- Integrity in business: Christians were known for their high standards in business ethics including speaking plainly and honestly about products and services they were selling, charging fair and reasonable prices, refusing to engage in litigation when people treated them unethically, and not taking any oaths.
- Sexual discipline: In Roman culture where it was culturally acceptable for men to have sexual relations with slaves and children, Christians stood out in their commitment to lifelong continence, avoiding second marriages and not cohabitating.
- Men, women and children: Old women were particularly despised in Roman culture and the children ignored. In contrast, the early church considered women considered the most effective evangelists and Christians taught and trained their children actively. New believers were attracted to the way Christians loved and cared for each other.
- Manifestations of divine power: The early church were faced with social forces they saw as spiritually hostile to human flourishing. They looked to God for healing and the deliverance from evil spirits.
- Care for the poor: In the Roman Empire there were 65% of people that lived below the poverty line. Care for the poor was a fundamental practice of the early church. The practical application of charity was a powerful cause for the Christian success.
- Sanctity of life: Christians demonstrated a patience that prohibited taking of life or violence. Infant exposure was common in the Roman Empire, where a father could determine the destiny of their child, often abandoning their infants to die of exposure. The Christians would collect the babies that’s why there were so many orphans.
- Patience that does not compel: The early church fathers believed that church growth would depend not on coercion but on how believers lived their lives. How you lived your life everyday proved your beliefs were authentic. Observes Cindy,
About Cindy McGarvie
Cindy was appointed CEO of Youth for Christ Australia in June 2015. She is the author of “#Jesus Revolution: Real and Radical” and “Lost Boys: Bring Them Home.”
Cindy McGarvie has a long history working with Christian non-profit organisations. For 12 years she and her husband dedicated their lives to serving in Uganda and Tanzania with SIL International in the work of Bible translation and language development among marginalised people groups.
Cindy currently serves on the board of Wycliffe Australia.