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Editor's note: The author of this letter is unknown. He is defending
Christians to his atheist friend. It was written around 219AD. As you
read this, consider how it applies today.
Christians are no different that other people in regards to country,
language or dress. They have no towns or cities built just for them.
They don't speak strange language. They live very ordinary lives. They
are scattered among the Greek towns and cities and among the heathens,
according to what the Lord has decided for each one of them. They
abide by the local traditions as far as eating, dressing and the way
they live; but they follow the laws of their spiritual kingdom.
Each one of them lives in his country, but is often treated as a guest
or a foreigner. They abide by the laws and regulations of the country
they live in. Every foreign land for them is home and every home they
live in is a foreign land. They get married and have children just
like everybody else, but they never abandon their children. They share
food with each other but do not share husbands. They live in the flesh
but not according to the flesh. They spend their lives on Earth but
they know that their permanent home is Heaven. They obey their
government's rules and regulations but the way they live is superior
to any laws made by man.
They love everybody but almost everyone hates them, ignores them or
persecutes them. They get killed but they never die. They are poor,
but they make many around them rich. They don't have much but they are
given more and more of everything they ask. when they are ridiculed,
they find their pride in the cross. When they get accused, they are
found to be innocent. When they are cursed, they bless their cursors.
In brief, the Christians in the world are like the soul in the body.
The soul is usually present in every part of the body. These are the
Christians. You find them in every city of the world. The soul lives
in the body, but is not part of the body. The Christians live in the
world but they are not from the world.
The soul becomes pure with prayers, hunger and thirst. The Christians,
the more they are persecuted, the more they increase day after day.
The Lord has given them a gift, a grace, that is very difficult or
impossible to let go of.
Editor's Note: 1781 years later, things are no different. The more
things change, the more they stay the same.