Gladiator Games, Abortion, and the Early Church (Athenagoras)

Posted at The Reformed Reader:

Just over a week ago I highlighted a section from Athenagoras (an early Christian apologist from the end of the 2nd century AD) in which he defended Christian morality since many were accusing Christians of immorality. Specifically, Athenagoras said Christian sexual ethics were much better than those of non-Christians, since Christians upheld purity in marriage and avoided homosexuality. You can read the article here.

In the same context, Athenagoras also explained how Christians detested all sorts of cruelty, abuse, and bloodshed. Apparently some had accused Christians of being murderers and cannibals because of the Lord’s Supper (eating/drinking the body/blood of Jesus), so Athenagoras refuted the accusation as completely untrue. The truth is, he said, that Christians are against brutality and murder:

“[Which Roman citizen] does not reckon among the things of greatest interest the contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those which are given by you? But we [Christians], deeming that to see a man put to death is much the same as killing him, have abjured such spectacles. How, then, when we do not even look on, lest we should contract guilt and pollution, can we put people to death?

Read more here...

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