From our house in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, we can drive about an hour and a half down the scenic Bluegrass Parkway to the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, near Harrodsburg, Kentucky

From Kentuckytourism.com, “The Shakers played an important role in American religious history, developing the longest lasting communal society.  Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is America’s largest restored Shaker community, with 34 carefully restored buildings and 3,000 acres of preserved farmland.” 

Wikipedia describes the Shakers as follows:   “The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, known as the Shakers, is a religious sect. Founded upon the teachings of Ann Lee, Shakers today are mostly known for their cultural contributions (especially their style of music and furniture), and their model of equality of the sexes, which they institutionalized in their society in the 1780s.”

The Shakers were a Christian sect that started in 1747 in England and then crossed the Atlantic to emigrate to the American colonies in 1774.  They had some unusual practices such as their very ecstatic, charismatic worship services which earned them the moniker “Shaking Quakers.”  Also, they were know for their completely celibate life for all members in communal colonies of men, women, and children (from couples that joined but lived celibate after joining, while their children were raised in a group by other members of the commune).  Despite their unique characteristics, they fit right in to the tremendous and wide-spread revival called the Great Awakening that swept the colonies (and later states) from the early 18th century to the late 19th century (actually divided by scholars into four distinct periods of religious revival).

As mentioned up above, they were led by Anne Lee who “joined them by 1758 and soon assumed leadership of the small community. The loss of four children in infancy created great trauma for ‘Mother Ann,’ as her followers later called her. She claimed numerous revelations regarding the fall of Adam and Eve and its relationship to sexual intercourse. She had become the ‘Mother of the new creation,’ who called her followers to confess their sins, give up all their worldly goods, and take up the cross of celibacy.” 

I’m always fascinated by the various religious sects under the umbrella of Christianity that have arisen throughout Christian history, including the many Amish that we occasionally see driving their distinctive black, horse-drawn, box-like buggies around Elizabethtown.  I’m continually amazed at how generous God is in accepting our many individual (sometimes ignorant) approaches to Him, following our limited ability to comprehend, our unique personality traits, our unique vision of what constitutes worship, our unique experience of life, and our unique conscience and understanding of Him and of scriptural truth. 

It is yet one more example of His limitless, boundless love for us.

I pray that His sweet love will cover you this day.

 


Comments

09/17/2016 12:20am

It is unique and different for all of us and that is what sets us apart from the 7.4 billion people all living among us. Now I'm just going to get an essay writer to work on my research papers as soon as I can because I just need to go out myself.

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02/05/2017 8:27am

Every nation and religion accept their own gods. But he is one. Don't look on the differences!

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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