unusual character

[Christians] follow the local customs in dress and food and other aspects of life, while at the same time demonstrating the remarkable and admittedly unusual character of their own citizenship. . . . They marry like everyone else, and have children, but they do not expose their offspring [to death]. They share their food but not their wives. They are in the flesh, but they do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws; indeed in their private lives they transcend the laws. They love everyone, and by everyone they are persecuted. They are unknown, yet they are condemned; they are put to death, yet they are brought to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are in need of everything, yet they abound in everything. They are dishonored, yet they are glorified in their dishonor; they are slandered, yet they are vindicated. They are cursed, yet they bless; they are insulted, yet they offer respect. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when they are punished, they rejoice as though brought to life. (Epistle to Diognetus, chapter 6)

 
By Unknown

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #124 in 2017]

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