The Deception of Constantine (Page 2)

Constantine

Many credit Emperor Constantine for the spread of Christianity. While the Roman Empire once heavily persecuted the Church, Constantine legalised the Christian faith and even endorsed it to the point of it becoming the official religion of the empire. Should we thank Constantine or did something more sinister take place?

It seems that a growing number of people are coming to the conclusion that what Constantine actually did was hijack the Christian faith and changed it into a faith that merged his pagan roots. Doctrines like the Trinity and holy days like Sunday and December the 25th certainly point to this and form the basis of the Roman Catholic Church to this day. The following video explores the idea that Constantine was a pagan king who wanted to control Christians which by this stage existed in all four corners of the empire.

This topic contains 37 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  t8 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #103552
     NickHassan 
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    topical

    #103561
     NickHassan 
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    From DK pasted from another thread to Epistomaniac
    ——————————————————————————–
    For E..Since obviously you haven't REALLY studied the history of your god Costantine..here is a brief synopsis…(sources cited)

    During Constantine’s rule Christianity not only began to play a role in Roman governmental activities, but Christian symbols made there way onto Roman coinage as well. Constantine was responsible for the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire, but his motives were not religious. Constantine’s political genius gave him the insight to realize the he could either begin tolerating the Christians, or let them slowly destroy his empire. Constantine chose to tolerate the Christian, but was aware it would be a very difficult task. Diocletian, emperor of the Western Roman Empire before Maxentius did all he could to rid his empire of the Christians, but was unsuccessful in doing so. Constantine was aware that persecuting the Christians would only encourage their martyrdom and would ultimately prove be an unsuccessful effort (Chadwick 127-29). In the centuries leading up to Constantine’s reign Christians were humiliated, tortured and killed if they refused to renounce their faith. Many gave up their Christian beliefs, but those who did not became martyrs. Those people who refused to renounce their faith and were killed and as a result became great inspirations to those living Christians in the empire. “The impact of martyrdom was immense and even, according to Tertulian, acted as a seed-bed for Christianity (Elliot 351).”

    Constantine not only had to prove himself a more than efficient politician, but he had to sell himself to both religious groups. This would take a great deal of personal effort from Constantine. He would have to present himself as a supporter of the pagans, while supporting the Christians as well. What made this so difficult for Constantine was in Rome it wasn’t strange for an individual to observe several pagan traditions, Constantine himself followed several. This was completely unacceptable to Christians; in their eyes the worship of other gods was unacceptable. Constantine’s pro-Christian message was accepted without a great deal of public outcry because of its similarities to solar monotheism, the most popular form of paganism in the Roman Empire at this time. Like solar monotheism, the sun was a very important religious symbol to Christians. Many believed that Christians worshipped the sun, because just as solar monotheists they met on Sundays and prayed facing the East. Also in the Old Testament, Jesus was known as the “sun of righteousness.” Despite the similarities between Christianity and solar monotheism, this adoption of Christianity by Constantine still proved to be a difficult task.

    First, Christ was not a god of war. The Old Testament frequently involved God in the slaughter of his enemies, but the New Testament did not. Constantine would have to create a totally new conception of Christianity if he was to sustain the link between the Christian God and victory in war. Second, it was crucial for Constantine’s political survival that he did not break with the pagan cults that still claimed the allegiance of most of his subjects, yet Christianity emphatically rejected paganism (Freeman 157).

    As Dr. Charles Freeman illustrates in this quote, Constantine had to be very careful not to offend the pagans or the Christians. A falling out with either the pagans or the Christians could prove to be disastrous for Constantine. This division would only add to the long list of differences between the western and eastern empire. The eastern empire was extremely Christianized while the western was predominately pagan. Trouble between these two very different sections of Rome was a genuine threat. A quarrel over religion could tear the Roman Empire apart (Rodgers 235).

    Soon Constantine would find out that the Christians were much more volatile than the pagans. In order to keep the Christians happy he began granting members of the clergy special favors, “in particular exemption from the heavy burden of holding civic office and taxation (Freeman 162).” This is an essential step in Constantine’s attempt to tie the Christians into Roman society. Not only was he attempting to buy the trust of Christians after a decade of persecution, but he had to do so without upsetting the non-Christian members of his empire. This was a very dangerous move, no pagan priests had ever been given special attention in the Roman Empire, and for Constantine to favor Christian clergy in this manner was almost unheard of. Amazingly there was almost no backlash from the non-Christian population of Rome. However, Constantine did not know what he was getting himself into. “He appears to have been genuinely surprised at the number and diversity of communities calling themselves Christian, and soon after his victory he had to face the dilemma of whether to give patronage to all of these or to privilege some communities more than others (Freeman 165)” Constantine devoted much more time to facilitating their actions within his empire. He must have been terrified when he realized that he was dealing with another group of people that were destroying themselves from the inside out. There was just as much dissension amongst the Christian ranks as there was amongst Roman Officials. Desperate to end the tension between those different Christian groups Constantine called a council of bishops. The bishops met at the imperial palace at Nicaea in Asia Minor, Constantine’s goal was to create a Christian doctrine that all Christians could agree on, and could be backed by the state (Chadwick 130).

