FAQ INDEX GENERAL 1. Q) Who are you? What do you do? 2. Q) What do you hope to achieve? What is your vision? 3. Q) What has brought you all together? COMMUNITY 1. Q) Why live in Christian community? 2. Q) Where do you live? 3. Q) What does a typical day look like? 4. Q) Do you spend all your time together? 5. Q) Do you travel abroad? 6. Q) Is it possible to spend time with your community to find out more? How would I be accommodated? 7. Q) What steps would I need to take if I did want to join the community? 8. Q) Do I have to join your community to support your ministry? 9. Q) I am not ready to join but I want to help out in some way; what can I do? 10. Q) Can I support you financially? THEOLOGY 1. Q) Are you a church? 2. Q) Are you born again Christians? 3. Q) What is your take on ‘salvation’? 4. Q) What is your understanding of the Holy Trinity? 5. Q) What do you believe about divorce and remarriage? 6. Q) What is your view on celibacy? 7. Q) What is your attitude towards other faiths? 8. Q) What is your attitude towards institutional religion? 9. Q) What is your understanding of prophecy? LIVING BY FAITH 1. Q) What do you mean by ‘forsake all’ and ‘living by faith’? Why do the churches not teach this? 2. Q) Can you be a Christian if you do not forsake all? 3. Q) How do I discern God’s will for my life? 4. Q) I want to live by faith apart from your community; how can you help me? 5. Q What is a ‘Faith Outreach’? 6. Q) What is the difference between a ‘faith outreach’ and ‘living by faith’? SOCIETY 1. Q) I agree with living simply and I oppose the monetary system and want to be free of it, but I don’t believe in God. What do you think about this? 2. Q) I’m an atheist/agnostic but I believe in breaking free of the system. Can I still work with you? 3. Q) What is your approach to war and conflict? 4. Q) Do you have any political affiliation/agenda? MONEY 1. Q) What role does money play in your life? 2. Q) Why do you use donations? 3. Q) How do you use donations? 4. Q) How are your material needs met? FAQ's GENERAL 1. Q) Who are you? What do you do? A) We are a small group of individuals who share a similar interpretation and understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus. We believe Jesus’ teachings and example hold the key to meaning and purpose in life. As a result we feel led to, in many cases, literally obey what Jesus taught. (See the section below on “living by faith” for an example.) We live, full-time, in Christian community and our primary focus is to obey the Great Commission which can take different forms. Street evangelism and producing films to reach people on the internet comprises the bulk of our work. Depending on the needs and the direction in which we feel God is leading us, our work can also involve counselling, social work and free work, Bible studies, praise and worship sessions, faith outreaches (see 'What is a faith outreach?' in the 'LIVING BY FAITH' section), creative projects involving music and/or media, writing to people who contact us, and visits with those who are interested in meeting with us to hear more. 2. Q) What do you hope to achieve? What is your vision? A) Our goal is to educate people about the teachings of Jesus and encourage their faith. Most of the world knows very little about Jesus’ teachings. The majority of his teachings have either been watered down or ignored completely over time. Most people know about the name of Jesus and his sacrificial death on the cross, but they know little about what he wants people to do (or not do) in every-day practical life. 3. Q) What has brought you all together? A) The answer to this question will be different for each individual, but the underlying theme for all of us seems to be a strong conviction that there must be something more to life than what the system offers (which prioritises materialism, work, reputation, family, friends, entertainment, etc. over spiritual matters). This conviction caused us to not only be open to new possibilities about the meaning and purpose of life but to seek them out. Some of us tried many different paths during our search. Some of us tried only a few, but for each of us it was the teachings of Jesus which made the most sense. It is this shared vision which brings us together in fellowship and unity and which we hope to share with others who are also being drawn to Christ. COMMUNITY 1. Q) Why live in Christian community? A) Although living in Christian community is not a specific command of Christ, we know that Jesus lived and worked with others throughout His ministry and encouraged His disciples, when sending them on faith outreaches (see 'What is a faith outreach?' in the 'LIVING BY FAITH' section), to go 'two by two'. He also said that His Holy Spirit would be where two or more gather in His name and He said that when two or more agree together on Earth, it will be done in Heaven. In the book of Acts we read that the disciples (who were first called 'Christians' in Antioch: see Acts 11:20-21), sold all of their possessions and pooled all of their resources with one another; living communally, sharing a communal purse and gathering daily 'in one accord' (See Acts 2 and 4). Jesus said that they (the world) will know that we are Christians by our love for one another (John 13:35). What better way to express love for our brethren than to live and work together in full-time service to Christ and to one another? Working together daily, encouraging one another in the faith, and reaching out to the lost sheep together, is an inspiring and effective way to express our faith in Jesus. 2. Q) Where do you live? A) It depends. Sometimes we live in houses or apartments, but generally we live in motorhomes as a means of aiding our evangelism. At times we also leave the comfort of both house and vehicle behind to head out on foot. We do this to encourage our faith and trust in God’s provision and prepare us for possible future scenarios in which we may be called on to live without the luxuries of a house or mobile home. (For more info please see 'What is a faith outreach?' and 'Faith outreaches vs Living by faith' in the section under 'LIVING BY FAITH' below.) 