Does the Bible promote communism?

As I write this post, I have been following an atheist’s blog, and this atheist claims that communism (including the atheists’ 20th Century’s version of it) was actually invented by Jesus and forced upon the believers of the first church. The passage(s) used to make this claim comes from the Acts of the Apostles. I would like to examine these texts to see if there is any truth to this claim. Here is the passage:

And they devoted themselves to the apostlesteaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2)

Here are a few observations from this passage:

  • The believers chose to accept the message preached by Peter (they were not forced or deceived into believing)
  • Communism was forced upon the people of Eastern Europe
  • The people chose to devote themselves to God’s work (every aspect, even their possession)
  • There is nothing in the passage that says that they sold “all” of their possessions
  • They saw the needs and helped each other out with what they had (again, by choice and not by force)
  • Their focus was not redistributing wealth, instead they were devoted to the Word of God and spreading the message

As a cross reference to this passage, the good atheist usually brings up the story of Ananias and Sapphira, claiming that this text demands that all believers sell all of their property and if they do not, then they are put to death. Ananias and Sapphira did die, but let’s find out why:

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,  and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”  When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.  The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.”  But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”  Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.  And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.(Acts 5)

Here are some insights from this passage.

  • Ananias and Sapphira chose to sell their property and use the money for the ministry
  • They willingly lied about how much money they made, and secretly kept money for themselves (this was after they seemingly made a pledge to sell and use the proceeds for the ministry, in other words, they made a promise to God and to man, and then tried to deceive both God and man)
  • They were at liberty to keep their property as their own (they chose to sell it)
  • It seems that they were just trying to impress with their gift and not giving with a cheerful spirit
  • They died because they tried to lie to God and deceive Him
  • They were not punished by God because they did not give up all that they had
  • They only sold a piece of property and not all that they had
  • There was no forced giving here or forced communism (unlike the atheistic communism of the 20th Cent)

It is obvious from the text that the atheists’ argument that Christians were the first communists (like the 20th Cent.’s commis) is a lie straight from the pit of hell. It is a cheap argument and a cheap shot at Christians. We have seen what evil acts atheists can do when they have power. The Bible calls an atheist a fool and we saw just how foolish they can be from their deeds in the 20th Cent. If that were not bad enough, they try to blame Christians for bringing the idea of communism into the world. Shame on them for being so diabolic. The good part about God is that He is ready and willing to forgive and transform (even atheists) if we will humble ourselves, admit our sin, turn away from it, and follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis. I have done and do this, what about you? God help us stay strong in the face of the lies of the evil one.

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5 comments on “Does the Bible promote communism?

  1. I very rarely argue scripture with people who are predisposed to misinterpret it and use it for their own agenda. Atheists only see what they want to see, and I think God lets them see it.

  2. A debate on healthcare inevitably turned into a “WWJD about communism?” rant despite having less than nothing to do with the subject followed by playful baiting that devolved into pedantic taunting. So here I am once more setting fire to the regenerating straw man.

    Reading scripture, Jesus himself seemed to be of the opinion that government would not have power it was not permitted to have. In all, external mortal government was immaterial to the soul. He was given many opportunities to speak against authorities such as the Roman Empire and the toadies they used to pacify the Jewish populace like Herod. The only act Jesus took was to cast moneylenders out of the temples, which is often interpreted as being due to their power being born of the debts owed to them rather than any legitimate authority, which he did recognize. I’m not sure by what measure Jesus would have his followers judge the legitimacy of a conquering empire, but there you have it.

    Jesus bade his followers to give freely of themselves and shed the trappings by which men would hold themselves above their fellows. Luke 13 onward gives a very long account of Jesus shaming people into realizing what they had been doing. For many that was wealth, but for others position, and in the case of his own church it was their own self righteousness the priests used to elevate themselves above their congregation. He even calls the priests on their lack of sense or compassion when they showed shock and disapproval on his performing a healing on the Sabbath, the day of rest and worship, despite it being a religious commandment not to labor on that day. Missing the point entirely modern Christians moved the day of rest and worship to Sunday as a sleight against the Jews instead of realizing that there’s no excuse to refuse to aid someone in need.

