We Confess that we must live in Community
We confess that we must live in community because it is God’s will for men. We recognise the call to community as God’s present and absolute claim upon us to give ourselves, and all we have and are, back to that life in community for which He created us, and for which He gave us life. We must live in community because it is above all necessary that the longing of men should meet a clear witness to true brotherhood.
True Community is only in God
We believe that community cannot be planned or conceived by men. True community is in God alone. God, as the source of all Being, is alone the source of the strength and clarity which leads back to true life—to life in community. Community which is planned by men, and without God, must and will collapse.
The very best and highest of our human ideals are evil before God. Only God is good. The best and highest of the wisdom and goodness of men cannot lead to that absolute way of love which is the will and way of God for men. No human authoritarianism can gather and lead men into life in community. We men can find freedom and joy in community only when we give back our wills, to the will of the Spirit which is certain in its goodness, because its source is in the ultimate and the eternal. It is the all-comprehending spirit of God’s love which creates, recreates and leads community along its unconquerable way. We men must give back our lives, our wills, our intellects, our whole beings to the will and the understanding of the one true Spirit which cannot fail, and which leads to all truth. We men who have fallen so far from God’s way must give our lives back to him who will remake them in the purity and unity of his life which gives an hundredfold. Community is the evident fruit of the giving back of ourselves to God, and of the rulership of his Holy Spirit.
Faith brings Certainty of the Way in God
Faith must believe in the good that is ultimate. Faith brings certainty in God, and the certainty that in Him the good must triumph. Only faith knows that it is the living Spirit who will lead those who surrender themselves. Thus readiness to give all without condition or limit is only possible where trust in the leadership of the Spirit is awakened through faith. Faith brings the recognition of a truth which is the most certain of all certainties. Faith calls us to dare to believe the humanly impossible as the only possibility, and to leave all things to set out on the way from which there is no turning back.
Community Life cannot be an Experiment
It follows that the call to community is no call to an experiment. We dare not experiment with community life. We confess that the call to community breaks in upon us as the first and most immediately urgent of all obligations/ It comes as the recognition of the true and the good as opposed to the strife and injustice of life as it is in the world to-day. It comes as the call to that true repentance which must turn from the old life of personal endeavour and isolation to the true life of community one with another in the love that is of God.
Community is the Fulfilment of Life
The call to leave all for the life and way of community is the call to turn away from all loveless self-interest and all that excludes the life of one's fellows. It is the call to abandon one's own life for the way which embraces the life of all men ; therefore it can never be understood as a call to a way which is moralistic, negative or ascetic, and which denies or limits life. To lose one’s life in the way that is the community of all life is truly to gain life. The giving up of one’s life, which is the unalterable condition of true community, is the giving in of all self-will to the will of the one true Spirit which, in its universal comprehension, wills the life and joy of the whole.
The clarity which recognises the community of all life knows that to give one’s powers and strength to serve the whole is to receive back life, and to receive it more abundantly. True joy in life seeks life for the whole. It cannot live in narrowness and isolation. It knows with true wisdom that the seeking of limited personal ends underlies all injustice, and ends in the frustration of all that is life and truly worth while. Therefore we must lose ourselves in work for the whole to find the fulfilment of life and the happiness that is love.
Love overcomes all Barriers
Isolation and injustice are overcome not by moralistic and cold laws, but by the overflowing fullness of love. The barrier which the private holding of property erects between men can only be overcome where men are moved by love to share all things. The barriers which exist between men because of the selfishness which wishes to hold on to and exploit for personal ends the individual gifts of mind and hand, are overcome only when all is given in loving service for the whole. Thus, the bonds which hold mankind in the slavery of greed and fear, and in the universal social injustice and strife which are their fruits, can be broken only by the freedom- bringing vitality of love which builds again the healthful, working community life which was the first calling of man. The strength of love urges its way to genuine life.
Love gathers a New People
Where the uniting spirit is poured out in answer to faith and readiness, there the actual body of a united people arises. Where the love that is from God breaks in and reigns, there the true purpose behind creation is again made clear in this world through the peace and justice of a redeemed, common and unified life between men. There, all the barriers of life as it is—of nation, class and property, are broken down and cease to exist. There, men and women from different national, social and cultural backgrounds again become brothers and sisters as they were called to be from the beginning. Even the smallest barriers of personal acquisitiveness, and the most subtle of temperamental and human differences of attitude and standpoint are resolved by the Spirit which leads to the one way through the revelation of the one truth which is absolute. This new body of a united people stands as a parable of God’s will for his mankind, and points to the life that is his ultimate will for the whole earth.
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