The Little Cult That Could…

9 Apr
 (Apologies to Watty Piper. ‘The Little Engine That Could’)
 
After the birth of the new Judaic messianic/resurrection cult, a faithful band of zealots and seekers languished in the desert for decades until a stroke (un-stroke?) of genius courtesy of Saul of Tarsus. In a flash of insight or bad nerves on a desert road, Saul discerned what was needed for recruitment beyond the believing few was to eliminate male circumcision as a requirement for membership. The movement speedily metastasized.

 
With the removal of this hurdle all sorts of pagans, barbarians and converts are gathered into the flock. Even a few… (whisper) females.
 
I think I can – I think I can –  I think I can – I think I can puffed Saul, now called Paul, as he thundered about the countryside with his pious little engine called ‘The Proselytizer’.  As Paul, his zeal for the new sect ablaze; his former orthodoxy and persecution of those filthy apostates abandoned, he rides the crest of his new found cause.
2 paul 
“I am a very important engine indeed. I won’t carry the likes of you!” cried the Apostle.  Summarily dismissed from the pilgrim train were women who refused to submit to the authority of their husbands.
 
Along with the other acolytes Paul spread the word from city to city throughout the Hellenized portion of the Roman Empire as far as Eastern Africa and South Asia. By the end of the first century over forty church communities were established as distant as Italy, Greece and India.
 

In an historical blink of an eye, actually in 392 AD,  Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. I thought I could! I thought I could! I thought I Could! I thought I Could!

In the seventh century another group of descendents of Abraham wrote large on the desert sands. These fellow travelers look to Genesis and Ishmael, his oldest son for kinship. Islam views the others as “People of the Book” but insist on following the ancient founder in his surgical requirement for membership, unlike Saul’s carnal apostasy.

The folks were thriving and prospering steadily but one day in 1054 there was a spiritual train wreck. Things came apart and remain that way still. The Church of Rome and the Eastern Church were rent asunder by power struggles and the role of the Pope.

The Little Cult That Could blossomed in time into a universal phenomenon with millions of faithful as did the other; the followers of the Prophet.  Alas, in less then five decades another spiritual derailing.  The First Crusade. This was followed by two hundred years of on and off slaughter attempting to gain sovereignty in the Holy Land.

Almost a millennium fast forward.  The Sons Of Isaac are ensorcelled in the Holy Land doing a year round Masada Pageant.  The Sons Of Ishmael are at each others throats again, all over the place. Legions of understudies wait quietly in the wings for the principals to fail. Hushed strains in the far background whisper I really thought I could-I really thought I could- I really thought I could…I

End


 

 

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