Your Friday Firestorm #42

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

(Acts 5:1-11)

Discuss.

Comments

  1. John Scherer says:

    Looks like I better be careful in tithing settlement!

  2. Peter LLC says:

    Imagine how effective IRS auditors could be if they walked with the Spirit.

  3. Man that is just weird.

    Oh btw Thunderstruck is an awesome song. One of the few I like from ACDC

  4. sister blah 2 says:

    It was Luke who was the doctor, right? Maybe Peter didn’t understand the difference between fainting and dying.

  5. MikeInWeHo says:

    When we click the link for the AC/DC video (which is very cool, btw), we’re also offered an advertisement for Scientology. I’m not sure which is scarier, them or Peter on a grumpy day in Acts 5.

  6. (4) Once someone is buried, the difference between fainting and dying pretty much disappears.

  7. MikeInWeHo says:

    Oh no!!! Now I’m watching Scientology videos when I should be getting ready for work. Help!! Thanks for that, Steve. :)
    The Way to Happiness ones (at the bottom center) are incredibly well done. The Church should buy # 1 & 2 and use them to promote the Word of Wisdom.

    But I digress….sorry.

  8. Digressions on a Friday Firestorm?? Mike I am ashamed of you.

  9. So, are the only people allowed to wear shirts in an AC/DC video the band? Can you only attend one of their concerts topless?

    (I know–everyone’s wearing white t-shirts and the flesh-tone is a product of the lighting, but it does look like the only people wearing shirts are the band in those first few shots.)

  10. sister blah 2 says:

    Maybe they were trying to show up Peter and make him feel bad. Peter, after all, had some pretty big regrets in his life. But he just wept bitterly and stuff, he never keeled over and died. They’re just showing him how it’s done. “Take that, Peter! Ha! Who’s sorry now! Oh wait, I’m dead…” (no less logical than some of things teens do in the name of “Take that, parents!”)

  11. Kristine, topless attendance is preferred, but not mandatory.

  12. Peter LLC says:

    So, are the only people allowed to wear shirts in an AC/DC video the band?

    That must have been early in the concert. As you will see here, Angus is fond of going topless.

  13. NorthboundZax says:

    Clearly, the couple would have been best off not involving Peter at all.

  14. Don’t you all know, topless is how you get in the front row!? :D

  15. If we instituted capital punishment for people who tell white lies to the bishop, the church membership would decrease from 13 million to about 5,000, overnight.

  16. Steve Evans says:

    Mark, if all people who lied to the bishop suddenly were struck down, think of the missionary work! THERE’S your miracle, folks!

  17. John Scherer says:

    It would really suck if Ananias had lied to his wife in order to keep a little something on the side. Can you imagine the eternity worth of cold shoulders that he’d be getting?

  18. Reminds me of the story of Elisha, the she-bear, his bald head, and the neighborhood gang of kids. Set to better music.

  19. Julie M. Smith says:

    /grasping at straws

    One thing I like about this story is that, contrary to prevailing cultural norms, Ananias’ wife is treated as a free agent and not just her husband’s property.

    So, um, if nothing else, at least there is a good message her about the husband/wife relationship, no?

    /end grasp

  20. Steve Evans says:

    LOL, Julie. Sapphira’s independence really paid off!

  21. I’ve thought for some time that that was a cover story for the early church having killed two of their own… blame it on the holy ghost.

  22. Steve Evans says:

    The Greatest Conspiracy Theory Ever Told, eh Krik?

  23. Mephibosheth says:

    Does it seem less harsh if we think of Ananias and Sapphira as taking food out of the mouths of widows and orphans in order to buy a bigscreen TV rather than telling the bishop a little white lie?

    Probably not.

  24. Steve Evans says:

    Mephibosheth, maybe they were holding onto it so they could send their son to Philmont Scout Ranch.

  25. StillConfused says:

    I like comment #6.

  26. #24 – Early nomination for comment of the year.

  27. I used to bust this out in priesthood whenever somebody told about the difference between Communism and the Law of consecration. Now I am older and wiser and play Tetris on my Palm during priesthood.

  28. Norbert, the difference between communism and the law of consecration is that in communism, you get shot when you cheat on the collective, but in the Law of Consecration, you voluntarily give up the ghost?

  29. Steve Evans says:

    In Communist Russia, Law consecrates YOU.

  30. Peter LLC says:

    I’m guessing there was no spousal privilege under Biblical law?

    BTW, I side with Ray’s #24.

  31. Peter LLC says:

    Ahem, make that Ray’s #26.

  32. sister blah 2 says:

    Did anyone else, when you were a youth, regardless of whether you’d heard of this particular story, feel like this would literally happen to you if you didn’t tell the bishop EVERYTHING in an interview. Relevant video here (this isn’t me–I was a bit skinnier at that age, and a girl–but it does give the general impression of my first interview).

  33. Steve Evans says:

    Good one, SB2.

  34. Isn’t this a nod to Old Testament believers? “See, God still gets his smiting in; he’s not totally soft and merciful.”

    They should tell more tithing stories like this in GC. Out of 13 million it wouldn’t be hard to find a family that died in a car accident after failing to attend settlement.

  35. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    #29 sounds like the punchline of a Yakov Smirnoff joke.

  36. Silly Duke, in Russia, jokes do not have punchlines. No one can afford them!

  37. Sam Kitterman says:

    Steve [#24],
    Nah, they were saving either to send their kid to EFY or a Church History Trip

  38. Speaking Up says:

    This story cannot be correct.

    Either there is much information missing, or this story was simply apocrapha that was added later.

    The power to bring death is a useful trick. To badd Peter and others, despite facing corruption every they went, did not use it at any other time. Could had been a good trick to use when being falsely accused in a Roman court.

    For all the times, where it would seem more appropreiate and it never being mentioned, it appears that this story really is false.

    For disciples who were eager to bring some fire and brimestone and told by Jesus that He was here to save and not to destroy, this seems completely out of their mission’s scope.

  39. Bro. Jones says:

    #38 – I’m with you. There have been plenty of places and times throughout history when the power of God to smite people to death would have been welcome. I would prefer to think 1) God really, really doesn’t use it that often, and 2) He wouldn’t allow his agents to have used this power on Ananias. Kinda defeats that whole “repentance” thing.

    And on a bigger principle, I don’t think we should be afraid to call out some of the things in the scriptures as potentially apocryphal at best and outright bogus at worst. We’re grown-ups, we have the spirit, we can take the good and not waste our time with things that are overtly contrary to Christ’s message. (See also: much of the Old Testament.)

  40. But as I read this event I see nowhere where Peter actually used his Authority to strike down Ananias. Rather, it was Ananias’ own guilt which caused him to die.

    On the other hand, I likewise question this event altogether since it seems more in keeping with various events portrayed in the books of the Apocrypha such as Jesus as a youth, etc., than the Gospel of Christ….

  41. I guess it might have been a teaching lesson to eary saints in apostasy. Scare them (struck down or avoid a fiery death at the last day (one still used today), later promise forgivness of sin via indulgences, now promise material blessing being showered upon you. Doing all this for the wrong reasons when I like what the missionaries teach in that you do it as a thankful notion in recognition of HF’s hand in your life. As most of the bible was written with convincing motives in mind, could this not have also been the case? I agree with the last few comments. This is not the religion that I have experienced in my life, which is total and complete love. Anything which limits love shown is probably missing the whole story to its end, including satan and his 1/3.

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