Does the Bible Teach Communism?

The Old Testament teaches great respect for private property. For instance, “you shall not covet… anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Ex 20:17). But Communism advocates public property. In the New Testament, did the early Christians practice Communism? There are two passages in the book of Acts which have been wrongly used to support Communism.

The first passage says: "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need" (Acts 2:44.45). The second says, "And 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" (Acts 4:32). These Scriptures do not advocate Communism. Notice that these people believed in God, that they prayed, and that they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31). They were meeting together on the festival of Pentecost. But Communists reject God, the Bible, and don't pray or celebrate religious festivals. Christian morality is absolute. But the morals of Communism are that the end justifies the means.

A man's property still - Iegally - remained his own, but he did not say it was his own. Instead he treated his own personal property as if it were common property. In a communist society, people give because a system of government forces them to give. They don’t have a choice in the matter as to how much they give or to whom they give.

That the early Christians did not pool all their resources and goods can also be proved by other scriptures. In Acts 5: 1-11 - the very next chapter - is the story of Ananias and Sapphira who had a piece of property they wished to sell in order to give the proceeds to the Church. They said they were giving ALL of it, but actually they kept back part for themselves. God punished them for lying.

When Peter rebuked them for this deed, he explained the legal relationship existing between these two people and their property. He said, "While it [the property] remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it [the money] not in thine own power?" (Acts 5:4) See also 2 Th. 3:12)

There is no Communism here. These early Christians were capitalists - they owned property!

Furthermore, the New Testament makes frequent reference to the rich and the poor in the Church. See especially 1 Timothy 6:17-19; James 1:9-10. The believers at Antioch were instructed to give, each "according to his ability" (Acts 11:29), when a collection was taken for the "poor saints" (Rom. 15:26) who were suffering a drought in Jerusalem. Such distinctions would have been impossible if all property were had in common.

The Bible doesn't teach Communism.

The Little Red Hen

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm. She was friends with a lazy dog, a sleepy cat, and a noisy yellow duck.
One day the little red hen found some seeds on the ground. The little red hen had an idea. She would plant the seeds.
The little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me plant the seeds?"

"Not I," barked the lazy dog .
"Not I," purred the sleepy cat .
"Not I," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"Then I will," said the little red hen. So the little red hen planted the seeds all by herself.
When the seeds had grown, the little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me reap the wheat?"

"I never learned how," barked the lazy dog.
"That would be overtime for me," purred the sleepy cat.
"I would lose my welfare benefits," quacked the noisy yellow duck.

"Then I will," said the little red hen. So the little red hen reaped the wheat all by herself.
When all the wheat was reaped, the little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me bake the bread?"

"Out of my classification," barked the lazy dog.
"I would lose my Unemployment Compensation," purred the sleepy cat .
"If I'm the only helper, its discrimination," quacked the noisy yellow duck.

"Then I will," said the little red hen. So the little red hen baked the bread all by herself.

When the bread was finished, the little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me eat the bread?"
They all demanded a share quoting Karl Marx: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".
But the little red hen said, "No, I need to eat it all myself."

"Excess profits," barked the lazy dog.
"Capitalist leech," purred the sleepy cat.
"I demand equal rights," quacked the noisy yellow duck.

And the little red hen ate the bread all by herself, quoting the Scripture: "If any will not work, neither should he eat" (2 Th. 3:10)


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