WHAT 1ST & 2ND CENTURY CHURCH FATHERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT

 

GIVING

 

 

Justin, who lived about 150 AD, wrote this in Apology I, 67: "We always remember one another. Those who have, provide for all those in want....Those who have means and are willing, each according to his own choice, gives what he wills, and what is collected is deposited with the president. He provides for the orphans and widows, those who are in want on account of sickness or some other cause, those who are in bonds [jail] and strangers who are sojourning, and in a word he becomes the protector of all who are in need." 

 

 

Justin, in Apology I, 14: "We who loved more than anything else ways of acquiring wealth and possessions now bring what we have into a common treasury and share with everyone who is in need." 

 

 

Tertullian, who lived about 170 AD, wrote this in Apology xxxix:1-5: "Although we have a kind of money-chest, it is not gathered from the fees of our leaders as if religion were a matter of purchase. Every individual puts in a small contribution on the monthly day, or when he wishes and only if he wishes and is able. For no one is compelled, but he contributes voluntarily. These contributions are trust funds of piety.

 

"They are not spent on banquets...or drinking clubs; but for feeding and burying the poor, for boys and girls destitute of property and parents; and further for old people confined to the house, and victims of shipwreck; and any who are in the mines, who are exiled to an island, or who are in prison merely on account of God's church....So great a work of love burns a brand upon us in regarding to some. 'See,' they say, 'how they love one another.'

 

 

Dionysus of Corinth wrote about 170, and quoted in Eusebius Church History IV.xxiii.10: "For this practice has prevailed with you from the very beginning, to do good to all the brethren in every way, and to send contributions to many churches in every city. Thus refreshing the needy in their want, and furnishing to the brethren condemned to the mines."

 

 

Irenaeus of Lyons in Gaul (France), wrote about 180 Against Heresies IV,xiv.3: "And instead of the tithes which the law commanded, the Lord said to divine everything we have with the poor. And he said to love not only our neighbors but also our enemies, and to be givers and sharers not only with the good but also to be liberal givers toward those who take away our possessions."

 

 

Clement of Alexandria wrote about 200 AD Who Is the Rich Man that is Saved? 33:      "Do not judge who is worthy and who unworthy, for it is possible for you to be mistaken in your opinion. In the uncertainty of ignorance it is better to do good to the unworthy for the sake of the worthy than by guarding against those who are less good not to encounter the good. For by being sparing and trying to test those who are well-deserving or not, it is possible for you to neglect some who are loved by God."