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Community of Goods as expressed by the Hutterites

Community of Goods

Hutterites live in community, that is they share all of their possessions. All members living in one colony “own” the assets of that community collectively.  They work for each other and they don’t pay wages to their members. However, in lieu of wages all necessities of life are provided. So each member serves the other through their works and labour and all proceeds are shared.

Everyone helping with the annual potato harvest.

 

The idea of Community of Goods stems from many examples found in the bible, including the following scriptures:

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they,
continuing daily, with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:44-47)

 

And the multitude of them that were believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of land or houses sold them, and brought the piece of the things that were sold, And laid them at the apostles feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as he had needed. (Acts 4:32-35)

 

However, many other examples exist. For example, throughout history, God has always separated His people from the world as evidenced by the journeys of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. Jesus himself lived “in community” with his apostles. All of these examples point to God desiring His people to live separate from the world, to help & support each other, usually in some form of community.

People often ask to what extent Hutterites share their possessions. No, Hutterites, don’t share their toothbrushes and the like. All Hutterites keep some personal possessions which include personal effects. In addition, homes are private and household items within them are considered personal, although the colony may have provided them to begin with. But the houses, garages, barns, vehicles and machinery, successes and failures are all jointly owned by all members.