Why did Christianity survive?

ding

Member
If we take a "snapshot" of Christianity at the time when Jesus was on the cross it is hard for me to image that the movement that Jesus started would ever survive. Its leader was dying and his followers pretty much deserted him - one betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver and his closest follower denied even knowing him. So why did it spread so quickly and why has it survived?

I am curious what explanation the atheist and others here on this forum have to say about this. Thanks for your response.
 

Ficciones

Active member
If we take a "snapshot" of Christianity at the time when Jesus was on the cross it is hard for me to image that the movement that Jesus started would ever survive. Its leader was dying and his followers pretty much deserted him - one betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver and his closest follower denied even knowing him. So why did it spread so quickly and why has it survived?

I am curious what explanation the atheist and others here on this forum have to say about this. Thanks for your response.

It became the state religion of the Roman empire.
 

Ficciones

Active member
Thanks for your response. That happened in the 4th century. Why though do you think that Christianity didn't die with Jesus or soon after? Thanks

I don't think there's any one reason. Sometimes it's just the vagaries of history. People like to believe in something, and Christianity had and maintains an emotional appeal to the downtrodden. I think Nietzsche was on target when he described it as slave morality. Slaves need the hope of something better, and the promise of the humble being raised up and the mighty laid low. Really, it was like a primitive form of Marxism.

IMO it's far more unlikely that Mormonism survived - a religion started by an obvious con man, with marital practices that flew in the face of convention, and hundreds of years later it's bigger and more powerful than ever. Therefore Mormonism must be true, huh? Or mmmmmaybe not.

Do you think Christianity would still be around, or anywhere near as influential if Constantine had stuck with Mithraism instead of Christianity? In a way, he did:

For a time, coins and other monuments continued to link Christian doctrines with the worship of the Sun, to which Constantine had been addicted previously. But even when this phase came to an end, Roman paganism continued to exert other, permanent influences, great and small. The emperors passed on to the popes the title of chief priest, pontifex maximus. The saints, with their distribution of functions, often seemed to perpetuate the many numina of ancient tradition. The ecclesiastical calendar retains numerous remnants of pre-Christian festivals—notably Christmas, which blends elements including both the feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. But, most of all, the mainstream of Western Christianity owed ancient Rome the firm discipline that gave it stability and shape, combining insistence on established forms with the possibility of recognizing that novelties need not be excluded, since they were implicit from the start.
 

The Pixie

Active member
If we take a "snapshot" of Christianity at the time when Jesus was on the cross it is hard for me to image that the movement that Jesus started would ever survive. Its leader was dying and his followers pretty much deserted him - one betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver and his closest follower denied even knowing him. So why did it spread so quickly and why has it survived?

I am curious what explanation the atheist and others here on this forum have to say about this. Thanks for your response.
I think they saw something that they believed was the risen Jesus (in Galilee, not as described in the gospels). That was the start of the religion.
 

ding

Member
I don't think there's any one reason. Sometimes it's just the vagaries of history. People like to believe in something, and Christianity had and maintains an emotional appeal to the downtrodden. I think Nietzsche was on target when he described it as slave morality. Slaves need the hope of something better, and the promise of the humble being raised up and the mighty laid low. Really, it was like a primitive form of Marxism.

IMO it's far more unlikely that Mormonism survived - a religion started by an obvious con man, with marital practices that flew in the face of convention, and hundreds of years later it's bigger and more powerful than ever. Therefore Mormonism must be true, huh? Or mmmmmaybe not.

Do you think Christianity would still be around, or anywhere near as influential if Constantine had stuck with Mithraism instead of Christianity? In a way, he did:
Thanks for your response.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Nietzsche declared , "God is dead.

lol.

Nietzsche dead. God is alive.

Persecution of the Saints stimulates church growth and spiritual growth.
 

Ficciones

Active member
Nietzsche declared , "God is dead.

lol.

Nietzsche dead. God is alive.

Persecution of the Saints stimulates church growth and spiritual growth.

And yet we live in Nietzsche's world of masters and slaves in the form of global capitalism; Christ's proto-Marxist vision of liberated slaves is nowhere to be seen. How do you account for that?
 

