Early Christians held everything in common
and there was no poverty among them (Act 4:32-34)
· In what way was the social life and teaching of early Christians like socialism or communism, and how was it different?
· What is the relationship between “being of one heart and soul” and sharing all things in common? How did this way of life reflect the power of the holy spirit?
· According to Act 4, 34. “there was no needy person among them.” How does that apply to today’s world? Are Christians/Quakers called to end poverty?
· What do you find troubling in the story of Ananias and Sapphira?
· Do you feel that they deserved to die for not telling the truth when they laid only some of their possessions at the apostles’ feet?
· According to Peter, Satan led Ananias to lie about holding back from giving all his possessions to the community. What does this say about the nature of Satan (and God)?
· What do you feel is the purpose of this text?
John Woolman on Wealth and War
"O, that we who declare war against wars, and acknowledge our trust to be in God only, may walk in the light, and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding onto money! May we look upon our estates, our treasures, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these, our possessions."
"To turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives."