In our foundational articles section, we discuss what it means to know and trust in Joshua, as well as some basic principles of following Joshua. In this article, we will seek to address how a Family would function and 'what it looks like'.
Once a person comes to the place of being rejected by the world due to speaking Joshua's truths - and thus starts to look for other disciples to share his Life with (love), and to do the work of the King - they are ready for Family Life. As you will see, being rejected by people who don't have Joshua as their Leader and looking for a new Family to experience love in, is very different than either 'church' or 'community' shopping.
We will assume that another disciple or disciples have a base they are looking to share with other disciples. A base is essentially a property with shelter (housing) which can support the follower's of Joshua as they work for the King. The reason we call it a base instead of a house or our property or some other such label, is because "base" communicates a lack of permanence. The purpose of the base is to manifest the new command! It is a place where we can go to be sheltered from the rejection of the world; a place where we can experience the love of our Father through others of His children; a place where we can rest or be refreshed; a place where we learn more about our King through other more experienced or mature disciples; a place where we can go out from to do the work of the King. In short, our Home is with our Father, while our home in this world is with other disciples living out the new command of love, no matter where they are.
To understand what the Flock or Family looks like, let us contrast the Family concept just described with a bible based or "christian community". First of all, let us be clear that a bible based or christian community in the U.S.A. is distinct from what people call "the church". "The church" is merely a religious organization or religious social club with virtually no serious effort of the people to actually share their lives. The christian religious organization is simply a place people go to perform their rituals, sing songs they call worship, and have their beliefs (which believes fastidiously stay away from Joshua's practical living out of love teachings) affirmed a few times a week. The people who make up the "church" spend the majority of their time pursuing material things, 'careers' and working for money - the people are not proclaiming Joshua as the solution to people's problems. The religious organization's members live lives that are indistinguishable from the materialistic agnostics which fill the U.S.A. today. They make no serious effort to share anything, and have no desire to share their possessions, let alone their lives. You will know they are christians by their religious organization attendance or by their bible knowledge. Sadly, you will NOT know them by their love for one another.
In contrast to the shallow "church", the bible based or christian community is trying to manifest the accurate definition of "community".
The definition of a "community" is a group of people living in close proximity, sharing resources to some extent, and working together for common purposes and goals. Communities vary as to the depth of the peoples relationships. Typically, if the people of the community share some high priority - like physical survival (most small villages in materially poor nations); people of the same or similar political or religioius beliefs; or what they view as very important work (many religion based communities, eco-communities, etc.) - then the relationships - or friendships - among the people will be deeper or at least more stable or enduring.
Christian communities vary widely, and they are generally a bit less materialistic than "the churches". They usually have some component of sharing material things, and the people who make them up generally are more involved in each other's daily lives than "the churches". If these characteristics of an individual involved in the community are faith manifested characteristics, then that individual is to be commended for acting on the faith they have.
However, christian communities are significantly different than the disciples of Joshua forming a little flock or Family. Let us look at some of the major differences.
Bible-based community (BBC) leadership...
Their will be some form of human authority recognized - their will be a leader or leaders other than Joshua who will drive or shape the communities beliefs and direct the activities of the community. This hierarchy will vary much, but ultimately, these human leader(s) direct both the community's practices and to some extent the individual's lives. They might claim the bible is the final authority, but there will be leaders who are looked to to 'properly interpret' and thus understand the bible. Primarily authority - not truth and example - will be the way of the BBC's leaders.
...versus Joshua Flock (JF) leadership:
The only recognized authority is Joshua. He will be each individual's (and thus the collective group's) only spiritual Leader. He will direct people's lives. Understanding Joshua' teaching will happen in life as we live them out and have discussions about his teaching using truth and reason to understand. Decisions regarding group activities will be made by the group collectively with Joshua' teachings as the only guide. We will be careful to understand, “You know that those who are recognized as leaders in the world lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the lowest servant of all."
BBC spiritual or religious learning...
There usually will be a formal meeting at a set time or times with those considered the most gifted "teachers" either giving a message-sermon-teaching, or leading a more collectively-oriented meeting. The teaching method will be primarily an intellectual exercise and primarily restricted to a teaching meeting where the leaders speak and the non-leaders listen. There are virtually no questions or give and take...no discussion. Merely the 'enlightened Teachers' instructing the 'laymen' much like the 'church' system.
... versus JF spiritual learning:
The primary way the less mature will learn is by the daily example of the more mature, since the disciples are living out a shared Life (this is impossible for the christians who do not want to truly love one another and thus are not deeply or even regularly involved in each other's daily lives). The more mature disciples will speak the Master's Words in daily life and activities. Individual disciple's primary way to intellectually learn the Way's teachings is by themselves as they read and listen to the Master's teachings. There might be meetings where Joshua's Words are read and discussed, but these meetings are informal and there is no one looked to as the spiritual Teacher who wields authority other than Joshua himself.
BBC material sharing...
The material sharing that does take place (if any) is usually encoded into law, rules or contract (oftentimes based on bible verses other than Joshua's Words), and thus has a legal basis with an enforcement component either plainly stated or implied.
