Monday, November 28, 2011

Was The Acts Church Socialist?


© 2011 by Mrs. Juli Iles    
Some may read passages such as Acts 6:32-35 and say, “Socialism is Biblical!”

"32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."

Those that would say this are missing a few major points.


1. The people involved were all believers sharing the same thought and intent.
All the believers were one in heart and mind.”

2. As believers, we know that all we own belongs to God first.
No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”

3. The Acts church was in revival.
“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And 
God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.”

4. There was no apparent coercion.
“For 
from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them,”

5. The money was brought to the Apostles.
“brought the money from the sales, and put it 
at the apostles’ feet,

6. The money was distributed to the needy.
“and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”

When you read this passage in context it becomes clear that the correct application would be to tithe more, if you are feeling convicted to do so, not to ask for the government to take more from individuals inside and outside of the church.

According to dictionary.com Socialism is defined as: “A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

When we read this passage in Acts we see that the “ownership and control” of land was not given to “the community as a whole”. Instead, the land was sold and the money donated to “the church”, so to speak, to be given to the poor.

Land and houses were bought by individuals and then sold by individuals when there was a need. This shows not socialism, but capitalism. Individuals gave out of the goodness of their hearts, and out of conviction, while in a time of revival.  

If we wish to see the poor cared for and for Christians to dwell in unity together, let us pray for revival and walk out this scripture in our own lives. Calling on the government to “make life fair” may sound good at first, but when you study scripture you begin to see that change came about through revival and personal action.

Who can you share Jesus with today? What can you do to share what you have with those who are truly needy? That's what the Acts Church was about in the passage above. The early church didn't always get it right, but this portion of their existence is shared with us to encourage us to do what we can to help one another, especially our fellow believers who are in need. 
© 2011 by Mrs. Juli Iles 

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