So this abundance culture thing — I think I’ll start talking about it from here:
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:32-35, TNIV)
Most of what I’ve heard and read about this passage has been explanations why we modern Christians don’t need to live like this because it’s not a command and they were in unique circumstances with people there from all over the world and it’s a different culture and blah blah blah.
The fact is, we like our stuff and quite like the idea of keeping our possessions as our own. I’m going to resist the urge to rant about how all our stuff is God’s anyway and we are just taking care of it.
Instead, I will drop one foundational thought: abundance culture exists in the context of community. There were no needy people in the very early church because ‘all the believers were one in heart and mind.’
This is massively different from the Bless Me religion of the western world. We all understand Christianity as being about God and me. Turns out, much of the time, possibly most of the time, it is about God and us.