Excerpts From The Past
Sermon shared by James Groce
Summary: The following compiled excerpts are to remind us that truth has always had its battles.
Audience: Believer adults
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EXCERPTS FROM THE PAST
The following compiled excerpts are to remind us that truth has always had its battles.
ROMAN R-RATED ENTERTAINMENT 260-330 AD
Lactantius "I am inclined to think that the corrupting influence of the stage is even worse [than that of the arena]. The subjects of comedies are the deflowering of virgins or the loves of prostitutes....
Similarly, the tragedies parade before the eyes [of the audience]the murder of parents and acts of incest committed by wicked kings.... Is the art of the mimes any better? They teach adultery by acting it out. How do we expect our young people to respond when they see that these things are practiced without shame and that everyone eagerly watches." (Lactantius Institutes bk. 6, chap. 20, paraphrased)
Tertullian "The father who carefully protects and guards his virgin daughterís ears from every polluting word takes her to the theater himself, exposing her to all its vile language and attitudes." He asked rhetorically, "How can it be right to look at the things that are wrong to do? How can those things which defile a man when they go out of his mouth not defile him when going in through his eyes and ears?" (Matt. 15: 17-20).
(Tertullian The Shows chaps. 21, 17)
Lactantius "He who finds it pleasurable to watch a man being killed, even though the man has been legally condemned, pollutes his conscience just as much as though he were an accomplice or willing spectator of a murder committed in secret. Yet they call these ísportsí where human blood is shed!
... When they see men placed under the stroke of death. Begging for mercy, can they be righteous when they not only permit the men to be killed, but demand it? They cast their cruel and inhuman votes for death, not being satisfied by the mere flowing of blood or the presence of gashing wounds. In fact, they order the [gladiators] although wounded and lying on the ground to be attacked again and their corpses to be pummeled with blows, to make certain they are not merely feigning death.
The crowds are even angry with the gladiators if one of the two isnít slain quickly. As though they thirsted for human blood, they hate delays.... By steeping themselves in this practice, they have lost their humanity.... Therefore, it is not fitting that we who strive to stay on the path of righteousness should share in this public homicide. When God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits the violence that is condemned by public laws, but he also forbids the violence that is deemed lawful by men.
(Lactantius Institutes bk. 6, chap. 20, paraphrased)
ABORTION NOT A 20TH CENTURY PHENOMENON
Mark Felix "There are some women among you who by drinking special potions extinguish the life of the future human in their very bowels, thus committing murder before they even give birth."
(Mark Felix, Christian Lawyer, Octavius chap. 30)
Athenagoras, a Christian apologist who wrote around 170 A.D., answered those charges with these words: "When we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion actually commit murder and will have to render an account to God for this, how could we possibly murder [infants]? It would not make sense for us to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of Godís care, and then when it is born to kill
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