Monday, August 06, 2007

From The Spreading Flame by F.F. Bruce in his discussion
of the early Roman Christians:

The Christians were regarded as incurably perverse
for their insane refusal to conform to Roman
requirements in this simple manner. Outward
conformity was so simple, and (in other people's
eyes) it meant very little. The majority of
pagans who took part in such ceremonies did so
quite unthinkingly. It was the keen religious
awareness of the Christians that made them recognize
the ceremony as essentially idolatrous, and therefore
forbidden to those who worshipped none but God
in Christ.

It gives one pause for question. With what areas of
modern society am I going along unquestioningly that
I should recognize, if I had a keen enough awareness
of Christ, as outside of true Christian behaviour?


Dana said...

It is getting to be the same now...not with the same consequences, obviously. But it is perfectly acceptable to be Christian. Just so long as nothing in your outward appearance or behavior follows from your faith.

That is taboo.

LeftCoastOnlooker said...

Interesting quote.
My class & I were talking about that this summer, when we covered the early church. As a group of kids who've grown up understanding the basic concept of "monotheism" but also liv in extended families where idol worship is prevelant, they were able to shed a little light on one aspect of the relationship of Christians with Rome. In the pantheon, Rome placed all of their idols. When another nation or city-state was conquered, Rome brought their idols to the pantheon, as well. Israel, & Jewish Christians, had no idol to place in the pantheon. My students said that Rome probably thought they were atheistic because they had no idol - that's what their extended families think of them - you don't believe in god, you have no idol.