Letter to Dio-Ginitos
Editor’s note: The author of this letter is unknown. He is defending Christians to his atheist friend. It was written around 219 AD. 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.