Hebrews Part 0 - Background
— Cultural and historical context
- Andrew Fountain — May 10th, 2011
The Background: Roman Forum
- Perseverance in Gratitude by David A. DeSilva
- p.12-16 → excellent presentation of pressure to give up
- Every part of Roman society was connected with religious worship in some way
- Christians could therefore seem antisocial, or even subversive to the stability of the nation
- Disloyalty to the gods was evidence of a generally disloyal person
- This would result in “discipline” by their neighbours
- But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened.
- At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way.
- For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy
- We don’t know how long ago this was
- the most common “deviancy control” was “shaming”
- this would be re-inforce by physical violence or inprisonment
- Prisoners were not fed, but depended on food and clothing being brought to them
- Those bringing them risked being shamed in the same way
- Your house was fair game for being plundered (e.g. big house next to this school)
- For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints
- e.g. Asia Bibi, a Christian women who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for blasphemy
- Salman Taseer was the Governor of the Punjab who was killed after supporting her
- Shahbaz Bhatti the last Christian member of Parliament, was fighting to change Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law by travelling around the world to speak to leaders
- He visited Canada and said in and interview “When I get killed make sure you carry on the work that I am doing.”
- Shahbaz Bhatti was killed a few days ago.
Salman Taseer’s death
What about us?
- What are the equivalent pressures facing us? anything?
- Parable of the four kinds of seeds?
Updated on 2011-05-11 by Andrew Fountain