Letter from a First-Century Christian

I, Aeilius, a member of the Roman church, a dedicated follower of Christ, who now writes to the modern Churches of America in desperate attempt to deliver an urgent message. I intend to be clear and straightforward in my writing. I am not an apostle, nor am I a prophet. I am merely a man who sees that there needs to be something said. Grace to you all from our our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Firstly, I have noticed that there is great misunderstanding as to the conduct within a church body. Though our dearest teacher, Apostle John, warned you of anti-Christs that will come inside the body, you have become seeker friendly to the anti-Christs. You have forgotten that the local church gathering is a gathering of believers. Tell me how an unregenerate sinner, a rebel against God, is to be  considered one of us? Are you all attempting to throw the term “believer” to anyone who claims to know Jesus? Our dearest martyr Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church, which operated in the same manner as you (which was also the first to try your new techniques of  worldly dynamic, lack of church discipline, and being seeker friendly), that Satan masquerades as an angel of light.

Rather than accepting the warnings of our two dearest Apostles, many of your churches consider this to be optional. I advise that you take their words to hear. Surely you don’t believe that Paul wrote to the Corinthians because he adored their manner of chaotic expression of worship, misuse of the gifts, and tolerance to sin? God forbid that be true. Alternatively, Paul gave clear instructions against such abuses in the church meetings. I summarize his words, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit himself: the Church is a body of believers and not unbelievers, the church service is to care for Christ’s flock above all others, and the church is to conduct worship in an orderly manner. 

Secondly, I have heard that you all are very keen on singing of suffering, not knowing that what you already go through would be insulting to anyone who truly knows of it. Your radios have been plagued with silly, repetitive songs about going through some kind of suffering and hardship. I am so genuinely sorry for your pains. I understand it must be so hard to find a parking space at the crowded mall so that you could spend your money. I sympathize with your “suffering” when your GPS takes you to Dunkin’ Donuts when you wanted Starbucks. I am so sorry that your church’s air conditioner broke, that people refuse to say Christmas, and that there are people who don’t recognize your “Official Apostle” certificate you got from a sketchy website for $35. I am truly sorry that there is great suffering with all of you who are believers in the United States of America, where even the richest worship leaders, televangelists, and inspirational gurus seem to be going through such suffering. 

I am afraid that all of us who live outside the United States and 21st century Evangelicalism are not able to relate to your suffering. You see my dearest friend and teacher, Paul, only had his head severed from his body for believing in Christ. Another good friend, teacher, and at one time Pastor, was named Peter. Only a few months ago I heard rumors of his words: “I count it as joy to die in the same manner in which Christ died.” He was crucified upside-down, but there was no way he suffered since he said he had joy. My family and I fear for our lives as we have escaped of the Roman soldiers twice now. I fear that the next time I will not escape, but compared to your first-world problems, I am only preparing myself for greater sorrows.

Many of my friends have been killed by the Emperor Nero. Some were nailed to crosses which were then lit on fire, others were mercilessly shot by the finest archers in Rome, and others were shred to pieces by wild animals. I am afraid that I can’t use that against you however, since one Roman historian has written that many of the faces that were left whole, untouched, or unwounded had smiles. Obviously if they smiled, it is impossible for them to suffer (I speak of course in humanly terms, the manner in which many of you are accustomed to).

To think that there is a new theology among you called “the Great Tribulation”, in which many teachers say that there will come a persecution such that the world has never seen before is truly dreadful. So I suppose the Christians have never seen horrific persecution before? I suppose that the persecution I have seen was merely a foreshadow of something worse? What could possibly be worse than my own friends being burnt to ashes, pastors being shred to pieces as he comforts his flock, and the cries of women and children as arrows pierce their bodies and limbs? I find it disturbing that you American Christians are coming to believe in this silly fiction that the world will see a “great Tribulation”. Tell it to the Christians in the middle east whose brothers and sisters have been gutted like animals. Tell it to the Christians in North Korea who are danger for the possession of a Holy Bible or for mentioning the name of Jesus. Tell it to the Christians in Ukraine who have been forced to run from the persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church, responsible for the murders and disappearances of pastors and evangelists (I write these things from a humanly perspective).

I write these things dear Christians of the first world and of the 21st century, to remind you all of the good faith we have been taught. We risk our lives to preserve the texts for the future churches, to bring the message of the good news to anyone who will hear, and to glorify our Lord through all struggles. Don’t accept the ways of the anti-Christs that are among the world. As our Apostle John, who we hope to hear from again soon, has said before as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, “You are not of this world.” Paul left a legacy for us. We remember him for being a man of truth, zeal, and passion for Christ. Don’t make Peter, Paul, Andrew, Thomas, Barnabas, James, Bartholomew, and the others die in vain. Forget not their message.

Love and respect the church. Remember that it is for the believers and do not forget the suffering of the believers outside of America. There are plenty of organizations that need your support. They need men and women, not just money. If you are not able to go, then help to provide for someone to go. Don’t mention tribulation or persecution when there isn’t anything outside of the normal trials of this world. I beseech you all to abstain from the teaching of the highly offensive teaching of the “great Tribulation” as there are many who are going through great tribulations that one couldn’t even imagine. I send my regards to all the churches, especially to the faithful ones who long for Christ’s return. Grace to you from our Lord.


Soli Deo Gloria.

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