A pagan observed an early 2nd century AD church. Here is what he saw.
“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…
“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.”
—Athenian Philosopher Aristides, c. 101-200
How things have changed. The church might want to take a step back—way back, and ponder what it is and what it use to be—and how we got from there to here.
2 thoughts on “A Pagan Walked Into a Church…”
Well said and how true. There is a new book out on how the church screwed up and what we can do to get it back. The title is close to that anyway. I have a brethren church across the street that offers one service a week. No mid week study. Not much to offer. They push small groups for which I am not a huge fan. L.B has a large hub of churches and they are not visable. Next door there is a rotating set of three Mormon elders on mission. They have always displayed what I feel we should. There are a lot of good strong and honest Christians out there, but finding a back up church closer to home isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. We need some good examples in the public eye-not all of those angry ones. End of rant. Thanks for listening.
Wonderful lesson Jay!