Sharing

Among the large number who had become believers there was complete agreement of heart and soul. Not one of them claimed any of his possessions as his own but everything was common property. The apostles continued to give their witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great force, and a wonderful spirit of generosity pervaded the whole fellowship. Indeed, there was not a single person in need among them. (Acts 4)

7 thoughts on “Sharing

    1. Have you found that daring to mention this scripture immediately brings up stories of stolen property or damaged stuff, warnings not to enable the lazy and, oh boy, Godless communism (or at the very least that nasty word “socialism” with the accompanying knee-jerk reaction)? By co-incidence someone posted a video on fb today about co-ops and sharing tools, cars, garden space etc.. The reaction was the usual predictable one with people dividing into two camps- “idealists” and “realists.”
      The whole point of this story, imho, is about the why and how and not the what. Why did they do that and how could they do that? As one person posted after the video, “This only works in a community of trust, responsibility and reciprocity.”
      There ya go.
      I believe the story is not saying everyone should become a Hutterite. (Not every community arrangement transfers well to other geographies or centuries.) I think it is saying that the good news of Jesus Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit so changed the nature of human beings that the response was a wonderful outpouring of a spirit of generosity and caring. There was a spontaneous, voluntary action which demonstrated that attitude, and as a result not a single person was in need among them. That’s it.
      Any attempt at imitation of this action without relationship is just wag-the-dog.
      How long did it last? Well, we know that there were eventually problems because the apostles were getting bogged down with administration and needed to find others to help. But look who they picked “to wait tables” -Stephen, one of their best, a man full of the Holy Spirit, faith, grace and power who did great signs and wonders among the people, because without Holy Spirit, this communal thing cannot work. (See Ananias and Sapphira)
      How do we experience this type of thing? By becoming Spirit-filled, loving, caring, generous people with renewed minds who listen to God’s leading to come up with creative solutions. How do we do that?
      Seek the Lord; seek the Lord; then seek the Lord. God promised if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
      imho

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      1. Haha, I have a few humble opinions myself! Yes, to much of what you’ve said about how this bit of history divides people. Much like the scriptures on giving to the poor (I mean, we don’t want to enable, after all!)

        I’ve actually been thinking a lot about these verses. I think they are descriptive of a unique time and experience, but not necessarily prescriptive, ie, not necessarily a “living arrangement” we should be trying to duplicate. The “form vs. function” dilema. Imho.

        I love this community description, though. To me, it is the Lords prayer come to fruition. It is a uniquely bit ot time and space when the Kingdom did indeed come on earth as it is in heaven.

        But, it was not sustainable because it was, well, earth and not heaven. Enter Ananias and Saphira.

        A jumbled response to your eloquent response, I know. Will continue to study. Seems that having God’s grace powerfully at work among us is pretty key.

        Thanks for starting your blog and sharing your thoughts!

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