One Pagan’s View

If you go to church, remember that you are the church. Here is an eyewitness account by a pagan of what the church was like just after it was born. It didn’t look anything like a modern institution, but it did look like Jesus…

“They abstain from all impurity in the hope of the recompense that is to come in another world. As for their servants or handmaids or children, they persuade them to become Christians by the love they have for them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction, brothers. They do not worship strange gods; and they walk in all humility and kindness, and falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another. When they see the stranger they bring him to their homes and rejoice over him as over a true brother; for they do not call those who are after the flesh, but those who are in the Spirit and in God.

“And [if] there is among them a man that is poor and needy and if they have not an abundance of necessities, they fast two or three days, that they may supply the needy with the necessary food.

“They observe scrupulously the commandment of their Messiah; they live honestly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and all hours on account of the goodness of God toward them, they render praise and laud Him over their food and their drink; they render Him thanks.

“And if any righteous person of their number passes away from this world, they rejoice and give thanks to God and they follow his body as though he were moving from one place to another. And when a child is born to them, they praise God, and if again it chances to die in its infancy, they praise God mightily, as for one who has passed through the world without sins.

“Such is the law of the Christians and such is their conduct.”

(From The Apology of Aristides, Syriac text and translation. Cited in Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 1 (Chicago Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc), page 346)

By the way, Aristides the pagan eventually followed Jesus. I don’t wonder why.

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