The Distinguishing Mark of Christians

Much could be said of recent political events in the United Kingdom. I have firm views that I believe are in the best social, economic and of course spiritual interests of my country. However, what should be the distinguishing mark of the believer?

In a second century writing called Epistle to Diognetus the anonymous author discusses the distringuishing place of believers in society: (Hint: personal politics is not prominent)

The Christians are not distinguished from other men by country, by language, nor by civil institutions. For they neither dwell in cities by themselves, nor use a peculiar tongue, nor lead a singular mode of life. They dwell in the Grecian or Barbarian cities, as the case may be; they follow the usage of the country in dress, food, and other affairs of life. Yet the profess a wonderful and confessedly paradoxical conduct.

They dwell in their own native lands, as citizens; and they suffer all things, as foreigners. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every native land is a foreign.

They marry, like all others; they have children; but they do not cast off away their offspring. They have the table in common, but not wives. They are in the flesh, but do not live after the flesh. They live upon the earth, but are citizens of Heaven. They obey existing laws, and excel the laws by their lives.

They love all, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown, and yet they are condemned. They are killed and are made alive. They are poor and make many rich. They lack all things, and in all things abound. They are reproached, and glory in their reproaches. They are calumniated, and are justified. They are cursed, and they bless. They recieve scorn, and they give honour. They do good, and are punished; when punished, they rejoice, as being made alive.

By the Jews they are attacked as aliens, and by the Greeks persecuted; and the cause of the enmity their enemies cannot tell.

God help me to know Christ and Him crucified. God help our generation of believers to be such as this second century author describes.

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