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Constantine’s Gift to Christianity
Catholic World Report ^ | 10/26/12 | Benjamin Wiker

Posted on 10/26/2012 8:59:15 AM PDT by marshmallow

On the anniversary of Constantine’s conversion, we should consider why the West seems to be converting back to paganism.

On October 28, 312, Emperor Constantine met Emperor Maxentius in battle just outside the city of Rome at the Milvian Bridge, spanning the Tiber. This battle—occurring exactly 1,700 years ago—is one of the most important events in the history of Christendom, since it was through Constantine’s victory that Christendom began. It is a battle well worth reflecting upon.

As is well known, the previous day Constantine experienced a vision of a cross of light in the sky, with the words “By this sign you shall conquer” (in Greek, not Latin, by the way). That night, so we are told, Constantine had a dream wherein he was told to paint the cross on the shields of his soldiers.

He did. And so it happened, as the vision said.

The next day, October 28, 312, Constantine defeated Maxentius. Interestingly enough, Maxentius could have stayed within the walls of Rome. He was plentifully stocked to endure a siege. Inexplicably, he decided to go out and engage Constantine. His troops were defeated, and Maxentius himself drowned in the Tiber trying to escape.

Such was the beginning of Constantine’s embrace of Christianity, and such was the beginning of the transformation of the Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity.

It is, again, a well-known story, and unfortunately, as with other well-known stories, it is not well-known enough, or at least, not thought about deeply enough.

There are, for example, those who take Constantine’s conversion as the beginning of the end of real Christianity. Christianity, they argue, is the Christianity of the early Church, the Church before it became favored and hence entangled with the empire, the pure Church, the Church before Constantine, the Church of the martyrs.

(Excerpt) Read more at catholicworldreport.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/26/2012 8:59:15 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Poor Constantine! The whipping boy of every group that practices a deviant form of Christianity!

“It was that evil Constantine who changed Christianity by(fill in the blank)!”


2 posted on 10/26/2012 9:05:15 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: marshmallow

When Christianity leaves the Biblical teachings, it is nothing more than a social/political organization, building grand edifices on sinking sand.

As the Bible says, when Jesus returns on Judgment Day, only a remnant will be found faithful to His teachings. All the rest will be condemned for their apostasy: “He who remains faithful to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)


3 posted on 10/26/2012 9:10:12 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: marshmallow

The article began to lose me in the first paragraph: “This battle—occurring exactly 1,700 years ago—is one of the most important events in the history of Christendom, since it was through Constantine’s victory that Christendom began.”

I am sure Dr. Wiker knows more about history than I ever will. However, his grasp of Christianity is tenuous. It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing happened.


4 posted on 10/26/2012 9:14:04 AM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: marshmallow

I would rather celebrate a leader that allowed his subjects to choose their religion for themselves rather than endorse and enforce a state issued one. The ends does not justify the means.


5 posted on 10/26/2012 9:24:37 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Justice for Trayvon? I thought Zimmerman done addressd that issue.)
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To: Belteshazzar

I believe he is making a distinction between Christianity and Christendom. Through Constantine’s conversion, Christinity began to assume a political and territorial aspect, ie “Christendom”.


6 posted on 10/26/2012 9:32:54 AM PDT by ThirdMate
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To: marshmallow

IMHO, I feel this “one Nation, under God” IS returning to paganism, as stated.

We are heading in the same direction, as the Jews did in Biblical days, unless we seek a true renewal of our hearts toward God.

We are here to be used by Him, or cast aside as chaff.

I, for one, passed this on.

Thank you.


7 posted on 10/26/2012 9:40:25 AM PDT by wizr (Keep the Faith!)
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To: ThirdMate

Yes, of course he is making that distinction. Christendom in this sense reflects the political/religious understanding of the Middle Ages that has been carried forward into our times in the thinking of many churchmen (who will remained unnamed) in nearly all denominations (who will remain equally undesignated). This is, to be sure, what we see shrinking all around us as the tide of paganism rises. But Christendom in this sense is a false construct, useful for historians, sociologists, geopolitical analysts, etc., but not at all to be seen as identical to Christendom (Christianity) in the full sense of the term. After all, did not Jesus say, “My kingdom is not of this world”?

