The promotion of the movement – soon labeled “Christianity” by outsiders – was not tackled only on the human front though. God had his own ingenious ways; where we call to mind a certain dream-instructed king having crosses painted on the shields of his soldiers before they march into battle; with the ultimate consequence of most part of the known world being colonized by Christianity-a-la-Roman. So with this, and also considering the periods of the crusades, we might safely say the spread of Christianity was a slightly more polite version of Islamic jihad.
So ultimately, the Romans brought the Catholic Church and had some of their religious methods seeped into the practice of the new fangled Christianity; authority figures of the secular and religious state to a large extent using the people’s beliefs, and dogma, as the engine with which to manipulate and put them under oppression and subjugation.
In a breeze through history: Allowance to divorce or not divorce, evaluations of monarchs’ power vis-à-vis papal authority, accusations and counter accusations across generations, burnings and persecutions later, had some with the “true gospel” break out and form their own method of how best they felt Christianity should be practiced.
Varied interpretations of their selectively compiled book on holy scripture now “unencumbered” with the initial context, consensus of opinion and appropriate understanding of conventions and traditions prevalent among the people of the period of time in which they were written (the time of the apostles, that is), saw some with the “true gospel” break out from the out-broken, and proceed to form their own method of how best Christianity should be practiced.
More inspiration, personal interpretation, as well as miscellaneous forms of “New light” saw some break away in turn.
More and more continue to get inspired to break out with their own “true gospel” to this day.
Now, where Christians cannot be seen to be on a united front, how seriously can they be taken in trying to convince anyone who is not Christian to believe what they believe?
You say you are good, because you want to,
so you care for your fellow man’s needs.
But it’s hard not to notice
the smug smile on your lips;
right after your “selfless” good deed.
Perhaps it happens – and it often does – that we find the affair of religion muddling, so we decide to have none of it, and to be good for its own sake. It is fashionable to believe that we are the creators of our fate and the masters of our destiny. It was like this for me for a long time.
It is fashionable to believe oneself wise and worldly, open minded – for the most part – and rational. Fashionable to say we are moralists and are unaccountable to anyone; that we do the good we do not for the sake of an eternal reward. But if we are true to ourselves, we realise that that has with it a smack of pride.
But far be it from people like us to indulge that pride, since we strive to be among the sincere few who believe in doing what is right, rightly. (Come to think of it, “correctly” might have been a better word to use there. Anyway, moving on…)
Now, since the idea of receiving honour for the good we do (and the pride that accrues) leaves us a tad uncomfortable, we see the best way is to go about being good is to believe it is proper for something bigger than us to take the credit.
But then, what should take this credit?
Mother Nature? The universe? Dare we say it… God??? Who believes in that anymore? Surely it is unreasonable to have faith in what is unable to be explained?
Or is it?
Don’t worry, you’ll be fine
I believe rationalism shouldn’t be mutually exclusive to idealism. Plato, I believe, dabbled into both; what with his view on actual real worlds and, conversely, their images appearing instead as their readily visible representations; as humans being imperfect beings only being able to view these images and not the true form. (Ok, yeah let’s cut it out. Being has been being written too often… it is fun though, lol.)