WHY WE SHOULD LIVE IN COMMUNITIES
A Christian couple, Dave and Neta Jackson, wrote a book called Living Together in a World Falling Apart about their experience of living with another couple. They had decided to live in a community because they "were concerned about the emphasis on material things and the lack of community spirit so prevalent in our society." They tried to be as everyone else was -- "independent and self-sufficient. Materially, we did our best not to need anyone else. We'd been struggling through many of our problems alone, afraid to admit our weaknesses or to ask for help. We had to keep up an image of strength and self-sufficiency. We didn't involve our friends in our real concerns, and they didn't involve us."
When they had their first child, Neta stayed home, and it was hard financially. Neta "discovered that big doses of loneliness and isolation came along with the joys of motherhood. She missed the stimulation of the people at her office, the new ideas, the events, and the creative challenge of writing. When I'd come home at night she'd milk me for the details of the day so that she could have at least some vicarious involvement with the outside world. I got tired of doing instant replays."
"One other thing was getting to us -- the fear of irrelevance. As evangelicals ... we wanted to live out our faith." They wanted to live the example of the "city on the hill." They found another couple to share a big farmhouse. "The most immediate joy for Neta, and Jan, too, was the companionship during the day.... it was like another planet. They shared the household chores and cooking, took turns babysitting so the other could have free time, helped each other keep perspective on the minor tragedies of a baby's first year, spent time each day just talking and sharing as two adults."
"It had an immediate effect on our marriage relationship. Instead of coming home to a frustrated, tearful wife, I usually found Neta relaxed and happy. Instead of having to pick up the pieces of her day, we could create and share an evening together."
"Not long after we moved together, Gary and I were standing on the back porch steps, making plans for a vegetable garden the next spring, when suddenly Gary said, 'You know, Dave, there's a real security in joining our lives together. I mean, if that old furnace in the basement blows up, it's not just my problem, it's our problem. That just takes a big load off my mind.'"
"He was right. I felt it too: the freedom of knowing that we were in this together .... We began to learn what it takes to open ourselves, to get beyond the shell where we live so much of our lives."
An interesting thing was that people felt more comfortable in coming over to this little commune: "There was something about two young families living together that made it easier, for our end, to open our home more frequently to other people; and other people found it easier to drop in on us. When Neta and I lived by ourselves, we had frequently invited students from a nearby college to come over. But they rarely came. After our move together with Jan and Gary, kids began dropping in evenings or weekends and bringing their friends. One student said, 'Before, I always thought I might be intruding on your privacy if I just dropped in. But since you're open enough to live with another couple -- well, if you're busy, I can find someone else to talk to. I don't feel awkward.'"
COMPLETED TESTAMENT AGE
Mike Craig writes, "Perhaps what inspires me most about this idea, however, is the potential to develop a daily environment for our children to experience the intensity of joyful give and take as comes only through a physically based God-centered community (remember that first weekend workshop, gathering with brothers and sisters to sing songs and share testimonies?). Although we have wandered many years in the wasteland of this 'misdirected' world, do we wish the same for our children? I believe Father has tried to teach us we can enter the direct dominion of God's love only as a community. To commune from afar, or merely 'in the spirit' appears to me insufficient. Such thinking is not the Completed Testament."
Father does tell us to live in a community. He says, "My goal is to establish the ideal model community and, based upon that community, the ideal model for the country." Large communities based on small loving communities will solve world hunger and people will come to see it and join. These communities, he says, will "transcend race, culture, nation and religion ... this is how I will begin saving the starving people of the world. Once we have this kind of ideal community established, people from all over the world will come to see it." Father says, "We will build condominiums .... it will be like a common lodging, with 300-500 houses together." Another time he said, "Blessed couples should live in condominiums together with people of four different nationalities, forming a four-position foundation." Let's build them in every state. This is how we can win our relatives in Tribal Messiah. They will see the power and love we have. Father says, "This model community can have a powerful influence all over the world, particularly as the secular world is declining fast. Only I am creating this formula. It will appear like a lighthouse in the darkness. The world now is in darkness and I am building this model community as a lighthouse in the midst of the darkness." Father wants a huge community, maybe in South America, on many acres of land and 160 nationalities living in harmony to be like a showcase and tourist attraction, but let's build smaller ones in every state.
