Originally published on sojo.net.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give anyone who had need. 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, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
One of the first things that happened as the church was born that first Pentecost, 2000 years ago, is that Christians started sharing everything they had. They worshipped in their homes. The gospel was lived out of dinner tables and living rooms.
Scripture says, “No one claimed any of their possessions were their own, but they shared everything they had ... and there were no needy persons among them … They put their offerings at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed as people had need [and] there were no needy persons among them.”
This witness has so much to teach our world.
In contrast, it was the ethic of the early Christians that no one had a right to more than they need while others have less. Basil the Great said, "When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not?"We are living in a time of unprecedented economic disparity between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. Masses live in poverty so that a handful of people can live as they wish. The world’s three richest people own more than the combined economies of 48 countries. The average CEO in the U.S. is making 335 times the average worker.
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