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[+] The Believers Share Their Possessions
Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:36 pm
leslie e
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
Posts: 53




I have been thinking about a passage of scripture that Gary shared with us Sunday evening at the NBA and wanted to get your thoughts.

I believe the passage he quoted was from Acts 4:32-35 and reads as follows:

Quote:
32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.


What can we take from this scripture and apply to our lives and the church today? What does it mean for us to give of our time, our talents, our money? How much should we give? Just thoughts I am wrestling with.
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Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:15 am
Scott Mc
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Joined: 12 Aug 2004
Posts: 85
Location: E Nash




I think this is a great question. The Holman CSB translation even says "..., but instead, they held everything in common." I've wondered if this implied some sort of communal living. I'm not sure about that -- my translation describes all believers as "the multitude of believers" and that seems to imply more people than could comfortably live in a commune.

The implication seems to be that we give as everything that we have is not ours but someone elses. I am definitely not to this point. It does also imply I suppose that there were people among them of differnt levels of economic wealth. Not that there was shared ownership of all goods, but that those that had would help those that didn't have.
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I wonder, has nobody replied to this topic because of its indicting nature? Not by the poster, but from our relationship with the scripture?

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Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:26 pm
leslie e
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
Posts: 53




yeah! a reply. wasn't sure if i was going to get one. the reason i posted in the first place is that i was wondering if this was one of those scriptures that most of us read without giving much thought to how it might apply to us today. as in 'gee, it's great that they did that then.' i had a brief conversation with a guy doing some electrical work for me. he said he had spent some time in a hippy commune (his words) outside of chicago where everyone shared their possessions. he didn't feel like that system worked.

i agree that i'm not sure this system would work in our modern society, but why is that? is that good, bad, or neither here nor there. i was reflecting on this scripture and asking myself if i could give up material possessions (such as selling my house, my car, my possessions) and donate this money to the church. surely, if we all did this we would have no trouble finding a building! however, i must admit that on a human level, i am not at the point where i could give all this up without experiencing thoughts such as 'well, i gave more than so and so.' that is a reflection on my continual pursuit to become more christ-like and leave human struggles such as comparisons behind. still working on that.

i have realized that starting a church like this has taken more sacrifice on my part than other churches that i have been involved with where i could sit on a pew and blend into the crowd.
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Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:23 pm
yasheluah
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Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 52




i like how that passage says they were all "one in heart and mind". i kinda see that as the foundation for the other stuff-- that in response to their unity in community (haha that rhymed), they gave it action and cared for one another to the point that "there were no needy persons among them". wow. and i bet that wasn't limited to physical need; emotional, social, and spiritual needs were included in that, too, i'm sure. there seems to be a definite level of sacrifice on everyone's part, definitely not limited to material resources. (kinda like it takes a lot of "pride sacrifice" to admit you need help-- that's a big one for me. i'd rather be the one doing the helping...)

Quote:
i have realized that starting a church like this has taken more sacrifice on my part than other churches that i have been involved with where i could sit on a pew and blend into the crowd.

leslie e, i definitely can see where you're coming from. what an awesome thing for you to be able to say! and i've seen it just in the short time i've been here-- you are living out as an example for us what it means to "not claim any of your possessions as your own". i, too, hope to give to this community in my time, talents, heart, and money, to work together with everyone else towards us being "one in heart and mind".

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