13th apostle...Founder of Catholicism

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by jimraboin, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. jimraboin

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    Have been reading more early fathers material recently. Many if not most believe Constantine was a "Christian of sorts" not seeing or unwilling to believe what Constantine thought of himself.

    Did you know he thought he was the 13th and supreme apostle? He was superior to original twelve and the center of Christian religion.

    And yet again it is shown in what seems at this distance his Conceit, sublime in its unconsciousness in reckoning himself a sort of thirteenth, but, it would seem, a facile princeps apostle, in the disposition for his burial, "anticipating with extraordinary fervor of faith that his body would share their title with the apostles themselves. ...He accordingly caused twelve coffins to be set up in this church, like sacred pillars, in honor and memory of the apostolic number, in the centre of which his own was placed, having six of theirs on either side of it" (V. C. 4. 60). One can seem to read in this a whole history of unblushing flattery, and it reminds that Eunapius (Vic. oedes. p. 41) has spoken of his pleasure in the stimulant of "intoxicating flattery."(Chp 2, 5(b) par 5)
    http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-25.htm#TopOfPage

    Constantine was not a man in submission to the God of Israel. He was a man who made himself the center of it. One must ask. If he inserted himself in the center of Christianity in his mind and actions, then who was displaced from it?

    And don't lose sight of his desire for praise and flattery. Many of you will not accept that Constantine was "worshipped" as a divinity. Yet your own personal refusal to admit as much is in stark contrast to early writings from contemporaries.

    Consider this from the same address. In fact, everything in this post will come from the same source.

    But success with men and popularity seem to have opened that pitfall of success,-Vanity,-and it is charged that he fell thereinto, although there is testimony to the exact contrary. According to Victor (Epit. p. 51) he was "immeasurably greedy of praise." (Chp 2, 5(b) par 5)

    Most of you know and recognize Eusebius was a contemporary of Constantine. But did you know he was also a close personal friend and close advisor/Councelor to him?

    “Hosius and Eusebius were his(Constantine’s) friends and counselors.” (Chp 2 par 7)

    Doesn't the nature of things suggest that a friend of a man who was greedy for praise would have to be willing amiably to render it? If not, then Constantine would not have been so eager to embrace Eusebius or let him into his inner circle. A modern example could be Iraq' emperor. He has ultimate power. He is praised and worshipped. And he is willing to use force on anyone who opposes his will. So consider him for a second. What kind of man would you suppose he would allow as his closest friend and advisor? The same goes for Constantine.

    Constantine had ultimate power. He even went so far and thought he was infallible in everything he thought and did.

    Consider:

    “Real power, recognizing its own success, glad of the recognition of others, not at bottom because of cold vanity, but from warm appreciation of human friendliness, became through success in carrying out what seemed to him, and were, divine plans, fired with the thought that he was the especial and necessary minister of God, that his thoughts and will were directly touched by the Divine Will and thus that whatever he thought or willed was infallible.(Chp 2, 5(b) par 5)

    Constantine was not a man in submission to a supposed Pope. He was a man who considered himself to be one. In fact, I propose Constantine is the very first Pope. That in him can be found everything necessary for a Pope. That he himself considered himself no less than head of all religions and that he went even further and received praise as if he were a god. That he was the "Divine Will" he so often mentions.

    But was Constantine smart enough to create a new form of Christianity? Was he cunning enough mentally to reason out and manipulate it in a way that would set Rome on the throne? I think he was.

    Consider:

    “According to his biographer-friend, Constantine was even more conspicuous for the excellence of his psychical qualities than his physical (V. C. 1. 19). Among these qualities are natural intelligence (V. C. 1. 19), sound judgment (V. C. 1. 19), well-disciplined power of thought (Theoph. p. 29), and peculiarly, as might be expected from his eye and general energy, penetration (Theoph. p. 29). In respect of Education, it is said on the one hand that he "reaped the advantages of a liberal education" (V. C. 1. 19), and particularly that he was thoroughly trained in the art of reasoning” (Chp 2 par 4)

    Motives. Constantine and Eusebius, I believe the facts show, conspired to hyjack Christianity from Israel by reconstructing it under Roman rule. His new form of Christianity we now know as Catholicism. The foundation for all institutional Christianity.

