I’m sure everyone has either gotten into a debate, or read one where Christians claim that Communism is solely Atheistic. Most people automatically associate communism with Karl Marx and instantly assume it’s evil, but many scholars and even some theologians believe that the years following the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity adopted a simple form of Communism long before Karl Marx defined its modern definition. He believed that inequality and suffering result from Capitalism.
Communism is derived from the Latin word ‘communis‘, which essentially means universal, in which replaces a profit based economy with public ownership, and removes class divisions from society.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” – Karl Marx
Many scholars claim that the ideology behind communism was recorded in the New Testament, in the book Acts of the Apostles.
Acts 4, 32 – 35 says this:
“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.”
Acts 2, 44 – 45 says this:
“All who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
This was adhered to by Christianity for centuries, and correct me if I’m wrong, but this ideology of early Christianity shares the same ideals of Communism, with a classless community all sharing what they have without class divisions. The Bible claims several times that you can’t have two masters, so you can’t serve God and money at the same time, so it gave an anti-capitalist message saying that greed is bad and you should help the poor.
Timothy 1, 6:10 says this:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
The biggest problem that modern Christians face is their lack of understanding what Communism actually means, and especially Marx’s writing contributions, which I discussed in my article Is Communism Misunderstood? Anyone mentions Communism and Christians automatically reach to Communist Russia, and China and attempt to associate Atheism with Lenin, Stalin, and Zedong.
“If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agentof separation?” – Karl Marx
The above quote by Marx is no different than Jesus’ apostles repeating his words and claiming that money and wealth is the root to all evil. Jesus was anti-Capitalism as was Marx, both believed that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The problem with 20th century Communism was dictatorship, and Totalitarian control, when true Communism is without hierarchy.