Christians separating from the secular
May 28th, 2010
10:04 AM ET

Unplugged Christians living off the grid

To look upon the beauty of Oregon is to understand what people mean when they say this is God's country, and that's exactly why Brother Gregory lives here.

He is part of a wider movement of conservative Christians who are choosing to live their lives on the edge of society, unplugged from civilization as much as they can, living under basic biblical principles.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Christianity • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Gay rights

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. John

    This is being flagged as a Christian issue, however this has more to do with a basic belief that these people have about how they should be able to live there life. Whether they are aetheist, jew or muslim, the basic belief that they have would still be the same. It just happens that they have turned to the text of their particular religion to find support for their belief. It gives them strength to think that they are being more authentic in their religious belief than others of their faith. In this country's past, these people would be ranchers or farmers out in the rural sections of the country and we would pay them no mind. In this more urban and connected time they stand out, partially due to their beliefs and partially due to their desire to show others their higher level of piety. Since the beginnings of theological belief this type of person has existed, and they will continue to exist long beyond my lifetime. They are an interesting diversion, but in the end they will go the way of all the other acetics that came before them.

    June 2, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  2. dp

    Until they drop the internet, disconnect from the power companies and shun cars, they are not off the grid.

    June 2, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  3. Marshall

    Interesting comments. The article is about a pretty extreme fringe Christian group. Every religion, political orientation, etc, has its extremists. That doesn't make them bad, misguided or even failures in their Christian faith. I believe to quote the great commission and use that to promote an agressive evangelistic lifestyle for all Christians and ignore quite a bit of other scipture is pretty ignorant. For one, it was given to a very specific audience whom Jesus had specifically called to start the church and evangelize. A clear reference to the calling of all Christians is in 1 Cor where it says we all have a spiritual gift and that we are required to use that gift. Many of those gifts are exercised in a local body of Christ, not in the public square. I am not isolationist, but I do homeschool my four childred because I want to be the primary influence in their life, not the public school ideology. There are many legitimate reasons for seeking a level of isolation from the influences of the world. Unless this group is storing arms and seeking to overthrough the government, then we need to let God be their judge, an not do it ourselves.

    June 2, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  4. Roy

    These posts are just another example of how much hatred there is in some circles towards Christianity in this country

    June 1, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • US airmen

      If you wish to talk about hatred, Christianity and the US in the same sentence, hey lets not forget about the heathen Indians that the Christians needed to bring or slaughter out of the wild. Such a Christian thing to do, don't ya think, Manifest Destiny and all.

      June 6, 2010 at 3:24 am |
  5. Just the Facts

    ~ Captain NoDuh – The Mennonites didn't "spin off" from the Amish! Both groups share a common historical root in the Anabaptists, a Protestant tradition. Do some research before you spout off!

    June 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Captain NoDuh

    Funny and amusing article. The Amish have been living off the grid since their beginning. The people described in this article seem to be following the practices of the Mennonites which spun off the Amish Church. Very nice very quaint, if only all of us could live in bliss.

    June 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  7. John

    Oy Gott in Himmel!

    June 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  8. Rph40

    Wait until they are on life support, then go see them get "unplugged".

    June 1, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  9. BassOMatic

    These fundamentalists just can't stand the fact that the U.S. government has helped far more people than their mythical god.

    June 1, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • Brian

      While I think these people are taking the idea a little too far, your assertion is laughable, at best.

      June 2, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • Zeppelin

      Their laughable religion (read: pretend story time) is always trying to take credit from Men and Women that accomplish things, giving the credit to "god". What a gyp!

      June 4, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  10. SHRIKE

    Don't you feel better that they have a community plan of what to do if the U.S. economy collapses? I know I'll sleep better tonight knowing that they have a plan.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  11. RodBfromNC

    So if one of the kids gets sick and doesn't get treatment because the consider Medicaid & Medicare a SIN, it could be a felony if it was one of the kids. (sorry, late on the coffee)

    June 1, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  12. tommas

    I wonder how much government subsidized gasoline they have to use living in the middle of no where?

    May 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  13. lynn

    Our highways and railroads and national parks are ALL supported by "government assistance". If you truly want off the grid, and want to secede, sign up and no longer use these societal benefits. Officially. Wear a badge of honor over it. Nothing transported along these routes can be bought by you. Not food, fuel, tools, land, etc. My taxes will no longer allow you to travel on my route.

