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“The difference between Christians and the rest of mankind”

(Old Facebook Post – Revised)

An excerpt from The Epistle to Diognetus, written about the end of the second century:

“The difference between Christians and the rest of mankind is not a matter of nationality, or language, or customs. Christians do not live apart in separate cities of their own, speak any special dialect, nor practice any eccentric way of life… They… conform to ordinary local usage in their clothing, diet, and other habits. Nevertheless, the organization of their community does exhibit some features that are remarkable, and even surprising. For instance, though they are residents at home in their own countries, their behavior there is more like that of transients; they take their full part as citizens, but they also submit to anything and everything as if they were aliens… Like other men, they marry and beget children, though they do not expose their infants. Any Christian is free to share his neighbour’s table, but never his marriage-bed… Their days are passed on the earth, but their citizenship is above in the heavens. They obey the prescribed laws, but in their own private lives they transcend the laws. They show love to all men–and all men persecute them.


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