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5 Beliefs That Set the Jesus People USA Apart From Other Christians

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 06:33 PM

One of the few remaining communes arising out of the Jesus People movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Jesus People USA is headquartered in Chicago and affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church.

About 400 people live and work with Jesus People USA. They feed about 300 people per day from their shelter, which costs more than $500,000 annually to operate, according to Covenant Companion — the official Evangelical Covenant Church magazine.

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Jesus People USA has drawn major criticism for its beliefs and practices. Many other Christian denominations consider it to be a dangerous cult. Former members have condemned the group for authoritarian practices and abusive behavior, according to the Chicago Tribune.

What beliefs set Jesus People USA apart that have caused it to be a continuing source of controversy?

1. Communal Living

Members of Jesus People USA all live in the same 10-story converted hotel in Chicago. They pool resources together and share all things in common. Upon joining Jesus People USA, new members donate their personal property and money to the community to be shared in common.

2. Gifts of the Spirit

Jesus People USA differ from some of the more traditional mainline Protestant faiths in their view of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They believe that members can exercise all the gifts of the spirit available to ancient Christians. The official Jesus People USA statement of faith says that "all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit upon their regeneration, and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid for today's church."

3. Project 12

People interested in joining with Jesus People USA are encouraged to enroll in a 10-month discipleship training program called Project 12.

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The program features extensive biblical studies, prayer, meditation, community service, and a two-week mission trip.

4. Asceticism

Simple living is a requirement for working and living with Jesus People USA. They live an ascetic lifestyle to better identify with the poor and homeless people they serve.

Each member is employed in practical work either through Jesus People USA's tent-making businesses or through various outreach shelters in inner-city Chicago for homeless families and homeless individuals.

5. Dating, Marriage, and Childbirth

Creating individual families while belonging to Jesus People USA is tightly managed according to another Chicago Tribune article. New members are not allowed to date for one year after joining.

Members are encouraged to get leadership approval before marrying and couples are encouraged to get permission before having children.

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One of the few remaining communes arising out of the Jesus People movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Jesus People USA is headquartered in Chicago. Many other Christian denominations consider it to be a dangerous cult. What beliefs set Jesus People USA apart that have caused it to be a controversy?
jesus people, christians, beliefs, apart
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2015-33-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 06:33 PM
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