Christianity was living and growing before the time of Constantine - however terrible the persecutions were - and it will be living and growing till the end of time, no matter what happens to the religio-political construct “Christendom.”


8 posted on 10/26/2012 9:48:29 AM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
Whatever Belteshazzar knows about Christianity, his grasp of the history of Christendom is most tenuous. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened, either.

Christendom was indeed founded by Constantine in 312. And Henry VIII destroyed it to serve the carnal appetites of loins and his treasury in 1534.

9 posted on 10/26/2012 9:48:33 AM PDT by jackterrier
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To: marshmallow

Actually, Constantine didn’t “technically” convert to Christianity until his death bed many years later (25 years later in 337 AD). He did issue the Edict of Milan in 313 AD (a year after this battle) in which it stated “tolerance of all religions” which of course was what permitted Christianity to flourish within the Empire without further persecution! He also moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium (later to be renamed Constantinople and now modern day Istanbul). It was Constantinople where the eastern Orthodox Christian Church started and the Church that started in Rome (later became the Catholic Church) was the last standing “Roman” institution to remain after the fall of the Western portion of the Roman Empire in 476 AD!


10 posted on 10/26/2012 9:48:33 AM PDT by gumbie05
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To: BipolarBob

not sure what religion Bob’s ancestors would have chosen, but Christianity would not have reached England without Christendom ... and if Christendom were not Christian, they could not have withstood the Moors ... and the French, Germans and Italians would be Muslim today.


11 posted on 10/26/2012 9:58:19 AM PDT by campaignPete R-CT (campaigning for local conservatives)
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To: marshmallow

Celebrate Constantine the Murderer. Whata guy!


12 posted on 10/26/2012 10:02:55 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: jackterrier

“Christendom was indeed founded by Constantine in 312. And Henry VIII destroyed it to serve the carnal appetites of loins and his treasury in 1534.”

Ah, yes, poor old Henry. Named “defensor fidelis” one year and destroyer of Christendom another. What a weak foundation this Christendom stood upon.

Well, jackterrier, I think you made my point for me better than I could have made it myself. Thanks.


13 posted on 10/26/2012 10:21:25 AM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: marshmallow

Can we assume that Catholic publications hoping to spread the faith and provide their views don’t mind if we don’t excerpt their articles? Or am I wrong about that?


14 posted on 10/26/2012 10:48:12 AM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: Belteshazzar
Belteshazzar is a true disciple of David Axelrod. Drop a little bit of truth and a little spasm of history into a statment and claim victory.

Henry VIII was given the title “Defender of the Faith” in 1521 for writing, along with Sir Thomas More, the “Declaration of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther”. For showing himself a loyal son of the Roman Catholic Church in denouncing Luther, Pope Leo X bestowed the title.

Henry later divorced Catherine (daughter of Isabel, who chased the Mussalman out of Spain), had the state murder two of his wives, and then murdered his ‘friend’ St. Thomas More, among many others. Only a lunatic fails to update his assessment of the nature of people and things when the facts change like they did in this case. Sounds like you are in that group.

Christendom was weak because it was formed by men. No has ever claimed anything different. Catholicism will endure to the end of the world because it is guarenteed by Christ. It will endure, Belteshazzar, long after you and your merry mob of myth-makers have turned to dust up there in your mountain retreat.

15 posted on 10/26/2012 11:53:55 AM PDT by jackterrier
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To: Belteshazzar
As a non-Constantinian and further a non-traditional Christian, I do believe that Yeshua founded His kingdom in His creation. He ransomed it from the enemy and His people do not seek the ways of man... they hear His voice and will listen to no other.

“seek first the Kingdom”
“love Yehovah, with all your might, your strength and your soul”

One of His primary messages was, and has always been, _against_ traditions of men, which bind His people and pollute His way.

16 posted on 10/26/2012 12:07:25 PM PDT by veracious
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To: jackterrier

will you stop picking fights. this is really the wrong time for that stuff.


