I’m open to suggestions here. But really don’t see how you can possibly be a biblical literalist and not admit that the church left Christianity behind sometime around the endorsement by Emperor Constantine.
Let’s be cold clear about this. Luke believed that the first Christians practiced communitarianism — voluntary non-state socialism. The whole tapestry of Christian history is a record of the faith — like Jonah’s response to the call from God — doing a major about face running as far and as hard from this truth as humanly possible. And the cold consequence is of running from God’s revelation is to get swallowed live and to find yourself in the belly of the beast.
Now the evidence is not univocal. Luke does in fact speak in past tense here. The common purse may have been less common by the time Acts was written. And in fact Acts is brutally honest about what kind of mess that common purse became. And the clean-up solution to that mess was the three-orders of ministry — deacons, priests, and bishops (or elders if you prefer).
The other side of the coin if you will is what we are to do about it. In the face of Luke’s witness that Jesus’ teaching and the proclamation of his resurrection demands a common purse, how then are we to live out a Christian faith in today’s world?
And I’m not entirely convinced I want to live THAT alternative of a life style. No, I am not rich. But what I have I’m rather fond of. And I still hold out some hope life might get better — someday. Whatever else wealth is — its power. And I seriously doubt that I’d be victimized by the stupidity and malice and prejudice of others in a socialist world than in a capitalist one.
So you see — I too live in the belly of the beast.