Monday, February 10, 2014

Hippie Christian

Mingle 240

When I was in college, one of my friends had this "brilliant" idea. He was one of those people who was a bit eccentric. He was tall and lanky with frizzy, curly, brown hair, and glasses. He walked around barefoot, gave the best shoulder rubs, ultimate frisbee was his favorite thing to do, and was kind of a feminist. Most of all, he loved people. He had the biggest heart and always wanted to find new and innovative ways to help others.

During meals, my group of friends and I always pushed the tables together to create this huge table to include a ton of other people. We could probably fit at least 20 people to our table or more on a daily basis. Looking back, this probably wasn't a very good idea because the table was so big it wasn't even like you were sitting with the people at the other end. But it was fun and we did it anyway because it's not fun to leave people out. The cafeteria staff probably hated us.

One day, during lunch, my friend told us about this idea he had. What if people all lived in one big house? Friends, spouses, children, etc. They all lived together, did meals together, helped pay the bills, babysat, etc. Basically... a big Christian Hippie Commune.

It was very much something a guy like him would think of.

As conversation about this idea went on, people started to have doubts. His girlfriend/finace at the time (I'm not sure where they were in their crazy relationship) decided it would be a bad idea. Practically, it just wouldn't work. What kind of house would they have? What if they had different philosophies about family? What if someone was unemployed, would they just be off the hook for paying the bills? Stuff like that. She had some good points and as we discussed we determined it wouldn't be all that brilliant.

However, from time to time I think about his idea. The big Christian hippie commune. A couple of years ago I mentioned it to him and he said he still stands by it and thinks it would be awesome. Sometimes I wonder if he knew something we didn't. He always had these outrageous ideas about love and community and church that would be completely againt the norm and not what we typically see in the Christian church. I'm sure some people at our conservative Lutheran university thought he was crazy.

Yet, maybe his ideas weren't that outrageous. Ultimately, he was all about living life together and walking through it side by side. Loving people simply because that was what you did, not because someone told you to or it was a program at church that day. Not loving and living because you're "supposed" to but simply because that's how it was.

I'm still not sure if the Christian Hippie Commune would have worked. But sometimes I like to imagine it could have and it would be fun to try.

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  1. That is a very interesting idea. I can see parts of it working and parts of it not working. I think it would definitely be an experience. I would be willing to give it a try as long as some boundaries were put into place. For example, each couple needs their own private time and things like that. This idea reminds me of the movie Grown Ups and how they were in the cottage for a weekend. It looked like such a blast!! Anyway, it could be a great thing!

    1. It really is, and I think you're right, there would definitely need to be some boundaries. As much as we sometimes like to think there wouldn't need to be - there does! It also wouldn't work for all groups of friends. It would need to be a very specific circle of people in order for it to work.

  2. This sounds a lot like The Simple Way, which Shane Claiborne wrote about in The Irresistible Revolution.


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