Here are the people who, allegedly, knew Jesus. They (allegedly) spoke with him, (allegedly) ate with him, (allegedly) travelled with him, (allegedly) asked him questions, and (allegedly) listened to the answers. These are the people who are best positioned to exemplify the core precepts as issued by this wondering 1st Century Palestinian rabbi (if he actually ever existed, which is questionable). After them there is only the slow dilution of the central message; a gradual erosion of those inaugural directives passed directly from the lips and hands of Jesus to the very first members of the Christian church. There is, simply put, no more potent an example of how Christians are supposed to live than that lived by the apostles. Not to labour the point, but their actions, as detailed in The Acts of the Apostles, are the raw, virgin, untainted, pure, crystal, uncomplicated and unconfused manifestation of the wishes of Jesus Christ himself… and that message is astonishingly clear:
(Acts 2:44-45) All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(Acts 4: 32-35) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
There is no room for second doubts here. “No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had” is as clear as it comes. The apostles of Jesus Christ, those men and women who were charged by Jesus himself to establish and lead the first Christian communities, were dyed-in-the-wool Communists. Two thousand years later, Marx would pen the line, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” and we see this exact message lived by the pioneer Christians.
So serious, in fact, was this embrace of Communism that the married couple, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, were murdered by the Christian commune for withholding some of their possessions (Acts 5:1-11). Now, murdering people for not sharing what they had is a blazing, stage-lit, bells and sirens testament of just how seriously the apostles of Jesus Christ took their Communism. Murder isn’t something people do lightly, and when a group murders its typically to set an example.
And so the question stands: Why aren’t Christians Communists? Why aren’t Christians Communists like the apostles of Jesus Christ were? Would today’s Christians also be murdered by Jesus’ apostles for not being good Communists, like they murdered Ananias and Sapphira?