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5 Beliefs That Set the Bruderhof Apart From Other Christians

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 06:56 PM

The Bruderhof are one of a handful of Christian sects who trace their roots to Anabaptist teachings. People who identify with the Bruderhof embrace a communal lifestyle and model their lives upon the biblical command to love their God and their neighbors.

Although rooted in Anabaptist teachings, the first Bruderhof community actually formed in 1920 in Sannerz, Germany, by Protestant theologian Eberhard Arnold. In 1930, Arnold was ordained a Hutterite minister. Pacifist beliefs of the community forced them to leave Nazi Germany in 1937 and eventually emigrate to Paraguay during World War II.

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In modern times, Bruderhof communities can be found in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Paraguay, and Australia.

There are five beliefs that set the Bruderhof apart from most other Christian sects.

1. Community of Goods

Bruderhof communities follow the example of the earliest Christians in the Book of Acts by living in a single community and sharing all things in common. The official Bruderhof website says members of this sect "feel called to a way of life in which all are of one heart and soul, no one possesses anything, and everything is shared in common."

Bruderhof community members do not own private property, draw a salary or have a bank account. Income from all businesses is pooled and used to care for all members.

2. Pacifism

Much like other Anabaptist influenced sects, Bruderhof strictly believe in nonviolence. They do not serve in the armed forces of any country where they live. Bruderhof believe that military service and involvement in warfare opposes the biblical command to love your neighbor.

3. Children Are Not Automatically Members

Children who grow up in Bruderhof communities do not automatically become members. They are encouraged to leave the community to gain life experience before joining the community.

Bruderhof children, according to the Bruderhof website, "are encouraged to gain experience elsewhere and to seek God's will for their own lives."

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Anyone who joins a Bruderhof community must be at least 21 years old before they can join.

4. Plain Clothing

Bruderhof community members dress in simple clothing much like other Anabaptist sects. Their clothing choices are seen by them as an outward symbol of purity of heart.

It is also an outgrowth of their efforts to dress modestly and reject clothing choices that reflect vanity and worldliness.

5. Community Work

Each Bruderhof member is expected to work in a vocation that helps maintain the community.

Bruderhof members fill jobs ranging from doctor to teacher within the community, and community businesses are used to help support children, disabled members, and elderly members who cannot actively work.

Bruderhof communities see working together as an expression of their commitment to Jesus Christ and serving one another.

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Although rooted in Anabaptist teachings, the first Bruderhof community actually formed in 1920 in Sannerz, Germany, by Protestant theologian Eberhard Arnold. In 1930, Arnold was ordained a Hutterite minister. Pacifist beliefs of the community forced them to leave Nazi Germany in 1937.
bruderhof, christians, beliefs, set, apart
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2015-56-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 06:56 PM
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