Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by ASUK, Oct 16, 2015.
Did Marx have it right?
Lol. Yes and no. Communisim is good. Leadership is the problem. The early church had Jesus, the disciples and Paul. Russia had Stalin.
NO - Marx and his disciples [communists, socialists, Marxists, Labour movement and unions, Greenies and the like]
created their own religion atheism and humanism to put into practice their utopia somewhat supposedly resembling
the ideals you have quoted from Acts concerning the enthusiasm of the early Church.
And we all know how badly communism has ended up for those unfortunate enough to suffer under its totalitarian governments.
BUT the early Church teaches us all something fundamental about Christianity and the teachings of Jesus.
Christianity is NOT about material prosperity nor blessings that can be measured in material/wealth gain.
Prosperity gospel promoting material gain is a falsehood that will take its disciples down to perdition.
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world,
and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Luke 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
1Titus 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,
which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,
and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Proverbs 11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
Psalm 52:6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Parable of the rich man who filled his barns with wealth - Luke 12:16-21
Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
You might by now notice a theme running through both Old and New Testaments warning us against the love of worldly gain, wealth, etc. etc...
So then how are we to live as Christians, particularly in rich western societies like North America, Europe or Australia?
By being generous and giving to those in genuine need. Read Matthew chapter 7.
Love others. Share. Give things away to individuals in your congregation or through local charities.
Learn to live your life one day at a time, and be prayerful as to serving the Lord.
Remember first serve the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all the things you need God will look after.
As for human needs the scriptures only refer to shelter, food, clothing, transport. Everything else is superfluous.
Harsh but true.
It is not about poverty, but rather trusting in God to provide, because we are not focused on just money and lifestyle.
We are to deny the flesh and the world in this life, as we desire our rewards and treasure in the life to come.
What scripture tells us is that we are to give freely and that we are to understand that the treasures of this world are fleeting and not to be sought after for their own sake.
At their core, Communism/Socialism are based on good ideals, but as political or governing systems they can never work. Man's selfish nature prevents that as someone will always want more than they need or have.
As to Christians practicing socialism (by any name), I suggest taking a good look at nations which are socialist by practice (few will admit it by name) and then remember these small parts of scripture that tend to be glossed over...
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.
1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
We are to work to care for those who we are responsible for and for ourselves. We are not to count on others to do it for us, which is what a socialist/communist political or belief system inevitably results in.
Satan always tries to "duplicate" what God does as an attempt to "contaminate" the real. Communism takes forcefully from those, and gives to others. Christianity freely gives as they have purposed in their heart without grudge.
I agree with that wholeheartedly. Satan mocks the Lord with everything he does. Perhaps biblical truths are picked out for such a purpose. The idea of everyone sharing everything that they have freely, so that there should be no need in others, sounds very nice to me. I dare say that's the big selling point on communism/Marxism. However, it is hard for me to believe that Marxism is designed for the good of the people living under it.
In my humble opinion, I feel like Marxism replaces God with government. Without God, there is no Holy Spirit to fill the people, which is what was happening to the people mentioned in these verses. How can we expect a person/nation/government to be successful in putting a biblical truth into action without the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them?
There are some sources that cite that Marx was a practicing satanist as an adult. (Though he had a strong Christian upbringing.) His poetry seems to reflect that assertion. If that is true, it does not surprise me at all that Karl Marx would attempt to use the power of the biblical truth of sharing your possessions with others. It was powerful enough to bring poverty, starvation and suffering to millions of people. Just the opposite of what that truth is intended to inspire in us.
I think it is a valid observation that the outlook of the believers in acts does challenge the pervading property-focused worldview, which is sometimes endorsed, or adamantly defended even by Christians. But it also challenges the Marxist worldview, which is that humans can acheive equality through legislation and force of violence, not through transformation in Christ. As some have already pointed out, the early Church shared out of their own free will, because they conformed to the example of Christ, not out of fear of consequenses for breaking rules imposed on them.
How could Marx have it right when he advocated strict state atheism in a totalitarian government context? I would argue that Marx had it all wrong and that attempting to correlate the voluntary Christian charity some assemblies in the early church voluntarily practiced after spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit, sans-government, with a state atheist totalitarian government implementing a forcible centralized economy is faulty.
Freedom is the key. We learned this from verses such as:
2 Corinthians 3:17
Galatians 5:1, 13
1 Peter 2:15-16
In the Acts passage, they were free to share with each other. Just think what would have happened if the Apostles had imposed this on the followers.
