Verses 1 - 11 tell an extremely disturbing story: a man, Ananias, and his wife Sapphira, sell some property and give part of the money to the apostles, putting it "at the apostles' feet," which seems to have been the custom for donating money to Jesusianism. Peter seems outrageously offended that Ananias has given only part of the money; apparently all of it was expected. He lectures Ananias cruelly, calling him a liar. Ananias drops dead on the spot. Three hours later, Sapphira, not yet knowing the terrible news of her husband's death, finds herself being grilled by Peter. Peter baits her by asking her whether she and Ananias had given them the entire proceeds of the sale. She remains loyal to her husband and lies to Peter, and next thing you know, she's dead too. I have so many problems with this passage that it's difficult to know where to start.
- It's quite clear that socialism / communism not only was practiced by the believers, but expected, even demanded of them by the apostles. Jesusianismists, TeaPartyismists, etc., what the hell are you guys thinking with all of your anti-socialism / anti-communism flap?
- Nowhere in this passage is it even implied that Ananias was under an obligation to donate the entire proceeds of the sale. In fact, Peter even says that the money was at Ananias' disposal. How is it that he has lied? The terrible punishment inflicted on him seems to suggest that it was demanded of him to give everything, not to keep even a penny for himself.
- Ananias dies upon hearing Peter's cruel words. Was this a punishment for his so-called lie? If so, then doesn't it seem a bit extreme? Death penalty for thinking of your own money as being at your own discretion? Or let's even give Peter the benefit of the doubt, and assume that Ananias had previously agreed to give the entire proceeds to the commune. Death penalty for embezzlement?
- Peter asks Sapphira about the amount of the sale. Her response should have been, "None of your fucking business." But she was more polite than I would have been, and uses a more diplomatic approach: she lies to him. A lot of Jesusianismists seem to think that lying is somehow wrong. That's bullshit. If someone asks a question that is none of his fucking business, then there is nothing wrong with lying to him. Even your own Ten Commandments don't instruct you not to lie. Exodus 20:16 and Deuteronomy 5:20 both say, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." In other words, don't make false accusations. Not don't lie.
- In Verses 5 and 11, "Great fear seized" everyone. Is this a good religion? One that causes people to be terrified of death for the slightest infraction?
- Did Ananias and Sapphira go to hell? So not just the death penalty, but eternal torment. Some Jesusianismists will want to say something like, "Well, those two were evil anyway, and would have gone to hell regardless." People who are bound for hell get a tiny little chance to spend up to a few decades not suffering on this miserable planet. Most of the people bound for hell suffer for their entire lives, never experiencing much, if any, pleasure. Isn't it astoundingly cruel to take away even the opportunity to have a finite sliver of existence in which one is not being tortured with fire?
- Did Ananias and Sapphira go to heaven? If so, then this wasn't a punishment at all, but rather a reward, at least according to modern Jesusianismists. But it's clear that these original Jesusianismists didn't think that the two were bound for heaven, otherwise there wouldn't have been any great fear. In fact, it seems that everyone would have asked Peter to kill them as well, so they could hurry up and be in heaven. And this leads me to a related point: the Jesusianismist opposition to abortion. Besides the hypocrisy involved, considering all the infants, toddlers, and pre-adolescents whom Yahweh killed in the Old Testament, there is also the point that most Jesusianismists seem to think that children go to heaven automatically. This of course is in stark contrast to Jesus' own words, in John 3:3, "...no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." But the brothers have already shown, with their long prayers, that it is totally ok to ignore Jesus' actual words, so let's leave this point aside for now, and focus on the common, current belief. Isn't abortion doing a favor to that unborn child? Being killed in the womb is a guarantee that he/she will never have to worry about temptation or sin or suffering. He/she will just go directly to heaven and experience an eternity of bliss. Why is it that you guys are so opposed to abortion?