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This page is dedicated entirely to a quality online debate between David Haggith and myself. My comments are in black and reflect the views of truechristianity.com
David's comments are in brownish red and often do not reflect my views. However we also agree in many areas.

Richard, You asked for feedback, so let me give you some straightforward feedback:

We need to form a group that would mix with unbelievers, to minister to and help them, but not to yoke with unbelievers by working with or living with the same unbelievers for a significant period of time.

Doesn't sound like much of a mix. "We'll talk to them, but we won't associate closely with them over any extended period of time. We won't do business with them." I don't call that being in the world but not of it. I call it being out of this world--being segregationalist. It has a strong hint of a superior attitude. Frankly, people don't want to mix with Christians who act superior by saying, "I can't be around you TOO much, or you might rub off on me."

I am not saying we can't do business with them. I am saying we should not be yoked with the same unbelievers for a long period of time.

People are probably not true Christians if they act superior. The Bible says to be humble and caring. We have to obey the Bible. If Christians yoked with bad company it has to influence them and encourage them to copy those around them, therefore it can lead the Christians astray.

The Apostles changed from working for the corrupt world system to following and working for the Lord's system.

Yes, but they were largely SUPPORTED by people like Lydia (the seller of purple) who kept working for the mainstream workforce, and they NEVER counselled any of their followers to remove themselves from the working under the world's economy. By very definition, the apostles were a few who were "called apart" from that economy, but they did not even try to make apostles out of others. They made disciples, but many if not most of those disciples staid at their jobs as fishermen, etc.

The world's system today could be the most evil it has been so far since creation. It is similar to the times of Noah. Jesus said not to be of the world and do evil. Please see more information and the supporting verses at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm We are not to follow the mainstream that practices evil.

I doubt that the world is worse today than it was under Rome. Nero liked to dip Christians in oil, tie them to stakes and then light them on fire to illuminate his capital at night. The Roman pantheon made New Age beliefs in spirits seem tame. In Rome, the emperor was proclaimed to be the God of this world. The Emperor Calligula had sex with his sister. As bad as Clinton was, he never went that far, and we never worshipped him as God. In spite of all of that and much more, the Apostles NEVER counselled their followers to remove themselves from world's economy--to stop working for unbelievers, etc.

There were difficult times then but in these latter days there has been such a proliferation in immorality, poverty, materialism and control by multinationals. The evil group of people trying to secretly control the world has gained much more power in recent times. They are in a much better position now to take over the world and reveal the Antichrist then they ever were. Please see the links to my site at http://trueconspiracies.com that explains this.

The Bible says it will be similar to Noah's and Lot's time, which were the most evil times in those ages. Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

The Bible says there will be difficult and wicked times in the last days before Jesus returns. "2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, 2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; "

The majority will be lost and the mainstream is wrong and evil. In Noah's time only 8 were saved. The Bible does not say to follow the mainstream. It says to come out and be separate. It says to follow God. Please see more information and the supporting verses at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm

The Bible says:
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

I am not saying we should isolate ourselves from the world. We should mix with unbelievers in the world to minister to them and help them. But we should not be living or working with the same unbelievers for a long time if they refuse to listen or believe because they influence us to think or do evil. We should move on like the Apostles to other unbelievers who may be willing to listen. Please see more information on this in another debate at http://www.truechristianity.com/debates/salvation.htm  

At one stage Paul was a tent maker but it was only part time and did not control his life.

And none of our careers should control our lives; but that leaves many options. There will be times where the career dominates. I'm sure Paul had orders to fill by a certain date and during those times he found he had to curb his teaching, but he probably did his best to keep his schedule flexible.

As I said it would probably be ok to market tents as you just said in a non-corrupt environment because tents are a useful item. That is if you are already in that profession and if you are happy with doing it and if it is not controlling or destroying your life. I know a group of Christians who even believe it is wrong to do this but I don't agree with them here because I can't see a problem if you are one of the few Christian people happy with a paid occupation. That is if that occupation is doing what God wants.

On the other hand I think it is wrong to seek and search for a paid occupation of any sort in such a corrupt system. It is a bit like gambling where you could spend a lot of money and months or years searching without getting the paid occupation you want. Also when you do get the job you thought you wanted it might not be what you expected. Hidden problems such as workplace bullying could occur.

