The Christian Church was born in a time of vicious slaughter of the innocents and the degradation of personal worth. Our own Holy Bible records the killing of the children at the time of the birth of Jesus. This is only one episode of such slaughter. The Greco Roman world was filled with the accepted and horribly justified killing of children. Both Aristotle and Plato favored infanticide. Sparta legalized the killing of children that inspectors found to be flawed. Even grown humans were thrown to the wild beasts in arenas for the bizarre amusement of the aristocracy. At Caesarea Maritima, it is recorded that the Emperor Titus gave a birthday party for his brother where 2,500 Jews were killed fighting wild animals or pitted against each other in mock battles of war.
In this culture, the Christian Church found its roots and changed the accepted worldview. Life that had had little value was suddenly regarded as bearing the image of God. Individuals that had previously been viewed as property were seen as free and of value beyond their slavery. Christians are the first to introduce a concept of “philanthropy” into an accepted philosophy. Philanthropy comes from the Greek meaning “Love of all people.” The philosophy of philanthropy is that one is inclined to love others and not only to serve individual self-interests. Jesus Christ, the Lord God Almighty, lived out the philosophy of philanthropy by putting others first and living beyond self-interest. This is the sacred nature of God to which every Christian is to aspire. Philanthropy saved the world and is still the mark of the salvation of the individual.