    May 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  14. The MoM

    I think the nation – the world has "GOD"
    Preach who's or what gospel?
    Remember there are the preachings of other books from "God"

    May 30, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • d

      Jesus showed his disciples how to preach and what to say It is all in the Bible

      June 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  15. Lori

    health care programs are against christianity?.........The only sad thing about this is the poor brainwashed children.......RUN KIDS RUN.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  16. Nita

    I wonder if any of these folks accepted an FHA mortgage? That too is "government assistance".

    May 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  17. Jose

    True Chritianity is not some belief and its not a RELIGION! True Christianity is having a relationship with Jesus Christ the one who gave it all! As Christians we are called to preach the gospel and be glimmers of light in this dark world! were supposed to show everyone the Love of Christ and our mission is not to convert people! But to preach and tell absolute TRUTH! So that God can be glorified! Remember God does the saving not us! To HIM Be all the Glory Forever!! We should not be secluded but sharing HIS love with the world!!! God bless

    May 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • sean

      what about Jehovah?

      May 31, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • RodBfromNC

      Wasn't it God who told Moses and Joshua to kill all the tribes of Canaan. Wasn't it the God of the Bible, who told them both to slaughter every man, woman and child in Canaan who were not the Children of Israel? (yep, read the old testament) Not very "God" like ordering your disciples to kill the elderly and women and children.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:22 am |
    • CWeaver

      AMEN !!!! What a perfect post..keep up the good work Jose.
      Love in God thru Jesus the Christ !!!!!!!!

      June 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • lazer007

      i have tryed to tell that to people for years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!............... 😉

      June 6, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Ponter B

      Sorry, I don't work with middle men, and I don't need some kid taking the wrap for me. If god doesn't like my life choices then let him deal with me directly.

      June 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Kate

      I've never understood why some people insist they want everyone to have a relationship with a dead man that there isn't even any evidence that he ever existed. Comes across as completely self indulgent and whacked. I have more respect for people who leave milk out for the garden fairies.

      June 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  18. NikEstep

    The only thing that surprised me is that government assistance is a sin. We should be saving a lot more money if that's true.

    May 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  19. Joel3

    Yea, as a Christian sometimes I feel like giving up and moving to some secluded area away from the world. However, we have a DUTY down here guys. We were called and given an assignment to preach the gospel to all the nations before this thing wraps up. We can not just decide it's too hard and find some honeycomb hideout because we feel like the world doesn't want God. This is exactly what was predicted: The world will move away from God before the end comes but IT"S NOT HERE YET. Please stop with the doom and gloom. There are so many souls who are still lost in all the lies and deception. They don't know why they are here and it is our JOB to TELL THEM. The Holy Spirit has not finished HIS work. So dig deep, pray for replenishment, and LET"S GO ->

    May 28, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • Nita

      To Joel3. You say "It is our job to tell them". I quote Micah 6:8. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." You should practice humility and recognize that you do not know the mind of God...nor the heart of your fellow humans...none of us do...and to pretend that you do is blasphemous. And, then to act as though we know "THE way" and have "THE answer" is the reason why so many people have been killed in the name of religion throughout history.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jeff

      Nita, you cite a beautiful verse from Micah but you interpret it too narrowly and out of context. No one is committing blasphemy or pretending to know the mind of God when they say we are called to preach the gospel to all nations. Ever hear of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)? Preaching the gospel to all nations is simply obedience to God. As for knowing "THE way," I refer you to John 14:6 is which Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." Now, you are certainly free to disagree with Jesus' claim, but you cannot say a born-again Christian is blaspheming by believing Jesus is THE way.

      If these folks want to live in the wilderness, so be it. They do not have to answer to me, but they will eventually have to answer to their God regarding their obedience to preach to the nations. I choose to live in the world but not of the world. In other words, I own a house (okay, part of it, the bank owns the rest), send my kids to school, shop in the local stores, take my kids to their ball games, go to movies, work in the yard, say hi to the neighbors, all without sacrificing my Christian faith. In fact, I do all this while practicing my Christian faith. I am not saying these people will fare poorly on judgement day, I'm simply saying I believe God calls me to live for Him in the world, not separate from it.

