The reformation movement in Judaism, known to us as the Early Christian Church existed harmoniously alongside Wayists. The difference between the two movements was just that—one group was Jewish with Wayist leanings, the other was Wayist, as per Iesous’ simple, embroidered teaching—equally valid.
Paul extended awareness of his reformed Judaism from Caesarea north into Galilee and Caesarea Philippi and west to Rome. He was an excellent champion for the new Judaism they called The Christians. Paul was under house arrest in Rome, most of the time, so he wrote a lot. Estimates are he must have written more than a hundred little books and long letters—only a few were adapted for the Bible.
Jewish reformation movements were troublesome and as leader of the Christians, Paul was not spared the scrutiny and suspicion of the Roman authorities. Wayists feared only Jewish extremists, because Romans did not regard them as Jews, because they were not.
The Christians under Paul advocated a peaceful message—wait upon the Lord for his 2nd coming is at hand; remain faithful and you will be reborn a spiritual being in Heaven to be with God our Father.
As a scholar of Jewish Law, Paul went to great pains to cast Iesous’ Wayism in Judaic terms—showing how he was foretold in the Hebrew Scripture, and his bloodline, and other things that could convince Jews of his divinity. However, a small portion of Jews in Judea bought Paul’s theology; The Christians was more successful among the diaspora.
Paul died in 67CE, four years before the total destruction of Jerusalem, which was the final sign that the Lord’s return was imminent.
Even in Paul’s time, Christians suffered persecution because of their Jewishness. Nero, the Emperor in Paul’s time, persecuted the Jews in Rome and set the tone for citizens to lash out against them. They were unpopular, because they refused to be part of normative society, they kept themselves apart, and their kin in Judea resisted Roman occupation and advocated violence against the state (and anyone of their neighbors who did not agree with their version of Judaism). The Christians went underground, kept their heads low and hardliners met only in secret. Christianity dwindled.
About two hundred and fifty years later, a twist of fate brought the Christians in the limelight again. Western Roman Emperor, Constantine I, went to war against a fellow Roman, the Emperor of the eastern half of the empire. The usual praying to all the known, consulting goat entrails and soothsayers preceded the battle—one must cover all the bases. During the battle, a weird-shaped cloud formed; because superstition governed life, it was noted by all as an omen. Constantine was victorious, and added the eastern part of the empire under his rule—the omen spoke in his favor.
The shape of the cloud looked like Roman letters X and R. A search for possible meaning, which god this signified led his researchers to suggest one god they missed in their prayers, XRESTOS, the god of the Christians.
Constantine was a brilliant politician. He initiated excellent strategies to curb inflation, stimulate the economy, and expand his empire. Now, he had acquired charge of the entire Roman Empire. The genius was on a roll. When he investigated the little Christian movement, he got ideas.
That turn of fate signaled the end of the variety of religious experience in the Roman Empire. Constantine I chose Christianity as the religio-political vehicle he needed to govern his empire. Not a Christian himself, but a brilliant strategist, Constantine reformed the little Jewish sect, incorporated essential Roman lifestyle elements to not alienate his following (Sunday worship, Easter, Lent, December 25, etc.) into his Christianity. He created the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire; banned all competing religions, formed a canon of Holy Scripture (the Christian Bible) and destroyed and declared anathema all ‘non-canonical’ Wayist books. He exiled and murdered all scholars who dared disagree. He divided the entire empire, East and West in small parcels of land, which he auctioned off as bishoprics.
Successful bidders bought into the franchise, these Bishops gained charge of parishes in their districts, collecting sin-taxes, and keeping registers of all marriage contracts, births, burials and young people coming of age (you have to know where tomorrow’s soldiers will come from). Taxes, user fees and guilt (because they killed Jesus and he died for their sins) motivated citizens to fund the costs of the enterprise and its worldwide expansion.
The once-innocent, once-holy sect of Christians exploded. Thousands upon thousands of bishops and priests were required almost overnight. Suddenly, the Jewish fathers of Christianity learned that henceforth priests will be celibate and are not to be married (one cannot keep thousands of families on the payroll), and standard polygamy became forced monogamy for all citizens. Abandoned wives, and therefore ‘bastard-children’ and subsequently orphans abounded.
Thousands of Greco-Roman temples were re-dedicated and Christian chapels and Cathedrals erected across the empire. Prime downtown property, in every town, in every country across the Roman world came to belong to the Holy Roman Empire’s Church. [Imagine the present day asset value of the Catholic Church’s properties.]
Forthwith, Roman soldiers would wage wars inspired by faith to expand and defend for God and Holy Empire; protecting their women and religion from evil non-believers; since their maxim—“extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”—outside of the Church, no salvation is possible. Their Savior had not come yet, and when he comes, he comes only for people in the Church. This dictum served them well. There were times in history when a Pope would excommunicate a king who resisted the Roman Catholic Church. Since excommunication meant you are in hell and irredeemable—no sane person associates or follows an excommunicated king—those kings would soon repent and crawl on their knees (literally) in front of the Pope, begging for communion.
Annotations to the book Universal Gateway of Enlightenment: The second coming of Jesus as Lord of the World in c. 78AD, by author Jean du Plessis