It is similar for someone seeking to go into business. They expect to make a profit but mostly they find out that they make a loss and that it is more work than they expected and it therefore takes over their lives.

That is why I believe for someone not in a paid occupation it is best to volunteer to work hard for the Lord, which could include providing a useful service for the community. That way their work will start counting for something immediately and they will be able to control the system they are working in. Also there will be little or no competition in this system and the work would be more efficient. They won't have to seek to be part of the mainstream system, which is a gamble because it is most likely they won't be happy with any occupation they do in that system.

However if a Christian friend offered you a paid occupation in an industry doing God's will in a Godly workforce it would be fine to take up that job. 

Actually the Bible says quite the opposite. It says to be IN the mainstream. That's what it means to be IN the world -- to be IN the mainstream. But it also says not be OF the mainstream, which means not to be like it. Instead, we are to be IN it -- to be part of it -- but not to act like it does when it does evil. We are to be an internal influence for good.

Yes we are in the world but not meant to be of it. But you say we should work for the corrupt systems and ungodly professions that are doing what unbelievers do. This would be of the world. I am saying we should be in the world and mix with unbelievers but we should not do many of the things that unbelievers do. There are better and more efficient ways we could work doing what we are interested in as explained at truechristianity.com

It sounds like you're looking for the security of a sure bet and meaningful work. I can understand and appreciate that concern, but even if you worked only within a "Christian" economy, there would be efforts that didn't work from time to time--take for example my entirely Christian website that just went down for the count or the book I wrote on biblical prophecy that never broke even for the publisher. Life is full of gambles. "Time and chance happen to all." So, you may well take up a job in a Christian industry only to find your Christian employer is unable to meet his payroll after you've worked sacrificially for two years and has to lay you off. I've had that happen, too--when working for a Christian Bible school.

So then we have apostles who, in the very least, continued to work as fishermen throughout the time that Jesus was on earth and an apostle who made secular tents.

I have stated that many jobs are good such as tent makers and fisherman and Christians could continue in them because they are useful. This is provided Christians are not yoked with unbelievers.

Nonsense. The only time Paul talks about not being unequally yoked is in the context of marriage where the two are seen as a team.

Where does the Bible say it is only about marriage?

In the summary I did state, "The Apostles changed from working for the corrupt world system to following and working for the Lord's system. This would allow Christians more freedom and time to both witness to people and do things a better way than the corrupt system permits."

Did Paul make Christian tents? I think he made tents for anyone who wanted one. He may have even subcontracted with other tent makers when he arrived in a town and helped them fill their backlog of orders. We have no way of knowing.

True, I can't see a problem with making tents for an unbeliever if they wanted one. Tents are a useful and practical item unlike many other things so-called Christians today do.  

You can't generalize it to all other situations. Lydia continued to sell purple in the secular marketplace, and it's obvious that a number of people who supported the work of the apostle had large privately owned homes, so not all of the believers lived communally. Even the book of Acts speaks of such meeting places that were private homes.

Large private homes are ok if they are necessary for God's will. The problem is so called Christians also have luxury items and unnecessary things that border on idols.

Most jobs today are inefficient and unnecessary and promote evil things.

You do sound a little Borgian--sort of efficiency obsessed. (If I can say that and not be too impolite.) Have you looked around at God's natural world to see how inefficient it is everywhere? I was commenting to my wife the other day on how it seems that 10,000 maple seeds have to take to the wind just for one new maple to grow. We were walking under a maple tree where the ground was carpeted in seeds, as it had been every year, and yet there was not a single young maple growing underneath it. Many of the rest feed the squirrels, and a lot just rot. God does not seem too concerned about efficiency. His world is inefficiently spectacular. Why? Because with God's largesse, he can afford to throw around plenty of extra, and we can afford to throw around a little extra, too.

Seeds are not wasted if the squirrels eat them. If they rot they put nutrients into the soil. If you can afford to throw around money and waste it you are lucky because many people cannot do so and they need that money. So many people do not have the funds to be able to do their Christian ministry.

Did you read the full report that is linked to http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationb.htm? This clarifies things. http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationb.htm is just a summary so people can see an overview. Then they are expected to go on and read the proof. Did you see the extensive verses there written out about yoking with the world and unbelievers? It also answers your other questions. What do you think of it at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm

The Bible condemned mainstream professions working for the corrupt system (Mat 9: 9-13, Luke 20:46).

