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a past glimpse of the Future

June.13.2009

Here is an excerpt from an early christian writing, specifically entitled:  “A Letter to Diognetus”.  It was probably written around 100-150 A.D.  The author is only speculated upon, not exactly known. Diognetus was a highly regarded pagan of the time and the author describes to him a little of the ‘mystery’ people (Christians).

“There is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then, they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.”

I want to live like that.  Anyone with me?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lane Mabray permalink
    June.21.2009 1:07pm

    Tiffany, I believe this Diognetus might be Dionysius. When I was in Siracus, Sicily, we went to Dionysius’s Ear. Dionysius was a pagan ruler in I think 100+AD.
    Dionysius’s ear is a huge cave 5 stories high, with very unusual acoustics. He used it as a prison because of the acoustics so he could hear what his enemies were saying. Hence the Dionysius’s Ear. We went into the cave and sang Amazing Grace. Most members of my group were members of a choir at a church in VA. A God spirit moment for me.

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