    Who can deny this? Show me your historical rebuttal that will prove me a liar? More importantly, who of you will honestly embrace what history says by reconsidering your own beliefs? Willingly choosing to be deceived is far worse than being deceived through ignorance.

    Jim
     
  2. jimraboin

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    Anybody?
     
  3. CatholicConvert

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    Jim --

    Well, I have to give you "A" for effort.

    Doesn't change a thing for me. The Covenant, and not some egomanical emperor is the basis of the Catholic Faith. You simply refuse to see that Christianity, expressed in the Catholic/Orthodox faiths, is the continuation and fulfillment of the religion which was at one time entrusted to the Jews, whom God removed from administration of the kingdom, replacing it with a "new nation" composed not of ethnic Jews, but of all men of all nations who would make covenant with God through the work of Christ Jesus upon the Cross.

    Your idea is fatally flawed. Eli let his sons fornicate with wicked women.

    Didn't change the fact that the kingdom belonged to the Jews at that time.

    Saul disobeyed God and presumptuously offered the sacrifice which he had no business offering.

    Didn't change the kingdom a bit.

    David murdered a man to get the wife he had been committing adultery with.

    Didn't affect the kingdom.

    You really fail to see that the SINS of individual men has no effect upon the kingdom itself.

    When you do see this, call me. We'll talk.

    Cordially in disagreement,

    Brother Ed
     
  4. trying2understand

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    From the very same article you source:

    "The character of Constantine has been so endlessly treated, with such utter lack of agreement, that it seems hopeless to try to reach any clear results in a study of it. "Who shall decide when doctors disagree?" "How shall I go about it to find what sort of a man Constantine really was?" Certainly nothing can be gained by that method which chooses a few acts or characteristics to which shifting tests of various philosophies are applied. Nor can any haphazard selection and stringing together of traits give what is by its nature a synthesis of them all. Like any other scientific study, the first condition of method is that it be systematic. Then, a character generalization is worth just so much, no more, as the grounds on which it is based. To get a man's character from secondary sources, from other men's generalizations, is a hopelessly will-of-the-wisp effort. Again, another vice of characterization as usually practised is the interpretation of the whole by a part rather than the part by the whole. The individual act is thus made the standard of character."

    Does this not describe your efforts here?

    Ron
     
  5. trying2understand

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    The very author that you cite reaches far different conclusions.

    From the summary of Chapter II of your source:

    "With his energy and ambition were united the ballast of marked prudence, patience, perseverance, faithfulness to details, steadfastness, and supreme self-control. He was amiable and tactful, popular with his soldiers, and careful to please. Toward those who came into his power he showed habitual mildness and forbearance,-a mildness so great that he was generally blamed for it; and toward all he showed great kindness, justice, and a generosity which verged on the lavish. He was open to the charge of over-generosity, almost of prodigality, a good measure of real vanity, some over-insistence on his own will and thought as the final standard of right, and by no means free from mistakes or human weaknesses. He was a good son, husband, father, a remarkably successful general, a tolerable legislator, and a clear-sighted, firm-willed statesman. In his religious life he abounded in creed and confession-believing in the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the Atonement, the Resurrection, and Eternal Life, in Repentance and Faith, in love to God, and love to man. He preached his faith on all occasions; he practiced thanksgiving and prayer abundantly. He regarded everything that he had or was as from God. The editor's brief judgment is that Constantine, for his time, made an astonishingly temperate, wise, and, on the whole, benevolent use of absolute power, and in morality, kindly qualities, and, at last, in real Christian character, greatly surpassed most nineteenth century politicians-standing to modern statesmen as Athanasius to modern theologians."

    [ November 16, 2002, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     
  6. jimraboin

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    Gentlemen,

    Both of you have offered your own assertions, belief systems or opinions to which I could counter all of them with mine. Not a productive way of handling historical facts.

    Produce superior historical information first, then we can try to figure out any ramifications those facts have on us presently. Currently you rebut my thinking instead of rebutting the facts I have shown you. Why don't you offer superior facts that will remove or make void my argument while at the same time show all Catholic claim is true?

