THE ROMANIZATION OF CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY | AfricanAmerica.org
THE ROMANIZATION OF CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY
By Pastor Ray Hagins


Looking back through the evolution of Christian theology, it should be noted that it was the emperor Constantine who did more than anyone else in history to introduce the subtleties of pernicious precepts into Christianity.


Whereas before him under Diocletian, in the last and most severe period of persecution, the catacombs of Rome were full of Christian renegades, Constantine, seeing that the old gods of Rome were losing their popularity because so many people were turning to become Christians and confronted by the rising tide toward Christianity, decided, "I can't lick 'em so I'll join 'em."


While yet competing for control of the Roman Empire in A.D. 312, Constantine claimed to have been told by God in a dream to have his soldiers paint the Chi-Rho (a Christian symbol consisting of the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ) on their shields, and as a result won a decisive battle.


He went on to defeat his rival and became the holy Roman emperor Constantine, who has been portrayed in all his regal robes celebrating Christian rites and declaring himself a Christian yet still tolerating the pagan cults of the day; using them all as a means to his political ends of unifying the empire. And to this day Constantine is remembered for "freeing" the Christians and "Christianizing" the empire. In fact, he "Romanized" Christ and Christianity.


The degree to which Constantine sought to synthesize Christianity and paganism can be seen in one of the emperor's commemorative medallions that shows him with a Chi-Rho monogram on his helmet and a Sol Invictus (pagan sun god) chariot horse below. And what did they teach? They taught what Romans would be expected to teach. They presented Jesus as a "god." They led the people astray into a cult of idolatry more Satanic than Christ-like. They taught people to worship Jesus as a flesh-and-blood martyr and messiah.


In 325 A.D., when this bitter controversy threatened schism in the Church (and with it Constantine's goal of a "universal empire" for which he had worked long and hard) the emperor called the first ecumenical council of over 300 bishops in Nicea, had the state to pay for all their expenses, and lodged them in his palace. Constantine himself presided over the opening session of the council and took part in its debates.


The conflict centered around Arius, a pastor in the Alexandrian Church who taught that Jesus, the Christ, was not equal or eternal with the Creator but, as the Logos, was the first and highest of created beings --- "divine only by participation," by God's grace
--- whereas his opponents said the Son was "of one substance with the Father." In the simplest of terms, the point at issue was whether Jesus was a mere human being who had been brought into existence to serve God's purpose; to act as the "word" of God at a particular time in the early First Century A.D., or whether he had been God for all eternity, "of one substance with the Father." If the latter, then he was effectively a supraterrestrial entity easily compatible with Sol Invictus, but light years removed from the Jesus envisaged by Arius and the Antiochenes (supporters of Arius who emphasized the human element as distinct from the divine in Jesus).


When all was said and done, the council, as commanded by Constantine, rejected Arius' position and adopted the Nicene Creed:


"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in Heaven and in earth. Who, for us men and for our salvation came down [from Heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day He rose again, and ascended into Heaven. And He shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion --- all that to say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathamatizes them." ("A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church" Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979) 2d ser., 14:3


The main issue in the controversy over the Nicene Creed (which continued on for fifty (50) years more until the First Council of Constantinople again condemned all forms of Arianism) was the use of the word homoousios ("of one substance") to define the relationship of Jesus, the Christ to the Father, which was ordered into the creed by Constantine himself.


Athanasius, the patriarch of Alexandria and chief proponent of Nicene orthodoxy, later wrote that the intent of the creed was to show that "the resemblance of the Son to the Father, and his immutability, are different from ours: for in us they are something acquired, and arise from our fulfilling the divine commands."


Only two of the bishops at Nicea refused to sign the creed. Along with Arius, they were anathematized ("cursed") by the council and exiled by decree of Constantine, who also ordered all of Arius' books to be burned upon penalty of death. After returning home a few of the bishops expressed their remorse for assenting to the new formula. Note the following statement written by Eusebius of Nicodemia:


"We committed an impious act, O Prince, by subscribing to a blasphemy from fear of you..."
from Wilson, "Jesus: The Evidence" p.168


Although no gospel regarded Jesus as God, and not even Paul had done so, Jesus was declared "Very God" through all eternity, and a whole new theology would flow from this. Even in the gospel of John (the one most inclined to make Jesus divine) Jesus is reported as saying, "I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I..." (John 14:2.


Nicea was indeed a turning point in more ways than one. Constantine's involvement in Church affairs also created a precedent for civil leadership in Church councils. Nicea marked the replacement of paganism with Christianity as the religious expression and support of the Roman Empire. By order of Constantine, Christianity became a state as well as a church, and the mold, for fourteen centuries, of European life and thought.


