Constatine and Christianity

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by trying2understand, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone ever read the "Edict of Milan"?

    Constatine Augustus declared Christians free to declare themselves as such for the first time without fear of persecution. Some mistakenly declare this to be the "beginning" of the Catholic Church and the start of a state religion.

    How does this compare with the histroical evidence present in the joint edict issued by Constatine Augustus and Licinius Augustus?

    I quote in part below:

    "When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule. And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion."


    "...grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred..."

    "...no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself..."

    What kind of state religion is this?
     
  2. Pauline

    Pauline
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    T2U,
    Thank you for posting the above.
     
  3. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,137
    Likes Received:
    320
    <<"...grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred...">>

    What the State grants the State can take away. The Roman Empire under Constantine re-enforced their assumed right of control over the worship of individuals by GRANTing them this so-called freedom.

    What developed out of this was the Holy Roman Empire, and a religious bloodbath of intolerance.

    HankD

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  4. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Oldtimer</b>

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2000
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>From the Edict of Milan: We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Isn't this exactly the same message our politicians are trying to convey to us by stating that Islam is a peaceful religion, therefore, we should be tolerant toward it? :confused:
     
  5. Daniel Davidson

    Daniel Davidson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. It's the same message our founding fathers convey to us in the First Amendment.
     
  6. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HankD:
    &lt;&lt;"...grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred..."&gt;&gt;

    What the State grants the State can take away. The Roman Empire under Constantine re-enforced their assumed right of control over the worship of individuals by GRANTing them this so-called freedom.

    What developed out of this was the Holy Roman Empire, and a religious bloodbath of intolerance.

    HankD

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: HankD ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hank, individuals have made the claim that Constantine started the Catholic Church. I have posted relevant parts of the Edict of Milan, which show otherwise.

    So far you have added nothing to the discussion.

    Why don't you do a little research and test your beliefs in this area against historical evidence?
     
  7. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Was Constantine's conversion to Christianity sincere, or just a consummate stroke of political wisdom? I think the latter.
     
  8. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ps104_33:
    Was Constantine's conversion to Christianity sincere, or just a consummate stroke of political wisdom? I think the latter.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Rather than offering uniformed opinon as to another person's motive, perhaps you would care to address the original point of the thread.

    Jack Chick's propaganda aside, can you show through historical evidence that Constantine started the Catholic Church?

    A Christian should always seek truth.
     
  9. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    Was Constantine's conversion to Christianity sincere, or just a consummate stroke of political wisdom? I think the latter.

    Was YOUR conversion to Christianity sincere, or did it come from some sort of other motive you may not know about? After all, doesn't the Scripture say "The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things and no man may know it" You sure YOU haven't been deceived? (Especially since you keep refusing the truth when it is explained clearly to you and refusing to believe the true Church of our Lord).

    Maybe you should worry less about Constantine and concentrate on your own soul. After all, Scripture says that Christ is going to judge your works to see if you inherit eternal life (Rom. 2: 5-10). Better get busy, son.

    Cordially in disagreement,

    Brother Ed
     
  10. Pauline

    Pauline
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Barnabas,

    Could you tell us what you think should be done in American, by Christians, towards the Islamic religion? Are you saying Constantine was wrong to legalize the public practice of Christianity? Or that it was wrong to be tolerant toward all the religions of his time? I'm not quite clear on what point you were making on the Edict of Milan.

    To All,
    People often refer to Constantine's conversion. There's no doubt he had a vision and that he led his soldiers into battle under the sign of the cross. Most likely he was influenced, too, by his mother who was a devout Christian. But did he really have a conversion experience himself? Was he a practicing Christian?

    Those, I think, are good questions. He did build churches, write to St. Anthony the Great, etc. But his life doesn't seem to have shown evidence of conversion. He wasn't baptized until on his death bed, and then, as I understand it, it was by an Arian priest (a heretic).

