Do Reformed Intentional Communities Exist?

Challer

Puritan Board Freshman
I recently watched a documentary on the Bruderhof. It is unfortunate that they are not Calvinists and are, in fact, quite ecumenical, having met with the Pope on at least one occasion according to Wikipedia. It seems these intentional communities get some things right, but get an awful lot of things wrong, particularly when their ecclesiastical authorities place heavy yokes on their members where there ought to be liberty.

This got me thinking. For those who aren't familiar with intentional communities, a sufficient explanation of them can be found on Wikipedia. Do any reformed intentional communities such as these exist? I can't seem to find any, granted I haven't done an exhaustive search.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
"An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle."
In all seriousness, early American Reformed communities weren't far off from this, both the Massachusetts congregationalists in the 17th-18th centuries and the Dutch Reformed in the 19th and 20th centuries. I'm a bit of an outsider to that world, but maybe an older brother who grew up in the CRC can comment on what that was like.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I'm iffy about them. Granted, abuses do not negate use, but still. Anabaptist LARPers love the idea and some are able to practice it without it being a problem. Still, is it going to be a free enterprise intentional community or a more "let's share our goods?"
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I'm iffy about them. Granted, abuses do not negate use, but still. Anabaptist LARPers love the idea and some are able to practice it without it being a problem. Still, is it going to be a free enterprise intentional community or a more "let's share our goods?"
That's partly what I think, too. Intentional communities sound like "planned communities." People have been trying these sorts of things for a long time. Some work, most don't.

The practical problem is what to do about dissent? Even like-minded Calvinists will eventually disagree on circumstances. Should the pump-house should be repainted? How come Joe down the path isn't keeping his yard up? Etc. So great effort is focused on the scope and role of whatever is the agreed means of governing. Should these things be church matters, or should we have a mini-civil magistrate? Do we banish the children who fall away?

Pretty soon we find ourselves dealing with all the worldly problems that vex us here in unintentional communities.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That's partly what I think, too. Intentional communities sound like "planned communities." People have been trying these sorts of things for a long time. Some work, most don't.

The practical problem is what to do about dissent? Even like-minded Calvinists will eventually disagree on circumstances. Should the pump-house should be repainted? How come Joe down the path isn't keeping his yard up? Etc. So great effort is focused on the scope and role of whatever is the agreed means of governing. Should these things be church matters, or should we have a mini-civil magistrate? Do we banish the children who fall away?

Pretty soon we find ourselves dealing with all the worldly problems that vex us here in unintentional communities.

I just think such communities will get to shunning almost immediately. There won't be any accountability as you would have in biblical church government.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I just think such communities will get to shunning almost immediately. There won't be any accountability as you would have in biblical church government.
That's partly what I think, too. Intentional communities sound like "planned communities." People have been trying these sorts of things for a long time. Some work, most don't.

The practical problem is what to do about dissent? Even like-minded Calvinists will eventually disagree on circumstances. Should the pump-house should be repainted? How come Joe down the path isn't keeping his yard up? Etc. So great effort is focused on the scope and role of whatever is the agreed means of governing. Should these things be church matters, or should we have a mini-civil magistrate? Do we banish the children who fall away?

Pretty soon we find ourselves dealing with all the worldly problems that vex us here in unintentional communities.
Sounds like potential for all the worst of a HOA on steroids.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I recently watched a documentary on the Bruderhof. It is unfortunate that they are not Calvinists and are, in fact, quite ecumenical, having met with the Pope on at least one occasion according to Wikipedia. It seems these intentional communities get some things right, but get an awful lot of things wrong, particularly when their ecclesiastical authorities place heavy yokes on their members where there ought to be liberty.

This got me thinking. For those who aren't familiar with intentional communities, a sufficient explanation of them can be found on Wikipedia. Do any reformed intentional communities such as these exist? I can't seem to find any, granted I haven't done an exhaustive search.
The closest thing I know of that's going on nowadays is the phenomenon of people moving from different parts of the country in order to be part of an FC(C) congregation in the US. They aren't confined to defined residential areas, but it's similar in a way. They take up their roots from their places of origin and put them down in a new region where they can worship God according to their convictions with likeminded families. Often, the people of the church are the closest thing they have to family.

This probably happens with churches in other denominations as well, but it is quite common in the FCC. People move to the area for the church, specifically.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
This probably happens with churches in other denominations as well, but it is quite common in the FCC. People move to the area for the church, specifically.
I would hope people consider that before they move. I note that my wife and I we were happy in our church in western Washington, but not happy with the city we lived in for various reasons. We specifically picked where we are now because of the church here (which was originally planted by our former church).

