The External Lifestyle

A radical lifestyle with little sleep dominates (because of the missionary work, long hikes, and Bible readings). The Holic Group places little value on external things (e.g. clothing). Often – especially on missionary trips – they camp in a trailer, which can be very burdensome, especially for small children who are taken along.

They consider all things that one really doesn’t need to be superfluous luxuries. The clothing and furnishings are very simple without appearing untidy. But the apartments seem rather unwelcoming and lack a certain hominess or warmth. Personal jewelery is considered to be sinful.

Members shed their previous property; usually it is sold. This is particularly the case with belongings which one had allegedly ‘idolized’ (e.g., CDs, TVs, etc.). This is experienced by the members as actually being freed from a hindering burden, which one doesn’t need anymore. Deliberate separation from possessions is desirable, so that one’s heart doesn’t rely on them anymore.

The group’s members pursue a profession, usually part-time, in order to use the remaining time for missionary work and for the community. Some members work only part of the year and live the remaining time off of the earnings of the members who have permanent jobs. Certain professions or jobs are, however, avoided. Generally, one may not be employed by a churchrelated entity, or practice a profession in which, according to the group’s opinion, one acts against God’s commands. Among those would be, e.g., a hairdresser who gives a permanent (God gave us hair as it is, and one should not artificially improve on God’s creation) or a job in which one had subordinates (a Christian is not supposed to rule over anyone). One student was reproached for studying chemistry, because he would hardly be in a position to take the ‘lowest’ jobs. Also, taking too strong of an interest in one’s profession or studies is considered to be sinful. One would thereby fall victim to one’s own pride and egotistical strivings (following one’s own plans as opposed to serving God).

Although hiking enjoys a high status, sports are seen quite negatively. Above all, when it’s about victory and competition, it’s seen as incompatible with a Christian lifestyle. Even social games as leisure pastime are frowned upon. TV is considered damaging, because it leads to worldly thinking.