A brief note on Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch in the early second century, wrote seven letters to churches as he was traveling as a prisoner to Rome. He was looking forward to being torn apart by wild beasts before the emperor. At one point he makes the profound declaration, “Christianity is greatest when it is hated by the world” (μεγέθους ἐστὶν ὁ Χριστιανισμός ὅταν μισῆται ὑπὸ κόσμου [Romans 3.3]).
Sometimes the priorities and perspectives of American Christians who are striving to bring America back to its alleged Christian roots end up being against the gospel. An examination of the Christian faith before it was legal helps us to put things in proper perspective.