Did Marx get his idea for socialism from the Gospels?

Does Acts 2-5 command socialism?

Having been born and raised in a communist country, with first hand knowledge of the impact of socialism, I found this article very interesting and on target. It is an article posted on the Gospel Coalition website, in which Art Lindsley discusses the claim made on a Washington Post blog, by writer Gregory Paul that ‘Marx likely got the general idea for socialism from the Gospels’.

„A truly strange thing has happened to American Christianity,” Gregory Paul writes for The Washington Post’s „On Faith” blog. He claims that Christians who defend the free market are in a profound contradiction because Acts 2-5 is „outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx—who likely got the general idea from the Gospels.”

Acts 4:32-35, referring to the early congregation, says,

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. . . . There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Though these passages may sound like socialism to the average reader, such a superficial reading may miss what a closer examination of the text reveals. There are three major reasons why Acts 2-5 does not teach socialism. 

Lindsley quotes Craig Blomberg from his study  Neither Poverty nor Riches, in which Blomberg comments on  Acts 4:34b-35 and states:

The periodic selling of property confirms our interpretation of Acts 2:44 above. This was not a one-time divesture of all one’s possessions. The theme „according to need,” reappears, too. Interestingly, what does not appear in this paragraph is any statement of complete equality among believers.

Lindsley also points out that –

John Stott affirms Blomberg’s conclusions on property in the early church, also underscoring Luke’s use of the imperfect tense:

Neither Jesus nor his apostles forbade private property to all Christians. . . It is important to note that even in Jerusalem the sharing of property and possessions was voluntary . . . It is also noteworthy that the tense of both verbs in verse 45 is imperfect, which indicates that the selling and giving were occasional, in response to particular needs, not once and for all.

Finally, Lindsley gives 2 reasons why, even if  all believers sold all their possessions and redistributed them among the community, this still would not prove socialism is biblical.

  1. The act in Acts was totally voluntary — Socialism implies coercion by the state…
  2. The narrative was not a universal command. — To prove Acts 2-5 commands socialism, you would have to show that this historical precedent is a mandatory prescription for all later Christians.

Click here to read the entire article at the Gospel Coalition website.

Washington Post: Planned Parenthood- 40 days of prayer for (more) abortion

Will God be mocked? Psalm 14:1-4 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lordlooks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?

from the Washington Post  04/18/2012

A prayer for abortion?

By Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark

Pro-life advocates have long complained that Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider, worships at the altar of abortion, but did you know that the abortion industry actually prays for abortion?

Perversely reminiscent of 40 day pro-life prayer vigils, Planned Parenthood in Humboldt County, Ca., is promoting it’s own “40 days of prayer,” March 18th through April 27th, for abortion. This is not their usually disguised promotion of abortion as “preventative care,” “family planning,” or “contraceptive services.” No, they throw those typical euphemisms out and directly pray for abortion.

A prayer guide found on PlannedParenthood.org ,40 Days of Prayer Supporting Women Everywhere , encourages pro-abortion supporters to offer prayers of “thanks for abortion providers” and the “sacred care” they provide.

Each day, Planned Parenthood suggests a prayer, for example:

· “We give thanks for the doctors who provide quality abortion care.”

· We pray for a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility.”

· We pray for all the staff at abortion clinics around the nation. May they be daily confirmed in the sacred care that they offer women.”

Some of the prayers, like those above, are for the abortionists. Others are for all “women to access . . . abortion,” and one is to “give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal.”

Still other prayers are against pro-life advocates. They pray that women on the way to have an abortion would be “shielded” from the lifesaving message of pro-life sidewalk counselors and “give thanks for abortion escorts who guide women safely through the hostile gauntlets of protesters.” In another, “we pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power [of choice, i.e. abortion] by their religion. May they learn to reject fear and live bravely.”

One of the most outrageous of these pro-abortion prayers actually urges people to “pray for the families we’ve chosen. May they know the blessing of choice.” What about the babies who weren’t “chosen”?

Of course, none of this should be surprising when you take a look at the group who penned these prayers, Faith Aloud. Among Faith Aloud’s board members is the infamous partial-birth abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart.

While admitting that aborted babies are “our children—even those we decide not to bring into the world,” Faith Aloud cannot debunk the claim that abortion is murder. Faith Aloud’s Web site states, “When you hear something over and over, like ‘abortion is murder’, it can get into your head—like a commercial. But if you really believed that abortion was the same as murder you probably wouldn’t even be considering it.”

All Planned Parenthood and Faith Aloud can do is rationalize the taking of another human’s life under the guise of prayer.

But apparently, these prayers are being used by the entire abortion industry. Faith Aloud even wrote us after we at the ACLJ initially exposed Planned Parenthood’s prayer guide to clarify, “Independent abortion providers (non-Planned Parenthood facilities) have been using these prayers for years.”

While the prayers themselves are shocking, the true outrage continues to be the yearly slaughter of millions of unborn babies. No matter how you try to spiritualize it or rationalize, it’s just plain wrong, and we will continue fighting for life.

Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice and writes for On Faith’s blogging network at the Washington Post. Matthew Clark is an attorney for the ACLJ.


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