Racism, classism, and other forms of discrimination have plagued our world for centuries. Not only is the church wrestling with these issues today, Christians in the First, Second, and Third centuries dealt with them as well. On this week’s episode, Wes discusses racism in the early church with Andrew, the host of the popular “Post-Apostolic Church” YouTube channel. Quotes from church leaders, living in the first few centuries following the apostles, can be incredibly helpful for those of us trying to live out the Gospel today.
One of the quotes Andrew shares in this episode is from an early Christian named Lactantius (AD 310):
Therefore, the other part of justice is equity. It is plain that I am not speaking of the equity of judging well, though this also is praiseworthy in a good man, but of making himself equal to others, which Cicero calls equability. For God, who produces and gives breath to men, willed that all should be equal, that is, equally matched. He has imposed on all the same condition of living. He has made everyone to seek wisdom. He has promised immortality to all. No one is cut off from His heavenly benefits. For as He distributes to all alike His one light, He sends forth His fountains to all, He supplies food, and He gives the most pleasant rest of sleep. So He bestows on all equity and virtue. In His sight no one is a slave, no one a master. For if everyone has the same Father, by an equal right we are all children. No one is poor in the sight of God, except he who is without justice. No one is rich, except he who is full of virtues. No one is excellent, except he who has been good and innocent. No one is most famous, except he who has abundantly performed works of mercy. No one is most perfect, except he who has filled all the steps of virtue. Therefore neither the Romans nor the Greeks could possess justice, because they had men differing from one another by many degrees: from the poor to the rich, from the humble to the powerful, from private persons to the highest authorities of kings. For where all people are not equally matched, there is not equity. And inequality of itself excludes justice–the whole force of which consists in this: that it makes those equal who have by an equal portion arrived at the condition of this life.
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Click here for a full transcript of this conversation. Special thanks to Beth Tabor for making this transcript available.
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