Harry Leggs

Member
I don't think there's any one reason. Sometimes it's just the vagaries of history. People like to believe in something, and Christianity had and maintains an emotional appeal to the downtrodden.
There were leaders who were not downtrodden. If its appeal was only to those, then it never would have survived. It does not explain how it became a state religion to the Roman Empire if only to bottom rung culture. Christianity appeal is not emotional, more factual. Jesus bodily resurrection is not an appeal to emotion, it is an appeal to historical fact. People like believing in something begs the question, why? Is it because people are programmed to believe in something or is it because of their supposed evolutionary history? The former is more likely. Just like birds are programmed to go to fixed locations thousands of miles away for mating. They are programmed. There is no known natural explanation
I think Nietzsche was on target when he described it as slave morality.
What is slave morality and how does it differ from regular morality? It was known as religion of slaves for a time. Even in Acts, there were very influential supporters of Christianity.
Slaves need the hope of something better, and the promise of the humble being raised up and the mighty laid low. Really, it was like a primitive form of Marxism.
Marxism is atheistic. Armed revolt. Its appeal is to utopia here.
IMO it's far more unlikely that Mormonism survived - a religion started by an obvious con man, with marital practices that flew in the face of convention, and hundreds of years later it's bigger and more powerful than ever. Therefore Mormonism must be true, huh? Or mmmmmaybe not.
Not as long as Christianity.
Do you think Christianity would still be around, or anywhere near as influential if Constantine had stuck with Mithraism instead of Christianity? In a way, he did:
Constantine's influence was debatable since many argue Christianity was damaged by all that.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
. I think Nietzsche was on target when he described it as slave morality. Slaves need the hope of something better, and the promise of the humble being raised up and the mighty laid low. Really, it was like a primitive form of Marxism.
Nietzsche must have been dumb as a box of rocks.

Sinners are all in bondage to sin and Jesus came to set captives free.

Atheists have a fondness for Marxism. Clearly you and your sources never knew Jesus.
 

Algernon

Member
If we take a "snapshot" of Christianity at the time when Jesus was on the cross it is hard for me to image that the movement that Jesus started would ever survive. Its leader was dying and his followers pretty much deserted him - one betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver and his closest follower denied even knowing him. So why did it spread so quickly and why has it survived?

I am curious what explanation the atheist and others here on this forum have to say about this. Thanks for your response.

The "movement that Jesus started" did not survive.

Christianity is based upon the theology of Paul and others rather than the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry.
Christianity is the antithesis of the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry: ultimately it has God serving man as its foundation rather than man serving God. This is what has survived.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
The "movement that Jesus started" did not survive.

Christianity is based upon the theology of Paul and others rather than the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry.
Christianity is the antithesis of the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry: ultimately it has God serving man as its foundation rather than man serving God. This is what has survived.
I see you are totally unfamiliar with the Book of Acts.

Had you read the New Testament you would KNOW the word "theology" never appears in mine.

You need a home Bible study.
 

Harry Leggs

Member
The "movement that Jesus started" did not survive.
It survives via His followers. Reference the end of Matthew. Also, Acts which is resurrected Christianity.
Christianity is based upon the theology of Paul
Garbage. It is based on the bodily resurrection of Jesus. That was the paradigm shift. The Gospels were mostly prior to the resurrection.
and others rather than the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry.
And the Gospel was about Jesus. How is the Gospel preached by Jesus different than Paul, while you ignore the Gospels, is prior to and Paul is after the resurrection? Also believers receive the Holy Spirit in Acts which Jesus predicted in the Gospels? Ignore that too? Jesus predicted deaths of His followers. Ignore that too? They are tied, not separated. That is the historical norm in Christianity. Where do you come off 2000 yrs later correcting it all?
Christianity is the antithesis of the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry:
Prove it. If you put forth indictments then make your evidence-based case and you don't get there by ignoring verses and making vague accusations.
ultimately it has God serving man as its foundation rather than man serving God. This is what has survived.
This is more garbage. Good try. God serving man. What a laff.
 
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ding

Member
I think they saw something that they believed was the risen Jesus (in Galilee, not as described in the gospels). That was the start of the religion.
They had to have been really convinced that it was Jesus because many of them were willing to die for it.
 

Harry Leggs

Member
Christianity is based upon the theology of Paul and others rather than the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry.
We would not know about the Gospels or what Jesus preached in the first place because the so-called others here are the ones who wrote it all down. So if they got it all wrong then why believe they got it right with the Gospels? Or if they got the Gospels right which you presupposed then why believe they got everything else wrong esp with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2?
 
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ding

Member
The "movement that Jesus started" did not survive.

Christianity is based upon the theology of Paul and others rather than the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry.
Christianity is the antithesis of the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry: ultimately it has God serving man as its foundation rather than man serving God. This is what has survived.
That doesn't add up though because in Paul's letter to the Galatians he states that he received the gospel message not from a human source but through a revelation of Jesus.
 

The Pixie

Active member
They had to have been really convinced that it was Jesus because many of them were willing to die for it.
Agreed. But that does not make it so.

There are plenty of Christians who were willing to die for their religion despite not seeing the resurrected Jesus. Indeed, there are plenty of people who died for other religions; can we assume that they too must be right? Of course not. We can only conclude that they were convinced they were right, not that they actually were.
 

Tiburon

Member
If we take a "snapshot" of Christianity at the time when Jesus was on the cross it is hard for me to image that the movement that Jesus started would ever survive. Its leader was dying and his followers pretty much deserted him - one betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver and his closest follower denied even knowing him. So why did it spread so quickly and why has it survived?

I am curious what explanation the atheist and others here on this forum have to say about this. Thanks for your response.
It didn't actually spread that quickly. Plus it recruited on of the best spin doctors around in Paul. He never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
 
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