charity early church

The difference between pagans and Christians on the practice of charity was recognized by pagans of the time. For example, the pagan satirist Lucian (130-200 c.e.) mocked Christians for their charity:

The earnestness with which the people of this religion help one another in their needs is incredible. They spare themselves nothing for this end. Their first lawgiver put it into their heads that they were all brethren.

Even more interestingly, the Pagan Emperor Julian — who attempted to lead the Roman Empire back to paganism — was frustrated by the superior morality shown by the Christians, especially when it came to charity. This was something he readily admitted: “The impious Galileans relieve both their own poor and ours . . . . It is shameful that ours should be so destitute of our assistance.” Epistles of Julian, 49. Julian “especially admired the letters bishops wrote to commend poor travelers to the care of other Christians.”

Leviathan takes the great Christian impetus for mercy, care for the poor and destitute, care for the immigrant and homeless, care for the unborn and newly born and mandates that care with coercive measures and causes a division in the populace that is refereed by Leviathan.