    Slaves, Kings, Priests, even the Sinners. He granted mercy unconditionally, asking not even their devotion. He bade his followers to do the same.

    Karl Marx – the guy credited with penning the communist manifesto – wasn’t a fan of government either. Doesn’t match up with your preconception? Deal with it. His plan was to strip the perceived superiority of any given position and lay it out to the common man in terms of an occupation. Being a factory owner and being a factory laborer were the same thing to him, each a job with a different set of tasks and responsibilities. One could not function without the other. The owner’s cashflow did not exist without the worker and it seemed demented that the former could so easily stand upon the back of the latter and feast on the fruits of their labor while leaving them to starve. Even more appalling was that he observed society further held the owner up on a pedestal while sneering at the worker as insignificant.

    He described industrial capitalist society as a ‘feudal’ bestowing arbitrary power and privilege based on wealth. The accumulation of a similar fortune, which would not only improve the workers lot in life but his standing in society would be impossible for him to attain for the rest of his life but the owner’s we inherited by the son of the owner along with the social acceptance and privileges that came with it without ever knowing hard work or responsibility. He would be born to lead, but not fit. The son of the laborer, being poor and disrespected from the moment of birth, would never have the chance to earn what was guaranteed to the rich man’s son. It was the difference in social standing that irked Marx the most. People with ability were never given the chance to demonstrate it or an apt reward when they applied it. They didn’t even get any damned credit.

    To him the obvious solution was to equalize power. The first step, vastly overlooked, was to render occupational authority meaningless on a social level. The boss was no longer ‘The Boss’ but your coworker. And from Marx’s point of view that went for government too.

    Stripped of awe and reverence being a king or a president was nothing more than a job. It is an administrative task that has many responsibilities that affected lives throughout the land but was in essence no more intrinsically important than being a farmer whose productivity or lack thereof would also affect lives on a grand scale. It made no more sense to Marx for a king to hold the authority to execute the farmer (or anyone else) on a whim that it would for a factory owner to do the same.

    Marx’s views on individual rights were that if you needed your rights to be rigidly defined for you to be able to understand them then you were not actually free. I’m not sure what he meant by that. His manifesto focused on Human Rights, making no attempt to respect or suppress religion much like the founding fathers of the United States. The idea that socialism itself is opposed to religion is an outright falsehood. The idea that socialism promotes racial segregation is also false. That wild tale where women were considered public property and stripped publicly? Also bull. The mind-numbingly demented bit of balderdash where every schoolday for Russian children consists of going through textbooks with a ruler and black marker censoring each paragraph without reading them should not need to be explicitly stated as . . . . A: That’s a waste of money and resources. B: It would expose people to the material they’re blacking out. C: Why print the uncensored book in the first place?

    For the record: Marx himself was a total dick. Racist, sexist, refused to pay at least one member of his household staff because they were black. All of which the principles of the manifesto would declare a crime. His personal views on Christianity were that it is a childish fantasy devised by men who wished to console themselves with dreams of a bliss beyond imagining in the next life as a reward for enduring a life of pain, hardship, and poverty. His views on Jews were considerably more vitriolic, which is surprising because his family was Jewish. They converted officially to Christianity so that his father would be legally eligible to apply for work. His view on religion is that it is another means for humans to fearfully isolate themselves from one another. Strangely though, he says despite this religion itself is not at odds with a free society, only giving power to it’s figureheads is.

    It was Lenin’s view that revolution could only truly come with violence, a stance that lost him favor with the (brace for it) left-leaning supporters of socialism who believed in gradual integration. I’ll let you try and sort out that there is in fact varying degrees of political ideology that can be at odds with itself.

    Lenin’s reasoning was that without the destruction of the previous concentrated powerbase it would be all too easy to piece a de-facto elite back together. And without the symbolism behind the destruction of that previous elite the workers would simply look back to those who were previously strongest and have them lead again simply out of the familiarity of it.

    Human civilization craves leadership. Problem is once we find someone fit to lead we aren’t that good at keeping them honest about it. We slide back, let them make more of our decisions for us, and before we know it we allow them or the people that succeed them to seize the power to shut us out of the decision making entirely. The true socialist agenda was to even the playing field by giving every man woman and child equal social standing as not to be scoffed at and abused and education so that anyone and everyone would have a fair shot at any available possible job up to and including the administrative tasks of leadership and make it so that anyone and everyone could be qualified to fill those positions when vacated or abused.