Matthew was "called apart," made an apostle. There are ONLY TWELVE apostles, people who had a rare calling from Christ. In all, Christ had more than seventy disciples. These people were NOT called apart from the mainstream. We have no indication that they discontinued their worldly jobs. Even some of the apostles kept their job, and, in fact, we don't KNOW that Matthew ever discontinued his job as a tax collector. We assume he did because it wasn't the kind of profession that would incline people kindly toward his word; but he may have continued as an honest tax collector because Jesus lived on the support of his disciples (as was the common educational system in those days).

The second verse has nothing to do with ones INVOLVEMENT in the marketplace, meaning in the secular economy. Jesus was talking about the actual PLACE--the gather place where the Pharisees loved to go because there were so many people who could see who pious they were and how noble they looked. This was not an economics statement at all. It was a statement against being vain and pretentious.

Where is the indication that the Apostles kept their worldly jobs?

Where is the indication that they didn't? Peter, James and John continued to fish so far as we can tell. But even if they didn't, they were unique. They were apostles, and there are only twelve apostles. The rest were called disciples, and there were, at least, seventy of them. "Apostles" means they were called apart from the world to a special task, but Jesus did not call most of his followers "apostles," only a hand-picked few. Why? Because someone still has to milk the cows or the cows will get sick, and there will be no cream for our wedding feasts. Someone still has to shovel the manure, too.

There are plenty of people of the world who want to do these things. Therefore why should Christians focus on them and take jobs off people who want them. There are not enough people doing Christian ministry. Bear in mind the things you mentioned above are useful and it would be ok for Christians to continue doing them. But many jobs so called Christians do are not useful. They are inefficient and promote ungodly things.

Be EXTREMELY wary of basing any new movement on a few obscure passages that require a fair degree of assumption like the two mentioned above. Such movements usually turn into train wrecks or cults.           

Christianity is not just about sharing, distributing information, caring and praying for people. A Christian group, church or community may need many useful professions. However they would not be doing it the way of the corrupt system, in which people obey to avoid ridicule and job losses. Instead they would use the best-known methods and volunteer, share and not worry about money.

Here, we agree, but I would add one caveat. Christian groups that have practised communal living of the type described here and in Acts have not traditionally done that well. Communal lifestyle works only on a small basis where people are very close. As a group grows larger, communism becomes a form of government that is impossible. It starts requiring a lot of forced constraint--as happened quickly in Acts when a husband and wife had to be killed for not participating honestly in the system. I think it's better for people to apply their OWN generosity under God's personal guidance and give as God guides and they are willing to be guided.

I did not say Christians have to move house if they are happy where they live and are not yoked with unbelievers.

I wasn't referring to moving house either. I'm showing that a communal system was tried in Acts and began to break down right away because of dishonestly even among Christians.

People working for the main corrupt system could change to a similar occupation. For example, a teacher could leave the mainstream system to work for a Christian school.

That is exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught. He said to be in the world. If all the Christian teachers make a mass exodus out of the public schools, how will there be any light in the public schools? I think ideas like this are some of the worst ideas in the world. We try to separate ourselves from the corrupt world and become little communities unto ourselves--which is exactly what many Christian schools are. We need to be IN the marketplace and IN the schools living uncorrupt lives.

A Christian who works at a mainstream non-Christian school would have to teach people who are not interested in Christianity.

But that would be a good thing, Richard, because through the teacher's personal love and helpfulness toward his students, he or she may build relationships that cause students to become interested in Christianity. Remove all the Christian teachers, and you remove the light. Hardly a goal that meshes with the teaching of Christ who said not to hide your light under a bushel and to be very much in the world so that the world can see your light in action.

The problem is there is not enough Christians trying to strengthen teach and encourage the people who are interested in Christianity. There time would be better of spent with those who are interested.   If a teacher changed to working for a Christian school people would be more interested in Christianity.

That's because most of them would already be Christians and he'd be teaching the choir children.

A lot of people think they are Christians but they are not. It may be that there are no true Christians in many so-called Christian schools. Please read the chapter of the full report at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm about Will Many Be Saved or is Salvation for a Very Small Percentage?            The teacher could strengthen the Christians at the Christian school.

