To say something really bold: I believe God controls the hell of human society with an infernal machine, the state. Someone may say, “I am going to operate this machine and make it less hellish; I will moderate the satanic properties of hell; I will serve the state.” Such a resolve commands respect. But for myself, I refuse to mount the machines of hell. I will board the ship that shows all humankind the way to the other shore: to the kingdom of peace, justice, and perfect love. We need people who dare to set the course for this other shore, who dare to live in accordance with the ways of the land on the other side. It is the way we can best serve the world in this terrifying moment of history.- Eberhard Arnold
The Eve of Advent
Advent is a time in which we share in the yearning of all those who, in their suffering and struggle, long for redemption and liberation, for unity, for peace, for a golden age – for a manifestation of God’s love and unity, for a breaking in of his justice among the nations.Continue Reading
A Child’s Sympathy for Poverty and Suffering
“It is not true that children have no feeling for suffering, for the injustice and social guilt of our world…The educator’s task of awakening the child to all humankind accords with a living concern inherent in the child.” Eberhard Arnold discusses the inborn sensitivity of a child toward poverty and suffering.Continue Reading
The Economy of the Early Church
In an age when Christianity is comfortably entwined with consumer capitalism, the early Christians’ passion for social and economic justice can come as a shock. So why did the first Christians abandon private property? Eberhard Arnold addresses this question in an excerpt from the introduction to The Early Christians (1926).Continue Reading
What is Government Good For?
With political chaos rampant, it seems a good time to reflect on why government exists in the first place. More specifically, what answers do we as Christians have to give in this uncertain moment? In this short take from a 1919 essay, Eberhard Arnold addresses these questions.Continue Reading
Why We Live in Community
Everyone’s talking about community these days. In this time-honored manifesto, Eberhard Arnold adds his voice to the vital discussion of what real intentional community is all about: love, joy, unity, and the great “adventure of faith” shared with others along the way.
The Jesus of the Four Gospels
We live in an age where it seems Jesus has become almost unknown or his words distorted and disfigured, his work weakened. All the more, we must rediscover this Jesus and hold him up before all the world. We must place the Jesus of the four Gospels in the center of our faith and our life.Continue Reading
Eberhard Arnold and Judaism
Eberhard Arnold sent his children to visit the local synagogue as part of their religious education and developed in them a deep respect for Judaism and its foundation, the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament. The following offers a brief survey of the Bruderhof's interaction with the Jewish community in their area.
Is Pacifism Enough?
Eighteen months after Hitler’s rise to power, Eberhard Arnold warned of the threat of a second major war – and foresaw that the international peace movement, which he had championed, would be powerless to stop it. His reflections remain unsettlingly relevant today.Continue Reading
Blessed are those who have heart. Blessed are those who love, who build up unity everywhere. Blessed are those who stand with the poor; blessed are those who themselves are poor as beggars. Blessed are those who know themselves as beggars before the Spirit. Blessed are those who are so poor that they hunger and thirst. Blessed are those who feel this hunger and thirst for justice, for the justice of the heart, of love, for the establishment of peace in unity. For they are the people who carry the pain of the world on their hearts, who carry the suffering of the world in their innermost being. They do not think of themselves, for their whole heart is turned toward others.- Eberhard Arnold
Yesterday we again had about a hundred people in our house. The Letter to the Romans, which is the affirmation of justice, and the question of group living in community of goods, was our agenda…What we want is not an academic or student organization. We want personal, organic exchange between university people, middleclass and working class people, who are moved by Christ and lead a free life of inward truthfulness and love.- Eberhard Arnold