Had people freely chosen to follow Marx, it would work. But there was no freedom in Marx' thinking. Love did not motivate Marx, revenge against the ruling class did.
I appreciate the answers and clarification. There is certainly a difference in freely giving and having your assets taken from you and distributed to others by a government.
With that said, should we voluntarily distribute our assets to others? If so, to what degree?
"No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own"
I don't think this passage can, or really intends to, answer your question in the way it was asked, exactly. Instead, I think what we're really meant to observe is that their priorities were changed as they conformed to Christ. They stopped thinking of their assets as "their assets" altogether, and simply began to regard them as means to ensure that all of their needs were met. It shows a shift in what they valued the most.
So I don't think it's particularly helpful (or really the point here) to try to discern a precise rule about to what degree we should "distribute our assets," but I do think that the Spirit compels us toward a life of compassion and generosity over a life a greed and personal gain.
1Jn 3:17.. But if anyone has this world's goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? (AMP)
Prayer is always something that can be given, even while driving in your car and seeing those who are in need.
James 5:16.. "...................... The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
Act 3:6 But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!
But what if you do have silver and gold (money)?
Prayer is free, except for the energy it cost to say it. There is always something that can be given. If the Church really knew that their words have "power" with the Lord, we would all be praying a lot more then we are now.
Point taken but what about your personal wealth? Are you expected to share it with others and if so, to what degree?
Within the text, verse 33 says, ".... and great grace was upon them all." This shows us the Holy Spirit was in them shining grace from their hearts. So as the Spirit leads.... really is exemplified here as the decision making for you as to what you share and the degree. If you give it all away, what are you left with to give away then? You then become one of the needy. Don't give away the engine which you produce with and which allows you to give even more away.
This leads back into the Communism vs. Capitalism debate. How can one give anything away unless they first have it to give away? One could say, "God will give us the things we can give away." I think through reading the entire Bible, we get the idea that we must work and strive along with receiving the blessings. But if you don't show you are a giver on the little things, then God won't trust you with the bigger things.
Going into the next chapter, the Ananias and Sapphira story gives us more guidance on this issue, showing that the Holy Spirit was not the impetus for their giving. They were like those Jesus spoke of who gave their alms in public so everyone would see how good they were. On top of that, they lie about how much the property or possessions were worth.
4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”
So we can see, there was probably many more people who had possessions that they did not sell. Nothing is said about that being wrong. God wants honesty and He wants you to be a giver.
You can not ever out give God. You can not out give God. You wont ever give more then God will give you. You will not be with out. God gives bread to eat and seed to sow. The problem is people tend to be gluttons even with the seed given to sow. It is mine. Get your own. I can't give everything away. Ok I will give but it is the one I dont like or the one that is broke or not all that good but the best is for me.
This is where Christians run into problems - If we as Beleivers had a giving heart mentality then God would be giving us more for we would know that just because it comes to us does notmean it is mine..........it may just be going some where else through you......
If we as beleivers adopted the mentality the early beleivers had such as in acts then there would be NO Brother or Sister in lack............
Doing this Gods way - releases much grace and doing it under pressure or fear simply releases stife and fear...........
Every thing is related to "time". It takes "time" out of your life to make "money", which is why every one has such a hard time giving it up. "Money" = "time" = "life". Giving money is like giving your life away. Giving things as clothes and food, or what ever also involves giving up your life! Jesus said "unless a man forsake all that he hath, he can not be my disciple." (Luke 14:33) With man this is impossible. Who would work hard for what he has and then turn around and give it away? Only a person who has "faith" to see the invisible Kingdom of God. Moses decided not to enjoy the riches of Egypt, because he saw him who was invisible. All those who died in "faith" having not received the promises, but having "seen them afar off" laid down their lives. (Hebrews 11:13)
There is no way anyone can do what Jesus commanded unless a person sees something far greater than the junk he now posses. If a man can not see what God has already given him in the spirit, he will hold on tight to the things of this world that are only temporary.
Does this mean we give all our stuff away? No, but are willing to let go of it if we have what someone else "needs" for life that we have plenty of.
The key difference is revealed in the word "Shared" as opposed to Marx's lets all get guns and take what is not ours and then WE DECIDE who gets what....
Jesus Community-ism is far from Marx's communism....