What good is it to strengthen them, if your goal is for Christians to step out of the world's marketplace in terms of their work? What will they need strengthening for if they're going to associate less with the world?

They should still associate with the world by mixing with unbelievers for the purpose of leading them to Christ. Therefore the temptations of the world are there. But they should not yoke with the same unbelievers or be part of their system.

More importantly, I don't think Christian schools strengthen kids for service to Christ in the world at all. I think it softens them. They don't grow up having their faith tested by the real world, so it's a sheltered thinking environment. I grew up in secular schools and believe I'm better off because of it. My thinking about the Bible was constantly tested by other thoughts. Sometimes that led my thinking about the Bible to change in a way that opened me to better understanding. At many other times it caused me to try to understand my beliefs better--see what their origins were--and, as a result, those beliefs became stronger and better informed.

The problem is so many people get lead astray and are forced to study unnecessary things when they could be doing something useful that they are interested in.

Many people at the Christian school may not be true Christians therefore the Christian teacher could lead them to the Lord.

Not likely if it truly is a Christian school. The first priority for every Christian school I've encountered is to make sure their teachers are Christians. Now there may be the occasional misguided individual that slips into the fold, but it's not worth taking all the Christians out of public schools for that because that person is going to find plenty of Christian teachers in that Christian school who can bring him around anyway--not to mention Christian parents.

I have already answered this above.

Unlike ungodly people at a non-Christian school the teacher would not be wasting their time trying to convert people who are not at all interested.

What makes you presume they're not at all interested?

The worldly people are mostly not interested. If they are not interested Jesus and the apostles moved on to minister to others. There may be many who are interested in a non-Christian school but the system will not let a teacher only focus on them. It will force a teacher to remain with people who are not interested.

One of the biggest problems in a mainstream school is the corrupt education system would not allow teachers to teach what is best for the Children. They would not have time to be a witness for God.

While they can't spend time talking to kids about Christ in the classroom, they are allowed to respond freely to any questions the students themselves ask. Besides, I happen to think that, even if Christ is not personally shared, Christian teachers do a great service in preparing the soil by bringing young people up with a framework of understanding that is, at least, not hostile to thoughts about Christ. That's very important. No one is saved in a vacuum, so how our minds are conditioned, even outside of thoughts about Christ, very much affect their ability to receive Christian ideas later. I think it's very sad when Christians remove themselves from the secular marketplace.

Wouldn't it be better if a teacher got into a better non corrupted system where they could spend more time leading people to God instead of only being allowed a small amount of time in a corrupt system. Remember the teacher would have more time to visit those people in the corrupt system anyway but they won't be under the corrupt systems authority.   If they were NOT working for the corrupt system they would still be able to meet people who go to a non-Christian school to lead them to the Lord.

Actually, a maths teacher in a Christian school spends just as much of his class time teaching maths and not Christ as a maths teacher in a secular school, and the teacher in the non-Christian school is more likely to meet people in the non-Christian school than the teacher at the Christian school is because that teacher doesn't know anyone at the Christian school and has to drive a couple of miles to get there.

Perhaps they may not be true Christian schools if they focus on unnecessary education. I liked maths and use many of the things I learnt but there were many people in my class who did it only as a means to achieve a high score in the corrupt system so they would gain money from the corrupt system. They did not like the work they were being taught and only mucked around annoying the class instead of learning. Most people forget what they were taught at school and have no use for it afterwards. A true Christian school should be teaching much more on the Bible than a non-Christian school.   They would have more time to do this because the corrupt system would not control them by forcing them to teach what the system wants.

But neither would it allow them to come onto the school ground and preach. It's not going to let any adult do that, regardless of what school they teach in. And do you really want it to allow people to come and teach their religions. That's all well and good when its your religion and mine, but how would you feel if the secular school allowed people of the B'hai belief to come and teach their beliefs to your children or if it set up after-school classes on Islam?

We had religious education at school. I don't mean they would have to go into the school grounds. They could visit kids at their homes or in the street and help them, therefore be an example for Christ. As far as I know there is still freedom for a Christian in Australia to visit kids at a state school during their lunch hour or after school.  

You're also assuming that the only good witness is by words, but the Christian teacher is a witness by the life he leads and the counsel he gives to all his students regarding the life they lead. I'd rather have someone who feels kinship to Christian ideals teaching sex education in secular schools than someone who feels hostile toward ideals like abstinence. So, even if the Christian teacher can't teach his faith, his faith will have a great deal to say about how he teaches everything else.

