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David Bokovoy

Acts 4:32-35

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The previous thread exploring this topic has branched out into other pursuits. I would like to specifically consider the biblical passage Acts 4:32-35, asking the question, "Did the primitive church live as a community without private ownership? Note the NRSV translation:

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So is it correct to assume that the early Christians believed that their duty as Saints required them to completely abandon all

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No. The accumulation of private property actually seems to have been encouraged. See below.

From what I can see, the more communistic and closed they became, the more they failed. Here is official LDS doctrine on Acts 4:

So in light of the fact that Acts 4 specifically states that "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common," is the manual in error? Should it be changed to correctly reflect the passage?

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No. The accumulation of private property actually seems to have been encouraged. See below.

From what I can see, the more communistic and closed they became, the more they failed. Here is official LDS doctrine on Acts 4:

This is pointless.

Anyone and everyone who really cares to understand the Church's officially settled teachings on this subject could, if they really wanted to, with a little bit of homework, come to a good working knowledge of the principles involved. True, much detail regarding the UO as it will be practiced in the future (Jackson County and other Zion communities immediately preceding the Second Coming) has not yet been revealed, and this alone, one would reasonably think, would give individuals like David pause in his "crusade for the poor", as someone else here has termed it, given his particular preoccupations regarding economics and the gospel.

It is quite clear to me at this point that, whatever else of value David brings to the LDS table (and it is considerable), his fixation on roughly three concepts, one being "redistribution of wealth" as the primary means by which the poor are raised economically, another being the abolition of private property, and the third, and potentially by far the most destructive both spiritually and economically (to a Zion community),his preoccupation with wealth inequality, which I (and, as best I can make out, literally every GA I can bring to mind) maintain, in and of itself, is not really a gospel concern at all, has become nearly totemic.

Vast poles of wealth inequality are a gospel concern once the full UO is in practice, but even here, wealth inequality per se is not.

David has said in another thread that he is not teaching a communitarian concept of the UO. I have been attacked by others here (who's knowledge of the relevant subject matter I am not at all sure about) for assailing David's understanding as a fundamentally socialist understanding of the UO.

David would apparently disagree. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that all three of his primary concerns: wealth inequality, wealth redistribution, and the abolition of private ownership of property are, with a few other core concepts, at the very center of socialist philosophy and economic theory. They are at the center of the socialist Ideal.

Given that he has (with the Church) denied any communitarian ethos at work, how are the quite obviously collectivist concepts that are at the center of his thesis regarding the economic structure of the UO to be understood?

He has provided us, as of yet, with no clue.

Nor has he ever defined "capitalism" the alleged economic system he finds incompatible with the full living of the gospel.

That would probably go a long way to setting the discussion on a better footing.

In the meantime, I'm going to begin another thread that will concentrate on a scriptural and official Church doctrine based dismantling of David's major contentions here.

After thinking about it for awhile, it doesn't look quite as daunting a task as it might at first reflection

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So in light of the fact that Acts 4 specifically states that "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common," is the manual in error? Should it be changed to correctly reflect the passage?

It was a certain erroneous private interpretation of those verses and others elsewhere in Acts and in the BoM that needed to be changed according to the LDS Church as quoted in my previous post, not the verses themselves.

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So is it correct to assume that the early Christians believed that their duty as Saints required them to completely abandon all

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Nearly all wealth, as far as I can tell, is temporary. Wealth is (but may not be limited to) goods and property. Goods have a shelf life. If not consumed or used, they will rot and decay on their own. Property, if not maintained and worked will fall into disrepair or become fallow.

I don't understand why so many concern themselves with the redistribution of other peoples wealth rather than concern themselves with the production of wealth.

If wealth isn't CONSTANTLY being produced to replace that being consumed, we will eventually run out of both our own and/or other peoples wealth, thus we will be brought to nakedness, starvation, homelessness and death.

Keep your eye on the ball folks. You can't feed the poor, cloth the naked, shelter the homeless without the CONSTANT production of wealth.

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Christian communalism in Jerusalem described in the book of Acts proves consistent with Luke's portrayal of the teachings of Christ. As biblical scholar Alan Mitchell explains,

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It was a certain erroneous private interpretation of those verses and others elsewhere in Acts and in the BoM that needed to be changed according to the LDS Church as quoted in my previous post, not the verses themselves.

The text explicitly states that "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common." Hence, any interpretation, private and/or public that denies that Acts states that the Jerusalem church abandoned private ownership of property is wrong.

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If wealth isn't CONSTANTLY being produced to replace that being consumed, we will eventually run out of both our own and/or other peoples wealth, thus we will be brought to nakedness, starvation, homelessness and death.

Keep your eye on the ball folks. You can't feed the poor, cloth the naked, shelter the homeless without the CONSTANT production of wealth.

Thank you for your thoughts. As I read this a different paradigm started coming to mind. It is true that in our society and way of life there is a constant need to produce wealth. Yet even in this while we have the knowledge and understanding that ALL things belong to God, it still relegated to mere concept instead of reality. Did we "really" produce anything or did God bless our endeavor is the point.

It is true that we can't physically feed the poor, clothe the naked, provide shelter to the homeless (in our current form of society) without some form of wealth transfer. Yet we also find how some "give" only the required 10% when others desire to give much more. As example, is it possible for someone to become a 90% tithe payer and even seek to give more? That their desire to produce wealth is only for them to be able to give in even greater amounts? Of course there is!

