would the church of the most high God be gone if a mortal leader of questionable character did not marry it to state power? Of course it would.
Would it be healthier? that is a good question, and I say yes it would
Christianity existed before Constantine, so I am not sure why it wouldn't without him. It grew even while under severe persecution.
Well, the talmud as an historical record is about as reliable as the Weekly World News, so I would take that story with a grain of salt.
Regarding Constantine, all he did was give Christians the same freedom that other religions had. He didn't ban other religions, and he even continued to allow pagan priests to participate in state rituals.
Subsequent Byzantine emperors did a lot more than Constantine to officially promote Christianity as the religion of the empire.
He made Christianity define itself, he made pagan temples into cathedrals, he made the Christian religion the religion of the empire
If you are referring to the Council of Nicea, he didn't "make" that happen, he convened it at the urging of the bishops. Christianity was already a dominant religion in the empire. He didn't make it the "official" religion, he just lifted state persecution.
Many of the acts he is accused of were actually carried out by later emperors.
Actually he MADE A POWER GRAB. But it was those that came after him that fleshed out HIS and THEIR visions of Christianity (Which was taken back to biblical standards and practices in the 1500's).
The church was alive and well "all over the region" at his time. That's why we have letters written to the churches in Thesolonica, Ephesis, Collosi, Rome and others. Christ even spoke to the churches in Alexandria and Laodecia in Revelation. All written 100's of years before Constantine.
The church could never exsist or survive because of a "mans doing anything". God told us the end from the beginning...
Actually when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the empire, it was not yet the dominant religion.
The vast majority of the ruling aristocracy were still pagans.
In addition though some Bishops wanted the council of Nicea, many did not, and the idea that this council would determine a definition of what was acceptable, and later allow people to be put to death for deviating from it was far from anyones minds
You must remember that history is written by the powerful. Constantine needed a unified Christianity in order to hold together a fragmenting Rome. Though there may have been some Bishops that wanted to codify the religion, it was Constantine that was best served by this codification.
Having said this, I believe the council came up with the majority view, and agree with most of the councils affirmations, just not the practical implications of having it.
I was being flippant when I created this thread and for that I apologize. It's generated some decent discussion but what I meant to ask (before I brain-farted the title) is, 'Would there be CHRISTMAS without Constantine?", a spin off of the Christmas without Chanukah thread.
this place is serious bidness.
Interesting questions and answers, especially from the Rev. I think it would still be here but probably in a smaller more pure form.
I agree, don't blame them at all... but it was the biggest subversion of the church anyways
Yeah but... what about Christmas? :-P
Maybe it would be more accurate to call it the beginning of the subversion of the church rather than the biggest, as it set the precedent for the intertwining of the church with the state?
Yes the beginning of a continuing subversion, very true, Ridges points are very well made as well
Somewhat of a tangent, but where would Gnosticism be today without Constantine? Didn't the Council of Nicea sound the death knell for Gnosticism?
I think today's protestant church is very gnostic
I think todays evangelical church is very inconvinienced...