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If Constantine truly worshipped Sol Invictus, even portraying the icon on his coinage, why does the Church insist that he converted?July 26th, 2010
First, you need to better understand Emperor Constantine, his family life, and get a better perspective of his entire life.
There is much I like in this comment and discussion:
05-02-2012 - by B.Z.
I disagree with your cultural analysis of holiness. The Apostles defined holiness as an abstract quality but not an unattainable quality nor as an unquantifiable quality. I think the living definition gets inculturated or intellctualized to the point of literally squeezing out the holiness of Christianity in the daily lives of believers because they have to ascribe to a "higher" or "more educated" authority on holiness.
Peter said we are a "priesthood of believers" and the by folowing the law by abiding in the Spirit that we will be rendered neither useless or ineffective for the kingdom - 2 Peter. Furthermore, the use of the word 5046 Teleios - used in Mt 5:48/19:21 and even other forms such as 5056 Telos 1 Pet 4:7, all imply holiness is the chief end of a life in Christ. In short, holiness is entirely expected to be understood first by the revelation of Holy Spirt upon conversion and subsequently through a life of discpleship through scriptural mentoring. The idea that holiness is relative from a believer's standpoint is unscriptural but the idea that holiness has been tainted and redefined through govt control, i.e. Constantine and quarrelling bishops is a very academic and real cultural issue that is best flushed out in the academy of research. Academics can provide a cold hard look at such things-especially relativism-that give us a more basic look at the people involved. Namely, quarrelling bishops, presbyters, deacons and/or political entities which some-with good intentions, but not without selfish benefit-desire to "unify" and make "official" or eradicate possible issues of disunity for political sake. Such was the case with Constantine. Thus, holiness is quantifiable according to scripture-the source alone that is the church's guide to living Christianity. However, holiness defined by any outside influence save the word of God, is a political voice and not the voice of the Holy Spirit lest we fall victim to the very words in Deuteronomy and revelation. "Do not add or take away from these words"
Thank you for your comments.
Again, I really like much of what B.Z. says:
I see your point about seeing through glass darkly. I think what I am trying to communicate is more simple than it appears. Here goes. Holiness is an abstrtact principle to the world and in academic an unquantifiable thing and treated subjectively. that being said, the dichotemy that we are - sinners saved by grace, past, present, and future - makes our lives at times look unholy even though God sees us as holy through atonement of Christ. And thus, holiness is by faith but faith is not even of ourselves. Faith is not a blind leap it is a choice based upon revelation and a choice that all who are drawn by God make by His choosing us first. So, although we at times are not true to our sanctification, we are once and for all times sanctified regardless. I agree with you that this quality itself is the very tension that you speak of.
But, in the telios usage in scripture, holiness is an attribute to be attained by believers. And because it is an attrubute to be attained, it is also and attribute that is under constant scrutiny by Satan, i.e., "stretch out Your hand to smite him and he will curse you". In today's world, that smite is almost always an appeal to the intellect in tension with God, i.e., holiness is "relative" or ... "having a form of Godliness" and challenge to the first and greatest command to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength and to have no other gods before Him. The very God of relativism is man and his intellect. It seems that our "tension" today is unfortunately our desire to alwys build and recast a new tower of Babel even if that tower is abstract and or "relative" if you will.
God Bless you my friend and thank you for responding. I hope we continue this conversation. I believe the Lord is in it.
Please send me the MOST critical NT telios texts that seem to uphold your thesis.
I agreed with most everything else you said, but the telios bit is where I begin to differ.
Numerous CH101 readers have written to me with questions and critical comments about what I have written regarding Emperor Constantine. There is a significant percentage of conservative Protestants who believe Christianity suffered greatly under Constantine. As a young man I was taught that the Catholic Church started with Constantine and was the beginning of Christianity losing its way.
"Paul said that the 'mystery of iniquity' was already at work in the church even during his day (2 Thes. 2:7). How much more in the years following the death of Paul and the other Apostles would the 'mystery of iniquity' be working."While there are some valid points to be made for Christianity losing its zeal and spiritual power, Constantine gets a bad rap in MY opinion. If you are interested in learning more about Constantine I would highly recommend the text by Charles Odahl (to the right) to better decide if Constantine was a Christian or just a political opportunist. My articles will be edited using Odahl's excellent research:
Emperor Constantine comes to Power
Emperor Constantine and Christian Faith
Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea
Emperor Constantine and Worship of the Sun (Sol Invictus)
Emperor Constantine and Christians in the Military
Emperor Constantine Against the Donatists
Al Baker, CH101
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Role of Constantine in Development Christianity
Douglas Del Tondo and David Bercot
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