    There are only two claims here. Catholic claim is that it is the pillar of truth and as such is infallible. My counter claim to this is that Constantine and Eusebius had the motive, ability and means to conspire and found Catholicism. Replacing God's new religious order having its foundation in Israel with Rome's Greek thinking, philosophy and vain imaginations. All who rebelled against Rome's creation felt the sword of Constantine and were systematically removed.

    I have quoted facts that you ignore. I have introduced reasonable doubt as to the credibility of Catholic claim. A claim that has to meet the highest standards of proof by reason of ramifications infallibility imposes on all men. Either Catholic institution is really infallible meaning absolutely everything it has said and done is without error, or it is the biggest deception ever forced upon mankind. The stakes are that high. Not by my design but by Constantine's. I did not create Catholicism. He did.

    Again, if you cannot or will not offer counter facts being sufficiently superior to facts I have offered, then everybody reading this thread...myself included, will be forced to conclude Catholicism has no historical facts to remove the reasonable doubt I have introduced thereby showing sufficient cause for all to disregard Catholic claims.

    I'm ready. Demolish my historical facts through superior historical information. Or, at least, offer superior analysis of my original historical material that destroys my counterclaim and upholds Catholic story.

    I look forward to either.

    Jim

    [ November 16, 2002, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: jimraboin ]
     
  7. trying2understand

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    Huh? All I did was point you to other sentences in your source.

    I'm content to work around the source that you have provided us for now.
    I have no need to rebutt you, the author of your source does quite well.

    Who is making this claim?

    What original historical material?

    [ November 16, 2002, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     
  8. trying2understand

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    Also taken from Jim's source:

    "The testimony to his Modesty (V. C. 3. 10), though by Eusebius, is too circumstantial to be wholly unreal, and the testimony to his Humility in his "indignation at excessive praise " (V. C. 4. 48), and the records of Eusebius that he "was not rendered arrogant by these plaudits nor uplifted by the praises" (Euseb. V. C. 1. 39), and of the Chronicon Paschale (p. 521) that "he was not at all puffed up by the acclamations," evidently represent a genuine thing.
     
  9. jimraboin

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    Gentlemen,

    Plain denial is not going to remove my counterclaim. Notice that my historical commentary I cited quoted directly from early fathers materials. You can easily go and read the original pharses for yourself. That would make those phrases "facts". You are correct in pointing out I have accepted some of what the commentator has said. Again, I accepted those things that seem to fit with what history recorded. Are you prepared to say that the quotes from early material clearly referenced in my original post are not legitimate? Go and read the original material yourself. I assure you it is all there. Denial will not make them go away.

    You are still in the position of supplying superior historical information or, at least, a superior explanation through the same facts than I have provided in my counterclaim.

    Sorry, you are not going to get by that easily.

    Jim
     
  10. trying2understand

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    In that everything that I have countered with comes from the same indentical source that you base this thread upon, my questions to you would be:

    Why do you select only isloated quotes from your source while ignoring others?

    Are not my quotes from your source of at least equal validity as your quotes from the same source?

    Ron
     
  11. jimraboin

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    Ron,

    Your quotes have not removed mine. That is the difference.

    Look. Everything Catolic institution has comes through Constantine and his contemporaries. Everything.

    Couple that fact with what I provided from ECF writings and only two positions are possible.

    1.) Catholic institution is everything it says it is.

    2.) Constantine and Eusebius founded Catholicism.

    Looking at all the facts I am more convinced than ever in number 2. If I am wrong, then those who believe in number 1 should be able to provide historical information that completely demolishes my counterclaim.

    You have not offered any such information. Assertions, allegations and denial is all you have provided. I could easily counter such with the same from my perspective. What good is that? Just supply historical information, Ron, that completely proves me a liar. That's all I ask.

    Jim
     
  12. CatholicConvert

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    Look. Everything Catolic institution has comes through Constantine and his contemporaries. Everything

    Horsefeathers!!

    Just a mere reading of the ante-Nicene Fathers proves otherwise.

    Then, of course, there is this guy named Jesus the Christ Who made rather strong promises regarding truth -- you know, what it is, where you would find it, and most of all WHO would be the guardians of that truth.