So when people asked me why we moved here, I'd tell them, "because of our church." It often brought out surprise and opportunity for further discussion.
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I would hope people consider that before they move. I note that my wife and I we were happy in our church in western Washington, but not happy with the city we lived in for various reasons. We specifically picked where we are now because of the church here (which was originally planted by our former church).

So when people asked me why we moved here, I'd tell them, "because of our church." It often brought out surprise and opportunity for further discussion.
I'm sure Reformed folks of all stripes ordinarily make church a priority when choosing where to move. The difference with what I've seen in the FC(C) is that a large percentage of the families left their previous homes because of a desire to be a part of an FC(C) church.
 

Challer

Puritan Board Freshman
The closest thing I know of that's going on nowadays is the phenomenon of people moving from different parts of the country in order to be part of an FC(C) congregation in the US. They aren't confined to defined residential areas, but it's similar in a way. They take up their roots from their places of origin and put them down in a new region where they can worship God according to their convictions with likeminded families. Often, the people of the church are the closest thing they have to family.

This probably happens with churches in other denominations as well, but it is quite common in the FCC. People move to the area for the church, specifically.
This I've seen and heard of, but it's largely done by dominionists. Postmillenial folk who think they can do what only the LORD can do. Showing my colors a bit here in this reply.
 

Challer

Puritan Board Freshman
And perhaps they would respond by reminding you that God uses means.

Sure He does. In accordance with His Word. There's no indication of things getting better and better before Our Lord Jesus Christ's return in Matthew 24 or its parallels. Particularly in Revelation, its not as though the Lord says: 'Shucks, guys. Things are going so well, it's time to purge 3/4 of the planet. Then I'm going to come back and slay folks until the horse's bridle is covered in blood. By the way, that's another billion people and change.'

There are some things only God can do. Hence why Jesus Christ had to come in the flesh, etc.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Freshman
Sure He does. In accordance with His Word. There's no indication of things getting better and better before Our Lord Jesus Christ's return in Matthew 24 or its parallels. Particularly in Revelation, its not as though the Lord says: 'Shucks, guys. Things are going so well, it's time to purge 3/4 of the planet. Then I'm going to come back and slay folks until the horse's bridle is covered in blood. By the way, that's another billion people and change.'

There are some things only God can do. Hence why Jesus Christ had to come in the flesh, etc.
Matthew 24 is not primarily about the state of the church in the age of the world preceding the return of our Lord. It's focused primarily in Jerusalem circa 70 A.D. and on the actual παρουσία. If you want to read about the millennial glory of the church turn to Is. 2, the end of Ps. 22, Ps. 66:4, the last chapters of Zechariah, Romans 11, and Revelation 20.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
This I've seen and heard of, but it's largely done by dominionists. Postmillenial folk who think they can do what only the LORD can do. Showing my colors a bit here in this reply.
Showing your colours indeed.

Was that really necessary, or charitable?

What do you want here? You are asking about "intentional communities" and when told of Christians moving to place to be part of a solid Reformed church, you spin around and criticize them.
 

Challer

Puritan Board Freshman
Showing your colours indeed.

Was that really necessary, or charitable?

What do you want here? You are asking about "intentional communities" and when told of Christians moving to place to be part of a solid Reformed church, you spin around and criticize them.

Is reproof necessary? I would say so. Our Lord would say so, also. As for charity, speaking the truth in love is always charitable (insofar as it is 'relating to the assistance of those in need'; albeit not necessarily 'judging leniently or favorably'), brother. God bless.
 
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Challer

Puritan Board Freshman
Matthew 24 is not primarily about the state of the church in the age of the world preceding the return of our Lord. It's focused primarily in Jerusalem circa 70 A.D. and on the actual παρουσία. If you want to read about the millennial glory of the church turn to Is. 2, the end of Ps. 22, Ps. 66:4, the last chapters of Zechariah, Romans 11, and Revelation 20.

Granted. Neither is Revelation 4-19 primarily about the state of the church in the age of the world preceding the return of our Lord. But it's plain to see these events have not occurred, and that in particular the return of our Lord is required prior to a spiritual or literal millennium in Revelation 20.

Prior to any literal or spiritual millennium, Revelation 1-19 would need to happen. All the way up to the beginning of Revelation 20. Then Satan would need to be bound for the thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:2). There would need to be a first resurrection of all the martyrs (Rev. 20:4), and the rest of the dead would not be resurrected until the thousand years were finished (Rev. 20:5). Satan will be loosed out of prison after the thousand years (Rev. 20:7), and will try to deceive folks and rally them for one last battle, which ends very quickly by fire from God in Heaven (Rev. 20:9), after which the devil (where the Beast and False Prophet already are) is then thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10). Immediately after that in Rev. 20:11, the Great White Throne judgment occurs.

Anyway, this was meant to be a simple thread and not one eschatological (which is admittedly more complex) in nature.

Thanks for stopping by and God bless.
 
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