Oct 26, 2017
By year 200 A. D., the Christian faith had spread to most regions of the Roman Empire. However, those early Christians found that their faith was incompatible with the Roman Empire. Of the estimated seven million Christians, as many as two million were martyred for not compromising their faith.
The first Christians lived a life that was truly counter-cultural. Their moral values were at variance with those fostered by the state. Abortion and infanticide were widely practiced among every class of people. A woman was subject to her father and then to her husband. She had no legal identity. No woman could vote or hold public office. Freeborn men could have extramarital sex both with female and male partners, as long as they confined their sexual activity to slaves, prostitutes or concubines. Divorce was widely accepted.
As Christianity spread, believers rejected these practices on the basis of the gospel. Children were accepted even when born ill. Chastity was promoted. Marriage between a man and a woman upheld. And, the status of women gradually improved. Faith impacted public life for the betterment of society as a whole, making it more civil and more humane.
Today we are witnessing a reversal of so many of the basic Christian moral principles that made the first Christians counter-cultural. Our Founding Fathers accepted the moral truths rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. But, some people today have rejected wholesale the very idea of moral truth. Instead, they live as if every individual is entitled to his or her own moral truth. The results are frightening.