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The Jesus Christian communities started around 1980, as a result of an experiment by my wife, Cherry, and myself to practice literally the teachings of Jesus.

Although there are, amongst various Christian groups, differences of opinion about how some of the teachings of Jesus should be interpreted, the Jesus Christians have been seen as exemplary in their attempts to discern the spirit of what Jesus taught, and to apply it in today's world. It is significant that even our worst enemies tend to condemn us on the grounds that we are "too extreme" in our adherence to the teachings of Jesus.


If, for example, Jesus says to love our enemies, we take it so far as to believe that we should not participate on either side in the event of a war. There are hardly any teachings that the Jesus Christians support which are not supported by some other Christians denominations. With the teaching about pacificism, for example, such groups as Mennonites, the Amish (in America), some Brethren groups, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Quakers all teach the same for their entire membership. While other Christian denominations do not teach pacifism as a fundamental requirement for all Christians, they virtually all accept it as one valid interpretation of the teachings of Jesus, and they do have and support members who believe and practice pacifism.

Similar patterns emerge with regard to other Jesus Christian beliefs which have been labelled as extreme.

Living by Faith

Members live together and share a common purse. This is consistent with what the early Christians did, as recorded in Acts 2:44-45:

"And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need."

The pattern is further described in Acts 4:32-35:

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul. Neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet, and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."

The Jesus Christians ask new members to renounce all private ownership on joining the community. This is based on the teaching of Jesus which says (Luke 14:33):

"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, cannot be my disciple."

and the further teaching of Jesus (Luke 12:33):

"Sell what you have, and give alms. Provide yourselves bags which do not wax old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts."

The concepts of voluntary poverty, communal living, and faith ministries appear sporadically in Christian denominations as diverse as high church Anglicans and Pentecostal fundamentalists. In fact, the Jesus Christians have been referred to as "the new Franciscans" because their lifestyle is so similar to that of St. Francis of Assissi, one of the most popular of Christian saints. All that makes the Jesus Christians different from other denominations in this regard is that their entire membership chooses voluntary poverty, lives communally, and operates as a faith ministry.

It is this aspect of the group's teachings which most frequently upsets parents, who strongly wish for their grown children to be wealthy and respectable. Even in organisations such as the Catholic Church, where centuries of tradition have brought a deep sense of respectability to the priesthood, it is still quite common for parents to object strongly if their son or daughter chooses to become a priest or nun.

Kidney Donations

In the past two years much has been made by the media of the fact that quite a few Jesus Christians have voluntarily donated a kidney for transplant to someone suffering from kidney disease. Obviously there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus which says, "Thou shalt donate a kidney." And to be sure, the Jesus Christians do not have a formal body of teaching about kidney donations. It is just something that some of them have done. However, kidney donations, when done voluntarily, without remuneration, and for the purpose of saving another person's life, are undeniably consistent with all that Jesus taught (and the Jesus Christians teach) about love.

The Bible says (1 John 3:17-18):

"Whosoever has this world's goods and sees his brother have need, and closes up his bowels of compassion against him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth."

Once again, we have a practice which has been followed by individual members of almost all Christian denominations, and which is hardly outlawed by any of them, but which has been unfairly condemned when practiced by members of the Jesus Christians, purely and simply on the grounds that so many of us have done it. We have been called a "kidney cult" in an effort to imply that something sinister is taking place, and yet nothing untoward has been turned up by any of the psychologists, doctors, and other professionals who have examined and quizzed each one of us before allowing us to donate.


A final area of controversy relates to our attitude toward sex. To be fair, it probably relates more to the attitude of our critics toward sex, for there is rarely ever any reference to what we actually teach when someone begins to claim or imply that we teach or practice sexual immorality. At best they imply guilt by association or by spurious hearsay. Fred Njoroge, for example, wrote an email to his daughter, Betty, in which he said that our community practices prostitution. I understand that he claimed his information came from the Internet.

Our experience is that there are a lot of things written on the Internet which are not true. However, we have never been accused of this before, to our knowledge. So I asked Betty to push Fred for information regarding the source of his claims. Despite several attempts, Betty was not able to get a reply. So I can only assume that the claim was a total fabrication, like so much of the information that has been leaked to the Kenyan media over the last two months.

In fact, the Jesus Christian teachings about sex are, once again, probably more strict than those of the average church. We do not believe in homosexual practice, and we do not believe in sex outside of marriage. We do not believe in remarriage after divorce. We do not believe that couples (even engaged couples) should indulge in any sort of physical expressions of romantic love (kissing, fondling, or even holding hands) until after they have been married. All of this can be verified through articles which appear on our website.

Obviously in the light of this, allegations that we believe in or practice prostitution constitute the worst possible slander.


There are other teachings of Jesus (e.g. praying secretly, keeping alms secret, not using titles of "respect") which we also follow, and many of them are similar to the teachings of early Quakers.

My wife and I have been members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for the past six years. We first came to Kenya at the invitation of a District Superintendent of the Central Yearly Meeting of Friends in Western District, and I will personally be speaking at Friends meetings in that District for six weeks in October and November of this year. I will also be distributing a booklet, entitled "Radical Christian Teachings" which outlines basic Quaker "testimonies". I personally wrote and published the booklet as part of my effort to encourage greater Christian commitment amongst Kenyans. If a copy can be added to this statement, it should give further evidence of the sound, bible-based nature of Jesus Christian teachings.

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