Life & modern conveniences at Homestead Heritage

Waco Tribune-Herald/May 6, 2007

Q Does the group use electricity?

A Yes.

Q Telephones?

A Yes, both land lines and cell phones.

Q Television?

A No. Members feel much of the content of television programming is unhealthy. But beyond that, they believe the medium itself distracts people from having relationships with one another. Rather than sitting down and watching television, they would rather sit down as a family and tell stories or play music together.

Q Do Homestead Heritage members have cars?

A Yes.

Q Computers?

A Yes, many members have computers in their home, but most don't have Internet access. The group does have Internet access at its offices so it can manage its Web page and do a few other tasks. But for the most part, members use computers for school- or work-related reasons. They are not used for entertainment.

Q Radio?

A No.

Q Recorded music?

A Yes, though it's mainly Christian-oriented.

Q Newspapers, magazines or other periodicals?

A Most members do not read them, at least on a regular basis. The main reason is content. They're very cautious about what is brought into homes, especially when young children are present.

Also, members feel news consumption has largely become entertainment. They believe they should focus on things they can actually do something about or that affect their lives directly. Just hearing or reading about events that have nothing to do with them is not beneficial, they believe.

However, the group does subscribe to dozens of periodicals, which certain leaders read to pass on information to members. Most of these periodicals are journals that examine current events from a reflective standpoint, rather than publications that report breaking news.

One member peruses the Waco Tribune-Herald every day to look for information such as burn bans or food recalls.

The exception to this pattern is when major events occur such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In such cases, members may choose to read a newspaper or magazine. They probably still wouldn't watch televised news reports because they believe in the power of words and think that words can show things images can actually obscure.

Q Do members take photos or use video cameras?

A Most families do use still cameras to take family photos, etc. But they don't use video cameras. The feeling is that viewing important life events through the lens of a video camera is inferior to more fully participating in them.

The church occasionally has used video cameras to produce materials such as its 25th anniversary DVD. On rare occasions, members also view videos for instructional purposes.

Q What about household appliances?

A The church does not have a position on appliances. It's up to each family to decide what purchases to make. But most have microwaves, blenders, washing machines, etc.

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