Sunday, June 15, 2014

What If Your Church Was So Well Off No One Had Needs? - Part 7



Community, Social Justice, Giving and Evangelism

Last time in part 6, I talked about how "I Remember A Church That Established a Loan Account". This time I going to talk about Christian community that spawned a whole town.

The Obine Community

I’m a big fan of Charles G Finney.

He was a revivalist in the late 1800’s. He wrote a large amount and had a large amount written about him.

In one of his lectures he talked about what he saw as the biblical approach to business. Alas the reference I had is lost but it doesn't really matter for this purpose here.

Still I enjoy researching all that this man has to say and on one occasion I came across a reference to the oberlin community. This is not to be unexpected because Charles G Finney was president of the oberlin theological college for a time.

I don’t know if Charles G Finney had anything to do with the establishment of this community but it does sound to be the sort of thing that he would have heartily approved. For rather than a community based on poverty in order to give more. This is a community that is been based on the making of profit in order to be able to give more.

The points which caught my attention were and I quote:
  • Second. We will hold and manage our estates personally, but pledge as perfect a community of interest as though we held a community of property.

  • Third. We will hold in possession no more property than we believe we can profitably manage for God as his faithful stewards.

  • Fourth. We will, by industry, economy, and Christian self-denial, obtain as much as we can, above our necessary personal or family expenses, and faithfully appropriate the same for the spread of the Gospel.
Reading their website it seems as though they have been around a long time. I contrast to the other communities that I mentioned above.

Certainly the college still exists as does the township (city?) but whether they still subscribe to any of the original covenant is a different matter. I also don't know if they managed to have a church or community that was so well off that everybody in it had no needs. But the fact that they managed to establish something that has lasted this long even if it is not in its essentially original form is a testimony to the concept. And they didn't live in communal houses.

Next time, in part 8 I'll talk about the Bible and Giving

Richard

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