By Leslie Macfarlane
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Extra info for Socialism, Social Ownership and Social Justice
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. 6 Since Christian teaching stressed so strongly that the poor engaged God's favour for salvation in heaven as a reward for their suffering on earth, while the rich were disadvantaged and disfavoured by the threat of eternal damnation for their sins, it behoved the rich to seek to overcome their lack of merit in God's eyes by giving generously to the poor. 7 The prime aim of charity, incumbent on all Christians to varying degrees and in various forms, was not, however, the removal of poverty but the prior aim of awakening the response of love for one's fellows and of the love of self-sacrifice in oneself, which God requires of us.
Should also reign'. 31 Lactantius (fourth century), known as the Christian Cicero, embellished the apocalyptic theme of the Revelations, when Christ and a countless host of angels shall annihilate the godless who oppose him, with the promise that the remaining heathens will be handed over as slaves to the righteous and that the righteous dead will be raised to eternal life. Christ will reign with them in the new Property and Poverty: The Christian Message 31 kingdom of the righteous which shall last a thousand years and 'the earth shall bear all fruits without man's labour.
A radical group of Hussites, or Taborites as they called themselves, came to the fore. They were distinguished from other millenistic groups of the time by their belief that the way had to be cleared for the coming of Christ by a massacre of all sinners, the powerful lords, nobles and rich town merchants who oppressed the poor. When this purification had been completed in Bohemia, the warrior Christ would appear at the head of his army of angels to join the armies of the Saints to defeat the forces of anti-Christ and establish the Millennium on earth.