Why Were The Original Christians so Severely Persecuted?


Early-Chruch

The first 300 hundred years of Christianity were historically known for the brutality that the Roman Empire discharged against Christians. But the question is why? Why such hatred? Every other religion was allowed to practice their faith without any opposition.

perpetua2

Here are a few reasons for church persecution:

  1. Christians refused to worship the gods of Rome.
  2. They refused to attend the Romans Games.
  3. Christian builders refused to build any house dedicated to any  foreign god.
  4. They refused to go to the Romans hospitals because the patients at the Romans hospital were all dedicated to the god of healing. Many Christians died peacefully at home.
  5. Killing babies is not a new thing. The Roman Empire did not do abortions because they did not want the mother to be at risk. It was

common practice to leave the unwanted babies, especially girls, on the side of the road. Many of these babies were left to die; the girls in particular were picked up for prostitution. Christians passionately opposed to that.

  1. Christians did not consider a man unworthy because he or she was a slave; the Romans did.
  2. The Romans did not value women; Christians did because Christ came to the world through a woman.

         Beloved, these are some of the main reasons why for the first 312 years of church history Christians were humiliated, persecuted and murderer in the most horrendous ways. These were Christians that understood that they were called to be holy. However, in all of these persecutions the Christian faith grew in astonishing numbers.

         By only worshiping Jesus and by the way they relate to slaves, women, and children, they were in direct opposition to the Roman culture of the day. For that, they paid the price; these brothers and sisters were willing to die for their faith and many indeed and gladly did. Compare that kind of commitment to holiness to the foolishness we see today.

         You may ask, what were the results of such commitment? This was the most powerful church ever recorded in the history of the church. Should I say any more?

The Heresies of C. S. Lewis


Surprised-by-Joy_CS-Lewis_620

            Romans 16:17-18 tells us, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (NKJV)

            These verses encourage us to avoid those who teach doctrines that are contrary to what is established as truth. To avoid those who with “…flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” I am proposing a few reasons to avoid C. S. Lewis.

Reason # 1: A False Doctrine of Salvation.

In his book Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis writes,

There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but                                      who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense    than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without   knowing it.[1]

            These are C. S. Lewis’ own words. It is the idea that people can be saved without knowing they are saved. It is the idea that people don’t have to accept Christ, all they have to do is follow His ways and they are saved. Is the idea that someone can be a Buddhist and still go to heaven; that someone can be a Muslim and still go to heaven, that someone can be a Mormon and still go to heaven, etc. What a repulsive idea! What blasphemy against the blood and scarifies of my Savior Jesus Christ. Where is the conversion? Where is repentance? Where is Jesus? I feel that I have to present this point because this is the aspect of C. S. Lewis theology that goes against God’s ultimate purpose for His children to have a relationship with Him, in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) We most remember that love delights in truth not in lies (I Corinthians 13:6)

            Lewis became friendly to a philosophical and fantastic version of Christianity. Through searching for this paper I have seen video after video, professors, scholars, Christian Apologist, pastors and others, being mesmerized by the smooth words of C. S. Lewis. It has become an issue of great concern for me.

Reason # 2: Contradicting the Creation as Clearly Stated in the Book of Genesis

For long centuries God perfected the animal form, which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. The creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things, which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical process were directed to purely material and natural ends.[2] C. S. Lewis

            Can we believe in some kind of idea of evolution and at the same time sustain that we are Christians? Where did C. S. Lewis get this idea that we descended from animals? Was he in agreement with Darwin theory of evolution? What can he say about the original sin? Again, these are troubling ideas indeed that must be addressed.

Reason # 3: C. S. Lewis Did Not Believe in the Infallibility of the Bible

I have therefor no difficulty accepting, say, the view of these scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were pagan and mythical.[3] C. S. Lewis

            This is only one example; there are others that clearly allow us to see that C. S. Lewis did not believe that the Word of God was infallible. I know that there are many Biblical issues that are difficult to understand. I am also aware that we are growing in our knowledge of God and in our understanding of Scripture. No one on this earth knows it all. First Corinthians 13:9 remind us that we know in part. But there are Gospel Truths and foundational doctrines without which we have no faith as Christians. Were those truths known during the times of C. S. Lewis?

            Through C. S. Lewis we can see a continuation, even through our days, of the constant attempt to mix Christianity with something else as if Jesus Christ is not enough. Even as I totally agree with his explanation of the reason for suffering and some of the purposes he also offered. I must make a stand against the questionable and troubling theology of this man. I know it is easy for us to come against the teachings of our culture. The violence and immorality in movies, video games, music and even in many of our T.V. shows, but who judges the C. S. Lewis of this world?

 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8 (NKJV)

[1] C. S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity” Complete S. C. Lewis Signature Classics, 3-177 (New York: Harper Collins Publisher, 2002) p. 165

            [2] C. S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity” Complete S. C. Lewis Signature Classics, 593

            [3] C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, (New York: First Mariners Books Edition, 2012) 18-19

Come To Me!


Come to me

I use to write journals when I was a kid and even in my teenage years. I heard a man speak about a prayer journal and I tried that for some time, but did not last. My blog, angelcasiano.com became the place where I poor out my soul. I am not perfect; don’t claim that everything I write here is perfect; but it is honest, I can say that! I recently felt, this time from the Lord, to get serious about a prayer journal, so here I am again!

         During my prayer time today I felt the sweet presence of my Father. At the dining room table, as wrote in my new journal I felt the Lord say,

In Mathew 5:6, I the Lord, said and continue to say today, for my Word is true yesterday, today and forever; “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

         The heart of men will always be a dissatisfy heart without Me. Let them play with their phones, let them get lost in social media, in their jobs, in their careers, in their weekend parties, in their ambitions, their busy lives, always saying they don’t have time for Me, let them get lost in their disrespect, as if the could have true life without Me; let them get lost in all their worldly passions and desires. They will never be satisfied without me.

