Circa 66 AD
Dear Christian Recruit,
Thank you so much for your interest in joining the Church. Your letter was forwarded to me by the former head of the evangelization and recruiting department. Unfortunately, he met a similarly grisly fate as his predecessor. They were both beheaded and stoned (though not in that order ;)
You asked about the benefits of being a Christian; well things have been a bit dodgy for this young Church. I’m sure that in the future things will get a lot better for Christians throughout the world but for now…
As you might already know Christianity is illegal. Very illegal. And the Roman Empire has been…shall we say…brutal. We’re persecuted so terribly that many of us are in hiding and oh yeah, we’re killed quite often. And not just killed but killed in pretty nasty and inventive ways. That’s why I’m always surprised to see letters like yours in my inbox. In the interest of full disclosure pretty much everyone affiliated with the Church from Jesus on down suffers terribly and then is killed. Somehow the recruiting office says this persecution is having the opposite effect than one would logically expect. But it just doesn’t seem like sound long term planning if you ask me.
I was very much intrigued by all the questions you posed. I wish you could read the Bible we’re working on but it’s still in galleys and you know how editors are. This could take centuries (lol).
You asked extensively about the leaders of the Church, known as the 12 apostles. Please don’t hold their behavior at critical junctures against the Church. Yes, it’s true that the apostles did seem to spend a great deal of time arguing with one another over which one Jesus liked best. And yes it’s true that Peter, our fearless leader, denied Christ three times at kind of an important moment. And yes it’s true that Peter, James and John kept falling asleep even though Jesus asked them to pray with Him. And finally yes, you heard right that Jesus was betrayed by one of our highest ranking members (who later resigned). Now I know that doesn’t make our H.R. screening look competent but they assure me that all legal standards were met. For fear of a lawsuit they say it was a personnel matter so they can’t comment further.
Our infrastructure, I admit, wasn’t all that great but things got better after Jesus, our Savior, was crucified. Well, not immediately. Directly after, the apostles ran around scared and went into hiding. But a few days after that, things got a lot better. Shortly thereafter they even converted an Ethiopian eunuch. Guess they thought, what worse could happen to that guy, right? Don’t ask.
Peter is now in Rome and Paul is on his way there. Now as far as I knew Paul had been trying to kill guys like us but he says he’s changed and is heading out to Rome with Peter. Don’t know how that will work out but my hopes aren’t high. But I received a memo that things are looking up as I hear the Romans are preparing a grand reception for them.
For me, Rome is getting pretty crazy. I plan to retire to Jerusalem in 70 AD.
But in short, if you choose to join the Church you’ll be joining an organization whose members argue incessantly among themselves, who betray the Lord regularly, are persecuted, and often killed just for being a member. Personally, if I were a betting man, with all these grisly deaths, weakness among our own, treachery, and downright stupidity I can’t see how this church survives the month, never mind until the end of time. If it survives longer than this week it will surely be evidence of the Lord protecting His Church.
Gotta’ go now. This may sound strange but I think I just heard a lion outside. I’m going to go check it out. I wonder what they’re going to feed it.
The Office of Recruiting and Evangelization