    Constantine’s conversion of Rome marks a turning-point in the history of the Christian Church and of Europe. “It meant more than the end of persecution. The sovereign autocrat was inevitably and immediately involved in the development of the church, and conversely the Church became more and more implicated in high political decisions (Chadwick 125).” Constantine’s toleration of Christianity was most definitely a political maneuver. The most impressive accomplishment of Constantine’s reign was his ability to keep the Roman Empire intact. The fact that Christianity was now integrated into the most powerful empire in the world and would soon become the most powerful religion in the world was a bi-product of Constantine’s policy to keep the Roman Empire afloat. Constantine may have been the greatest promoter of Christianity of all time, but his motives behind the Edict of Milan, the Council of Nicaea and every other policy favoring Christianity were purely political.

    Works Cited
    Bailkey, Nels M. and Richard Lim. Readings in Ancient History: Thought and
    Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002.
    Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. London: Pelican Books, 1967.
    Elliot, Thomas G. The Language of Constantine’s Propaganda. Transactions of the
    American Philological Association (1974), Vol. 120. (1990), pp. 349-353.
    Freeman, Charles. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of
    Reason. New York: Vintage Books, 2002.
    Rodgers, Barbara Saylor. The Metamorphosis of Constantine. The Classical Quarterly,
    New Series, Vol. 39, No.1. (1989), pp. 233-246.
    Wright, David H. The True Face of Constantine the Great. Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol.
    41, Studies on Art and Archaelogy in Honor of Ernst Kitzingers on His Seventy-
    Fifth Birthday. (1987), pp. 493-507.

    Hope you learned something

    #103569
     NickHassan 
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    HI,
    From E in reply
    “LOL…. if you want to insist on thinking that you are my brother… have at it…

    secondly, you are not God, you cannot decide who is a true Christian and who is not, isn't that what people have been telling me here…?

    thirdly, “history” lessons aside, and perhaps you have need of some yourself…. there are differing opinions regarding Constantine's level of Christian commitment and his reasons behind that commitment: “During his life and those of his sons, Constantine's was presented as a paragon of virtue. Even pagans like Praxagoras of Athens and Libanius showered him with praise. When the last of his sons died in 361, his nephew Julian the Apostate wrote the satire Symposium, or the Saturnalia. The work stigmatized Constantine as inferior to the great pagan emperors, given over to luxury and greed.[224] Following Julian, Eunapius of Sardis began the tradition that blamed Constantine for weakening the Empire through his indulgence to the Christians. In medieval times, when the Roman Catholic Church was dominant, Catholic historians presented Constantine as an ideal ruler, the standard against which any king or emperor could be measured. The Renaissance rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources prompted a re-evaluation of Constantine's career. The German humanist Johann Löwenklau, discoverer of Zosimus' writings, published a Latin translation thereof in 1576. He included a preface that argued for Zosimus' picture of Constantine was superior to that offered by Eusebius and the church historians, and damned Constantine as a tyrant.[227] Cardinal Caesar Baronius, a man of the Counter-Reformation, criticized Zosimus, favoring Eusebius' account of the Constantinian era. Baronius' Life of Constantine (1588) presents Constantine as the model of a Christian prince. Edward Gibbon, aiming to unite the two extremes of Constantinian scholarship, offered a portrait of Constantine built on the contrasted narratives of Eusebius and Zosimus.

    Modern interpretations of Constantine's rule begin with Jacob Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great (1853). Burckhardt's Constantine is a scheming secularist, a politician who manipulates all parties in a quest to secure his own power.[230] Henri Grégoire, writing in the 1930s, followed Burckhardt's evaluation of Constantine. For Grégoire, Constantine only developed an interest in Christianity after witnessing its political usefulness. Grégoire became a strong of the authenticity of Eusebius' writings, and postulated a pseudo-Eusebius to assume responsibility for the vision and conversion narratives of Eusebius' Vita Constantini. Otto Seeck, in Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (1920–23), and André Piganiol, in L'empereur Constantin (1932), wrote against this historiographic tradition. Seeck presented Constantine as a sincere war hero, whose ambiguities were the product of his own simple inconsistency. Piganiol's Constantine is a philosophical monotheist, a child of his era's religious syncretism. Related histories by A.H.M. Jones (Constantine and the Conversion of Europe (1949)) and Ramsay MacMullen (Constantine (1969)) gave portraits of a less visionary, and more impulsive, Constantine.