    Despite the fact that he legalized the public practice of Christianity, he was also at times a real problem to the pope and the Church. Like all emperors, he thought he was supreme in power over all, including the Church.

    But he certainly did not have the power over the Church that many Protestants think he had. Nor did he determine the doctrines and practices of the Church. And he did not bring pagan practices into Christianity, depsite all the wild tales to the contrary.

    Pauline
     
  11. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Ed,
    Take a valium will ya. I have a right to reply to a post don't I?

    Here is some food for thought from Will Durant's "The History of Civilization" part III "Ceasar and Christ"

    “After his conversion he (Constantine) seldom conformed to the ceremonial requirements
    of Christian worship. His letters to Christian bishops make it clear that he cared little for
    the theological differences that agitated Christiandom - though he was willing to supress
    dissent in the interest of imperial unity. Throughout his reign he treated his bishops as his
    political aides; he summoned them, presided over their councils, and agreed to enforce
    whatever opinion their majority should formulate. A real believer would have been a
    Christian first and a statesman afterward. With Constantine it was the reverse. Christianity
    was to him a means, not an end.
    “ Gradually as his power grew more secure he favored Christianity more openly.
    After 317 his coins dropped one by one their pagan effigies, until 323 they bore only
    neutral inscriptions. A legal text of his reign, questioned but not disproved, gave Christian
    bishops the authority of judges in their dioceses; other laws exempted Church realty from
    taxation, made Christian associations juridicial persons, allowed them to own land and
    recieve bequests. Constantine gave money to needy congregations, built several churches
    in Constantinople and elsewhere, forbad the worship of images in the new capital.
    Forgetting the “Edict of Milan”[B/] he prohibited the meeting of heretical sects, and finally
    ordered the destruction of their conventicles.
    “In the interval between the Decian and the Diocletian persecution, the Church had
    become the richest religious organization in the Empire, and had moderated its attacks
    upon wealth. Cyprian complained that his parishioners were mad about money, Christian
    women painted their faces, that bishops held lucrative offices of state made fortunes, lent
    money at usurious interest and denied their faith at the first sign of danger. While
    Christiananity converted the world, the world converted Christiananity, and displayed the
    natural paganism of mankind. (The story of civilization part III Caesar and Christ by Will
    Durant p. 655-657)
    Sounds like a state religion to me!
     
  12. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ps104_33:
    Hey Ed,
    Take a valium will ya. I have a right to reply to a post don't I?

    Here is some food for thought from Will Durant's "The History of Civilization" part III "Ceasar and Christ"

    Sounds like a state religion to me!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Psalm, I don't see the "state religion" that you do in what you previously posted.

    Could you please, explain in your own words.
     
  13. Daniel Davidson

    Daniel Davidson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will Durant mentions lots of state religions in _The History of Civilization_.

    "Calvin was as thorough as any pope in rejecting individualism of belief; this greatest legislator of Protestantism completely repudiated that principle of private judgment with which the new religion had begun. He had seen the fragmentation of the Reformation into a hundred sects, and foresaw more; in Geneva he would have none of them."

    "The principle which the Reformation had upheld in the youth of its rebellion - the right of private judgment - was as completely rejected by the Protestant leaders as by the Catholics . . . Toleration was now definitely less after the Reformation than before it."

    "Melanchthon asked the state to compel the people to attend Protestant services. Later on, in Saxony (1623), even auricular confession and the Eucharist were made strictly obligatory by law, punishable by banishment. "

    "The cities found Protestantism profitable . . . for a slight alteration in their theological garb they escaped from episcopal taxes and courts, and could appropriate pleasant parcels of ecclesiastical property . . . The princes . . . could be spiritual as well as temporal lords, and all the wealth of the Church could be theirs . . . The Lutheran princes suppressed all monasteries in their territory except a few whose inmates had embraced the Protestant faith."

    ALL religions, to some extent, are state religions.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,137
    Likes Received:
    320
    Dear T2U,

    You wrote...