Well, we may ask the question: Who ever gave the Roman emperor the right to decide Christian doctrine? The answer is simple...it was a political feat to gain support and momentum for his personal agenda of a "universal Church" over which he would preside. The scriptural basis that he used to link Christianity with his pagan sun god (Sol Invictus) was Malachi 4:2, where the Christ is referred to as the "SUN (not SON) of righteousness." This was the perfect verse to support the merge of paganism into Christianity.


Is it possible that what we know as Christianity today was not, in truth, what the first and second century believers (followers of Jesus and his teachings) practiced and lived in their daily lives, but in fact a religious perversion that was spawned by the Roman Euro-Gentile empire and its powerful influence upon the entire world?
Egungun, Egungun ni t'aiye ati jo! Ancestos, Ancestors come to earth and dance! "I'm sick of the war and the civilization that created it. Let's look to our dreams, and the magical; to the creations of the so-called primitive peoples for new inspirations." - Jaques Vache and Andre Breton "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." -John Maynard "You know that in our country there were even matriarchal societies where women were the most important element. On the Bijagos islands they had queens. They were not queens because they were the daughters of kings. They had queens succeeding queens. The religious leaders were women too..." -- Amilcar Cabral, Return to the Source, 1973
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
THE ROMANIZATION OF CHRIST AND CHRISTIANITY
By Pastor Ray Hagins


Looking back through the evolution of Christian theology, it should be noted that it was the emperor Constantine who did more than anyone else in history to introduce the subtleties of pernicious precepts into Christianity.


Whereas before him under Diocletian, in the last and most severe period of persecution, the catacombs of Rome were full of Christian renegades, Constantine, seeing that the old gods of Rome were losing their popularity because so many people were turning to become Christians and confronted by the rising tide toward Christianity, decided, "I can't lick 'em so I'll join 'em."


While yet competing for control of the Roman Empire in A.D. 312, Constantine claimed to have been told by God in a dream to have his soldiers paint the Chi-Rho (a Christian symbol consisting of the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ) on their shields, and as a result won a decisive battle.


He went on to defeat his rival and became the holy Roman emperor Constantine, who has been portrayed in all his regal robes celebrating Christian rites and declaring himself a Christian yet still tolerating the pagan cults of the day; using them all as a means to his political ends of unifying the empire. And to this day Constantine is remembered for "freeing" the Christians and "Christianizing" the empire. In fact, he "Romanized" Christ and Christianity.


The degree to which Constantine sought to synthesize Christianity and paganism can be seen in one of the emperor's commemorative medallions that shows him with a Chi-Rho monogram on his helmet and a Sol Invictus (pagan sun god) chariot horse below. And what did they teach? They taught what Romans would be expected to teach. They presented Jesus as a "god." They led the people astray into a cult of idolatry more Satanic than Christ-like. They taught people to worship Jesus as a flesh-and-blood martyr and messiah.


In 325 A.D., when this bitter controversy threatened schism in the Church (and with it Constantine's goal of a "universal empire" for which he had worked long and hard) the emperor called the first ecumenical council of over 300 bishops in Nicea, had the state to pay for all their expenses, and lodged them in his palace. Constantine himself presided over the opening session of the council and took part in its debates.


The conflict centered around Arius, a pastor in the Alexandrian Church who taught that Jesus, the Christ, was not equal or eternal with the Creator but, as the Logos, was the first and highest of created beings --- "divine only by participation," by God's grace
--- whereas his opponents said the Son was "of one substance with the Father." In the simplest of terms, the point at issue was whether Jesus was a mere human being who had been brought into existence to serve God's purpose; to act as the "word" of God at a particular time in the early First Century A.D., or whether he had been God for all eternity, "of one substance with the Father." If the latter, then he was effectively a supraterrestrial entity easily compatible with Sol Invictus, but light years removed from the Jesus envisaged by Arius and the Antiochenes (supporters of Arius who emphasized the human element as distinct from the divine in Jesus).


When all was said and done, the council, as commanded by Constantine, rejected Arius' position and adopted the Nicene Creed:


"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in Heaven and in earth. Who, for us men and for our salvation came down [from Heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day He rose again, and ascended into Heaven. And He shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion --- all that to say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathamatizes them." ("A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church" Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979) 2d ser., 14:3


The main issue in the controversy over the Nicene Creed (which continued on for fifty (50) years more until the First Council of Constantinople again condemned all forms of Arianism) was the use of the word homoousios ("of one substance") to define the relationship of Jesus, the Christ to the Father, which was ordered into the creed by Constantine himself.


Athanasius, the patriarch of Alexandria and chief proponent of Nicene orthodoxy, later wrote that the intent of the creed was to show that "the resemblance of the Son to the Father, and his immutability, are different from ours: for in us they are something acquired, and arise from our fulfilling the divine commands."


