Not communism but liberality

Some have tried to justify Communism with claims that first-century Christianity was a form of Communism, since in Jerusalem they had all things in common. Not quite.

“Before it was sold, did it not belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money not at your disposal?”
Acts 5.4 NET

Peter’s words to Ananias and Sapphira show that early Christianity had nothing in common with communism.

Before they sold their property, and after it was sold, the couple had control over their possessions. Their problem was lying about the amount they contributed, for they wanted the credit without the sacrifice.

The sharing of goods was voluntary.

Unregenerate man has trouble understanding how a people can give offerings sacrificially and voluntarily, without being forced. So the Communist system is oppressive, just another tyranny with a different name.

The gratitude of the disciples, however, motivates them to be generous. They have in Jesus Christ the model of selflessness.

This community is not too good to be true. It is based upon the great reality of the Lord who gave his life for others.

Generous Father, thank you for the gift of the life of the Lord Jesus. Our life and possessions are in your hands, for the progress of the kingdom.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

6 thoughts on “Not communism but liberality

  1. Excellent thoughts, brother. The more I consider the imbalances and shortcomings of human systems, the more impressed I am with the perfection and endurance of the kingdom I think I recall that McGarvey attacked this same point in acts 2 in his commentary.

    1. Thanks! There are human systems better and worse, but none come close to the blessed kingdom. Would there even be human government if not for the sin in Eden?

      1. That’s a very intriguing question! I probably had an easy answer for it a few years ago 😉

        1. Depends, I suppose, on one’s definition of government. With more than a family or two, there’d have to be some sort of coordination, right? Or maybe God would be all the government needed. I like the latter idea better. OK, enough speculation for one day.

    1. Thanks, Don. Amazing to me how somebody wants to justify a godless system from the Bible, but stranger things have happened, I guess.

What do you think?