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Dr. D

Would Christianity have survived

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Dr. D

There can be no denial of the crucial role that Emperor Constantine played in the development of Christianity. There can be no right or wrong answer to my question but your opinions would be appreciated concerning the question of whether or not Christianity was capable of surviving without Constantine's support.

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rashore

ohh, that's a rough one Dr. D...

In some ways, I think yes, because some people would have kept it up anyway.. In some ways I think no, because there is nothing quite like having a ruler say this is the way it is to make it so.

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Dr. D

ohh, that's a rough one Dr. D...

In some ways, I think yes, because some people would have kept it up anyway.. In some ways I think no, because there is nothing quite like having a ruler say this is the way it is to make it so.

But if the story is true of a redeemer who offered eternal life, would God have permitted it to fade into obscurity?

On the other hand, do we have any indications that the movement of Christianity was sufficiently strong to survive without the endorsement of Constantine?

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Karlis

Interesting question. Imo, Christianity survived *despite* Constantine. The reason I write that is because the religion/s as developed and "grown" since that time is/are far different from Christianity as found in the pages of the Bible.

Long story there, but I'll leave it at that at present. Let's see how this thread develops ...

Karlis

Edited by Karlis

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markdohle

There can be no denial of the crucial role that Emperor Constantine played in the development of Christianity. There can be no right or wrong answer to my question but your opinions would be appreciated concerning the question of whether or not Christianity was capable of surviving without Constantine's support.

Perhaps not, however if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.

Peace

mark

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markdohle

Interesting question. Imo, Christianity survived *despite* Constantine. The reason I write that is because the religion/s as developed and "grown" since that time is/are far different from Christianity as found in the pages of the Bible.

Long story there, but I'll leave it at that at present. Let's see how this thread develops ...

Karlis

The church was around for two centuries before the 'New Testament' was complied by the Church. The books were written for certain purposes, none of them were meant to be the only source for the Christian faith. Scriptures are part of the tradition of the church.

Peace

mark

Edited by markdohle

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Karlis

Perhaps not, however if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.

Peace

mark

Hi Mark -- you write, "... if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.".

Question: imo, the key question now is, "Which church"? The church which Jesus built ... or the church which Constantine built? In my personally-Bible-based opinion, these two churches are *not* one and the same. IMO, these are completely different bodies.

Please consider,:)

Karlis

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Dr. D

Hi Mark -- you write, "... if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.".

Question: imo, the key question now is, "Which church"? The church which Jesus built ... or the church which Constantine built? In my personally-Bible-based opinion, these two churches are *not* one and the same. IMO, these are completely different bodies.

Please consider,:)

Karlis

Whoa . . . the church which Jesus built????

I might agree with the church that Paul built or Irenaeus or Eusebius, but Jesus???

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Karlis

Whoa . . . the church which Jesus built????

I might agree with the church that Paul built or Irenaeus or Eusebius, but Jesus???

I think that this is where you and I may differ in our opinions, Dr. D, because I tend to follow Scriptures; one of which is:

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, ...
I will build my church
; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Cheers,

Karlis

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Paranoid Android

As a believer, I can only respond by saying that God would have kept the essence of His Church in tact, regardless of whether Constantine had lived and acted as he did. In some ways, the role of Constantine was actually counter-productive to the Christian faith, and it could be argued that Christianity now exists despite of Constantine, not because of him.

Whatever the case, as a believer of Jesus Christ, I suggest that whatever path history has taken, God ensured that His message was preserved for all to freely hear, see and read. If it had happened differently, God still would have provided....

~ Regards, PA

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norwood1026

Perhaps not, however if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.

Peace

mark

That's one heck of a boast care to back that up please? Considering that society did just fine before Christianty came along.

Edited by norwood1026

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redhen

There can be no denial of the crucial role that Emperor Constantine played in the development of Christianity. There can be no right or wrong answer to my question but your opinions would be appreciated concerning the question of whether or not Christianity was capable of surviving without Constantine's support.

I don't know why people believe that Constantine picked a small, obscure religious sect to raise up and "make" the whole Roman empire Christian, by fiat.

By this time period, Christianity was already wide-spread and well established. Constantine was merely affirming what the people already adhered to.

