>Anabaptists on Mutual Aid/Community of Goods

Balthasar Hubmaier (on voluntary mutual aid, not talking about collective ownership vs. private ownership; that came later in the Hutterites): “I have ever and always spoken thus of the community of goods: that one person should always look out for the other, so that the hungry are fed, the thirsty given drink, the naked clothed, etc. For we are not lords of our goods, but stewards and distributors. There are certainly none who say that one should take what belongs to the other and make it in common.”

Pilgram Marpeck adds: “Even though they control their possessions, such true believers do not say in their hearts that these are theirs; rather, their possessions belong to God and the needy. For this reason, among true Christians who display the freedom of love, all things are communal and are as if they had been offered, since they have been offered by the heart.”

Menno Simons (from whence Mennonites) agrees: Those who follow the Spirit “show mercy and love, as much as they can…. They entertain those in distress. They take the stranger into their houses. They comfort the afflicted; assist the needy; clothe the naked; feed the hungry; do not turn their face from the poor; do not despise their own flesh. Isaiah 59:7,8. Behold, such a community we teach.”


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