Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Quote from Origen

I read this quote today in a book called Jesus for President, from a conversation between Origen, an early church father, and Celsus who is writing against the Christians. (The bracketed material is from the authors: Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw).

[Origen, quoting Celsus:] “If everyone were to act the same as you Christians, the national government would soon be left utterly deserted and without any help, and affairs on earth would soon pass into the hands of the most savage and wretched barbarians.”

[Origen:] Celsus exhorts us to help the Emperor and be his fellow soldiers. To this we reply, “You cannot demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests.” We cannot go forth as soldiers with the Emperor even if he demands this. [Origen goes on to say that if the Romans followed the teachings of Jesus, there would be no barbarians]

We should note that Christians were rejecting the emperor because to fight for the Emperor was to place first allegiance to him. Christians do not pledge their allegiance to anyone other than Jesus.

Now read the quote again and instead of barbarians insert terrorist or extremist or Muslim. And instead of the emperor put something like President or King and instead of Romans put Americans.          

Once you do that maybe we’ll begin to see why these early Christians were killed.

 (and maybe why governments today seem pretty cozy with Christians around)