May God empower those who are brave enough to work within the system rather than isolate themselves from the system.

I didn't say the only way to witness is by words. Caring for someone also helps. But you don't have to work for a corrupt system to do that. You can do it by mixing with unbelievers in the world for the purpose of loving them and leading them to Christ. This is not isolating yourself. It is just not doing it the way of the corrupt system.

I have never seen a supernatural healing. Many of my friends who I met at the local Pentecostal church are either disgruntled or disillusioned, and are doubtful that supernatural healings are relevant today. They have left those churches as a result. I care about them and I would like to see them encouraged and believing that there are genuine healing ministries today. Do you know of a Godly person who would be able to join me at a hospital to pray for people so that there is a high chance that something supernatural will occur. If something supernatural does occur, it will increase my faith and may result in a great Godly movement in this area.

There's an awful lot that's centered on your experience here. I'm not Pentecostal, but when you claim that many of your friends are and they're disgruntled, as if they need a new kind of Pentecostal church, I doubt you're speaking of any significant number. Your identifying your own experience as being somehow indicative of a larger worldwide problem. Maybe your friends are the only ones in the entire Pentecostal church who are disgruntled. I make those kinds of generalizations myself sometimes, but I wonder why you're trying to build a godly revival to this assumed problem around yourself:

This is not true. There is a huge turnover of people in Penticostal churches. Many people leave them including ones I don't know.

"do you know of a Godly person who would be able to join ME at a hospital. . . . . It will increase my faith and may result in a great Godly movement in this area." If your faith needs to be increased by seeing something supernatural as a sign that God is still at work, then maybe your not the person to be building any kind of a movement. And why would a few healing that happen around you result in a "great Godly movement" in your area. What's so special about you that it would lead to a "great Godly movement"? I assume that many people in many areas have seen exactly the kinds of supernatural healing you describe as a result of their prayers, but it didn't lead to any Godly movement at all.

The Bible says we are to desire spiritual gifts. I know we have to seek God and not people and I know it is not always God's will to perform miracles. But we need fellowship with genuine Christians who move in God's spirit and do God's will. We should not focus on just miracles. It is important to discern where they come from and what the fruits of the people who perform them are. Even non-Christians or the Devil can perform miracles. So if miracles are reported the fruits and beliefs are to be the main focus.


Should we warn people in love by suggesting that everyone who is conformed to and serving this world and mammon as explained above may be eternally separated from God? In other words would we boldly correct people in love like the Apostles by saying something like: "If you disobey God by seeking or receiving money and wilfully spending it on unnecessary things; or being in a trade union; or working for the corrupt work force such as most of the public service, a corrupt company or in an unnecessary or evil industry, instead of doing God's will satisfactorily, you are wicked and the wrath of God will almost certainly come upon you. If you do not repent and stop doing these things which may be satanic you are guilty of being selfish, destroying other people, and preventing people from hearing the gospel.

Is that what Jesus said to the Centurion? Seems to me the forces the centurions served fought a lot of evil battles against the Jews, but I don't remember Jesus lovingly warning him that he should quit his post as a centurion. He left it to the man's own conscience.

The Centurion in the Bible may not have been in a corrupted system, which is very corrupt today.

He was in a very corrupted system. Ask any Jew. But that doesn't mean he had to be corrupt himself. He may have focused on just maintaining the public peace; but most centurions fought in wars and killed people and looted, etc. That's how they were paid--out of the spoils of victory.

How do we know who were the exact people that he worked with in his direct work environment and how do we know exactly what he did?

Secondly, I don't find anything "in love" in the kind of warning you're talking about. You may call it a warning "in love" so that you can feel noble about it; but I find such warnings to be purely egotistical.

Please see the full question and supporting verses at http://www.truechristianity.com/philosophy/ which indicate there is a good chance the Apostles would do something like this today.

Who are you (or anyone else) to decide what is "unnecessary"? Sounds like a communist regime where someone at the center decides what the economy needs. Was the perfume poured on Jesus feet a "necessary expenditure" or a lavishly poured out act of self-abandon. It was Judas who told Jesus that the money should have been spent on necessary food for the poor and not wasted on someone's feet.

