Vol.XVI No.VII Pg.8
September 1979

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

"Some men... live that they may eat, But the Instructor enjoins us to eat that we may live." Sound familiar? It has been around for some time — since Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 153-217. And here are more of his instructions in Christian living, from The Instructor, Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. II.

"These gluttons... emasculate plain food, namely bread, by straining off the nourishing part of the grain, so that the necessary part of food becomes matter of reproach to luxury." He says they excuse dinners and banquets by falsely calling it "agape" or "love feast" (fellowship). Their Epicureanism drives them to "sweetmeats, honey-cakes, and sugar plums... A man like this seems to me to be all jaw."

"Women and men are to go to church decently attired, with natural step, embracing silence, possessing unfeigned love, pure in body, pure in heart, fit to pray to God. Let the woman ...be entirely covered, unless she happen to be at home. For that style of dress is grave, and protects from being gazed at. And she will never fall, who puts before her eyes modesty, and her shawl; nor will she invite another to fall into sin by uncovering her face. For this is the wish of the Word, since it is becoming for her to pray veiled." "Women are to be allowed a white shoe, except when on a journey, and then a greased shoe must be used... It is not suitable for the foot to be shown naked ... But for a man bare feet are quite in keeping, except when he is on military service.... On a journey... we may wear... dusty-foots."

"But for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking glass, to shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! ...And let not men, therefore, spend their time in barber shops and taverns, babbling nonsense; and let them give up hunting for the women who sit near, and ceaselessly talking slander against many to raise a laugh."

"I would counsel the married never to kiss their wives in the presence of their domestics." "The apostle calls the kiss holy... but there is another unholy kiss, full of poison, counterfeiting sanctity ... A kiss is not love, for the love meant is the love of God... that we keep his commandments, not that we stroke each other on the mouth." Finally "We must abandon a furious mode of walking..."