In my quest to understand where and when the lie about Christianity began to be propagated, I came across this book and it is a good read. The great turn came when the stiff-necked cult of the god from Jerusalem began to make itself known, the writer writes. The Christians were every bit as stiff-necked as the Jews, but sought converts more provocatively. They not only claimed they were right, but insisted that everyone else should join their way of being right. They cocked a snoot at the old gods, the old ways, and even the emperors. So arrogant and assertive were they that they brought down on their own heads the wrath of governors and emperors in waves of persecution, culminating in the great persecutions of the 250s and 300s CE, when the full force of imperial law insisted that every citizen of the emperor show his or her loyalty by performing sacrifice to the traditional gods. Their heroic resistance to persecution was exemplary.
Later on we see that Christianity triumphed because it had political backing. Any politician knows where to go, the buttons to press. If atheists were to deliver the votes, if cannibals were to ensure a prosperous and bountiful country, politicians would pass the law confirming there was no god, and that human meat is the staple food. That’s what happened with Christianity.
The power of the new religion was too great to suppress with mere military might. It had the force of truth, the truth that the old gods were nothing but myths and adumbrations of spiritual reality, the truth that a fundamental unity of all earthly being was coming to expression in increasing recognition of the power of monotheism. Christianity was well poised, with its army of faithful, to take advantage of this dawning realization and to use its many strengths to make itself the religious movement of the future.
Many people would curse me, even accuse me of blasphemy (I’m already a heretic), but that’s how it is. True God is known in one’s heart.