    These later accounts were more willing to present Constantine as a genuine convert to Christianity. Beginning with Norman H. Baynes' Constantine the Great and the Christian Church (1929) and reinforced by Andreas Alföldi's The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome (1948), a historiographic tradition developed which presented Constantine as a committed Christian. T.D. Barnes' seminal Constantine and Eusebius (1981), represents the culmination of this trend. Barnes' Constantine experienced a radical conversion, which drove him on a personal crusade to convert his empire. The trend reaches its zenith in T.G. Elliott's The Christianity of Constantine the Great (1996). Elliott portrays Constantine as a committed Christian from early childhood.” (Wikipedia)

    Anyone else feel we should follow this ? example of christanity?

    #103622
     GeneBalthrop 
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    Nick…….I agree with DK's post what i have read on Constantine was about the same as the post He was in a campaign to bring Rome under One ruler (HIM) as Emperor Maximus and need the Pagans and Christians of the Eastern and Western Empires to Unite and so He called the council of Nicea in 325 AD. He had to deal with three problems the Pagans, the Arian Christian in the eastern Empire ,the Athanansius Christians in the west Empire . He put of baptism until he was on his death bed, so he could indulge in all his lustful activities and Just prior to death had a Priest who he took with him every where he went, baptism him so he could escape going to hell. His life was not that of a true Christian as far as what i have read.

    #103623
     NickHassan 
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    Hi GB,
    I agree.
    But he leads many

    #106647
     julieannz 
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    you know what i have a problem with? Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. He sent his deciples out to preach the good news. Now His deciples didn't know at this point Jesus was going to die, and be ressurected and be our Saviour.  So they weren't out preaching having to believe in Jesus, His death and ressuration. Yet all sudden the message changed from being about the Kingdom of God to being all about believing in Jesus, His death, His ressurection. Not being able to have a relationship with G_d without going through Jesus. It sounds alot to me like Jesus got put in the position of our modern day Catholic priests. You can't forgiveness of sin unless you go confess to the priest. Yet before Jesus the OT shows over and over again all you have to do is ask G_d for forgiveness, repent, and your sins are forgiven. You didn't even have to give a animal scrafice. In fact once the Temple was destroyed they couldn't do blood scracfices. So now no Jewish person throughout history has gotten forgiveness for thier sins? King David sinned and got forgiveness for his sin. Where did the idea that we can't get forgiveness of sin, or have a relationship with G_d without Jesus come from? I see Jesus taking first place over G_d. Nothing is done except through Jesus, Pray His name, get saved in His name, do mircales in His name etc etc. Yet He said He didn't do anything except through the Father. G_d healed, did mircales, forgave sins, delivered his people, etc before Jesus. I don't see in the OT (i haven't read every word of it yet) where it says we lost our relationship with G_d because Adam and Eve sinned. I see pushishment for the sin. And since Jesus did His thing I don't see sin being less, if anything the world is more sinful. :cool:

    #106648
     julieannz 
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    “Constantius also had much of the NT altered. And it is proven he didn't accept Christ until he was on his death bed, so he was never a quote Christian.

    #106649
     charity 
    Member
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    :D Welcome julieannz

    Thank you for your posts

    charity

    #106650
     NickHassan 
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    Hi JA and welcome,
    It is more about the Spirit of God than any vessel including Jesus.
    The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.
    Grace and peace was through Jesus.
    He is the gate to the kingdom.

    The priests went into the Holy of holies once a year on behalf of the sins of the people.
    Now Jesus has done this through the veil of his flesh for all men.
    Now he is the only door to the kingdom and the disciples preached that same kingdom.

    While he was with them he used his authority and empowered them to work with him.

    Those disciples were infused with the same Spirit of Christ to continue his work after his return to God.

    Once you have been washed then only your feet need daily cleansing of the sin that clings to us.

