Why were Christians persecuted so brutally by people, magistrates and even some emperors?
By modern doctrines, teachings and religious opinions the Christian should have been considered the perfect, obedient and even compliant citizen. What were the Christians saying or doing that upset the Romans so much that they were sometimes driven to mass murder?
What was the Christian conflict with the government of Rome?
Life and Death
The conflict between Christians and the people who persecuted them in the early days of the Church was mostly over their system of social welfare which was managed through their Temples like Ephesus, the Temple of Saturn and the Parthenon.
The first building for maintaining public records in Rome, including the law, was erected under the protection of the Temple of Saturn, as early as 509 B.C. but was possibly burned by the Gauls in 309 B.C. Other buildings were used until 78 B.C. when they built the great Tabularium, on Capitoline Hill, below the Temple of Jupiter, which was the symbol of the sovereignty and power of Rome.
Romans had superstitions but they were practical people. They did not build without a purpose and a plan. Saturn was the god of agriculture. Agriculture needs calendars and records. Eventually when the people became assets of the government and beneficiaries of its systems of welfare parents were required to register newborns within 30 days at the Temple of Saturn so that everyone would know when the children reached the proper age to receive the long list of Roman benefits and to determine if the child was legally eligible for what was regularly offered through those welfare programs administered by government sponsored temples.
The Christians depended on a Holy temple made of living stones which was a network of ministers and people living by the perfect law of liberty and faith, hope and charity. The early church created a system of daily ministration based on sharing resources through voluntary charity as taught by John the Baptist when he first began to teach the Kingdom of God was at hand. This was accomplished through a network of servant type ministers which were called the ekklesia and would become known as the Church.
Public and Private Religion
Our modern ideas of religion differ from the meaning of the word in the days the Bible was written. Religion has been redefined in the last 200 years from the “Real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men” To "what you think about a supreme being". Pure religion was a private religion through a daily ministration rooted in charity rather than the use of force and the covetous practices of public religion.
Celsus, a Platonist, writing during the term of Marcus Aurelius, “opposed the ‘sectarian’ tendencies at work in the Christian movement because he saw in Christianity a ‘privatizing’ of religion, the transferal of religious values from the public sphere to a private association.” 
The early Church with its daily ministration and practice of pure Religion was considered a system of private welfare. The difference between Public religion and private welfare is the same difference between socialism and charity. The nation of Rome and those of the Pax Romana were all going socialist and made the power of the state their Benefactor while Christians were living by love for one another according to the commandments of Christ.
There was persecution of Christians in Rome, but it often was due more to jealousy. But a major conflict was always a division which began under the Emperor Septimius Severus:
"Severus returned victorious from having vanquished the kings who had taken part with Nigar against him. He published his cruel edicts against the Christians in the year of Christ 202, the tenth of his reign. But the general laws of the empire against foreign religions, and the former edicts of several emperors against the Christians, were a sufficient warrant to many governors to draw the sword against them before that time; and we find that the persecution was very hot in Africa two years before, under the proconsul Saturninus..." 
The emperors maintained the loyalty by the sword and by the temples which supplied free bread and welfare for the people in a socialist state. A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms of economic and social organization." Welfare state, Britannica Online Encyclopedia
The Church is one form of government appointed by Jesus who was the Christ/Messiah, king of Judea, the remnant of Israel.
Once you realize that these temples had become civil altars that provided the benefits of social welfare, you may begin to understand that to worship at those civic altars was done by contributions paid into a central treasury. To worship was to serve through your contributions. And to be a god was simply to be a ruling judge over the collection of your offering and its distribution, along with the punishment of those who failed to serve.
In one such trial of Christians who practiced private religion rather than worship at the civil altars of Rome, we see that the conflict was simply that the Christians would not sign up for a social welfare system based on the government's right to force members of those systems to contribute.
