Monday, Sept. 5
Besides dealing with doctrinal issues, the Early Church had to contend with the pagan Romans, who dominated the western world. Along with the Jews, Christians rejected the Roman pantheon of gods. Christians also recognized Christ as their king, which didn’t sit too well with the Romans, whose Caesar was their king, and considered by many to be a god. Jewish resistance, always on the verge of rebellion, constantly antagonized the Romans. The Jews caused so much trouble for the Romans that they gave them a few special privileges. For example, Jews did not have to serve in the Roman military, a policy that probably benefited the Romans as much as the Jews! It was no accident that the Roman guard was stationed right next to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Along with the zealots and Essenes, the Romans considered the Christians a Jewish sect, which wasn’t exactly good news for Christians. The early “fathers” had their work cut out for them.