Almost 2000 years ago, people had some very strange ideas about what went on in Christian worship.
This tirade against the Christians comes from a book written by a Christian in the second century AD. It’s called The Octavius of Minucius Felix (chapter 9):
And now as the world grows more wicked, your abominable shrines are sprouting up throughout the whole world. This entire impious confederacy should be rooted out and destroyed! You know one another by secret marks and insignia. You love one another almost before you know one another. Yours is a religion of lust. You promiscuously call one another brothers and sisters. You apparently do this so that your debaucheries will take on the flavour of incest.
Your vain and senseless superstition revels in wickedness. I would apologise for passing on the reports I hear about you if I weren’t so certain that they are true…
…The stories of your initiation rites are as detestable as they are well known. Your priests place an infant covered with flour in front of the new convert. Then they tell the convert to strike the harmless-looking lump of flour with deadly blows. Thereby the convert innocently slays the infant and is initiated into your horrors. The Christians present then lick up the infant’s blood and divide its limbs among themselves to eat. They are united by this unholy meal, since they are bound to mutual silence because of their wickedness. Your sacred rites are more vile than any imagined sacrilege.
All I’ll say is that Uniting Church Communion services aren’t very much like that! Continue reading