Jesus is Lord and not just a man therefore he is worthy of having fragrance poured on his feet and it was symbolic for his burial.

O.K. So, you' approve that expense. What about when I decide to buy a $1,000 worth of expensive incense to burn in our chapel as a fragrance to honor the Lord? Will that be "necessary." You see, the point is, what control-oriented person gets to decide what is "necessary." I think God gave us freedom over our own resources--gave us stewardship of those resources--in order to make those decisions on our own, not as a collective.

I don't think God wants us to burn fragrance today when there are so many poor people in the world and not enough time or money put into preaching the gospel. This is what the Bible says to do. We need to seek people who are divinely lead by God so they will make the correct decisions. If we can find people like this we would not have many problems of making the correct decisions.

Unnecessary things are things not needed for God's will.

Who's going to be the one to decide for you community what is necessary? Are you sure you're not being a little like the Borg in Star Trek, who have no room for inefficiencies, where everything must serve the collective? What if your collective decides against your wishes to buy things that you think are totally unnecessary? Who's wisdom is superior in such cases and whose will prevail? Will God prevail, or will the majority get its way? How will you know that the way of the majority, though contrary to your own, isn't right on the matter of this "unnecessary" purchase. It's exactly because every single purchase has to be agreed upon by the commune that communes usually fail. It's a hugely laborious and inefficient process in itself. Before I can buy a shovel, I have to take it up at the council meeting and we have to agree to spend money on a new shovel. Right now I just go buy one. Ten times more efficient. Some communes limit those kinds of buying freedoms much more than others.

If we could form a small group of true believers lead by the Lord we should not have these problems. I can't see it being a big group.  

The theme behind the whole Bible is using your time or possessions for God's will. People who did not do this served idols and God destroyed them.

Really? Are you saying that sole-proprietors were all idol worshippers, and God destroyed all of them? Seems to me there are far more capitalists who live than who die by God's destruction. So, I don't see the evidence. The fact is, with capitalism, it comes down to the individual and God. You can use your resources, which God has placed under your control for other, or you can use them all for yourself. You determine your own generosity; but there's nothing to stop you from living at a subsistence level and giving the rest away as fast as you make it. I don't see much evidence, though, of God destroying people just because they were using their possessions for themselves. I'm not saying I don't see any evidence. I'm just saying I don't see much.

God is long suffering towards even the wicked. Today even the very wicked are not destroyed yet. But they will be on judgment day. One of the questions I have on my question forum is "why didn't god destroy Satan long ago?"

The more you earn, the more God expects from you. If you earn more than approximately a pension you are among approximately the wealthiest 5% of people in the world and earn higher than the medium income in wealthy countries. You could be considered semi rich in God's sight, as you would be better off than most hard working people such as small businesses, unpaid volunteers, and carers. So it is your duty that you share that wealth and use it for God's work. People earning less than a pension are also guilty if they wilfully spend their money on unnecessary things.

Oh, Good, a new system of rules that can't be found in the Bible. Just what we need is more legalism. Where did you read in the Bible that the average U.S. pension is to be used as the standard for what a Christian worker should allow himself--that it is a person's "duty" to give away anything over that amount? And where did you read the rule about buying "unnecessary things." Sounds like your rule, not Christ's.

There are many scriptures supporting what I say at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm

Thank God you're not the one running the system, which is exactly why such communal groups fall apart: someone starts laying down rules that go beyond scripture; the people can't get along with the top-heavy leadership; the leadership resorts to forcing its rules on others if those others are going to stay in the hive.

I am basing my study on scripture and have many references at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm

You say, "Christian groups that have practised communal living of the type described here and in Acts have not traditionally done that well." What evidence do you have of this?  Where can I find such groups?  The Apostles did well and they were based on the system of the book of Acts.

Acts is a mixed bag. Two people were killed for corrupt participation. Others did well. There are several Christian communal groups you might be interested in, if you prefer this kind of insolation from the world.  

They're called Bruderhof communities, an offshoot of some German Anabaptists who were inclined to live out their Christian life in ways similar to your own thinking. I respect what I've heard of them. They live a somewhat Amish kind of lifestyle (in terms of simplicity) and share all belongings communally. They're small enough for that to work.

