Rodney Stark weighs the egalitarianism of the early church.
I don’t really know how of course Roman nobility and whatnot responded to all this but if they joined, then it was imperative that they in fact … in the congregation everybody was your brother and it was required that you accept that. And so apparently they did. That didn’t mean that the next day out in the workplace necessarily that they were your brother – but there would be a tendency certainly, strongly in that direction. And within the confines of the congregation there was a brotherhood. And you’re right, it was radical. It was an enormous change. It was often ridiculed by pagan writers.
Interviewer: Yes, mocked, wasn’t it? As a religion of women and slaves.
Stark: Yes. Yes. But of course it wasn’t a religion of women and slaves. It soon was a religion of emperors.