Roman Montero wrote a book, "All things in common", suggesting that early Christians were communists because of his private interpretation of the "all things common" quote. Roman redefines communism as from each according to his ability and to each according to his need. That of course is not the definition of Communism because you must answer how the distribution is made.
The idea of "primitive communism" originated from the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They of course argued that hunter-gatherer societies were traditionally based on egalitarian social relations and common ownership. They used their faulty logic to promote the covetous ruler-ship of collectivism through the state which was one of the great disasters of our time.
Their ideas about Communism eventually produced some of the most blood thirsty governments of the last millennium robbing and destroying some of the most productive members of society. Suggesting that "primitive communism" is the natural course of society is utter nonsense.
Among primitive Inuit you would commonly share any seal you caught in hope that if you did not catch a seal the next day others might share with you what they caught. You owned your knife, your spear, your bow, your mukluks and parka which might be the total of your wealth. And if you were a really good hunter people would make sure you got the lion share of food and even gift warmer mittens to you because you were more important than others.
This idea of "primitive communism" by Marx and Engels is fiction. A sharing society and communism are not the same thing. They would have been better to call it "primitive capitalism". The hunter or gatherer accumulates food or resources because he owns his personal means of production, his labor. What he gathers is his. He may consume it, use it, store it or he may take it back to the camp or tribe where he then may choose to share with other hunter gatherers in that he will win or earn their favor and appreciation to win favor and promote community.
This "primitive capitalism" was practiced by whole nations which had a system of voluntary redistribution of wealth through what was called altars.
The egalitarian society is one where all people deserve equal rights and opportunities not a right to what others produce, hunt or gather. A sharing society dependent upon charitable love for one another was the tradition of the early Church and Moses but John the Baptist and Jesus were specific that you should not force that sharing by an exercising authority over the other.
Yes, Justin the Martyr and Tertulian talked about sharing bread and the apostles rightly divided bread from house to house, but this was within a system of charity and choice. There was no Benefactors who exercised authority one over the other in the Christian community.
Montero and others who misinterpret the "all things common" quote incorrectly fail to understand the separation of the Church and state or people. Like the Levites of old, Moses and Jesus created a system of self-government where the ministers were separate and titular from the general population of the people. They could not exercise authority one over the other like the Benefactors of the world. While they owned all things in common they did not exercise authority one over the other. The people did not belong to the body of Levites but individually belonged to God Himself or so is the intention of God. The ministers of the Church in the wilderness and the early Church owned all things in common  but the people were returned to their possessions and their families.
The same as the Church in the wilderness the early Church as a group of appointed ministers called out to minister to the Kingdom of God at hand was composed of men and women who belonged to God, were not of the "world" and were assigned to feed his sheep just as the Levites served the tents of the congregations by providing a Daily ministration through the Corban or sacrifice of the people given as Freewill offerings which the New Testament calls charity. They, the Church and its ordained ministers, held things as joint heirs of a society with a mission of charity as unhewn but lively Stones from which the living Altars of God may be built.
The sheep of Christ hear his voice and live by charity not by force, the appointed shepherds of Christ provide a network of charity and a daily ministration of righteousness according to The Way of Christ.
In fact you cannot be a Communist nor even a socialist and a Christian at the same time. If we are going define a Christian as someone who believes Jesus and wants to do what he said. Socialism relies upon men who call themselves Benefactors but exercise authority one over the other.
Montero does see the Church and the Christian community as a system of self supporting charity where people provided and cared for one another but those who think the Christians were communists or even socialist are misled in their final conclusion because they do not understand the nature of the relationship of the appointed Church and the people they were meant to serve and the Kingdom of God and how it works and does not work.
Join The Living Network of The Companies of Ten
The Living Network | Join Local group | About | Purpose | Guidelines | Network Removal
Contact Minister | Fractal Network | Audacity of Hope | Network Links
- Numbers 3:12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;
- Numbers 3:45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the LORD.
- Numbers 8:14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.
- Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
- Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. Leviticus 25:41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.