Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Although forever connected with Karl Marx, these words were commonly used in socialist movements before he wrote them in 1875. It is a challenge to describe an entire socio-economic system in ten words. Our economy seems to be based on "to and from each according to wealth." Anyone I’ve ever talked to who’s traveled to Cuba comes back to say their cab driver or their beach waiter was a doctor who worked an extra job because doctors there don't make any more money than service personnel. And everyone who criticizes socialism will pull out this phrase and say that people in general are too lazy and too greedy to ever work simply to meet their needs. These ten simple words describe a vision of a fair and prosperous world. Whether or not it is vision that can be realized has been debated since the words were first spoken.
Now the whole group of those who believed
were of one heart and soul,
and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions,
but everything they owned was held in common.
The early church lived by the principle of sharing work and wealth as equally as possible and the early church thrived and Luke connects these facts. (Acts 4:33-35) At some point that prosperity ended. Is that where the church went wrong? For sure, living by these principals of radical sharing in our context would make an undeniable statement of trust in God rather than in any political system or in any kind of "ism" for that matter.