While I was doing some research, I ran across this quote from Julian (the Apostate). (I’ve published the quote before, but decided to do so again.) History (primarily Christian history) has given Julian the name “the Apostate” because he attempted to move the Roman Empire back toward paganism after Constantine.
What alot of people may not know is that the Roman emperors following Constantine fluctuated between Christianity (of differing forms) and paganism. Julian was one of those who wanted the empire to return to the pagan religions of Rome’s past and thus remove the curses of the gods and return to their favor.
Anyway, at one point, Julian complained about the Christians (“Galileans”). I thought you might like to read his complaint:
Why do we not observe that it is their [the Christians’] benevolence to strangers, their care for the graves of the dead, and the pretended holiness of their lives that have done most to increase atheism [unbelief of the pagan gods]?â€¦ For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us. Teach those of the Hellenic faith to contribute to public service of this sort.
It is too bad that most Christians have since given up caring for their own poor, much less caring for poor unbelievers. Perhaps more would have this same complaint if we turned back to “the Way” taught by Jesus.
But, hey, at least we have better doctrine now.