There are two passages in Acts that liberation theologist “Bible scholars” and religious liberals of our day in seminaries and pulpits use to promote socialism as something godly. Careful study of those scriptures, however, shows that they are actually in stark contrast to the idea of communism–
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. [Acts 2]
32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. [Acts 4]
Now that I’ve shared the scriptures, I’ll compare the differences between having “all things common” versus having “all things communism.”
■ Communism says the government is god.
■ The early church followed the apostles’ doctrine which claims Jesus Christ is God and they praised God for being the one who blessed them with material wealth.
■ Communism is based on those who have less envying those who have more and coveting their possessions.
■ The Bible in Acts shows that wealthy believers had compassion on poor believers and out of love for them, they shared what they had.
■ Communism compels, or forces, by law the redistribution of wealth.
■ The early church sold their possessions and gave voluntarily because they wanted to be a blessing to others. They knew that “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver,” [2 Corinthians 9:7]. The church leaders like Peter acknowledged the power every believer had over their own possessions to do with as they wished when he confronted Ananias for lying about his offering [see Acts 5:4].
■ Communism forcibly takes away people’s possessions, claiming that everything and everyone is the possession of the government.
■ The believers knew they and their fellow believers belonged to Christ, so out of love they considered their earthly possessions as nothing in comparison to the precious lives of their fellow believers. They “look[ed] not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others,” [Philippians 2:4]. In other words, they were concerned with the needs of others and not only their own personal needs.
■ Communism is obsessed with earthly power and control.
■ Christians were concerned about their heavenly rewards and knew that what they did to the least of these their brethren, they were doing to Christ [Matthew 25:34-40]. Their actions echoed Paul’s sentiments when he said “what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…” [Philippians 3:7-9].
■ Communism promotes faith in government as provider of all things.
■ The church in Acts had faith in God as Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. Their faith was in the fact that “…my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” [Philippians 4:19].
■ Communist regimes decide who will excel, who will be kept back, what a person’s profession will be, and where they will work if they work, which promotes a welfare state.
■ The early church held up the ideals of what we know today as capitalism. As Paul told the church of Thessalonica, “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat,” [2 Thessalonians 3:8-10].
In conclusion, the word of God in both the Old and New Testaments demonstrates that there is no way a person can truthfully say that the Bible embraces Communist philosophy or policy.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–