Did not the Light gain over the Darkness under the growing influence of Christianity?
Slowly, Christianity was spread from place to place, from people to people. Thousands upon thousands chose to follow the new teaching. But only a few found their way to their Heavenly Father. Guided by the Light in their hearts, guided by their profound repentance, these few sought and found forgiveness for their sinful deeds.
But many continued to live in sin in the Darkness.
Unseen by human beings, many of the Youngest labored to bring the Light to the Earth; and they drew the purifying currents of the Light to those who truly tried to live in purity and tolerance for others; they drew the purifying currents of the Light to those brothers and sisters who, bound to Earthly bodies and thus visible to the human beings, sought to break the power of the Darkness.
But Darkness and the Eldest hindered the progress of the Light; for the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, sowed the evil seed of anger, the evil seed of hatred in the hearts of men.
And troubled times arose for the Christians in the mighty Roman Empire when the highest ruler, the emperor, decreed that all should bow to him, all should honor him as a god! And all were persecuted who paid not homage to the image of the emperor.
But not all Christians would renounce the teaching that had brought peace and purity to their minds and thoughts. And those who would not worship the emperor were tortured and put to death; but they bore their suffering with much patience, for their certain conviction of God's compassionate mercy and their steadfast faith that the truth would prevail strengthened their spirit and strengthened their mortal bodies. Numerous Christians went to their deaths with songs of praise upon their lips; and their courage and faith won for the new teaching ever more followers.
And as the years passed, as century was added to century, more and more embraced Christianity. But few found their way to their Heavenly Father, while many who bore the Christian name continued to walk in ungodliness; for the evil seed of Darkness still thwarted the advancement of the Light.
And the Elder, the Servant of the Darkness, continued to corrupt the Christian teaching so as to call forth strife within the congregations and drive them still further from one another.
And he dripped his venom into the minds of the leaders, into the minds of the learned and those versed in the Scriptures, so that their thoughts conceived and bore new and even more incomprehensible interpretations of the birth of Jesus in human form, his words, his acts. More dogma was contrived and developed, and much discord arose; for the learned could not agree; for one would not yield to the other, and each would acknowledge only his own opinion, his own thoughts.
And they continued to quarrel about much.
Some of the learned held that, contrary to the many gods of the heathen, there was but one God, that all power in Heaven and on Earth was rightly His alone. But their adversaries held that although God indeed was one, yet strangely was He also three; for they made Christ, the Son of God, one with the Father; and they made God’s Thought, His creating and life-giving Breath, an independent, divine Being. Thus they were three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; but together they formed a whole, which was God.14
Some of the learned asserted that God had given human beings a free will, held that by virtue of this will they could rise towards the Light and struggle free from sin and Darkness. But their adversaries believed that human beings were blind and unresisting in the hand of God, Who, before He created them, had ordained some to eternal life in Heavenly glory, and ordained others to everlasting suffering in Darkness.
Some of the learned asserted that the bread and the wine used at Holy Communion were changed into the flesh and blood of Jesus when blessed or eaten, asserted that those who partook of this shared in his suffering and death and thus received remission of sin. But their adversaries maintained that Holy Communion was instituted as but a remembrance of Jesus.
Some of the learned asserted that through baptism human beings received inheritance and part in the life and the joy of Heaven, asserted that all not baptized were doomed to everlasting damnation. But their adversaries maintained that baptism was but a symbol of cleansing human beings from the impurities of sin.
Thus the learned continued to dispute, for none would yield to the other. And they berated one another with spiteful and condemning words.
But they all forgot to seek counsel of God Almighty and to ask that He give them strength, remembered not to turn to Him Who alone could guide them.
And thus they became possessed of arrogance; thus hatred and lust for power bound their hearts, whilst the Darkness made ever greater gain over them.
But Christ, the eldest of the Youngest, grieved over human intolerance, and he faltered under the heavy burdens the human beings heaped upon his shoulders.
Yet, better times came despite the discord among the Christian congregations; for the successive emperors of Rome saw that they were not able to stop the advance of Christian doctrine. And when all persecution ceased, Christianity spread wider yet.
Splendid edifices were erected at many places in Christendom, richly adorned to the honor of God. And in these the congregations came together to follow the ways of Scripture and to sing praises as they worshipped God and Christ.
But some pious men and women withdrew from the large assemblies to pray in solitude and to carry on their worship in bodily self-torment. And in many congregations people began to honor the men and the women who had been put to death when they would not renounce their faith. Yes, some people even implored these "holy" men and women to intercede for them with God and Christ.
Inspired by the Darkness, conceived and born of ignorant human thought, many accounts appeared of the piety and miraculous deeds of these martyrs. In the same way arose confused and incomprehensible accounts of Mary, the mother of Jesus—the chosen, the Immaculate Virgin who bore the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost. And many Christians came to revere her.
And they who heard these stories believed them.
And by word of mouth they were brought far and wide.
Slowly, Christianity spread to more and more distant lands, and when the time came that one of the Roman emperors held a protecting hand over the Christians, the faith grew into a power before which people had to yield.
More and more of those learned in the Scriptures came into the priesthood of the numerous and large congregations, but over them were the bishops who took to themselves ever greater power, more and more riches; for their lust for power was insatiable!
Some of the bishops tried, with much authority, to resolve the endless disputes; but even though some interpretations and doctrines concerning the embodiment of Jesus and his words and deeds were given preference over all others so as to establish a solid foundation for the Christian faith, they still could not bring about full accord.
But gradually, from all the discord, there emerged the "Holy Catholic Church", which by might attempted to gather the divided congregations into a single community; and the bishop in the city of Rome was made the supreme authority.
And when Christianity was thus grown strong, Christians ceased to be the persecuted and became the persecutors; and they persecuted the heathen, and those who would not renounce their gods, renounce their faith, were put to death.
And thus Christianity, even as it spread, departed more and more from Christ and his teaching of love, purity and compassion.
14) A number of other versions of the unity of the Son and the Father are not included by Ardor, as any who so desire can study for themselves the disputes of those times.