Religion Today

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Constantine created the Christian Church

What marks the beginning of the Christian Church, the social organization uniting Christians? The answer depends on the definition of “church.” If “church” means the people who adhere to Jesus’ teachings, then Jesus began it. Some Christians believe that Peter founded the church at the behest of Jesus himself. Others would see the first church as the Jerusalem Church, created by the disciples after Jesus’ death and led by James until his death in 63 AD.

But if the founding of the church is defined as the first body of Christian leaders who could determine accurate Christian belief and establish with sound authority their definition of Christianity across the Mediterranean world, then the single man most responsible for that achievement was Constantine I, the Emperor of Rome. Although the creation and organization of the Church was clearly a process that took place over several decades, the founding event was the Council of Nicea in 325.

If Jesus died sometime around 30 AD, why did it take nearly three centuries to found the organized Church? There are three main reasons.

First, travel and communication were difficult at that time. It was difficult to make decisions and to run organizations that had offices more than a day’s walk, or perhaps horse-back ride, apart. When trading businesses established offices in different ports, for example, they had to operate essentially as independent business because of the difficulties of coordination. Fledgling Christianity sent out missionaries to establish new Christian communities, but then had to allow each community to run itself, as indicates by Paul’s letters to the churches he established.

Second, there was little agreement about Christianity’s beliefs and teachings, the nature of Jesus and God, what writings were sacred, or even how to worship. There was a wide variety of views, many of which were later declared heresies, Donatists in North Africa, Gnostics in Egypt, and Arians in Syria. And do not forget the Adoptionists, the Modalists, the Manicheans, the Montanists, the Marcionites, the Ebionites, the Nestorians, and the Meletians, to name just a few.

Third, imperial persecutions of Christians happened every few decades. These drove Christianity underground and caused many Christians to turn away. But almost worse were the rifts that appeared afterwards between Christians who kept the faith and those who apostatized to save their lives, both of whom still considered themselves Christians.

Constantine appeared on the scene in the midst of the so-called Great Persecution under Emperor Diocletian begun in 303. By 305, the problems caused by the persecution were overtaken by those of determining Diocletian’s successor. More than six different generals would fight to become next Emperor. Constantine stood out because he became a Christian, and unabashedly made Jesus the patron of his army. By 313, just two contenders remained, Constantine and Licinius. The two jointly issued the Edict of Milan, which made Christianity a legal religion and officially ended the persecution. But it was not until 324 that Constantine finally became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.

Constantine saw Christianity’s belief in one god as a way to unify the Empire that had been so badly divided for two decades. But he discovered that Christianity itself was not unified. So he called the Council of Nicea in 325 to bring together the 1800 bishops from around the Empire to work out official doctrine and provide the basis for a unified Church. Constantine paid for the entire Council and even paid for travel, giving bishops the right of free transportation on the imperial postal system.

The Council laid the foundation of orthodox theology (=catholic theology) and declared several differing theologies heresies. Constantine’s support initially gave Orthodoxy the ability to require Christians to adopt their doctrinal formulation. While during the next few decades, the Church’s fortunes waxed and waned, within a century, Christianity had been declared the official religion of the Roman Empire and non-Christian religions were in steep decline.


(This was written for May 29, 2008.)

14 Comments:

  • it is true,constantine is the real evenglist to spread christian faith univrsally.all credit goes to him but some modren scholars denied this fact cause not enough knowledge....constantine and prophet abraham both were the divine appointed person with background of pagan faimilies.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/04/2010  

  • You have been lied to by the same demonic monsters which have ruled the world for the last six thousand years.

    Christ is coming back to Earth very very soon.Only 10% of Americans will be left alive because 90% of Christians have been deceived by the same demons that had Christ nailed to a Tree living in the Sanhedrin who was absolutely sure they was correct as the Roman Catholic church and clergy are today.


    Constantine deceived everyone because those who did not obey he destroyed or drove in exile.

    He was afraid of the true power of Christianity sh he designed a "false christianity" to unite his empire.

    The True church existed side by side with false church since the first century.