As Christians, the six principals among those being tried were Speratus, Narzalis, and Cittinus; and three women, Donata, Secunda, and Vestina, declined the proconsul's offer to them of the emperor’s pardon if they would worship the gods of the Romans, and sign up for their system of Qorban, social welfare. They knew that system of sacrifice made the word of God to none effect. Christians relied upon the Genius of God the Father working through the freewill offerings given in congregations of the Church by faith, hope, and charity.
Vigellius Saturninus, proconsul of Africa in 180 CE, addressed the seeming antisocial behavior of the twelve Scillitan Christian martyrs with the statement:
“We too are religious, and our religion is simple, and we swear by the Genius of our lord the emperor, and we pray for his welfare, as you also ought to do.”
The true Christians like Speratus, one of the twelve who were being tried, claimed to have another ruler other than Caesar:
“We have never done wrong. We have stayed clear of treating people unfairly. We have never spoken ill of anyone. Instead, when treated badly, we have offered thanks, because we obey our own ruler.” Speratus knew that if he took an oath by the Genius of their lord emperor, that would not only be going against Christ's and James prohibitions on swearing but that would bind them as members of the daily ministration of Rome, which like the Corban of the Pharisees would make the word of God to none effect. Instead he claimed Christ as “Lord, the King of kings” and ruler of all nations saying:"I know not the genius of the emperor of this world; but I serve the God of heaven, whom no mortal man hath ever seen or can see. I never committed any crime punishable by the laws of the state. I pay the public duties for whatever I buy, acknowledging the emperor for my temporal lord; but I adore none but my God, who is the King of kings, and sovereign Lord over all the nations of the world. I have been guilty of no crime, and therefore cannot have incurred punishment."
If you live in almost any country there will be some taxes based on the services, such as duties and imposts. But other taxes are based on membership and voluntary application. The Corban of the Pharisees was such a system, but it made the word of God to non effect.
You entered that system by signing up and being baptized, but Christians had another baptism. If you got the baptism of Christ, you were cast out of the system of civic welfare, set up by Herod and run through his government temple.
Rome and the world order it was creating had a similar system sacrifice through the temples like Ephesus, as do most countries do today. Christians were accused of robbing the temple at Ephesus. Why were Christians accused of robbing the temple at Ephesus? Were they robbing the vault or drawing members away?
Baptism at Pentecost was choosing Jesus as the Christ and your king. You now could share in His daily ministration of free bread that was provided by freewill offerings through a network of local ministers and ministers of ministers like Paul the apostle. By giving to this early appointed Church, you were serving God the Father through charity, but you would no longer get the free bread and mammon of other rulers who exercised authority because you were not a member of their system of compelled offerings."And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart," (Acts 2:46)
Their entire system of social welfare was now run through the church and their free assemblies by charity through Freewill offerings as Christ, John the Baptist, Moses and Abraham and all the prophets of God preached for centuries."And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration." (Acts 6:1)
Most Modern Christians are not following in The Way of Christ and His system of social welfare by charity alone, but instead, they have been seeking the system that early Christians died to avoid. The result is that modern society has repeated the history of Rome and become fit subjects for tyrants and despots. They have not only weakened the poor, but themselves also.
Christians should turn around and begin to seek the ways of Christ and the prophets by forming charitable systems based not on force but on the love of Christ.
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A basic definition of heresy, according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is “adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma.” A second definition is “dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice.”
According to this "A basic definition of heresy" Christ was a heretic.
Some might think that having a different opinion is not wrong, but when the opinion is divisive or maintained in defiance of clear biblical teaching, it becomes heretical. But "clear biblical teaching" has been hotly and even violently debated over the centuries.
Christians were murdered for centuries because they would not take oaths, and now they do it all the time despite, Jesus own words to Swear not. One of the main conflicts between Christians and the Roman government was Christians would not sign up for the benefit programs provided by the State through their government institutions.
The reason why was because their welfare was provided by men who called themselves Benefactors but simply used their exercising authority to take from one group of citizens and give to another, rather than depend on faith, hope, and charity through the Perfect law of liberty. But Modern Christians are absolutely dependent upon these Benefactors of the World for countless benefits from social insurance to Public Education.
