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Member
This is a question about Christians living together communally. What do you think of this sort of set-up?
I'm not really talking about monastic communities, but they are included in this topic, I am thinking more generally about Christians living together, sharing their lives and their property as described in Acts.
These days we live such atomised lives, and many people seem isolated. Wouldn't it be better and more biblical to live together in groups?
 
Active
I think so, yes.

Something that often strikes me reading the new testament is the centrality of Christians eating together.

In my church tradition we celebrate communion with a symbolic piece of bread and a sip of wine. How much richer we'd be if we sat down together and remembered Jesus' death and resurrection over a big meal for the whole church family.
 
Loyal
If you can trust the treasurer, of course the treasurer in the group of disciples was Judas, and no doubt there have been thousands if not millions more treasurers in christian communities worldwide that used that position to steal for themselves. In my area, there is a woman I know of who used her position as treasurer to steal a lot of money, and thats just the one I know of. Its not like I was looking for examples, there is probably hundreds more just in an area the size of 1 city. And dont get me started on government control of money, more corruption than all the paper in the world can be reported on. All this being said, there are some communes in Israel that people live together working together as a unit as was done then, and on a small scale, it can often work... IF... people are willing to give up lives accumulating wealth, but work HARD everyday and rules to keep corruption of the handling of money down to a minimum. Communes are not for the sickly or lazy though, for it to work, everyone must labor, and not in front of a computer or talking on the phone.
 
Active
Not every model of communal living is based on pooling possessions, money or property.

More important is the commitment to share lives, support each other in mutual submission.
 
Member
Yes, there are all sorts of ways that people can live together. I can see that there could be immense benefits to living together, but of course things can always go wrong... what to do when things go wrong is important to consider.
 
Active
Isn't dealing together with the things that go wrong part of the beauty of community life? So much of church life is superficial -- it's easy enough to get by being thought of as an all round nice chap if all anyone sees of me is during a sunday service and a mid-week bible study. I could harbour all kinds of destructive habits and sins without ever being challenged.

The price of that is first isolation, and second, that I'd only mature into the likeness of Christ very slowly.

If I were to be living in close proximity to other believers, they'd soon get to the bottom of my character defects and selfishness etc. And somehow we'd have to deal with it. Where grace is not just a pretty word, but a lived experience.
 
Member
.....they'd soon get to the bottom of my character defects and selfishness etc. And somehow we'd have to deal with it.
The way we deal with it can be an issue... there are some pretty dysfunctional ways of dealing with it, and dealing with ourselves. So do you have a 'rule' of some sort? Or can the group work it out on an ad hoc basis? Elders to guide and stamp their authority?
Maybe the devil is in the detail?
 
Active
If you're up for a deep dive, get hold of 'life together' by Dietrich Bohoeffer. It was written in Germany as he led an underground seminary of pastors opposed to the Nazi regime.

It's a pretty dense read, but very, very good.

Or the Bruderhof community in the uk. There's a sceptical but appreciative piece on them here.

 
Active
I went a few years ago. They welcome day-visitors and you can sign up on their website. Unforgettable experience. It's really stuck with me.
 
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