3. Q) What does a typical day look like? A) Our usual daily routine is to go out onto the streets to witness and hand out materials, or spend time writing to people who reach out to us via email/snail mail, or produce films about Jesus and His teachings for the internet. We also go on ‘faith outreaches’ from time to time, or spend time visiting people. Sometimes we have what we call an in-reach day, in which we focus on prayer, worship, games and fellowship with one another. However, whatever we are doing, we try to keep to a structure that incorporates a morning prayer/silent listening time, study times, and meals together. 4. Q) Do you spend all your time together? A) No, but we live and work together which means we do spend a LOT of our time around one another. Communal living provides both challenges and benefits... and sometimes the benefits come as a result of overcoming those challenges! 5. Q) Do you travel abroad? A) Some newer community members spend time abroad doing outreach work in other countries. Some of us, however, have felt led to not renew our passports due to the introduction of biometric microchips into passports. This decision is based on a prophecy from Revelation 13 which says a time is coming when the world will be controlled through a Mark on the hand without which no person can buy or sell. We do not see microchipped passports as the Mark, but we feel that forsaking the convenience of microchips now will better prepare us for a future scenario in which other microchip-based luxuries (such as travel or buying/selling) will not be available to us. We believe that if God wants us to travel, the ways and means will be made available. To watch a film (titled 'The Mark') which explores this prophecy from Revelation 13 about the Mark of the Beast, follow this link: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/film/ 6. Q) Is it possible to spend time with your community to find out more? How would I be accommodated? A) Yes, it is possible to spend time with our community. Our ‘living-by-faith’ lifestyle means that circumstances and situations tend to vary but most likely you would live as we do in the motorhomes, unless we are spending time in a house/flat at the time you request to visit. Single males and females may end up sleeping near to one another within the same motorhome, but not on the same bed at the same time. Privacy will be available for things like showers, changing clothes and other areas where personal space is required. We take great care to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all our members and visitors. We would also ask that you, with us, put trust in God that He will provide what is necessary for your needs to be met. Act in faith! 7. Q) What steps would I need to take if I did want to join the community? A) First, we recommend that you spend some time reading through this document and any other materials we have given you and noting down any questions or thoughts that arise. It would be helpful for you to think deeply about what you are seeking, how we might be able to help you, and to communicate those thoughts to us. Next, we would propose a meeting in person. If you decide you would like to discover more of our way of life then we suggest spending a few days or a week with our community to get a feel for how we live and to work through any questions, challenges or issues which may arise. Following this, if you feel that God is directing you to work with us as a full member, then we would recommend a trial period in which you live and work with us as a disciple before making a final decision about joining. 8. Q) Do I have to join your community to support your ministry? A) No. We have friends and people whom we are in fellowship with who do not live with us in community. We encourage any degree of fellowship and participation. We do hope that those interested in being involved with us are also seeking to develop their own relationship with Christ, so we try to encourage people to take steps in faith towards this. 9. Q) I am not ready to join but I want to help out in some way; what can I do? A) There are a number of ways you can help the community, from helping us to get the message out, translating materials if you have a foreign language, sharing skills or material resources, etc. For more information about this, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 10. Q) Can I support you financially? A) We gratefully receive financial and material donations to help our ministry work. However, it is important to us that anyone giving a financial donation is clear about their own motives, in the same way that we must be when receiving. While we appreciate material support, the greatest support people can give us is spiritual, with helping us to get the message out being a top priority. THEOLOGY 1. Q) Are you a church? A) Yes. Christ said, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. We believe this embodies what Christ meant by ‘church’. There are numerous references in the Bible explaining that God cannot be found in buildings made by men, but rather that the temple of God is within each of us (e.g. Acts 7:48; 17:24; Luke 17:21; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). 2. Q) Are you ‘born again’ Christians?
