Since it's inception in around 33 AD, The concepts of Christianity took the western world by storm. Originating in Jerusalem at the festival Pentecost, where the disciples of Jesus, and their friends and family met (about 120 in all) (Acts 1:15), a great catastrophe occurred. The followers of Jesus began speaking in many languages, and they were recognized by the foreigners present for the festival Acts 2:4-8). After a riveting and bold speech by the Apostle Peter, Scripture records three-thousand had been added to their numbers. The timely event would seem divinely orchestrated, because those foreigners who had been transformed by their witness of the event would then return to their respective lands. From the outset, Christianity has been a spreading religion, on the surface. Though the Roman empire did much to persecute, and halt the movement from gaining persuasion as a “cult” in the empire, Christians would rather have died the declare Caesar Lord – and they did so with singing, dancing, and Joy, despite some of the most gruesome shows of demented theatrical display the world has ever known.
This movement proved later to fundamentally transform the empire of Rome, at least externally. It was Constantine that saw the cross with the words “...in this name conquer...” before a decisive battle, and also Constantine who released the Edict of Milan in 313 securing toleration of Christianity. Thus began the long and prosperous Roman Catholic Christendom, in which the Pope, (said to have an apostolic succession from the Apostle Peter himself (Matthew 16:18)) ruled for centuries with a white scepter of authority over church and state. Christianity actually stopped slavery in its tracks an incredible 3 times in it's existence on Earth: Rome, England, and the USA during the civil war. It was Christianity that pulled the western civilization out of an intellectual dark age, and introduced a new standard of healthcare. The exposure of Scripture to the common vernacular first by Wycliffe, and later others, compelled many to learn English for the first time. The Gutenberg press was introduced in about 1436, and the first literature Johannes Gutenberg wanted printed was the Latin Vulgate translation of Judeo-Christian Scripture.
The external image of Christianity today is clearly mixed in the perceptions of many. Regardless of the criticism it may receive, recent statistics put Christianity unmistakably in the lead in the religion race. The question must be asked, “what are they doing?” While the sweeping power of emotion goes a long way in bringing people to a place of perceived warmth, upbringing, and tradition may play a large part in the statistics that conclude this number. Why some nations would restrict or persecute movement of passionate love, grace, and generosity may be perplexing, yet it is happening more and more as years pass. In fact, Christianity has shown to advance more powerfully as the proverbial thumb of persecution pressed down with greater force. The external qualities are certainly seen: Kindness, generosity, passion, mercy, patience, among others. Yet many critique, and reject Christianity for one of the very same things that Jesus rebuked the Pharisee’s for in the Gospels (Matthew 23:27): Hypocrisy. President Lincoln in his Divided House speech referred to the passage in Matthew 12:25 that “...A house divided against itself cannot stand”. It really is a universally applicable principle. And it has been of paramount important for the body of Christ.
What the Carnal world should not see of Christians is a loud fanaticism, but rather a markedly purposed ambition. While the external benefits of the religion look aesthetically appealing, adhering to the essential tenets will not leave a lasting peace, nor is it the message that Jesus taught. "Christian atheism" may appear beautiful at first, but it's true colors do not take long to show through. But the menacing thought undoubtedly on a multitude of minds is nevertheless “Is there something greater going on?” While Islam is the nearest runner-up, Christianity having no threat of terrorist regimes certainly appears to a greater audience. Is it enough to simply be in favor of Christianity, donning a “Pro-Jesus” sticker, attesting to a life dedicated to Christ, and a solid attendance record at a church fellowship? Is the transformed character really of significance, as the Passage in Romans 12:2 states? Is it enough to be apart of the gripping, movement of fast-moving programs to captivate a Hollywood-driven audience into a false sense of a 2 millennium old religion? If Christianity began with the falling of fire, characterized by an external show of boldness, certainly external results should show up – but not without the power from within originating it – the Spirit guiding it.