Religious communism

From Academic Kids

Religious communism is a term used by some Communists that claim that before communism became associated with atheism, the word communism was mainly used by religious groups. (See Christian communism.) Today, the term religious communism is used by this group to denote their affirmation that this was the original meaning of "communism". These Communists define Religious communism as a form of classless society based on the voluntary abolition of private property, and organized according to certain religious principles.

Communist view

According to some Communists, Religious communism has been practiced by many orders of monks and nuns of such religions as Christianity, Taoism, Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. As recorded in the Bible, the first Christians lived in communities organized according to communist-like principles:

"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common. With power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great respect was paid to them all; nor was there anyone needy among them, for all who owned property or houses sold them and lay them at the feet of the apostles to be distributed to everyone according to his need." (Acts 4:32-35; see also 2:42-47)

Christian view

To contrast the aforementioned point of view, some Christians, assert that although the Bible mentions a practice similiar to that of communism, care must be taken not to consider Christian teachings as being related to or equivalent to today's idea of Socialism, Communism, or Marxism. These Christians claim that the type of communism practiced by ancient Christians was implemented in such a way as to preserve the God-given right of free will of all those who practiced this concept. They argue that in contrast to today's communism that seeks to redistribute wealth and bring about economic and social equality by force and revolution, ancient Christians sought to bring about equality to their people through love and willful obedience to God's commandments. They claim that the Christian form of communism did not infringe upon the rights of free will in order to bring about such equality but rather was promoted by love for one's neighbor, a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" mentality, and by a love for God that could cause a change in one's heart and temperament to serve each other completely. Therefore, some Christians believe that what Marxism seeks to bring about by force and without religion can actually come to pass by individual love, without force or revolt, and with the aid of the hand of God.

These Christians also assert that the ancient Christian communist-like practices can also be distinguished from today's communism in that ancient Christians did not seek to establish a stateless society (i.e., the absence of a ruling authority). Christian doctrine relating to the Second Coming of Jesus, as found in the Bible, states that at that time he is expected to establish his government on earth and rule as king:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." (Book of Isaiah 9:6-7)

See also


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