23 May 2007

A break at Rocky Cape

I went for a few days’ break at the Rocky Cape Christian Community, which was a nice change & nothing like church.

I got to pick up some eggs, helped to slaughter some turkeys, did some woodwork, went for a walk along the creek to the beach, & saw a Platypus.

Break from doing nothing? Well, even that gets wearing, & as well as a change of scenery & people, I got to do some useful stuff (such as untangling a computer which had somehow been set to boot from just about every device attached to it, so started v-e-r-y slowly) & chat on completely random topics with some very knowledgeable people, including folks from Holland, Germany, the USA & Canada.

These people are immensely practical in their faith, & not nailed down to some remote authority. It reminds me a great deal of Open Source: whatever works is accepted, modulo some very minor quibbling.

I watched them help a pair who had arranged to have a baby together, but didn’t like each other (what a combination!) & the bird was messing the bloke around no end. The Community people helped him to remain as quiet, practical & stable as he could (no mean achievement!) & also managed to care for the baby for a few days while surviving many police and social-worker visits.

All of this while remaining civil & courteous with myself and their other guests — most of whome were stabilising from unenviable social situations — & running a chookery, a turkeyry (sp? :-), gardens, woodwork shop, & raising about a dozen happy, well-balanced, thoughtful children.

I don’t know if there’s a scale for measuring the success of communities, but these guys definitely have something concrete going for them. Very impressive.


Leon Brooks said...

The “no authority” part doesn’t mean these guys are devoid of history, by the way. They’re socially descended from a long list of Anabaptists & Mennonites, so they’ve had lots of practice at being hammered on for not happening to agree with the Powers That Be.

They have a lot in common with FOSS there, since they’ve been laughed at & scorned (& hung, gutted, burned etc) for not so much challenging the Powers That Be as simply not agreeing with them, & so wanting to be their own people on their own time & in their own way.

They’ve had such well-known people as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin & so on working for death penalties against them. These guys, you’ll notice, are from the “peaceful” side of the Reformation. You don’t want to know what the other side wanted. And by the way, many Anabaptist converts were people such as Roman Catholic priests...

Anyway, I noticed some similarities there with the progress of FOSS.

Major said...

"[...] for not so much challenging the Powers That Be as simply not agreeing with them [...]"

If the powers that be are claiming to be the one true voice of God on earth, disagreeing with them is challenging them.

Leon Brooks said...

Well, yes, there is that. (-:

Thanks for cutting quickly through to a core issue, as usual, Major.

What they did was not as the Reformers did, which is to stand up & proclaim “you’re wrong” but simply to toss aside any decree or doctrine they disagreed with (ie, most of them) & get on with their lives as far as they were allowed.

Which was — as you’ll no doubt point out — mortally offensive to the PTB, even the “moderate” PTB in the persons of the Reformers.