Episode:Jesus—The Legacy of His Life (Part 2)
[Paper 195:2-5, p. 2072]
A succession of Greek-cultural and Roman-political victories had consolidated the Mediterranean into one empire, and made the Western world ready for one God. The Romans were a great people; they could govern the Occident because they did govern themselves. Such unparalleled honesty, devotion, and stalwart self-control was ideal soil for the reception and growth of Christianity.
Summary by Kermit
2. The Roman Influence
The Roman legal institutions plus the Greek philosophy allowed for a political and philosophical context wherein Christianity could flourish. The authors have some very complimentary things to say about the Romans and their indispensible role in the spreading of the new religion about Jesus. The unfortunate use of the term kingdom brought about a period of bitter persecutions, which fortunately died out. Although Hellenization was seen as a corrupting influence, it should be realized that it was a result of the spiritual quickening which occurred during the sixth century BC. These truths, embedded in the Greek philosophy and culture represent a significant part of the overall spiritual growth of the planet, under the work of the Supreme. In order for the truths of Jesus to engage the world, there needed to be a merging of these truths with the then existing truths, notwithstanding the acquired baggage of six to eight hundred years. So during the 2nd century after Jesus, the existing culture was ripe for a truer religious consciousness to be added to the existing philosophic consciousness. Here we are challenged to trust the evolutionary process to allow all these things to work together for good. These events and this history needs to be seen in the full cultural context, not just in religious terms.
Commentary: Christianity is to be understood in an expanded context, beyond a religious institution to include the state. Our founding fathers utilized many Roman elements in building our government. We are a republic, with the Christian moral philosophy as a foundation. The church is intended to provide for the mutual edification of those who have personal religious experience, and the state is to establish a government and society based on law, with the citizen thereof having the law written in their hearts. The United States was founded as Christian nation, but not in the sense of a theocracy. Hellenized Christianity thus makes Christianity a religion AND a philosophy.
More commentary on the influence of the Romans in particular the stoic philosophy and how it provided an appeal to mother deity through the attunement of the mind with the universal mind. While the Jews religion recognized God as a father and called the individual to a consecration of will, the Stoic philosophy appealed to a consecration of the mind.
Also, an interesting commentary on Philo, who it was suggested was a first circler, and some of the terms he utilized could be inferred to designate the Thought Adjuster.
Interestingly, a number of the criteria for planetary light and life were provided by the Roman influence. One language, one culture, and one religion.
3. Under the Roman Empire
Christianity provided an empire worthy God, while Rome provided and God worthy empire. Such an amalgamation resulted in a triunity of politics, culture & learning, and religious thought & practice. The empire lasted long enough to ensure the survival of Christianity.
But salvation in a larger sense did not come to the Roman Empire, and its decline and fall can be attributed to many conditions which we see currently in our own society.
Commentary: The revelation contains abundant promises of the eventual triumph of Jesus’ mission, but because of these parallels to times past, we have the Urantia Book as an emergency philosophical uplift. In coordinating this essential knowledge of our history, the hope is to prevent another interregnum akin to the dark ages.
4. The European Dark Ages
Christianity hibernated through these Dark Ages while witnessing a continuous stream of mysticism, centered on a depersonalized unity consciousness akin to pantheism.
Christianity possesses vast recuperative resources. And this same Christianity is now present in the civilized world of Occidental peoples and stands face to face with a struggle for existence which is even more ominous than those eventful crises which have characterized its past battles for dominance.
The Modern Problem
When all is said and done, it remains crucial to the survival and progress of modern civilization to have God as the nucleus of all of man’s efforts and activities, not just our religious activities.
We are reminded to view the world as, black patches of evil on a background of ultimate good and not the other way around.