    Truth:

    Jesus said that the apostles would be both the recipients and keepers of it:

    Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    This promise has been hijacked by every two bit theologian with an axe to grind against the Church. Question their teachings, and this is the verse they inevitably turn to:

    "SEE? SEEEEEEE?? It says that the Holy Spirit will guide believers in to all truth. SEEEEEEE??? I'm speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."

    Sure. Sure you are. So are the hundreds of others who make the same claims you do yet disagree not only wtih you, but with everyone else.

    Jesus made that promise to the 11 men who were there in the Upper Room with Him. It was to THEM and THEM ALONE.

    Then He also made this promise after establishing the nature of the Church:

    Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


    Another promise. Will Jesus break His promise? Will the Church be overrun by the gates of hell? Well, according to YOU He will. According to you, it only took a couple of hundred years for this promise to fall by the wayside.

    Sorry. I don't either buy it or believe it. If you can prove that the Church apostacized, then you will be proving that this promise was broken. But you know what else then? You will be proving that since Jesus would break this promise, there is really NO PROMISE we can be absolutely assured in.

    And that, sir, is simply too much.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  13. CatholicConvert

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    Jim --

    Another thought occurs to me.

    Have you EVER gone to an Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic worship service? (Also called a Liturgy).

    While the Roman rite has significantly changed from the original, the Eastern rites use formula that go back to the 6th century practically unchanged.

    If you are as well versed in Jewish tradition as I think you are, you of all people should be able to make the connection. You keep looking for a worship which is the continuation of Judaism. We have it, right down to the architecture of the church.

    I'm going to challenge you to find an Orthodox or Byzantine parish and observe a Liturgy and then let's discuss what you saw.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  14. jimraboin

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    Ed,

    Either Cathoicism is exactly what it says it is....Or, it is the biggest deception ever forced on men. That is what's at stake here.

    If I am correct then Catholicism would be the gates of hell. Pure and simple.

    Since you don't believe that everything came through Constantine or Eusebius(and his contemporaries), then I ask you this. Please provide one early writing that does not have its source in Eusebius or his contemporaries? Just one will do.

    Jim
     
  15. trying2understand

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    Ahh... start with your preconceived beliefs then selectively pick and choose what seems to fit as "proof".
     
  16. trying2understand

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    Jim, you have said this several times now. Perhaps it would be helpful to state exactly what it is that you believe "Catholicism says it is" and your evidence for it.

    Then we can better decide if you have proved it to be false.

    Ron
     
  17. Ps104_33

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    It is very amusing to watch Catholics argue in a circle.

    "I know that this is the true meaning of these texts because the Church, which cannot err, has taught me that this is their true meaning".

    Dont you find yourself caught in a vicious circle?
    You say, " the Church is infallible because the Scriptures testify to this, and the Scriptures testify to this because the Church infallibly declares that this is their true meaning.

    You are always accusing Protestants of using "private judgement" to interpret Scriptures for themselves, but did you not at some time make a "private judgement " of your own when you decided that the Roman Catholic Church is your infallible guide?
    It is obvious that you purpose on this board is not only to defend the Roman Church but to also make some converts in the process. If I suddenly (God forbid :( ) decided to renounce all I had ever learned from my childhood up about my faith and convert to Catholicism, would that not be an audacious use of private judgement on my part? An act of judgement must be the ultimate foundation of all our beliefs.
    I would like to enter a quote from a lecture on the Roman doctrine of Infallibility By George Salmon D.D., Professor of Divinity at the University of Dublin in the 1800's:

