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Archive for November 6th, 2013

When did the church lose it’s way? (part 2)

Posted by appolus on November 6, 2013


Let us look at what kind of Kingdom Constantine built. You decide if he initiated and contaminated Christendom with a contagion that lasts until this day, that created the Catholic church and also the reformed church. In 313 Constantine issued the Edict of Milan. This granted freedom of religion to all men, including Christians. I know that this may come as a shock to many American Christians, but yes, there was freedom of religion prior to some settlements in the colonies. Constantine went on and decreed that the properties stolen from Christians during the persecution would be returned. He also decreed that the houses of prayer that were burned would be rebuilt and paid for by the state. And even with that , Constantine was not finished. He decided in his earthly wisdom and undoubted friendliness towards those of the Christian faith that they should have very fine buildings in which to worship, very much larger structures since it was now the favored religion of the state. The previous modest houses of prayer would be too small to hold the large crowds that would now come, so he built them ” churches,” that were more ornate than the pagan temples of the day.

So we went from a faith that met in very modest houses of prayer to highly ornate temples of worship. We went from a faith that was persecuted by the state to a faith that was made an amalgam of the state. Constantine further recognized that most bishops and deacons lived on or near the poverty line. Now think about that saints-saints on or near the poverty line. Now this was often by choice, men gladly giving up their estates, but nevertheless that is how most bishops and deacons lived prior to the great persecution of Diocletian. Now Constantine thought this most improper that men of the status of a bishop or a deacon should live in such a manner. So Constantine decided that the state would pay them a handsome salary. Think about it saints. Just a few years before Christendom had faced the most sever persecution and now here was Constantine, building extravagant buildings called churches and paying bishops and deacons handsome salaries. Brilliant strategy of the Devil? Good cop bad cop syndrome with Diocletian and Constantine? I would argue that it could only have happened against the backdrop of such a great persecution. Prior to this men of God would not even take governmental roles never mind have the state pay for ornate buildings and receive a wage from them. One more thing, Constantine decreed that these churches did not have to pay property tax, which was one of the main ways Rome raised revenue.

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