17 posted on 10/26/2012 12:17:53 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: veracious

—— One of His primary messages was, and has always been, _against_ traditions of men, -—

Traditions of men, like Luther’s novel doctrine of Sola Scriptura, must be distinguished from the traditions passed down from the Apostles:

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
—2 Thessalonians 2:15


18 posted on 10/26/2012 12:21:15 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

Yes, they kept the same traditions that Yeshua did, especially those that are commandments of Him: who was, who is, who shall be.
Keeping none which added to, or took away from.

“And bow before it shall all who are dwelling upon the land, whose names have not been written in the scroll of the life
of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;”
Revelation 13:8

“and he beheld Jesus walking, and saith, Lo! the lamb of God.”
John 1:36


19 posted on 10/26/2012 1:09:16 PM PDT by veracious
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To: BipolarBob

Constantine didn’t “endorse and enforce” a state religion, though. He himself wasn’t baptized until he was on his deathbed, and even then (we think) he was baptized by an Arian priest, not a Catholic one. It was Theodosius the Great, 70 years after Constantine, who made Catholic Christianity the state religion of the Empire.


20 posted on 10/26/2012 3:27:50 PM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: marshmallow

I think Jesus nailed Constantine’s “Christendom” in the parable of the mustard seed, Matt. 13:31,32.

The true seed of early 1st century Christianity, like a mustard seed, “the least of all seeds,” became a huge tree the birds came to live in. The birds, or fowls, do not have good connotations in his parables, 13:4.

Having the benefit of historical hindsight, it seems clear that Christ was prophesying the very thing that happened under the Emperor Constantine. Every “fowl” and heathen philosophy and practice imaginable found its home in Constantine’s church-state system...ultimately the RCC. The practice was convert pagans to “Christendom” at the point of a sword (sounds similar the Jihad of the Muslims), the enemy came in like a flood.


21 posted on 10/26/2012 3:37:40 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: Campion
He established a law venerating the day of Sun worship. This was in conflict to what Jesus practiced and preached. Fascism is wrong even if you embrace parts of its tenets.
22 posted on 10/26/2012 3:45:41 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Willie Stark for president.)
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To: marshmallow
On October 28, 312, Emperor Constantine met Emperor Maxentius in battle just outside the city of Rome at the Milvian Bridge, spanning the Tiber. This battle—occurring exactly 1,700 years ago—is one of the most important events in the history of Christendom, since it was through Constantine’s victory that Christendom began.

That's when Catholocism began, not Christianity...

With the might of Constantine's army, the real Christians were hunted down, their scriptures burned and many, many were murdered for refusing to bow to the new Constantine Catholic religion...And all those who refused Constantine were labled as heretics...

And so goes it today...

23 posted on 10/26/2012 4:55:42 PM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: BipolarBob
You have it quite wrong with regard to Constantine. His edict made the empire officially neutral with regard to religious worship; it neither made the traditional religions illegal nor made Christianity the state religion, as occurred later with the Edict of Thessalonica, under Theodosius I.

IOW, Constantine merely decriminalized Christianity. He did not invent a state church. This was done later, years after his death.

24 posted on 10/26/2012 6:29:33 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Justice and judgment are the foundation of His throne." Psalm 89:14)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
SUNDAY - is the first day of the week, TRADITIONALLY assigned for Christian worship. Literally "Sunday" means "day of the sun." It derives it's name from the ancient PAGAN week, whose days were named after the sun, moon, and five visible planets (which were named after other pagan deities.) Civil laws REQUIRING the observance of Sunday date back at least to Emperor Constantine the Great, who designated as a legal day of rest and worship in 321 (AD). (Encyclopedia Americana vol.,26,1999)

Constantine joined pagan and Christian beliefs in a great compromise. There were penalties recorded for infractions. This was the first known Sunday law for Christians.

25 posted on 10/26/2012 6:38:03 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Willie Stark for president.)
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To: BipolarBob

Yeah... and you should see who the MONTHS are named after!


26 posted on 10/26/2012 7:22:48 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("You can observe a lot just by watchin'." - Yogi Berra)
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To: Belteshazzar

Christendom is not the same as Christianity, but is another way of saving Christian Empire. Constantine was not the first ruler to bow before Christ, and will not be the last. For so it is promised. Until he comes, we shall have wars and worse. Men remain wicked, and we seem to slide back one step for every two we climb up to that summit, which is still obscured by the clouds, each one of us with a devil on his back. But one day those clouds will part and we shall see that glory, I mean all of us, and pity those who close their eyes to it.