Most people will find it hard to believe that the major conflict between Christians and the world was over social welfare. One of the reasons for this hesitation or refusal is because most Modern Christians have more in common with those who persecuted Christ than they have in common with the followers of Christ.
But the evidence is overwhelming that Christians would not and could not apply to the fathers of the state or the civic altars run through the temples of Rome and other countries for benefits provided by forced contributions.
We believe that all the problems in the world are a result of people turning their backs on the ways of God, which is the way of Christ.
We believe that one of the reasons the established religion of the day wanted to crucify Christ was because of the conflict between those who promoted a Socialist welfare system run by the government that called themselves a Benefactor but exercised authority one over the other.
That system of social welfare by societies was called Corban in Israel and Judea. It was called Qorban in Rome and Korban by others. These systems all required sacrifice from the people where what they contributed to the needs of society was managed by chosen public servants. Those servants were called priests at one time but are called bureaucrats today.
Even the Greek word korban is related to the term korbanas, signifying the “temple treasury.” The Jewish historian Josephus makes it clear that funds from the temple treasury were called “corban,” hence could not be used for secular purposes, e.g., city improvements, as in the building of an aqueduct for water supply (Wars 2.9.4).
The same term is translated treasury in Matthew 27:6, "And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood."
Pilate had put down riots because the Corban, the peoples social security money was used to build an aqueduct. Despite what people like to think there is no separation of funds in these government treasuries so while Pilates actions were brutal his position was legally correct.
Religion was defined at the time of Christ and the constitution as "practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men.”
There were two types of systems. The System of Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, and Caesar operated by forcing the contributions of the people by statutory commands while the system of Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the early Church operated by free-will offerings or what the Bible calls faith, hope, and charity & Paul calls the Perfect law of liberty.
The first system weakens society and increases the power of central governments through civil Benefactor. The latter strengthens community by awakening virtue in the people and therefore provides the foundation for a free society.
Christ instituted the Church to be those Benefactors who do not exercise authority one over the other but feed his sheep, provided daily bread and took care of the daily ministration of the needy in Pure Religion as Rome declined..
As history is now repeating itself we desire to do what those early Christians were doing. Like the early Church we must be foreign to the state religions which includes social security.
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“And the wealthy among us help the needy ... and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” —Justin Martyr on the early Church, (Ch. 65-67) AD 150.
Christians obeyed the commands of Christ and attended to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors, the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to do so by the Covetous Practices of modern governments.
The Way of Christ was not like the way of the world, nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on benefactors who exercise authority. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ.
The Christian conflict of the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for benefits but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens.
"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.
- One of the most important things to do is to become involved in a network of Charitable Practices. Everyone should want to join a Living Network of Love and Charity.
- If you think you have a calling to be a Minister of God or you might want to dedicate your life to Christ as an Ordained Minister of His Holy Church then contact us to start the process of discipleship and become the benefactors who exercise only love, NOT authority.
Those that are a part of the Living Network and have read the book Thy Kingdom Comes understand that altars of clay (families) and altars of stone (ministers) are parts of a system of social welfare that have strengthened societies for much of man's history and kept them free. You also should know that the networking of these families and ministers had a structure and pattern that has been repeated successfully by diligent and virtuous people throughout history.
This was done in several ways and depended on the free exercise of choice, which is liberty and charity, which is love for one another and the love of righteousness that is God.
We seek to bring that better plan...the plan that Christ taught the early Church.
All you need is a network of congregations of record and charitable ministers who can be trusted to keep books.
If someone is ill or any emergency arises in those congregations the people go to church and pray with their minister for help and aid is provided through a living network. Christ, Moses and Abraham appointed ministers as living stones of a charitable altar of what was called the Church. Those ministers are a part of a recorded network of ministers established by two or more witnesses.
