The Early Church. Although the Jews rejected Christianity, the rest of the Roman Empire was receptive to the evolving Christian teachings. They had many great achievements but no soul-satisfying religion. Their spiritual longings remained unsatisfied. A new order was suddenly presented to the hungry hearts of these Western peoples. A conflict arose between the old religions and Jesus’ Christianized religion, which resulted finally in compromise (UB). This Christianity was not a simple spiritual appeal such as Jesus had presented to the souls of men; it early struck a decided attitude on religious rituals, education, magic, medicine, art, literature, law, government, morals, sex regulation, polygamy, and, in limited degree, slavery. Christianity came not merely as a new religion–something all the Roman Empire and all the Orient were waiting for–but as a new order of human society. And as such a pretension it quickly precipitated the social/moral clash of the ages. The ideals of Jesus, as they were reinterpreted by Greek philosophy and socialized in Christianity, now boldly challenged the traditions of the human race embodied in the ethics, morality and religions of Western civilization (this is UB’s opinion). At first winning converts in the lower socio-economic classes, by the second century the upper classes were turning to the new religion with its new concept of living and new goals of existence. How could this message of Jewish origin which almost failed with its own people, so quickly and effectively capture the very best minds of the Roman Empire? The triumph of Christianity over the philosophic religions and the mystery cult was due to: 1. Organization. Paul was a great organizer and his successors kept up the pace he set. 2. Christianity was thoroughly Hellenized. It embraced the best in Greek philosophy as well as the cream of Jewish theology. 3. But best of all, it contained a great and new ideal, the echo of the life bestowal of Jesus and the reflection of his message of salvation for all mankind. 4. The Christian leaders were willing to make such compromises with Mithraism that the better half of its adherents were won over to the Antioch church. 5. Likewise did the next and later generations of Christian leaders make such further compromises with paganism that even the Emperor Constantine was won to the new religion. The Christians get a star for eliminating the gross immoralities and numerous other reprehensible practices of the Persian mystery cult. The Christians get a boo for deliberately compromising the ideals of Jesus in an effort to save and further his ideas. But, says the UB, these compromised ideals are latent in his gospel and they will eventually assert their full power on the world….Although the pagans won some minor victories, the Christians gained the ascendancy in that: 1. A new and enormously higher note in human morals was struck. 2. A new and greatly enlarged concept of God was given to the world. 3. The hope of immortality became part of the assurance of a recognized religion. 4. Jesus of Nazareth was given to man’s hungry soul.

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