Robert Schuller gives good advice in his book Power Ideas for a Happy Family by saying that one should study those who are successful: "Follow winners -- don't follow losers. Listen to those who have succeeded and are succeeding. Don't listen to failures. Let a winner lead the way! Listen to the award winners and let the champions inspire you. Listen to people like Dr. Norman and Mrs. Ruth Peale, or Dr. Billy and Mrs. Ruth Graham. You will find that, with rare exception, the winning families are families that read the Bible, pray, and practice vital religion. Successful homes are imbued with the Spirit of God." I would go further and say that knowing and living the values taught by the Andelins will bring even more happiness than solely relying on spirit. Tim LaHaye mentions in one of his books that a study was done that proved that families that pray together, stay together. The study showed there was only one in over a thousand marriages had a divorce out of a group of couples studied that consistently prayed.
Let's look at some of the good advice Schuller gives: "Join me in the greatest of all social adventures and challenges -- making your family a fun-filled place of happy excitement!"
"What is a family? It is the smallest unit of society. Planet earth is made up of continents, made up of nations, made up of states, made up of communities, and made up of families."
"The family is a little town, a tiny state, a mini-nation. In government, more often than not, the family is more of an autocracy than a democracy."
The husband is a King.
The wife is a Queen.
Every son is a Prince.
Every daughter is a Princess.
"At best, this form is a benevolent autocracy. The king holds court from time to time to confer what is best for all his subjects. His great heart beats with love for all his loyal and loving countrymen .... Here is a government where every citizen has a hot line to the head of state."
To me, the solution to all the problems that beset everyone is living in trinities. Whenever the UC settles down it should make it's primary goal that families marry other families. Nora Spurgin wrote once of her experience in having her family live with the Jones family for a while. Everyone must adjust and learn not to be so critical. She said it was like a marriage. And it is. Personally, I think four is better than three. Just imagine how it would be if three or four families would commit to a certain geographic place and live together for the rest of their lives intimately under the same roof. They ate all meals together. If one man died, the other men would be father figures to the man's children who already accept them. What if a mother died? There would be other women to be their mother figures immediately.
Have you ever seen a one person business that wasn't there one day. I have. Sometimes there will usually be a little note on the door saying they couldn't make it that day. Sometimes they give a reason like they have to go to a funeral or they are ill. Will you ever see a note like that on the door of your local hospital? Your local MacDonalds? Of course not. There is strength in numbers. Nuclear families are sitting targets for Satan. Living in a trinity doesn't solve all the problems, but it would eliminate most of them -- especially when trinities live next to other trinities in large communities. Children need to have other adults living with them. Parents can't always be there. Hospitals have to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. In a trinity that would happen even if the men were at war and several of the women were sick in bed. There would probably be at least one person to carry on. To be successful requires planning. We must plan on having our family being taken care of. Father blessed three couples first. Unfortunately, they did not live in Father's house in America because they had missions around the world. Father had so few people and they were needed elsewhere. So the True Children did not have father figures and mother figures to have breakfast with.
Everyone bashes their parents for not being there for them and giving them what they needed. But no parent can give everything. Parents can't even guarantee they will be alive or well. We should not blame our parents. They would just blame their parents. If we go all the way back Adam would blame Eve for seducing him and she would blame Satan. In the end, it's an angel that is leading the evil forces. Satan's greatest tactic is to get people weak and go for the kill. Father has come with the key to make us strong and win the war by living in trinities and communities. When the UC lives this way, millions will join and then billions.
