Tuesday 25 February 2014

What Would Jakob Hutter Think About Today's Hutterites?

Today marks 478 years since Jakob Hutter was burned at the stake for his faith. It was at Das Goldene Dachl in Innsbruck, Austria, where this horrid deed took place. Last August I had an opportunity to visit some Hutter related historical places. To learn more about those, click here.

Jakob Hutter
Some years ago, a group of people from Austria organized a memorial service at Das Goldene Dachl. Karl Amesbauer, who I met while in Europe, was instrumental in organizing this.  In a previous post, I shared the speech that he read and also pictures taken on that day. This gesture was not only done in memory of the Anabaptists who died for their faith in Austria, but also to create awareness of a dark period in that country's history, and hopefully help with the healing of deep historical wounds.

While our forefathers often had to flee from their enemies, were severely persecuted, and many ended up giving their life for their faith, we live a life of ease. However, with this life of ease, we're also faced with 'enemies' that threaten to steal and devour. If we're to live with the vision of our fore-bearers, serving Jesus at all cost, I can't help but feel, that we often lose sight of this vision.

Let's consider for a moment, if Jakob Hutter came to your home or community today...
  • What would he be appalled at?
  • What are some of your daily activities that he would challenge you about?
  • What would he be pleased with?
  • How would he admonish us regarding our efforts towards being 'a city on a hill'?
  • If he was the guest minister at your Sunday morning church service, what would his message be?
  • Would he embrace technology as much as we do?
  • What would he tell us about doing more to help feed the hungry?
  • What would he have to say about 'being in the world, but not of the world'?
Fellow Hutterites, I invite you to look at the above questions and respond to one or more. Or maybe you have other thoughts, beside these questions, feel free to tell me about those as well. If you're not a Hutterite, but know about them, have spent time with them.... you too can respond or add your thoughts. I look forward to seeing many comments on this post!!!


  1. Those are not the easiest questions to expect profound answers to in an open post. :)

    I don't think he would understand much of what is going on in terms of activities we spend much of our time on. Imagine the confusion that would be. His lifestyle and time can not be compared to what is now, in many aspects.

    But that is not answering your questions.

    I will answer one: are we doing enough to feed the hungry? (help less fortunate ones)
    As a whole, Christians are largely responsible for most of the worlds aid programs. Since our Hutterite faith is based on Christianity, we can feed off that notion and say we are doing our part.
    If you look at the broad demographic of our communities, we play a pretty large part in getting food to needy people in our local domains. Helping local is what our full focus should be on.
    Food is not the only resource we have though. As rural citizens, there is much more we can do for our local communities. It would be time that if possible, more communities embrace such aspects as helping with healthcare and fire and rescue services. We have the time and people. I would also like to see our businesses employ more local people, especially taking in younger people and giving them a chance to learn skills and a better chance at life. This should be possible if done with professionalism, and by creating a structured plan. There need not be fear of the whole concept of "keeping from the world". Everybody is made clear of what is expected.
    I think Hutterite communities will and already are becoming pillars of our rural society. Everybody else comes and goes, but once we settle, we are still there 100 years later.
    There might be many exceptions, but there is so much more we are capable off. I think too many of our citizens are a little too apt at making only their own life very comfortable, and caring less about the next person. As our standard of living is rapidly rising, and many around us are struggling more and more, we might be increasingly seen as the rich selfish upper class, and loathed.
    And we all like to be liked.


    1. Thanks, Mr. Quietwatch, I agree, there's a lot more that we could do to reach out...we are so blessed and those blessings were meant to be shared and not hoarded.

  2. As you know, I am not a Hutterite, although I have been in and around Anabaptist churches for the last 30 years. But I would say that part of the answer to the first question would be (in two aspects):
    1. The spiritual lethargy found in too many of today's Hutterites.
    2. The accumulated wealth.
    I am looking forward to more comments. :-)

  3. Sad but true. To be sure, Hutter would be appalled.

  4. I attend a Mennonite Brethern Church in Nova Scotia, and consider myself an anabaptist. I think that Hutter would be amazed at how Christianity has spread around the world. At the same time, he would be appalled at how far Christians have strayed from the teachings of Christ. And the extent to which Christianity has been used to achieve political and financial goals, at the expense of Kingdom of God.

    1. Well said, Anon. I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for stopping by my blog and for sharing your thoughts!!