    The Roman Catholic Church is not the oldest church and In their own doctrines they prove. In creation of the Trinity to replace the Christ of YHVH they destroyed the power of believers which the Apostle Peter used in striking people dead by his words alone. This power Constantine could not unleqash on the Roman Empire it would destroy his government officals in a heart beat...........
    http://doomsdayfornyse.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger edward_enoch, at 6/02/2011  

  • Jesus never came down to bring something new religion or create a so called religion called Christianity.

    He only came for the Lost sheep of Israel which were the Jews. He himself was a Jew and so was his mother.

    When he comes back he will say to you Christians as quoted from the Bible 'Get away from me you evildoers as i never taught you all this. Only God almighty is the master, while you have been breaking the fundemental laws of worshipping one God, your evil works made me a partner/son to God. Curse be to you all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2012  

  • Constantine was a genius and his form of Unitarian Christianity was tolerant unlike the evil of later Trinitarism. (Witness the bile and calumny of the trinitarian comment above) Constantine the Great ruled over what is considered the Golden Age of the Byzantine Empire. He is massively under appreciated.

    By Anonymous M Crahart, at 3/23/2012  

  • how do post this to f/b ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/03/2012  

  • Pagans are not God's peoples way to follow or worship,him. The pagans do what they want God's people have rules and laws to follow.

    By Anonymous mr. rich, at 9/22/2014  

  • It is not the mortal Man Christ Jesus who said: And the LORD said unto him, I have heard Thy prayer and thy supplication that thou hast made before me: I Have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name.YHWH There for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there Perpetually.

    That is the true face of God who I told you God looked like. Imagine being outside of Universe and our whole universe was but a Single star in a Galaxy of lights Stretched across a open area longer than any measurement contained Within that is everything that God has made will make everything That is or will be.

    That is the face of the ancient one the Christ’s his entrance into the microscopic world! Once you separate the Mortal man from the man being made into the word of God as the Lamb of God scripture makes sense on all levels.First century christian service which is the closest system to Islam in the God of Abraham religions A word came From Holy of Holies directing people when in the presence of the Living God don't let your spirit wander it is the same as witchcraft. First century believers of God of Abraham is the eternal one I AM HE WHO IS and the Christ is exactly who he said he is the Christ. Christ prayed to the eternal one YHVH) Our Father who art in Heaven Hallowed be thy name YHVH but it is not spoken out loud as a sign of Respect.

    First century Christians reject the Trinity, They consider the Christ as his name says The Presence of God among us, which both Islam, Christians, and Jewish people all use part of God's name for children in order to receive blessing. The Christ can best be explained as a cup of water from a larger jar of water. While in the cup the Christ can be seen as seperate from God once pour back into the jar cannot be found as the jar represents YHWH. We also believe the Pope is ruled by the anti christ

    By Blogger edward_enoch, at 10/19/2014  

  • iS NOT AMAZING HOW THIS CONSTANTINE INVENTED SOMETHING IN ORDER THE HAVE POWER AND TO CONTROL PEOPLE MIND, GOD ALWAYS EXIST BUT THIS GUY CREATE A MONSTER SYSTEM THAT IS DESTROYING HUMANITY, RELIGION KILL MORE PEOPLE THAN ANYTHING

    By Blogger Hugo R Montgomery, at 4/12/2015  

  • There are a number of basic factual errors in this article and in the comments. Not differing opinions, mind you, but basic data.

    Constantine was not a unitarian.

    The Council of Nicea did not inlude 1800 bishops from around the empire, but only around 250-300 bishops, I believe almost all oming from the East.

    "Constantine saw Christianity’s belief in one god as a way to unify the Empire that had been so badly divided for two decades." This is a theory, but one with no proof.