27 posted on 10/26/2012 10:43:58 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Belteshazzar

Christendom is not the same as Christianity, but is another way of saving Christian Empire. Constantine was not the first ruler to bow before Christ, and will not be the last. For so it is promised. Until he comes, we shall have wars and worse. Men remain wicked, and we seem to slide back one step for every two we climb up to that summit, which is still obscured by the clouds, each one of us with a devil on his back. But one day those clouds will part and we shall see that glory, I mean all of us, and pity those who close their eyes to it.


28 posted on 10/26/2012 10:44:13 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Iscool

So thorough was their work that no evidence remains of it having happened?


29 posted on 10/26/2012 10:47:49 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: RobbyS

RobbyS, I have no argument with what you say.


30 posted on 10/26/2012 11:15:39 PM PDT by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: BipolarBob

“I would rather celebrate a leader that allowed his subjects to choose their religion for themselves rather than endorse and enforce a state issued one. The ends does not justify the means.”

I sure the Christians who were suffering horrible persecutions prior to this event appreciated the relief.


31 posted on 10/29/2012 8:13:46 AM PDT by Augustinian monk (People ask me 'Why pray if God is sovereign?' Why pray if he isn't?- Michael Horton)
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To: Augustinian monk

They are not here to say what they preferred. Suffer death as a martyr or cede to a similar but apostate religion. Honestly, I do not see how some here look at this person as some kind of savior of religion. He forced his beliefs on his subjects and some people here praise him. This is not what Jesus preached. To praise fascism because you believe in some of its tenets is still wrong. It is still a sin.


32 posted on 10/29/2012 8:28:12 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Willie Stark for president.)
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To: BipolarBob

I am not celebrating Constantine. What he really was or wasn’t I can’t say. I know from Eusebius (Christian historian) terrible suffering was occurring up to this point and then persecution was ended. BTW, Eusebius was an Arian not a Trinitarian. Problem was not Constantine per se, but as Christianity became stronger and influential it brings in wolves with false motives. Happens in any point in time.


33 posted on 10/29/2012 8:45:05 AM PDT by Augustinian monk (People ask me 'Why pray if God is sovereign?' Why pray if he isn't?- Michael Horton)
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To: Augustinian monk
" then persecution was ended"

It wasn't ended, it changed. There were still penalties. Still coercion. Still murders. All Satan needs is to poison the the Gospel just enough to quiet the people. Government and religion should not mix. The title to this is "Constantine's Gift to Christianity". So innocuous sounding.

34 posted on 10/29/2012 8:53:43 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Willie Stark for president.)
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To: All
"Christianity, they argue, is the Christianity of the early Church, the Church before it became favored and hence entangled with the empire, the pure Church, the Church before Constantine, the Church of the martyrs.'

Dilute the Gospel. Make friends with the world. Celebrate the corruption. Good article.

35 posted on 10/29/2012 12:52:04 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Willie Stark for president.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
The whipping boy of every group that practices a deviant form of Christianity!

As this thread is already demonstrating ...

36 posted on 10/29/2012 12:53:57 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: RobbyS
So thorough was their work that no evidence remains of it having happened?

Actually, there are over 5000 historic scripture manuscripts extant which are not a part of any of the 250 or so Catholic Septuagint manuscripts...

They are called the majority texts...And for good reason...They comprise the vast majority of manuscript evidence and they are not Catholic manuscripts...

They have been traced back to the times and area of Antioch where followers of Jesus were first called Christians...

37 posted on 10/30/2012 6:45:15 AM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: Iscool

The surviving fragments do not amount to an alternative history. As you know probably not 5% of the writings of the fourth century remain, and even the Catholic documents are a selection of a much larger number, a canon, so to speak. More or less like the Bible, which is an anthology of a much large number of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek writings, which are now dust. I atribute the loss to the dark age that descended on the Mediterranean world in the 7th century. Papyrus is a cheap writing material, but it was largely produced in Egypt. That left parchment.


38 posted on 10/30/2012 1:17:22 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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