Father says individualism is good if it is sacrificial: "Selfish individualism is doomed. Sacrificial individualism will blossom. Individuality in itself is good. God gave each of us a unique way to serve. But individualism without God can only build castles on the sands of decay." There is a term called "rugged individualism" that is the belief that we can do it alone. There is some truth to it in that we should be strong and take care of ourselves. But it is mostly arrogant to think we can do it alone. Somebody will have to take care of us sometimes in our life. Fallen man is foolish to count on insurance or government social security to take care of them in nursing homes. The cost is outrageous. One year in a nursing home is tens of thousands of dollars. If someone needed care from the time they are 70 to 100 -- a total of 30 years that would be an enormous amount of money and too much for an impersonal insurance company to handle. We need to have families be nursing homes. The current madness of government taking over family responsibility is "selfish individualism" as well as the notion that children are to leave the home and not live as an extended family must give way to Father's vision of community.
Nora Spurgin On Trinities
We should do what Father teaches and he teaches that we are to live in communities. Father says we are to live in "family settlements. We will have our own enterprises and businesses. In the future (he said this in the 70s. Isn't it time we did this?) we will have many, many places where families can be productive, raise their children, and build schools to educate their children. (Not improve public schools). We'll get bigger."
"I have a plan to establish ideal cities and villages in many places. We will have productive, working communities where our members will support themselves economically. The atmosphere will be different from the outside world. Money will not be the central purpose, but while establishing productive businesses, our members will fulfill their responsibility to God and service to others."
Nora Spurgin wrote in Lifestyles: "Rev. Moon often talks about creating more trinities among the couples; a trinity is three couples or families that are responsible for helping one another. It's like an extended family and they would be financially concerned for each other." The Church endlessly talks of love and being sacrificial. When three brothers live together and help each other with their income tax returns and will care for the wife of a brother who dies or gets sick, then we will see how heartistic this church really is. Doing PR and seeing ministers or spending a few hours at a food bank as a volunteer is minor to the stretch of heart they are going to have to make when they begin to really try to live God's way of life by living in trinities committed for life.
Nora says, "For me this would be a beautiful system, although I know from the reality of living with other couples over the past few years, that there is much to work out. It's just like a marriage (where you have to work out all the little personal problems and idiosyncrasies) -- the same is true when you live with other couples. You have to come to love one another, almost like you come to love your marriage partner. You have to come to accept the other people and be willing to think of them and their needs and concerns as well as your own and your own family's. When you live with another family with children and you see their children doing things you don't particularly like -- and your children doing things that they don't like -- it requires some stretching to reach a point of workability. We see this as part of our road to maturity or perfection."
Children would pray in community schools
Father criticizes the secular trend in America: "There are many signs of atheism in this once God-centered nation. There have been many laws enacted that only a godless society could accept. There was a time when prayer was America's daily diet. Today you hear prayers in America's schools no longer." He says the UC is a movement to restore God's values that is "here to rekindle America's spirit. America has a great tradition. All you have to do is revive it. We need a new movement of Pilgrims with a new vision." We would have praying in our schools. The common house could be used as a school and later as the community grew larger a bigger building could be built with labs, gymnasiums, etc.
The UC, Father says, "is here to proclaim God's love and His way of life. We do not want to become just an organization. We do not want to become an institution. We want to be a movement that will live God's way -- not with our lips, but with our hearts and in our deeds." Living in cohousing communities is that deed. The common house would be the church and church is everyday.
We should be superior to Walt Disney
The Walt Disney Co. is involved in building a planned community of 20,000 people in Celebration, Florida. They say it's a blueprint for the future, but the real future is trinities living under the same roof eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together.
Father says build businesses in our communites
One idea to combine finances with housing is to build some cohousing communities in a resort situation. That way people could come and experience nature and see in person how people should live in a community. Father said that he wants to build resorts: "I want to build roads, camps and luxury villas. Visitors can go down to the water, fish and really relax. People will appreciate the opportunity and will come." I look forward to day when we have newspapers everywhere. Father tells us to: "Not only can you create an independent newspaper in the fifty states, but you can establish a newspaper in each large city. We will influence things in a positive direction. Someone has to put a stop to the decadence of liberalism, homosexuality and drug abuse." Let's put some businesses in our housing communities so children can see more of their father by visiting him at work sometimes and he doesn't have to commute so far or relocate.
Father often says, "We have to make a revolution." Living in communities is that final revolutionary step to victory.