What men believe determines how they think and live. This has always been the case and is still so today. To focus upon specific historical events while overlooking the theological foundations that provoked those events is to miss the most important lessons history has to offer. To be ignorant of the theological underpinnings of the past is to have a radically short-sighted and woefully misguided view of it.
There have only been two basic faiths throughout the history of the world: The Biblical Faith (God-centered, Scripture-based, teaching salvation by grace) and the non-Biblical faith (man-centered, rejecting the authority of the Scriptures, teaching salvation by works). The latter has many cultic expressions, advertises itself under various names which have an almost infinite variety of minor differences among themselves. Do not be fooled by the apparent disharmony however. All the forms of unbelief, in spite of their trivial differences, are united in their antagonism to Biblical theology. Their variety serves the Deceiver well since it disguises the fact that their common foe is Christianity.