         Only those who pursue holiness, only those who are hungry and are thirsty for my righteousness and only those who ardently desire my holiness will be filled, says the Lord.

         Depart from me I never knew you (Matthew 7:23), I will say to those who ignored me, Depart from me I never knew you, I will say to those who are busy in ministry, but do not have time for me. They manipulate statistics, they try to make it look as if I am in their midst, but I am not. Even those who, with great confidence, count themselves as part of my family, I will say depart from me I never knew you. How long are you going to continue waking up in the morning, going on by your business ignoring me?

         The first commandment is to love Me above all things. You arrogantly listen to my Word as if my Word does not demand a response, as if my Word is just a motivational speech, a feel good expression with no authority. I am God who has the power to save your soul. I am the King of kings and the Lord of lords who gave my life for you for no other reason other than my love for you.

         Come to me! Are you tired? Come to Me!… Are you frustrated? Come to Me! Says the Lord!… Are you struggling with sin? Come to Me!… Are you depress? Come to Me!… Are you confused? Come to Me!… Are You angry? Come to Me!…Is your marriage in trouble? Come to me… Are you in fear? Come to me!… Are you filled with complaints? Give them to Me. The Psalmist gave Me his complaints and his troubles, “I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.” Psalm 142:2 (KJV) Why do you run to the phone to call this or this other person? Can you not come to Me? Have I closed the door?

         Why do you talk so much and pray so little? Come to Me! Why do you complaint so much about the church? Is your Christian life defined by what takes place once a week for a couple of hours on Sunday?

         Where are you on Mondays? Come to Me! I want to spend time with you! Where are you Tuesday? Why don’t you give Me an hour? Am I not here waiting for you everyday? Am I not available for you every everyday, every moment, every hour? Come to me!

 

Rambo Christians


firstbloodrambo_067pyxurz

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves. Exodus 18:13-26 (NKJV)

 

Characteristics of the Men Jethro Describe as Helpers for Moses

  1. Able Men:

The word Able is the word “Hayil”, it means basically strength and influence.

  1. Men that Fear God:

These are men who fear the Lord; who reverend God.

  1. Men of Truth:

The word Truth is the word, Met, meaning, faithfulness. These are essentially faithful men.

  1. Men that Hate Covetousness:

These are men who hate dishonest gain.

         This list seems to be a good one. Who in their right mind would reject being surrounded with men with these qualities? It was not a surprise that Moses listened to the advice and put it to practice. My question is this, if Moses had such great help, why in Numbers 11:10-15 he said the following?

 10 Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. 11 So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,’ to the land which You swore to their fathers? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ 14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!” (NKJV)

         On these verses we see a Moses that is tired, burned out, feeling alone and even suicidal. In verse 14 he stated, “I am not able to bear all these people alone…” In verse 15 Moses stated, “If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now…” What happened with the able men, the men who feared the Lord, men of truth and the men who hated dishonest gain?

         Beloved, I am here to tell you that talent is not enough. There are many talented people in the Body of Christ, but they are unable to do much because they lack character and they lack a spirit of unity. Lets take a look at God’s answer.

16 So the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone. Number 11:16-17 (NKJV)

          The first qualification God gave these new leaders is that they needed to be Elders. The word Elder is the word, Zaqen, meaning old. These were experienced men. The second qualification is God taking of the Spirit in Moses and put that same Spirit in these men. This is significant; in order for corporate leadership to be effective they must have unity of Spirit.

         God could have pour out His Spirit on these men without Moses, but it was important for these men to also walk in the spirit of Moses, to carry his burden. Remember, that God is answering Moses’ prayer and in the center of Moses’ prayer is his complain that the burden was too much for him. The word burden is the Hebrew word Massa, meaning a load. The story continues,

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. 26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”28 So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!” 29 Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” 30 And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel. Number 11:24-30 (NKJV)

         This is the kind of leadership God is raising at this hour. People who are united by the Spirit of God and, people who are willing to carry the burden of their earthly leaders. Again, I must emphasis that this was not a man’s recommendation, but a God recommendation. This is the kind of leadership God is raising in our local churches all over this nation. The end of the Rambo Christians is near; we are a part of a team; we are a part of a family. I am not talking about worshipping leaders. These are not leaders that lord over God’s people; these are leaders who have a relationship with God and a relationship with each other.

While Missing God


Is anybody asking? Is anybody cares? Does anybody care to take a moment and consider philosophical concepts? Is anybody willing to give his/her own will for the spiritual realities that Jesus introduced to the world two thousand years ago? Is anybody willing to die for the cause of Christ?

If the days of my years’ proposed average of life expectancy are correct, I am 11 years over; that is, if my expectation to this dimension of life is 70 years.

There is a revival of the desire to know the deep things of my Lord, what brought me into this life, my purpose, when everything will end, and my legacy on this earth.

Are my children even interested? How do they see me? Am I a clown for them? A man in a different world who never care for theirs?

My mind is consume and at times terrorize by the thought that my own, are destined to miss the Lord because, I failed as His ambassador.

Do you see why it is easy to go with flow of things? Do you see why it seems better to speak about the superficial things of life? Do you see why so many spend their time in their egocentric world of texting, Instagram, Facebook, selfies, etc.?

We are always looking down at a technological devise while missing knowledge! And yes… While missing God!

We look for ignorance, we promote ignorance, we laugh at ignorance, we validate ignorance and we become… Well, we become ignorant!