Tuesday, November 15, 2005


If you’d like to know what it was like to attend a Christian gathering in the early days of the faith, here’s a great look at what they were doing in the 2nd Century.

*Tertullian’s explanation of Church in the 2nd Century:

“We are a society with a common religious feeling, unity of discipline, a common bond of hope. We meet in gatherings and congregations to approach God in prayer, massing our forces to surround Him…We meet to read the divine Scriptures…Our presidents are elders of proved character….

“Even if there is a treasury of a sort, it is not made up of money paid in initiation fees, as if religion were a matter of contract. Every man once a month brings some modest contribution- or whatever he wishes, and only if he does wish, and if he can; for nobody is compelled; it is a voluntary offering…to feed the poor and to bury them, for boys and girls who lack property and parents, and then for slaves grown old…

“So we, who are united in mind and soul, have no hesitation about sharing property. All is common among us- except our wives. At that point we dissolve our partnership..

“Our dinner shows its idea in its name; it is called by the Greek name for love (Agape)…We do not take our places at table until we have first partaken of prayer to God. Only so much is eaten as satisfies hunger. After water for the hands come the lights, and then each, from what he knows of the Holy Scriptures, or from his own heart, is called before the rest to sing to God.

”Prayer in like manner ends the banquet…”

(An excerpt from his “Apology”, taken from “Roman Civilization Sourcebook II: The Empire, p.588)

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