Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Pure Socialism – Is It Possible?

Acts 2:44–45

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

What is Socialism? Socialism is all the rage for some progressives today in the political arena in the United States. Some on the progressive side are suggesting socialism as a societal norm for the US. This devotional is not meant to be a perfect description of socialism – but rather a brief look at socialism and what pure socialism would look like from a Biblical point of view.

What is Socialism? One definition I found on Google Search says – a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

What is Socialism? Another definition I found on Marriam-Webster’s online dictionary reads this way – any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

The trouble – as I see it – the efforts to implement this ideology – have failed because of a corrupt government (leaders). Marxism and Communism – in the forms we have seen in our lives – has been corrupt and abusive and very hurtful to the people. Governments became rich while the people were kept under their control and very poor. All things were not shared with all people.

What is pure Socialism or a socialism that would work? One might agree or disagree with me – but the early church lived in a pure socialism. They lives in a communal setting where things were shared –where they shared everything in common. Today’s passage implies just this ideal. Here is today’s reading in partial context. Acts 2:42–47 – 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Unfortunately – no government system has been able to create a pure socialism. What is required for a perfect socialism. A people who are devoted to God’s teaching who will worship and fellowship together. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

In a pure socialism – it would not matter how much a society valued individuals’ contributions to the larger society – all would share from their abundance so that all would have enough. One more thing is required for a pure socialism to work – a desire by all in the society to work hard. In the early church – where communal living worked – this was the rule – 2 Thessalonians 3:10 – For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

When people have a sense of entitlement or lack a good work ethic – pure socialism will not work. Where governments (leaders) are corrupt and godless – pure socialism will not work. To work – there needs to be a love for God – a love for one another – and a desire to contribute to the cause – to the best of our abilities. A pure socialism will not succeed – in my humble opinion – without these things – and I don’t see them in our current society. As a matter of fact – our society is running hard away from God!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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August 9, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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