It's up to us
Growing the Church is up to us. It's up to us to displace what we know is bad (evil). It's up to us to displace selfish motives and behavior with unselfish motives and behavior.
Most of the time of the general population and especially its leaders is spent in selfish pursuits. If we listen to the voices of the vast majority of political leadership, we hear the call to selfishness. Everything is gauged as to how it serves our own selfish interests. They depend upon people's selfishness. They encourage it. They rev it up so people will consume the planet and work for, and pay, the rich for the privilege to ruin the home world. The system is designed to indoctrinate everyone into it.
At the same time, we receive countless mixed signals, mixed messages, saying things that are in direct opposition to the selfishness promoted from the top down. We hear the word "compassionate," for instance. Those of us in the United States are told by our leaders what great and generous people we are. Think about that. We have the same person who signed into US law that it is right to put people through sleep depravation and artificially induced hypothermia who haven't even been found guilty of anything while at the same time he is advising future presidents to be compassionate.
...Stephanopoulos asked the two-term incumbent which personal quality is going to be important for the next president.
"Determination and compassion," Bush said. When asked what advice he might have for his successor, Bush told ABC News, "Stand on principle."1
What is all this but pure error, sin, and confusion?
Does the legislature of a great and good country with God on its side pass laws allowing, even advocating, torture? I tell you that any nation that puts people through such torture and worse is a small- cold- and hardhearted people. It is a cowardly, selfish, and spiritually dead nation building itself up upon falsehoods and shall fall hard if it does not universally repent.
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. — John 9:41
Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. — Ezekiel 11:4
If we care to know, we find that the system of the United States is a drain on the world. It promotes darkness rather than real light. It devours more than it adds. It brings forth what is called modernity at the expense of less self-centered paths. We find that many people want to come here because of the selfishness that they can exercise.
With all the torture promotion and reduction in what are called civil rights and liberties in the US, it won't be long before many people who would have wanted to come to the US a decade ago will be having second thoughts.
The nation, and all the nations, must be asked to make up their minds. Are those who lead going to be coercive rulers or are they going to be the servants of their fellow human beings?
These things and more are covered in some detail in the work There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
If we want the world to reap the fruit of unselfishness, we must sow the seeds. It's up to us. We must spread the word of the plan of our Church. As John the Baptist said, we must do the deeds "worthy of repentance;" "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance." — Luke 3:8
We must do something different from how it has been where people spend most of their thoughts on selfish pursuits, amassing for self, only to give a little to charity to ease their consciences. That's not the way. That's not good enough.
Oh, we understand that people don't know how to drop everything they are doing and suddenly convert to following Jesus without even grabbing a change of clothes. Jesus didn't even let everyone just drop everything to follow him. He sent some people to do other things that nevertheless furthered Jesus's message in the world. Only those who can drop everything to follow Jesus, do it. Jesus didn't condemn all those who didn't. It was only those who pressed Jesus for more truth who were tasked with giving away every last thing for the sake of the poor and to then follow Jesus. Either they did what he said in full faith or they didn't have what it takes.
So, what is being asked of us? How much must we do as individuals and together?
There are two things that have come from the Holy Spirit that we have never seen or heard elsewhere before. The first is that Good Samaritanism doesn't apply to just individual conduct. It applies collectively as well. Now, many will disagree with this, but so be it. The Church is a nation. It is a spiritual nation, and it is incumbent upon that nation, that new nation, new when Jesus began it, to bring forth in the spirit of the Good Samaritan. We are to be a Good Samaritan nation. All nations are to be Good Samaritan nations and someday will be. Others have perhaps hinted at this, but we must come right out and say it in no uncertain terms.
The second thing, among many others, that has come from the Holy Spirit is that the current system, the capitalistic system, is the old wineskin that cannot hold the new spirit (the new wine, the message and deeds of Jesus Christ). It is incumbent upon those of the new wineskin (holding the new wine, the spirit of those reborn in the message of Jesus that will translate even the flesh) to magnify that out into the whole world. In so doing, the Church will be acting to displace the old system of selfishness, greed, violence, sexual depravity, and all the bad that comes of unrestrained appetites.
The current system is eating everything while holding out the promise that science and technology, per se, will cure it all in the end. It isn't so. Science and technology unrestrained under selfishness and capitalism will always devour more than it adds. The spirit of capitalism runs contrary to the solution for humanity.
Because of all of this, we must undertake a system that will turn the capitalist system on its head. We must create places where people do not have to be competitive but can rather be purely cooperative and serve each other as Jesus envisioned. We must create places where money isn't needed to eat, work, live, pray, study, or exist.
As you are no doubt aware, the world is being privatized. Capitalist corporations are pressing to turn everything into a captured commodity. A drink of water is to cost money or the thirsty are to simply die of thirst. Those corporatists think, so be it. Those without money to pay are worthless as human beings anyway. The savage capitalists imagine that the poor who aren't competitive enough to force their way into the labor market are just a drain on the rich. That kind of feeling is antichrist. Who can doubt it?
We must be missionaries with the mission of creating places out from under that evil, self-centered, heartless system. We must proselytize and convert many to this cause.
Even while we save funds for farm lands and communes, we must remember to organize to visit, encourage, and aid the sick, the lonely, the widowed, the orphaned, the homeless, the oppressed, and the imprisoned, etc., wherever we are able. We must do that by our ambassadors who will represent all of us collectively.
