Why Was It Only the Hutterites Who Went That Far?

It is because of Strict Biblicism. [1] Unlike the Protestant Churches the Anabaptist practiced the Scriptures strictly. And out of the Anabaptists the Hutterites were the most strict when it came to following the teachings of Christ. Most notably, the teaching concerning the owning of private property.

Through the parable of the rich young man [Matthew 19:16~22] it is told that it would be almost impossible to enter the Kingdom of God while being rich. However there aren’t many churches that preach this teaching without distortion or change. Much less teach people to follow it. Preachers often avoid this topic and listeners also dislike the subject. In fact, most would want to avoid anything that is rejected by the ego. This has lead to people ignoring and acting as if that parable did not exist. It’s as if it is a rule for the game for the mainstream churches.

The Hutterites had held fast to the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, especially the ones in the Gospels. They did not turn back to their ego when things got hard. They had held fast to the end.

For the same reason they did not try to escape nor run away from Jesus’s teachings of wealth. As a result they had succeeded in the creating a communistic lifestyle that only the Early Christians had succeeded in.

If the rich of Jesus’s time and the rich of the current age had grieved and turned back onto the path towards the Kingdom of God,it would be like a camel trying to go through the “eye of a needle”. Even Jesus had said that it would be “easier for camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God”. [Matthew 19:24] A camel can still let go of it’s luggage and enter through the eye of a needle. This isn’t a problem for them, since they are not obsessed with their load.

However unlike the camel, it will be almost impossible for the rich to lay down their wealth. Much like young man in the parable,their life has always been for protecting and earning more riches for themselves.

The rich have already adjusted and succeeded in the world ruled by money. Unlike the camel the rich do not believe that their asset is a baggage for the spirit, but a necessity and a lifeline for their physical life. Because of that they are caught up in their desire to enter Heaven with their riches and wealth.

They will have a hard time giving up their authority, sense of security and social status that their riches give them. Because of that they would even claim that they are able to go through the eye of a needle with their assets. Furthermore, they like to keep preachers that teach their false Gospel and easily fall into false teachings that go against Jesus’s teachings. They would even persecute and slander those who follow and practice the true teachings.

In comparison the poor will have an easier time entering the Kingdom of God, since they will be able to throw away their small amount of belongings. They will be able to gladly enter a community where they serve one another to their needs. For the poor the Kingdom of God is good trade and offer for the. [Matthew 13:44~48]

Nevertheless, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. However as stated before, the rich have a baggage that the poor do not. The heavier the luggage, the stronger one’s obsession becomes. For the poor it may be an obvious and easy decision to trade off their wealth. For the rich however, they will need more enlightenment and thinking to see it as a profitable trade. This was why the rich young man was troubled.


[1] Hutterite Studies p84, Strict Biblicism: The Hutterites, however, in their strict Biblicism, became extremely sensitive and alert to the pitfalls of “mammon” in all its form.

“As the beetle lives in the dung. And the worm in the wood, so avarice (or greed) has its dwelling place in private property.” (1599) Whosoever refuses communal living, they taught, shows obvious sympathy for avarice (or greed).

And then they quote the example of the rich young man in the parable who could not enter the Kingdom of God because he was not willing to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. [마태 19:16~22] [Matthew 19:16~22]

Original Text: http://jungwonyang.com/post/Msg1002

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