Concept of the World

The world which surrounds them is seen as inimical to God and forfeited to sin. This gloomy concept of the world forms the black backdrop, against which their own concept shines all the brighter. They feel themselves to be literally ‘called out’ of this world (from ekklesia, Greek for ‘church,’ which is derived from ekkaleo, or ‘called forth’). The negative phenomena in the world are, according to their opinion, caused by sin. Occasionally, even physical or mental disabilities are interpreted as God’s punishment.

Because of the explicitly negative view of the world around them, a positive comment, i.e. praise for something outside the group, is very difficult for them. On the other hand, a critical consideration of their own doctrine and demands is similarly difficult.

In individual cases, a “redefinition” of concepts is apparent, communicating a changed view of the values of our interpersonal culture. To the reproach, that their conduct toward parents is inhumane, one youth reacted throughly positively. “Humane” (interpreted as “human”) would mean something not divine and therefore inferior; as a result they do not perceive “inhumane” to be a criticism. Additionally, concepts like “tolerance” and “patience” are seen by the group as more negative than positive: tolerance is lukewarmness when Christianity demands decisiveness. To this end, Revelation 3:15-16 is usually quoted: “I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. If only you were cold or hot! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I want to spit you out of my mouth.” A Christian must be intolerant. Equally, patience means allowing another person to procrastinate regarding decisions, or to be indulgent about misconduct, which also would be impossible for a Christian.

There doesn’t currently seem to be an anticipation of the imminent end of the world, contrary to earlier estimates inside the group, even if statements by individual members seemed to indicate this. In general, for them it’s not really a worthwhile topic with which to occupy oneself.