Acts 2:44,45 (DRB):

44And all they that believed were together and had all things common. 45Their possessions and goods they sold and divided them to all, according as every one had need.

Acts 4:32 (DRB):

32And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul. Neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own: but all things were common unto them.

Does Acts say that Christianity teaches a form of Communism?

What is the economic stance of Christianity?

Is it Communism, Socialism or Capitalism?

All of us know that Jesus is:

  • King.
  • Prophet.
  • Priest.

How Jesus be a King without Kingdom? How to be a King without Political System? When Jesus comes again for judgement and ruling, will be there a Political System?, Will be there an economy?

Thus, what is the economic stance of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ?

I hope you understand what I mean.

  • 1
    Love is the fulfillment of all law. Charitable giving from a generous heart provides every necessity - from each to all. Human politics never achieves this. Only the gospel results in such a renewed spirit as is demonstrated by the above two texts.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 12:31
  • Definitely not communism because communism and socialism (the lite version of communism) is imposed by a small elite minority who detain the majority of the power and enforce compliance by force, either directly by physical harm and death or indirectly by taxation, red tape and penalties. Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 12:36
  • @NihiSineDeo could you post your point of view in an answer?
    – salah
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 17:19
  • 1
    I feel that this question should be reworded as, "Does Acts say that Christianity is a form of Communism?" (Or some such wording.) Regardless, the question is valid and reasonably arises from those contexts. It shouldn't be closed. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 3:15
  • There are some good answers to a similar (but closed) question: life of jesus - What was the Early Church’s view on socialism? - Christianity Stack Exchange. Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 12:43

6 Answers 6


Examples of Godliness are not Commandments

Examples of Godliness in Scripture do not constitute commandments. For example, just because Jesus cast out demons doesn't mean that all Christians are obligated to.

There is also Capitalism in Acts

Acts very explicitly shows that a communistic lifestyle was voluntary and not required. It was only when there was deception that Peter issued a rebuke:

NASB, Acts 5:4 - While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Their property was their own to do with, but the issue arose when they lied that they were sharing and giving as everyone else, all.

Christianity in Acts is a Very Different Context than Today:

The commandments of Jesus do say to freely freely giving to those in need.

However, Acts is a very different context because the majority of believers, even Israel, were under significant duress. It can be validly argued that it was necessary for that community to endure.

In other words, Communism as a "rule" is not validly supported by these specific texts because two significant exceptions are present in Acts:

  1. The contexts in Acts serve as examples of Christianity sharing communally—but this example was not commanded by Jesus nor commanded later by the Disciples, though giving to those in need always was.
  2. During the persecution of the Church, as a community, the majority were in need, and a communistic community was advantageous.

The Economic Model of the Kingdom of God is a Priesthood

This is kind of like asking "What is the number of blue?" or "what if a man had multiple wives before he went to heaven, who is his wife?"

The idea that a material "economic model" can validly apply to a transcendent Kingdom is not valid.

To be clear, Christianity is modeled as a Kingdom of Priests - and all of these economic models don't apply in this view.

NASB, 1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Modern economic models simply don't apply to a priesthood.

  • Communism was voluntary in the time of Acts, but it also a harbinger of what should be.
    – salah
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 7:09

Christianity is NOT, repeat, NOT a political system. That is, Christianity is neither socialist nor capitalist. Christianity exists in every type and shade of politics. Christianity does not dictate to governments, it dictates to people's consciences at a personal level not a political level. It was Jesus who so eloquently said in Matt 25:34-40 -

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

Again, in Luke 6:35, 36 we find Jesus instruction:

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

The closest Christianity comes to politics is to teach that the church should be kept out of civil government and civil government should be kept out of the church. This lead directly to the doctrine of the separation of church and state and indirectly to the concept of the secular state. (That is another discussion.) Here is a summary of Bible references to Civil Government.

• God rules the kings (and governors of the earth). Rev 1:5, 6, Dan 2:21, 47

• Every government is established and exists by God. John 19:11, Rom 13:1, Job 12:23

• God even uses wicked governments to accomplish His divine purpose. Jer 25:8, 9, Acts 4:27, 28.

• Christians should pray for those in government. 1 Tim 2:1, 2, Jer 29:7

• Christians should honour and submit to government and civil law. Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26, Rom 13:1-7, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13-17. This includes paying taxes.

• There are limits of conscience in obeying governments and laws – our first duty is to God. Dan 3, Acts 4:19, 5:29.

• A Christian in government service should strive to be the best civil servant possible. Dan 6:1-4, Gen 41:37.