A) Yes. Christ taught that we must be ‘born again’ if we are to see the kingdom of God. Peter said that we are born again ‘... by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.' (1 Peter 1:23). In today’s world the concept of being ‘born again’ has become synonymous with a religious state-of-mind, an emotional or religious experience and a situation where one must at least make the claim in order to be considered a Christian. Becoming born again usually means following the appropriate rituals (i.e. water baptism, church attendance, no more drinking, smoking, or swearing, etc). However, being born again, as Jesus described it, only happens when we make a conscious decision to change our lifestyle to conform with Jesus’ teachings. This decision-making should be happening every day. It is not about one clear moment, but about a process of learning how to live by a completely new set of values every day. In the process of following these new values/teachings we are filled with (and transformed by) God's spirit - in other words, we are ‘born again’ (see John 14:21 & 23; John 15:10). 3. Q) What is your take on ‘salvation’? A) Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, says that we are to work out our salvation with God ‘with fear and trembling’ (2:12). We believe that this is a continuous process and is inseparable from the working out of our relationship with Christ. Christ came to redeem and save us but we believe we have a part to play in this; with our salvation being determined through how we choose to respond to Him, moment-to-moment. 4. Q) What is your understanding of the Holy Trinity? A) The word ‘trinity’ is not found in the Bible, but it is a useful word when trying to describe the concept that God has three different forms while at the same time being One. One form of God is ‘God the Father’, one is ‘God the Son’ and the other is 'God the Holy Spirit’. In some parts of the gospels Jesus clearly distinguishes Himself from God, while in other parts He clearly makes Himself equal to God. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that our salvation will depend on whether or not we understand how God is able to be three and one at the same time. It certainly is an interesting theological mystery, but too much focus on such arguments only serves to distract people from the teachings, which Jesus clearly did want us to know about… and do something about. 5. Q) What do you believe about divorce and remarriage? A) Most churches adopt the interpretation that Jesus provided an exception to divorce, i.e. in the case of one of the partners committing adultery; but we believe this is not what He taught or meant. Mark 10:11-12 and Luke 16:18 provide the clearest teachings on the subject of divorce and remarriage. In essence, those verses say that anyone, man or woman, who divorces and marries another, commits adultery and causes their spouse to commit adultery as well. 6. Q) What is your view on celibacy? A) We believe that to be celibate is better than being married, but that marriage is not wrong, especially if it safeguards people against sexual immorality. This understanding is based on what Jesus teaches in Matthew 19:9-12 (that those who can accept the calling of celibacy should do so), and on what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:1 (that it is better to abstain from sexual relations, unless doing so leads to sin). 7. Q) What is your attitude towards other faiths? A) We believe Jesus and His teachings are the highest revelation of truth that there is, and through Him all might be saved (John 3:17). At the same time, like John said, ‘love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God’ (1 John: 4). We believe that there are sincere people of all faiths who are seeking God and His Love and by their actions they are building his Kingdom, even if they do not profess to being ‘Christians’, (Matthew 21:28-31). Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan is a good example of this. 8. Q) What is your attitude towards institutional religion? A) We understand that different people will feel called to express their faith in different ways, even among Christians. Some Christians may choose to help orphans, while some choose to help the homeless. Some may choose to evangelise using written literature, while some may choose methods involving music/audio. However, these kinds of differences are fine because they still fall within the basic guidelines Jesus gave about helping the poor and preaching the gospel. There are many areas where institutional religion can differ in practice without contradicting what Jesus taught. The problem (in Christianity) comes when churches/individuals claim to act on behalf of Jesus, but refuse to apply his teachings, or even worse, when they distort his teachings. The safest way to accurately know if a group/church really is following Jesus is to know what Jesus taught and then make a comparison. 9. Q) What is your understanding of prophecy? A) In today’s world, there is a lot of superstition and fear surrounding prophecy. Some churches use prophecy to frighten their congregation. Some churches use it to claim they are better than other churches. Some people use prophecy to make themselves feel important by (falsely) predicting natural disasters or the specific date for the return of Jesus. We should not allow these people to influence us through their fear or their foolishness. The purpose of prophecy is to let us know that God has a plan for the world and that he wants us to be a part of his plan. Some people have more ability in understanding prophecy than others, but it is good for all of us to take an interest in the lessons that (genuine) prophecy was given to communicate. The major sources of prophecy for us today come from a few books in the Old Testament (e.g. Isaiah and Daniel), several passages from the gospels and epistles in the New Testament, and the Revelation. For more information on prophecy, please read the category of articles titled 'Prophecy', which you can access by following this link: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/prophecy/. To read a book which explores prophecies from the Revelation and the Book of Daniel please follow this link to download your free copy of 'Not For Everyone': http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/not-foreveryone/) To watch a film (titled 'The Mark') which explores