All the elders (heads of every family/altars of clay) are informed in their congregation/free assembly and all the other ministers/living stones in that established congregation of ministers are notified. The other ministers notify their congregations. Gifts to the ministers are collected and distributed including paying directly to the needs of the people. This may be done by paying negotiated bills for medical treatment or providing medication or resources for health and welfare of the family.
The idea is to:
- Build real relationships within a congregation and network of congregations.
- Distribution is monitored so as to not squander the offerings.
- Bills may be negotiated so as to not squander the offerings.
- Oversight of ministers by a network of ministers and elders themselves determines the honorable meeting of needs to avoid waste and abuse.
- Alternatives are sought within the resources of a whole network of people seeking to serve and love one another.
- You are not alone in the time of other calamities of society because a networking system is already established.
- The people become the Benefactors who exercise love for one another which sets them free as they freely provide for one another.
The idea is that congregations of elders come together to be many groups but one flock - His flock of faithful doers of the word."But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)
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His Church should be your social welfare.
What is given and received as welfare is not a "snare" but a share of one life to another."Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
Again - His Church should be your social welfare. Your ministers should be the Benefactors who do not exercise authority one over the other.
It is not a guarantee either - but true faith, hope, and charity.
Join the Network in your area and find out more."But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)
The Living and the Dead"I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Matthew 22:32)
People of the world have become very selfish. They believe that they can covet their neighbor's goods and go about and take from others so that they will have what they want.
- "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)
- "No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man’s life to pledge." (Deuteronomy 24:6)
- "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof." (Proverbs 1:19)
This is a snare in our thinking and that does not give life but deadens our hearts to the compassion needed in a free society. To set up systems that give men the power to take from our neighbors for our benefit is dead works and the work of the dead."How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (*Hebrews 9:14)
Everyman has a right to their labor and no one should take that away without his or her consent. We should not take from others without their freewill giving or we will be taken from until we cry out and no one hears us."Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion." (Ecclesiastes 5:18)
We should take care of the real needs of our neighbors but in a way that gives life through a liberty of individual choice and does not weaken the poor nor strengthen the beast in us all and kills the soul."For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him." (Luke 20:38)
This was the message of all the prophets until Jesus and the early Church. The message of sharing our life with others, through a network of living souls caring for one another is a system grandfathered in by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We are facing the new health care plan that is more than just unchristian. It is based on the state being your benefactor and the state, which James calls the world, exercises authority one over the other."But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." (Matthew 8:22)"Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60)
This is not Pure Religion. This is not the way that Christ wants you to live. He does not want you taking from your neighbor by applying to men who exercise authority one over the other.
Even if it would work for the flesh, the price to the soul will be too high. Something has changed in America. We once took care of the needy in our communities without forcing our neighbors to contribute to what we want.
We were a Christian nation but someone has come into our world and carried many off with a new idea, the idea that it is okay to take from others. The whole world seems to come with their hands out to take the sweat, happiness, and the life itself from their neighbor. We are in the midst of a Socialist Apocalypse."He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." (Mark 12:27)
Your government is not responsive. Over 70% of the people opposed the new health care plan yet three minutes after Congress got a copy they voted for it.
The problem is in part that a great deal of what is called the right is actually left of center. They are not doing the job. But in the beginning the job was yours as the government of the people, for the people and by the people."And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (Luke 24:5)
So what is the answer?
Where can we find a solution?
Where is the cure for a forced health care system that will not work?
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== About the author ==
- ↑ At the same time piety was defined as the duty to your Father and Mother and through them to others with in your community.
- ↑ John Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary
- ↑ "The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods." Oxford Dictionary
- ↑ Christians as the Romans Saw Them, by Robert Wilken page 125.
- ↑ The Lives of the Saints. Volume VII: July. 1866. Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).
- ↑ "genius loci. late 14c., "tutelary god (classical or pagan)," from Latin genius "guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth". This is not unlike the cradle to grave protection offered by FDR with Social Security.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs
- ↑ Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.