    By Blogger Gary, at 8/19/2015  

  • Constantine persecuted the Jews....he changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday...he forbade "anything Jewish", including the observance of the Feasts...he combined the pagan religion of the day with a belief in Jesus (Christmas and Easter were developed from this union)...etc...etc....in essence, he participated in the development of a "new religion.", called "Christianity AS WE KNOW IT TODAY (IT LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT IN THE FIRST CENTURY). If we READ THE BIBLE, we see that God never changes, that His commandments are everlasting (including Sabbath on 7th day, and observance of the feasts), and that the early church DID NOT abolish the Torah in spite of their belief as Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah. A good source for gaining more information and insight on Constantine's influence can be seen in a two part video by 119 Ministries called "Sunburned....Part 1 and 2"

    By Blogger leonor E, at 8/29/2015  

  • Constantine persecuted the Jews....he changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday...he forbade "anything Jewish", including the observance of the Feasts...he combined the pagan religion of the day with a belief in Jesus (Christmas and Easter were developed from this union)...etc...etc....in essence, he participated in the development of a "new religion.", called "Christianity AS WE KNOW IT TODAY (IT LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT IN THE FIRST CENTURY). If we READ THE BIBLE, we see that God never changes, that His commandments are everlasting (including Sabbath on 7th day, and observance of the feasts), and that the early church DID NOT abolish the Torah in spite of their belief as Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah. A good source for gaining more information and insight on Constantine's influence can be seen in a two part video by 119 Ministries called "Sunburned....Part 1 and 2"

    By Blogger leonor E, at 8/29/2015  

  • Constantine established a state church with religious officials that agreed to partner with him as an expedient path to uniting as many of the divided population as possible.

    The true Christians that recognized the members were adopting dogma unsupported by God's word were forced to flee and hide as they then became enemies of the state.

    God's Son came to earth and with His Apostles established true Christianity, whose adherents were to become copycat footstep followers of Jesus and accomplish their contribution to His will on earth as was clearly and repetitiously outlined throughout the Christian Greek scriptures.

    The Christ warned his followers: "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
    ~Acts 20:29,30.

    Constantine was a wolf that fit this description very well, and he persecuted the loyal followers of Jesus and His Apostles relentlessly because they would not compromise their bible-trained beliefs.

    But all this is easily verified through a comprehensive study of even secular history; all a researcher has to do is read and study.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/28/2016  

  • Just the fact that Christianity is not original,really bothers me. Why would God borrow from myths from the past to give the world Jesus Christ savior?
    Ridiculous. And indicative to me alone that Christianity is not true.

    By Blogger J, at 11/06/2016  

  • from my extensive research constantine was a pagan that headed up rome, and neede a new religion to replace mithraism otr the worship of the SUN, yes the SUN/ SUNDAY? MOONDAY? Jesus was a greek name not a hebrew name, thus jesus was a SUN GOD, There may have been an ancient essene/nazaerene named jehoshua/yeshua who taught gnostic-type, mystical christianity, but this cannot be ascertained for certain.. What is certain is that there were christians before jesus(if he ever existed in the physical), and these christians knew that the image of god was in every human/a seed lying there dormant until the ground became feertaile enough for it to grow. The ground being the mind that is. the carnal mind is the enemy of spirit(god) god is spirit! All that i am saying here can be proven from ancient documents still available from real people who wrote during that time period( philo), augustine, and many others. The church under rome is still the false church as is most churches because the people have been kept under the control of the carnal nature, and have not been taught how to crucify the carnal nature and let the CHRIST(the seed of perfection in the flesh) resurrect inside them. Its about time you and every other person prays with all your heart to know the real meanings of the bible stories. the world will be peacful then. The roman church killed most of the people called gnostics and burned almost` all their texts on purpose!!!!! This infuriated me when i realized it!!!Easter is fake to as it is patterned after the roman sex fertility goddess ISHTAR! Glad gnostic texts were found in 1945 hidden away like the gospel of thomas, the gospel of mary magdalene, the pistis sophia, and many more that should have been in the roman bible. they tell the real meanings which were never meant to be interpreted literally, NEVER!!!!! Please approve this blog entry so people can know the truth and be set FREE!!! Do you have the guts to search what i have said yourself??? call me if i can help you or speak at a large gathering> larry smith 334-718-0200. talking snakes, talking donkeys, walking on water, killing 1000 with a jawbone of an ass, come on people!!!!!!! symbolism at its best!!!! The beast of revelation is man'ws carnal nature silly wabbit!

    By Blogger larry smith, at 3/12/2017  

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