Live Together, Die Alone (Acts 4:23-5:11)

Acts 4:23-5:11

The first half of this passage is in some ways very similar to Acts 2:42-47. When Peter and John get out of jail, they go back to be with the other believers. Once again, the believers are together and praying when the Holy Spirit falls on them, making the believers “one in heart and mind”. And once again, immediately after the Holy Spirit comes, Luke emphasizes the place that possessions have in their lives. First, Luke says that nobody even considered any of his possessions as his own. As though that weren’t revolutionary enough, though, Luke goes on to say that there were no needy people among them, because whenever someone had a need, people would sell their houses or lands, then bring the money to the apostles, so that those needs could be met.

Now, back in the section on Chapter 2 we talked about the differences between this and Socialism or Communism. Rather than revisit that section, I want to move on to the Story of Ananias and Sapphira. This is a familiar story, but I want us to keep it in context of Acts 4:31-37. Remember, the chapter and verse divisions were added hundreds of years after the Bible was written, so sometimes to get the full effect of a passage, we have to read past the chapter divisions.

So we have this extreme action of the early believers sharing possessions. Some would even sell possessions in order to meet the needs of other believers. We are told briefly of a man named Joseph who sold a field and then brought the money to the apostles. Then we are told of a couple named Ananias and Sapphira who sold a piece of property, except they kept some of the money back for themselves. In the end, they are each struck dead by God.

So here’s the question: Why were Ananias and Sapphira struck down by God? Continue reading

Where Does Your Hope Rest? Psalm 20:7

Ok, give me a quick answer on this one.  Go with your gut.

What is the answer to the challenges America faces?

Maybe the answer is re-electing President Obama to give him more time to reverse the economic situation.  Given a little more time, maybe he could have a greater effect.

Maybe the answer is electing Mitt Romney to allow him to reverse some of what President Obama has done during his time in office.  Get rid of Obama’s healthcare plan, slow spending and all will be well.

Maybe the answer is electing a third party.   Continue reading

A Proposal To Ban The Bible (Banned Books Week)

 

In honor of Banned Books Week I offer this, a proposal to ban the Bible.

There is reason after reason after reason why the Bible should be banned, never to be read again.  Chief among these are its use of vulgar language, violence and explicit sex, and its apparent promotion of anarchy.  Please consider this proposal carefully as we explore each of these areas.

Vulgar Language–One example of this is in Isaiah 64:6, where the author says in part, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…”  Guess what those “filthy rags” refer to? Continue reading