Professor Rod Carruthers
A band of Jews, believers in a Messiah, who would ultimately be rejected even by their own nation – a group scorned as a superstitious rabble by cultured Greeks and Romans – began to spread a strange and distinctive message. Almost reflexively, the immense power of the Roman Empire set itself against this growing sect…and within a short time…just to be a Christian had become a capital offence.
Erratic and often horrific persecutions buffeted the movement, forcing its members to defend themselves both in their way of life, and in their literature. As Christianity expanded, it survived slander, hatred, and internal dissentions to gain power and respectability – and after some 300 years, it actually won control of its one-time enemy, the Roman Empire.
In the second seminar series of “The Miraculous Survival of Christianity,” we trace the path of growth, from the death of Jesus, through the establishment of the Christian faith as the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380AD – after almost two and a half centuries of unspeakable persecution by Roman emperors. So the road to Christianity had a tenuous beginning, with twists and turns as the original Apostles and their successors struggled to carry out the Commission they received from the Messiah: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20).
Join us in the pursuit of this wonderful story of faith, inspiration, and God’s glory. This seminar will begin on Friday, January 16 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in Room 1 of the Education Building at the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church. This second session will end in late March. It is open to the entire community. The handouts and class materials fee is $10. To enroll, call the church office at 480-895-8766.