the prophecy from Revelation 13 about the Mark of the Beast, follow this link: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/film/ LIVING BY FAITH 1. Q) What do you mean by ‘forsake all’ and ‘living by faith’? Why do the churches not teach this? A) We teach forsaking all because this is what Jesus instructed his followers to do if they wished to be His disciples (Luke 14:33). Jesus said that we are to deny ourselves daily and follow Him. By putting this teaching into practice (i.e. by letting go of our own plans, possessions, reputation or job) we can start to be truly available to serve God and others. This is living by faith. The church does not promote this teaching because it is unpopular. Most churches survive on tithes (donations) from the congregation. If a pastor were to push his congregation to forsake all, they would probably find another church to attend. For more information on forsaking all and living by faith please read the following articles: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/the-principle-of-forsaking-all/ http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/forsaking-all/ http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/steps-to-living-by-faith/ 2. Q Can you be a Christian if you do not forsake all? A) According to Jesus, no. Jesus told us that we cannot be his disciple if we do not forsake all that we have. In the book of Acts, disciples are referred to as ‘Christians’; they are interchangeable (Acts 11:26). Perhaps a more appropriate question would be to ask ‘Am I really believing in Christ if I am not doing what He commanded”? 3. Q) How do I discern God’s will for my life? A) There are several ways to know God’s will: Jesus’ teachings, our conscience, godly counsel, direct revelation (e.g. dreams), circumstances, coincidences, personal desires, or miracles/signs. Some of these methods may be more reliable than others. We suggest that you focus most heavily on the teachings of Jesus, your conscience and godly counsel and then rely on the others more cautiously. For more information on ways to discern God's will, check out the following article: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/ways-to-know-gods-will/ 4. Q) I want to live by faith apart from your community; how can you help me? A) We can offer practical advice on a wide range of issues from our own personal experiences. This includes issues like living outside the system, living cashless, where to go, how to relate to authorities, etc. Also, we can help you with literature for distributing, making videos for YouTube, and we can offer counsel if you encounter difficulties. 5. Q) What is a ‘Faith Outreach’? A) In our collective, the term ‘Faith Outreach’ is used to describe times when we put everything down and leave where we are staying (whether a camper van/motorhome, or other accommodation) for a period of time, stretching from as little as a few days to a few weeks, and sometimes for a month or more. Often we head off with just the clothes on our backs and possibly a few items in a backpack (e.g. a Bible, toothbrush, penknife, etc.). On other occasions it has included taking a tent or sleeping bag, and possibly some tracts to distribute. Faith outreaches can be in urban or rural settings, and sometimes they can include a mixture of both. 6. Q) What is the difference between a ‘faith outreach’ and ‘living by faith’? A) After we quit our jobs, sell our possessions and leave everything to follow Jesus, God gives us back resources to use in building His kingdom. The important point is whether we let go of everything in the first place, which tests whether our faith is really in God or Mammon. However, in order to stay in that right relationship with God, He continually tests us and so we continually have to keep forsaking things (including aspects of ourselves like fear, independence, greed and pride, etc.). Jesus was not on a permanent 'faith outreach', at least not in the way that we use the term 'faith outreach' in this community: (see 'What is a faith outreach?' in the 'LIVING BY FAITH' section). He sent His disciples out as an exercise to teach them about dependence on God. However, Jesus and His disciples were living by faith permanently. There is a difference. We meet a lot of people who think that forsaking all and living by faith is about wandering the streets with only the clothes on our backs for the rest of our lives and that using material things is somehow a cheat; but that is silly. God made an abundant world and wants us to be good stewards of His resources; to use them to share the truth and to love others. However, we are much better and more trustworthy stewards when we have let go of everything in the first place, and have shifted our reality to letting God make the decisions about what we need materially and how we should use those resources. We believe that this is one of the reasons for why Jesus gave us the teaching about forsaking all. Faith outreaches are exercises that we do to test whether or not we still have a forsaken attitude to everything we have been given after we initially forsook all (including things like comfort, etc.). (For more info, check out the article ‘Faith Outreaches’ under the section ‘Freesources’ which you can access at the following link: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/faith-outreaches/). SOCIETY 1. Q) I agree with living simply and I oppose the monetary system and want to be free of it, but I don’t believe in God. What do you think about this? A) Jesus taught, “whoever is not against us must be for us”. God is able to look deep into the heart of each individual and see what the real truth is in their thinking. He told a story about a Samaritan (person with the wrong theology) and a priest and pastor (people with the correct theology). In the story, the Samaritan was the hero simply because he showed love to his neighbour, while the other two were the bad guys because