I’d love to just copy and paste this whole page, but that probably wouldn’t be kosher, even for Christians. 🙂
So, here’s a link (same website as my prior post). I totally enjoyed reading this page, especially the quotes from some of the leaders of the 2nd century church. Some inspiring thoughts and such boldness in the face of persecution and death.
Well…ok…here’s a teaser (maybe a blurb for educational purposes can be allowed?)
From the First Apology of Justin (c. AD 150)
First, an early philosopher, Justin Martyr, wrote to the Roman emperor, Antonius Pius around AD 150 to defend the Christians. In the excerpt below we see how the believers were eager to invite the most intense scrutiny of their lives. At the same time note how he reminds the most powerful man in that world that he may not really be as much in charge as he thinks.
Since you are called pious and philosophers, guardians of justice and lovers of learning, pay attention and listen to my address. If you are indeed followers of learning, it will be clear. We have not come to flatter you by this writing nor please you by our address, but to beg that you pass judgment after an accurate and searching investigation. . . . As for us, no evil can be done to us unless we are convicted as evildoers or proved to be wicked men. You can kill us. But you cannot hurt us.
To avoid anyone thinking that this is an unreasonable and reckless declaration, we demand that the charges against the Christians be investigated. If these are substantiated, we should be justly punished. But if no one can convict us of anything, true reason forbids you to wrong blameless men because of evil rumors. If you did so, you would be harming yourselves in governing affairs by emotions rather than by intelligence. . . . It is our task, therefore, to provide to all an opportunity of inspecting our life and teachings. . . . It is your business, when you hear us, to be good judges, as reason demands. If, when you have learned the truth, you do not do what is just, you will be without excuse before God.