      June 1, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • FilledandOverflowingNC

      AMEN and AMEN. It would be so much easier to unplug form the world and shelter myself and my children from the blatant God Hate in this world, but it is our JOB, our great commandment to pray for and love those in this dying world. We are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. We are set apart but we are still here, loving others.

      June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Brad

      Amen, Joel. God bless you and all who read your post.

      June 2, 2010 at 7:18 am |
    • McCluck

      hmmm sounds kind of like a scam to me...like a pyramid scheme but different...is the pope named bernie?

      June 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • JJ

      Good post. Jesus didn't tell his disciples to run away and hide. 1 Corinthians 9 shows how Paul reached the world. It does not say you have to sin to reach the world – but you also can't run away and hide. For afterall – we are ALL sinners who need a Savior. Who would deliver that message if we buy a farm in the middle of nowhere and locked our doors out of disdain for the world?

      19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Cor 9)

      June 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Julie in Austin

      Paul was a pathological liar, a fraud and a heretic. He was forced to repent of the misguided beliefs he was teaching. Read the account of Paul when he met with James in Jerusalem in Acts 21:21. James tells him that what he is preaching is heresy, and he instructs Paul to go to the Temple to repent for his sins, including that he is to shave his head (see Job 1:20). He also tells Paul that he is only to tell the Gentiles that they are to refrain from certain behaviors - Acts 21:25. There were no instructions that Paul was to teach that Jesus was some kind of pagan Roman man-god. A few verses later, Paul returns to his heretical ways, and is once again in trouble with the religious leaders in Jerusalem, namely James and the rest of the community that forced him to shave his head and repent in the Temple. When this happens, he appeals to the Romans, by telling them that he's a Roman citizen. Paul then goes off and invents a pagan religion based on the same stories about gods coming to earth and getting women pregnant and making demi-gods and god-men and so on.

      June 6, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • Ponter B

      That's ok, you don't need to knock on my door. Keep your religion on the otherside of the street, I've seen how wonderful its worked in this world so far, and I ain't buying.

      June 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  20. jeff

    Ignorance should not be considered a virtue.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Sunny Guy

      Nowadays it is considered hip to remain ignorant about the deeper meaning of the world we in which we live: why we are put here, whither we come, and whence we will go.

      But you are 100% correct. Ignorance is never a virtue. We have more information than ever before, but less knowledge; because we don't want to know. More's the pity. Seek and you shall find, has never failed us. It's only that we don't seek for what would really be of benefit to us.

      Sunny Guy

      May 31, 2010 at 11:17 am |
    • RodBfromNC

      It's a sad situation that these children have to raised this way. They could be the psychos of tomorrow unless they understand what the other 99% of the world does and believes. I guess Bob Jones and Liberty University might have a few more potential students.

      June 1, 2010 at 6:29 am |
    • BassOMatic

      Unfortunately so many seem to believe that staying ignorant is virtuous. Apparently their "faith" in their god is quite weak, since they all seem to fear that their ominipotent, all-powerful leader can't stand up to a few skeptical questions.

      June 1, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • TryingHard

      It is my opinion that God wants us to make deciples and spread the Word. How can that be done in seclusion? How are the unchurched to hear His Word if we don't tell it?

      June 3, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Well, when you sleep through science class, you're faced with a real dilemma when reality hits you in the face. The simple solution is to invent sky-fairies.

      June 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Lou

      it boggles my mind that cnn has a "belief" blog...its rediculous..every single person who reads the bible thinks it says something different and they manipulate what it says so it benefits them in some way..they pick and choose things to follow and what not to follow. they say certain things are facts liks noahs arc, and talking snakes, but some topics are just poetry and not to be taken seriously. the bible was written hundreds of years after christ's death, its full of contradictions, and has no place in today's society. why is cnn; which i like to think is more "free thinking" than fox, stuping to the level of people who think people rode triceratops around like a f'n horse 6,000 yrs ago. what a great place to get information from, nut jobs like this.

      June 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Helpyoubrother

      Lou. Go take a pill brother...

      June 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Well said. And religion is to ignorance what the mafia is to crime.

      June 8, 2010 at 2:16 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.