We believe in faithful Christian Marriage



 

The faithfulness of the brotherly life includes the special faithfulness between one man and one woman in marriage. Just as true community can be no experiment with life, so marriage can never be the call to make an experiment with the life and love of another based upon the selfishness, egotism and caprice of psychophysical affections. Marriage is the call to two to set out together in the certain trust in the Spirit which cannot lead to separation. It is the call to set out in the unfaltering faithfulness of the love which knows no betrayal or falsehood. As in the call to community, the call to marriage is a call to a life task in the love which cannot turn back.

Sexual relationships based upon the shifting sand of psycho-physical affections know nothing of the faithfulness and joy that is of the love that is of God. Upon such a purely psycho-physical basis, sex life and all that belongs to it, the family and the joy of two in life-comradeship, is ruined and lost. In marriage, as in the wider task of community life, to give oneself to the love which God gives is to gain life. To know marriage in the love that God gives is to know the peace of constant mutual trust because it is ultimately trust in God. It is certainty from the beginning that in God the way is clear and sure until the end. It cannot look back to falsehood and betrayal. To the love that is genuine, pure and free, betrayal in marriage is the most contemptible and unthinkable betrayal imaginable.

Where the love of God breaks in, marriages founded in the weakness of psycho-physical love find faithfulness and renewal. Where one partner to such a marriage which has already broken down finds the love that is genuine, there, forgiveness and faithfulness break in to continue until the very end. There is no turning back when love comes. To complete the work of destruction and division in marriages already broken is not the work of love. It is the work of that power which seeks to destroy all life. Love fights only for forgiveness and renewal. It seeks only for reconciliation. It cannot act in any other way.

Therefore, we stand in complete opposition to those teachings which work to poison and destroy true marriage, as also they work to poison and destroy community, in that they see and teach that the only basis for marriage is the psycho-physical affections. Such teaching ends in repudiation of all faithfulness. It destroys the basis of all trust. It rejects God as the Lord and Leader of his creation, whose will is enduring love and unity. In marriage such teaching leads only to so-called experimental and trial marriages which in reality are no marriages, and which lead to unfaithfulness and ruin.

 

The family and children

 

The life task which springs from love knows nothing of joy which is severed from the fulfilment of life. Joy and the fulfilment of life are one. Thus, in the joy of two in marriage we stand against all that thwarts and frustrates the coming of new life in the family. We stand against the frustration of child life through the use of contraceptives, and the murdering of young life in the womb. We stand against this as against all that murders life. We see in this early murdering and frustrating of young life the same deadly work that works through the unjust social and economic conditions of poverty to blight and destroy the life of the poor. We cannot co-operate with these death dealing conditions by murdering life at its very beginning. We want to stand against death in all its works. We want to stand for life, for men, for community and for children.

It is our great longing that community life may be richly blessed with children through the founding of new families on the basis of true and faithful marriage. It is also our great wish to be given the strength to take in as many destitute and orphan children as possible, to bring them up in our families and to lead them with our own chil­dren to know and love the Father of all life whose will for men is community.

 

The Open Door

 

The way that is love to all men seeks community with all men. It cannot will that any shall be excluded from its fellowship of work and life. It is the way which seeks first for God's kingdom and its righteousness, and trusts that all material needs will be added to it. Therefore, we must reject as a denial of community that attitude which, on a basis of human wisdom and foresight, is prepared to enter into community with others only in so far as immediate material resources will allow. Without the open door for all who will come, there can be no genuine community. Brotherhood has meaning only when it is open to all who will be brothers. We are ready to be brothers only when we are ready at all costs to share all things with all who will give themselves to share, trusting again and again that God who has called us to this way will help us with our daily bread.

The life and way of brotherhood is open to all who seek first for God’s kingdom. For God it is no matter whether we are young or old, strong or weak, wealthy or poor, whether we have much to give or little. What does matter is that we are ready to give all. The widow’s mite is more precious to God than part of the abundance of the rich.

In this terrible hour of need and suffering for mankind, we earnestly invite all those who want a true life of peace and justice, to join with us in following this way. Come and visit us. Live with us and work with us in the daily practical life, so that you may recognise whether community is also the way for you. Our door is open to all who are earnestly concerned with this most urgent of all questions. It is our longing that many more men and women may hear the call to community in this tragic hour of the world, that the light of genuine community life might flame up as a mighty beacon light of hope. We call to you not to hesitate. Everywhere millions of confused and suffering men and women are serving destruction and death. Will you give yourselves to serve the glorious cause of peace and justice in the shining way of community?

It is also our great wish to come into contact with all groups which are earnestly seeking to follow true community life, for it is our firm conviction that we should be one with such groups, and that in such uniting there might be a living testimony to the uniting power of love.

Only by seeing love active in deed in a life of peace and justice can the millions of suffering and divided humanity be helped to know and turn to such a way. Words and ideals alone lead men only to cynicism and despair. Only an actual life of brotherhood can present a real challenge to the discord of the world. Only an actual life of brotherhood can be a real promise of a true and better life to which men may turn here and now. Such a life is God's promise of his great future of peace for all men. It is the present deed of his open heart of love which calls to his suffering mankind to come to the peace and joy which he offers freely as his forgiveness here and now. It is his call to the fellowship of his table which is open to all.

 

God never ceases to wait for and call to us his creatures. Genuine community is the present gathering of all who hear the call of his love to this table. Community in the fellowship of his Spirit of love is the reconciliation to himself to which God wills to bring the world, and to which he calls us in this hour.

 

On behalf of the Wheathill Bruderhof

 

Stanley Fletcher

Charles Headland

Hella Headland

Sydney Hindley

Marjorie Hindley

 

January, 1943

 

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