Rome, America, and the Church

In one of his sermons Tim Keller listed eight characteristics of early Christians, living under a Roman government far less congenial to Christianity than the United States today. 

1.    Opposed bloodthirsty sports and violent entertainment, such as gladiator games
2.    Opposed serving in the military
3.    Opposed abortion and infanticide
4.    Empowered women
5.    Opposed sex outside of marriage and homosexual activity (pederasty was common in the empire
6.    Encouraged radical support for the poor
7.    Encouraged the mixing of races and classes
8.    Insisted that Jesus is the only way to salvation
In contemporary America the church does or should oppose 1, 2, 3, 5 (sex outside of marriage part) and support 4, 6, 7, 8 (imho). The church does not by and large support or oppose these things, except perhaps the sex outside of marriage part of 5 and 8. There are open questions on abortion and homosexuality. That’s a rough measure of our accommodation to the American empire as it was for our first century a.d. sisters and brothers to the Roman empire. Something to think about. Or better, to act on!


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