Here's a link to one of their websites:


Here's a book you might be interested in as well:


Communal living only works on a small scale because it requires total accountability. Otherwise people cheat the system as happened even in Acts. When communal living becomes large-scale, the only way to keep people from cheating the system is to have very top-heavy law enforcement as seen in every communal nation on the earth throughout history. They become very oppressive; but on a kibutz level where everyone knows everyone, it can work.

It would have to be on a small scale because almost all men are evil and should not be yoked with the group.

Sounds like just the beginning of one more among MANY sects of Christians to me. Why not just focus on humbly doing the best you can within a local church, rather than trying to create one more group that will, if it even survives itself, become one more denomination over time?

A lot of people are disgruntled with the mainstream church. Also the mainstream church is disobeying God.

A lot of people are disgruntled with everything in life, and when they try to create something new, they find it fills up with just as many imperfect people and they become just as disgruntled as they were. There idealism is never satisfied.

Maybe most people leave the mainstream Pentecostal churches because they are disgruntled.

I wish more people left the Pentecostal churches because so many of them are (in my view) quite shallow in their thinking and highly prone to follow charismatic people down rabbit trails. Unfortunately, I don't see this great shrinkage that you're talking about. A little here and there, but no tidal change.  

It is not that they are shrinking. It is many are leaving but many people are also joining them before they become disgruntled and leave while being replaced by other new people.  

I see how most of the congregation in the churches change over time. These are not only people I know. It is a widespread problem in the mainstream Church.

And so will your commune change over time in the very same ways. Nothing that includes humans stays pure in the history of this world. You're not likely to form the one exception. No form of Christianity has remained pure throughout its history. If there are humans involved, change and sin always creep in.

The apostles in the book of Acts were close to being pure but as you say none is perfect. We need a group with a strict system to root out corruption instead of accepting it.     If I could form a committed group it MAY form a godly movement in the area.

But how long would it stay "godly" as you define godly until its membership outgrew you and it began to change in ways that the membership wanted and even left its founder behind because he opposed those changes, thus going through another devisive rift, as one group splits off from its founders and maybe creating factions that destroy the harmony of the founders so that nothing is left of the original group?

Most of all: why do it??? Why separate yourself from the world's marketplace. Are you so weak in your faith that you're concerned the world will contaminate you? Why not be a bright shining light within the marketplace? Obviously some businesses will be more conducive to that than others. I wouldn't work for Microsoft unless they were specifically asking me to come in and change the corporate culture to be more Christian (hardly likely).

Maybe you're just hungering to use your talents for God. Then why not do so? There must be some ministry that could use them, or you can do as Paul did and build secular tents and minister where you can when you can.

Please see my earier answer to this.   I did not say my group will form a Godly movement. That is up to the people. You have to think positive even though I know such a movement is unlikely because man is wicked in the last days and these days are similar to the time of Noah where it is unlikely a Christian could lead anyone to salvation.

Man is wicked in all days; but there is also good in man if you're honest enough to see it--even in non-Christians. I see non-Christians that do genuinely good things for genuinely noble reasons. We shouldn't discredit that. All humans are made in the image of God, and nowhere does the Bible tell us that that image has been entirely destroyed.

True. There is good points in everybody. The mistake people make is if they see some good in an organization they assume it is all good. Satan mixes truth and good with evil to deceive people.              

Did you read the full report that is linked to http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationb.htm? This clarifies things. http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationb.htm is just a summary so people can see an overview. Then they are expected to go on and read the proof. Did you see the extensive verses there written out about yoking with the world and unbelievers? It also answers your other questions. What do you think of it at http://www.truechristianity.com/christian/salvationbfull.htm

I'll close with one response: the Christian faith will, in deed, be the very small group you describe if we all act as separatist in the manner you advocate. Thanks, Now on to preparing my Sunday School lesson.


Hi David

Thanks for your letter and challenging feedback. It may be good for other people to see both sides of this debate so in future I may post this discussion on my web site if it is ok with you. Will it be ok if I did that in future?

Please feel free to ad something to the discussion.  

Sure, that would be fine, Richard. It's a nice gesture on your part to present a balanced discussion and let people decide for themselves. I don't think I'll add anything beyond what we've already said because we've pretty well covered it.

As for your other sites, I didn't have time to explore them. I'm right in the middle of creating my own site and up to my neck in that.


This response is from David Haggith who has the following website. millenniumhope.info

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