One can hardly imagine the fate of the Christian religion without the acts of Paul and Peter. The unselfish, relentless, drive of Christian evangelism Paul dedicated himself to truly is an accomplishment worthy of sainthood. He performed duties and miracles and his oratory and letters became the fundamental foundations of the structure of developing Christianity. If a 'congregation' went on an errant heading he applied the course correction. He was a preacher's preacher and evangelilist's evangelist, a disciples apostle and above all a motivational speaker and in that context a leader of men.
Today one can only assume the obstacles and difficulties one had to overcome to prevail in teaching and broadcasting the works of Jesus Christ. First, as the course points out is the omnipresent pagan environment. Be whatever god, idol or personality supported by pagan rites, if not the sword, it was the only 'religion' the vast majority of the populations of the area knew. Conversion certainly was no easy task to encourage and no simple decision of the pagans to make.
Jewish factions were no friends of Christ and Paul as well. The course properly identifies that initially Christianity was a subset of the Jewish religion. First one was an 'ancient' Jew and then a Christian until Paul made the statement that the gentiles could join in the praise and following of the truth, way, the righteous path of Jesus Christ without first being Jewish.
Then there was the power of the sword wielded by the fearful Romans that regarded Christians as undermining the authority, allegiance to and the wealth due the empire. They dealt with Christians as they had successfully with others – death and death by barbaric means to dissuade others not to follow.
Paul is the accepted author of Romans. His act of gathering contributions for the poor of Jerusalem was to be a demonstration that gentiles could join the 'church' of Christ in harmony with the devote Jewish. He delayed his return to Jerusalem to write an epistle, a book, of guidance and instructions to those in Rome and thus set into motion a chain of events that would take almost three centuries to run its course. The word of Paul, the works and words of the Lord in time overcame all obstacles of paganism, treachery and brutality. Never in my view was there ever in the course of human events any comparable historical record the triumph of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of faith over sacrificial ritual – to the extent one might call the era of 50 AD to 325 AD the Era of the Epistles of Paul the Evangelist.
A philosophy triumphed over all barriers.Pagan gods fell, tyrants fell, an empire began conversion, the church came from underground to above ground worshiping in the light of creation, Genesis 1:4; the light of good, Psalms 4:6; the light of salvation, Psalms 27:1; the light of Jesus, John 8:1 – "I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the everlasting light of life."
That path to everlasting light St. Paul walked three times.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.