they did not show love. 2. Q) I’m an atheist/agnostic but I believe in breaking free of the system. Can I still work with you? A) Yes. We have experienced different kinds of atheism/agnosticism, from extremely bitter to genuinely loving yet unconvinced or undecided. Because we believe God is the source of all love we are prepared to work with a fairly large spectrum of people who are interested in showing love. 3. Q) What is your approach to war and conflict? A) Jesus taught that we should ‘turn the other cheek’ and love our enemies. We feel this relates to war and conflict. Despite the number of weapons in the world, people still die from violence. Ultimately, God is our protection, but there are times when He may want us to lay our lives down to demonstrate that showing love is more important even than our physical bodies. It is not like we want to suffer or be killed, but knowing that there is life after death does help us to face the possibility of being called on to lay our lives down. 4. Q) Do you have any political affiliation/agenda? A) Individuals within our group will have differing ideas on the usefulness of politics. We do appreciate various efforts by politicians to make the world a better place but ultimately there is no political solution to the world’s problems. We also believe from prophecy that the final political ‘solution’ presented to the world (in the form of the Antichrist's New World Order - a one world government and one world monetary system) will be the worst and most destructive, counterfeit system the world will ever know. To read a book which explores this prophecy about the Antichrist (among other prophecies from the Revelation and the book of Daniel), please follow this link and download your free copy of 'Not For Everyone': http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/not-for-everyone/) MONEY 1. Q) What role does money play in your life? A) Jesus said ‘you cannot serve two masters' (M6:24/L16:13). We take this seriously and so we do not work for the purpose of gaining money; nor do we receive state benefits. We depend on God for our provision. However, we do use money which usually comes in the form of donations, either from the material we pass out on the streets or through other means e.g. from supporters. Please read on to find out more about donations and how we use money. For more information on our views about money, please read the following article: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/god-or-money-a-bible-study/ 2. Q) Why do you use donations? A) Although we use money we do not work for money. We use money in the form of donations when distributing our literature. We ask for donations when distributing because it helps to pay for the printing cost of the literature and because people generally value something they pay for. In the past we have tried distributing without the donations and a good number of the material ends up being thrown on the ground or in the bins. Asking for even a few pence solves this problem effectively. Another step we have taken in helping to distinguish our asking for donations from ‘working for money’ is to make the donation ‘any amount’. We do not require any specific amount; people give anything which they personally decide they want to give regardless of the amount, which may even be a non-monetary item such as a pen, some food or even a hug! The important issue when it comes to money is to do with our motivations - i.e. why we ask for money, how we use money and whether we would still do something without receiving any money (or anything else) at all. It is about working for Love/God without thought for material reward (See Matthew 6:2533). For a more detailed article exploring the issue of why we ask for donations, feel free to write to us at: email@example.com. 3. Q) How do you use donations? A) The bulk of the money we receive goes into evangelism (books, DVD’s, etc.) and various projects aimed at promoting the values of Heaven. We keep budgets and accounting for all expenses, remaining accountable to one another with our finances, down to the penny. We also organise regular business meetings, which usually include all members, so that everyone is kept up to date on what is happening with the finances. The money which each individual distributor receives from donations is put into a common purse and used as community funds. Every community member is asked to be involved in how they think the money should be spent. All work is voluntary and no person receives any wage. Excess donations (over the cost of printing) are used to pay for vehicle upkeep, fuel, and any other expenses related to our work. We try to spend very little on ourselves though we try not to be overly hard on ourselves, either. 4. Q) How are your material needs met? A) Our needs are met in various ways and through various means. It is difficult to say precisely because there really is no specific formula. Jesus tells us not to worry about how our needs will be met (Matthew 6:25). In a culture where we are taught to depend on material goods, it is normal to worry about material needs, but this kind of worry almost always causes us to act in fear rather than faith. God knows we have physical needs, but He wants us to understand that those needs can be met through the value of sharing with one another rather than forcing payment. The things we need may come through other people, through gifts given in love: it may be through food thrown out of supermarkets or people opening their homes and lives to us because they see value in what we are trying to achieve. Our job, however, is not to worry. We must simply have faith. The provision generally comes as a result of just getting out there and doing the job. If you are keen to learn more about the issue of money, please read the selection of articles found in the 'money' section under the 'Articles' tab, or follow this link: http://www.truthseeking.co.uk/money/