Organizing is key even while we remain supple. Just think of all the different skills and abilities that self-sustaining Christian communes will need. Since we want to be ecologically and environmentally sound (good stewards), think of the people needed and wanted to bring their knowledge and experience to bear in developing whole communities from the ground up. The work There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist goes into all of this.
We have to reach out, hence this website, for instance. It's the best way for a grassroots effort to get started reaching the world. We will continue to use the Internet to reach people. We'll improve our capabilities on the web for that reason. What we will avoid is doing things on the Internet for the sake of bells and whistles or to be simply entertaining or Madison Avenue. Where to draw lines on this is a question.
There is responsible Christian advertising (proselytizing is advertising) and then there is out-and-out contrivance and manipulation for selfish gain. We will endeavor to deal only with the former. There are appropriate connotations of the terms marketing and advertising and appropriate contexts where those fit in with Christianity and then there are inappropriate connotations and contexts. It is also incumbent upon us to discern the difference and not cave into temptation. Appropriate ad revenue from the website though is fine and in the furtherance of our cause, not inconsistent with it.
This is not the ends justifying evil means. It is engaging the world just as Jesus went into the center of the world (Jerusalem) and ate with publicans (tax-collectors) in public houses for a price. He went there to call them to something higher.
We won't need capitalist advertising in the communes. The word there will be free.
We trust you are able to discern the difference here between the crass world (out for private gain, private, special privilege and advantage) that only seeks to further ensnare versus the redirecting light that the Christian-commune-vision offers.
We need fellowship with likeminded, like-spirited, people. House churches can be instrumental in that. House communes can be also. People can converse there about how all of this fits in with scripture. They can plan and organize and raise funds to share with the larger effort. It would be a good idea to take communion with each other to remember Jesus as he asked. The Lord's Prayer is always good to say together. Taking a common meal is unifying.
In addition to using the Internet and setting up an official office with all the necessities thereof and having house churches, growth will occur through our education and training efforts and our fundraising. Education and training need to be a part of Church membership and ordination
All members will be ordained. The Holy Spirit of truth speaking within about all that we are working to do to serve ordains. Read The Bible. Read the work (There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist). Read this site. Do outside reading and studying and conversing. Learn to speak the language of the revelation. Take it into your heart. Soften. Repent. Atone. Be true to the Church (the people of God). Support the effort with your all (with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength). Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Follow the Golden Rule. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. — Jesus. (Matthew 7:12). Love each other as Jesus loved his closest friends, his closest disciples. That is the new commandment and the summation of all the best.
Once a person is known to the Church consistently to be practicing these things, he or she will be considered ordained consistent with the concept of the priesthood of all believers that is an accurate reading of scripture.
Remember, it isn't we who ordain you in this context. It's God. God knows your heart better than you do. If God has ordained you, all true believers will know it.
We must state though that the United States Internal Revenue Service (federal-tax agency) does not view the "priesthood of all believers" as the Church does. The IRS has its own view, which we will cover on our Ministers page. This is why we are forced to use the term "ordain" in different contexts.
Our education and training efforts will have to evolve over time. There shouldn't be that much to it beyond what has already been mentioned. Each person is free to excel in his or her studies and deeds, etc. None is held back. As for the communes, education and training will cover everything about the theology of the Church and also about living the communal life. Whatever is necessary to learn for the success and unselfish improvement of the communes will be learned and taught and offered in training. It will grow right along with the movement. The communes will be a never-ending learning experience and environment.
As for fundraising, even if people donate organic farmlands, funds will be necessary for interacting with caesar's Empire even on the periphery of the communes. Funds will be necessary to sustain things until the given commune becomes self-sufficient. There will also always be the need to create more such communally owned farms until throughout the whole of the earth selfishness has been displaced. If you are able to raise money for the Church, please do so.
If you have legal, accounting, fundraising, or computer science talents or gifts you can see how to employ on behalf of the Church, please do. If you have farming (especially organic), construction (especially manual), or other talents you can see how those talents or gifts may be beneficial to communal life, please keep us in mind for when we have land to work and the need for building repair or construction. Think about it.
We'll need experienced commune livers, those who know how to put up food (canning, etc.), cooks (especially vegan; this is not to say that non-vegans cannot be members or that non-vegan cooks won't be welcome), bakers, vintners, teachers (everyone will teach; everyone will learn), clothing makers, shoe makers, office workers, mechanics, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, masons, alternative-energy experts, water-usage and conservation experts, writers, artists, acoustical musicians, and on and on.
Eventually, we will have architects, engineers, doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, optometrists, etc.
We're going to want vines of all sorts, herbs, food producing trees, sustainable-yield forests for construction material and fuel (certainly not primary where it can be avoided), sheep for wool where appropriate, horses and oxen as draft animals, and more. If an ecological community should use it, we'll want to do that.
With this vision and knowing that the greedy way is not the right way, we'll grow in righteousness.
Start spreading the news. Don't wait for us. Be a self-starter so to speak. Be moved by the Holy Spirit within.
1 Ed O'Keefe. "Bush Accepts Iraq-Vietnam Comparison: George Stephanopoulos Interviews President Bush on Iraq, the Midterms and His Legacy." ABC News. October 18, 2006. http://www.abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=2583579&page=1. (accessed: Friday, October 20, 2006).