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dougeaton

That's one heck of a boast care to back that up please? Considering that society did just fine before Christianty came along.

It was the monastaries that kept learning alive after the fall of Rome......I think that is what Mark is talking about. Look it up on your puter my friend.

doug

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dougeaton

Hi Mark -- you write, "... if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.".

Question: imo, the key question now is, "Which church"? The church which Jesus built ... or the church which Constantine built? In my personally-Bible-based opinion, these two churches are *not* one and the same. IMO, these are completely different bodies.

Please consider,:)

Karlis

Every fundamentalist that I know thinks that they are infallible and have the scriptures to prove it :w00t: , yet they don't agree on much, hence so many different church's. Like the church that is now stating that God hates America LOL, or now the babies in Oklahoma, they have lots of scripture to back it up. The Catholic Church has been around the longest, the scriptures you quote from were put together by the Catholic Church, so if you feel thay went afoul of the scriptures, then you are left in the position of having to reject what said church put together :lol: ...though you sound aright, not too crazy.

Doug

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Dr. D

I think that this is where you and I may differ in our opinions, Dr. D, because I tend to follow Scriptures; one of which is:

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, ...
I will build my church
; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Cheers,

Karlis

A spurious verse, indeed. It is held in suspect as a later interpolation with some pretty convincing evidences.

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Dr. D

I don't know why people believe that Constantine picked a small, obscure religious sect to raise up and "make" the whole Roman empire Christian, by fiat.

By this time period, Christianity was already wide-spread and well established. Constantine was merely affirming what the people already adhered to.

By the middle of the second century there were about 15,000 Christians in an empire of more than 50 million. Wide spread and well established?

Constantine had killed his wife and went to the oracle to see if his sin could be forgiven. He was told that it could not because it was too grave.

Someone then told him of a new sect whose religion permitted all sins to be forgiven and so Constantine contacted them and embraced Christianity for very personal reasons. He continued to worshp sol evictus, however, until he was on his death bed and called for the priests to come to baptize him. He then believed that all his sins had been forgiven.

In that process, he legalized Christianity and later made it the official religion. People who converted were handsomely rewarded and slaves were given their freedom.

There is every good historic reason to believe that Constantine was one of the main reasons that Christianity survived.

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Karlis

A spurious verse, indeed. It is held in suspect as a later interpolation with some pretty convincing evidences.

Not that I'm suggesting you are wrong, but could you please post some of the more authoritative sources regarding this? Always appreciated.

Karlis

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Dr. D

Not that I'm suggesting you are wrong, but could you please post some of the more authoritative sources regarding this? Always appreciated.

Karlis

Joseph Wheless *

*"UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH"*

http://www.mail-archive.com/proletar@yahoogroups.com/msg21707.html

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mklsgl

Perhaps not, however if the church died, then our civilazation would not be here either.

Peace

mark

"Our civilization?" You mean that 'The New World' was not civilized before Christianity brought 'light' to the 'darkness?'

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redhen

By the middle of the second century there were about 15,000 Christians in an empire of more than 50 million. Wide spread and well established?

Some estimates put the number of Christians at the time of Constantine of over 6 million.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=HcFSaGvgKKkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Rodney+Stark,++The+Rise+of+Christianity&source=bl&ots=dib17o-b5r&sig=3XIoDjefvfgqdAEIgznCzwVkS7Y&hl=en&ei=KGbxTO6EAoiznge3leWNCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Rather than cause the triumph of Christianity, the emperor Constantine's 'Edict of Milan' was an astute response to rapid Christian growth that had already made them a major political force". The rise of Christianity: a sociologist reconsiders history,Rodney Stark, Princeton University Press, 1996.

p.s. the Edict of Milan lifted restrictions on all religions, not just Christianity.

Constantine had killed his wife and went to the oracle to see if his sin could be forgiven. He was told that it could not because it was too grave.

Someone then told him of a new sect whose religion permitted all sins to be forgiven and so Constantine contacted them and embraced Christianity for very personal reasons. He continued to worshp sol evictus, however, until he was on his death bed and called for the priests to come to baptize him. He then believed that all his sins had been forgiven.

