History shows clearly enough that true spirituality has never at any time been the possession of the masses. In any given period since the fall of the human race, only a few persons ever discerned the right way or walked in God’s law. God’s truth has never been popular.
Wherever Christianity becomes popular, it is not on its way to die–it has already died. Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John Wesley into the streets.
When it comes to religion, the crowds are always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous.
The historic church, while she was a hated minority group, had a moral power that made her terrible to evil and invincible before her foes. When the Roman masses, without change of heart, were made Christian by baptism, Christianity gained popularity and lost her spiritual glow. From there she went on to adopt the ways of Rome and to follow her pagan religions.
The fish caught the fisherman, and what started out to be the conversion of Rome became finally the conversion of the church. From that ignominious captivity, the church has never been fully delivered.