Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Early Christians

Since it is Holy Week and we are coming upon the recognition of Good Friday and celebrating the resurrection of our Savior on Sunday, it's fitting to look upon some characteristics of the early followers of Christ and the Church in its infancy stages.

This list is taken from David Fairchild's blog and his post "10 Marks of the Early Church." It is interesting to note what we as 21st century American Christians have in common with the early believers and what we don't have in common.

Here are ten things that was true of early Christians:
1. They refused to attend blood thirsty entertainment. They wouldn’t go to gladiatorial events because they believed it defiled humans who were created in the image of God. This made them appear to be anti-social. Tertullian and Augustine both write about these events in a negative light.

2. They did not serve in the military to support Caesar’s wars of conquest, which made them appear weak.

3. They were against abortion and infanticide. In this culture, both were considered acceptable. To throw your baby out on the dung heap if you didn’t want it was not taboo.

4. They empowered women by showing their value and dignity in places of learning and service which had previously been exclusively for men. Christians held women in high regard and treasured them rather than viewing them as just a step above expendable children and servants.

5. They were against sex outside of marriage. This fidelity was considered odd and against culture. Sex was viewed as nothing more than a desire like eating or sleeping. Christians held a high view of the bed and kept it pure and would not engage in sex outside of marriage.

6. They were against homosexual relationships. This was odd in a time when same sex practice was not frowned upon.

7. They were exceptionally generous with their resources. They shared what they had with one another and welcomed others in with a hospitality that was unparalleled.

8. They were radically for the poor. In a time when the poor and downtrodden were viewed as getting what they deserved, they were aggressively committed to loving and serving people in the margins of society.

9. They mixed races and social classes in ways that were unseen in their gatherings, and for it they were considered scandalous.

1o. They believed only Christ was the way to salvation. This was in a time when everyone had a god and could believe something entirely different and it was totally acceptable to be polytheists and pluralistic. Christians dared claim that Jesus was the only way and refused to bend to other gods.
Gets you thinking, doesn't it?

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