It was quite common in ancient times to wait til near death before being formally baptized. The penances for various sins were very heavy, not just 3 hail Mary's and off you go. It often entailed public confession and painful and lengthy physical punishments.

In that process, he legalized Christianity and later made it the official religion. People who converted were handsomely rewarded and slaves were given their freedom.

There is every good historic reason to believe that Constantine was one of the main reasons that Christianity survived.

Sure, Constantine lent a big hand to Christianity, but this new religion was already growing exponentially? Would it have died out without him?

Would Buddhism have died out if it wasn't embraced and promulgated by King Ashoka?

Both religions were attractive and egalitarian, I think the analogy fits.

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Dr. D

Some estimates put the number of Christians at the time of Constantine of over 6 million.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=HcFSaGvgKKkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Rodney+Stark,++The+Rise+of+Christianity&source=bl&ots=dib17o-b5r&sig=3XIoDjefvfgqdAEIgznCzwVkS7Y&hl=en&ei=KGbxTO6EAoiznge3leWNCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Rather than cause the triumph of Christianity, the emperor Constantine's 'Edict of Milan' was an astute response to rapid Christian growth that had already made them a major political force". The rise of Christianity: a sociologist reconsiders history,Rodney Stark, Princeton University Press, 1996.

p.s. the Edict of Milan lifted restrictions on all religions, not just Christianity.

And some estimates are as high as 15 million but this would have been in the fourth century while I quoted from the second century.

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danielost

But if the story is true of a redeemer who offered eternal life, would God have permitted it to fade into obscurity?

On the other hand, do we have any indications that the movement of Christianity was sufficiently strong to survive without the endorsement of Constantine?

no god would not have permitted it to fade completely, he would reintroduce the true concept in the later days to help people come to him. oh wait he did do that.

as for constitine, he is the one who killed real christianity so yes it would have survived without him. although we may not have christmas and easter.

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Karlis

Joseph Wheless *

*"UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH"*

http://www.mail-arch...m/msg21707.html

Dr. D -- the following excerpts from the link you give simply *disprove* the Roman Catholic claim that Peter was the "rock" aka stone/rock/pebble upon which Jesus was going to build his Church.

... The more notorious"proof" is Matthew's forged punning passage: "Thou art Peter, and upon this

rock I will build my church," etc.

...

... whereupon, "when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou artSimon son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation,A stone." (John i, 42.) ...

... theGreek Father who forged the "Gospel according to John" had to attach thetranslation into Greek of the Aramaic "Cephas," into "Petros, a stone," forthe benefit of his Greek readers. ...

To put it cogently -- Peter's name means a rock or a stone ~~~ *but* Jesus said that he was going to build his church upon a cliff/crag, meaning Jesus said that he was going to build his church upon himself, not Peter. If you search my posts back over a few years, you will find that I have posted this same argument about Peter previously. BTW ... Nobody has tried to refute what I posted.

This passage from my previous post is correct, and not spurious. Jesus did indeed build his church upon himself (Jesus),and *not* upon Peter:

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, ... I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

As for the rest of the article; it is lengthy, but also refutable. Do you wish that I try to refute any other *specific point* in it? To address the whole article would take up much space in a post. So, one refutation at a time, if that's ok.

Regards,

Karlis

Edited by Karlis

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redhen

And some estimates are as high as 15 million but this would have been in the fourth century while I quoted from the second century.

Take a look at the handy table on page 7 of the book I quoted and linked,

http://books.google.ca/books?id=HcFSaGvgKKkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Rodney+Stark,++The+Rise+of+Christianity&source=bl&ots=dib17o-b5r&sig=3XIoDjefvfgqdAEIgznCzwVkS7Y&hl=en&ei=KGbxTO6EAoiznge3leWNCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

for AD 300 he has over 6 million Christians. The Edict of Milan was issued in 313.

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scepticalbeliever

Jesus' church cannont be torn down because its not a building. And I'm not even sure if the word church was around in those times, it may have been tabernacle(sp) or temple or something like that.

If you're talking about Constantine's church which is catholic--never confuse christianity with catholicism, two different things. Catholicism is paganism christianized--which is ok if you're pagan--and christianity--pseudo christianity--is hate mongering.

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