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The 18th century historian Gibbon blames Christianity for causing the

spiritual decline of Rome. Take a position for or against this, and explain.
I feel Christianity was not the cause for spiritual decline of Rome. Many factors
contributed to the growth and expansion of the church, and ultimately its
success. Rome did not welcome this new religion with open arms right from the
start. Some emperors, like Marcus Aurelius openly rejected Christianity
numerous times. Once Christianity was welcomed and even encouraged, many
people followed their emperors lead and embraced this new religion.
The first of the reasons that the Christianity spread was a political factor. Rome
was a dominant force in the world at this time and had excellent roads and
shipping, which made it easy for missionaries to travel and spread the word of
the gospel. This travel and preaching was easy because there was never a
continuous policy against the Christians and no imperial edicts were ever
decreed. There fore the missionaries cold travel relatively safely in times of little
persecution.
Another political factor would be the Pax Romana. This existed between 27 BC
and AD 180, it was along period of relative peace experienced between the
states of the Empire. This allowed the interior states to remain relatively
unscathed by warfare and gave the Empire the outwardly appearance of peace.
This proved advantageous for missionaries as they were almost guaranteed
security while traveling.
Christianitys attitude towards society and its social impact also lead to the
expansion and success of the church. The church was particularly well known for
its acts of charity. The church offered this charity to everyone, including pagans.
By the third century the Church was looking after one thousand five hundred
widows in need.
They were also socially accepted, in some areas, because of their courage
during the persecutions and the strength of their faith and the support they
showed one another, Christianitys high moral standards also made it very
appealing to society because it offered an alternative from he pagan religions
lack of morality. Also Christianity and its friendships formed form within the
Church lead to its successful growth because those who had received the
Gospel felt that their duty was to pass it onto their friends, leading to a close knit
community and this was appealing in this era when it was down to you to look
after yourself. In this era religious and social life were very much interlinked.
People used to consider religious meeting as the principal source of recreation.
Christianity also came at the right time, when there was growing unrest with
pagan practices and a general spiritual unrest. There was an increasing
prosperity and there was the possibility for enhanced enjoyment, but there was
also a spiritual hunger for salvation, which Christianity offered if you followed

Gods word. Like Christianity the Roman Religion was for the ordinary man but
interest was waning and mystery religions were too complicated for the everyday
person, therefore the peoples obvious choice was Christianity. Christianity also
offered optimism to a usually pessimistic society that believed that their destinies
were fixed, either to be in the Gods favor or to be out of it, with no hope of
redemption. Christianity offered an alternative with the much-desired possibility of
salvation.

Judi Alberi