• Foreigners and strangers (as well as poor) in a country should be subject to the same privileges and protections as others. Lev 19:34, Deut 10:18, Ps 146:9, Jer 7:6, 22:3, Zech 7:10, Mal 3:5.

  • to regulate the economic stance and forbid oppression and injustice is one of priorities of religion. Any religion should have an economic stance. Any religion should have an economic point of view.
    – salah
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 10:50
  • thus you say that Christianity exists in the three types of economics: Communism, socialism and capitalism. And it doesn't adopt specific type of these three.
    – salah
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 11:05
  • 1
    @salah You are trying to mix Church and State. History abundantly demonstrates that this is wrong.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 12:33
  • Those who have used Christianity as a basis of a political system have caused great harm as even a casual glance at history tells us. Today, Christianity happily exists in ally types of political systems
    – Dottard
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 21:14
  • 1
    I am not certain how it can be argued, (from these text), that Christianity, (Jesus' commandments and the Kingdom of God), is not a political system. Regardless, the presupposition that Christianity is not a political system is not supported by these passages, but refuted by them, (God having authority over governments, etc.). At the very least, Jesus can be viewed as a political dissident, (against the Sadducees and Pharisees), and has had a profound impact on the political system of Israel, (specifically, the Rabbinate and supposed authority of the Oral Law). Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 3:06

Definitely not. The Bible does not teach on communism.

When the Apostles were establishing the New Testament Church, it had not yet grown to the scope it is at now. The culture of that day was extremely different compared to how we live today. There are Christians in every suburb, village, town, and major city. We gather in churches as communities of believers but we do not live together.

Communism has proven to be a very destructive system for humanity. Obviously, Jesus Christ would not agree with this system.


I would disagree that scripture condones communism. Although the early Church sold their possessions and laid the price of those things sold at the Apostle's feet, we find that after it was sold, it was still in the seller's own power to give or not give. But in harmony with the Spirit, we find that neither was there any among them that lacked, As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 2 Cor. 8:5


Acts 2:44-45; 4:32 were an early Christian reality. Not a stance. Maybe it inspired the apparent atheist Marx, but it's not his communism, which couldn't help but be a fantasy and a farce, a horror and a dictatorship of party. Both in theory and in practice. Ac 2 and 4 are impossible for politics or religion or unbelievers to replicate. They're hard enough for believers. Though kibbutzes and barter on a small scale often work. Like someone said above, faith and Christ's kingdom is person to Person. Faith in Christ shouldn't be a religion. Or of government of a country, Salah.

Jn 18: Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My attendants would be struggling so that I would not be delivered to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not from here. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. Amend 1, US Const.


Bible Presents the Capitalist Free Market

Socialism is an economic and political system under which the means of production are publicly owned. Production and consumer prices are controlled by the government to best meet the needs of the people. Capitalism is an economic system under which the means of production are privately owned. Production and consumer prices are based on a free-market system of “supply and demand.” (See here)

Communism only differs with socialism in that it's a radical form of it. "One way communism differs from socialism historically is that the former calls for the transfer of power to the working class through revolutionary rather than gradual means."

Capitalism is based on organic and free economy, where an individual is the owner of his property, he owns his thoughts, decisions and is free to trade and generate wealth. This is the natural form of economy throughout the world, and the same is found in the Bible. Socialism began as a political ideology in the 19th century as a response to industrial injustice, labour exploitation, and unemployment in Europe. It was a reaction to the dire poverty and inhumane working conditions in industrialized Europe in the early 19th century. Socialism can be called as an extreme measure by the labour class to demand better wages. However, there have already been laws such as Magna Carta, 1215 in Europe that ensured freedom for free market and human rights. Magna Carta guaranteed due process of law, freedom from arbitrary imprisonment, trial by a jury of peers, and other fundamental rights that inspired and influenced the development of democratic principles. It was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. Magna Carta was issued in June 1215 and was the first document to put into writing the principle that the king and his government were not above the law.

PragerU has excellent material educating about the common misconception that Socialism is founded on charity, need and altruism. Andy Puzder, in a video: Capitalism Vs Socialism describes that Capitalism is based on individual needs and freedom, where the consumer owns the means of production by his free will by voting for the product of his choice by every purchase. In other words free economy generates wealth:

In a socialist economy, the government has the ultimate power. It decides what you get from a limited supply it decides should exist. Instead of millions of people making millions of decisions about what they want, a few people - government elites - decide what people should have and how much they should pay for it. Not surprisingly, they always get it wrong. Have you ever noticed that late-stage socialist failures always run out of essential items like toilet paper?

