The Price

The Price
Peter Hoover

If you can see this picture, what comes to your mind -- How nice it must be to live in a mountain village, surrounded by awesome scenery every day? How green its pastures look (great spot for a goat dairy), or does it spark a desire, perhaps, to include the Südtirol in your next vacation to Europe?

Let me tell you something: There is more to Villnöss than what meets the eye.

To vacation here would probably take twice the money you think. To own a place here (besides needing to know German and Italian, and holding European citizenship) would be virtually impossible, because the area is strictly zoned, houses get inherited and hardly anything ever comes up for sale.

Similar, in some ways, to the church community (Anabaptist, Hutterite) that began in the Villnöss area during the 1520s -- looks nice from the outside, but not so easy to get in. Or to live there.

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Have you any idea what we should do with people that get attracted to our church community "just for the scenery"?

During the last 20 years more and more seekers have come to desire the benefits of our conservative Anabaptist communities. They want the simplicity, the modest clothes, the large families, the quiet and peaceable life. But there are two things most of them yet cling to for all they are worth:

1. They must spend their money as they please.

2. They dare not get told what to do.

Asking (or worse yet, telling) a modern seeker to do something is like waving a red flag to a bull All natural instincts come into play. God, Jesus, the Bible, the Church, all personal convictions give way to the overpowering need to dress like they please, to go where they wish, and to stay with their jobs, their houses, or their church fellowships only as long as they feel like it.

The great capital letter "I" rules all of life. What "I" think, what "I" believe, what "I" want to do, carries in every situation. That is, after all, what Western Society has taught its children for the last hundred years.

For that reason we live in a century of chaos, of decadence, disintegration, and despair. There is no hope for Western society, not even for Western seekers, until the devil of their built-in stubborness, that core of insubmission, is slain and flopped on the altar to burn.

Then there is peace -- not like the world gives -- but only one out of a million, out of ten million perhaps, will find it. Will that one be you?

Bear this in mind: If you want to swim you dare not refuse to get wet. If you want to stay the night or climb the Geisslerspitzen at Villnöss you cannot refuse the price Michael Kürschner, Georg Blaurock and Jakob Hutter who held secret meetings at Villnöss during the 1520s all got burned at the stake -- George only a few kilometres from where the above picture was taken, Michael and Jakob across the range at Innsbruck. But their work survived.

Would you agree to have as much burned as your favourite pair of jeans? Or your new CD?

Believe it or not, you and your family's survival may depend on it.