Rational and Avenue For A Biblical Community In The Greater Grand Rapids Area
The sad situation today is that the USA has been heading in the wrong direction as a nation, and for the most part the State of Michigan and Michigan communities in general (albeit to different extents) are following in this same pattern. It is a direction marked by rebellion against the moral law of God summarized in the Ten Commandments and dishonoring to Jesus Christ. For our own spiritual well being, as well as a testimony to the truth of God, it would be wise to seek establishment of a community that bears witness to the Biblical truth.
There are additional benefits that come with pursuing by God’s grace a Biblical community:
• It is in line with the scriptural ideal to be within a “Sabbath day’s journey” of church and church school.
• It provides a vehicle by which member investments are going towards enterprises which build up a godly community rather than a perverse society.
• It provides the practical benefit of children being able to walk to school without challenging transportation issues, and teaching staff to conveniently get there.
• There is a principle that people can help church brethren more with closer geographic proximity: “better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off” (Proverbs 27:10b).
• It can provide better protection in a time when there is evidence of progressive US deterioration (including in border control) and eventually break-up.
• It encourages other enterprises along the lines of this model.
There is a long and illustrious precedent for the people of God forming Christian communities, after the example of Ezra and his fellow Jews re-forming Jerusalem. Many communities in North America were so formed for this reason, including by the well-known Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts. And they in many ways faced greater obstacles than would be faced with this endeavor. Their efforts by God’s grace proved a blessing for generations to come.
A modern example in the US context, albeit by Hasidic Judaists and not by Christians, is the community of Kiryas Joel, New York, which can be read about at Kiryas Joel, New York – Wikipedia . It began in the 1970s as a village of around 500 Hasidic Jews of a certain sect, and today has a population of around 25,000 (a larger population than Walker, Michigan). Over time it has added acreage as the population grew. It is an Orthodox Jewish city. Other Judaist groups are heading in the same direction with other communities. In reality, Muslims are headed in the same direction with certain communities, such as the example explained at In the first majority-Muslim U.S. city, residents tense about its future – The Washington Post. Should there be these and no reformed Protestant Christian communities?
A possible vehicle to work towards such a community would be the formation of a real estate development corporation with investor shareholders. Voting common share ownership could be limited so that no one family could have more than a certain percentage ownership (20%?), thereby dispersing voting control . Non-voting common shares could be issued to allow for more investment in the corporation (for those who want to invest more than the voting share limit would allow, as well as others who might prefer buying them), which could be purchased at some price discount below voting shares to make up for the lack of voting ability with such shares, yet pay dividends at the same rate as voting shares. The corporation could purchase and own all of the community land, but buildings on the land could be either rented (owned by the corporation or other members) or owned, according to condominium model principles. Rents earned by the corporation could be used to defray expenses, build some corporate cash reserve, and pay dividends to shareholders.
An important political milestone of this community to strive for would be to form a recognized village, as explained at mml.org : “The basic difference between a city and a village is that whenever and wherever an area is incorporated as a village, it stays within the township. The villagers participate in township affairs and pay township taxes in addition to having their own village government. Incorporation as a city, however, removes an area from township government. City dwellers participate in county elections and pay county taxes as do villagers but are removed from township units. Villages in Michigan are organized primarily to establish local regulatory ordinances and to provide local services such as fire and police protection, public works and utilities. Certain of the local duties required by the state are not demanded of the village but are performed by the embracing township including assessing property; collecting taxes for counties and school districts; and administering county, state and national elections … For incorporation of a home rule village, a population of 150 is the minimum, but there must be a minimum density of 100 to the square mile.” See also Administrative divisions of Michigan – Wikipedia.
One important part of the reformed Christian response to societal spiritual declension of the USA into a modern Babel and Sodom is that we need to do what our reformed Christian forefathers did at the beginning of their North American experience: form by God’s grace reformed Christian communities which can serve as a model for the whole, even as Plymouth of the New England Pilgrims and New Amsterdam of the Dutch Reformed set a godly foundation and pattern, and for which there is scriptural precedent as well. Reformed Biblical Christian communities are a divinely appointed human means to arrest societal declension, even as reformed Christian education is a divinely appointed human means to arrest generational declension. God has well-equipped us in West Michigan to form a Biblical community in the area which could serve as a prototype for others. God is sovereign over all, but He requires Christians to use means for godly ends.