    If this sounds familiar, then you might have recognized the forming points of Democracy. Contrary to what’s been fed to you since WWII Democracy and Socialism are not opposing forces. In fact, the ‘pure democracy’ of ancient Greece where every citizen participated in affairs of state was the ideal. The problem the best known example of communism – Russia – faced was that the average citizen did not involve themselves in affairs of state leaving the politics to the politicians. This fundamental mistake once more created an elite class setting the stage for a swan dive into the realm of nightmare and departing wildly from all original goals. (Sigh)

    But even when you get past the outright fabrications what does everyone remember instead? Stalin, who wrapped himself in symbols of the working class the way crazy men like Glenn Beck and Fred Phelps cloak themselves in the Stars and Stripes and abolished all oversight in the name of protecting Russia’s ‘way of life’ that he had mutated beyond recognition. They remember Mao, who runs his country like a private corporation with himself as Chairman and every Chinese citizen his employee rather than his responsibility. Rumor is he’s a . . . boss. They remember Kim Jong-Il who is politically aggressive, personally secretive, and by all accounts so eccentric you don’t know what’s propaganda his opponents made up about him and what’s propaganda he spread about himself to make his name more memorable.

    The monsters are remembered. The socialists and other idealists they murdered on their way to the top lay in mass graves while people like you and me hash out what we think they died for while . . . like McCarthy and Stalin destroyed lives and spied on their own people under the pretense that the other Joe would do it to them first.

    Chile, September 11 1973. Read the poem ‘Two Women’ preserved by a Christian missionary who saved it from burning by Pinochet and smuggled it out of the country. Get straight who got elected *twice* by cheering peasants and who got a CIA backed coup d’tat to kick off reign of unspeakable terror for the benefit of a handful of entrepreneurs.

    • The Bible does teach being subject to the ruling and governing authorities (as long as they do not ask you to do something contrary to the Word of God, i.e. murder someone, killing in war and murder are 2 totally different things)

      The followers of Jesus were to give freely of themselves and they did. That does not mean that they did not work or make money. Even Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, had a trade and made money off of it (he was a tent maker).

      Jesus never condemns the wealthy. He does condemn those who made their wealth unethically. He never claimed that a rich person could not enter into heaven. He never commanded all of His followers to sell all that they had and give all of their money to the poor.

      I have never claimed to be self-righteous or above anyone else. The day of rest was a symbol that pointed to Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath. He was angry with the religious leaders because they valued the health of their animals (they could be rescued out of the ditch on a Sabbath) while they did not care for people (even though the man was healed, they did not rejoice, they were looking for reason to accuse).

      “He granted mercy unconditionally, asking not even their devotion. He bade his followers to do the same.”

      I do not know which Bible you have been reading, probably the SAB one, but in the original Bible. Jesus called all people to follow Him, to repent, give up their lives, and follow after Him.

      Jesus was a fan of government. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”. By the way, your have confused the religious leaders with the government, two totally different things.

      I see that you have no idea who Christ is as revealed in the Bible if you think Marx and Jesus have anything in common.

      My wife grew up in the former USSR (before the wall came down) and I know all about applied Marxism/Communism. I see the effects in my father-in-law. I have experience, unlike those who have “read it out of a book”.

  3. Hi Erik,

    I found your blog in a round about way. My brother in-law has a niece who is Catholic and writes a blog. I was going to other Catholic blogs from her site and thought for sure there were Protestants out in the blogospher too, so I kept looking and found your blog! Anyway, I enjoyed this post and agree with you. In the States I think many Christians get confused about “helping” the poor through the government. That is not what Christ called us to do. We are to help because he saved us. We are never forced to help and should not force others to help. Never mind that I think the government “help” is not really help at all! Finally, I know a lady from Ukraine who is in her 50’s. She knows what it is like to live under communism and does not think it is a way to live!

  4. Pingback: Komunistiskā „psihiatrija” – vēl dzīva? | Rasmas Kārkliņas blogs

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