The Early Christians: In but not of the World

(I spent Saturday carrying a couple shingles up the nine twelve pitch roof, as a result I’m quite sore. It took seventeen shingles to cover the roof from left to right. We used two fully-laden pallets up of at least thirty bundles of no less than twenty shingles. These were custom shingles where the bottom half is twice as heavy as the top half, so no matter how you put it, it was heavy, repetative work up and down a steep roof for most of the day. The entire other half of the roof remains to be done, but there’s no way it’s going to get started anytime soon. Sunday morning we discovered that the church’s website had been hacked by a group not friendly to Jews nor particularly happy with Christians.)

“”They dwell in their own countries simply as sojourners…. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time, they surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned. They are put to death, but [will be] restored to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich. They possess few things; yet, they abound in all. They are dishonored, but in their very dishonor are glorified…. And those who hate them are unable to give any reason for their hatred.”” – Letter to Diognetus from Anonymous, circa 130 A.D.

“”Brothers, let us willingly leave our sojourn in this present world so we can do the will of Him who called us. And let us not fear to depart out of this world,… deeming the things of this world as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them…. The Lord declares, ‘No servant can serve two masters.’ If we desire, then, to serve both God and Money, it will be unprofitable for us. ‘For what will it profit if a man gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’ This world and the next are two enemies…. We cannot therefore be the friends of both.”” – Second Century Elder to his congregation.

“”The one peaceful and trustworthy tranquility, the one security that is solid, firm, and never changing, is this: for a man to withdraw from the distractions of this world, anchor himself to the firm ground of salvation, and lift his eyes from earth to heaven…. He who is actually greater than the world can crave nothing, can desire nothing, from this world. How stable, how unshakable is that safeguard, how heavenly is the protection in its never-ending blessings-to be free from the snares of this entangling world, to be purged from the dregs of earth, and fitted for the light of eternal immortality.”” Cyprian, overseer of the Carthage church to a Christian friend.

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...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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