Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Courageous Christianity

What you are about to read is part of a letter written back in the early 2nd century by an unnamed disciple of Jesus Christ. The letter was written to defend Christianity from those who hate and persecute Christ followers. Do you think the character of Christians in the 21st Century is as distinct, or are we too cozy with the attitudes of modern day culture?

"For Christians cannot be distinguished from the rest of the human race by country or language or custom. They do not live in cities of their own; they do not use a peculiar form of speech; they do not follow an eccentric manner of life. This doctrine of theirs has not been discovered by the ingenuity and deep thought of acquisitive men, nor do they put forward a merely human teaching, as some people do....They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey established laws, but in their own lives they go far beyond what the laws require.

They love all men, and by all men are persecuted. They are unknown, and still they are condemned; they are put to death, and yet they are brought to life. They are poor, and yet they make many rich; they are completely destitute, and yet they enjoy complete abundance. They are dishonored, and in their very dishonor are glorified; they are defamed, and are vindicated. They are reviled, and yet they bless; when they are affronted, they still pay due respect. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; undergoing punishment, they rejoice because they are brought to life. They are treated by the Jews as foreigners and enemies, and are hunted down by the Greeks; and all the time those who hate them find it impossible to justify their enmity."
It's no wonder early Christians turned their world upside down!
Anonymous, "Letter to Diognetus"