...versus JF material sharing:
The sharing of material things will be completely voluntary based on each individual's will as they are able to receive Joshua's teachings on material things. Sharing will be caught (love), not taught and forced by law. Simply put, the better we understand our Father's love, the more of what we have we will share.
BBC 'join' or 'membership' reason...
The individuals making up the community are generally there because they were looking for some type of communal-based religious life-style. They like aspects of a more communal (small community) life-style and looked for (or researched) one they liked the best, and generally joined as it was convenient for them to do so. They typically have some statment of doctrine they want people to agree to that pretty much is the same as the 'churches', meaning it is not based solely in Joshua's teachings.
...versus JF join reason:
Individuals making up the Family are there because they have been rejected by people who don't believe Joshua nor want his as the sole/soul Leader. They join the Family because they are looking to agape/love and be agaped/loved by other children of their Father. They become part of a Family because they have been rejected or persecuted by those who don't want to listen to Joshua due to their speaking Joshua's truths about himself and about the world and trying their best to live out Joshua's teachings. Our unity will exist based our love for one another and on Joshua's teachings ALONE as they are found in the four gospels.
BBC main works...
The main work of the bible based community will generally be to help others around the community with normal christian-type activities like giving food to the poor, helping the elderly with various things, assisting with building shelters for the poor, running thrift type shops, supporting their 'missionaries' in various ways, etc. Another major common purpose is to grow the religious organization by various membership methods, thus growing the power and influence of the organization's leaders.
...versus JF main work...
Joshua' disciples main work is to bring people to our Father and Joshua and speaking his words and truths to others in an attempt to make disciples and thus have others enter into his Life. In other words, it is not to bring empty religious beliefs or material things to others - rather it is to introduce people to the one who can make our life beautiful, right and meaningful, and to be a model to those in darkness of what people living by the Father's love really looks like.
BBC religious activities...
Typically the bible based community will have typical christian type rituals, like "worship" meetings, communion or the last supper, prayer meetings, bible teaching sessions, etc.
...versus JF lack of religious activies:
Joshua's disciples try to agape/love each other in everyday life as the main expression of worshipping, loving and obeying God. We don't see worship as primarily expressed in songs, but we might sing every now and then, especially as we work and live together each day...it will not be an everybody involved meeting at this set time type thing. We don't do the last supper thing except maybe as each natural family sees fit. We don't pray out loud together since Joshua says don't do that (Matt. 6:6). As already discussed, we don't have 'bible teaching sessions' led by a 'bible teacher' since we have only One Teacher, that is Joshua. We spend our time building, strenghening, and reproducing the Family - the greater work - and helping each other provide food and shelter - the lesser work.
To sum up, a little flock of the Light will act like a functional large natural family. We believe we have the same Father and thus we will actually try to act like it! The term "brother" and "sister" will be backed up a by daily life of caring for each other, actively aware of our common Father and working to bring people to Him and His Life. We will share all that we possess, including our houses-shelters and will not be "looking for our own space" - code language for selfish living. Our purpose, hope and work will be the same as we will be in unity about such important matters since we only listen to the one who asks for unity (Joshua, see John 17), and our DAILY lives will reflect it. We will not be lazy, selfish people who have little concern for doing what is right or being a servant to others. We refuse to live the emply and shallow religious 'life' of that which calls itself 'the church' or 'christian community'.
The differences and distinctions between 'the church', a bible-based community and a Flock or Family of Joshua should be clear to the reader at this point. If they are, then you just might have ears to hear, and now you must do something with the truth you have just heard.
If your 'spiritual life' in comprised of 'going to church' a few times a week, then you have heard the truth in this article, which truth shows the shallowness, loveless-ness and bankruptcy of that "life" / ritual (see Is 'Going to Church' Compatible with the Teachings of Joshua of Nazareth?).
You now have a choice before you - a fork in the road has been pointed out to you - so what are you going to do with it? Start down the narrow Way, or stay on the broad way?
If you are a member in a bible-based community, you too have a choice to make. There is something MUCH better than what you have been experiencing. Instead of bringing churchianity, bible-anity, meeting-anity and the american way of life to a community, you can instead be a part of a group of people who have one focus only...to love our Father back by doing what the Son says. If you are consistently bringing Joshua' truths to the people of the community, then you should be on your way out anyway. Or if you have at least been consistent with some faith based desire, that is often enough to get you put out as well!
Perhaps you are by yourself due to your trying to listen to Joshua and thus seeing the darkness of the world (particularly the religious world) around you, and you have made every effort to not compromise your faith. You need to try and find another disciple to love, for if you don't, then this ALL important teaching of the Light cannot be manifest in your life:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)
Without the new command being lived out, we have NOTHING...NO effective witness to the world. And without the new command being obeyed, we can claim whatever labels we want for ourselves, but the truth is, we are not follower of the Joshua of Nazareth, the Light of the world. If we are not sharing our daily lives...if we are not a model of non-naturally or legally related people caring for each other...if we are not sharing all that we have to help one another...then we are not living out the new command...let us not deceive ourselves.
Do you see the need to join the Peaceful Revolution? Do you see how little true love you are experiencing in your life? Then please contact us and become part of the solution instead of continuing in being part of the problem.
Peace to you!