I’d probably be baking a lot more chocolate chip cookies if I lived in the second century. It was illegal in those days to be a Christian, but persecution mostly depended on local circumstances. If you were reported, you were arrested. Otherwise, you could fly under the radar for the most part. It was the original “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy.
Most Christians who were arrested and sometimes martyred were turned in by someone they knew. So it was good to be on friendly terms with your neighbors.
Christian beliefs were grossly misunderstood. Imagine that.
Followers of Jesus were condemned for such things as:
- Being ridiculous.
- Encouraging anti-social behavior.
- Following a criminal.
It was into this stew of misconceptions that a special group of people, the apologists, began their work. (An apologist is one who defends. )
The value of those early apologists was to find a bridge between the culture and Christian life.
These early Christians wrestled with issues not so different from our own. They were misunderstood, mistrusted, misquoted.
Tomorrow: what we can learn