It is the fantasy of many young men, especially during the tumultuous 1960’s, to form and head their own settlement. After the reality of getting a job and making a buck settles in, usually this dream fades away. But not always.
Jim Jones of Guyana, David Koresh of the Branch Davidians, and the notorious Warren Jeffs of the offshoot Fundamental Church of Latter Day Saints are a few examples where huge success was found in heading their own little communities.
All of the above, and God only knows how many others, had Jesus Christ as their lure.
Now, I get it. I truly do. Moving to Guyana donning a prairie dress, or vowing never to cut ones hair are signs that individuals want to set themselves apart from the conventionally known world. Some more conventional churches have adopted a “holier” standard of personal grooming and appearance. I do not blame my friends–who would not want to be consecrated to God? People join convents every day for this reason.
Where the danger sets in is where, instead of following God through Christ Jesus, the participants now follow some other entity. In these cases, Jesus Christ has indeed been hi-jacked. And I get that, too.
People want tangible evidence. Many people, like Doubting Thomas, want to feel, touch and see Jesus Christ. Many, many people do not have a grasp of the unseen God through the unseen Christ. But He is there, just as real as roses.
If we look inside, for the Christ, He will take us by the hand and lead us away from this world, with all its perversion and fault. Many times I would have liked to “check out” of this world, be a hermit, and live the way God intended, but I have the courage to go on with my life, and rise above the roil and the riff-raff. There is good in the world as well as evil, wheat and darnel. Let God sort it out! Have faith.