from the strict expectation of parental and extended family engagement for the purposes of biblical memorization, proper morality and accountability for our 'Christian' young that when the world hits them once their 'legal freedom' is gained, the crumbling fragile structures of the post-modern church fall quickly away…..and the bible viewed as a culturally quaint book ill-equipped for the modern world. Self is key, community and the responsibilities that come with it aren't. The history, understanding and foundations of the Christian movement aren't being taught…..and love is ill served when left in the hands of humanistic, universal and subjective truth. All across the landscape of our wounded nation lie the broken, neglected and abused that the Church has failed to equip, mentor and teach a biblical worldview to in the school of Sundays that they have offered.

This community cannot be enforced, nor can it be modeled by the pastoral staff, the production staff or the teaching staff inside the congregation. As Professor Huffman discovered, the core of successful Gemeinschaft is in the family, the professing and living family of faith…..and should be guarded, nurtured and defined as the Bible states, not as secular society has decreed.

"I observed the powerful, binding force of religion in Spring Prairie Colony [where he stayed for his study]. For the Hutterites, religion permeates life. The Hutterite family reinforces the importance of cooperation, work, and worship, viewing them as ways to glorify the God ……….. Add to this the daily interaction of children, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents….. of whom profess and practice their faith."

Finally, it is not just a collection of families that are religious that cause the Hutterite colony Huffman lived and participated in for a week to remain a strong community despite the world around them. It is the model that Paul speaks of that makes the community as a whole an united, effective and powerful example for the church today to follow….

"It was startling to me to discover that a group of 130 people, including 55 adults and 75 children, all of whom had unique personalities and talents, could function so well together as a cohesive community. This raised to consciousness a fascinating question: How could such cooperation and obvious unity of purpose exist on a daily basis, given the wide range of tasks that need to be accomplished in order for the colony to survive?.................The labor of each individual, so coordinated, added to the wealth of all…….. all worked in complementary fashion to enable the colony to exist and thrive day by day."

"For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If all the body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where would be the body? But now indeed many are the members, yet only one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. But much rather the members of the body seeming to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we put more abundant honor around them. And our unpresentable members have more abundant propriety. For our presentable members have no need, but God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member having need; that there not be division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it. And you are the body of Christ, and members in part. And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of power? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak languages? Do all interpret? But zealously strive after the better gifts. And yet I show to you a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:14-31 MKJV)"

As two cultures come slowly together in these times; one living pure and continuous Gemeinschaft even as it progresses into further divisions of 'progressive' and 'conservative' camps and the other longing for the very concept the other held close to its cultural identity…..we can gain understanding, wisdom and discernment for the defense and restoration of both……this is the last lesson I think the Hutterites can teach us as we come into the end times….as our nation, our world and our faith will be altered by the forces of the enemy because of the neglect of the faithful to stand against his schemes….in our families, in our homes, in our communities and in our churches…..

Paul said it well…..

"Instead, in every way we demonstrate that we are God's servants by tremendous endurance in the midst of difficulties, hardships, and calamities; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger; with purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness; with the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and divine power; through the weapons of righteousness in the right and left hands; through honor and dishonor; through ill repute and good repute; perceived as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet well-known, as dying and yet-as you see-very much alive, as punished and yet not killed, as sorrowful and yet always rejoicing, as poor and yet enriching many, as having nothing and yet possessing everything." (2 Corinthians 6:4-10 ISV)


Wikipedia: The Hutterites








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