Communism in the Church?
In 1917 in World War I, Germany was desperate to stave off defeat in World War I. In February a popular revolt led to Nicholas II’s abdication and political moderates moved to seize power. The Bolsheviks were furious but their leader was exiled in Switzerland. The German High Command came to their rescue and unleashed into Russia what Churchill called “the most grisly of weapons.”
Lenin with his lieutenants boarded a sealed train in Zurich and on April 16, 1917, arrived back in Russia with a vast sum of German marks. The plan was for Lenin’s anti-war party to gain control and take Russia out of the war against Germany. It did, but they plunged Russia into more than 72 years of totalitarian communist control as Lenin gave birth to the world’s first Marxist state--a state that outlawed private property and declared that “comrades” held everything in common.
The seduction of this utopian dream was that it pretended to capture the unity and the solidarity of the first century church in the Book of Acts where Luke tells us,
“Now all those who believed were together and they had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” Acts 2:44-45
In our Truth Encounter ministry we constantly stress the need to track what the text of Scripture actually says. Note that there are no governmental officials confiscating personal land and property. Love, like the love that exists between brothers and sisters, is the motivation in this giving and there is no outlawing of private possessions and property. Later in Luke’s account Barnabas and Ananias and Sapphira still have land to sell and possessions to give (Acts 5:1ff), and in Acts 12, Mark’s mother still lives in her own private home.
This is not the murderous lie of communism but the powerful outpouring of agape love as the Spirit moves believers to sell some of their possessions and generously give so that the material needs of others in the Church can be met. This generous, sacrificial, giving spirit is the mark of true Christianity for more than two thousand years and this generous joy in giving doesn’t stop after December 25.
LORD, in 2018 help many of our fellow believers to give to help Kenyan widows learn the skill of hair styling, and to provide the funds needed to build a new classroom for the children at Hope Bridge School and to feed the children.
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