Saturday, June 8, 2013

So How Exactly Did the Early Church Treat People of Color ?

Krista Dalton has wrote a piece I might want to comment much more at length later. See CHRISTIAN MEMORY OR WHY I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE THE EARLY CHURCH .

 She says in part :

 In the same way, we can approach the Early Church master narrative as a rich gift to help us shape our lives. This does not mean I need to be like the historical members of the Early Church, attempting to return to a pristine historical core. Their members think and act differently than I, they treat women and persons of color differently, their worship looks and sounds distinct, and their cultural values do not always mirror my own. Instead, I can hear the ancient hope of the Christian community, and I can participate in that stream.

However Rodney Stark of the book the Rise of Christianity has a different take it seems.

Racial integration gives us a foretaste of heaven, a “sign” of the coming Kingdom. Rodney Stark, in The Rise of Christianity, lists racial integration as one of the things that made the early church distinct from other religious groups and led to its rapid growth. Local churches were the one place in the Roman Empire where differing races actually got along. Their racial harmony gave them a chance to explain that Jesus was not only a Jew, but the Lord of all humanity, the Savior of all races. If we downplay the issue of race today, we are actually denying this key theological truth.

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