Justin the Martyr

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Justin Martyr (A.D. 148-155).

Justin Martyr was a native of Flavia Neapolis, in Samaria, and was born A.D. 103. Justin was a scholar who investigated the Stoic and Peripatetic philosophy, and sought the Pythagorean, but found the behavior of its professors disgusting. He studied the Platonic way but when he was thirty years of age, he became a convert to Christianity and perceived the real nature of truth.

He wrote epistles to the Gentiles, and sought to convince the Jews of the truth of the Christian rites and eventually abode in Rome on the Viminal mount. He kept a public school, wrote a treatise to confuse heresies of all kinds. As jealousy rose against the Christians he wrote his first apology which caused the emperor to publish an edict in favor of the Christians.

He debated Crescens, a celebrated cynic philosopher, which was disgusting to the cynic but often defeated them.

The second apology of Justin gave Crescens an opportunity of prejudicing the emperor against the writer of it; upon which Justin, and six of his companions, were apprehended. Being commanded to sacrifice to the pagan idols, they, including Concordus, a deacon of the city of Spolito, refused and were condemned to be scourged, and then beheaded under the reign of Marcus Aurelius.


Apology to Antonius Pius

Around 150 AD Justin the Martyr wrote his Apology to Antonius Pius the emperor to explain how Christians took care of their free bread since they did not apply to the Emperor for his free bread or wine or cheese or anything else they distributed in their welfare system... in defense of the Christian faith and allegiance to Christ:

  • “And the wealthy among us help the needy ... and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” "Justin the Martyr's Apology" to the Emperor Antonius Pius in 150 AD, (Ch. 65-67)[1]


Does anyone remember what the sin of Sodom was?

Ezekiel 16:49 "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

Babylon and its Benefactors always offer gifts, gratuities and benefits which will reduce the liberty of the people if the people covet those benefits.

Welfare systems of the world and Babylon often "serve the needy without condition" which weakens the poor.

As we saw with ministers like Stephen, we also see the Didache stating:

  • “Therefore, elect for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, true and approved, for they also perform for you the ministry of the prophets and teachers.” Didache 15:1[2]

The nature of these appointments would remain the same for centuries. In the 10th century, drastic reforms were enforced to “unify the liturgy” of the Church. This authoritarian call for unity under a centralized Church had been creeping into societies thinking from the beginning.


Liturgy is defined as “a prescribed form or set of forms for public religious worship.”[3]

It is from the Greek word leitourgi and leitourgos, meaning “public service” and “public servant” respectively. Liturgy was not about singing and vestments and the smoke and mirrors of modern Christendom. It was about the public servants of the kingdom of God operating under the perfect law of liberty in true worship of God [4] by service to the people.

God’s doctrine is summarized in the virtuous application of Love God and His ways with all that you do and actively love your neighbor's rights to his life and liberty as much as you love your own. The Church that comes together according to these ancient may overcome all tyrants, despots, and enemies of freedom and liberty. They can and will inherit the earth.

Rome had once depended upon freewill offerings for both its military and its welfare system. Like the Israelites in the days of foolish Saul,[5] and then Solomon and Rehoboam,[6] they steadily moved to systems of compelled contributions, eventually licensing, regulating, and controlling their temples through civil statutes and authority. Instead of charity they fostered covetousness through the right hand or agency of governmental power. They redistributed wealth, forced the contributions of the people, establish welfare[7] and social benefits in abundance by benefactors who exercised authority. But, even in a time of abundance and affluence, those systems weaken the virtuous character of the people and eat away at the bonds of brotherhood and community[8] to say nothing of their substance.

There are two things to keep in mind when reading the Apology of Justin the Martyr. First, Justin was writing a foreign government leader, the Emperor of Rome, as an official of a Kingdom of God, and a minister of the Church who had been “called out”. He was explaining that they, the Christians, were a different kind of government and that they considered the matter of their sovereignty settled and also quoted the Acts of Pontius Pilate, the Procurator of Rome, for part of that proof.

Secondly, we should note that the word Eucharist is simply the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. It is about giving life to others not saving our own and being thankful for the opportunity to do so. God gives life and we were originally made in the image of God. We should be thankful that we can give our lives for our king and His kingdom by investing in the honest needs of our brothers and sisters.

Justin the Martyr wrote in defense of the Christian faith to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius makes mention of a written account of Pontius Pilate of the event of Christ's death that were known to the Emperors of Rome.

Originally Rome prided itself on the support of the truly needy of their society based on freewill offerings through their network of hearths. But by the time of Christ it had moved to a more socialist state, providing benefits through their tax supported Qorban.


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Footnotes

  1. alternate translation:
    “And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.” Chapter LXVII
  2. The Didache is mentioned by Eusebius (c. 324) as the Teachings of the Apostles following the books recognized as canonical (Historia Ecclesiastica III, 25): ...
  3. The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
  4. What is worship www.hisholychurch.info/sermon/whorship.php
  5. 1 Samuel 13:13 “And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” Romans 13
  6. 1 Kings 12:14 “And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father [also] chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”
  7. Psalms 69:22 “Let their table become a snare before them: and [that which should have been] for [their] welfare, [let it become] a trap.”
  8. Ezekiel 16:49 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”


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