Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christian living 101 (That's 101 AD)

From The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus:

For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither
by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe....
[but] they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life....

They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.
They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.
They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives.
They love all men, and are persecuted by all.
They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life.
They are poor, yet make many rich;
they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all;
they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified.
They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified;
they are reviled, and bless;
they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour;
they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers.

When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life;
they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks;
yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

from Chapter 5 - Read the whole thing. (And it's a great website too, with extra-Scriptural writings about the early, early EARLY Christians.)

- Hat Tip to The Shrine of the Holy Whapping

Is there any word of this that needs changing? I don't think so. It touches me somewhere, where patriotism and love of nobility live.


Roz said...

Thanks for sleuthing that out. There's something very powerful about early Christian testimony of faith.

One of our powerful experiences in Rome last month was visiting an out of the way church on the site of the family home of one of the first families in Rome baptized by Paul. As might be expected, if you think about it, the church was named for one of the several members of the family who were later martyred.

When those early Christians believed, they didn't mess aroundl.

Therese Z said...

Rome brings the faith right into our faces, doesn't it. I look forward to putting my feet there someday, to marvel at the physicality of history.



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