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Does God promote socialism in Acts 4:34-37 and other verses?

34 Neither 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, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Acts 4:34 - 37

KJV - 34 Neither 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. 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Clarify Share Report Asked 10 days ago Newme Susan Jeavons

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say yes, but not the form of socialism that is currently practiced on earth.

As I see it, socialism as it exists today fails to offer the correct response to the fundamental problem -- the inherent selfishness of people in an unsaved condition (apart from God), which leads to some people having more assets than others.

Earthly socialism seeks to remedy this inequality through the external mechanism of a government that forcibly assumes ownership of the means by which goods are produced (rather than having those means owned by private individuals). When some producers of goods are more successful than others, the government (by virtue of its ownership) then takes those assets and reallocates them to others as it sees fit in order to equalize their distribution.

Christian socialism would correct this flaw not by political or armed force, but through the fundamental and universal inner renewing and transformation of people through the working of the Holy Spirit. Under this influence (as noted in the passage from Acts cited in the question), people would be provided for by the totally willing and voluntary pooling or sharing of resources done out of a motive of neighborly love.

People would not be hesitant to make any sacrifices involved, because (in addition to their faith in God's ability to provide for them) they would be confident that others would do the same. And out of that same neighborly love, they would also be willing to subordinate their own needs and desires to God's control, so that they would not take undue or unnecessary advantage of others.

I am reminded of a parable regarding the difference between hell and heaven. In both places, people are dining at a table with enough food for everybody, but each person has eating utensils that are too long to allow them to bring food to their own mouths. In hell, this produces conflict, discord, and hunger, because each person at the table is selfishly thinking only of how to provide for his own needs. In heaven, however, the individuals at the table use their utensils to feed others, and are fed by those others in return.

9 days ago 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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