    &lt;&lt;Hank, individuals have made the claim that Constantine started the Catholic Church. I have posted relevant parts of the Edict of Milan, which show otherwise.
    So far you have added nothing to the discussion.
    Why don't you do a little research and test your beliefs in this area against historical evidence? &gt;&gt;

    Constantine opened the door to that which eventually became the Roman Catholic Church.

    Personally I would date the "Roman Catholic Church" from Charles the Great (Charlemagne). In 800AD, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne the Roman Emperor, thus the Holy Roman Empire or the "unholy" alliance of religious and Imperial Rome.

    Shortly thereafter (historically speaking) the slaughtering began with the "Holy Crusades" and later more bloodshed under the Spanish and Latin Inquisitions.
    This is the legacy of the Roman Catholic Church.

    HankD
     
  15. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HankD:


    Constantine opened the door to that which eventually became the Roman Catholic Church.

    Personally I would date the "Roman Catholic Church" from Charles the Great (Charlemagne). In 800AD, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne the Roman Emperor, thus the Holy Roman Empire or the "unholy" alliance of religious and Imperial Rome.

    HankD
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    St. Melchiades was the 32nd Pope in the year 313 when Constatine issued the Edict of Milan.

    St. Loe III was the 96th Pope. He served the Church from 795 to 816.

    If the Church started at either of these dates, what body of Christian believers did the first 31 or 95 Popes shepard?

    Critical thinking skills, Hank.
     
  16. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    T2u,
    The first 31 popes? The catholic church made up the first 31 popes. Constantine appointed the first one. The first 31 were just bishops of the church at Rome, not the "Godfather" of the whole church. Seems the Roman Catholic Church has its own version of history.
     
  17. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ps104_33:
    T2u,
    The first 31 popes? The catholic church made up the first 31 popes. Constantine appointed the first one. The first 31 were just bishops of the church at Rome, not the "Godfather" of the whole church. Seems the Roman Catholic Church has its own version of history.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Psalm, we have a breakthrough!

    You acknowledge the office of Bishop. Tell me, who is your Bishop? Or did your church break that succession?

    As to the office held by the Bishop of Rome, yes, the Catholic Church has a version of that history. It is attested to by none less than St. Clement, St. Ignatius, and St. Irenaeus, to name a few. All lived well prior to Constatine, I might point out.

    Who would you cite as authorative evidence to support your position?
     
  18. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,137
    Likes Received:
    320
    Dear T2U,

    We are talking semantics. The term "bishop" is KJV designation of the word "episkopos".

    KJV Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

    Bishop : Strong's 1985: episkopos {ep-is'-kop-os}
    • 1) an overseer 1a) a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent 1b) the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church.

    Baptist don't like the term (at least this one) because of the RCC connection, but it is indeed a biblical word equivalent to "shepherd" or "pastor".

    "pastor" is the Baptist word of choice for "episkopos".

    Also, the Church of Rome was a real Christian local assembly until (IMO) they shed the blood of the innocent (probably around 800AD).
    Having said that, I will also say that the doctrinal error of that local church was becoming more and more corrupt through Pagan syncretism until that time.
    The first murder of the first "separatist" was an act of CAIN and the RCC received the mark of CAIN at that moment (IMO).

    Under the Law, an issue of blood (apart from the Blood of Christ) defiles and makes unclean all that it touches:

    KJV 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

    The authorization of pastors is by the baptism of Luke 3:16

    Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

    Revelation 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    The ordination of a pastor is by other pastors who are able to recognize and affirm the evidence of the spiritual gift of the others which they "ordain".


    HankD
     
  19. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pastor, bishop, overseer, elder. all same. Take your pick. I dont have a problem with the word bishop. Just the hierarchy of the catholic church. Pope, cardinal(redhats), archbishop, priest. Unbiblical.
     
  20. Pauline

    Pauline
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    HankD,
    You sure are ignoring an awful lot of well documented historical fact.

    Pauline
     

Share This Page

Loading...