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Did the Early Church Support Socialism?

I was reading in Acts the other day and thought that this sounded a whole lot like socialism:

All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and began distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need.  (Acts 2:44-45 NET)

Being an American, it is hard to grasp that socialism could possibly be a good thing. But if it worked for the early Church, then should we not continue doing this in our churches today? Or is it that this is not socialism that I am reading here? Let me know your thoughts.

MSE

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11 Responses

  1. I posted some thoughts on the subject a couple years back. In short, it’s great on paper just not in practice.

    • I believe you’re right. Any time it’s been attempted, it has only ended with someone(s) taking all the power for themselves and controlling others. I guess its the fallen state of things.

  2. That’s not really socialism…as the old quip goes “In Christianity what’s mine is yours whilst in socialism what’s yours is mine!”

    • Whatever it is (socialism or not), should we not do a better job of practicing it in our churches? Or will the outcome be the same (since we live in a fallen world)?

  3. Didn’t the early church live in a fallen world?

    • Of course they did. Which leads me to the question, why shouldn’t we be attempting this in our own churches today?

      • we should and can take small steps. the biggest hurdle is the transcultural shift. it was pretty common for groups to move from place to place, live together, and share things in the cultural mileu of the early church. in ours, it just seems socialistic and weird. at my church, some people have tried living together and sharing bills, cars, responsibilities, etc. others have just been more open-handed with their cash and stuff. i had to visit the doctor recently and came up short for the bill, so some of my community pitched in and helped pay it. I think that’s an example of Acts 2 in the 21st century.

  4. That’s an excellent example of Acts 2 in the 21st century! That’s awesome, Luke! Unfortunately that’s the exception and not the rule in most churches.

  5. I thought it was more like communism personally.

    Bryan L

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