How do today's Christians' values compare with the values of the earliest Christians?

Earliest Christian values

Values & practices of Jesus & earliest Christians - quotations from writings before 313 A.D. (version

What earliest Christians did & encouraged
What earliest Christians did not do & discouraged
Active non-violence* Adultery*
Almsgiving* Anger*
Benevolence to strangers & enemies* Astrology
Christian healing* Bearing/using weapons against others*
Christian perfection* Capital punishment
Compassion* Divorce* (except for infidelity, abuse, or spouse-initiated divorce)
Correction of others, supportively* Greed*
Financial and/or other support of church -- but not tithing Hatred*
Forgiveness to all, including enemies* Hypocrisy*
Generosity to all, including enemies* Idolatry*
Honesty* Immorality*
Humaneness* Intoxication
Humililty* Judging others*
Inclusiveness & equality* Lustful looking*
Justice* Materialism*
Marriage sanctity* Nationalism
Mercy* Pederasty (sexual relations between a man and a boy)
Modesty* Polygamy*
Morality and ethics* Pornography
Overcoming evil with good* Possessiveness*
Peace-making* Prejudice*
Prayer for all, including enemies* Promiscuity*
Purity* Religious talk without compassionate life*
Repentance* Revenge*
Unconditional love for all, including enemies* Self-righteousness*
Wisdom* Spiritualism
Women & men: both in leadership roles* Suits against others*
What earliest Christians did & encouraged
What earliest Christians did not do & discouraged
DIVIDED OR UNCERTAIN VIEWS: Abortion ? | Same-sex orientation ?

* Those taught by Jesus are marked with an asterisk.

CHRISTIAN STANDARDS & HOW THEY WERE APPLIED -- Beginning in 313 A.D., Christian teachings and practices began to dramatically change, but prior to 313 A.D. the Christian attitudes and practices listed above were standards advocated by most Christians within their own Christian communities. Christians did not attempt to force those attitudes or practices on non-Christians. Christians did feel free to include them as part of the gospel, the Good News, they preached to non-Christians -- not as a judgmental rebuke but as joyful witness to the freedom of their own life in Christ. As Christians today, if we try to force our moral standards on the entire population of our nations or on the world, we are abandoning primitive Christianity, and we are participating in the reenactment of the Constantine's cooption and corruption of Christianity that began in 313 A.D. (See On the other hand, we, like our earliest Christian brothers and sisters, are free to include our moral values as part of the gospel, the Good News, we live and preach to others -- not as a judgmental rebuke but as a joyful witness to the freedom of our own life in Christ.

Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer