Chapter 5 of Irresistible Revolution gives an overview of the beginnings of the community that Claiborne helped start called The Simple Way. It is also an overview of his experiment of monasticism. He begins the chapter by telling us that Christians have not shown the world another way to live.
He talks a lot about the wording “come and see,” a phrase that Mother Theresa would always use when people would ask about what she did. The only way he knows to invite people into the Christian faith is to invite them to come and see how they live at The Simple Way as they try to be an incarnation of the body.
Claiborne believes that helping the poor is considered commendable, but joining them is considered radical. Catholic bishop Dom Camara says, “When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.”
In American it is popular today to try and do church in a way like the early church. What I mean is that it is popular in ideology to try and do church like in Acts. Claiborne describes this as “the story of a people who were together and were of one heart and mind, sharing all in common.” There aren’t many churches today who want to approach church in a way like Acts presents…that “do” church like that.
As Claiborne describes the difference between most faith communities and The Simple Way he tells us that most communities only tell us what they believe, “but they do not tell us how their beliefs affect their lifestyle.”
Most churches are known by their doctrine, not by the way they live. I wonder how we can change this, because I do see the importance and value of doctrines, but I also see how they confine churches into certain categories. I see doctrines as being important to believers but mostly unimportant when it comes to reaching the lost.