Then too, we are told that the disciples were sent out without purse or script. They couldn't give "wealth" even if they wanted, but what they did have was worth far more than is contained in the treasuries of the greatest nations. We still appear to be thinking in the more worldly terms and ways. The point I'm trying to make is that we still view ministry from a more secular perspective, having not truly died to self will (or self centeredness) where we desire beyond all things to live for Christ's sake and to minister with nextness to him...

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And yet the Parable of the Talents presupposes investment and profit motive, even though the slaves involved were supposed to be investing wealth on behalf of their owner.

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And yet the Parable of the Talents presupposes investment and profit motive, even though the slaves involved were supposed to be investing wealth on behalf of their owner.

The question we should be asking is what "wealth" our Owner seeks. IIRC, His work and glory is the salvation of His children. There's probably a hint there about how our talents should be invested.

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And yet the Parable of the Talents presupposes investment and profit motive, even though the slaves involved were supposed to be investing wealth on behalf of their owner.

It's a parable. It's not about money, any more than the parable of the lost sheep is about being a literal shepherd.

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Christian communalism in Jerusalem described in the book of Acts proves consistent with Luke's portrayal of the teachings of Christ.

If you would stop using some of the terms that you use you might get a more positive feed back in your threads.

Christian communalsim? Really? That sounds the same as Christian Communism. For all the good your threads could do, David, if you just ditched certain words we could probably move forward. It feels like you have a massive agenda here. I and others have noticed it.

I would like to participate but you see, I sense the spirit of contention in your threads. I guess using JS words or rather Paul's words I should avoid your thread as I should be seeking out those things that uplift me and other's. :P

BTW that last part in my post is just ribbing you a little. Don't take it too seriously.

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Christian communalism in Jerusalem described in the book of Acts proves consistent with Luke's portrayal of the teachings of Christ. As biblical scholar Alan Mitchell explains,

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If you would stop using some of the terms that you use you might get a more positive feed back in your threads.

Christian communalsim? Really? That sounds the same as Christian Communism. For all the good your threads could do, David, if you just ditched certain words we could probably move forward. It feels like you have a massive agenda here. I and others have noticed it.

I would like to participate but you see, I sence the spirit of contention in your threads. I guess using JS words or rather Paul's words I should avoid your thread as I should be seeking out those things that uplift me and other's. :P

He's using the correct word to describe what was going on. Why should he not speak accurately just to avoid offending the ignorant and fearful?

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So go ahead and do that... I'm sure we'll all be happy to support YOU in giving all of YOUR stuff to the poor.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm having a hard enough time making ends meet. But if your so well off, that you have excess you can spread around, then by all means, don't let us get in your way.

Free lunch for all.

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"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, . . .

That takes wealth. Do you plan on getting it from the Church?

How very generous of you, using the wealth produced by others to give a luncheon or a dinner for the poor and needy.

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That takes wealth. Do you plan on getting it from the Church?

How very generous of you, using the wealth produced by others to give a luncheon or a dinner for the poor and needy.

No offense here, but it sounds like you're just taking exception with the teachings of Christ. Maybe you don't believe in Him, but some of us do.

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The question we should be asking is what "wealth" our Owner seeks. IIRC, His work and glory is the salvation of His children. There's probably a hint there about how our talents should be invested.

Thank you Mercyngrace. This is a very important point. I cannot see how the parable of the Talents could ever be used to support a capitalistic mindset. In the context of Jesus

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That takes wealth. Do you plan on getting it from the Church?

How very generous of you, using the wealth produced by others to give a luncheon or a dinner for the poor and needy.

Please note that the quote you cited did not contain my words, but was taken directly from Luke 14:12:

"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you." Luke 14:12-14

The passage clearly assumes the point that one should use one's own substance to care for the poor and needy.

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No offense here, but it sounds like you're just taking exception with the teachings of Christ. Maybe you don't believe in Him, but some of us do.

I take exception to people thinking that using the wealth produced by and confiscated from others (rather than their own) to help the poor and needy is an indication of personal generosity, righteousness and spirituality.

No offense here, but it sounds like you're just taking exception with the teachings of Christ on agency.

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The passage clearly assumes the point that one should use one's own substance to care for the poor and needy.

And just how is that done AFTER you have given all to the church?

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I take exception to people thinking that using the wealth produced by and confiscated from others (rather than their own) to help the poor and needy is an indication of personal generosity, righteousness and spirituality.

No offense here, but it sounds like you're just taking exception with the teachings of Christ on agency.

That's a magnificent strawman you've managed to pummel. I'm not sure who it was supposed to look like - certainly it wasn't based on anything anyone posted in this thread.

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I sense the spirit of contention in your threads. I guess using JS words or rather Paul's words I should avoid your thread as I should be seeking out those things that uplift me and other's. :P

Honestly, no contention at all on my part. Perhaps the discomfort you're feeling is a result of confronting the fact that traditional conservative American political values often times prove incompatible with Jesus' scriptural mandates. This can be an uncomfortable awakening, but it's well worth the spiritual journey. Each of us has to give up our worldly perspectives in order to come unto Christ and that sacrifice of our will for God's can prove a bit challenging.

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