Due to a failed economic model that undermines individuality, freedom and basic economy, the socialist states have always failed, since it ends up with a greedy dictatorship (that is not above law) which takes all decisions for the citizens and collective wealth quickly vanishes. Also see the video: Was Jesus a Socialist?, it talks about Luke 12:13-14 where Jesus refuses to be an arbitrator over someone's distribution of wealth, and condemns the greedy materialistic mentality. The parable of Talents or the parable of Capitalist (Matt 25) also reveals a God who wants maximum profit by recruiting subordinates, and then punishes the unprofitable servant. Matt 25:29 says "For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who does not have, even that which he has will be taken away", something very opposite of socialism which ignores individualism, uniqueness and merit based reward. It does achieve equality, but by making everyone poor.

There have been plenty of failed examples of socialist states. As British prime minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Throughout the Bible we see the natural theme of justice that God gives each according to his works, a merit based reward. Each will reap the fruits of his Karm (works). Ps 62:12 "Also to you, Lord, belongs loving kindness, for you reward every man according to his work".

Deontology Vs Utilitarianism

The ethical difference between Biblical world-view behind the Capitalism is that of the truth and value based Deontological ethics, where individuals are free, and their acts are right or wrong based on moral realism or objective truths about the actions. Socialism on the other hand is based on the totalitarianism having a utilitarian ethics, which is also called consequentialism. It means ends justify means. The goal is to satisfy net pleasure or an arbitrary need which defines whether an action is morally good or bad; this means moral relativism. Evil acts become good if the govt commands them for the greater good. It justifies the inevitable result of socialism, that is no production of food or wealth, by genocides or depopulation, as what happened in Soviet Russia. Historically, the Christian nations such as UK, USA have spread and defended freedom and human values around the world by spreading human civilization. Socialists on the other hand have been atheists, which is a big indicator that it is not compatible with the biblical religion.

William Lane Craig debated an amateur atheist philosopher named Sam Harris: "Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?", where he demonstrated the flaw in the moral relativism of the atheist world-view as it confuses morality with pleasure, in other words in moral relativism there is no morality at all. Sam Harris is also known for his thought experiment about situations warranting eating human babies.

And Dr. Harris’s contrast of the good life and the bad life is not an ethical contrast between a morally good life and an evil life. It’s a contrast between a pleasurable life and a miserable life. And there’s no reason to equate “pleasure/misery” with “good” and “evil”--especially on atheism! So there’s just no reason that’s been given, on atheism, for thinking the flourishing of conscious creatures is objectively good.

But Dr. Harris has to defend an even more radical claim than that: , he claims that the property of being good is identical with the property of creaturely flourishing. And he’s not offered any defense of this radical identity claim. In fact, I think we have a knock-down argument against it. Now bear with me here; this is a little technical. On the next-to-last page of his book, Dr. Harris makes the telling admission that if people like rapists, liars, and thieves could be just as happy as good people, then his “moral landscape” would no longer be a moral landscape.

Christian Utopia

The confusion between Christian altruism and socialism (Marxism) arises due to the outward similarity of the utopia. The book of Acts presents the Christian Utopia of a perfect society based on virtue ethics and altruism. The ancient golden rule of virtue "Do to others what you want them to do to you" describes love and charity. A free capitalist society based on mutual love and altruism can morally flourish by continuously generating wealth, based on the recognition that each man is unique with different talents. Some are better, stronger, superior, some are evil, bad, corrupt and selfish; each produces wealth based on their abilities, the goal is to save sinners by converting them. Socialism on the other hand does not promote freedom and charity. It enforces a superficial equality by denying uniqueness and treating all as slaves, where some elites rule over them as gods. The citizens have no rights and freedom to protest as the labour unions had during the industrial revolution period. If charity becomes taxation, there is no reward and love. People cannot be coerced to charity. 1Cor13:3 says that love is essential for virtue, and that even donating one's body without love is unprofitable. Under socialism, they steal other's resources and promotes envy and institutional racism based on jealousy and social vengeance. It ends in starvation and genocides of unprecedented, as it fails on the fundamental ethical level. People confuses socialism with altruism because of being deceived by a false hope and illusion of a utopia of abundance on the cost of sacrificing individualism and freedom.

The Bible never endorses forced redistribution of wealth, but only limited taxation and genuine love. The motivation behind forced redistribution of wealth is nothing but envy and covetousness, which the tenth commandment warn against. If believers focus more on God and his spirituality, then the Christian utopia is possible.

  • "Under capitalism, they steal other's resources and promotes envy and institutional racism based on jealousy and social vengeance." I think you mean "Under socialism", which would be consistent with the rest of your answer. Commented Jun 12, 2023 at 21:16
  • Thanks @IñakiViggers, I corrected it. You may also correct such mistakes if you want.
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 2:46

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