An early church list of unacceptable jobs for Christians

THEY WILL INQUIRE concerning the works and occupations of those are who are brought forward for instruction. If someone is a pimp who supports prostitutes, he shall cease or shall be rejected. If someone is a sculptor or a painter, let them be taught not to make idols. . . . If someone is an actor or does shows in the theater, either he shall cease or he shall be rejected. If someone teaches children [worldly knowledge] it is good that he cease. But if he has no [other] trade, let him be permitted. 

A charioteer, likewise, or one who takes part in the games, or . . . goes to the games, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. . . . a gladiator, or one who teaches those among the gladiators how to fight, or a hunter who is in the wild beast shows in the arena, or a public official who is concerned with gladiator shows . . . a priest of idols, or an attendant of idols. . . . A military man in authority must not execute men. If he is ordered, he must not carry it out. Nor must he take military oath. . . . If someone is a military governor, or the ruler of a city who wears the purple, he shall cease or he shall be rejected. The catechumen or faithful who wants to become a soldier is to be rejected, for he has despised God. 

The prostitute, the wanton man, the one who castrates himself, or one who does that which may not be mentioned, are to be rejected, for they are impure. . . . An enchanter, or astrologer, or diviner, or interpreter of dreams, or a charlatan, or one who makes amulets . . . they shall cease or they shall be rejected. If someone’s concubine is a slave, as long as she has raised her children and has clung only to him, let her hear. Otherwise, she shall be rejected. The man who has a concubine must cease and take a wife according to the law. If he will not, he shall be rejected. (The Apostolic Tradition, third or fourth century; translation

By The Apostolic Tradition

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #110 in 2014]

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