Monday, August 09, 2010

Empire Worldview Questions & The Book of Romans

I'm reading the book of Romans in the New Testament. I am also reading about the time period in world history, about A.D. 58. I am learning or re-learning some details, as well as pondering some new questions.

Other things going on in the world generally around this time, give or take a century or so:
1. Egypt was part of the Roman Empire.
2. China was flourishing under the Han Dynasty.
3. Buddhism was gaining a large following during in the Gupta Empire.
4. Mayan temples were built at Teotihuacan in what is now central Mexico.
5. Roman Empire was strong though struggling.

Romans was written in A.D.58 it is believed.
Romans began persecuting Christians around A.D. 64, about six years later.
Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D.70, about twelve years later.

Evidently, Romans were looking for a people group to blame for the empire's troubles. They focused on Christians who would not worship Roman gods including the Caesar. They began to even kill the Christians in the arena.

1. Are Americans, also part of an empire, selecting immigrants to blame for troubles?
2. Isn't it risky to focus on a people group as an enemy of an empire?
3. Can't we as believers be more empathetic with this problem, since our people suffered through empire persecution? Roman Christians were viewed as breaking the law.
4. Is deportation a similar cruelty to being put to death? For some, they are sent back to a culture they don't know, separated from family, without employment, sentenced to poverty.