Is it really possible to share everything, like the apostles did on Pentecost (Acts 2:44-45), today? Many Christians in the Western world seem to think that the community of goods is an unrealistic utopia, and thus, they don’t even try to live like the apostles. But the Jesus Army in the UK proves that it indeed is possible to live a New Testament life. Many of their church members live in the New Creation Christian Community, where they share everything, just like in the book of Acts. They write:
Practising a radical ‘New Creation’ lifestyle in the Jesus Fellowship
You don’t have to live in Christian community to belong to the Jesus Fellowship! But many of us do! Around 700 of us share our possessions and pool our income and wealth (if we have any!) to live like the early Christians. They had “all things in common”[Acts 2:44] and “no-one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own”.[Acts 4:32]
That was the result of the power of the Holy Spirit coming on the church at Pentecost. And our community life, too, is the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence. We have power to love! Power to serve! Power to share!
We’re able to break the mould. To escape from the rut. The question we ask is “How does God want us to live?” Of course it’s to love. Of course it’s to share. Of course it’s to show that through new life in Jesus He brings into being a new way of living!
Jesus had little to call His own.[Matt 8:20] He shared a pooled fund with His disciples.[Mark 10:28] He warned of the love of money.[Mark 10:21,22] Small wonder then that Peter led the new converts at the day of Pentecost into Christian community.
Such sharing was widespread in the early days of the church. The Didache, a respected Christian document from the beginning of the second century, says: “Share all things in common with your brother. Do not claim anything as your own.”[*]
And at the end of the second century, the Christian author Tertullian wrote: “Everything among us is in common, except marriage.”[*]
The call of Jesus hasn’t changed over the years. In the UK today the Holy Spirit is still calling followers of Jesus to embrace a community lifestyle and show a “New Creation” culture as light in the darkness.
We’re to challenge the materialism and greed of today’s Western society, as well as its social breakdown. We’re going to show that in Christ we can love one another and live a better way![John 13:34,35]
This Biblical lifestyle of economic equality is combined with a hunger for the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. In other words, they want to resurrect all of Pentecost, both miracles and the community of goods. I visited them two years ago, living for a couple of days in one of their community houses, and I was filled with the power and love of the Holy Spirit as well as inspired by their radical, loving lifestyle. I highly recommend you to look them up: follow their blog, like their facebook page, explore their website and – most importantly – follow their example, as they follow the example of Christ.