I've been reading through the latest issue of Plough Quarterly, a magazine published by the Bruderhof community, and have felt convicted by their willingess to forsake the private ownership of property and live in full community as the body of Christ.
Some excerpts from a couple articles in this issue:
It’s important to make a distinction that the New Testament doesn’t speak of voluntary poverty and community of goods as rigid ethical demands, as if owning property were a sin in itself such as lust or idolatry. This misunderstanding stems from the legalistic need to reduce discipleship to a list of duties and prohibitions. Far from it: community of goods in the New Testament is simply the practical expression of love when it overflows into economics. Naturally, this can take many different forms. Here’s some first-hand evidence that a life beyond capitalism is not as unattainable as it’s made out to be:
This summer the Bruderhof community celebrates the beginning of its hundredth year of living together in full community of goods. Over its history, our community has had its share of imperfections and follies, just like any group of human beings. But by the grace of God, and with thanks to friends far and near, we’re still here.
The Bruderhof originated in an unusually fertile and febrile moment: Germany immediately after World War I. In 1920 the theologian Eberhard Arnold moved with his family from Berlin to a small village to start an intentional community. Initially, this was a circle of young Christians disillusioned with the church’s complicity in the militarism that led to World War I. With the Sermon on the Mount as their charter, they drew inspiration from the early church and the Anabaptists as well as Francis and Clare of Assisi, the early Quakers, and the religious socialist movement that included Christoph Blumhardt and Karl Barth. The idea of a rural settlement came from Gustav Landauer, a Jewish anarchist visionary who had been assassinated by right-wing thugs the previous year (page 112); Landauer also inspired the kibbutz movement, which was forming around the same time.
A century later, our community remains small in comparison with many churches. Still, it’s home to three thousand people of many nationalities – in two dozen locations on five continents – who live together and share everything. In our case, this sharing takes the form of a lifelong vow of poverty: we each own literally nothing.
https://www.plough.com/en/topics/commun ... cs-of-love
Christ clearly means what he says when quoting the prophet: he has been anointed by God’s Spirit to preach good tidings to the poor (Luke 4:18). To the prosperous, the tidings he bears are decidedly grim: “Woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full; woe to you who are full fed, for you shall hunger; woe to you who are now laughing, for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:24–25). As Abraham tells Dives in Hades, “You fully received your good things during your lifetime… so now you suffer” (Luke 16:25). Christ not only demands that we give freely to all who ask from us (Matt. 5:42), with such prodigality that one hand is ignorant of the other’s largesse (Matt. 6:3); he explicitly forbids storing up earthly wealth – not merely storing it up too obsessively – and allows instead only the hoarding of the treasures of heaven (Matt. 6:19–20). He tells all who would follow him to sell all their possessions and give the proceeds away as alms (Luke 12:33), and explicitly states that “every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses is incapable of being my disciple” (Luke 14:33). As Mary says, part of the saving promise of the gospel is that the Lord “has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away starving” (Luke 1:53). James, of course, says it most strikingly:
"Come now, you who are rich, weep, howling at the miseries coming upon you; your riches are corrupted and moths have consumed your clothes; your gold and silver have corroded, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the Last Days! See, the wages you have given so late to the laborers who have harvested your fields cry aloud, and the cries of those who have harvested your fields have entered the ear of the Lord Sabaoth. You have lived in luxury, and lived upon the earth in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter." (James 5:1–6)
https://www.plough.com/en/topics/faith/ ... capitalism