Only two of the bishops at Nicea refused to sign the creed. Along with Arius, they were anathematized ("cursed") by the council and exiled by decree of Constantine, who also ordered all of Arius' books to be burned upon penalty of death. After returning home a few of the bishops expressed their remorse for assenting to the new formula. Note the following statement written by Eusebius of Nicodemia:


"We committed an impious act, O Prince, by subscribing to a blasphemy from fear of you..."
from Wilson, "Jesus: The Evidence" p.168


Although no gospel regarded Jesus as God, and not even Paul had done so, Jesus was declared "Very God" through all eternity, and a whole new theology would flow from this. Even in the gospel of John (the one most inclined to make Jesus divine) Jesus is reported as saying, "I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I..." (John 14:2.


Nicea was indeed a turning point in more ways than one. Constantine's involvement in Church affairs also created a precedent for civil leadership in Church councils. Nicea marked the replacement of paganism with Christianity as the religious expression and support of the Roman Empire. By order of Constantine, Christianity became a state as well as a church, and the mold, for fourteen centuries, of European life and thought.


Well, we may ask the question: Who ever gave the Roman emperor the right to decide Christian doctrine? The answer is simple...it was a political feat to gain support and momentum for his personal agenda of a "universal Church" over which he would preside. The scriptural basis that he used to link Christianity with his pagan sun god (Sol Invictus) was Malachi 4:2, where the Christ is referred to as the "SUN (not SON) of righteousness." This was the perfect verse to support the merge of paganism into Christianity.


Is it possible that what we know as Christianity today was not, in truth, what the first and second century believers (followers of Jesus and his teachings) practiced and lived in their daily lives, but in fact a religious perversion that was spawned by the Roman Euro-Gentile empire and its powerful influence upon the entire world?


While it is true that a lot of paganism did get stuffed into ROMAN CATHOLICISM (the UBERNESS OF CORRUPTION), it is NOT true that the Deity of Christ (or any other Major Doctrine of the Church) was a "new" (or n00b) idea that got imported from paganism.

To claim that Constantine was behind the canon, or was responsible for destroying Gospels he did not approve of, is a ludicrous distortion of history. In fact, Constantine convened the Council at Nicea, paid the travel expenses of those who attended, and provided his summer lake palace for the site, but he had no ecclesiastical authority at all. The information we have on the Council is fascinating and in no way supports the idea of a pagan Roman's overthrow of "early Christianity" or any conspiracy. A good introduction to the facts about the Council is available in the Summer 1996 issue of Christian History magazine, "Heresy in the Early Church," at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/51h/

The taking over of symbolism is true – but signifies ideological victory, not borrowing. Note to begin with that we are talking here not of apostolic Christianity of the first century, but of Christianity in the third and fourth centuries. What we see here is not so much "borrowing" but a sort of advertising campaign, or a type of artistic one-upmanship. The pagan deity Mithra was depicted slaying the bull while riding its back; the church did a lookalike scene with Samson killing a lion. Mithra sent arrows into a rock to bring forth water; the church changed that into Moses getting water from the rock at Horeb. Why was this done? It was done because this was an age when art usually was imitative. This is because the people of the New Testament world thought in terms of what could be "probabilities," or verification from general or prior experience. Imitation was a way of asserting your superiority: "Mithra is not the real hero. Samson is. Ignore Mithra." "This mystery religion uses a miter as a sign of power. Well, we have the true power. We claim the miter for our own." Note that the borrowing only involved art and ritual – it did not involve borrowing of ideology.

"Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan's veneration day of the sun."[22]

This is also simply false. All available evidence indicates that Christianity was honoring Sunday long before Constantine. Brown is perhaps confused because certain New Testament passages, for example, record Paul going to the synagogue on the Sabbath to preach to the Jews (if one wants to preach to the Jews and the Gentile God-fearers who attended with them, then it is logical to look for them where they are found - on the Sabbath, in the synagogue!). However, it is clear that Christian observations are held on the "first day of the week" (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2; cf. Rev. 1:10), and there is also ample evidence of Sunday being observed well before Constantine:

1. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (110 AD), wrote: "If, then, those who walk in the ancient practices attain to newness of hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but fashioning their lives after the Lord's Day on which our life also arose through Him, that we may be found disciples of Jesus Christ, our only teacher." Ignatius specifies the "Lord's Day" as the one on which "our life arises through Him" -- the resurrection day, which was a Sunday.

2. Justin Martyr (150 AD) describes Sunday as the day when Christians gather to read the scriptures and hold their assembly because it is both the initial day of creation and the day of the resurrection.

3. The Epistle of Barnabas (120-150) cites Isaiah 1:13 and indicates that the "eighth day" is a new beginning via the resurrection, and is the day to be kept


stop listening to n00bs.

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