    "But it may be asked, How is it possible to give proof that the Church of Rome has erred, as long as the question of her possible infallibility is left open? If we pronounce any decision of hers to be erroneous, we may be told that it is she who is in the right, and that we are wrong. To recur to an illustration which I formerly employed: we engage a professional guide to conduct us over a pass we have never crossed before, and how can we be able before the journey is ended to convict him of leading us wrong? The path he takes may, to our eyes, be unpromising and quite unlike what we should ourselves have chosen; but if we hesitate, he can smile at our opposing our ignorance to his superior knowledge, and can assure us that at our journey’s end we shall find him to have been in the right. Yet it might happen in such a case that even before the journey was over we should have good reason to conclude that our guide did not understand his business. Suppose that whenever we came to a place where two paths diverged, the guide hung back, and, as long as we were hesitating, carefully abstained from giving any hint of his opinion as to which was the right one; but when we had made our choice, and had struck into one of the paths, then overtook us, and assured us we were all right, should we not have a right to suspect him of ignorance of his business, and think that but for the honour and glory of the thing, we might as well have had no guide at all? Suppose, too, that after we had taken a path under the encouragement and, as we believed, with the full approbation of our guide, we found ourselves stopped by an impassable morass, should we think it a satisfactory explanation to be told by our guide, as we were retracing our steps, that approbation of this unlucky path had been expressed by him merely conversationally, in his private, not his professional, capacity?
    I think it admits of historical proof that the Church of Rome has shrunk with the greatest timidity from exercising this gift of infallibility on any question which had not already settled itself without her help, and that on several occasions, where the Pope has ventured to make decisions, these decisions are now known to have been wrong, and the case has to be met by pitiable evasions. The Pope was not speaking ex cathedra; that is to say, he had guided the Church wrong only in his private, not his professional, capacity."

    [ November 16, 2002, 06:24 PM: Message edited by: Ps104_33 ]
     
  18. jimraboin

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    Preconceived ideas first? Hmm...How do Catholic's put it? Oh yes, St. Augustine said, "But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me." We all have our filters, don't we? What if Catholic institution truly was created by Constantine? How would believing what it says first lead to truth? So let's get away from personal assertions and compare facts.

    I am showing through history that a very real possibility exists Catholicism was invented and instituted by Constantine and Eusebius. That they were corrupt in their creation of it. The facts seem to strongly support this finding.

    Further more, Cathlicism makes the claim that it is the pillar of truth and is infallible. A pretty high standard...being infallible. A claim that has to meet the highest standards of proof by reason of ramifications infallibility imposes on all men.

    So either Catholicism is exactly what it claims it is, or it is the biggest deception the world has ever known. Am I wrong to ask which one is true and why?

    Now I have found historical facts that are seemingly destructive to Catholic claim. You need to either accept those facts or refute them. Or you can offer a new interpretation of the facts according to your understanding.

    My only goal with this thread is to prove or disprove Catholicism. What we do with the facts after that we can do after this issue is settled.

    Isn't that clear?

    Jim

    [ November 16, 2002, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: jimraboin ]
     
  19. CatholicConvert

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    Jim -

    Let's take this in another direction, okay?

    I think that you and I could at least agree that there is something called the Church which Jesus said that He would lead into all truth and that this same body would not be allowed to be overrun by the gates of hell.

    Are we agreed upon that? I would imagine so, therefore, since we both agree, then what we are really disagreeing about is this

    WHAT EXACTLY IS THE CHURCH?

    Right?

    What is it? What does it look like? Where is it found? How do I know it when I find it?

    I think perhaps this is the real issue, for what you are asserting is that the bodies to which I am my Roman brethren on this board belong, are actually NOT the Church, but some bogus form of religion having nothing to do with Christ Jesus.

    Therefore, I think you should show us what the Church is, where it is found, and give a good tracing of its lineage and pedigree.

    I think that fair, don't you?

    Brother Ed
     
  20. jimraboin

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    Ed,

    Your entire argument presupposes Catholic institution IS the Church. Under your view the gates of hell would be an outside force.

    My entire counterclaim presupposes Catholic institution is the apostate church and as such it either IS the gates of hell or is a pretty big funnel aimed in that direction.

    Simply restating what you believe is unproductive. I already know in very clear terms what you believe. What we are after here is either proving Catholic claims at the cost of my counter...or proving my counter at the cost of Catholic claim.

    So answer me, did Constantine have absolute power as Rome's Emperor? Second, did all things Catholic pass through his hands?

    If you answered "Yes" to both of these, then we need to establish whether Constantine had the motive to hyjack what God wove into Israel.

    If you answered "No" to either or both of the above questions, then you need to support your assertion with clear historical information.

    This should be really easy for you if your belief is correct.

    I look forward to your response either way.

    Jim
     

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