The Early Church Christian social project was a unique kind of human community that defies categories. It had at least five elements:
- Multi-racial and multi-ethnic
- Highly committed to caring for the poor and marginalized
- Non-retaliatory, marked by a commitment to forgiveness
- Strongly and practically against abortion and infanticide
- Revolutionary regarding the ethics of sex
Each of the five elements was there because Christians sought to submit to biblical authority. They are all commanded. They are just as category-defying and both offensive and attractive today. The first two views (ethnic diversity and caring for the poor) sound “liberal,” and the last two (abortion and sexual ethics) sound “conservative.” But the third element, of course, sounds like no particular party. Churches today are under enormous pressure to jettison the first two or the last two, but to not keep them all. Yet to give up any of them would make Christianity the handmaid of a particular political program and undermine a missionary encounter.
~ Tim Keller