Well, as we start a new semester and new blogs I thought it would be good to write about someone I have done reading on before. I am writing about the Martyrdom of Perpetua.
I read about Perpetua in another class I took and I found her interesting at that time as well. Most likely, Perpetua's martyrdom was in A.D. 203. The account in Callings, probably was written by Tertullian, most likely soon after Perpetua's Martyrdom. In Callings, Perpetua's autobiographical account of the events is also included. One thing I noticed that Placher wrote in the introductory information was about the Romans and their, well, lets call them policies, about killing christians. I this introduction, Plachersays that the Romans really didn't want to kill the Christians but only wanted to make it harder for them to follow their cause. Usually, according to Placher, the Romans just made a Christian who had been caught do some kind of service for the emperor. Thus, for Perpetua to get caught and also matryed for her faith she would have had to have been VERY public about her faith. She also would have had to have been committed to her faith because she didn't make any compromises.
In this reading, there wasn't a lot of mention of Christian community. In my opinion, the only real contact that Perpetua and her other prison friends had was when Pomponius and Tertius came to visit and then talked the guards into moving Perpertua and some of the others into better conditions in the prison. Perpetua also probably had community with her fellow Christians in the prison. From what I can see, the community of Christians in that day mainly had the purpose of caring for their fellow Christians and also trying to keep their spirits upbeat.
As Christians today, we certaintly don't have to be scared about being imprisoned or killed for our faith, and we don't have to worry about that happening very soon in the future either. Their also isn't a very high chance of very much persecution either. There is definately a lot of people in the world, though, that do not like Christians because of how they live and will do a lot of things to make life miserable for them. What is interesting about this is that even though there isn't matyrdom here in the US and there isn't imprisonment for having a certain faith, the Christian community's social purpose is really very similar, that is it's purpose is to help and encourage brothers and sisters in Christ. From this we can see that it is extremely important to keep our fellow Christians in our prayers. It is also important to show extra support for them when trouble and ridicule does come. Also, in the future there may be times when physical persecution does come, as our world seems to be going this direction. This shows us that it is more important than ever to have a strong Christian community.