    #106661
     Tiffany 
    Member
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    Quote (julieannz @ Sep. 23 2008,20:59)
    you know what i have a problem with? Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. He sent his deciples out to preach the good news. Now His deciples didn't know at this point Jesus was going to die, and be ressurected and be our Saviour.  So they weren't out preaching having to believe in Jesus, His death and ressuration. Yet all sudden the message changed from being about the Kingdom of God to being all about believing in Jesus, His death, His ressurection. Not being able to have a relationship with G_d without going through Jesus. It sounds alot to me like Jesus got put in the position of our modern day Catholic priests. You can't forgiveness of sin unless you go confess to the priest. Yet before Jesus the OT shows over and over again all you have to do is ask G_d for forgiveness, repent, and your sins are forgiven. You didn't even have to give a animal scrafice. In fact once the Temple was destroyed they couldn't do blood scracfices. So now no Jewish person throughout history has gotten forgiveness for thier sins? King David sinned and got forgiveness for his sin. Where did the idea that we can't get forgiveness of sin, or have a relationship with G_d without Jesus come from? I see Jesus taking first place over G_d. Nothing is done except through Jesus, Pray His name, get saved in His name, do mircales in His name etc etc. Yet He said He didn't do anything except through the Father. G_d healed, did mircales, forgave sins, delivered his people, etc before Jesus. I don't see in the OT (i haven't read every word of it yet) where it says we lost our relationship with G_d because Adam and Eve sinned. I see pushishment for the sin. And since Jesus did His thing I don't see sin being less, if anything the world is more sinful. :cool:


    Welcome! We came out of the Catholic Church in 1984-85. I am happy and glad that God has called us, my Husband and I, we are now under Jesus Blood, that means that my sins are forgiven when I ask. He is our Mediator to go directly to the throne of Almighty God, Jesus cannot forgive us our Sins, we have to ask the Father to do that. That is why it says that Sin is not imputed to us. IMO I think that we still have to ask for forgiveness of that sin.
    We are to come out of this world, do not be part of it. Yes, I know what you are saying everything is Jesus. Some overdo it, and forget the Almighty, and that is sad. I have put up a bunch of Songs to praise the Almighty with. Check them out in the Messinger tread under Songs of praise.
    Peace and Love Irene

    #106663
     julieannz 
    Member
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    thank you i have been searching the internet for songs that praise G_d and not just Jesus. I will check them out thank you.
    ja

    #106665
     julieannz 
    Member
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    I understand all the stuff about Jesus forgiving our sins and such. What I am questioning is if in the OT people were able to go to G_d directly and ask for forgiveness of sins. They didn't even need to use animal scracfices to get forgiven. They were not allowd to do animal scracfices except in the Temple once the Temple was destroyed no other blood scrafices were given. So obviously the poeple were getting forgiveness of sins simply by asking for it and repenting. So I asking, where and why was it necessary to have Jesus die for our sins when we were already able to get forgiveness of sins. Also in the NT it teaches that we still sin and need to ask for forgiveness of sin. Getting “saved” doesn't make it so you never have to ask for forgiveness of sin. And If having to have Jesus die for us so we could have a relationship with G_d and get forgiveness of sin, than why does the OT tell us to ask for forgivenss of our sin, repent and G_d forgives us? What I am asking is why was it necessary for Jesus to die for us? It seems to me, Christianity just subsituted Jesus in the place of priests, now the only way to G_d is through Jesus. We could go directly to G_d before Jesus died.

    #106673
     NickHassan 
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    Hi JA,
    Our sense of righteousness is not that of God.
    All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.[Rom3]
    All are under His wrath.[Jn3]

    He made special provision for His chosen people enabling ongoing forgiveness.[Heb9]
    But those who were outside that Law were to perish.[Rom2]

    The law could make nobody perfect.

    Now Jesus has perfectlty fulfilled the Law salvation is now offered through him.
    He is the captain of our salvation, for Jew and gentile.

    He is the source of the enabling grace of the Spirit of God.

    #106712
     julieannz 
    Member
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    Thanks Nick I think you are trying to answer my question but I feel you are talking in circles and not telling me anything. I guess I really am not even asking for an anwer, I at this moment in time, believe in G_d. The G_D of Abraham, Issac, and Moses. I don't believe in 3 separate Gods making up one God. Gen 2:4, Psa 11:7, I don't believe we needed or need a saviour, the OT says G_D is our Saviour Isa 43:3, Provider Gen 22:14,Shepard Psa 23, Creator, Protector , Judge Gen 18:25, Healer Isa 61:1, Sanctifier Lev 20:8, Shield Psa 3:3, StrengthPsa 22:19, RockIsa 30:29, and KING Psa5:2 and oh!!OUR SAVIOUR Isa 43:3 G_D is everything I need. I believe in the OT laws and that I have a relationship with G_d, forgiveness of my sin by simply asking for forgiveness and REPENTING. I love and worship the Great I Am Gen2:4. Why do I need somone to do the things G_D is already doing for me?

    #106720
     t8 
    Participant
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    God is our saviour.

    So how does God save men? Did he come to earth himself?

    Or did he send his son, the mediator between God and man?

    In the OT, God sends his messengers to represent himself.

    God is invisible and doesn't have a body like us. He is Spirit.

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