And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. —ACTS 2:44–45
This verse of scripture is the very model the Hutterite religion is centered around. The Hutterites are a communal branch of the Anabaptist religion who have lived the ideology of communism for approximately five hundred years and are the “largest family-type communal group in the Western world” (Hostetler and Huntington p.1). Along with Acts 2:44-45, the Hutterites practice true pacifism and believe (as noted in their sermons) that the people of God under Moses “had to obey hundreds of laws, but Christ narrowed them down to two: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God' and 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'” (Hutterite Society,p. 168). Although the Hutterites are not a utopian society, the rules they live by are directly on the path to one. I have examined their practices and beliefs from both our text and the documentary “Born Hutterite” to determine between the two why they have not acheived a true utopian society. Communism is defined as a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership belonging to the community as a whole. The Hutterites live this ideology to the fullest. According to Hostetler, this is believed to be the “divine order of God” and it was meant to be this way from the very beginning of creation. To have private property is considered to go against this “divine order.” There are many advantages to living communally as illustrated in both our text and “Born Hutterite.” There is a structured order to every single task and each member is assigned a task so no one person is neglected. From meal preparation and clean up, laundry duties, child rearing and disciplining, farming duties, to teaching, each member is assigned a specific duty to ensure the success of the community as a whole. In return, every member receives...
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